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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Anonymous Coward

I work in Marketing at Smartwater and I've got a copy of the gun owners list.

Here it is.....

.

.

.

See Met Police - It's a stupid fucking idea isn't it!

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Anonymous Coward

it's happened before, a few times

but without as much Outrage and Media coverage. Seems most every major "gun owner list" somehow manages to "accidentally" get released. Concealed carry license holders, registered "assault rifles", find a state/county/country/city that's opposed to such a thing, and you can guarantee there's been a breach.

In places where there's no law mandating reporting of such breaches, you have no idea how often or to whom the leaks occurred.

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, third time, well, you know the rest.

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Holmes

Re: it's happened before, a few times

You are obviously from the US. This is London, England we are talking about here.

We have a different approach to firearms, and to data privacy.

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Silver badge

Re: it's happened before, a few times

"We ^used to have a different approach to firearms, and to data privacy."

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Re: it's happened before, a few times

It doesn't matter if it's London or Louisville. Any time government makes or maintains a list it's a matter of when, not if, it gets out. It doesn't matter if it's guns, gallbladders, or golf balls at some point in time some bonehead will hand it out or put it somewhere it doesn't belong and soon it will be in the wild. A wrist or two will be gently slapped but that's about all. Sure they'll step up their game for a little while but it won't be long before slipping back into mindlessness. It's really not different from clicking some magic button to make a pop-up window go away.

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Re: it's happened before, a few times

Any time government makes or maintains a list it's a matter of when, not if, it gets out.

I'd be happy to bet that any time a private company makes a list it's a matter of when, not if, it gets out.

Think about that one very carefully before offering me odds.

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Re: it's happened before, a few times

While that's very true, a private company's list is compiled for its value and the company typically at least has a vested competitive interest in keeping some information out of the hands of competitors. The government sees no comparable value in keeping the list secret.

The downside is that lists with customers credit card information has little value to a company since the banks who issue the cards have the same information but a history of your purchases that can be used in future ads does have value to the company but not the criminals who steal the card database since they're just going to use it to steal money anyway.

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Re: it's happened before, a few times

> We have a different approach to ... data privacy

Except we evidently don't.

Time to remove all police exceptions from DPA etc?

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Surprised

Surprised they did not accidentally mailshot chair leg owners

(For those without a clue about this reference, use search engine of choice to investigate Harry Stanley death)

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Re: Surprised

Down with that sort of thing. Next you'll be saying we should be careful with migrant Brazilian workers, just in case the Ms Dick (Met Police Commisioner) says that its OK to shoot them.

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no surprise

Maybe there was one of those 'I don't want you to share this information with your carefully selected partners' tickboxes on the license application ?

Coming soon

- worming tablet mailshots for dog licensees

- burglar alarm mailshots for people who've been burgled. Or who haven't been burgled.

- 'morning after pill' mailshots for women who've been raped

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Anonymous Coward

Re: no surprise

"- burglar alarm mailshots for people who've been burgled."

no joke i got a letter and free smartwater kit this week from guess who, as i was burgled last year

good to know my details were sold on as well.

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Re: no surprise

Time for El Reg to do some careful FOI requests about email and contacts between the Smart Water Marketing company and the met Police?

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Re: no surprise

Pointless, they'll choose to pick a legally correct but intentionally deceitful interpretation of the words to avoid answering.

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Re: no surprise

FOI Act section 31 sub section 2 is a thirty two headed monster from the deep. You'll never get information like this out of a police force - one of the many reasons the FOI Act isn't fit for purpose; you could boil the entire exemptions list down to "because we said so".

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Anonymous Coward

So the Met are claiming not to have given away the list, but they are carrying out the marketing on bahlf of this company? They are admitting to spending 6.6 million pounds of taxpayers hard-earned money in promoting the products of a private company?

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Holmes

When I moved into the current abode many moons ago, I got the local crime prevention chappie in to give me some advise re burglar alarms etc. When asked to recommend a company he replied they weren't allowed do that. Have things changed so much in the last 20 years that plod can now act as an agency promoting goods and services. If so, can they recommend a good curry house in the Reading area?

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Maybe not, but traditionally I believe that they are past masters on the art of assessing doughnuts

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Facepalm

"promoting the products of a private company"

Well, to you or I it might look like a private company, but if you read elReg's previous article you might have noticed this part:

"The company behind [Smartwater] was formed by an ex-police detective and his industrial chemist brother, and the firm has since forged very close links with a number of UK police forces"

So you see, from the Met's point of view, that's not a private company, it's one of their mates, and that makes it all just fine, right?

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Black Helicopters

... promoting the products of a private company?

That depends very much what kind of "private" company.

If it was your or my company - (hopefully) oohh no sorry can't do - security, data protection, abuse of a public office etc.

If, hypothetically, it was a "private" company owned / run by one of their mates / ex colleagues then (hopefully not) "Sure thing, Harry, I'll get the list copied off for you right away. Buy us a drink down the Lodge tonight, eh? Drop you the pendrive then ok?

But we all know that the Met are whiter than white, so impossible. Move along, nothing to see here.

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Anonymous Coward

Star Karahi

https://star-karahi.co.uk/

Obviously the karahi is the dish to try.

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Anonymous Coward

come on

bhoj.co.uk is much better.

or www.pappadamsreading.co.uk

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... promoting the products of a private company?

"Buy us a drink down the Lodge tonight, eh?"

Please don't bring that into it. It's completely against that organisations ideology for anything like that to occur. Let's not let things you don't understand or have any facts about get in the way of your ignorance though hey.

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Re: ... promoting the products of a private company?

At least here in the States we try an be sneaky bastards slurping up data but you mates, just "Well sure brah, here ya' go."

I'll get us all a round because, rediculous.

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They didn't access the national data base..

Well of course not,just the Mets local data base.

Anyone tried seeing how secure yds I.t security is ?

Bet they have seen some "unusual activity" in the last 24 hrs..

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Anonymous Coward

This is pretty F@%ked up!

REALLY Fu@%ing pissed off about this!!!

That is all...

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Breaking news .... the Smartwater division of the Met has volunteered to rename themselves the water division since none of them are smart !!!!

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"the Smartwater division of the Met has volunteered to rename themselves the water division"

I think they passed themselves. Not surpassed, just passed.

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Anonymous Coward

Smart Water

Stupid Police

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Smart Water

Smart Water was started by ex police officers....

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Re: Smart Water

Like Smart Cars and smartphones... not actually smart, just seem that way in comparison with the people who use said products(s).

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Unhappy

Furthermore...

I have just had a quick look at the National Rifle Association * website** and while their "news" summary box does not include anything about this data escape there is an item about a "Met Police Firearms Licencing Survey" with a link*** to a survey company's "questionnaire". Although clearly badged for the Met it is not clear to whom any completed survey form will be sent. To be fair there is no requirement to provide any personal information but there is space for names, email addresses and telephone numbers to be "volunteered". OK; that is not as bad as revealing postal addresses, but it does suggest that the Met is not really thinking about "security" at all.

We may have a serial offender on the loose...

* The UK NRA, that is.

** http://www.nra.org.uk/

*** http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/FETLONDON

PS: the survey is clearly in hot pursuit of an "inclusiveness" award.

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Re: Furthermore...

" To be fair there is no requirement to provide any personal information but there is space for names, email addresses and telephone numbers to be "volunteered". OK; that is not as bad as revealing postal addresses ... "

How about the use of a reverse telephone directory, or if they are a TalkTalk customer the info is pretty much out there already. If I can tie up a mobile phone to a FAC holder's address then some nefarious GPS tracking will tell me when the house is empty.

I expect SmartWater is a hacking target in the reasonable belief that there is a good correlation between customers and those with something worth protecting.

Gotta love marketing, commercial and police (who should know better) departments.

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FAIL

Re: Furthermore... NRA.org

NRA.org using google-analytics on their site,

So google could build a profile of everyone who takes the "Police Firearms Licencing Survey"

Interesting take on security

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Black Helicopters

Re: NRA

A bit off topic...

In Ireland the NRA is the National Roads Authority.

They don't call themselves the Irish Rifle Association either. Though those initials might involve rifles.

http://www.nrai.ie/news.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Furthermore...

So what you're saying is that the NRA in the UK is as stupid and useless as the NRA in the US (I say this as a gun rights advocate).

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Re: Furthermore...

I don't think the NRA in the US is useless. They seem to be getting almost everything that they want, regardless of the effect upon society (or consumer-units, as society is now known).

Stupid, however, I can agree with.

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Re: Furthermore...

"I expect SmartWater is a hacking target in the reasonable belief that there is a good correlation between customers and those with something worth protecting."

What you really need is the list of those who got the mailshots and didn't buy.

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Re: Furthermore...

If I can tie up a mobile phone to a FAC holder's address then some nefarious GPS tracking will tell me when the house is empty.

Crikey. Sounds a bit in depth. And is making the three rather dangerous assumptions that:

1. All FAC holders are single, therefore an FAC holder being out means the house is empty.

2. All FAC Holders store their firearms at home.

3. If the FAC Holder is out, their guns are actually at home (and they haven't taken them shooting!).

If you want their guns that badly, you'd need to stake out their house old-school to assess the number of residents and whether guns are being taken in or out, then plan the heist accordingly. GPS might be vaguely useful for checking if they're on their way home so you can avoid being disturbed in the act, but it's really just an additional tool on top of good old-fashioned thief-craft.

You'd also want to check where the nearest river is so you can dump the guns once you realise you've just stolen a single-shot .22lr target rifle which is worth £5k to the owner but utterly fucking useless for any criminal purpose.

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Re: Furthermore...

I don't think the NRA in the US is useless. They seem to be getting almost everything that they want,

Oh, they're pretty useless. They're have absolutely no idea how to campaign, lobby, win hearts or influence people. They preach to the converted because it's easy, but consistently fail to make new friends.

They just about tread water by shouting "Muh Second Amendment" periodically, but when someone comes along with a law that isn't un-Constitutional (such as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban) they have no idea where to put themselves. The most they managed there was to get a sunset clause so it needed renewing after 10 years (and Bush Jr didn't, so it lapsed out).

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not so sure this list is very useful to the average burglar. Unless they treat it as a list of houses not to rob.

1) They don't want to confronted by an armed householder.

2) The guns will most likely be double-barrel shotguns or single-shot small bore rifles, which are fairly unsuitable for criminal activity. The the criminals would presumably prefer to obtain semi-automatic handguns.

3) The guns will probably be locked in a safe anyway.

4) As soon as they pick one up, their crime goes from "burglary" to "armed robbery". Which will land them in a whole lot more trouble in the event they get caught.

You don't often hear about legally held guns being stolen - even from gun shops or shooting clubs, the location of which is widely advertised.

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"They don't want to confronted by an armed householder."

You have no idea of the restrictions that UK gun owners operate under. Ever threatening to use your gun, with no intent to unlock it let alone assemble it, may result in revocation of your FAC.

If there is an "event" the bench is likely to take the view that use of a firearm is not reasonable self defence. If there is time to unlock, assemble and load a firearm there is a good chance that you can get away. There will need to be an unusual and peculiar set of circumstance to successfully run self defence using a firearm.

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> 2) [...] The the criminals would presumably prefer to obtain semi-automatic handguns.

The criminals would presumably prefer nuclear bombs as then they could just blackmail the Government for billions? But, in the mean time, I expect they'll settle for whatever they can get.

> 3) The guns will probably be locked in a safe anyway.

Phew, good thing that criminals can't open safes then.

> You don't often hear about legally held guns being stolen - even from gun shops or shooting clubs, the location of which is widely advertised.

Members of gun clubs don't always store their guns at the club. Also, the security requirements for guns stored in unattended premises are very strict. Much easier to steal a gun from a gun owner's house.

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"If there is an "event" the bench is likely to take the view that use of a firearm is not reasonable self defence."

In theory a private citizen has exactly the same rights as CO19 with respect to use (Police have possession exemptions, but nothing else) in self defense or defense of others. So if CO19 are allowed to shoot someone they suspect to be armed then so is anyone else.

In practice you are absolutely correct.

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Coat

Smartwater?

a) The sharing of the info is just WRONG. However it happened.

b) "Smartwater" just selling UV ink marking kit? Typically available under £5 in the high street, maybe even Poundland.

c) Weapons all have serial numbers which are MUCH harder to remove than UV ink, and even if removed can probably still be identified.

d) UV marking is pretty useless for anything as it does not stop or deter theft. Most stolen stuff isn't recovered. If it's not a weapon, then an engraved email address or maybe mobile number is more useful, you know, if you leave it on the train, not if it's stolen.

Perimeter security and prevention is HUGELY more valuable. So locked locks is MUCH better than a burglar alarm etc.

So how did Smartwater get the addresses and is their product any earthly use for a weapon?

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Re: Smartwater?

"b) "Smartwater" just selling UV ink marking kit? Typically available under £5 in the high street, maybe even Poundland."

IIRC, their product is uniquely identifiable to the customer. Much more sophisticated than daubing your postcode on with "invisible ink"

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Re: Smartwater?

So how did Smartwater get the addresses and is their product any earthly use for a weapon?

"Yes, it must be my gun officer, you can see the Smartrust on the action."

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Re: Smartwater?

IIRC, their product is uniquely identifiable to the customer. Much more sophisticated than daubing your postcode on with "invisible ink"

Yup, just using a chemical signature instead of daubing your property with numbered micro-dots (e.g. systems like Alpha-Dot).

Not that you'd want to daub firearms with either SmartWater or AlphaDots. They've got a serial number, and if that's been scrubbed off, then it probably means the gun's been butchered and you don't want it back anyway - just take the insurance and replace it.

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Let them know they screwed up (and possibly broke the law) on their Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/SWTechnology

Tweet them too https://twitter.com/smartwaternews

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