11th October day of action against surveillance - Freedom not Fear + ANPR news for car drivers

Freedom not Fear banner logoCall to mass action Saturday 11th October against the surveillance state in solidarity with activists around the world http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/content/view/242/144/

A broad movement of campaigners and organizations is calling on everybody to join action against excessive surveillance by governments and businesses. On 11 October 2008, concerned people in many countries will take to the streets, the motto being "Freedom not fear 2008". Peaceful and creative action, from protest marches to parties, will take place in many capital cities.

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Surveillance mania is spreading. Governments and businesses register, monitor and control our behaviour ever more thoroughly. No matter what we do, who we phone and talk to, where we go, whom we are friends with, what our interests are, which groups we participate in - "big brother" government and "little brothers" in business know it more and more thoroughly. The resulting lack of privacy and confidentiality is putting at risk the freedom of confession, the freedom of speech as well as the work of doctors, helplines, lawyers and journalists.

The manifold agenda of security sector reform encompasses the convergence of police, intelligence agencies and the military, threatening to melt down the division and balance of powers. Using methods of mass surveillance, the borderless cooperation of the military, intelligence services and police authorities is leading towards the construction of "Fortresses" in Europe and on other continents, directed against refugees and different-looking people but also affecting, for example, political activists, the poor and under-priviledged, and sports fans.

People who constantly feel watched and under surveillance cannot freely and courageously stand up for their rights and for a just society. Mass surveillance is thereby threatening the fabric of a democratic and open society. Mass surveillance is also endangering the work and commitment of civil society organizations.

Surveillance, distrust and fear are gradually transforming our society into one of uncritical consumers who have "nothing to hide" and - in a vain attempt to achieve total security - are prepared to give up their freedoms. We do not want to live in such a society!

We believe the respect for our privacy to be an important part of our human dignity. A free and open society cannot exist without unconditionally private spaces and communications.

The increasing electronic registration and surveillance of the entire population does not make us any safer from crime, costs millions of Euros and puts the privacy of innocent citizens at risk. Under the reign of fear and blind actionism, targeted and sustained security measures fall by the wayside, as well as tackling peoples' actual daily problems such as unemployment and poverty.

In order to protest against security mania and excessive surveillance we will take to the streets in capital cities in many countries on 11 October 2008. We call on everybody to join our peaceful protest. Politicians are to see that we are willing to take to the streets for the protection of our liberties!

There are plans for a demo with music and noise at New Scotland Yard. Are others elsewhere up for doing demos elsewhere in the UK at other police stations?

Wiki for info and discussion re London / UK actions
at http://wiki.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/Freedom_Not_Fear_2008/London
and http://wiki.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/Diskussion:Freedom_Not_Fear_2008/...

It would be good to have a conversation about this as we need to get something good started. October 11th Vid-Flyer http://www.ecln.org

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Vehicle spy-cam data to be held for five years

Authorities will store details of car journeys surveilled by the new national Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system for five years, the Home Office has revealed.

Senior police officer had said the data on millions of vehicles would only be kept for two years, the Guardian reports. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is examining a complaint by Privacy International over the extended retention period. The privacy advocacy group described it as "unnecessary and disproportionate".

The ICO said: "Prolonged retention would need to be clearly justified based on continuing value not on the mere chance it may come in useful."

The ANPR system, headquartered in Hendon, north London, will be fully operational in the new year. Half of English and Welsh police are already supplying it with data from their upgraded CCTV networks.

Forces are being encouraged to "fully and strategically exploit" its potential for tracking suspects and vehicles by the Association of Chief Police Officers. It's envisaged that ANPR will be used as part of "mainstream policing", ranging from clamping down on uninsured drivers to counter-terror operations.

Campaigners have called for the government to more clearly define which other agencies will be allowed to interrogate the database and for what reasons.