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Are government representatives and gardai poring over your private emails and texts without you even knowing?

category national | rights and freedoms | other press author Thursday May 24, 2012 06:08author by lefty Report this post to the editors

Our creeping loss of privacy is the subject of an interesting article in todays Irish Examiner. Activists, now more than ever need to get up to speed on how to protect their digital privacy if engaging in activities deemed "troublesome" by state actors. (i.e. actively exercising your democratic rights to free speech etc. Y'know, stuff like that! ;-)

privacy2.jpg

Interesting article on recent digital privacy statistics in the Irish examiner for those of you involved in activism.:

Quote:
"Gardaí, the Defence Forces, and Revenue Commissioners are accessing record levels of private landline, mobile phone, and internet records.

The latest available figures show authorities accessed more than 40 private communications each day in 2010 — compared with 31 per day a year earlier.

In 12 months, almost 15,000 requests were made of telecom companies to hand over details of private citizens’ activity.

This represented a 32% spike in state-authorised spying of electronic communications. And it broke through the high of 14,095 requests made in 2008.

The increase was largely due to a substantial shift in demand for access to people’s internet activities. "


full article here:
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/invasion-of-privac....html

Also, check out this site if interested in further reading on digital rights in Ireland:
http://www.digitalrights.ie/

privacy1.jpg

author by tabsmanpublication date Fri Jun 01, 2012 14:13Report this post to the editors

Activists should also be aware of the fact that private information-gathering agencies such as the one run by Evelyn Le Chene operate alongside state agencies . Arms giants such as British Aerospace Engineering pay such agents big money to occupy positions in anti-war circles , left wing websites etc so as to spy on activists and subvert their work .

I've mentioned this woman before on this site and wouldn't like to be accused by editors of being a "pervert trying to stalk" Ms Le Chene , so here are few things from the web about her

Evelyn le Chêne ran a private spying agency which kept a database on left wing and anti -war activists . Her company Threat Response International was hired by large corporations to spy on opponents . Group 4 and British Aerospace have admitted to using her services .. Le Chene advertised her services to corporations thus:

“If you wish to have a 48 week per year service, the rate would logically be £2.00 per name.
• If you wish total cover of 52 weeks, the rate would be slightly higher at £2.25 per name. This would be all inclusive and would cover all known names within CND, trade unions, activists, environmentalists etc”

According to a Spinwatch reports from as far back as 2004 , Threat Response's agents “ downloaded the entire contents of the UK’s Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) headquarters’
computer including a membership list, personal folders and details of private donations. Bank account details were also passed on, according to a source, and Agent P's reports to BAE discuss sending computer discs and tapes obtained from CAAT.
Desks were rifled, diaries were read and address books photocopied so that the information could then be transferred to BAE. CAAT members were often followed”
http://www.evel.nl/spinwatch/TRReport.htm

Sunday Times 29/9/03

“ THE cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Gravesend, a Thames-side town in north Kent, is lined with spacious bungalows. The elderly owner of number 27, Evelyn Le chene, was not at home on Friday. The man who answered her door described her as "a woman of secrets".

Secrets, indeed: despite her age, Le chene has been named as the mastermind of a vast private intelligence-gathering network that collated the identities and confidential details of nearly 150,000 left-wing activists and offered them at a price to British industrial companies.

Among her clients was the defence giant British Aerospace, now known as BAE Systems, according to a source intimate with the company's security operations.

BAE, which has close links to Whitehall, paid Le chene for at least four years to spy on opponents of the arms trade, according to the source. “

See:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/61543?search_text=la+chene

“Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) today (29 July) publishes material from the UK Information Commissioner which substantively links its former Campaigns Coordinator, Martin Hogbin, to a private investigator, Evelyn le Chene. Le Chene was employed by British Aerospace (now BAe Systems) to collect confidential information about CAAT, according to evidence revealed by a Sunday Times investigation.
Throughout his employment at CAAT, Martin sent large quantities of information about CAAT and other campaigning organisations to an unidentified email address. The information Commissioner’s investigation has now found that this email address belonged to a company linked to le Chene, which ceased trading directly after the Sunday Times allegation. CAAT urges everyone involved in campaigning activities to read its findings, particularly if they are considering working with Martin.”

http://www.labournet.net/other/0507/caat1.html

author by tabsmanpublication date Fri Jun 01, 2012 17:46Report this post to the editors

Indymedia UK reports that Mark Kennedy , the British policeman who infiltrated left activist circles in the UK , Ireland and Europe over a number of years before he was exposed in 2010 , is now operating a private intelligence gathering consultancy - probably in the US .

From the UK Indymedia report :
"Kennedy is advertising himself on "LinkedIn", and his profile can be viewed at
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mark-kennedy/44/853/198

An extract from this profile is listed here....

"I have many years experience in covert operations and deployments,
intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination, statement taking,
investigations and case preparation, evidential court apperances,
surveillance and counter-surveillance skills and the use of technical
covert, recording equipment.

I have lectured for law enforcement agencies and services regarding
infiltration tactics and covert deployments and have lectured for the
private sector regarding risk management, the threat from extremist and
protest groups and creating preventative protocols.

My exeperience is drawn from 20 years as a British Police officer, the
last ten of which were deployed as a covert operative working within
extreme left political and animal rights groups throughout the UK, Europe
and the US providing exacting intelligence upon which risk and threat
assessment analysis could be made.

That knowledge and experience is now drawn upon to provide expert
consultation to the public / private sectors to provide investigative
services, deliver informative lectures and training, provide risk and
threat assessments to companies, corporations and their staff from the
threat of direct action in all its forms. It is my intention to provide a
enhance a better understanding of protest, the reasons why protest takes
place and the subsequent appropriate management of protest and
to assist in employing the appropriate pre-emptive policing and security
considerations to mass mobilisations, protest and direct action as well as
real time analysis and responces and to provide post event debriefing to
staff effected by direct action."

The profile indicates Kennedy is based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

The profile also reveals that in January 2010, shortly before leaving the
police, he set up a company called "Stanage Consulting".

Stanage Consulting are registered at
SUITE 2029
6 SLINGTON HOUSE
RANKINE ROAD
BASINGSTOKE
ENGLAND
RG24 8PH

This address is simply a forwarding service -see
http://www.my-uk-mail.co.uk/frequentlyaskedquestions.htm

This forwarding service also hosted another company set up by Kennedy
called "Tokra", linked to "Global Open", which has since been dissolved -
for background on this see
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/471916.html?c=on...77723

The other company listed by Kennedy on his LinkedIn profile is US- based
"risk managers" Densus Group, for whom, since March 2012, he has acted as
a consultant - see http://www.densusgroup.com

To quote from the LinkedIn page again - "The Densus Group provides a range
of specialty consultancy and training, primarily on behalf of government
institutions and private firms in respect of risk analysis and threat
assessment from protest groups and domestic extremism."

The Densus Group was very interested in the policing of the Pittsburgh G20
summit protests (see
http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2009/09/2...e=all)
and is generally trying to sell its services to corporate clients
concerned with combatting the US Occupy movement and similar groups (see
http://darwinbondgraham.wordpress.com/tag/densus-group/)

Thus, it seems that Kennedy is attempting to establish himself as a
private consultant for corporate agencies, presumably especially in the
US, where he seems to be based (despite a UK-based forwarding business
address). Activists in the US (and elsewhere) should be aware of this.
Gebal "
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/06/496608.html
more about Kennedy here:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/97967

 
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