Thursday, 21 May 2009
According to Typically Spanish two Spaniards visiting London were swooped on by 10 police officers and surrounded as well as being arrested on terrorism charges because one of them had photographed the wall surrounding Buckingham Palace
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TAKE PHOTOS EVERY DAY.
WHAT IF ONE OF THEM SEEMS ODD?
Terrorists use surveillance to help plan attacks, taking photos and making notes about security measures like the location of CCTV cameras. If you see someone doing that, we need to know. Let experienced officers decide what action to take.
Well that was the strap line on the back cover of the London paper today and I predict a lot of stories coming out of it about photographers just trying to enjoy their hobbies, but now being constantly stopped by police, especially in a tourist hotspot like London.
Type in CCTV on Flickr (15,439 results) and see how many images you get or try the same on an image search Google (3,130,000 results) hmmm...
I doubt very much terrorists are going to be using Nikon D3 or Canon MkIII ds to do this kind of target research but more likely to use an average Joe tourist type of camera, the problem is the non-photographing public have no way of knowing one from the other and G9 users, best take care as it is such a discrete styled camera, even their add shows a compact camera as well as mobile phones, however with the mobile phone its how many they have that makes them suspicious, not the phone itself.
My personal feelings on this is that it makes me feel like a second rate citizen, like I have been accused of doing something wrong when I haven't and my human rights have been infringed, heck I have even photographed CCTV cameras in the past, for aesthetics and as a statement about the times we live in and issues we face.
Check out the resources for the photographer in the sidebar and download and print the UK Photographers Rights PDF
Posted by Radical at 21:01
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
A dedicated website called Wikileakes.org has been forced offline with the courts putting the interests of big corporations as a priority over law, journalism and public interest. Even more worrying is how admin's details, contacts, payment details, IP addresses and any associated data to be handed over under the terms of the court order, which is very worrying as there is no risk assessment as to what that data contains and could be endangering journalists and individuals alike. Wikileaks.org were given just one hours notice of the court hearing which was by email, while the Swiss bank group who brought the court action, remain anonymous
In a classic case of Censorship which is increasing as Reporters Without Borders has documented in its 2008 report which is a scathing attack on Public Officials around the world, combined with HotBlack's report on how the UK government was gearing up to stop mobile phones from working with new media, to limit/stop media sharing and social networking websites at their will.
Whistle-blower site taken offline
The case was brought by lawyers working for a Swiss bank
A controversial website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US.
Wikileaks.org, as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.
The case was brought by a Swiss bank after "several hundred" documents were posted about its offshore activities.
Other versions of the pages, hosted in countries such as Belgium and India, can still be accessed.
However, the main site was taken offline after the court ordered that Dynadot, which controls the site's domain name, should remove all traces of wikileaks from its servers.
The court also ordered that Dynadot should "prevent the domain name from resolving to the wikileaks.org website or any other website or server other than a blank park page, until further order of this Court."
Other orders included that the domain name be locked "to prevent transfer of the domain name to a different domain registrar" to prevent changes being made to the site.
Wikileaks claimed that the order was "unconstitutional" and said that the site had been "forcibly censored".
The case was brought by lawyers working for the Swiss banking group Julius Baer. It concerned several documents posted on the site which allegedly reveal that the bank was involved with money laundering and tax evasion.
The site was founded in 2006
The documents were allegedly posted by Rudolf Elmer, former vice president of the bank's Cayman Island's operation.
A spokesperson for Julius Baer said he could not comment on the case because of "pending legal proceedings".
The BBC understands that Julius Baer asked for the documents to be removed because they could have an impact on a separate legal case ongoing in Switzerland.
The court hearing took place last week and Dynadot blocked access from Friday evening.
Wikileaks says it was not represented at the hearing because it was "given only hours notice" via e-mail.
A document signed by Judge Jeffery White, who presided over the case, ordered Dynadot to follow six court orders.
As well as removing all records of the site form its servers, the hosting and domain name firm was ordered to produce "all prior or previous administrative and account records and data for the wikileaks.org domain name and account".
The order also demanded that details of the site's registrant, contacts, payment records and "IP addresses and associated data used by any person...who accessed the account for the domain name" to be handed over.
Wikileaks allows users to post documents anonymously.
The site was founded in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
It so far claims to have published more than 1.2 million documents.
It provoked controversy when it first appeared on the net with many commentators questioning the motives of the people behind the site.
It recently made available a confidential briefing document relating to the collapse of the UK's Northern Rock bank.
Lawyers working on behalf of the bank attempted to have the documents removed from the site. They can still be accessed.
Dynadot was contacted for this article but have so far not responded to requests for comment.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Polaroid film faces the final shutter
By Justin Baer in New York
Published: February 8 2008 23:48 | Last updated: February 8 2008 23:48
Polaroid, the US company that introduced instant photography 60 years ago, is to stop making film.
The group, which stopped making instant cameras a year ago, will now complete its transition to digital printers, televisions and DVD players by shutting four analogue film factories.
Polaroid cameras and the white-bordered prints they produced were common at family reunions and crime scenes alike for decades, reaching peak popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. They would also become a medium of choice for artists such as Ansel Adams, David Hockney and Robert Rauschenberg.
The advent of digital technology has pushed Eastman Kodak and other veteran manufacturers to abandon film production in recent years. Soon after Polaroid was sold to private investment firm Petters Group in 2005, the management started its own gradual retreat from analogue photography.
Polaroid will close two factories in Massachusetts as well as facilities in Mexico and the Netherlands, eliminating about 450 jobs. The company plans to make enough film to last customers until next year, Thomas Beaudoin, chief operating officer, said.
He said Polaroid’s consumer-electronics business generated almost $1bn in revenue. The company had high hopes for its battery-powered digital printers, and was in talks with mobile-phone carriers and other potential business partners.
He saw this transition as the start of a third era for Polaroid, which existed for its first few decades primarily as a maker of sunglasses and protective goggles for the US military.
Polaroid sold its eyecare division last year.
The company expects its mobile printers to attract even some of the most devout fans of instant photography. But for those unmoved by the technology, there is a chance another manufacturer will produce the film elsewhere.
Mr Beaudoin said: “We’re working very hard to find some alternatives with people who might be able to take the recipe.
“We can’t promise anything.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
Monday, 11 February 2008
Some of these images are very graphic and caution is advised
February 9th, 2008, filed by David Viggers
I’ve been trying to write about some sport images that caught my eye while trawling through the Reuters file but I keep getting hung up on our pictures from Kenya.
They are so raw, so powerful and uncompromising that even the most accomplished images of cossetted sportsmen performing in completely controlled circumstances seem insignificant in comparison.
Posted by Radical at 00:09
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
Brand Republic is reporting that Guardian Unlimited, the most visited UK newspaper online, is set to jump on the social networking bandwagon after striking a deal with Pluck, a provider of social networking platforms. The deal will see Guardian News and Media, which publishes The Guardian and The Observer, roll out tools on its Web properties, enabling users to interact with one another and add content to existing articles.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
An amateur photographer has told how police seized his film as he was out taking snaps in a Hull shopping centre.
Steve Carroll, of Kent, was visiting relatives in Hull in December when he decided to do some "street photography" in the city's Prospect Centre.
Shoppers reported him to the police, who took his film because he seemed to be operating in "a covert manner".
Mr Carroll lodged a complaint against Humberside Police but an investigation concluded its officers acted correctly.
Officers have common law powers of seizure, a force spokeswoman said.
More on BBC
Posted by Radical at 23:58
Thursday, 3 January 2008
The Russian government is looking to create a Cyrillic internet, but is it just another case of Big Brother controlling its citizens?
- Gavin Knight
- The Guardian,
- Thursday January 3 2008
The growing cold war with Russia has a new front besides oil fields and undersea territorial claims: the internet. Russia's government is pushing for greater control over the Russian-language part of the net - and its aim seems to be to create a web that operates in Cyrillic, completely independent from the wider web.
The problem for Russia is that its top-level domain - with the ASCII suffix .ru - translates into Cyrillic as .py, the domain name of Paraguay. That could pose security problems for Russian users. Kim Davies, who controls the domain names at the international domain naming agency Icann told the Guardian: "Russia has a second top level domain name of .ru in Ascii code, but is pushing for .rf in Cyrillic."
Wolfgang Kleinwachter, special adviser to the chairman of the Internet Governance Forum, says: "The proposal for 'Russian internet' would look at how they can communicate better inside the country. The internationalised domain name gives them an opportunity to do things which are now being tested in China, where they are currently using Chinese characters for three top-level domains: .net, .com and .cn."
A tale of two servers
The key is whether Russian international domain names would use their own root servers - which decide where to route your internet requests - independent of the existing internet root servers which are mainly based in the US.
Kleinwachter thinks that the worst-case scenario would mean everyone would have to register a domain name using the .rf top level domain in Cyrillic. "Then [Russia] would have their own root and it's much easier to control the top-level domain than hundreds of thousands of secondary level domains."
That would, arguably, mean Russians are safe from Paraguayan phishing - but it would also give the Russian government more control of the net and leave Russian citizens isolated from the international community. Davies explains that Russian Cyrillic keyboards make it difficult for Russian users to search for domain names using the roman letters of Ascii code. Without a bridge to coordinate it with Ascii code, a Russian-language internet would be cut off from the global net.
China's citizens could similarly become isolated from international opinion. "The Chinese have the option now to keep the domain .cn in Ascii code or to cut it." Kleinwachter says. "If they cut it then they have an opportunity to build something like a bridge which would link the Chinese internet to the Ascii internet. The Russians, like the Chinese, discussed this option. My impression is that the Russian Foreign Ministry is much more open to such an option than [China's] Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Another way would be to give every citizen a fixed IP address, which would go with you wherever you approach the internet."
Setting up a new root server would not be expensive, Davies says, but would cause "technical issues". Guillaume Lovet, head of the threat response team at security company Fortinet, explains: "If it's about re-implementing internet protocols, it would be like installing new, additional firmware on our home router, and new drivers on each network-enabled computer at home. If it's about rebuilding everything from scratch, it is comparable to throwing everything in the bin."
Davies says the key downside would be how much the Russians stand to lose out on the global operability of the web unless bridges are built with the Ascii-dominated global internet. "Russians estimate that 90% of the communication will be within Russia and just 10% will go outside," says Kleinwachter. But it's that 10% which would feel the real difference.
Kleinwachter says the speculation is that people will need a password authorised by government agencies to use the global internet. The Kremlin therefore would be able to control what communication the individual is having with the rest of the world. The government says that would help it monitor cybercrime.
Lovet is more sceptical. "Russia has a very strong academic tradition of technical universities, which form very sharp and competent computer scientists. At the same time, the average income per head is extremely low. This combination creates an explosive cocktail. Any attempt to confine Russian hackers inside some kind of Russian cyberspace is bound to fail."
Other security experts go even further. "This will put a wall between cybercriminals and their victims," says Jose Nazario, from Arbor, who works to protect governments and corporations from cyber attacks emanating from Russia. "It makes it very difficult to track Russian cybercrime. Security experts are just starting to get a picture of their methods, and this will slow us down dramatically. It is also an escalation of tension between Putin's Russia and the west."
Posted by Radical at 12:42