Why Iceland kicked out 8 or 9 FBI agents

Former Icelandic interior minister Ogmundur Jonasson says he asked "8 or 9" FBI agents to leave the country when he found out that they'd lied about their visit; they claimed they'd come to help prevent "an imminent attack on Icelandic government databases," but it turns out they were just digging up dirt on Wikileaks. Cory

Icelandic Pirate Party statement on asylum for Snowden

Icelandic Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir has released a statement on the possibility of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being granted asylum in Iceland: "Snowden should not come to Iceland unless he will request and be granted citizenship by the Icelandic Parliament. Citizenship is the only legal protection that will shelter him from any demands of extradition to the USA." (Thanks, Jason!) Cory

Private jet to Iceland awaits Edward Snowden

An Icelandic businessman and Wikileaks supporter named Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson has offered to fly Edward Snowden to Iceland by private jet, pending Icelandic Interior Ministry approval of asylum-seeker status for the NSA whistleblower. Sigurvinsson is a director of DataCell, who process donations to Wikileaks. Cory

Icelandic Pirate Party lands three seats in Icelandic parliament

The Icelandic Pirate Party has won three seats in its national Parliament in the Pirates' best-ever showing on the world stage. They form a small part of the opposition to the "center-right" Independence Party (Americans, please note that the Independence Party would be considered socialists by present US mainstream political standards). One of the new Pirate parliamentarians is Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the Icelandic MP who volunteered for, and campaigned for Wikileaks. The Icelandic Pirate Party is only five nine months old!

The three new Icelandic lawmakers include Jón Þór Ólafsson, a business administration student at the University of Iceland; Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, a computer programmer; and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a well-known WikiLeaks volunteer and former member of parliament from 2009 to 2013.

Birgitta is also one of three activists involved in a WikiLeaks investigation currently underway in the United States. In November 2011, a district court judge found that prosecutors could compel Twitter to give up specific information on the three accounts, including IP addresses, direct messages, and other data. In January 2013, a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled (PDF) that Birgitta and the two others have no right to find out which other companies the government sought information from besides Twitter.

The trio, along with other members of Iceland’s digerati (including Smári McCarthy, who also is one of the organizers of the International Modern Media Initiative), founded the party just five months ago.

Pirate Party wins 3 seats in Icelandic parliament for its best result worldwide [Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica]

Björk - Thunderbolt (music video)

[Video Link]

Boing Boing is proud to present an exclusive debut: the video for Björk‘s “Thunderbolt,” from her new album, Biophilia.

Read the rest

Survey: many Icelanders believe in elves and ghosts

According to this report in the Iceland Review, Terry Gunnell, associate folklore professor at the University of Iceland, has surveyed Icelanders and discovered a large number who believe in elves and ghosts (and a larger number who wouldn't rule them out).
Only 13 percent of participants in the study said it is impossible that elves exist, 19 percent found it unlikely, 37 percent said elves possibly exist, 17 percent found their existence likely and eight percent definite. Five percent did not have an opinion on the existence of elves.

More admitted to believing in ghosts. Only seven percent said their existence was impossible, 16 percent unlikely, 41 percent possible, 18 percent likely and 13 percent definite. Four percent had no opinion on the existence of ghosts.

I can't locate the research (here's the researcher's website), and I'm not sure how that compares to other western societies, though I believe it to be higher than US, UK and Canadian beliefs in supernatural phenomena (apart from those incorporated into Abrahamic religions) (oh, and homeopathy).

Iceland Still Believes in Elves and Ghosts (via Reddit)