back to article Met 'studies Chinese bugging tactics' for 2012 games

Police are considering bugging London cabs as part of increased security for the 2012 Olympics, it's reported. Senior officers have studied methods used by the Chinese for the Beijing games, according to The Sunday Times, which included installing thousands of covert microphones in taxis. A restricted report on the tactics …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    I don't belive this for one second. I'm sure this goverment is as good, if not better than spying on people these days. We don't need no stinking help from those Johnny Foreigners, the UK Police can do just as good a job on spying on innocent people as any Coomies.

    I for one shall be mentioning the word jihad & bomb as many times as possible in a Cab (as well as the odd...Yes Operation "Blow the fucking place Up at 23:00" is go..go....go)

    Clunk..Clunk..Clunk...mmm sound like jackboots matching out from the Met.....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    "A spokesman for the Met declined to comment, saying the force does not discuss leaked documents"

    How convenient...

  3. Mad Mike
    Thumb Down

    They don't already

    With the way the UK is going and the police resembling the Stasi more and more by the day, I'm really surprised they don't already have this...........

  4. TimNevins

    Taking lessons from the Chinese on Fascism


    Completely unbelievable.

    Learning from a Communist state on how to intimidate and repress your own populace.

    Anyone who still thinks they have our best interest at heart are sorely mistaken.

    I can see the spooks collecting a tone of dirty blackmail material on all the City's movers and shakers as well as joe public.

    Every little indiscretion or drunk word will be captured for posterity and as material for future influence.

    What about corporate espionage?

    Every foreign businessman knowing the British Gvt are listening on their business plans.

    If Gordo wanted to chase out business he is doing a good job

  5. James


    You couldn't make this shit up.

  6. raving angry loony

    temporary? so was income tax.

    Because, of course, the British government wouldn't possibly want to keep all these "security measures" in place after the 2012 games. Oh no, wouldn't dream of wanting to have the kind of omnipresent police and government presence that China has managed to create.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    You mean...

    They haven't bugged them already? suprised there is no law requiring taxis to have 200 CCTV cameras that keep the video for 3 years fitted and on at all times.

  8. Daniel

    I can see how this one is going to run

    For the first six months, they have an enormous command centre, full fo intelligence agents, who sit, night and day, listening to banal conversations about West Ham's chances, immigration control, and "political correctness gawn ma-a-ad". Then some wag in Whithall notices the huge hole, that this is blowing in the budget, and decides to outsource the whole operation to a call centre in China (along with the national ID card database, which, by this stage is running on a hacked copy of SQL Server, in a small basement in Harbin).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Anyone else find this worrying?

    The Met is learning lessons on internal security from the Chinese government.

    The people who brought you Blair Peach, Jean-Charles de Menezes, and Ian Tomlison are going to get lessons from the people who brought you Tianamen Square.

    For our 'protection', naturally....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those who ignore history...

    1989 - Tiananmen Square

    2012 - Trafalgar Square

  11. Lionel Baden

    small issue

    could teh terrorists just walk cycle drive take the bus tube flying car !!!!

    sorry for popping that pathetic little bubble of yours, you stupid police force !!!

  12. David Moore

    What about all those camera's popping up in Taxi's... ?

    "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime…"

    The Alien.... cause I'm hoping they come and save us from ourselves. With important things like Britains Got Talent to watch, who's got the time to revolt?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Timings nice

    Broons up to his armpits in sh!t and we suddenly have another threat to our liberties being 'leaked'.

    Bit convenient innit?

  14. Winkypop Silver badge

    Speak into the cabs overhead light please

    "individual rights to privacy"


    In today's Britain, there's no room for "individual rights to privacy"!!

  15. sig

    Possible responses

    1. Don't take taxis

    2. Learn sign language

    3. Learn an obscure, extinct language

    4. Avoid London

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    learning from the Chinese

    Ohhhh futt.

    At least a single party system might be easier on the wallet.

  17. Steve Swann
    Black Helicopters

    @Chris W.

    Lock and Load.

    Time to get serious.

  18. Nigel


    "A spokesman for the Met declined to comment, saying the force does not discuss leaked documents"

    They didn't even try denying it then. They are probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    information overload

    They'll soon get tired of hearing inane ramblings from cabbies much like they got tired of my friend talking nonsense when they bugged his phone.

  20. Ash

    This is a wonderful idea!

    Maybe we can have a speaker system so BB can tell Gordo's make-up artist to pick up his documents.

    We need this for buses, trains, and the postal system too, hopefully with Abort and Fail options. "Are you sure you want to mail these 25m family benefit records 2nd class post? Abort, No, Fail."

  21. kissingthecarpet

    I bet the plod get the horn

    every time they think of China

  22. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Once again.... will only intimidate innocent civilians. The terrorists, if they really exist, will obviously know that these are in a cabs and errr....I dunno, probably use a different form of transport?!

    Who thinks up this stupid ideas for discussion papers like this? No Met, you discussing such pointless shite does not fill me with confidence, as I assume it is supposed to do, it simply makes you look like a laughing stock in front of all the other countries! Okay?

  23. Conrad Longmore

    Avoid London

    @sig: "Avoid London" is definitely my plan.

    Here's the problem - the Olympics has basically just painted a bloody big target sign over the UK inviting any terrorist group to come and have a go if it thinks it's hard enough. It's not a question of *if* someone will try a terrorist attack, it's a question of *how many* and *what* they will try to do.

    So, we know the bad guys are coming. It would be irresponsible for the security services not to step up measures for the duration of the games. And yes, that's going to be a PITA for people living in London and the South-East. Unfortunately, it is something people are going to have to live with.. temporarily.. if they want to be safe.

    What is completely irresponsible is the bid for the Olympics in the first place. Given the UK's unpopular status worldwide, it was basically just asking for trouble. Remember what happened the day after London won the bid? 7/7 is what happened!

    No doubt certain people have their own agendas here too. Hopefully by 2012, Gordon Brown will be a distant memory. Not sure that I necessary trust the alternatives though.

  24. andy gibson

    Do terrorists take taxis?

    If they do, you can guarantee they won't now.

  25. Anonymous John

    Let's hope

    that it doesn't occur to terrorists to say nothing about terrorism during taxi rides.

  26. Trevor Newbury

    Yeah it'll start in 2012

    It will start in 2012, bugging taxis, then we'll get a news story along the lines of....

    2 whole terrorists were captured during the olympic games this year by the bugging of the capitals Taxis, used by over a billion people during this period.

    The scheme originally caused outcry amoung readers of popular IT news website "The Register" but has now been realised as a boon to the security services.

    UK police commissioner said:

    "We can't believe we managed to catch that many, how many could we capture if we bugged the UK's Taxis"

    PM said

    "With the power that bugging Taxis gave us against terrorists, how can we not press home this advantage and bug Busses, Trains and Planes too. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"

    The security services plan to run opt-out trials of the bugging in certain areas, but you can only be excluded if you have a packet of 'Phorms chocolate chip cookies' on you at all times, even if you may want a new packet, or binned the old one.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    Maybe taxis are the only place they *can't* bug effectively; possibly due to the inane chatter from the cabbies.

    The plan is to make sure that terrorist's plans are only spoken outside the cabs... :)

    /Mine's the tinfoil one.

  28. Ian Ferguson

    Meh ha ha ha

    Remotely disable vehicles? Great, I expect that they'll be politely asking all terrorists bound for London in 2012 to sign up their vehicles to have bugs fitted.

  29. Schultz


    They should create proper surveillance infrastructure not just in taxies, but in every public and sort-of almost public place! With cheap labor in China, it can't be to hard to have some million political officers tracking the suspect elements of society. With the Olympics, there is the One True Chance to do it right -- and a stable peaceful society is guaranteed for the next millenia.

  30. TeeCee Gold badge

    Makes a change.

    The Met not discussing leaked documents. They same to have been in the habit of making swivel-eyed rants to the press about leaked documents recently, not to mention kicking in a few doors in Parliament.

    Is this some attempt at improving their image?

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @trevor newbury

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"

    but i do have stuff to hide .... lots of it !!!!!!!

    ... could you hand me that shovel and detonator please

    mines the one with the blueprints to parliment

  32. steogede

    Give it a few years

    And the Chinese Government will be coming to us for advice.

  33. Dan


    ...and not because I'm a terrorist... just because.

  34. Eddy Ito
    Thumb Up

    New olympic slogan!

    amanfromMars in every cab!

  35. Simon
    Thumb Down

    Lazy chatterbox terrorists beware!

    Terrorists: If you can't handle the thought of taking anything but a cab to your target, and simply cannot keep your mouth shut, you may be in trouble.

    As for the rest of you: Could you lean a little closer to the overhead light and repeat the location of that "leather & lace" party again, please?

  36. Trevor Newbury

    @Eddy Ito

    Surely, as he is the only man from Mars he qualifies to take part in the Olympics. Being in the top 5% of his Country or whatever the stupid rule is.

  37. kain preacher

    @Conrad Longmore

    Unfortunately, it is something people are going to have to live with.. temporarily.. if they want to be safe.

    Is that the type of country you want to live

  38. Nebulo
    Thumb Down


    There were Chinese police over here a year or so ago, studying how London did CCTV, learning from the masters. We police states gotta stick together, you know.

  39. David Mullen

    Got the wrong target

    Surely the chinese were bugging the cabbie not the passenger.

    ere, i had that OBL in the back of my cab sold him to the yanks when the cheque clears the Misses and I are retiring.

  40. Chris C


    @Mad Mike: "...I'm really surprised they don't already have this."

    Who says they don't? Isn't it possible (if not plausible) that they do already have this, and this "leak" is their way to gauge the public's reaction?

    @Conrad Longmore: "So, we know the bad guys are coming. It would be irresponsible for the security services not to step up measures for the duration of the games. And yes, that's going to be a PITA for people living in London and the South-East. Unfortunately, it is something people are going to have to live with.. temporarily.. if they want to be safe."

    I'm sorry, but how do you KNOW "the bad guys are coming"? Oh, you mean you ASSUME they are because your fear tells you so? In reality, you can only go so far as to say it's possible, or perhaps likely, that "the bad guys are coming". You cannot say that you know because you don't. Regardless, it's exactly the type of attitude you expressed which erodes our civil liberties in the name of security. Basically, it boils down to three things: 1) citizens that don't give a damn and wouldn't try to stop an attack even if they knew about it; 2) citizens that don't care about living in a fascist society or dictatorship as long as they have a sense of security (whether such security is real or only perceived), and will allow the government to do literally anything in order to achieve that sense of security; and 3) a government that seeks only power and control, a government that does not want to govern its citizens, but wants to rule them.

    Also, no offense, but you're a complete idiot if you think such measures will only be "temporary". They will be temporary in the same way that vague laws are never used in ways the authors didn't intend (and/or in ways the authors promised they wouldn't be used).

  41. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Ahh the true words of a totalitarian...

    The true words of a totalitarian... these guys ALWAYS bring up:

    1) "A fine line", or "balance" or in this case "fine balance" between surveillance and privacy. This of course is false, there's no intention for a "line" or "balance", this is a euphemism for "full-on surveillance", period.

    2) Claim an "open debate". False again, people have already decided they want privacy every time there's any "open debate". This is a euphemism for pushing through any laws, rules, and procedures needed to get massive surveillance in place, hopefully while nobody is looking to object to it.

    I of course agree with everyone's comments, if this is put in "for" the olympics, I'm sure it won't be taken back out.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    There are too many g*d*mn laws already!

    The more laws you make, the more you can break... I now predict a wave of costly fines against the general taxi-taking public for acts of public drunkeness, vomiting, swearing, littering, molestation etc. mostly taking place in the back of cabs.... f*k that five quid *cover* charge....

    Quote taken recently from a hard-working London cabbie when presented with the above plan:

    "You b*ds can run but you can't hide...."

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oooo they try to sneak these things in

    come up with some wishy washy correlation so double speak, but it has become quite obvious.

    Sound bugging is illegal in the UK, and is for a reason of freedom. Olympics shimpics, let's not hold them, then the entire issue is moot.

    And they used anti terror laws against Iceland, that would make Iceland a terrorist nation, this is the problem they use laws completely out of context.

    And let's face it laws like that should not exist, who the hell do they think they are protecting? I don't want their protection, if we could ship the politicians, police and war mongers off the Isle it would probably be a lot safer for everyone else, not caught as collateral fire in their petty little wars.

  44. Conrad Longmore

    Now now

    Now now.. I've ruffled some feathers :)

    Look, the Olympics is in danger of becoming Terrorfest 2012. The UK has so many enemies that it is inevitable that someone will have a go. Given that, it is natural that the security services will increase surveillance.. "temporarily". Will it be temporary? Who knows! Are there those who would like to make them permanent? Of course!

    Now I really don't want to be spied on or tracked any more than I currently am. I can't think of anyone who does. But the problem is not so much the increased security needed to prevent terrorist attacks, it's the fact that the UK chose to bid for the damned Olympics in the first place.

    Conspiracy theorists may like to theorise that the Olympic bid was made fully in the knowledge that civil liberties would need to be curtailed. Personally I don't think that this government is competent enough to arrange a conspiracy of that nature.

    2012 is a little way off. There will be a General Election before that. Use your vote wisely.

  45. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Spooky Attention for Licensed to Thrill Seekers

    Does anyone think there is a Open Case File on Registered IDEntities with some Poor Sap sat at an Intelligence Desk and Tasked to Provide an Official and Officious Commentary on Progressively More Challenging Proceedings ...... ProSeedings?

    They would be interesting Fantasy Reports...... Dodgy Remote Views.

  46. Tony Paulazzo

    A title is required and loved.

    >use of technology to support security requirements and individual rights to privacy<

    The sound of insane laughter, the lunatics have finally taken over, one hand clapping... You are not an individual, you are a NI number, given you at 16, taken away at death.

    Eat the rich, it's the only way to be sure.

  47. Ru
    Thumb Down

    Re: "Olympics is in danger of becoming Terrorfest 2012"

    Is it? Is it really?

    Who are these barbarian hordes poised to destroy civilisation as we know it? They don't exist. I guess 'handful of dangerous, incompetent basket cases more a threat to themselves than to others, business as usual' isn't attention grabbing, vote-winning, budget-expanding, paper-selling stuff though.

    Increased surveillance of this type wouldn't help even if we were up to our ears in al quaeda sleeper cells. Colossal data mining exercises to try and find one guy muttering about high test peroxide in a billion call logs are a massive longshot, at best. At worst, it is an enormous diversion of manpower and resources from the sort of actual intelligence work that has a chance of uncovering plots before they can bear fruit. All I can see you'd gain from a warehouse full of audio recordings is a forensic trail so you can find out who dunnit after the fact, much like the customary sequence of CCTV recordings leading up to a murder or bombing or whatever, at which point it is a bit late, given the recent trend in *suicide* bombing.

    Audit and oppression will not keep me safe. Heightened security that wasn't transparently stupid is something I might support... this ain't it.

  48. 4irw4y

    Big Father Is Watching You: Any Difference?

    Should business reconsider its thoughts of GB as of a convinient and safe place for operations?

    I'd ask those who live in God - is there any difference between the feeling that you are filmed @ CCTV and feeling that you are under the survey of the all-seeing God's eye?

    If there's none, what's the buzz then? And if there is, would one share the feelings?

    Though, lemme guess, there's only an expectation of an immediate punishment and the absense of it in God's case. lol

    ЗЫ: BomBrainers are also an objective substance which you can't deny. Blows look spectacular on monitor, you know (speed of burning of TNT is up to 7.5 km/sec)... but this blowjob is the only thing noticeable through these shitty low-res fish-eyes. Good for the TerrorNews only.

    2012. Hakenkreuz as an Olympic logo. Suffer Well.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes! CCTV in cabs!

    Bugging? Too subtle. Install CCTV in cabs and hook them up to spy central, wherever that is these day in London.

    It means terrorists will have to rent cars, which benefits rental turnover and, of course, generates Congestion Tax revenue. And whatever they blow up will yield employment for many, from rebuilding sites to sold newspapers.

    FFS, what's going on? They didn't need all this crap to keep us safe from the IRA, and they did a good job then (OK; they missed the occasional one, but it wasn't exactly low volume what they had to deal with).

    Competence? Outsourced, I guess..

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