back to article Pair arrested over leaked BNP list

Welsh police have arrested two Nottinghamshire people over last month's leak of the BNP membership list to the internet. According to The Guardian, the police said the pair were held in connection with alleged offenses under the UK Data Protection Act. "We can confirm that last night Nottinghamshire police arrested two people …

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They shoudl make sure they have a jury trial

Can't imagine any British jury doing other than letting them go scot-free.

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Dead Vulture

a gradual and insidious creep.

For some reason, in this country (UK) we seem to accept these insidious and painful developments. We need to take a stand now and halt the process before its too late - or maybe its already the end and we can only sit back and watch as words like offence get mispelled over and over again THERE IS NO S.

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Sam

"the far-right organization"

That made me laugh.......there's more out there that make them seem like pinkos.

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@AC

Maybe "he was offensing"?

Otherwise: BNP bad, breaches of the law nevertheless should be punished.

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Anonymous Coward

Police arresting over a breach of the Data Protection Act??

I thought that enforcement of the Data Protection Act was the sole responsibility of the Information Commissioners Office. Does anyone know for certain? Is this plod trying to extend his reach (again)?

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Comforting

I find it comforting that even when it relates to the nastiness of the BNP, we still manage to have a neutral investigation of an illegal data breach.

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win

im glad this has been dealt with (hopefully)

Also the BNP isnt FAR right, just right wing.. honest 0=)

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British Jury?

Er, the best selling papers in the country are The Sun and The Mail, and anyone with an IQ over 80 is smart enough to get out of jury duty. Think again.

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@AC 21:05

>Police arresting over a breach of the Data Protection Act??

>I thought that enforcement of the Data Protection Act was the sole responsibility of the Information Commissioners Office. Does anyone know for certain?

<sigh> No, it's a lot more complex.

"Enforcement" is a very vague term that generally encompasses three different things. Briefly and very simply, plod nicks people who +might+ be bad. The court systems decides whether they are bad, and then what to do about it. The ICO acts as a complainant and evidence gatherer in most DPA cases (for other potential crimes, replace the ICO with a relevant body or individual)

There are some exceptions to this structure - for example, HMRC officers act as complainants in tax cases, but also have powers of arrest and investigation that plod have (well, actually, significantly more. Seriously, if you're going to pick a fight with the government and you have a choice between a copper or a VAT man, pick the copper. Their tasers, pepper spray and size 12 DMs have a much lower chance of causing you pain)

>Is this plod trying to extend his reach (again)?

Well, probably. Where's the 1984/Jacqui Smith icon?

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Pair Arrested...

...yet Redwatch get away with this kind of shit every day. Don't see them getting so much hassle...

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 21:48

"I find it comforting that even when it relates to the nastiness of the BNP, we still manage to have a neutral investigation of an illegal data breach."

Well, you shouldn't. After all, a similar thing happened the other week with a Tory MP. Result? Uproar.

It seems it's only comforting when it's somebody whose politics you don't like.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Hollerith

Hollerith "They should make sure they have a jury trial

Can't imagine any British jury doing other than letting them go scot-free."

I'm inferring from your comment that you think what they did against the BNP was fine because you disapprove of the BNP. The BNP members have just as much right to privacy as anyone else, and the Data Protection Act applies just as much to them as to anyone else. Or do you think rights and freedoms only apply to people who share your particular views.

Remember it isn't a crime to be a member of the BNP, the fact that they have different political ideas than you does not justify any crimes against them. What if peta put up a list of everyone who experiments on animals directing people to their houses. Would you feel that is acceptable? If I was on the jury I would be happy to convict these two if they are guilty even though I do not support or agree with the BNP.

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Go

@Anomalous Cowherd

Why do people assume everyone would want to get out of Jury Duty? If I got the call, I'd do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: British Jury?

Fortunately, anyone with an IQ over 90 is sufficiently smart to avoid getting caught in your selfish, irresponsible mind set.

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Nazis acceptable on the BNP list

The leadership of the BNP is obviously still far-right -effectively Nazi - even if you choose to argue that many or most of it's members are not.

Lot's of the contact addresses have 88 in their title, a reference to 'Heil Hitler'. One of them even is listed asTotenkopf88, and another as Lord-HawHaw.

The Totenkopf SS started off by machine-gunning 99 unarmed British prisoners of war from the Royals Norfolks, and then went on to run the death camps. For any British political party, especially a pseudo-patriotic party, to happily list Nazi nomenclature, codes and references in their membership list means they are unarguably a far-right party. In many ways it is more understandable to have joined such a party in the 1930's when the inevitable consequences of fascism were not informed by historical hindsight.

I think the list highlights a lack of education among the British public about World War Two. I think WWII should be the sole required reading on every school history course for at least the next fifty years, this would help strip the BNP etc of any pretence of patriotism.

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Searchlight 1984

The people involved are long-time Labour and union-funded Searchlight moles, so it's a pretty bad indictment of those.

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Anonymous Coward

History

@ AC 6th Dec 12:02 GMT - I agree with your view. The BNP may have unpleasant views but they are not an illegal organisation. Its members have a right to privacy the same as everyone else. If there has been a breach of the Data Protection law then there should be an investigation and those responsible brought to book. It has nothing to do with whether you like someone's politics or not.

Danny's point about history is a good one. Every child in Poland is taken to Auschwitz during their school education. If you've never been I suggest you go. You will never forget it. Go a step further and read "I Was Doctor Mengele's Assistant" by Milkos Nyliszi.

Getting back to education, it's not just World War Two education that's lacking (which it is) but education about the Nazi party, how it got to power and its tactics.

But if you start to do that you start to see a few similarities between Nazi Germany and the UK now... Surveillance society - check. Making people distrust each other - check. ID cards - nearly there here. UK gov doesn't want people to realise that.

Then there are people like Greville Janner popping up from time to time saying that mentioning anything about the Nazis is praising them. Bryan Ferry's point about Nazi propaganda and films was spot on - they were very good at propaganda - and you can say that without praising Nazi beliefs.

A wise teacher said to me "History repeats itself". He was right. If we do not learn from history we will repeat the mistakes of previous ages. Attempting to prevent discussion of things like Nazism and highlighting their tactics and things like their use of propaganda as well as the obscene horrors they carried out is wrong.

Study the evil things they did and expose the far right (and far left) of their veneers of respectability but also study their political operations and tactics. That will promote independent thinking, which is essential in a free society.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh Red Watch

what a carry on, ah it looks like they have been compiling lists as well.

Doesn't anyone else see a problem with all of this? With the depression kicking in, and more and more people out of work, people are going to start taking sides, and they will have enough time on their hands won't they, it is probably not going to be pleasant.

Oh well, up the revolution.

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@Danny

Makes no odds. Even slime have a right to free speech and privacy. If you deny them those rights then you haven't beaten them, just joined them.

I think that this is the lesson that those particular historical facts teach us. The lack of knowledge here is most adequately expressed by those who think that they have some sort of god-given right to publicly pillory those they hate. It's a short step from there to drumming up the agitprop crowd, dressing 'em in brown shirts and chucking bricks through carefully targetted windows.

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Flame

WTF?

@Hollerith seriously what are you thinking? I disagree very very strongly with the BNP and what they stand for, however I believe that they should have the right to say it or think it (Not act on it). Stopping this is a short step to the thought police they had in Afghanistan.

I think this may also have some relevance.

"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

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Hypocritical

Right, so BT can get away scot-free with the Phorm scandal after snooping on millions of transactions on tens of thousands of customers in 2006 and 2007, breaking RIPA / PECR and the DPA, despite pressure from the EU and NGOs to act... and the CPS investigation into Phorm has got nowhere.

Yet within weeks two people get arrested for leaking some address details. The message: it's fine to break the DPA (and more) it if you're the UK's biggest telecomms monopoly, but tread anywhere near the wrong side of the DPA as a private individual and they'll be happy and willing to chase you.

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@Danny

"I think WWII should be the sole required reading on every school history course for at least the next fifty years"

Then you are an idiot who has no grasp of history or context.

How can you teach WWII without explaining WWI and its consequences? And what were the causes of WWI? Who says your understanding and interpretation of WWII is the only one worth teaching? See the problems, you numpty?

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Data Protection Act s55

Disclosing personal data without the consent of the data controller (in this instance the BNP) is an offence.

You *can* get two years in chokey for it, although the sentences for Goodman and others suggest that it'll be much less (a lass who smurfed the Police national computer looking for her mates was fined a piddly £450, and Goodman got 4 months...)

@AC - the difference between this and Phorm is the complexity of interpreting the rather woolly DPA in the case of Phorm. But I'm only talking about the DPA --- I think the RIPA element of Phorm is clearer.

Perhaps there's a s55(2)(d) "public interest" defence in there for the BNP leakers somewhere, although wikileaking the info doesn't quite seem proportionate....

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Happy

@Danny

WW11 is actually a large part of the problem: 'National Socialism' must be bad 'cause that's what Hitler believed in. Communism must be bad, 'cause that's what Stalin and Lenin preached. We all know that Capitalism has just collapsed, so surely it must be time to go back to Monarchal rule?

Or do you think that maybe we should try to understand the detailed advantages and failings of each system? And to you think we should be allowed to talk about them all in public?

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Far left, not far right.

The BNP are basically socialist and racist which means left wing and racist. I know that many people on here seem to have the simplistic view that left equals their own view point and is therefore good, while right equals bad but it just isn't so. I find the idea of likening them to Nazis as evidence that they’re right wing particularly inept: they were National Socialists, the clue's in the name. Whatever next? Joseph Stalin was right wing because he killed so many people?

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Really emotive issue,

but if you take emotion out of the picture for a moment, it's simply a breach of the DPA and should be tried as such. Of course, I'd like Redwatch site maintainers to be targetted for their lists that breach the DPA. *Fingers crossed eh*

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Anonymous Coward

@ Dave

WW11? Crikey, I must have missed WWs 3 to 10.

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the cloak of acceptability

We now have laws that permit the arrest and conviction of people who diss religion, although we don't have Canadian-style anti-hate laws. The BNP, in my view, is a hate organisation that should not be allowed the cloak of acceptability that being a political party gives. But that is my view. There are some good things that this leak of membership has given us, just as there are good things that arise from 'illegal' leaks of information from the government or other organisations. Leaks about a company dumping poison into rivers is a leak of business-senstive data, but the public interest gain is more important than the data privacy of companies, at least according to some previous jury trials. In the same way, the leak of the membership list of the BNP has allowed the idenitification of, say, police officers who have joined *knowing* that their terms of service forbade them to join this or any other political party. I think it is in the public interest to know police officers who feel these rules don't apply to them, because then we can look to see if they believe other rules don't apply to them, either, such as beating up prisoners. I don't want to go on and on, but I find it difficult to support an organisation that would be happy to see me in jail or dead. I am just not that big-hearted. It is parallel to expecting an African-American to support the free speech of the KKK -- no, go ask some other guy to do that. Because it's not a two-way street: the BNP do not demonstrate the same respect to the common good, ie toleration, equality of all, respect for all. I give that to them, but they don't give it back? No: it has to be mutual or we are already working inside inequality. To me, they *are* the poison in the river.

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I wonder what I did to Markie

Richard Cartledge > "The people involved are long-time Labour and union-funded Searchlight moles"

Both Searchlight and the BNP deny this so your extraordinary statement would require some proof.

TeeCee > "Even slime have a right to free speech and privacy...The lack of knowledge here is most adequately expressed by those who think that they have some sort of god-given right to publicly pillory those they hate."

I personally wouldn't have released the list as it stood, but I would have passed it around without all the obvious ex-members, kids etc. I think anyone who is an activist in any legal party should be prepared to publically state it. I have mentioned on ElReg before that I was personally kidnapped and threatened with death by local BNP members, and the publication of the list is something of a liberation for me - I now know where most of the kidnappers live, as they know where I live, so I am able to avoid them more easily. I respect the freedom of speech and privacy of anyone who respects my freedom of speech and privacy.

Markie Dussard > "How can you teach WWII without explaining WWI and its consequences? And what were the causes of WWI? Who says your understanding and interpretation of WWII is the only one worth teaching?"

There was a story today that young kids history lessons are to be dropped to make room for computer training. Obviously the roots of WWII should be taught as part of the subject, and obviously it isn't the only period of history worth teaching. I still say it is the most important lesson that could be taught. And in any subject the kids should be taught to investigate for themselves and draw their own conclusions. I just don't think many of the BNP who adopt Nazi names have much idea about the true nature of the Nazis. Saying that, they also don't know much about geography. Trying to bond with one of the BNP who had a knife to my throat I asked if he would have sex with a beautiful asian girl and he said he had indeed screwed a Cuban once. For them, Pakis begin at Calais.

Dave > "Or do you think that maybe we should try to understand the detailed advantages and failings of each system?"

Yes ! Very much so.

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@ Paul Bristow

Fascists and the Nazies can not really be classed far lefties mate or totally far right really either. As for the Nazis official name of “National Socialists”, well that, is just a name, and while it is vaguely descriptive it doesn’t tell the whole story. For instance the Nazies embraced the idea of certain aspects of “socialist” or Far Left goals they also grabbed certain aspects of the “Ultra Conservative” side of politics too, often for quite different reasons than the originators envisaged. They are a kind of hodgepodge of ideas and it has been proposed that they could be classed as extreme centrists. This is of course horribly simplified and not totally accurate.

For example while they (Nazies) liked Nationalization of industry it wasn’t from any sort of communist ideals as they disliked the communists as much as they disliked what they called Laissez-faire capitalists. For Fascists, the state is everything and the Nazis also added the race, in both cases individualism is suppressed for the sake of the state, and/or race in the Nazies case. Of course people being people this (as do many other ideologies, just ask Marx) it seems gets twisted to lesser or greater amounts, so very often it becomes what is good for those in charge becomes what is good for the state/race. Once again this is oversimplified and there is much more to the story.

Anyway to be honest it is often difficult for me to see a whole lot of tangible difference between ANY extreme version of politics (or religion for that matter), be it right, left, centre, Christian , Muslim etc as the final practical outcome of many of their policies or ideas are very often so similar as to make very little difference in the end.

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Boffin

Re: Far left, not far right.

Paul, you clearly don't understand the way the tabloid one-dimensional left-right political measure works. It isn't about capitalism and socialism. In the one-dimensional view of politics, anything effective but evil is placed to right, anything idealistic but fundamentally flawed is placed to the left and anything weak willed and wishy-washy is put in the middle.

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Different Trains by Steve Reich

"At least the fascists made the trains run on time" is a phrase that is part of our culture, but isn't actually true. Even if it had been true, if my train is heading to a death camp then punctuality isn't my main concern. Air, water, and escape seem more important.

IBM helped the slaughter be even more efficient, but wouldn't it have been more efficient just to not slaughter people in the first place? Hitler loved Henry Fords efficiency in producing panzer trucks for the German army but that doesn't mean Ford wasn't just as efficient in supplying tanks to the US army.

A daft young teenager I like walked up to me recently and said innocently "I don't agree with what Hitler did to the Jews but you have to admit he was a great world leader". To save me from more four hour rants, can you decent tax-payers not start investing in a basic education for everyone in the UK that includes recent history ?

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