Feeds

The Baying of the Hounds

Headspace: How the state is leading us by the nose

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

I contacted the civil liberties organisation where Tom worked and got put through to him. I hadn't talked to him since a brief conversation the day after our disastrous date.

"Hello, it's Amber."

"Hello, how are you?"

"Good. Good. Much better thanks. Still very embarrassed and grateful."

"Honestly, Amber, it happens to everyone. It was no trouble at all. How have you been?"

"Busy, busy. You know how it is." I haven't been thinking of you day in day out. I am not phoning you on the pretext of work just to talk to you. This dog-sniffing thing is serious. "I was wondering if you had carried out any research into the civil liberties implications of the increasing use of sniffer dogs."

He laughed. "Animal rights you mean?"

As far as I was aware, his organisation didn't campaign for the rights of animals.

"No. I think the use of police dogs in an increasing range of public settings has implications for all of us."

"Well, you can write something on it for our website if you want. We could probably fit it in during our silly season. No offence but it does have comedy value."

"OK, I'll be in touch."

Was I wrong to take this dog thing seriously? Was my obsession with dogs a sophisticated twist on my crush on this man? Was I barking up the wrong tree?

Then the Abu Ghraib story broke. The papers and television news were filled with photos of Arab prisoners being tortured by American soldiers. Journalists ranted about the hoods, knickers and nudity. I noticed the large Alsatian dogs in the photos, and remembered what the officer had told me in Fulham Broadway station about Muslims not liking them. Historians researching the mythology of the dog in Anglo-Saxon, Viking and medieval times claimed that its use by marauding invaders had cemented it in the popular psyche as a 'potent embodiment' of the threat to an existing social order. An article in the Observer described the police dog as "the public face of the War on Terror". I was sure there were dark forces afoot in this dog business and I decided it was time for some serious research.

Extracted from Headspace by Amber Marks, published by Virgin Books at £11.99. Copyright © Amber Marks 2008.

Get more information and buy Headspace here

Amber Marks is a criminal lawyer and freelance writer. She is presently undertaking doctoral research into new surveillance technologies at King's College, London.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.