Archive | Don’t Be On A Database RSS feed for this section

So who exactly IS now classified as a ‘Domestic Extremist’?

22 Apr

Domestic-ExtremistA week ago, the Metropolitan Police responded to a Freedom of Information request asking for the total number of individuals currently classified as potential ‘domestic extremists’ and having their own records on the database of the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU). The information they supplied was intriguing: they said:

There are currently 2627 individuals on the database that have their own record. However I would like to explain that there is no legal definition of Domestic Extremists and so these individuals may not be classified as potential domestic extremists. However a new definition was recently agreed and publicised by the Commissioner at a MOPAC challenge panel.

The new working definition of Domestic Extremism is therefore;

“Domestic Extremism relates to the activity of groups or individuals who commit or plan serious criminal activity motivated by a political or ideological viewpoint”

To begin with, this explanation suggests that the unit responsible for surveillance of so-called ‘domestic extremists’ may hold individual records on people it doesn’t actually classify as ‘domestic extremists’. What possible reason could they have for doing so?

Secondly, the number of records differs sharply from figures published in the Guardian less than a year ago: the report said a total of 8931 individuals “have their own record”. The paper’s reporter Rob Evans has confirmed this too came from a Freedom of Information request. So what happened to the 6304 ‘missing’ records in the last ten months? Continue reading

Advertisements

Don’t Feed The Feds – a video guide to police surveillance of protesters

28 Mar

Today Netpol launches our new video guide to intelligence gathering on protesters – and how to deal with it. Many thanks to the samba band Barking Bateria, whom many will have seen on protests over the years, for providing us with the soundtrack for the video.

The guide is also available on our YouTube Channel

Don’t Feed The Feds – A Guide to Police Surveillance of Protesters from Netpol on Vimeo.

Netpol’s submission to Home Office on covert human surveillance

27 Mar

In February, the Home Office announced a consultation on proposals to update the covert human intelligence sources code of practice and the covert surveillance code of practice. The deadline for submissions was today.

As well as endorsing the submission by campaigners from Police Spies Out of Lives, we submitted the following comments.

A PDF version of our submission is available here (131kB). Continue reading

CALL OUT: Help Netpol’s legal challenge of secret police databases

11 Mar

netpol-database-banner-02As part of our campaign against the industrial-scale collection and retention of personal information on individual campaigners, Netpol has recently begun legal action that challenges the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police over the legality of their policies governing secret police databases.

Netpol wants to see these databases shut down, because there is every reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.

Now we need your help to support our legal case. Continue reading

Secret Diary of an Olympic Domestic Extremist

5 Feb

This post is by Netpol member Kevin Blowe of Newham Monitoring Project

Domestic-ExtremistAfter reports in June last year that Newham Monitoring Project, the east London community group I’ve been part of for over 20 years, was spied on during the 1990s by undercover Metropolitan police officers, I’ve wanted to find out if information about me is held on secret police databases. The Guardian reported estimates of up to 9000 people classified by police as potential ‘domestic extremists’ and so to find out if I’m one of them, I submitted a ‘subject access request’ under data protection legislation.

The Met were supposed to comply within 40 days but it has taken over six months and the intervention of the Information Commissioner’s Office to finally receive a response. If the details provided are complete, they confirm that the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU), part of the Met’s SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, began logging my activities in April 2011 because I spoke at Netpol’s ‘Stand Up To Surveillance’ conference – ironically, an event debating the rise of unaccountable police intelligence gathering on protests and local communities.

Continue reading

Help Netpol to challenge secretive ‘domestic extremist’ database

21 Nov

Domestic-ExtremistAs the National Union of Journalists encourages members whose work brings them into contact with the police to challenge their inclusion on the national ‘domestic extremist’ database, NetPol is urging activists and campaigners to do the same.

Using the Data Protection Act, activists can submit Subject Access requests to the Metropolitan Police to check what information is held about them by the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU). Netpol wants to see all secret police databases shut down, because there is every reason to believe that data gathered in secret, with no checks and balances and no effective accountability, is not only unnecessary and intrusive but also riddled with gossip and rumour.

The results of a Subject Access Request remain private – nobody has any obligation to share personal data. However, if you discover inaccuracies or trivial information in any data that the police hold, we would like to work with you, in confidence, to expose this.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: