David Mery is a London geek who was going down into the tube one night in July when he was arrested on suspicion of terrorism. He was held, his flat was searched, his computers and phones were confiscated, his data was copied, and his photo, DNA and fingerprints were taken.
He was denied access to counsel.
He was released the next day, but his computers were not returned, nor was his record expunged.
Mery's "crime" was carrying a "bulky" backpack (e.g., a laptop bag), wearing an "unseasonably warm" coat (it was one of the coldest July days on record), and "avoiding the police" (he was looking at an SMS on his phone when he went through the turnstiles and so didn't make eye-contact with the officers there).
There is not one single piece of evidence to suggest that Mery is a terrorist, and yet the tools of his livelihood and all his personal data are now squirreled away in a police evidence locker -- the police haven't even given him an inventory or receipt for all the goods they stole.
This isn't an anti-terror investigation, it's a mugging. And it could happen to you. Hell, if it happened to me, I'd probably just be deported, since I'm only an immigrant, and not a citizen.
If you don't want to get mugged by the coppers whose salary you pay, write to your MP and city councillors about David's plight. I just sent a note with much of this post and some additional text to mine:
This is institutionalised theft masquerading as anti-terror investigation. It makes Londoners less safe because it deprives us of the certainty that the police are taking sensible measures to protect us against terrorism, and because it instills the fear that the copper in the tube is a mugger in waiting, who might at any moment swoop in and confiscate thousands of pounds' worth of kit and insert us into the criminal justice system.
Update: David sez, "I was not denied counsel. I chose not get a solicitor while at the
station. This was probably a mistake (not used to be in such situations),
but it was entirely my choice."
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]