Spy Blog's Tips for attending a political meeting in the UK
- Tell all your friends and family about the meeting, at least have someone worry about you if you are late home.
- Switch off your mobile phone(s) when you are within, a couple of blocks, or Tube or train or Bus stops from the meeting. Even if you do not make or receive a voice call or send or receive an SMS text message or use your mobile phone internet connection, then your phone will register its location every 10 minutes or so with the nearby mobile phone Cell tower base stations.
This will generate Communications Traffic data including Location Based Services data, which will be trawled through, en masse, by various police and intelligence units with an interest in trying to identify and track some or all of the attendees of this meeting.
- Take note and photographs if possible, of anybody seeming to record or photograph vehicle number plates of nearby parked cars or the people entering or leaving the meeting rooms / building etc.
- If you are "stopped and searched" under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, you do not have to give your name and address (although this can be demanded if you are actually arrested under the vast swathe of other legislation ).
- Remember that Police Community Support officers have no powers under the the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, unless they are being physically supervised by a real , sworn, Police Constable in Uniform (plain clothes or undercover police also have no section 44 powers)
- Neither Police Constables nor PCSOs can demand that you delete any photographs or video you have taken on your camera or mobile phone (that is potentially "destruction of evidence") .
- This is a peaceful meeting, but just in case you are arrested, or stopped and searched etc. do have the contact details of a firm of solicitors who deal with criminal law and human rights etc. Say nothing until you have access to proper, independent legal advice.
- Do not rely on keeping these solicitors details in your mobile phone - that is one of the first things that will be taken away from you by the police - memorise them and / or keep them on paper as well.
- Set a security PIN code on your Mobile Phone. This will not prevent the police from examining it forensically if you are actually arrested, but it may be enough to prevent casual, illegal, snooping by Police Constables or by ill trained Police Community Support Officers.
- Delete all your stored SMS text messages (sent, received and draft). These can be forensically recovered or reconstructed from central records, but again, there is no need to give anything private away to nosey snoopers who might have your phone in their possession.
- Ideally, do not take your normal mobile phone to such a meeting - use a cheap / disposable, prepaid, unregistered mobile phone, with little or no history or stored contacts or SMS messages.