the innocent have nothing to fear

PayPal has frozen Brit Mohammed Hassan’s account and banned him from using the service if he refuses to fax the company a raft of personal information.

The online payments service told him his name is “similar to or a match to” a name on the US government’s anti-terror assets freezing list.

. More from El Reg here.


one rule for us …

so … those arrested yesterday on suspicion of trying to blow up bombs have had their assets frozen. And the Bank of England has published their names on its web site. Amongst them is

PATEL, Abdul, Muneem
DOB: 17/04/1989
Address: London, E5

by my calculation, he is 17. And this confirms my thought that Section 44 of the 1999 Act (if brought into force in full) would automatically prevent reporting of any matter which might lead the public to identify a person under 18 as a potential defendant, victim or witness as soon as a criminal investigation has begun.

so this boy surely should be afforded the same protection.

a new phrase for the list

perlmonger and I have a standard set of phrases which we recite to news items – things like, oh, the mistaken shooting of people who unsportingly turned out not to be terrorists or, as last night, the spokesperson from Stoke Mandeville on the story about the infections there, to name a couple of examples.

it goes thus:

  • mistakes were made
  • lessons have been learned
  • it’s time to move on

here’s a new one, culled from Home Office minister Joan Ryan, on the outrageous increase in passport fees, taking them from £42 last October, to £66 this October (wish I could impose a price rise like that on my customers):

  • a price that must be paid

I’m damn glad I renewed my passport five years early in August of last year, so it’s a price *I* won’t be paying for a while …

it only goes to show …

… that the innocent have nothing to fear. The guilty, however, had better look out.

this article, in today’s Times explains how a serial rapist “was traced when DNA from his sister — taken in relation to a drink-driving offence — was matched to semen samples taken from the rapist’s victims between 1983 and 1986.”

while I’m very pleased that this chap has been caught, and has pleaded guilty, why are they taking DNA from a drink driver?

Tescowatch (an occasional series)

A deer hunter who took his photographs to a supermarket for processing was shocked to find himself reported to police.

Although the sport is legal, Tesco gave his details to officers who questioned him for several hours. […] Tesco has no ban on photographs of shooting and its privacy policy says: “We will never pass your personal data to anyone else”, but it contacted the police without telling Mr Williams.

story here

Belfast Child” |Glittering Prize: Simple Minds 81/92 | Simple Minds

Tescowatch (an occasional series)

the always interesting George Monbiot has a piece in the Guardian today about the Office of Fair Trading and their approach to supermarkets.

After wriggling its way through every possible excuse for inaction, last week the Office of Fair Trading decided to launch an inquiry into the behaviour of the big grocery chains. It’s about time. But alongside it we need another one: into whether the OFT, like almost everything else in this country, has itself been taken over by the superstores. The problem the competition authorities are investigating – the dominance of companies like Tesco and Wal-Mart – is the result of 25 years of regulatory failure.

more here


from the always excellent Snowmail, Jon Snow writes on the subject of Abu Hamza:

There’s no doubting the odious nature of the utterances captured on video tape, but I must also confess a very slight concern about the extend to which he and his hook may have been demonised . My editor tells me that it’s a typical wet liberal view (not for the first time).

which is pretty much how I feel. He’s been here for 25 years – if what he did, and said, was so heinous, why did nobody deal with it sooner. If he didn’t have a hook instead of a hand, and didn’t wear a headdress, would people be so frightened?

why aren’t we doing this with the Animal Liberation people, and the BNP?

I think, on balance, I’m not very happy with this verdict. But then I’m a woolly liberal too.