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Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring becomes 'next big thing in law enforcement'

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  • Paul Mobbs
    ... Hash: SHA1 Wow! As if we didn t already know! (I remember the days, 30 years ago, when the police went around with CB s to listen-in on Nukewatchers!) I
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
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      -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
      Hash: SHA1

      Wow! As if we didn't already know! (I remember the days, 30 years ago, when
      the police went around with CB's to listen-in on Nukewatchers!)

      I think this headline is stating the obvious, seeking to generate shock
      where none should exist -- and the last line says it all.

      In effect it's a call for self censorship by campaigners when in fact, if we
      truly believe what we say, then we should say it as the core truth of our
      work irrespective of the consequences which might flow from that --
      precisely because it's only by challenging those views/practices which are
      in opposition to progressive views that we'll create progress.

      A state where saying unwelcome facts is tantamount to taking arms is not a
      free or democratic state -- it's a despotic oligarchy where only the
      interests of one group are pursued by the state rather than the interests
      of all.

      P.


      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/activists%2Dwarned%2Dto%2Dwatch%2Dwhat%2Dthey%2Dsay%2Das%2Dsocial%2Dmedia%2Dmonitoring%2Dbecomes%2Dnext%2Dbig%2Dthing%2Din%2Dlaw%2Denforcement%2D8191977.html

      Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring becomes
      'next big thing in law enforcement'

      Exclusive: John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists
      online and that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when
      it comes to social media

      Kevin Rawlinson, The Independent On-line, Monday 1st October 2012


      Political activists must watch what they say on the likes of Facebook and
      Twitter, sites which will become the “next big thing in law enforcement”, a
      leading human rights lawyer has warned.

      John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists online and
      that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to
      social media. But, speaking to The Independent, he added that he also
      expected that to drive an increase in the number of criminals being brought
      to justice in the coming months.

      "People involved in public protest should use social media to their
      strengths, like getting their message across. But they should not use them
      for things like discussing tactics. They might as well be having a tactical
      meeting with their opponents sitting in and listening.

      "For example, if antifascist organisers were discussing their plans on
      social media, they can assume that a fascist organisation will be watching.
      Social media sites are the last place you want to post something like
      that," he said.

      Mr Cooper QC's warning comes after a New York court ordered Twitter to hand
      over messages posted on the site by a demonstrator belonging to the Occupy
      Wall Street movement in America. Malcolm Harris, 23, is accused of
      disorderly conduct after he was arrested on Brooklyn Bridge during a
      protest last October.

      After a lengthy legal fight, Twitter eventually complied with an order to
      hand over the tweets on 14 September. Prosecutors hope to use them to
      disprove the demonstrator's defence that police escorted the protesters on
      to the bridge before arresting them for allegedly blocking it.

      Addressing the possibility of similar cases arising in the UK, Mr Cooper QC
      said: "The police are aware and are getting more aware of powers to force
      and compel platforms to reveal anonymous sites." He cited the case of
      Nicola Brookes, in which he succeeded in forcing Facebook to hand over
      details exposing the identity of an anonymous online bully.

      Mr Cooper QC added: "activists are putting themselves at more risk. Police
      will be following key Twitter sites, not only those of the activists but
      also other interesting figures. They know how to use them to keep up with
      rioting and to find alleged rioters.

      "In the same way they used to monitor mobile phones when they were trying
      to police impromptu raves, they are doing the same with Twitter and
      Facebook, as those who say too much on social media will find."

      But some activists are trying to overcome that naivety. In London on
      Saturday, former members of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's
      Cathedral - among others - were among the 130 people who meet technical
      experts for lessons on how to keep themselves safe online. The so-called
      "Cryptoparty" was part of a global movement to arm those who want to carry
      out protests online with the skills to maintain their anonymity.

      Attendees at the event at the Google Campus in east London's Tech City were
      simply asked to bring a laptop and technology experts promised to teach
      them skills like encryption. The events were the brainchild of an
      Australian activist, who uses the online nickname Asher Wolf. She said:
      "The idea is to stay safe online and protect the privacy of personal
      communication.

      She added that there were more secure forms of online communication than
      those commonly used and insisted that Cryptoparty was not a tutorial on how
      to hack but said that, once people have learned to maintain their online
      security, "what they choose to do in their private communications is their
      business".

      While some argue that genuinely peaceful protesters can have little fear of
      arrest regardless of what they say online, Mr Cooper QC said: "It would be
      wrong to establish a general rule that private communications should be
      handed over to the police. The principle that the law enforcement agencies
      should establish relevance first should not be diluted."

      The lead officer on digital media and engagement for the Association of Chief
      Police Officers Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie confirmed that police
      "monitor social media for potential issues" around protests but said they
      generally use them to engage with demonstrators, which he said was "key to
      the police service's approach to policing peaceful protests".

      However, some have found themselves regularly the subject of unwanted
      police attention as a result of their attendance at demonstrations. In May,
      peaceful protester John Catt lost his legal fight to force police to delete
      information they hold on him on the National Extremism Database. Pictures
      of and references to him are held because of his links to protest groups.

      But long-term activist Mr Catt argued that, since he has never been
      convicted of any crime, officers were not justified in recording the details.
      Lawyers for Mr Catt claimed that he is "logged and recorded wherever he
      goes" and that the surveillance at more than 55 protests had a "chilling
      effect" on people exercising the right to protest.

      But Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin sitting in the High Court
      refused to order police to remove references to him from the database,
      saying that recording his actions was a "predictable consequence" of
      regularly attending demonstrations.

      And that ruling came around five months after it emerged that City of London
      Police included the Occupy London movement on a leaflet warning businesses
      in The City about terrorist threats. The CoLP dismissed the inclusion of
      the protest movement alongside the likes of al-Qa'ida as a clerical error.

      But, Mr Cooper QC said, social media are "far too much of an important tool
      not to be used but they need used in a less naïve way".

      He added: "When people are acting within their rights of public protest,
      which are important but often become the 'Cinderella right' because they
      are subservient to their siblings, they should be very careful indeed about
      what they post because I would suspect that key activists are being
      followed anonymously by law enforcement agencies.

      "These social networks are all, in my opinion, forces for good; I am a
      great fan. But they are liable to abuse and misuse. And, not only are the
      police catching up, the courts are too. The Lord Chief Justice is very
      social media-aware and in fact allowed tweeting from court.

      "It is right to say the criminal courts are social media friendly; the law
      is beginning to understand them. If people continue to use social media in
      a naïve way then legitimate individuals are probably going to give too much
      away."

      While he supported the right of people exercising their rights to public
      protest without unnecessary disruption, Mr Cooper QC stressed that real
      criminality was a very different issue.

      He said that an unambiguously positive effect of the police's increased
      interest in social media would be an increasing numbers of criminals being
      caught because of their indiscretions online. He said: "With social media,
      it is amazing how many people involved with crime seem to let themselves
      down with it.

      "More and more, the police and defence teams analyse the Facebook accounts
      of witnesses they are trying to undermine. It is accepted in criminal law
      that remarks made on these which are inconsistent can be put to the witness
      as inconsistencies in evidence or as evidence of bad character."

      DCC Scobbie agreed, saying: "The police service works hard to secure
      evidence from any source during the course of an investigation. Information
      which is openly and publically available on social media sites that links
      criminals to crimes and offences has been used to help secure successful
      prosecutions."

      Mr Cooper QC added: "One of the big revelations in crime detection in
      recent decades was the Filofax; it was amazing how often serious,
      professional criminals would record the weights of drugs in their
      conspiracies in little graphs in the back of their Filofaxes.

      "The police soon learned to seize the Filofax when they searched a house.
      Things move on and the next big thing was mobile phones; they were a
      revelation. With mobiles, not only do we have a whole industry in forensic
      phone analysis, we can also work out where people were using the phone by
      the mast locations.

      He cited a past client who insisted he was not at the scene of a murder he
      was accused of committing but who - mobile records showed - had made a call
      while standing next to the bin the victim's body was later found in.

      He said: "Police will use social media just as they used the Filofax and
      the mobile phone and why shouldn't they?"



      - --

      .

      "We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
      nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
      for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
      that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
      righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
      God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
      (Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

      Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
      For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ebo/

      Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:
      http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ecolonomics/

      Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
      3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
      tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
      email - mobbsey@...
      website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
      public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey-2011.asc

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    • Ram Selva
      Once in a while I get pulled up by some one or the other (who I only pity) for saying something or the other. I think it has already happened in Diggers350 to
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Once in a while I get pulled up by some one or the other (who I only
        pity) for saying something or the other.

        I think it has already happened in Diggers350 to some extent. Some have
        tried it on Offlist on the somewhat associated TLIO group ... something
        to the effect 'you are posting too much' or the similar.

        ---

        My observation is self censorship is often seen to be done by few gate
        keepers.
        (I have been using the Internet from the time when it was comparatively
        very much decentralised as NewsNet servers were the norm for
        discussions)

        I believe United Kingdom has an unbroken tradition of control through
        gatekeepers ... probably from heritage BeefEaters and the like.

        Anyhow the liberal mouthpiece Independent article is so wrong as its
        the US master of the UK poodle that is watching and calling the shots.
        This is not limited to just social media. Yahoo! has always been a
        traditional mechanism to contravene digital freedoms (Yes, why is
        Diggers350 on YahooGroups?!)

        What a load of nonsense that only because of a judgement in a NY court
        over Twitter that privacy is users of Twitter is being broken! Using the
        damned thing is giving away everyone's freedoms unless of course the
        user is Twittering him/herself.

        UK Home Office's communications data bill (ISPs including mobile
        connections even if encrypted are being targeted as a day to
        eavesdropping service is to be implemented across the board) is
        currently a campaign point for seasoned digital rights activists.
        Amazing the Independent article misses mention of this! -- instead even
        says at point ""People involved in public protest should use social
        media to their strengths, like getting their message across ..."

        'Activists' who **pull other unsuspecting new Internet users** in to
        the Social Media traps are the ones that should think first.

        It must also be noted that if one is clocked by the scum they break all
        rules already. Monitoring digital communications is standard for the
        scum.

        Ram

        On 2012-10-01 14:55, Paul Mobbs wrote:
        > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
        > Hash: SHA1
        >
        > Wow! As if we didn't already know! (I remember the days, 30 years
        > ago, when
        > the police went around with CB's to listen-in on Nukewatchers!)
        >
        > I think this headline is stating the obvious, seeking to generate
        > shock
        > where none should exist -- and the last line says it all.
        >
        > In effect it's a call for self censorship by campaigners when in
        > fact, if we
        > truly believe what we say, then we should say it as the core truth of
        > our
        > work irrespective of the consequences which might flow from that --
        > precisely because it's only by challenging those views/practices
        > which are
        > in opposition to progressive views that we'll create progress.
        >
        > A state where saying unwelcome facts is tantamount to taking arms is
        > not a
        > free or democratic state -- it's a despotic oligarchy where only the
        > interests of one group are pursued by the state rather than the
        > interests
        > of all.
        >
        > P.
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/activists%2Dwarned%2Dto%2Dwatch%2Dwhat%2Dthey%2Dsay%2Das%2Dsocial%2Dmedia%2Dmonitoring%2Dbecomes%2Dnext%2Dbig%2Dthing%2Din%2Dlaw%2Denforcement%2D8191977.html
        >
        > Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring
        > becomes
        > 'next big thing in law enforcement'
        >
        > Exclusive: John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key
        > activists
        > online and that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly
        > savvy when
        > it comes to social media
        >
        > Kevin Rawlinson, The Independent On-line, Monday 1st October 2012
        >
        >
        > Political activists must watch what they say on the likes of Facebook
        > and
        > Twitter, sites which will become the “next big thing in law
        > enforcement”, a
        > leading human rights lawyer has warned.
        >
        > John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists online
        > and
        > that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when it
        > comes to
        > social media. But, speaking to The Independent, he added that he also
        > expected that to drive an increase in the number of criminals being
        > brought
        > to justice in the coming months.
        >
        > "People involved in public protest should use social media to their
        > strengths, like getting their message across. But they should not use
        > them
        > for things like discussing tactics. They might as well be having a
        > tactical
        > meeting with their opponents sitting in and listening.
        >
        > "For example, if antifascist organisers were discussing their plans
        > on
        > social media, they can assume that a fascist organisation will be
        > watching.
        > Social media sites are the last place you want to post something like
        > that," he said.
        >
        > Mr Cooper QC's warning comes after a New York court ordered Twitter
        > to hand
        > over messages posted on the site by a demonstrator belonging to the
        > Occupy
        > Wall Street movement in America. Malcolm Harris, 23, is accused of
        > disorderly conduct after he was arrested on Brooklyn Bridge during a
        > protest last October.
        >
        > After a lengthy legal fight, Twitter eventually complied with an
        > order to
        > hand over the tweets on 14 September. Prosecutors hope to use them to
        > disprove the demonstrator's defence that police escorted the
        > protesters on
        > to the bridge before arresting them for allegedly blocking it.
        >
        > Addressing the possibility of similar cases arising in the UK, Mr
        > Cooper QC
        > said: "The police are aware and are getting more aware of powers to
        > force
        > and compel platforms to reveal anonymous sites." He cited the case of
        > Nicola Brookes, in which he succeeded in forcing Facebook to hand
        > over
        > details exposing the identity of an anonymous online bully.
        >
        > Mr Cooper QC added: "activists are putting themselves at more risk.
        > Police
        > will be following key Twitter sites, not only those of the activists
        > but
        > also other interesting figures. They know how to use them to keep up
        > with
        > rioting and to find alleged rioters.
        >
        > "In the same way they used to monitor mobile phones when they were
        > trying
        > to police impromptu raves, they are doing the same with Twitter and
        > Facebook, as those who say too much on social media will find."
        >
        > But some activists are trying to overcome that naivety. In London on
        > Saturday, former members of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's
        > Cathedral - among others - were among the 130 people who meet
        > technical
        > experts for lessons on how to keep themselves safe online. The
        > so-called
        > "Cryptoparty" was part of a global movement to arm those who want to
        > carry
        > out protests online with the skills to maintain their anonymity.
        >
        > Attendees at the event at the Google Campus in east London's Tech
        > City were
        > simply asked to bring a laptop and technology experts promised to
        > teach
        > them skills like encryption. The events were the brainchild of an
        > Australian activist, who uses the online nickname Asher Wolf. She
        > said:
        > "The idea is to stay safe online and protect the privacy of personal
        > communication.
        >
        > She added that there were more secure forms of online communication
        > than
        > those commonly used and insisted that Cryptoparty was not a tutorial
        > on how
        > to hack but said that, once people have learned to maintain their
        > online
        > security, "what they choose to do in their private communications is
        > their
        > business".
        >
        > While some argue that genuinely peaceful protesters can have little
        > fear of
        > arrest regardless of what they say online, Mr Cooper QC said: "It
        > would be
        > wrong to establish a general rule that private communications should
        > be
        > handed over to the police. The principle that the law enforcement
        > agencies
        > should establish relevance first should not be diluted."
        >
        > The lead officer on digital media and engagement for the Association
        > of Chief
        > Police Officers Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie confirmed that
        > police
        > "monitor social media for potential issues" around protests but said
        > they
        > generally use them to engage with demonstrators, which he said was
        > "key to
        > the police service's approach to policing peaceful protests".
        >
        > However, some have found themselves regularly the subject of unwanted
        > police attention as a result of their attendance at demonstrations.
        > In May,
        > peaceful protester John Catt lost his legal fight to force police to
        > delete
        > information they hold on him on the National Extremism Database.
        > Pictures
        > of and references to him are held because of his links to protest
        > groups.
        >
        > But long-term activist Mr Catt argued that, since he has never been
        > convicted of any crime, officers were not justified in recording the
        > details.
        > Lawyers for Mr Catt claimed that he is "logged and recorded wherever
        > he
        > goes" and that the surveillance at more than 55 protests had a
        > "chilling
        > effect" on people exercising the right to protest.
        >
        > But Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin sitting in the High Court
        > refused to order police to remove references to him from the
        > database,
        > saying that recording his actions was a "predictable consequence" of
        > regularly attending demonstrations.
        >
        > And that ruling came around five months after it emerged that City of
        > London
        > Police included the Occupy London movement on a leaflet warning
        > businesses
        > in The City about terrorist threats. The CoLP dismissed the inclusion
        > of
        > the protest movement alongside the likes of al-Qa'ida as a clerical
        > error.
        >
        > But, Mr Cooper QC said, social media are "far too much of an
        > important tool
        > not to be used but they need used in a less naïve way".
        >
        > He added: "When people are acting within their rights of public
        > protest,
        > which are important but often become the 'Cinderella right' because
        > they
        > are subservient to their siblings, they should be very careful indeed
        > about
        > what they post because I would suspect that key activists are being
        > followed anonymously by law enforcement agencies.
        >
        > "These social networks are all, in my opinion, forces for good; I am
        > a
        > great fan. But they are liable to abuse and misuse. And, not only are
        > the
        > police catching up, the courts are too. The Lord Chief Justice is
        > very
        > social media-aware and in fact allowed tweeting from court.
        >
        > "It is right to say the criminal courts are social media friendly;
        > the law
        > is beginning to understand them. If people continue to use social
        > media in
        > a naïve way then legitimate individuals are probably going to give
        > too much
        > away."
        >
        > While he supported the right of people exercising their rights to
        > public
        > protest without unnecessary disruption, Mr Cooper QC stressed that
        > real
        > criminality was a very different issue.
        >
        > He said that an unambiguously positive effect of the police's
        > increased
        > interest in social media would be an increasing numbers of criminals
        > being
        > caught because of their indiscretions online. He said: "With social
        > media,
        > it is amazing how many people involved with crime seem to let
        > themselves
        > down with it.
        >
        > "More and more, the police and defence teams analyse the Facebook
        > accounts
        > of witnesses they are trying to undermine. It is accepted in criminal
        > law
        > that remarks made on these which are inconsistent can be put to the
        > witness
        > as inconsistencies in evidence or as evidence of bad character."
        >
        > DCC Scobbie agreed, saying: "The police service works hard to secure
        > evidence from any source during the course of an investigation.
        > Information
        > which is openly and publically available on social media sites that
        > links
        > criminals to crimes and offences has been used to help secure
        > successful
        > prosecutions."
        >
        > Mr Cooper QC added: "One of the big revelations in crime detection in
        > recent decades was the Filofax; it was amazing how often serious,
        > professional criminals would record the weights of drugs in their
        > conspiracies in little graphs in the back of their Filofaxes.
        >
        > "The police soon learned to seize the Filofax when they searched a
        > house.
        > Things move on and the next big thing was mobile phones; they were a
        > revelation. With mobiles, not only do we have a whole industry in
        > forensic
        > phone analysis, we can also work out where people were using the
        > phone by
        > the mast locations.
        >
        > He cited a past client who insisted he was not at the scene of a
        > murder he
        > was accused of committing but who - mobile records showed - had made
        > a call
        > while standing next to the bin the victim's body was later found in.
        >
        > He said: "Police will use social media just as they used the Filofax
        > and
        > the mobile phone and why shouldn't they?"
        >
        >
        >
        > - --
        >
        > .
        >
        > "We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
        > nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
        > for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
        > that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
        > righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
        > God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
        > (Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
        >
        > Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
        > For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ebo/
        >
        > Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:
        > http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ecolonomics/
        >
        > Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
        > 3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
        > tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
        > email - mobbsey@...
        > website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
        > public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey-2011.asc
        >
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      • Tony Gosling
        In Diggers list the only thing out of bounds is the discussions we had way back in the archive about Land Value Taxation. We got absloutely nowhere with the
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          In Diggers list the only thing out of bounds is the discussions we had way back in the archive about Land Value Taxation.
          We got absloutely nowhere with the discussion only to see that the yeses and the nos would never agree
          It was pissing people on the list off mightily as we got nowhere & several good people left the list never to return
          The only editorial criteria for me is general quality control
          I'll allow many off land rights topic posts too - if it's particularly interesting
          I call it quality control - if peole are posting quality on topic youtube clips or articles they can post as much as they want
          Others may call it censorship but too many lists I'm not on anymore had too laissez faire an approach to moderation

          T


          At 18:24 01/10/2012, Ram Selva wrote:
           

          Once in a while I get pulled up by some one or the other (who I only
          pity) for saying something or the other.

          I think it has already happened in Diggers350 to some extent. Some have
          tried it on Offlist on the somewhat associated TLIO group ... something
          to the effect 'you are posting too much' or the similar.

          ---

          My observation is self censorship is often seen to be done by few gate
          keepers.
          (I have been using the Internet from the time when it was comparatively
          very much decentralised as NewsNet servers were the norm for
          discussions)

          I believe United Kingdom has an unbroken tradition of control through
          gatekeepers ... probably from heritage BeefEaters and the like.

          Anyhow the liberal mouthpiece Independent article is so wrong as its
          the US master of the UK poodle that is watching and calling the shots.
          This is not limited to just social media. Yahoo! has always been a
          traditional mechanism to contravene digital freedoms (Yes, why is
          Diggers350 on YahooGroups?!)

          What a load of nonsense that only because of a judgement in a NY court
          over Twitter that privacy is users of Twitter is being broken! Using the
          damned thing is giving away everyone's freedoms unless of course the
          user is Twittering him/herself.

          UK Home Office's communications data bill (ISPs including mobile
          connections even if encrypted are being targeted as a day to
          eavesdropping service is to be implemented across the board) is
          currently a campaign point for seasoned digital rights activists.
          Amazing the Independent article misses mention of this! -- instead even
          says at point ""People involved in public protest should use social
          media to their strengths, like getting their message across ..."

          'Activists' who **pull other unsuspecting new Internet users** in to
          the Social Media traps are the ones that should think first.

          It must also be noted that if one is clocked by the scum they break all
          rules already. Monitoring digital communications is standard for the
          scum.

          Ram

          On 2012-10-01 14:55, Paul Mobbs wrote:
          > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
          > Hash: SHA1
          >
          > Wow! As if we didn't already know! (I remember the days, 30 years
          > ago, when
          > the police went around with CB's to listen-in on Nukewatchers!)
          >
          > I think this headline is stating the obvious, seeking to generate
          > shock
          > where none should exist -- and the last line says it all.
          >
          > In effect it's a call for self censorship by campaigners when in
          > fact, if we
          > truly believe what we say, then we should say it as the core truth of
          > our
          > work irrespective of the consequences which might flow from that --
          > precisely because it's only by challenging those views/practices
          > which are
          > in opposition to progressive views that we'll create progress.
          >
          > A state where saying unwelcome facts is tantamount to taking arms is
          > not a
          > free or democratic state -- it's a despotic oligarchy where only the
          > interests of one group are pursued by the state rather than the
          > interests
          > of all.
          >
          > P.
          >
          >
          >
          > http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/activists%2Dwarned%2Dto%2Dwatch%2Dwhat%2Dthey%2Dsay%2Das%2Dsocial%2Dmedia%2Dmonitoring%2Dbecomes%2Dnext%2Dbig%2Dthing%2Din%2Dlaw%2Denforcement%2D8191977.html
          >
          > Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring
          > becomes
          > 'next big thing in law enforcement'
          >
          > Exclusive: John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key
          > activists
          > online and that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly
          > savvy when
          > it comes to social media
          >
          > Kevin Rawlinson, The Independent On-line, Monday 1st October 2012
          >
          >
          > Political activists must watch what they say on the likes of Facebook
          > and
          > Twitter, sites which will become the “next big thing in law
          > enforcement”, a
          > leading human rights lawyer has warned.
          >
          > John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists online
          > and
          > that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when it
          > comes to
          > social media. But, speaking to The Independent, he added that he also
          > expected that to drive an increase in the number of criminals being
          > brought
          > to justice in the coming months.
          >
          > "People involved in public protest should use social media to their
          > strengths, like getting their message across. But they should not use
          > them
          > for things like discussing tactics. They might as well be having a
          > tactical
          > meeting with their opponents sitting in and listening.
          >
          > "For example, if antifascist organisers were discussing their plans
          > on
          > social media, they can assume that a fascist organisation will be
          > watching.
          > Social media sites are the last place you want to post something like
          > that," he said.
          >
          > Mr Cooper QC's warning comes after a New York court ordered Twitter
          > to hand
          > over messages posted on the site by a demonstrator belonging to the
          > Occupy
          > Wall Street movement in America. Malcolm Harris, 23, is accused of
          > disorderly conduct after he was arrested on Brooklyn Bridge during a
          > protest last October.
          >
          > After a lengthy legal fight, Twitter eventually complied with an
          > order to
          > hand over the tweets on 14 September. Prosecutors hope to use them to
          > disprove the demonstrator's defence that police escorted the
          > protesters on
          > to the bridge before arresting them for allegedly blocking it.
          >
          > Addressing the possibility of similar cases arising in the UK, Mr
          > Cooper QC
          > said: "The police are aware and are getting more aware of powers to
          > force
          > and compel platforms to reveal anonymous sites." He cited the case of
          > Nicola Brookes, in which he succeeded in forcing Facebook to hand
          > over
          > details exposing the identity of an anonymous online bully.
          >
          > Mr Cooper QC added: "activists are putting themselves at more risk.
          > Police
          > will be following key Twitter sites, not only those of the activists
          > but
          > also other interesting figures. They know how to use them to keep up
          > with
          > rioting and to find alleged rioters.
          >
          > "In the same way they used to monitor mobile phones when they were
          > trying
          > to police impromptu raves, they are doing the same with Twitter and
          > Facebook, as those who say too much on social media will find."
          >
          > But some activists are trying to overcome that naivety. In London on
          > Saturday, former members of the Occupy encampment outside St Paul's
          > Cathedral - among others - were among the 130 people who meet
          > technical
          > experts for lessons on how to keep themselves safe online. The
          > so-called
          > "Cryptoparty" was part of a global movement to arm those who want to
          > carry
          > out protests online with the skills to maintain their anonymity.
          >
          > Attendees at the event at the Google Campus in east London's Tech
          > City were
          > simply asked to bring a laptop and technology experts promised to
          > teach
          > them skills like encryption. The events were the brainchild of an
          > Australian activist, who uses the online nickname Asher Wolf. She
          > said:
          > "The idea is to stay safe online and protect the privacy of personal
          > communication.
          >
          > She added that there were more secure forms of online communication
          > than
          > those commonly used and insisted that Cryptoparty was not a tutorial
          > on how
          > to hack but said that, once people have learned to maintain their
          > online
          > security, "what they choose to do in their private communications is
          > their
          > business".
          >
          > While some argue that genuinely peaceful protesters can have little
          > fear of
          > arrest regardless of what they say online, Mr Cooper QC said: "It
          > would be
          > wrong to establish a general rule that private communications should
          > be
          > handed over to the police. The principle that the law enforcement
          > agencies
          > should establish relevance first should not be diluted."
          >
          > The lead officer on digital media and engagement for the Association
          > of Chief
          > Police Officers Deputy Chief Constable Gordon Scobbie confirmed that
          > police
          > "monitor social media for potential issues" around protests but said
          > they
          > generally use them to engage with demonstrators, which he said was
          > "key to
          > the police service's approach to policing peaceful protests".
          >
          > However, some have found themselves regularly the subject of unwanted
          > police attention as a result of their attendance at demonstrations.
          > In May,
          > peaceful protester John Catt lost his legal fight to force police to
          > delete
          > information they hold on him on the National Extremism Database.
          > Pictures
          > of and references to him are held because of his links to protest
          > groups.
          >
          > But long-term activist Mr Catt argued that, since he has never been
          > convicted of any crime, officers were not justified in recording the
          > details.
          > Lawyers for Mr Catt claimed that he is "logged and recorded wherever
          > he
          > goes" and that the surveillance at more than 55 protests had a
          > "chilling
          > effect" on people exercising the right to protest.
          >
          > But Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin sitting in the High Court
          > refused to order police to remove references to him from the
          > database,
          > saying that recording his actions was a "predictable consequence" of
          > regularly attending demonstrations.
          >
          > And that ruling came around five months after it emerged that City of
          > London
          > Police included the Occupy London movement on a leaflet warning
          > businesses
          > in The City about terrorist threats. The CoLP dismissed the inclusion
          > of
          > the protest movement alongside the likes of al-Qa'ida as a clerical
          > error.
          >
          > But, Mr Cooper QC said, social media are "far too much of an
          > important tool
          > not to be used but they need used in a less naïve way".
          >
          > He added: "When people are acting within their rights of public
          > protest,
          > which are important but often become the 'Cinderella right' because
          > they
          > are subservient to their siblings, they should be very careful indeed
          > about
          > what they post because I would suspect that key activists are being
          > followed anonymously by law enforcement agencies.
          >
          > "These social networks are all, in my opinion, forces for good; I am
          > a
          > great fan. But they are liable to abuse and misuse. And, not only are
          > the
          > police catching up, the courts are too. The Lord Chief Justice is
          > very
          > social media-aware and in fact allowed tweeting from court.
          >
          > "It is right to say the criminal courts are social media friendly;
          > the law
          > is beginning to understand them. If people continue to use social
          > media in
          > a naïve way then legitimate individuals are probably going to give
          > too much
          > away."
          >
          > While he supported the right of people exercising their rights to
          > public
          > protest without unnecessary disruption, Mr Cooper QC stressed that
          > real
          > criminality was a very different issue.
          >
          > He said that an unambiguously positive effect of the police's
          > increased
          > interest in social media would be an increasing numbers of criminals
          > being
          > caught because of their indiscretions online. He said: "With social
          > media,
          > it is amazing how many people involved with crime seem to let
          > themselves
          > down with it.
          >
          > "More and more, the police and defence teams analyse the Facebook
          > accounts
          > of witnesses they are trying to undermine. It is accepted in criminal
          > law
          > that remarks made on these which are inconsistent can be put to the
          > witness
          > as inconsistencies in evidence or as evidence of bad character."
          >
          > DCC Scobbie agreed, saying: "The police service works hard to secure
          > evidence from any source during the course of an investigation.
          > Information
          > which is openly and publically available on social media sites that
          > links
          > criminals to crimes and offences has been used to help secure
          > successful
          > prosecutions."
          >
          > Mr Cooper QC added: "One of the big revelations in crime detection in
          > recent decades was the Filofax; it was amazing how often serious,
          > professional criminals would record the weights of drugs in their
          > conspiracies in little graphs in the back of their Filofaxes.
          >
          > "The police soon learned to seize the Filofax when they searched a
          > house.
          > Things move on and the next big thing was mobile phones; they were a
          > revelation. With mobiles, not only do we have a whole industry in
          > forensic
          > phone analysis, we can also work out where people were using the
          > phone by
          > the mast locations.
          >
          > He cited a past client who insisted he was not at the scene of a
          > murder he
          > was accused of committing but who - mobile records showed - had made
          > a call
          > while standing next to the bin the victim's body was later found in.
          >
          > He said: "Police will use social media just as they used the Filofax
          > and
          > the mobile phone and why shouldn't they?"
          >
          >
          >
          > - --
          >
          > .
          >
          > "We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
          > nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
          > for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
          > that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
          > righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
          > God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
          > (Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
          >
          > Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
          > For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ebo/
          >
          > Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:
          > http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ecolonomics/
          >
          > Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
          > 3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
          > tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
          > email - mobbsey@...
          > website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
          > public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey-2011.asc
          >
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          _________________
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          "The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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          Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that shall not be made known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

          Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
          Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
          Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
          Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
          Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
          Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.
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