Monday, 28 November 2011


The bitter court confrontation with international singing star Loreena McKennit
Last updated at 22:23 19 May 2007

"Write whatever you like," said Loreena. "I?m really not worried, because I can pull your book in 24 hours."
Her voice was calm, confident and edged with steel, "If it comes to a battle, I can stay the course. You can?t." Other celebrities ? Madonna, Prince Charles, Nelson Mandela ? might be subjected to the scrutiny of a biographer, but not Loreena.

Not even if the author was a close friend of two decades? standing. She was burning with self-righteous rage and determined to stop me, whatever it took.
I put down the phone. I was upset that it had come to this, but felt sure the courts would protect me, however much money Loreena had. I was about to find out just how naive that hope was...
On my own, without lawyers, in secret, I faced the full pomp of the English legal system. It was David v. Goliath...and Goliath won. Free speech was the loser
For 20 years, Niema Ash was the best friend of international singing star Loreena McKennitt, but then fame and fortune led them to a bitter court confrontation
Loreena McKennitt, folk singer, songwriter and harpist, is a major celebrity in Europe and America, and her latest concert in London was a sell-out.
In her native Canada she is an icon and role model, showered with accolades and treated like a national treasure.
For 20 years, she was also one of my closest friends.
I befriended her long before she attained her celebrity status, when the record companies shunned her, even before she had a harp; the instrument which made her a star.
I was working as a teacher in London and Loreena, whom I had met during a trip home to Canada, would often come and stay.
There was an instant rapport between us and I was happy to put her up in my house and introduce her to my friends and family.

Over time we became extremely close. We would have long discussions about life and love and went on holidays together.
When her music career took off in the late Eighties, I enjoyed her success as if it were my own and I was filled with admiration for her single-mindedness.
She believed in total control, setting up her own record label and offices. She was her own manager; arranged her own tours and made all the decisions both in business and music.
Within a short space of time she became extremely wealthy.
Three of her albums went gold and platinum in the US and multi-platinum in Canada, and she bought a house in her native Ontario, then others in Toronto, Tuscany and Ireland.
I was thrilled for her. My partner Tim and I were big fans of her music and we both did a lot of work for her, for free.
We went on tours with her, helping with the merchandise and, when she bought a broken-down cottage in Ireland, we offered to do the renovations.
But as fame and money took over her life, Loreena changed.
At first it was quite subtle; she would sometimes adopt a haughty tone with me that I had never heard before. Then, later, she started yelling at people.
Finally, she and Tim fell out. He had disagreed with her about something and she had told him in no uncertain terms: "I?m the boss. You do as I say." Tim wasn?t prepared to be spoken to like that and he walked out.
I was devastated and tried to make peace between them, but Loreena wouldn?t budge. Nothing I could do would change her mind.
In fact, she became even more aggressive and we ended up in another battle with her, this time financial.
Our friendship was at an end and I was left bewildered and hurt. To my mind, fame had stolen my best friend. I was still immensely fond of Loreena and over the next five years I tried to make sense of what had happened.
In the end, I decided to write a book about my experience.
Called Travels With Loreena McKennitt, it was a biography, but also a cautionary tale. I wanted to tell people what a wonderful person she had been and how celebrity and money had ruined our relationship.
I published it myself and paid a printer to produce 1,000 copies and to sell it on Amazon and other websites.
But as soon as it was published, in June 2005, I was contacted by Loreena?s solicitors. They told me in no uncertain terms that it was a breach of Loreena?s privacy and that if I didn?t stop publication immediately they would take me to court.
I was determined not to be bullied. Loreena obviously wanted total control over everything that was said about her.
Even though my book was complimentary about her, even glorified her, she felt out of control and wanted it stopped.
What?s more, she had a team of lawyers and very deep pockets. No wonder her voice rang with confidence when she threatened to pull it from the shelves.
The only thing I had was a story that needed telling. A story about friendship and the intoxicating power of celebrity.
Fortunately, through the Society of Authors, I had an insurance policy that included cover for such an eventuality up to £100,000, which I considered a vast sum of money.
The insurers arranged for the law firm, Berrymans Lace Mawer, to take on my case.
Although not specifically media-oriented, they were helpful and astute and prepared a case, defending my right to free expression.
But from the start they made no secret that the insurers were an extremely important consideration, especially in relation to finance.
Once I left a meeting in tears because financial restrictions prevented me from taking some action I considered important.
I subsequently received a bouquet of purple flowers, my favourite colour, to make me feel better. However, money remained a constant obstacle.
Eventually, Loreena must have been convinced that banning books, although characteristic of Fascist Germany, was frowned upon in England, for she changed her demand from stopping the entire book to banning 38 sections, which amounted to about 25 pages.
But I was still determined to defend my right to publish these. Many were incredibly trivial. One, for example, concerned a story which was the equivalent of revealing that someone had to take aspirin for a headache.
But apparently this was considered a breach of privacy.
The case was scheduled for November, 2005. By this time Loreena had changed law firms three times, which seriously eroded my funds as this meant starting anew with each set of lawyers.
To prepare her case for trial she employed Carter-Ruck, an expensive firm of solicitors, and Desmond Browne, one of the country?s foremost barristers. For Loreena, money was no object.
About a week before the hearing my lawyers informed me, with regret, that the money had run out ? they were already over budget and could no longer defend me.
It was hard to believe so much money had disappeared so fast.
I had to either drop the case or defend myself. I chose the latter, and I was offered a briefing in court procedures.
I was given what was probably the shortest legal course in history, basically outlining what happened first, who spoke when, what certain terms meant, how I should address the judge and so on.
I ended up more confused and certainly more terrified than ever.
Three working days before the trial I received about ten large lever-arch files, called "bundles", containing reams of legal documents.
I stayed up every night before the trial trying to decipher them; to prepare for a situation I could not even begin to comprehend.
I had never been inside the High Court, let alone defended myself against one of Britain?s top barristers.
And, fully aware that one?s case is only as good as the lawyer pleading it, I felt hopelessly inadequate.
The trial was held in private, meaning that what occurred behind its closed doors must remain secret. It lasted seven days and was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life.
I felt as though I had the main role in a chilling drama which was being performed in a grand but intimidating theatre.
Although the actors were in costume; flowing black robes, stiff white collars, their heads covered in grey, curly wigs reminiscent of some scene from Dickens, I had no costume.
I was given the script at the last moment and found it incomprehensible: entire sections seemed written in a foreign language.
I was the leading performer, on stage without knowing my lines. It was surreal.
Loreena?s team ? barristers, solicitors, clerks ? were on one side of the courtroom surrounded by boxes of files and electronic equipment; on the other side were me, my partner Tim and our bundles. Looking down on us sat the judge, Mr Justice Eady, in full regalia.
It was David versus Goliath and I was fully aware that in the real world, Goliath usually wins.
There were many times during the seven days when I felt the judge and barrister, speaking in legal jargon with terms and references I did not understand, were conducting a private conversation to which I was not privy.
I was presented with several volumes of case law to study, but since I hardly had time to eat or sleep ? I didn?t even allow myself a lunch break ? they remained unopened.
During those seven days I lost ten pounds and was utterly exhausted.
I couldn?t swallow even a mouthful of food and my eyes were so tired and became so unfocused that I was offered a magnifying glass to follow references in the bundles.
I felt confused, bullied and hardly able to speak.
I am not allowed to reveal what happened in the courtroom to cause such anguish. I can only say I had no barrister to act as a buffer between myself and my opponents; no protection to deflect insult, wrath or rage.
Justice Eady delivered his judgment on December 21, 2005, and it astonished the legal community. He found in favour of Loreena and insisted that eight of the 38 sections should be deleted from my book.
In so doing, he overturned hundreds of years of English law. For the first time ever, the balance was tipped away from freedom of expression for the media and towards the right of the rich and famous to control what was said about them.
I found it difficult to believe the judgment was referring to the same trial in which I had participated.
For one thing, although I was on my feet for a good part of the seven days, presenting opening statements, closing statements, making submissions, being interrogated and questioning Loreena?s witnesses, the judgment hardly acknowledged my presence.
Although it made continuous reference to the highly polished performance of Loreena?s barrister: what he "quite properly drew to the judge?s attention"; what "references he invited"; what he "fairly pointed out"; it contained little evidence that I had submitted or described anything which could be used in my favour.
My testimony was mostly ignored or given a negative, critical, spin. There were many references in support of Loreena?s witnesses and witness statements; none in support of mine.
Much case law favoured Loreena; none, it seemed, favoured me. I came to understand that "celebrity" was a formidable factor in the courtroom.
I feel certain that if I?d had adequate funding, enough time, a competent barrister and a legal team to check facts, procure evidence, call the right witnesses ? in other words, a fair trial with "equality of arms" ? the judge may well have come to very different conclusions.
For example, the judge might have been convinced that Loreena was not a very private person after all.
Media lawyers and the media itself were concerned about the draconian effect the judgment would have on freedom of expression; on the ability to tell one?s story.
Publishers feared it would mean the end of all but the most anodyne biographies, autobiographies and memoirs; that judges would become editors of books.
Journalists feared judges would now determine what the public was allowed to know, that the rich and famous would use the new rulings to keep secret what they did not want revealed.
This fear has proved justified as my tiny ripple of a book has produced formidable waves.
It is being used in high-profile cases to protect the rich and famous ? business tycoons, sports icons, celebrities ? and to keep the public from knowing the truth. My case is the canary in the coalmine.
I found the judgment so deeply flawed that I felt compelled to appeal. Fortunately an excellent lawyer, David Price, agreed to do this free of charge.
Concerned about the chilling effect of the judgment on publishers, broadcasters, journalists and so on, a joint submission was made to the appeal court by all the leading newspapers ? including Associated Newspapers, owners of The Mail on Sunday ? the BBC, Sky TV, the Press Association and the Association of Book Publishers.
Much was written about the case in all the major UK and Canadian newspapers. The Toronto Star published several of the injuncted sections, showing not only how relatively harmless they were, but also proving that freedom of expression was far better protected in Canadian law.
But all to no avail. The three-day appeal, heard in November 2006, failed. David Price then decided to take the case to the House of Lords and, although presenting an excellent submission, the Lords decided, in March this year that the case "Does not raise arguable points of law of general public importance."
This despite the massive media intervention pointing out the disastrous effects of the new rulings.
The only hope now is to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. But this requires funding. At the moment everything is dependent on money ? no justice without money.
Meanwhile I have rewritten the book, doing my best to comply with the judgment while still telling my story.
The main issue Loreena did not want revealed concerned a property dispute, her behaviour relating to this and its dire consequences for Tim and me.
However, the judgment reports this dispute in some detail and since the judgment is in the public domain, I have told the story in my new book, which is not a kiss-and-tell.
There are no sexual revelations, no outings. It is my story. Why should it be censored?
The new edition of it was published last month. Carter-Ruck contend that it breaches the judgment and have applied to the Court to injunct it.
They have threatened the printer with litigation and have managed to stop distribution, although there is no court order for an injunction. And they have threatened me with contempt of court: a jailable offence.
Once again I have no legal representation, and whatever money I had has been spent on legal expenses.
And all this to protect one celebrity?s image. In today?s world, image rather than reality is everything to the rich and famous.
Once it has been constructed, it must be protected at all costs, and anything with the potential to as much as dent a person?s carefully groomed public face must be silenced.
For Loreena, this might mean sending one of her closest friends to jail

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Zoompad said...


John Kampfner: Justice Eady is in danger of making an ass of the law
Friday 22 April 2011
David Cameron is not the only one who should feel uneasy. Britain is developing an invidious system of secret justice. Coming incrementally it has no democratic legitimacy and no accountability.

The Prime Minister's intervention was prompted by a new spate of judgments that have allowed – even encouraged – the rich and famous to go to court to prevent their extra-marital dalliances being splashed on front pages.

The footballers and entertainers concerned – and it is usually these two types of celebrities – are provided blanket anonymity, whereas the women on the side invariably have their names revealed.

This is but one of many iniquities in a practice bringing British justice into disrepute. Privacy is the law firms new cash cow.

Not even the staunchest advocate of free expression would deny the right to privacy, as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Whereas previously, however, tabloids enjoyed almost complete freedom to use the long lens to pry, now judges have ushered in the opposite extreme.

Nobody knows how many super-injunctions are in place – the Ministry of Justice, absurdly, says it is unable to count them. They prevent the media from revealing even the existence of a conventional injunction. They should be used only in extremis, such as when the life of a vulnerable individual is in danger, not because the miscreant or his wife might be embarrassed, or their teenage children might be teased in the school yard.

Zoompad said...

The latest wheeze, issued by Mr Justice Eady, is the contra mundum, effectively a worldwide ban in perpetuity about an individual's private life. Stop and consider how one might respond to an authoritarian regime curtailing free speech in such a way. Eady has considerable form. It took me and colleagues an age to get through to him on our hideous libel laws – and I'm not sure we succeeded.

With each judgment our judiciary is chilling free speech and bringing the profession into disrepute. It may require others to step in.

The writer is Chief Executive of Index on Censorship

Zoompad said...

McKennitt v Ash is an English legal case in which Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian folk singer, sued in England to prevent publication of extracts of a book written by a former friend on the grounds of privacy. McKennitt won the case.[1]

In 2005, McKennitt was involved in an acrimonious court case in the United Kingdom when her former friend and employee, Niema Ash, intended to publish a book which contained intimate details of their friendship. McKennitt argued that much of the book contained confidential personal information, which Ash had no right to publish. The English courts found that there had indeed been a breach of confidence and a misuse of McKennitt's private information, and the case is likely to set important precedents in English law on the privacy of celebrities.[2] The House of Lords affirmed the lower court's decisions in 2007.

Zoompad said...

Amoral judges, shameless celebrities and a Britain that's coming close to a police state

Every day brings a new lunatic ruling on privacy which curtails not only the media’s right to report the misbehaviour of public figures but also the right of ordinary people even to talk about it.
The more the Press complains, the more judges seem to relish pushing out the boundaries of what can be kept secret in Britain.
On Tuesday the Court of Appeal upheld the right to anonymity of a well-known married figure in the entertainment industry who had enjoyed an extramarital affair with a colleague.
The judgment not only prevented the media from reporting the matter. It also implied a restriction on the right of his workmates to talk about it as they stand by the proverbial coffee machine.
Yesterday another judge issued a landmark reporting ban in favour of a married household figure trying to hush up a secret.
Mr Justice Eady, who has been at the forefront of developing a judge-made privacy law, issued a virtually unprecedented ‘contra mundum’ injunction prohibiting until the end of time the publication of photographs — which we may assume are highly discreditable — of the household figure with a woman who certainly wasn’t the man’s wife or partner. I may have infringed the order even by saying that.
Let’s discuss the earlier ruling first. Imagine — just imagine — a well-known married actor in a celebrated show. He has an affair with a co-star who is also married. She is subsequently sacked, and is extremely upset about it.

Zoompad said...

A newspaper — say the News of the World — wishes to run this story but the man seeks an injunction. He is refused one by a judge, who rules that there is a public interest in publication because the woman was in the public eye, and apparently lost her job as a result of the affair.
Whereupon the man, who seems a pretty shameless sort of fellow, appeals. The Court of Appeal finds in his favour, employing some very bizarre arguments.
Is this pure fantasy? I am not allowed to say. What I do know — and can say — is that on Tuesday the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of an unnamed married male identified as ETK who works in the entertainment industry and had an affair with a married female colleague called X who was later sacked.
The judgment by Lord Justice Ward makes amazing reading. According to the judge, the name of ETK must remain secret because he and his wife have two teenage children who might be subjected to playground bullying were the affair made public.

Furthermore, the figure — and by implication others in a similar position — was entitled to expect colleagues who heard about the affair to keep quiet and not gossip about it.
Lord Justice Ward and his fellow judges are not stupid, and yet his judgment is unbelievably wrong-headed. Surely it was the responsibility of ETK to think about the damaging effect of his adulterous affair on his two children before he started it.
It is likely to be this behaviour — rather than playground banter — which would cause them most hurt.
I am reminded of an exchange between the writer and broadcaster Clive James and Richard Ingrams, then editor of Private Eye, some years ago.
Mr James complained in a book review that the magazine ‘told stories about people he (Ingrams) envied and sent their children crying home from school’. Mr Ingrams justly responded that it was the parents, not Private Eye, who had caused the crying.
Lord Justice Ward’s judgment carries alarming implications. As the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming has pointed out, if it were applied across the board, anyone who misbehaved or committed a criminal offence could claim anonymity on the basis that his children would be bullied if the misdemeanour were made public.

Zoompad said...

Lawyers acting for wealthy individuals accused not just of sexual but also financial and other shenanigans will doubtless mount this line of defence. Their clients must remain anonymous or their children, maybe more distant relatives, will be ridiculed.

Indeed, this was part of the defence of the well-known household figure in the second case I mentioned. He argued that the publication of ‘intimate’ photographs would harm the ‘well-being’ of his family, as well as his health. If true, shouldn’t he have thought of this before making an ass of himself?
The point is that fear of shame or disgrace acts as a restraint on all sorts of wrongdoing. That fear is bound to be diminished by the assurance of anonymity.
And that brings me to the other terrifying part of Lord Justice Ward’s judgment — his assertion that ETK’s extra-marital fling ‘was essentially a private matter’ and he ‘was reasonably entitled to expect that his colleagues would treat as confidential the information they had acquired’.
This implies an extraordinary curtailment of our freedom to discuss one another’s virtues and vices.

Zoompad said...

Let me put it another way. The judge appears to have been morally neutral about ETK’s adulterous activities. Many others will differ.
Even if ETK’s colleagues have an adverse opinion — if they believe that ETK behaved wrongly, as very many people would — they are not supposed to talk or exchange information or gossip about the affair because his right to privacy is paramount. This is not many steps away from a police state.
What unites these two cases is an assumption that no moral blame should attach to sexual misbehaviour, however deviant it may be.
The aforementioned Mr Justice Eady redrew the boundaries in 2008 when he ruled that a couple of grotesquely sadistic orgies choreographed by the then Formula One boss Max Mosley were his private affair, and should not have been reported.
Neither Mr Justice Eady nor several other male judges from whose mouths injunctions and superinjunctions pour with disturbing regularity seem often to reflect upon the role of exploited women in some of these cases.
It is notable that Eady said that the woman in the case I mentioned earlier (presumably a prostitute) had ‘a duty of care’ towards the household figure. Didn’t he have a duty of care towards her? Why should she have to protect him?
By placing such particular emphasis on Article Eight of the Human Rights Convention (which upholds the right to privacy), the judiciary is developing, often in secret, a new law of privacy which enables rich people (nearly always men) to determine what can be written — and said — about them.
These men may sometimes invoke their right to sexual privacy to cover other misdoings. In one recent case, a wealthy financier was granted anonymity in a libel case involving allegations of a sexual offence and of the misappropriation of funds.

The casualties in all this are not just the increasingly gagged media and, it would seem, ordinary people who must now watch what they say by the coffee machine. In single-handedly developing a privacy law which favours very rich men, the judiciary risks jeopardising the respect in which, for its own good and the effective dispensing of justice, it should be held.
Some judges, I fear, are being deliberately provocative in pushing the boundaries. If further damage is to be avoided, the Government must do what David Cameron promised in opposition: abolish the Human Rights Act, and create a British Bill of Rights.
This would rid us of numerous pernicious consequences of this dreadful Act, of which a judge-made privacy law concocted in the shadows is among the very worst

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Zoompad said...

Leveson calls political blogger Guido Fawkes to explain leaked Campbell papersBy Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 7:42 AM on 28th November 2011

A political blogger was last night summoned to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into press standards after evidence from former No 10 communications chief Alastair Campbell was leaked online.
Mr Campbell submitted papers containing a string of potentially damaging claims to lawyers ahead of his appearance before Lord Justice Leveson on Wednesday.

But a link to the 16-page document yesterday appeared on the Order Order website run by Paul Staines, who goes by the pseudonym Guido Fawkes.

Writing on his blog, Mr Staines highlights contentious elements in Campbell’s evidence and claims to have obtained the papers legally.

A statement issued by the inquiry read: ‘Lord Justice Leveson was extremely concerned to hear that . . . a copy of the evidence that Mr Alastair Campbell intended to provide to the inquiry was published on the “Guido Fawkes” website.
‘The website asserts that this statement was obtained by “legal means” but Lord Justice Leveson will be inquiring further into this claim and Mr Paul Staines will be required to give evidence.’

Mr Campbell, a former Daily Mirror journalist and spin doctor to Tony Blair, said he was ‘genuinely shocked’ to see his evidence in the public domain.

It is unclear whether the statement that appeared on the Order Order website is the same as that which Mr Campbell has submitted to the inquiry.

His statement will now be published on the inquiry website on Monday, rather than on Wednesday following his appearance as would be the norm.
This week the inquiry is expected to hear evidence from singer Charlotte Church, Joanna Yeates’s landlord Chris Jefferies, television presenter Anne Diamond, Guardian journalist Nick Davies, former News of the World journalist Paul McMullan and Mr Campbell.

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Zoompad said...

Digital Privacy: If You’ve Done Nothing Wrong, Do You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’?
By Barton Gellman | August 3, 2010

A few years back, I did a long newspaper story about the FBI snooping on the private records of ordinary citizens. As my old editor Michael Kinsley likes to say, the scandal is what’s legal. The Patriot Act unleashed the FBI to search your email, travel and credit records without even a suspicion of wrongdoing. The FBI was doing it, in secret, tens of thousands of times a year.

As I dug into the story, government officials kept telling me that law-abiding Americans have nothing to fear. Why object to surveillance if you have nothing to hide? Joseph Billy Jr., a top FBI supervisor for whom I had great respect, told me, “I’ve had people say, you know, ‘Hey, I don’t care, I’ve done nothing to be concerned about. You can have me in your files and that’s that.’ Some people take that approach.”

Zoompad said...

I’m not one of those people. CounterSpy is a new blog about privacy and security in our digital lives. I come to it by temperament and professional necessity. My principal work is investigative reporting, and efforts have spiked in recent years to find and punish my confidential sources. (Update Aug 3, 10:40pm: My son Michael points out that this link is broken and asks if that’s a joke about confidential sources. Um, no. Here’s the correct link.) I learned the technology and tradecraft of electronic security in self defense, with a lot of expert help.

If that sounds exotic, and you think you have nothing to hide, I invite you to reconsider. As Trotsky didn’t exactly say, you may not be interested in electronic snoops, but snoops are interested in you, whether or not you keep Coke’s secret recipe on your iPhone. Pay attention to security or you’ll let others make free with your medical records, those emails about your friend’s crumbling marriage, your gambling debts, the layoffs you’re planning, the job you’re thinking of jumping to, the cool idea you want to pitch, your candid thoughts about your boss, your forthcoming quarterly earnings or that embarrassing online purchase you made last month. You know which one I’m talking about.

Maybe you figure it’s hopeless. The other day I talked about CounterSpy’s launch with Karen Greenberg, who runs the Center on Law and Security. “What’s the point?” she asked. “There is no digital privacy and security.” That’s easy to say with equanimity in the abstract. Not so much when you start to think concretely. We kicked around a few examples, and soon she was insisting that something has to be done. This is an ambivalence that a lot of us feel on the subject.

Plenty of people will tell you that you don’t really care, or shouldn’t care, or needn’t bother caring, because the protected space of our personal lives disappeared in the olden days of the 1990s. These people do not have your interests at heart. They depend on the hope that you’ll forget about privacy the same way you forget about that camera in the elevator. Oracle’s Larry Ellison ( “the privacy you’re concerned about is largely an illusion“) is the guy who wants to supply software for a national ID system. Facebook’s Marc Zuckerberg (there’s no more “social norm” of privacy) owns a multibillion dollar business based on extracting your intimate details. (Here’s an illuminating graphic that shows how Facebook does it.) Google’s Eric Schmidt, whose company depends on promiscuous data collection, endorsed the FBI equation of secrecy with wrongdoing: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

Everyone has something to hide. Privacy is relational. It depends on the audience. You don’t want your employer to know you’re job hunting. You don’t spill all about your love life to your mom, or your kids. You don’t tell trade secrets to your rivals. We don’t expose ourselves indiscriminately, and we care enough about exposure to lie as a matter of course. Among upstanding citizens, researchers have consistently found that lying is “an everyday social interaction” (twice a day among college students, once a day in the Real World). Remember the disasters that befell Jim Carrey in that movie plot that left him magically unable to fib for even one day? Comprehensive transparency is a nightmare.

Zoompad said...

My favorite security blogger, Bruce Schneier, put it this way:

Privacy is about control. When your health records are sold to a pharmaceutical company without your permission; when a social-networking site changes your privacy settings to make what used to be visible only to your friends visible to everyone; when the NSA eavesdrops on everyone’s e-mail conversations — your loss of control over that information is the issue. We may not mind sharing our personal lives and thoughts, but we want to control how, where and with whom. A privacy failure is a control failure.

Zoompad said...

CounterSpy is about taking back a modicum of control. Self-protection is a powerful instinct — we try to safeguard our families, reputations and careers — but instinct alone won’t protect you in cyberspace. Digital security is full of trade-offs, a shifting balance of risk and cost and convenience. It takes effort to use encryption, or to choose a different, complex pass phrase for every online account. If you don’t want transponders to record every place and time you cross a toll, you have to give up EZPass and take the slower drive into the cash lane. It costs money to decide against joining shopper loyalty programs that track and sell lists of everything you buy. Your choices will depend on the stakes and threat as you see them. I expend a lot more resources protecting my reporter’s notes than my family vacation photos. But that’s just me. Your photos may be altogether different.
Related Topics: Counterspy, FBI, invasion of privacy, Patriot Act, Counterspy, News, Security

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Zoompad said...








Zoompad said...

VIP Orgy - The Biggest Ever Filthy Rich Orgy - March 20th, 2005
World Exclusive by Graham Johnson (Investigations Editor) and Grant Hodgson
PRINCE Andrew's female bodyguard has been caught having sex on film at Britain's biggest VIP orgy.
Firearms cop Sarah Cox was snapped romping at the sex party alongside 300 other depraved swingers.
After tearing off her clothes, WPC Cox - who also guards PM Tony Blair at Chequers - and her cop boyfriend plunged into the orgy on a 20ft by 14 ft steel-reinforced bed.
ORGY: Revellers writhe on the huge orgy bed
Fever Club orgy bosses put Cox, 26, and PC Bernard Bourdillon, 36, in charge of security at the £150-a- couple party in a £15million London mansion.
But the police couple are regular swingers too - and as the night wore on THEY threw off their clothes and joined the throng of writhing bodies.
Thames Valley Police chiefs will be horrified by their antics and the couple - who boasted about borrowing police metal detectors to search guests - could face disciplinary action.
Only Britain's elite, including aristocrats, politicians, civil servants and lawyers, are allowed to join the secret society, which met for its first orgy of 2005 last Saturday night.
Rich brokers from City institutions Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutschebank and Commerzbank indulged in a free-for-all with scientists, lawyers, corporate directors, a TV presenter, fashion models and an Olympic athlete.
In an undercover operation, Sunday Mirror investigators posing as security men looked on as a mass of naked men and women romped on a pink satin-covered bed in the main candle-lit "playroom". Another 11 couples were having sex on marble-topped gilt tables, and on the floor two women were fondling each other while performing sex acts on FIVE men.
The night of debauchery began at 9pm. Guests arrived in a fleet of limousines and stepped on to a purple carpet across the pavement outside the 24-bedroom former ambassadorial residence opposite BBC Radio One's offices in London's Portland Place. One Italian heiress was dressed in a £4,000 Dolce & Gabbana gown.
They were greeted by the party's organisers - the men behind Fever Parties are property tycoon Jonathan Friedman, 41, and married right-wing anti-Europe politician David Russell Walters, 44.
The pair use professional events organiser Emma Sayles, 26, to front their organisation. Her father is a Cambridge-educated former Welsh Guards' officer.
For security reasons members were ticked off a photographic guest list to make sure that there were no impostors.
Then they were searched by off-duty Thames Valley firearms cops Cox and Bourdillon using handheld metal detectors.
Their job was to take mobile phones and cameras from guests.
Dark-haired bisexual Cox wore a tight-fitting, short flower print dress and Bourdillon wore beige chinos and a blue shirt. "A couple of people got stroppy," said Bourdillon, an armed police constable based at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. "But once we explained the need to do it they were like, 'Oh, all right then'."

Zoompad said...

Asked if he had found any illegal substances, Bourdillon said: "The only thing I've found is four Viagra. They were confiscated."
Cox, a PC based in Windsor, Berkshire - near where Prince Andrew lives - added: "That's our big worry. If we found anything we'd have to confiscate it because of our jobs." Later our investigators found evidence of drugs, smuggled in by guests, in the venue's toilets.
The party's floor manager was also offered a powdered cocktail called Magic by a guest - a combination of pure ecstasy and speed.
In the lobby the guests were greeted by a tanned semi-naked harpist wearing a white basque and lacy stockings who later joined the sex party during her break.
The immaculately-groomed guests were then led through to a cocktail reception where they chatted politely. Celebrity DJ Dan Lywood, former boyfriend of Zoe Ball, played dance music. Beautiful guests had flown in from New York, Paris, Italy, Germany and Holland especially for the party.
At about 10.30pm the first couple followed a trail of red rose petals up the sweeping stone staircase, through oak-panelled doors into the main playroom. The woman, a marketing executive with blonde bobbed hair, stripped off to reveal a G-string and began having sex with her partner, a city banker.
A second couple played with a sex toy while being watched by a group of women. After about half-an-hour there were 60 people having sex on the vast bed, reinforced with steel plates to bear the weight.
The room, decorated by film set designers for £7,000, was candlelit. Classical music played in the background. Around the bed three couples were having sex against radiators and two women fondled each other while performing sex acts on several men.
One fashion model having sex with a lawyer groaned in ecstasy. Another man fed her grapes from a cut-glass bowl, Belgian chocolates and Laurent Perrier champagne straight from the bottle while fondling her breasts.
The owner of the £15million mansion, toff Edward Davenport, was filmed kissing and fondling a woman on the bed.
Davenport, a property developer who is worth £133million, also has residences in Monte Carlo, Mayfair and the West Country.
He made a fortune organising debauched Gatecrasher Balls for public school teenagers in the 1980s but was later jailed for VAT fraud on tickets.
After finishing their security duties Cox and Bourdillon came upstairs. Cox took off her dress to reveal a large, tribal-style tattoo across her back and an expensive black thong and bra.
Sunday Mirror investigators saw Cox perform oral sex on Bourdillon in front of 100 naked guests while sitting on the edge of the bed. They then jumped on top to have sex with each other.
Cox later came out of the playroom wearing only a black choker and her underwear and danced provocatively with Bourdillon in the cocktail lounge.
She told our investigators: "I work as one of Prince Andrew's protection officers. It's a good laugh. I know he gets quite a bit of stick in the Press but he's actually an alright bloke. He's not so aloof with people once he gets to know them. He calls me by my first name. I work in firearms, I'm trained in that. I just have to accompany him with other protection officers whenever he's being driven about."

Zoompad said...

Talking about using police equipment to carry out searches at the orgy, she added: "We used the equipment from the station. There's no problem with it because they're not supposed to be in use.
"Next time I'll bring some evidence bags. I could have used them to put people's belongings in."
Cox revealed that she is bisexual. She said: "I'm in a committed relationship so these events are good for me because it allows me to explore my sexuality.
"It can be a bit uncomfortable if I'm with Dillan (the name she uses for Bourdillon) and I see someone I fancy but who he doesn't like because I can't always go with them, so I just have to go, 'Aww'."
Bourdillon said: "We've been doing it for a couple of years.
"We weren't going to work here tonight because we weren't sure if one of us was going to be on a shift.
"It turned out all right though and Johnny (Friedman) phoned us begging to help out. We don't mind doing it as a favour. We get in for free and have a few drinks.
"It's the first time we've done an event as big as this."
Referring to the metal detectors, Bourdillon said: "We've brought them from the station. There's no problem because there are lots of them up there so even if something happens tonight they won't be missed."
Later he denied taking them from any police station, saying they were from "central stores".
"No one else at the station knows that we go to parties like this.
"I don't really mind but I don't want them to because all they will do is take the Mick.
"I'm not really comfortable here. It's too formal. There's too many people."
After deciding that was enough, they dressed, had a couple more drinks, then left.
Last night Bourdillon confirmed he and Cox had been at the party, but denied they'd been moonlighting as they were not paid.
"I certainly haven't done anything illegal or against any codes of conduct," he said. "We were there as a favour to friends."
A Home Office spokesman said: "Police officers must inform their chief officer if they wish to pursue outside business interests for gain, be it financial or otherwise.
"It is then down to the chief officer to give permission.
"It would be inappropriate to use police equipment in non- police matters."

Zoompad said...

Fever owner David Russell Walters told our investigator: "We asked them (Cox and Bourdillon) to frisk people down. We didn't pay them because they are clients of ours.
"We took it that they would come and do that a for a few hours and they would be free to enjoy the rest of the party .
"They got free entry in exchange."
Edward Davenport said: "I was there a little bit. I am not a swinger.
"I am used to quite wild parties. But I didn't get involved.
"I'm not embarrassed about it. They had a good-looking crowd there. Mostly models."


By Graham Johnson And Grant Hodgson

The beautiful blonde in high heels and skin-tight designer dress caught the eye of a successful young businessman.
They walked towards each other across a packed dancefloor, then she touched him on the arm - the signal swingers use to show they want to have sex.
After a brief exchange of words the couple joined 60 other swingers on a huge bed in the "party" room.
As they took off their clothes and began intimately caressing each other, they were ogled by men standing around the orgy.
This was just one of the debauched scenes at the latest swingers' party organised by Fever - one of the biggest and most exclusive sex clubs in the world.
One party-goer who witnessed the scenes said: "These are some of the most wealthy and powerful people in Britain - the capital city's movers and shakers - and they were all writhing naked together on a bed as big as a suburban swimming pool."
The event in London's Portman Square last Saturday was Fever's biggest in the capital so far. More than 100 couples paid £150 in advance - or £200 on the door - to take part. One of the guests was Harlequins rugby star James Hayter who was hired as a bouncer, but liked what he saw so much he dived in too!
Many of the partygoers - who have to be under 40, well-heeled and good looking - have since emailed the Fever website with "thank you for having us" messages, hailing the party as "mind- blowing" and the "best ever".
In a series of raunchy party recollections, they:
• PRAISE the 20x14ft bed as well as the "lashings of sex"
• JOKE about being an undercover reporter infiltrating the event
• ASK "What would my mother say?" before describing how they experienced "sparks of sexual tension"
• DESCRIBE how the experience left them "liberated and hungry for more"

Zoompad said...

Last night messages from 25 partygoers were posted on the group's website.
A 24-year-old woman, who was at her first Fever party, says: "What an amazing evening. Sex, sex and, er, more sex. Ladies, if you are single or fancy sneaking away from your man, come to Fever.
"I spent most of the night with the most gorgeous couple who were fabulous in the bedroom." Another message from a 21-year-old woman says: "I had a great time and will definitely praise Fever in my London student article.
"Only joking. Sorry to have disappointed you by not being an undercover investigative journalist!"
A couple, aged 35 and 29, say: "It was absolutely mind-blowing. We met and partied with several other sexy couples - had an absolutely amazing time. The night was a perfect combination of all our best past adventures and encounters, both sexual and social, all wrapped into one great, glamorous, friendly and fun party."
Another couple, both 31, write: "It feels mildly amusing to be sitting down and politely writing a thank-you note after last night's party. Whatever would my mother say?
"The venue was superb, the atmosphere electric, with sparks of sexual tension searing between the guests almost from the first moments.
"It was impossible not to be raised to new sexual highs and not to just close your eyes and let the eager hands, mouths and bodies of everyone else there caress and stimulate you into sexual oblivion, over and over. Fabulous."
A third couple, aged 35 and 29, who were at their first Fever party, say: "We had an absolutely excellent time and were amazed at both the expert organisation and high level of talent among the partygoers."
Yet another pair, aged 31 and 30, say: "We would definitely like to attend future parties and we are still talking about that bed and how we had so much fun on it."
A 34-year-old and his 23-year-old partner say: "It was really wonderful to meet so many cool, beautiful, open-minded and respectful people."
But there is some criticism, too. Two Fever regulars, aged 33 and 27, moan: "We felt that the venue was a little cold in places. The toilets also lacked a little in cleanliness and decor. There was also quite a bit of broken glass around the bar and stair area which wasn't good for the bare-footed."
Fever organisers have also posted their own message, hailing the night a success. They boast: "Over 250 partygoers sipped champagne and cocktails and mingled for several hours between the open log fires, the vast, gilt-edged mirrors and the glittering chandeliers.
"Around 11.15pm the keenest swingers graduated up the towering, rose-strewn stairway towards the playrooms on the first floor. At the same time the first of the DJs took to the tables and upped the atmosphere. The main playroom centred on a huge specially -constructed bed covered in pink satin that was in continuous use by sometimes more than 60 people for over six hours."

Zoompad said...





Zoompad said...

Dr. Kelly's Final Email
To A Friend
Dark Actors Playing Games
By Jamie Macaskill
The Sunday Mail

Suicide scientist Dr David Kelly warned a friend that "dark actors" were working against him just hours before his death.

Dr Kelly revealed his fears shortly before killing himself after being dragged into the row over the Government's justification for war in Iraq.

In an email to American author Judy Miller, sent just before he left his home for the last time, he referred to "many dark actors playing games".

But, according to Miller, Dr Kelly gave no indication he was depressed or planning to take his own life.

He told her he would wait "until the end of the week" before deciding his next move following his traumatic appearance before a House of Commons select committee.

Yesterday, Miller said she believed the "dark forces" Dr Kelly was referring to were in the secret services and Ministry of Defence.

They have already been accused of using Dr Kelly as a "scapegoat" in a bitter row between the Government, whose offensive was led by Tony Blair's spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and the BBC.

Miller, who lives in New York, said: "Based on earlier conversations with Dr Kelly, the words seemed to refer to people within the Ministry of Defence and Britain's intelligence agencies with whom he had often sparred over interpretations of intelligence reports."

Friends fear he could not cope with the ordeal of being publicly outed as one of the expert sources used by BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan for a story claiming Government spin doctors had hyped intelligence reports to justify war.

Yesterday, it emerged he had been threatened with criminal prosecution and the loss of his pension if he did not co-operate with a Ministry of Defence inquiry sanctioned by Downing Street.

And, days before his death, he had been dragged before a Parliamentary committee, questioned ferociously and ordered to identify every journalist he had ever met.

He killed himself just days after his traumatic appearance before the Foreign Affairs Committee, which his wife claimed had made him "very stressed and angry".

Zoompad said...

Dr Kelly's body was found near his home in Oxfordshire on Friday.

Police said yesterday he had bled to death from a wound on his left wrist. A knife and an empty packet of Co- Proxamol painkilling tablets were found beside his body but police would not confirm that a letter was also discovered.

Speaking at Wantage police station, Acting Superintendent David Purnell confirmed the body found on Harrowdown Hill at 9.20am on Friday had been formally identified as 59-year-old Dr Kelly.

He said: "A post-mortem has revealed that the cause of death was haemorrhaging from a wound to his left wrist.

"The injury is consistent with having been caused by a bladed object.

"We have recovered a knife and an open packet of Co-Proxamol tablets at the scene.

"While our enquiries are continuing, there is no indication at this stage of any other party being involved."

Dr Kelly died just three days after his televised appearance before the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee.

He had been summoned to give evidence after being named by the MoD and Downing Street as the source of the controversial story by BBC correspondent Gilligan.

The story claimed the Government had deliberately "sexed up" a document, giving its justification for invading Iraq by claiming Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction in just 45 minutes.

At the committee hearing, Dr Kelly, appearing ashen and barely audible, said he did not believe he had been Gilligan's main source.

The MoD has always insisted Dr Kelly volunteered to appear before the committee after admitting to MoD bosses that he had spoken to Gilligan before his story was aired at the end of May.

Zoompad said...

The MoD claimed it had reprimanded Dr Kelly for speaking to a journalist but said that had been the only action taken against him.

And they claimed he had voluntarily come forward after realising he may have been Gilligan's source.

But he was only questioned by his bosses after a colleague alerted Dr Kelly's line manager.

And, yesterday, it also emerged that Dr Kelly had been warned by MoD bosses that he could be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act and could lose his pension - a year before his planned retirement.

Shortly before his death, Dr Kelly returned from an MoD safehouse where, it is claimed, he was again grilled by MoD bosses.

He provided a list of journalists he had spoken to, as requested by the Foreign Affairs Committee.

It was in the last few hours before he set off on a walk from his home in Southmoor, near Abingdon, telling his wife that he was "stretching his legs", that he sent his final emails.

In one, to Professor Alastair Hay, he said he was looking forward to returning to Baghdad where he worked as a weapons inspector.

The email said: "Many thanks for your support. Hopefully it will soon pass and I can get to Baghdad and get on with the real job."

Another associate, who received an email from Dr Kelly shortly before he left the house, said the message was "combative".

He had told the friend he was determined to overcome the scandal and again spoke enthusiastically about returning to Iraq.

And to Ms Miller, who he helped write a book on the threat of biological weapons, he sent the email mentioning "dark players", which gives damning evidence to the scandal he had been embroiled in.

Ironically, it also emerged yesterday that Dr Kelly, one of the leading authorities on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, believed Saddam posed a real threat.

However, he had told colleagues that although he believed Saddam had a biological weapons programme, Britain and America would not be able to find the weapons "bolted together".

And he is believed to have told a colleague that the Government claim that Saddam could deploy weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes was totally inaccurate, as it would take handlers the same time to even start filling shells with biological compounds.

Yesterday, the judicial inquiry announced by Tony Blair hours after being told of Dr Kelly's death was branded a delaying tactic intended to postpone the "blame game".

The tactic of announcing an inquiry to stall further discussion on embarrassing issues has been tried several times by governments desperate to sweep something under the carpet.

But it spectacularly failed to save Blair's pal Peter Mandelson, the former Northern Ireland Secretary who found himself embroiled in a particularly nasty row over passport applications from the wealthy Hinduja brothers.

Mandelson was forced to quit the Cabinet over the row - only to be cleared by the Hammond Inquiry of the accusations he acted improperly.

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Zoompad said...

Gloves off in village that wants answers on death
Published on Sunday 20 July 2003 01:00

SOUTHMOOR is one of those English country villages which fits the description tranquil like a glove. Yesterday, the gloves were off.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Downing Street spokesman Alastair Campbell were top of the list of those who the villagers wanted to cross-examine over the death of one of their own - David Kelly, known by most as Dai because of his Welsh background.

Eileen Gamble, who knew Kelly since he and his wife, Jan, first arrived in the Oxfordshire community 20 years ago, said she was furious at the pressure the quiet civil servant had been put under after coming forward to say he thought he might be the BBC’s mole.

"I think they picked on him," she said.

"I’m very angry and I think they have killed him as I think most of the village do.

"The awful grilling he went through before the Commons committee, I think that was wicked. It’s time Campbell went and I think Blair should follow him, although it won’t bring Dai back."

Before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Davis’ hands could be seen shaking and the terrible pressure that he was under was visible.

"Somebody is trying to make it look like the government were right to go to war in Iraq," Gamble added.

"They’ve got to find some excuse to make it right to have gone to war. Tony Blair has a lot to answer for. If I had him here I would grill him and make him squirm, going round doing that to ordinary people like Dai."

Zoompad said...

She said no one in the village could believe that Kelly had actually killed himself.

"He was a real family man. He was a very private person but he would often give me a lift into Oxford if I was waiting for the bus. He was a very friendly and pleasant man."

Gamble said that last Wednesday night, the day before Kelly went missing, his wife had been due to attend a village history society meeting but phoned to say she couldn’t make it as they were going to Cornwall.

However, the Kellys’ plan to get away from the fuss in London never came to pass as the following evening Jan Kelly reported her husband missing when he failed to return home.

Villagers yesterday painted the Kelly family as one that was very much part of the local community. Despite her arthritis, Jan played an active part in village life in Southmoor as a member of the historic society and Women’s Institute. She also helped produce the local newsletter.

Kelly himself, when he could drag himself away from his vegetable patch, would often be seen walking from one end of the village to the other to his favourite pub, the Hinds Head, where he was a member of the local cribbage team.

Steve Ward, the landlord, said he had been close to tears when he heard how Kelly, a customer he knew as a friend, had killed himself. "That was so unlike David. He was so sensible and so level-headed and he had a lovely wife and lovely family," he said.

"He was a great guy. He’d have a laugh and a joke with you. He’d have a giggle, but never anything over the top."

Ward was visibly angry over Kelly’s death and was among those in the village who were suspicious of Blair’s role in the affair.

"I hope Tony Blair can live with this on his conscience," he said. "If this is what the government can do to a straightforward honest member of the public, then I really don’t know. Somebody, somewhere was responsible for his death.

"But I don’t think we will ever get to the bottom of this, we won’t be allowed to.

"I hope to God this brings Tony Blair down and brings an end to this bloody government spin. Whoever has driven David to do this, I hope it stays on their consciences for the rest of their lives."

Just along the road from the Kelly household lives Leslie Cowan, a 76-year-old retired engineer who now edits the local newsletter. The KBS News, as it is known, is run by an editorial committee that includes Jan Kelly.

Under its constitution, it is not allowed to get involved in any political or religious issues. But this week’s editorial will demand the truth about the circumstances that led to Kelly’s death. It will say that truth and honesty were the basic disciplines of scientists such as Kelly.

"We believe that Dr Kelly knew what was true in regard to the Iraq situation but we don’t know what that truth was or is," the newsletter will say. "What we do know - what history teaches us - is that truth is not always well liked and those who stand up for it are frequently not well treated. Now it has brought tragedy and dismay to our village."

Yesterday, the woodland fringe where Kelly’s body was found was still cordoned off as police forensics teams went about their work.

The hedge-bounded path leading up towards Harrowdown Hill had returned to the gentle buzz of hoverflies and the sound of songbirds.

It is a popular walkway for those seeking to escape from modern pressures.

One dog walker said: "It is one of those places that feels more isolated than it is. You’re only ten miles from Oxford, but it feels like 50.

"It’s one of the those places where you can enjoy the peace of the world."

Zoompad said...

"But I don’t think we will ever get to the bottom of this, we won’t be allowed to."


The Lord will not let this be covered up any more.