Judge Backs Security Services & Arms Trade Against Citizen’s

A legal challenge over the power of the police to photograph peaceful protesters has failed at the High Court. Andrew Wood, from Oxford, claimed he was harassed by the Metropolitan Police for campaigning against the arms trade. But on Thursday, the force was cleared of breaching Mr Wood’s human rights by photographing him and other activists who had committed no crime. The Met had said its actions were “justified and proportionate”.

Mr Wood had complained that the policy of openly taking pictures of demonstrators, on the basis that they might become involved in future protests, was an illegal interference with the right to take part in political activity both lawfully and peacefully. Mr Wood, media co-ordinator for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), said retaining the photos of him at the annual meeting of Reed Elsevier, was oppressive. Mr Wood had bought a share in the company, which entitled him to attend the meeting in Grosvenor Square, central London, in September 2005.

But Mr Justice McCombe said Mr Wood was photographed in a public street in circumstances in which the presence of the police – and the press – must have been expected. He said that if there was any interference with Mr Wood’s rights, it was “in accordance with the law and proportionate”. The police insisted that the photos, which they said were taken in a non-intimidatory way, would have been destroyed shortly after the event.

Meanwhile Raytheon 9 second day-

The second day of the Raytheon 9 trial went reasonably well. The evidence came from PSNI officers, who mainly gave a fairly flat and factual account of what they’d seen on the morning of the occupation.  Importantly, none said that he’d seen violence from any of the 9.

There were exchanges between the prosecutor and defence lawyers about what it is that the prosecution will have to show to establish “affray”—putting people in fear of the lives or safety—and criminal damage: if the defendants can show that they genuinely believed they were helping to stop or hamper a bigger crime, will that be enough for acquittal on the criminal damage count? It sounds very abstract, but this could be the point on which the case turns.

The indications are that it will be Friday before Raytheon witnesses take the stand and can be cross-examined about the nature of the business and the links between Raytheon and defence forces, including the Israeli defence forces.

The case did get some coverage in the mainstream media today. This concentrated on a prosecution suggestion that the 9 had indulged in “an orgy of wanton destruction” and the defence riposte that the 9 had been trying to stop war crimes. Just headline stuff really, but at least the issues may be beginning to leak out into wider society—which is what we need.

Those who are in the dock are all in good spirits, and encouraged by messages of support coming into the DAWC from various parts of the globe.

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Don’t Be Google

While in California, Secretary of State Rice and Foreign Secretary Miliband will visit Bloom Energy to receive briefings on renewable energy development and participate in a roundtable with employees. The Secretaries will also visit Google, where they will tour the “Googleplex,” receive updates on the company’s cutting-edge technologies, and participate in a “Fireside Chat” with Google employees. The Secretaries will also participate in a joint press availability at Google.

Miliband! Clearly Google are using a definition of ‘Evil’ I have hitherto been unaware of.

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Mehdi Kazemi Gets Asylum

The Home Office/Border and Immigration Agency make one good decision...after massive pressure & publicity. Now about the thousands of other decisions the atrocious BIA make, when does that change? (ht2 Jay @ Blazing Indiscretions).

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Fascist Regime Seeking Nuclear Technology

But as it’s Italy 1. Hey no big deal. 2. Their statement it is for civil power is completely accepted at face value, I mean it’s not like they’re y’know, swarthy Muslim types hoarding our oil beneath their untrustworthy feet, yes much better to be friends with FASCISTS, I mean what could possibly go wrong?

(AGI) – Roma, 22 May – ‘Confindustria’ (Italian association of businessmen) intends to work alongside the government in order to “realise the reforms needed”

Maybe we could learn to love these neo-fascists like some Italian Jews did. And by the -fucking- way, guess who bankrolled fascists terrorists (many your actual former Nazi war criminals) for decades in Italy, I’ll give you a clue it rhymes with >Smitten & the You Blighted Rates of A Merry Car< Glad(io) I mentioned that now ain’tchu? I mean it’s not like they have already started on the gypsy’s is it? Oh wait hang on…

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Naomi Klein on Golden Shield

Some excerpts and um, everywhere the story is the same, our governments are all enthusiastically implementing similar measures. (ht2 Mahatma X Files).

China-bashing never fails to soothe the Western conscience — here is a large and powerful country that, when it comes to human rights and democracy, is so much worse than Bush’s America. But during my time in Shenzhen, China’s youngest and most modern city, I often have the feeling that I am witnessing not some rogue police state but a global middle ground, the place where more and more countries are converging. China is becoming more like us in very visible ways (Starbucks, Hooters, cellphones that are cooler than ours), and we are becoming more like China in less visible ones (torture, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, though not nearly on the Chinese scale).

Remember how we’ve always been told that free markets and free people go hand in hand? That was a lie. It turns out that the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state, fortressed with American “homeland security” technologies, pumped up with “war on terror” rhetoric. And the global corporations currently earning superprofits from this social experiment are unlikely to be content if the lucrative new market remains confined to cities such as Shenzhen. Like everything else assembled in China with American parts, Police State 2.0 is ready for export to a neighborhood near you.

This is how this Golden Shield will work: Chinese citizens will be watched around the clock through networked CCTV cameras and remote monitoring of computers. They will be listened to on their phone calls, monitored by digital voice-recognition technologies. Their Internet access will be aggressively limited through the country’s notorious system of online controls known as the “Great Firewall.” Their movements will be tracked through national ID cards with scannable computer chips and photos that are instantly uploaded to police databases and linked to their holder’s personal data. This is the most important element of all: linking all these tools together in a massive, searchable database of names, photos, residency information, work history and biometric data. When Golden Shield is finished, there will be a photo in those databases for every person in China: 1.3 billion faces.

You have probably never heard of L-1, but there is every chance that it has heard of you. Few companies have collected as much sensitive information about U.S. citizens and visitors to America as L-1: It boasts a database of 60 million records, and it “captures” more than a million new fingerprints every year. Here is a small sample of what the company does: produces passports and passport cards for American citizens; takes finger scans of visitors to the U.S. under the Department of Homeland Security’s massive U.S.-Visit program; equips U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with “mobile iris and multimodal devices” so they can collect biometric data in the field; maintains the State Department’s “largest facial-recognition database system”; and produces driver’s licenses in Illinois, Montana and North Carolina. In addition, L-1 has an even more secretive intelligence unit called SpecTal. Asked by a Wall Street analyst to discuss, in “extremely general” terms, what the division was doing with contracts worth roughly $100 million, the company’s CEO would only say, “Stay tuned.”

It is L-1’s deep integration with multiple U.S. government agencies that makes its dealings in China so interesting: It isn’t just L-1 that is potentially helping the Chinese police to nab political dissidents, it’s U.S. taxpayers. The technology that Yao purchased for just a few thousand dollars is the result of Defense Department research grants and contracts going as far back as 1994, when a young academic named Joseph Atick (the research director Fordyce consulted on L-1’s China dealings) taught a computer at Rockefeller University to recognize his face.