Feeds

The Baying of the Hounds

Headspace: How the state is leading us by the nose

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

I did an internet search on the Stasi. Rumours abounded about its former head being hired by the US Homeland Security Department. The Homeland Security Department is the US equivalent of the UK's Home Office. The Department's activities since its establishment shortly after 9/11 have been controversial and it has been criticised for attempting to turn the US population into a network of spies. I had a vague recollection of Wernher von Braun, the Nazi rocket scientist subsequently taken on by the US to develop weapons of war. Perhaps they were recruiting experts in controlling internal populations for the war on terror.

I started talking to everyone I met about sniffer dogs. Almost everyone had their own story. The topic was so absurd it even worked, I thought, as a method for chatting up men. I started to chase a ridiculously handsome civil liberties campaigner called Tom, with whom I had shared an animated pub conversation about police dogs. We met for a drink and weren't able to re-capture the energy of our first conversation. I got very drunk and the date, if that's what it was, ended with him carrying me home while I vomited over his shoulder. I was too embarrassed for a long time after that to contact him again. I wouldn't hear anything from him and then out of the blue my phone would ping and a text from him would read: "Guardian. Page 5. Good doggy story xxx". It slowly dawned on me that I had trained this man to think of me every time he saw a dog; not the best pick-up trick in the book.

A barrister friend of mine was representing a man charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1874 for allegedly hitting a sniffer dog on the nose. Proof that the dog had been injured was the dog handler's evidence that the dog had yelped. There was scope for some decent cross-examination there.

A man I met in a club was leaning against the wall of WHSmith in Victoria station when a dog came and sat next to him. The dog's owner, a policeman, approached him and told him he was lucky his dog was still in training for passive drug detection duties, otherwise he would have had to search him. Passive drug detection, I was later to learn, was the latest fashion in dog training. Instead of barking at its suspect, the dog was trained to sit down next to them.

A Big Issue vendor told me his life was destroyed by a sniffer dog. Homeless and fleeing drug addiction in London, he was boarding a train to his parents' house when a sniffer dog barked loudly at him. The police came running over and asked him for his details. They looked him up, found out he had outstanding warrants, hauled him off the train and locked him up. He was unable to fathom the scent that had alerted the dog to him.

A friend and heavy cannabis smoker had been stopped every morning on his way to work by barking dogs and dog handlers asserting a right to search him at Seven Sisters station. On the twelfth occasion he objected, complaining they made him late for work and they should know by now that he never had anything on him. The dogs continued to bark and the officers persisted in searching him on a daily basis. Eventually he contacted a solicitor. The solicitor wrote to the police and the searches stopped.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.