Infringing Website List

P. John made this Freedom of Information request to City of London Police

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by City of London Police.

Dear City of London Police,

I dislike intellectual property theft, I dislikes organised crime. I try to avoid both.

To my considerable disappointment, officers CoL police have in the past protected intellectual property thieves, and frequently conspired with organised criminals. I rather hoped they might do the exact opposite. (*)

Please could you disclose to me

1) the "Infringing Website List".

2) confirm (or deny) the involvement of the company Phorm - lately providers of unauthorised hospitality services to DS Barry Murray, purchasers of Russian supplied technology, and perpetrators of illegal mass communications surveillance in conjunction with British Telecom - in Operation Creative.

Yours faithfully,
P John

(*) http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/pol...

P. John left an annotation ()

In earlier news...

Phorm Did Track IP Addresses, Replaced Charity Ads With Behavioral Ads
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2008060...

"The advertisements were used to replaced [sic] a 'default' charity advertisement (one of Oxfam, Make Trade Fair or SOS Children's Villages) when a suitable contextual or behavioural match could be made by the PageSense system."

Abba Zakiyya,

Good Morning

Please treat this email as an acknowledgment receipt that we have received your request and will be in touch in due course.

In the meantime should you need to contact us please quote your ref no: COL/14/280

Kind regards,

Zak

Zakiyya Abba
Information Access Officer
Intelligence and Information Directorate
City of London Police | 182 Bishopsgate | London EC2M 4NP
T: +44 20 7601 2272| F: +44 20 7601 2088
Email: [email address]

REMEMBER!
• You are personally accountable and responsible for all information entrusted in your care.
• You should ensure it receives the appropriate protection and only share information with those who have a legitimate need to see it.

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Abba Zakiyya,

3 Attachments

Dear Mr John,

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REF:  COL/14/280

 

I write in connection with your request for information dated 2^nd April
2014 in which you seek access to the following information:

 

I dislike intellectual property theft, I dislikes organised crime. I try
to avoid both.

 

To my considerable disappointment, officers CoL police have in the past
protected intellectual property thieves, and frequently conspired with
organised criminals. I rather hoped they might do the exact opposite. (*)

 

Please could you disclose to me

 

1) The "Infringing Website List".

 

2) confirm (or deny) the involvement of the company Phorm - lately
providers of unauthorised hospitality services to DS Barry Murray,
purchasers of Russian supplied technology, and perpetrators of illegal
mass communications surveillance in conjunction with British Telecom - in
Operation Creative.

 

                DS Murray is not involved in investigation

 

Questions 1

 

I confirm that information relating to questions 1 is held by the City of
London Police.

 

It is our decision that this information is subject to an exemption in
accordance with Section 30 of the Freedom of Information Act –
Investigations.

 

Information is exempt by virtue of section 30 where it has, at any time,
been held for the purpose of an investigation.  This is a class-based
exemption and it is not necessary to demonstrate the potential for harm to
occur.  It is however a qualified exemption subject to an assessment of
the public interest and the factors favouring disclosure and
non-disclosure are listed below.

 

Assessment of the public interest

 

Factors favouring disclosure

Disclosure would identify the names of those organisations being
investigated, or in the case of advertisers, assisting with the
investigation.  This would allow the public to assess the scale of the
fraud and allow individuals to make more informed choices in respect of
any dealings they may have with the identified companies.

 

Factors favouring non-disclosure

This is an ongoing investigation and disclosure to the public domain would
raise the profile of those sites unlawfully providing copyright material. 
This would enable individuals to visit the sites highlighted and
unlawfully download copyright material and increase the scale of the
loss.  In the case of advertisers, public identification would increase
the risk of harm to them by way of cyber attack or other means.

 

Balancing the Public Interest

Whilst disclosure would raise awareness of copyright fraud activity in
relation to specific organisations, we believe that the benefit is
outweighed by the harm that would result to this and future
investigations.  It is therefore our view that the public interest does
not favour disclosure at this time.

 

Should you have any further questions regarding your request, please
contact me via e-mail, letter or telephone, quoting the reference number
above.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

Zak

 

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Dear City of London Police,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of City of London Police's handling of my FOI request 'Infringing Website List'.

I believe your assessment of the public interest in disclosure has been cursory, and lacking in due consideration for law and due process.

There is a public interest in the rule of law being applied to actions taken by the Police force.

It is for the Police to obtain evidence of offences, and the CPS to prosecute alleged offenders. It is not the role of the Police to determine guilt, or impose indefinite sanctions on UK businesses/citizens arbitrarily.

In the UK, it is the Courts determine guilt or innocence, not the Police. Thus - supposedly - UK citizens cannot be made not subject to penalties or sanctions imposed by Police officers, without the right to a Court hearing.

In this instance, City of London Police have imposed indefinite arbitrary sanctions on all UK telecommunications which will affect many business (in the UK & abroad) and internet users (in the UK & abroad).

It is impossible for UK businesses & internet users affected by those sanctions to challenge their legality in court if details of those sanctions are not published.

Publish the list of web sites that are presently subject to sanctions imposed by City of London Police immediately.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

P. John

If I may I'll rewrite that request to remove a stray 'not' :)

Dear City of London Police,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of City of London Police's handling of my FOI request 'Infringing Website List'.

I believe your assessment of the public interest in disclosure has been cursory, and lacking in due consideration for law and due process.

There is a public interest in the rule of law being applied to actions taken by the Police force.

It is for the Police to obtain evidence of offences, and the CPS to prosecute alleged offenders. It is not the role of the Police to determine guilt, or impose indefinite sanctions on UK businesses/citizens arbitrarily.

In the UK, it is the Courts that determine guilt or innocence, not the Police. Thus - supposedly - UK citizens cannot be made subject to penalties or sanctions imposed by Police officers, without the
right to a Court hearing.

In this instance, City of London Police have imposed indefinite arbitrary sanctions on all UK telecommunications which will affect many business (in the UK & abroad) and internet users (in the UK &
abroad).

It is impossible for UK businesses & internet users affected by those sanctions to challenge their legality in court if details of those sanctions are not published.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Adekoya Pauline,

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear P John,

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REF:  COL/14/356
 
I write in connection with your request for an Internal Review dated 6 May 2014, which was received by the Information Access Office on 7 May 2014. 

The Internal Review will be conducted by a senior officer who took no part in the original decision making process.  We aim to complete the review and advise you of the result in writing, within 20 working days. 
 
Should you have any further questions regarding your request, please contact me via email, letter or telephone, quoting the reference number above.
 
Yours sincerely

Pauline Adekoya
Access Information Officer

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Dear Ms Adekoya,

concerning your internal review of the CoL police response to my FoI request 'Infringing Website List' (detailed below) please could you now provide me with the promised review.

In your correspondence date 7 May you told me this process would be complete within 20 days, but I have yet to receive a reply.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours sincerely,

P. John

Adekoya Pauline,

Thank you for your email.

 

I no longer work within the department.  If your enquiry relates to FOI or
DPA requests, please can you direct your email to Katy Grunblat to
assist.  See details below:

 

Tel Direct: 02076012287

Email: [1][email address]

 

Reagrds

Pauline Adekoya

 

 

Please consider the environment before printing my email

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/

Dear City of London Police,

concerning your internal review of the CoL police response to my FoI request 'Infringing Website List' (detailed below) please could you now provide me with the promised review.

In your correspondence date 7 May you told me this process would be complete within 20 days, but I have yet to receive a reply.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Yours faithfully,

P. John

This email has been classified as NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr John

I have reviewed the reply to your request and am satisfied that the exemption contained in Section 30 of the Freedom of Information Act is engaged because the information requested was collected for the purpose of an investigation as defined by the Freedom of Information Act. However, the Section 30 exemption requires an assessment of the public interest; I have noted your comments favouring disclosure, but in order to undertake an accurate assessment, I need to consult the information owner. I anticipate that this work will be completed in the next 5 days when I will provide a substantive response.

Please accept my apologies for the delay, which has been caused by excessive workload.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Lockyear
Information Access Manager

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Dear Mr Lockyear,

concerning my FoI request (Infringing Website List) you wrote to me on 5 July 2014 offering a response 'in the next 5 days', but I have not received the requested information.

To briefly recap, I would like the CoL police to disclose the list of web sites that are subject to penalty action by the CoL police.

This information must be published because
- intercepting/interfering with the content of private/confidential communications affects both the publisher of the alleged web sites AND the people who use them,
- the allegations made by police, and the legality of the penalties imposed, has not been tested in court,
- both parties affected have a right to contest the actions of the police before penalties are imposed

If you are confident that the sites on the "Infringing Website List" are breaking the law, then you have nothing to fear from publishing that list.

If you are not confident that your actions will be upheld by a court, you should not be doing what you are doing...

Yours sincerely,
P. John

P. John left an annotation ()

BBC Police placing anti-piracy warning ads on illegal sites
"The initiative will make use of technology provided by Project Sunblock - a firm used by major brands to stop adverts appearing alongside questionable content such as pirated material or pornography."
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28523...

Dear City of London Police,

concerning my FoI request (Infringing Website List) Mr Lockyear wrote to me on 5 July 2014 offering a response 'in the next 5 days', but I have not received the requested information.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

Please could you now address this as a matter of urgency, or a complaint to the ICO will follow soon.

Yours faithfully,

P. John

Skinner Bradley,

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr John

 

I refer to your request for an Internal Review and my previous partial
reply.  I have now completed my review of the original response.

 

Question 1

 

Please could you disclose to me the "Infringing Website List”.

 

I confirm that the requested information was collected for the purpose of
a criminal investigation and the exemption contained in Section 30 of the
Freedom of Information Act is therefore engaged.

 

The original decision maker referred to the following factors in assessing
the public interest:

 

Factors favoring disclosure

 

Disclosure would identify the names of those organisations  being
investigated, or in the case of advertisers, assisting with the
investigation.  This would allow the public to assess the scale of the
fraud and allow individuals to make more informed choices in respect of
any dealings they may have with the identified companies.

 

You have also put forward your own public interest factors favouring
disclosure:

 

In this instance, City of London Police have imposed indefinite arbitrary
sanctions on all UK telecommunications which will affect many business (in
the UK & abroad) and internet users (in the UK & abroad).

 

It is impossible for UK businesses & internet users affected by those
sanctions to challenge their legality in court if details of those
sanctions are not published.

 

Factors favouring non-disclosure

 

This is an ongoing investigation and disclosure to the public domain would
raise the profile of those sites unlawfully providing copyright material. 
This would enable individuals to visit the sites highlighted and
unlawfully download copyright material and increase the scale of the
loss.  In the case of advertisers, public identification would increase
the risk of harm to them by way of cyber attack or other means.

 

I would add the following factors favouring non-disclosure:

 

Public disclosure of specific web sites would facilitate the
identification of Internet Service Providers and increase the risk of
harm.

 

Investigations invariably rely on the cooperation of individuals and
organisations to provide information and other assistance.  Public
identification of those providing assistance is likely to deter them from
providing such assistance in the future.

 

Balancing the public interest

 

The scale of copyright crime has increased dramatically with the
development of the internet.  It accounts for significant losses to
copyright holders and a significant number of individuals use web sites
that provide unlawful access to copyright material.  There is some benefit
in disclosure of the names of specific websites providing such access as
individuals would be able to make more informed decisions regarding the
use of those sites, related advertisers and ISPs.

 

However, in respect of your comments about accountability, any individual
or organisation affected by this investigation has the right to make use
of the Force’s complaint procedure and if not satisfied by the outcome,
the Independent Police Complaints Committee.  The Force is also subject to
regular inspections by HMIC and I do not therefore agree that it is
necessary for the Force to disclose details of specific web sites to
demonstrate accountability, or for those affected to take action.

 

Disclosure is also likely to increase the use of those sites that may
still be operating and increase the losses to copyright holders.  Given
the current scale losses, any increase is likely to represent a
significant value.

 

This is a relatively new initiative and the force would not wish to
disclose information that would deter individuals and organisations from
continuing to cooperate with the investigation.

 

It is therefore my view that the public interest does not favour
disclosure of specific web sites at this time.

 

Question 2

 

Confirm (or deny) the involvement of the company Phorm - lately

providers of unauthorised hospitality services to DS Barry Murray,

purchasers of Russian supplied technology, and perpetrators of illegal

mass communications surveillance in conjunction with British Telecom - in

Operation Creative.

 

This question refers to a specific company and whilst not specifically
addressed in the original reply, the involvement of that company would be
captured by the information referred to in question 1.  I confirm that the
Section 30 exemption and assessment of the public interest described above
also applies to this question.

 

Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing a complete response
to your request for an Internal Review.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Dave Lockyear

Information Access Manager

 

Please consider the environment before printing my email

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/