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David Mery

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The mobile phone as self-inflicted surveillance

Like the breadcrumbs in Hansel and Gretel, mobile phones leave a trail wherever they go. Practically everybody can be tracked via this trail, and the beauty of it all is, we're effectively tracking ourselves. By design, phones pass their location on to local base stations. You can gauge how effectively the networks can track you …
David Mery, 10 Apr 2009
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Three months on, you still can't get off the DNA database

Almost three months on from the unanimous ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the UK's mass retention of DNA of innocent people, the situation has turned worse. Although eventually the UK should become compliant with the ruling, police forces are adopting a wait and see attitude, while Jacqui Smith is …
David Mery, 02 Mar 2009
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Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely

Feeling unsafe in your life? Looking for reassurance? The Metropolitan Police Service can help you with a touchy-feely new innovation. It's called stop and search. A new document hints at a shift of emphasis in the Met's strategic vision for counter terrorism stop and search powers. It's going to be a public relations tool. …
David Mery, 26 Jan 2009
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Don't delay: Delete your DNA today

Now that a European Court has decided that the retention of the DNA of innocent people is illegal - what should you do now? Earlier this month, 17 judges on the Grand Chambers of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled unanimously that the UK is in violation of the right to respect for private and family life (Article 8 …
David Mery, 17 Dec 2008
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The DNA database and you

The National DNA Database (NDNAD) keeps growing: it now holds more than five million DNA profiles of individuals. Getting off the database, if you have been sampled by England or Wales forces, remain as unlikely as ever. And it remains difficult to make sense of the stats bandied at us, with the press quoting wildly differing …
David Mery, 06 Nov 2008
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How to delete your DNA profile

It's a little known fact that it's possible to have your DNA profile removed from the National DNA Database (NDNAD). While the Police have processes to gather and retain DNA samples - they don't yet have a procedure to delete the DNA of innocent members of the public. It's complicated - but for now, this is what you should do. …
David Mery, 07 Jan 2008
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Fighting torture with copyright

For the French, the business of exploiting available laws, directives and other rules is an art form. One such inventive use of the constraints is the 'greve du zele' ('working to rules' strike action) where those on strike work more, not less. When on greve du zele workers observe all rules - however archaic or unsuitable they …
David Mery, 21 Mar 2007