Spying on UK activists

Part 3 - domestic targets of MI5 operations

The Guardian, April 19 1984
with Ian Black

1 Bending the guidelines to target UK activists

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Revealed: secret surveillance of Sizewell nuclear objectors

The Observer, January 27 1985
with Martin Bailey

Objectors at the public inquiry into the Sizewell nuclear reactor have been the target of a secret surveillance operation by a private detective agency which has links with British intelligence.
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How MI5 vets juries in search of 'subversives'

The Observer, February 2 1985

THE man who vetted the jury for Clive Ponting's trial is a titled Old Etonian in his mid-sixties, who plays golf and bridge in his spare time and who has spent a lifetime working in British intelligence.

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MI5 whistleblower exposes 'illegal' spying on peace movement

The Observer, February 24 1985

Cathy Massiter, the former intelligence officer at the centre of the storm about illegal MI5 surveillance techniques, was told to see a psychiatrist and then forced to retire early when she complained to her superiors about the work she was doing.
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New phone-tapping law is a collection of loopholes

The Observer, February 24 1985
Leader comment

Telephone-tapping is such an insidious intrusion in a free society that its use should be kept to the absolute minimum needed for national security or protection from terrorism or other major crimes. Its use should be controlled by statute and subject to independent checks to ensure that abuses or excesses are found out and stopped.
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CND editor passed information to Special Branch police

The Observer, March 3 1985

The former editor of the CND magazine Sanity yesterday admitted having a series of meetings with Special Branch officers at which he passed on information about the politics and personal lives of CND activists.

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MI5 tramples over the law to spy on new political targets

The Observer, March 10 1985

Every year a small batch of new recruits to MI5 act out a private pantomime on the streets of London. They are sent out in pairs for the day, told to pick a house, then to draw up detailed plans on how break into it.
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MI5 feeds BBC with secret intelligence on trade unions

The Observer, August 25 1985

MI5 regularly provides the BBC with background briefs on industrial disputes and the alleged involvement of subversives in trade union activity.
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More links disclosed between BBC and intelligence agencies

The Observer, September 1 1985

The BBC is under increasing pressure to make a clean breast of its covert links with the intelligence community as more evidence of the close relationship emerges.
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Police gather intelligence on private lives of ordinary people

The Observer, December 8 1985
with Jonathan Foster

Police forces are using a new intelligence network which enables them to build up dossiers on the private lives of local people, regardless of whether they have criminal links.

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Blacklisting the left

The Guardian, September 9 1988

Review of 'Blacklist' by Mark Hollingsworth and Richard Norton-Taylor

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GCHQ exploits official secrecy to break the law

The Guardian, July 16 1991
with Richard Norton-Taylor

There are not a lot of rules in the British intelligence game: a handful of laws that Parliament has managed to cobble together; a guideline or two, usually inherited from another age. And so, for an outsider, it is breathtaking to discover the frequency and ease with which the few existing rules are evaded, manipulated and quite simply broken.
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MPs demand action on GCHQ law-breaking

The Guardian, July 17 1991
with Richard Norton-Taylor

The Government was under pressure last night to introduce new controls on the security and intelligence services in the wake of disclosures that they had been engaged in apparently unlawful operations.

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Hilda Murrell: how real fear of the secret state created an unreal scandal

The Guardian, March 21 1994

It was a rotten time, aggressive and cynical. The task force was back from the South Atlantic, the cruise missiles were coming into Greenham Common, they were shooting to kill in Belfast, they were banning unions at GCHQ and trampling down strikers in the coal fields. It was a time of ruthlessness in Government and of the crushing of enemies. And everywhere, there was the shadow of the secret...

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GCHQ has broken into world's network of cables for phone calls and Internet traffic

The Guardian, June 21 2013
with Ewen MacAskill, Nick Hopkins, Julian Borger and James Ball

Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).

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