Hidden in Plain Sight: Jersey
Now one of the things I have believed for a number of years is that anonymity is not only wrong but actually impossible. A point consistently proved by the ease at which police and government authorities can trace anyone using a modern electronic communications device. Yet few seem to have noticed the sinister little operation going on in the British Territory of Jersey.
Jersey: A Law Unto Itself
I was born on the Island of Jersey, a small Island that earns its income from offshore finance. As well as being a major leach on the taxable revenues of the rest of the World the Island has some other interesting quirks. It has two distinctive police forces; the paid force which is part of the UK system and the historical honorary system . Having two forces the Island is similarly the most heavily policed state anywhere in the World with a net ratio of police to public of 1:50 (HMI of Constabulary report 1992).
It further operates and has operated a zero tolerance policy towards all crimes and does not subscribe to or is bound to the UK Human Rights Act or anti-entrapment Laws ( i.e. Lord Salmons ruling with regard to Agent Provocateur). Police here have powers you wouldn’t believe or accept anywhere else in Western Europe or North America.
Not only are the Laws unique but The States of Jersey Police Force is similarly the best equipped force in the country, in fact the World, with every officer furthermore on the highest salary possible for their grade (HMI reports again). Despite being well equipped, well paid and not bound by Human Rights Laws or House of Lords Rulings the police are not free of corruption with the contents of a charity box within the station having been raided (A crime that could only have been committed by serving officers) and several senior officers having been suspended under ‘the terrorism act’ over involvement with drug smuggling.
However whilst that sounds serious it pales into insignificance when compared with what should be seen as far more alarming with respect to surveillance. It is though a story one must piece together and join the dots: so lets go back a few years.
Ending the Monopoly of Jersey Telecoms
Back in the 1990′s the Island had one mobile network operated by Jersey Telecoms (JT); the local State owned telecommunications company. However in 2005 there was a change in the law with the advent of the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority who were charged with ending JT’s monopoly and opening up the mobile networks to competition.
With the Island being English speaking, having the pound as its currency and the over whelming majority of external communication occurring between the Island and the UK one would have thought that existing UK mobile operators would have sought to extend their networks and move in. However just two new and unheard of companies ‘competed’ for and won the contracts to provide the new mobile communication networks. These two new companies raised the number of mobile operators to three but you have probable never heard of either and for good reason; they don’t exist outside of the two Channel Islands: but make no mistake they are very big companies in the communications world.
Airtel-Vodaphone and a Sure Thing in Jersey
Now whist JT are the insignificant partner in this Ménage à trois the two companies Airtel-Vodaphone and Sure are not. Now whilst Airtel-Vodaphone have a familiar ring to them Sure likely don’t. However Sure as the wiki link explains are a wholly owned subsidiary of Cable and Wireless , the world’s largest communications company. [addendum: as of late 2012 Cable and Wireless are now a wholly owned by Vodaphone!]
Cable and Wireless, who normally provide secure communication systems for Corporations and Governments were moving into the mobile provider market for the first and it seems only time. For in the five years since commencing their services in the Channel Islands they have not expanded or expressed any interest in providing mobile phone services anywhere else in the World.
As with Sure Airtel-Vodaphone has a unique pedigree being a partnership between Vodaphone the worlds largest mobile communications company and Bharti Airtel the Worlds third largest mobile communications company. Whilst Vodaphone has interests in North America and Europe, Bharti Airtel only operate in Asia and Africa. As Vodaphone are the principle providers in Europe and North America, Bharti Airtel are the largest mobile provider in Asia and Africa. So what or rather why are these two Global giants who control the mobile communications on four continents coming together to create a unique company on a tiny Island of just 45 sq miles and with a population of 90,000?
Lets just recap: The Worlds largest Communications company (Cable and Wireless) who normally specialise in providing secure communication systems for Corporations and Governments has an interest in becoming a mobile phone provider in the tiny Channel Islands but nowhere else in the world?
The Worlds largest and third largest mobile providers, Vodaphone and Bharti Airtel respectively come together to jointly provide a second network; yet neither has interests in partnerships anywhere else in the World? Now what’s going on?
Why are these three enormous telecommunications companies interested in setting up an insignificant network on a tiny little rock off the coast of France. Clearly with a population of 90,000 it’s not profits so what is it?
Jersey: An Ideal Place
One of the anomalies with an Island like Jersey is that it doesn’t get much coverage in the News; there is no permanent news agency and the only local Newspaper is owned by the former Senator Frank Walker, the Island’s first Chief Minister (a political position equivalent to Prime Minister): so a lot doesn’t get reported (the two crimes referred to in the opening paragraph being a good example of something you won’t find by searching the net).
Furthermore the tendency in America to refer to the State of New Jersey as just Jersey dilutes search results thus burying the Island under a dearth of unrelated impressions. Coupled with the Islands Offshore Banking industry the Island is visibly secretive thus “Hidden in Plain Sight“.
The lacks of any Human Rights legislation and a political system that is relatively easy to manipulate and subvert it is the ideal place to do some of the most covert and under hand testing of high tech surveillance equipment. Thus for a number of years the local police, often in conjunction with UK forces have engaged in the testing of sophisticated surveillance equipment. So good are these systems that they can be used to hack and extract text messages and contact lists from phones within a given radius (i.e. the night clubs and bars that they have been being tested in over the last 5 years).
The use of triangulation between phone masts and the three mobile phone operators has similarly led to the suspension of coastal surveillance for smuggling: relying instead on GPS positioning and that monitoring of the phone text and calls. However whilst drug use and smuggling to supply that demand is as prevalent as it is anywhere it is in the main run by petty and unsophisticated individuals. What these systems really needed was an opportunity to be used in a far more complex exercise: one that involved a complex and clever criminal: a guinea-pig and in 2007 the Dutch authorities released such a candidate: Curtis ‘Cocky’ Warren.
The Liverpool Guinea-Pig
A nasty scouse gangster Curtis ‘cocky’ Warren was a man with a head for figures and didn’t need pen and paper to keep telephone numbers or bank account details. Whilst in Jail in Holland on drug offences he was further accused of running a drugs operation but because of the way he operated this was never proved and in the Spring of 2007 he was released and escorted back to the UK.
Curtis though was an ideal guinea-pig. Denied a passport and under heavy surveillance he was ‘encouraged’ to travel to the only destination he could: Jersey. Where he was again tracked and followed. Curtis’s ‘encouragement’ involved priming former Liverpool associates to threaten him whilst simultaneously permitting a Jersey associate John Welsh to operate freely on the Island and even allegedly being supplied with cannabis by Jersey Police officers.
It was, following his arrest, reported in the local paper that he was in Jersey to take over the local drugs business but if you know the Island as well as I do then you know that just isn’t possible. The truth is he was being set up to test the effectiveness of the sophisticated surveillance equipment that Cable and Wireless, Airtel and Vodaphone had been setting up with the best equipped police force in the country.
Curtis was clearly aware that he was been watched but what he didn’t know was how good that surveillance was and that unlike the UK or European police Jersey’s force didn’t need a court order to monitor his communications. Warren thought he was too clever for these ‘village bobbies’ moving around the Island and using different call boxes to make calls. However not only was his car bugged but so were all the telephone boxes. In fact the phone boxes weren’t actually bugged they, as with all the mobile communications on the Island are routinely intercepted and can be accessed on demand.
Curtis as with most people are quite unaware of what has been going on in Jersey and similarly why he was ‘encouraged’ to go there. He was with his methods of keeping everything in his head just such a good candidate to test the effectiveness of the high tech surveillance equipment that Cable and Wireless, Airtel and Vodaphone have been creating and using on the Island for the last few years. Equipment they intend to roll out globally in the near future and thus ensure that everyone is as easy to follow, monitor and entrap as Curtis ‘cocky’ Warren.
So Big Brother is watching you and is already well prepared to roll out some of the most sophisticated and fully tested surveillance systems to ensure you and your heirs are slaves to the system for ever!
Greenman-23 (Flying the Flag For Freedom)by