I seem to feature as some sort of poster boy in the Guardian's new guide to making Data Protection Act requests for your 'domestic extremism' files from the cops.
The article also reveals that John Catt, the artist who (along with his daughter) sketches on demos, has been given leave to bring a "lawsuit" (I understand it's an application for a judicial review) on the legality of his data being gathered and retained on the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). John and Linda Catt and myself are to date the Guardian's only case studies of people who've actually got off their arses and used the Data Protection Act to get their police files.
If succesful, the lawsuit could lead to the NPOIU held on a lot of us being deleted. This would include data on myself that I recently got from an NPOIU database via a Data Protection Act disclosure, about which more later. Suffice to say at this point the NPOIU placed me on a demo in 2007 that I didn't go to (in Crawley, of all places!) and have me down as a "domestic extremist" because I was observed by one of their spotters cycling quite close to the ExCel Centre on the day of the G20 Summit being held there in April 2009. Ooooh, scary!
Bizarrely, I've blagged an invite to a "Have your Say" event on the future of the NPOIU being hosted by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary at a posh hotel in Covent Garden tomorrow. A report here will follow.
Besides Mr Catt, I know of one other who's got their NPOIU data through Data Protection Act. And guess what - their data, like mine and Mr Catt's, includes data which is inaccurate and wrong,