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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Welcome to Ulster-On-Thames



Applied to the whole of the UK by the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, the offence of eliciting 'terrorist information' about security forces and the equally controversial (but not yet in force) power to seize anything for examination were previously restricted to Northern Ireland, where they expired on 31st August last year - see Terrorism Act 2000 Sections 88 & 103 for the predecessors of Sections 1 and 58A, respectively.

They'd already been through various revisions before that, with the power to examine documents first appeared as Section 22 of Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1991, a relative newcomer compared to the elicit offence, which is rooted in Regulation 10 of the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922:
No person shall, without lawful authority, collect, record, publish or communicate, or attempt to elicit, any information with respect to the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any police force, or with respect to the plans or conduct, or supposed plans or conduct, of any operations by any such force, or any information of such a nature as is calculated to be or might be directly or indirectly useful to persons hostile or opposed to the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order, and if any person contravenes the provisions of this regulation, or without lawful authority or excuse has in his possession any document containing any such information as aforesaid, he shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.
Regulation 12 also seems familiar:
If any person, without lawful authority or excuse, uses or has in his possession or under his control any cipher, code, or other means adapted for secretly communicating information which may be prejudicial to the preservation of peace or the maintenance of order he shall be guity of an offence against these regulations, unless he proves that the cipher, code, or other means of secret communication is intended and used solely for commercial or other legitimate purposes. Any person who has in his possession or under his control any cipher, code, or other means of secret communication shall, if required by the civil authority, or any person authorised by him, or by any police constable, supply the key or other means for deciphering it, and if he fails to do so shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.
Still, nothing to hide, nothing to fear, it's not like any police officer would ever just make up a reason to seize 'evidence', would they?

And perhaps the Met were on to something with those posters after all, some photographers do seem odd:



Best keep an eye on those ones. There is a war on, you know!

9 comments:

Really Fit said...

Film of Mark Thomas interview at the NUJ/BJP event at Scotland Yard, featuring 'that' spotter card.

http://london.indymedia.org.uk/videos/718

Anonymous said...

Your link from police officers 'just making up' evidence is to an article about the use of the sexual offences act. This was apparently used to force a photographer to delete innocent images taken in a public place.

Coincidentally, I was once threatened with arrest under the sexual offences act, when a FIT officer accused me of photographing children. The said children just happened to be in the background when I was taking pictures of the FIT copper. He was well aware I was focused only on photographing him, and had not even noticed the children, but that did not stop him attempting to misuse legislation in a way that suited him.

Which is why people are so worried about this s76 thing. Police frequently exploit and misuse the law, and an acquittal in court (if it gets that far) does not make up for the loss of liberty / inconvenience suffered in the process.

Anonymous said...

and the bullshit meter just keeps on rising

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/03/manchester-man-arres.html

when are they going to to get it, no reconnaissance photography has ever taken place, there's google earth now. dont you know

Metcountymounty said...

anon above.... so when we search premises after a terrorism arrest and find recce routes, timetables, plans and PHOTO'S, the last bit is just made up is it? Glad to see you're not letting fact and history get in the way of a bit of copper bashing.

Anonymous said...

and would these be pictures of coppers? i very much doubt it.

Anonymous said...

metcounty mounty

so you obviously never read this

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jun/05/news.terrorism


and PHOTO'S, like I said google and flickr, no need to even leave the house.

and another over reaction

http://ministryofparanoia.com/2008/my-arrest-story/

sorry I'm sure you do a good job metcounty mounty but the above disprove your statement.

recce routes, I make them as well as I plan my days out, also using a london a-z and photos of things I want to see and my photo diaries, so you gunna use section 44 on a knee jerk reaction, just for some baseless time wasting, just because I fancy a walk and a bit of site seeing.. guatanemo bay, remind you of anything. don't believe the hype. base things on fact.

I suppose you have been on such raids, or are you hearing through chinese whispers.

Metcountymounty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

going to repeat that comment again metcounty mounty.

it was there for a bit but let me remind people.

it went something like,

I am paraphrasing as you deleted your old post

"yes I have seen pictures on raids, and we have been shown photos and have heard from other intelligence officers from other departments that there are photos.

They don't just rely on google you know.!"

cant remember the exact wording you left, but back to fit, I highly doubt people will be collecting images for any of the purposes for really bad stuff at demos, the odds must be really low.

so to sum, up the future of democracy, free open society is in your hands, from what your saying, not good really, a burdon I hope you use in a balanced way if you want the pubic support, because as now, along with certain rhetoric of the home secretary and a few cretins within the police service of which it seems you are not one, and which you seem to back up in your blog, I suggest the good ones come together and try to reign in the bad apples.

that seems to be the best way forward for all. oh and nectu and the other covert uncountable units stop running around and acting like little kids with toys. re the use of loud music at a 'climate camp'

regards anonymous

Anonymous said...

Police is fighting terrorism?! That's bollocks!! The police is becoming a terrorist organisation itself by terrorising people under excuse of some "anti terrorsim" acts.

The photographers are first on the list, only because government needs a scape goat, and one can find photographers on almost every corner.

And the photographers are being oppressed despite the fact that none of the terrorists took any pictures before their attacks (WTC, Timothy McVeigh, suicide bombers etc...)

And just to mention some cases of police brutality: Police killed Ian Tomlinson for walking on the street. During one other protest, a photojournalist was arrested (normal person would expect that disorderly protesters would be arrested). Jean Charles de Menezes was shot in the head 7 or 8 times, without warning, and any previous attempt by police to stop him or make a positive identification.
Etc...

Looks like George Orwell was right - UK is becoming a true police state.

By all means I will suggest all my friends to avoid traveling to UK at all costs!