Tuesday 22 April 2008

International motor spy

THE UK Home Secretary secretively signed a "special certificate" last year that gives foreign security agencies real-time access to traffic camera images and related data monitoring British motorists on highways throughout the UK.

Routine journeys carried out by millions of British motorists can be monitored by authorities in the United States and other enforcement agencies across the world under anti-terrorism rules introduced discreetly by Jacqui Smith.

On July 17th 2007 Miss Smith made a staement to Parliment detailing the exemptions for police from the 1998 Data Protection Act. She announced that British anti-terrorism police could access "real time" images from cameras used in the running of London's congestion charge.

However she did not mention other changes that would permit material to be sent outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to the authorities in the US and elsewhere.

A special certificate signed by the home secretary less than two weeks previously

A spokesman for Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, confirmed that the certificate had been worded so that the images of private cars, as well as registration numbers, could be sent outside to countries such as the USA.

Last night, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, said: "This confirms that this Government is happy to hand over potentially huge amounts of information on British citizens under the catch-all pretext of 'national security'."
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Friday 11 April 2008

Flying Man

Yves Rossy, recently achieved a landmark which went largely unheralded. Rossy’s feats might well go down among the most daring as well as momentous in aviation history. Check out these amazing photos.

The former military pilot, 45, who flies Airbuses for Swissair, spent five years developing his wings for his flying man project but went one better with his ‘jet-man’ project by adding two kerosene-powered jet engines to his original wing design to become the first man to fly like a bird: horizontally.

"It would be a great device for James Bond so he can go behind enemy lines," he said. He also holds a record for dangling from the wing of a biplane, and lists his hobbies as "bare-foot water-skiing, wakeboard, hydro-speed, delta flying and paragliding, snowboarding and aerobatic flying". In 2002 Yves contacted the worlds leading model jet engine Company, Jet-Cat, based in Germany.

The company, which specialises in motorising miniature planes, quickly showed its interest to help Yves install engines onto his wings. Many tests were made with different engines, different air intakes, and they even had to test at altitudes reaching 4000 m as these particular engines had never been tested before at such an altitude.

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Wednesday 2 April 2008

Foggy landing?

On Monday an Air New Zealand flight from Fiji to Auckland had to be fumigated.
MAF (ministry of agriculture food and fisheries) require that any aircraft without a bio-security certificate fumigate the plane every time it arrives in New Zealand. The bio-security certificate had expired by a few hours .

The fumigation left people with a sore throats and caused a baby to gag and vomit.

A construction engineer on board the plane said the MAF officers took about five minutes to fumigate the plane before leaving the passengers to sit in "a thick fog" as they sealed the door shut behind them.

"It was pretty concerning to see that and there were other passengers having to hold their noses and cover their mouths," he said. "It was something akin to a sauna, not the heat but the look of the place and the longer it went on the foggier it became, it was ridiculous.

Air New Zealand spokeswoman Di Paton said biosecurity certificates on its aircraft did expire "very occasionally". But she said the airline did not consider it had made a mistake in terms of not having its biosecurity clearances before passengers boarded, saying "these kind of things happen".
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Sorry, been a bit busy recently. Looking at the last post I realised it has been over a month since my last post. I'll try and make it once a week in the future
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