Mission creep in the use of policing technologies threatens civil liberties
SchNEWS just tweeted this photo of protesters being blocked by a steel police cordon. This cordon has made frequent appearances at recent public order situations across the UK, including in South Wales, Leicestershire and Greater Manchester, but was originally developed for deployment during chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) incidents by Cobham plc. More details can be found in the company's 2010 marketing material, which was made available as part of the SpyFiles.
Tools and technology created and purchased for one purpose are often ultimately used for another; this kind of "mission creep" is particularly pervasive in the surveillance context, where technologies that are initially intended for use only in the most serious national security cases gradually enter regular policing.
PI would be interested in seeing any further pictures of the full cordon, especially the configuration of the radio mast if it's visible. We're wondering if there was an IMSI catcher in place...