A security clampdown at a London club provides a troubling glimpse of the extent of privatised monitoring brought about by government policy. A Reg reader drew our attention to complaints that visitors to fetish club Torture Garden must now hand over personal details before they are allowed to enter. Our follow-up investigation …
Looks like it's time for everyone to get some fake id - so where's the local terrorist cell that sells the stuff?
Moving to the Centre
It is always at the periphery that this sort of surveillance is brought in. Gradually it become more acceptable and accepted in mainstream society, Gramsci's idea of cultural hegemony I believe. Pretty soon you'll need ID to use the toilet, and people will say what happened?
May as well just ring up your contact in Lagos
And give him all the personal details he asked for on his e-mail, it will be a race then between who is going to either steal your identity and cash or loose it on the train.
English criminals, Nigerian scammers or Gov.uk
If they hold the rubber ball there later this year and this policy is still in place I will have to seriously reconsider attending....
Slight problem here
"all persons entering the premises".
So if I am called to a casualty there whilst on duty as an ambulance person, I have to provide my data? Not on your nelly. I can imagine security holding up any raid by the police on the same grounds, because if they dont, the police will claim at the next licencing meeting they were not complying with the terms and conditions.....
"It is password-protected, and we have had no complaints about its inherent security."
Two of the most asinine assurances ever trotted out, anywhere. How many times have we heard versions of these statements before? "The laptop is secure because we had a BIOS password set" or "nobody has ever complained about the food here before"? Even if it's true that there's a password feature, how do we know that the passwords were well chosen? How many people have access to the password? Even more importantly, how can the club be trusted not to just pass or sell on the copied ID details? Having a password has practically nothing to do with the security of the data stored. And don't get me started on the "nobody has complained about it before" quote. Even if it were true, it's deliberately belittling what could very well be a justified complaint ... which should be judged on its merits. Any place that gives bad service and has the gall to suggest that the problem is somehow my fault deserves to lose my custom.
I'm not at all happy...
about a licence for premises that requires the organiser to maintain so many details. The *premises* don't need to know who I am and where I live etc, they just need to know *whether I am entitled to enter*. And that could be done with a much smaller dataset, perhaps managed by a trusted third party: I lodge minimum details with the third party, the premises get a magic number from me which they pass to the ttp; the ttp says 'yep, he's old enough to go in'.
The premises don't see my name and suchlike; I provide no more information than is necessary.
The only reason that the full ID is required is so the authorities can track me. Surely they wouldn't do that?!"£$%^&****+++NO SIGNAL
"all persons entering the premises".
I imagine it says "all patrons" or something similar. There will be exemptions in it.
Vote with your wallet...
I will not enter a premises that demands ID. I will not buy from a shop that demands ID.
I am an adult. I am legally allowed to buy alcohol and to visit licenses premises. If an organisation or individual licensee won't let me do these things, then I will go to someone who will.
It might well be a Met condition, but they sure as hell can't impose it on everyone, and there'll be a hell of a backlash if venue owners see trade drop off.
First they came for the masochistics....
...and found them tied up and being whipped by a Madam in 6 inch stillettoes and a rubber catsuit. And more than willing to be waterboarded.
As for the sadists, well they came for those...
...and gave them uniforms.
Mine's the rubber one thanks.
It is a club, clubs have members, members have to prove they are members on entering. It is exactly the same when I go to Riley's. What am I missing?
Kept for three years
Huh, where in the data protection act does it say they have to keep the data for three years? In fact it says the opposite - data should only be kept for the reasonable period of time that it is needed. 6 months I could vaguely understand to give the police time to bother to investigate crimes. This is even more the case as attendence at certain events would give pretty good evidence for your sexuality and hence be counted as sensitive personal information (yes I know not everyone who goes to a gay disco is necessarily gay but it is fair to assume most people are)
As we all know, those who run night clubs are all, every one of them, fine upstanding members of the community with no links to the criminal world. There will never be an issue with these people knowing the address of people in their nightclub with their home empty will there?
"verifies the age and validity of your customers whilst building a unique data base enabling you to monitor, manage and market to your clientele".
Yeah, I'm sure that people attending the Torture Garden will want monitoring and managing. And obviously, we don't want invalid customers. As for "marketing to"? WTF? "No dear, I don't know why I keep getting money-off vouchers for whipsandchains.com..."
If this is the *positive* selling point, my <insert deity / supernatural tooth fairy of choice here>, we're in trouble...
So on the one hand we have private organizations with known historical links to organised crime being given license to store personal information; and on the other hand we have no evidence that introducing electronic checks will reduce crime.
This was apparently kicked off by a shooting. As others have said: the serious crim will have plenty of fake or stolen IDs, and this will only result in granny's door being kicked in by mistake, or police searching for a Mr "Prawo Jadzy", serial offender.
Meanwhile, decent, law-abiding citizens will have been forced to hand over passport, driving license and home address details to goodness knows who. And our ever-caring HO and Met are saying "not our problem guv". Lovely.
Bottom line: its just another attempt to force ID cards on us, you wait, soon enough some HO shill will popup with an executive order requiring all "pervert club" visitors to hold IDs, then all "late night club" visitors, then....
If I were an identity thief, I would wonder where to send the roses for such a wonderful idea. Surely, the government must be commended.
People will go to clubs _expecting_ to have their IDs scanned. Some clever hardware modification and social engineering would be all that's required to get hundreds or thousands of IDs per night (assuming multiple clubs are involved).
Man, I miss that place. One of the best club events I can think of. Went to many-a Synergy night there.
Never got to goto TortureGarden though. The thought of travelling on the Tube in a gimp suit wasn't particularly plesant.
Why should the government care?
If they tried to prevent crime or terrorism then they wouldn't be able to create FUD and more people would see them for the thieves and murderers they are.
You gave someone your passport number and full personal details just so you could drink somewhere? Did you not realise that we don't live in an Arab Emirate and it's not required that you prove your identity before you're allowed to buy alcohol?
False name and address
I prefer to give anyone asking for my name and address who doesn't have the legal authority to demand it "Winston Smith, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, WILMSLOW SK9 5AF" in the hope that anyone abusing the data (why else would they want it) gets a nice surprise. Works a treat with thicko London Underground staff when a periodically replace my unregistered Oyster pre-pay.
So, all we need is an MP or two with BDSM tendencies....
...and then arrange for the ever-so trustworthy club door staff to pass on details of their attendance and peccadilloes to the red tops and this nasty little scheme should end up being buried once and for all. A cabinet minister or two getting outed this way would be handy too, don't you think?
Paris, she knows about being outed.....
AC, well, you know why!
Police? These are the same lot that killed two men and lied about both incidents and cover up their badges and hide their faces?
They are not the elected leaders and you can't vote them out so they should not be making the rules for people that have no say in those rules.
One way or another we'll monitor you...
Speaking as someone who makes and supplies BDSM gear (including, almost certainly, to some of the patrons of TG) and someone who has attended many Fetish Events for the last ten years or so, I can remember maybe three or four incidents of trouble over that time.
What I can also recall is several incidents where club goes have been "outed" by the gutter press, for instance when the News of the Screws did an "expose" of The Bridge which resulted in a woman teacher being sacked even though what she was doing in private had absolutely nothing to do with her job.
Now imagine the damage they could do to people if they managed to infiltrate TG or SE One and get their hands on the membership list.
The fact that the Home Office and the Police seem to think that this isn't their problem just shows how little they really care about the security of our data, they are just interested in foisting these systems on more and more people under the guise of "licensing requirements" or other such excuses.
Their aim is, of course, simply to get people used to this as part of the creeping expansion of the surveillance society, along with fingerprinting in schools and pubs being told to put in CCTV on the door or they won't get their licences renewed, so they can eventually sneak in ID cards and the National Identity Register by the back door.
secure - honest - no really ... sound familiar?
In the case of the SEOne set-up, a spokesman told us that:
only senior management can access it = Anyone higher than a bouncer can access it.
tinformation on the system is password-protected = Password is probably "password"!
Equipment is removed from the front door when the club is shut and locked in a secure place. = The janitors cupboard with the cheap lock on it.
"will do their best"??
If your eyes haven't start bleeding by the time you reach it in the semi-literate ramblings on the Torture Garden site, you will see that Packspring "will do their best to keep your information secure".
So that's all right then.
It also assures patrons that their information will not be kept longer than is necessary - and then gives a MINIMUM time!
And I agree with The Mole - it's just another example of the DPA being used to excuse anything
No Fat Chicks
Put a damn weighing scales at the door and no one would complain.
Must be wonderful to be a cornershop these days... If you refuse fags and booze to the local gang of 15 year olds then they smash your shop in regularly, insurance premiums go through the roof and you go out of business, or if you don't refuse them then the Trading standards come and close you down and you go out of business...
Trust Us because we are better then you
This is brill, why not just say it the way it is...
"Your government believe that all UK residents are criminals, so have decided to rename the country to HMP GB, every one must report to a police station daily so we can download your personal data log and charge you for what ever counts as an infringement that day"
"this is for your security, If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about, if you disagree you are a TERRORIST"
How often are we going to start seeing a pre-entry screening stand set up?
Well, that's TG out for me. Wonder what Bizarre'll make of this?
How come we're giving our details to the club owners, people who aren't exactly known for being the most upstanding of citizens? Sorry to tar them all with the same brush, there's probably a load of good ones out there. It's just that no-one's met them.
How will it verify that I'm me, anyway? If I had a fake Angolan passport (i.e. one they're unlikely to have seen before) in the name of, say, "Anonymous Coward" that looked legit enough to pass the gaze of the bouncer, would they be able to check if it was genuine? And wouldn't that be a serious security problem for the Passport system?
Come to think of it, how would they check ANY of it without seriously impacting the security of surrounding systems, given the low level of trust that should be assigned to these people? And without checks, how can it possibly be expected to work beyond "someone claiming to be this person entered the building at this time"?
This is a stupid system.
As the TG wasn't involved in the shooting, couldn't it be exempted from the licensing requirements?
A recap: nobody in central government of the police has anything to do with this, but they're quite happy it's being done. It's all down to some PR happy local councillor looking to make a name for himself.
I bet the 'lads from lagos' will be looking forward to the fruits of this hitting the market.
How long before we need to swipe/press/spit/stare to buy a pint of milk in the corner shop?
Paris; maybe a little ridiculous, but not evil and ridiculous
"From a pure disorder prevention perspective, there is much to be said for these devices."
I'm sure there is. Personally I thought the point of a club was to get a bit disorderly. Frankly, I like a bit of disorder in my society, especially when removing it neatly snips away our freedoms too.
Disorder, non-compliance, these things are vital to any reasonable society. When everyone has to follow the rules, you need someone better than a politician or a club owner coming up with them.
I can imagine that there will be a lot of TG attendees who would be uncomfortable with this data being leaked. Not all, but some.
Club, as in NightCLUB, not as in members club. D'oh.
What disgusting perverts...
... these voyeuristic ID card imposing obsessives are.
Somebody is lying
'police requested a licensing condition that in future, "all persons entering the premises must supply verifiable identification details that are passed through a digital scanning and recording system such as Club Scan, Idvista or similar computerised system". '
'Besides, the decision to install was taken by clubs or by local licensing authorities: it is not the Met’s responsibility.'
Some barstard is lying through their gritted teeth.
But with all of their preveious history of cover ups and lies, do you expect anything else from the police?
I can see the complaints now....
"THEY'RE ABUSING MY FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT TO PRIVACY! IT'S A FORM OF TORTURE, I TELL YOU! . ..oh, wait, I think I'm getting hard..."
I'm not sure how much trust I'd put in a company that claims "Considerable attention has been paid to seeking to ensure the data captured is held securely" and then publishes screenshots apparently showing real personal identifiable information (names, addresses, photographs) in their marketing material.
They've just lost customers
I was planning to attend the next TG event which is at SEone, but I certainly won't be going now. And the people I was going to go with almost certainly won't be attending now either. This is pretty scary stuff and I'm glad I hadn't already bought my tickets.
It's extremely worrying how quickly 1984 (the book/film) is becoming a reality in this country.
The middle road...
Surely the middle road solution here would be for the scanning equipment to not be quite so complex... What if it was just an optical scanner of sorts or a digi cam... Take a picture of the person, take a picture of the ID. Everything is stored as an image (and only ever an image) which will reduce the datamining ability to pretty much zero. Keep the pictures for say 6 months, then delete.
This system (c) 2009 by me, can read any and every ID that is human readable.
If there is any problem, well it won't take long to look through the pictures and ID the trouble makers. In fact unless the IDs currently being used contain details like hair colour and number of facial piercings, this step will have to be performed even with their current system.
Re: 1984 - I think we should all be grateful that we live in a time when we can actually see fiction become reality. A horrific, soul-destroying, prison of a reality to be sure but nonetheless quite interesting to watch from the perspective of anyone awake enough to be aware of what's going on e.g. anyone with more than just glimmer of sense.
What about this then???
Ok, I haven't got that much of a problem with this EXCEPT;
1.) When I enter the premises, I must be informed of the club owners name, home address, experience with sensitive data, whether he or she has a criminal record and previous job experience o and of course, I want to know your bloody nationality as I can pretty much sum up what your like based on where your from. Discrimination? I guess it is!
2.) If my property is robbed while I just happen to be in the club, the club owner is soely responsible as it is also apparent to me that passing such information on to his or her buddies such as Mr / Mrs / Miss XYZ is in my club and NOT at home. Go on boys, rob it and I will go halves! seems very likely.
3.) You lick my feet first!
Lets hope ...
...Jacqui Smith or David Cameron don't show up on this!
Ignoring the S&M angle...
The requirement that ID is produced is yet another example of the problem our lords and masters have with crime prevention. That problem being that they don't realise that the criminal classes are likely to carry false ID.
Lets imagine that there was an incident at the club. So the authorities are handed a record of the ID of everybody who entered the club via the front door. A fat lot of use that will be, because in most cases the perp will have either shown false or fake ID or have entered without showing ID.
It's not particulalry uncommon for ne'erdowells to enter clubs via the fire exit. A group of people club together to pay the entry fee for one person then that person lets his mates in via the fire exit.
This seriously calls for the:
I'm sorry, but the ones responsible for this are more sorry.
Yet again it's the police MAKING the law
The police should learn to shut up and enforce existing laws, not make it through the back door.
er, obvious solution
move it to a new venue.
We the people -
stand within the ruins of once proud society,
it has become jail, a jail intended to out live us all.
Yet another reason
Yet another reason why I will never visit GB again in my lifetime! The Home Office might as well mandate that everyone gets an RFID tag embedded in their body at birth! Shades of the Apocalypse! What dren! Personally, I have absolutely zero interest in S&M or most kinky sex, but the next thing you know is that they will want a sample every time you go potty, so as to drug test you I suppose.
223 different IDs
The system can read 223 different IDs - presumably one is a Palace of Westminster pass ? That'll come in handy for expenses....
Is this run
By Jacqui Smith?
It sounds just right up her street, or was it her sisters
Wasn't there a report a few months ago about the police getting licensing authorities in London to insist that any licensed premises have CCTV. No law to say that it is necessary but you don't get a licence if no CCTV. The police will say that it is the licensing authority's decision but they are doing it because of pressure from the police.