Journalist With Laptop Treated as Terrorist On London Underground
UK Inquirer | September 23 2005
|LONDON COPS seem to be picking up people at random, accusing them of being terrorists and taking their electronic goods into custody.
David Mery, who among other things is an IT reviewer and who we know pretty well, was waiting for his girlfriend with his laptop in his rucksack in Southwark tube station. The next thing he knew he was surrounded by uniformed cops, cuffed and his rucksack checked for devices.
Police found a "nice laptop" in the bag which they confiscated. He was charged with suspicious behaviour and public nuisance and hauled off to Walworth police station, to be fingerprinted and get a DNA swab done.
Mery's flat was then searched and they found all the usual stuff that journo geeks have at their place including ancient mobile phones a Jurassic period IBM Stinkpad, a BeBox tower computer, a handheld GPS receiver, a frequency counter, a radio scanner, a blue RS232C breakout box, cables, a Black Hat computer security conference leaflet, envelopes with addresses, maps of Prague and London Heathrow, and some business cards.
There were also some snaps of the ACM97 conference – for the 50 years of the Association of Computing Machinery.
Mery was told the only reason they had arrested him was because there was a firearms incident at his work last year. He was let go but they have decided to hang on to his laptop and the other stuff they confiscated from his flat.
Although Mery has a slight French accent, and is an Open Sauce advocate, he could have just been a normal geek on the street. At least he can count himself lucky that he wasn’t a South American electrician. They have a short life expectancy on the London Underground