Tag Archives: London

The frontlines of gentrification

Photo by Jake Lewis/Vice

Forced evictions in six blocks on my street this week prompted protests against perceived gentrification in Brixton. I wrote an essay on my conflicted feelings about the ‘rise’ of my adopted home, from crime capital to foodie haven.

It was published online at the New Statesman here, and full text is after the fold.

Vice.com and Brixton Blog both published some great images of the protests and the resistance from within the squats themselves: see them here and here.

And, with perfect timing, Stylist magazine this week declared Brixton one of the ‘coolest neighbourhoods in the world’. I’ll miss it.

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Marked ‘private and confidential’

Internet cafes serve up secrets

Last week I worked on a Sunday Times investigation into data breaches at internet cafes. Three reporters checked internet cafe computers around the country to see whether confidential data had been left in the computer memories.

And how. Simply by checking the desktop, documents and ‘my pictures’ folder, we stumbled across a treasure trove of private information: scanned copies of passports, visa applications, birth certificates, legal documents; a report from the editor-in-chief of a well-known property magazine detailing its legal struggles with a “confessed reformed cocaine addict”; a fax to a resident at the Dorchester referring to ‘the hostage situation in Cameroon’ and several databases of names, addresses and private details of vulnerable individuals left by care workers or civil servants.

The chain Mailbox Etc were the worst offenders, with no log-in/out process and irregular wiping of computer memories. I found documents dating back to mid 2012 on some machines. Many small independent cafes were among the best, such as the L2K Internet Gaming Centre in Manchester, which restricted users’ access to the computer memory.

The Information Commissioner announced that it would be investigating a number of bodies for a breach of confidentiality as a result of our investigation.

Full text is available on the Sunday Times website here, or after the fold. Continue reading

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