Feeds

Plods' 'extremist' sheet included BAE mole

Grauniad protester-outing campaign takes new twist

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The increasingly grumpy argument regarding who is allowed to photograph and keep files on whom in this sceptred isle - and who is then allowed to see such files - took a new twist today. It emerged that a person featured on a police headshot gallery of "extremist" arms protesters is actually believed by many activists to have been a spy for the weapons industry.

On Monday the Guardian published a copy of a police "spotter card", said to have been dropped by a copper at an arms-fair protest in 2005, featuring headshots of people the fuzz like to keep tabs on. This was said to have angered many in the anti-armsbiz activist community, who might not care to have their day-job employers or other people made aware that the plods class them as possible "domestic extremists".

Now it has emerged, as one would really expect with any group of possible activists, that at least one of the individuals pictured may have been a spy for the weapons trade. The Grauniad - which now seems to have blanked out quite a lot of the faces on its rogues/heroes gallery, presumably at the request of those featured - says that Martin Hogbin was on the card.

Hogbin, at one time an official at Campaign Against Arms Trade, has been accused of supplying information to corporate security spooks in the pay of Britain's number one arms firm, BAE Systems plc. He has always denied this, but no longer works for CAAT.

An armsbiz spy, then, may quite possibly have featured on the spotter sheet. Your correspondent in former days was assured by persons familiar with the matter that the actual government spooks also run agents within the ranks of various protest groups; it would seem likely that some of them, too, might be among the Guardian's faces - though as yet nobody but MI5/CTC seems to know who they are.

Also pictured was Emily Apple of FITwatch. Apple and her group feel that they should be allowed to monitor and photograph police Forward Intelligence Teams (FITs, hence the name), but strongly disagree with the plods' habit of photographing and monitoring arms protesters. The cops, interestingly, feel that their own snapping and surveillance is fine - but tend to forcefully object to being photographed themselves.

Another person classed apparently by the cops as one to watch (at least, the cops of some years ago) is the sidesplittingly funny campaigner-comedian Mark Thomas, who said he had been best mates with the possibly traitorous Hogbin.

"We were friends, I knew his family," Thomas told the Graun. "He became an integral part of my life."

"I am not an extremist," Apple told the paper. "I care deeply about an illegal and immoral [arms] trade."

The Guardian also mentions police harassment of those pictured on the card, apparently including such brutal tactics as "sarky remarks" from officers. ®

Bootnotes

The UK currently ranks about 7th in the world league of arms exporters by dollar value, well behind - for instance - Russia. Most British exports are high-value items such as combat jets, warships etc. The UK no longer has any small-arms industry to speak of. Russia, by contrast, exports vast amounts of infantry weapons, ammunition and land mines - the primary kinds of weapons (other than machetes and home-made explosives) used and causing deaths in modern conflicts, genocides, aftermaths etc.

As in Blighty, the Russian arms biz is closely connected with the government. However the government brutality and spying there is of quite a different order, perhaps giving a clue as to why even the most deeply caring anti-armsbiz protesters usually prefer to focus on the arms industry of the West.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.