Iceland's Pirate Party to receive millions in election funding

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Iceland's elections are publicly funded, with funds awarded based on polls of the electorate; the Pirates have consistently polled higher than any other party, and the incumbent coalition (whose parties are polling in the single digits) has been scrambling to avoid a general election after the Panama Papers revealed that he had secret offshore accounts that benefited from his bailout of Iceland's planet-destroying banks. Read the rest

Switzerland of Bits: crowdfunding a haven for freedom of information & free expression

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Since the International Modern Media Institute was founded in 2011 it has been an independent watchdog and advocacy group working to promote and protect freedom of expression and freedom of information.

The Icelandic Parliament resolved unanimously to make Iceland a Safe Haven for freedom of expression and freedom of information. These intended legal protections promote whistleblowing, journalism and online rights. It is local in scope but global in impact.

Over the last week the world has witnessed the revelations of the Panama Papers making public the offshore dealings of politicians and business leaders. Offshore tax havens serve two functions; to avoid tax and to hide ownership. Already, in Iceland, the Prime Minister has been forced to resign as a consequence of these reports which unveiled his offshore dealings.

The Panama Papers were the result of a whistleblower coming forth with information and a huge team of investigative journalists working to verify data and coordinating its reporting. The safe haven initiative aims to encourage and promote governmental transparency, holding power to account, empowering citizens and thereby democracy.

IMMI conducts legal research, advocates for legislative reform and is an active participant in working groups established to implement a legislative framework in Iceland where journalism and online rights are protected and supported. This includes drafting and implementing an act on whistleblower protection, fighting to remove data retention from Icelandic law, drafting and promoting legislation on the limited liability of intermediaries and a host of other measures.

In order to protect democracy, real and meaningful democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of information must to be protected, ensuring access to information and freedom of the media. Read the rest

Fearing the Pirate Party, Iceland's government scrambles to avoid elections

People demonstrate against Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson in Reykjavik, Iceland April 5, 2016. REUTERS

With Iceland's Prime Minister stepping down over revelations of his financial secrets, thanks to the Panama Papers, many assumed that elections couldn't be far behind -- and if the recent polls could be relied upon, the Icelandic Pirate Party would form the next government.

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Iceland prime minister resigns over Panama Papers revelations

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Follow the exposure of his interest in an offshore business – and several days of insisting that he would not resign – the prime minister of Iceland has resigned.

Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has resigned, the deputy chair of Iceland's Progressive Party said Tuesday. Gunnlaugsson had been under intense pressure to step down since leaked documents hacked from a Panamanian law firm revealed his links to an offshore company, triggering mass protests in the capital.

Previously. Read the rest

Iceland's Prime Minister asks to dissolve Parliament

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Depending on whose estimate you believe, as much as 10% of the population of Iceland demonstrated outside Parliament yesterday, and everyone agrees that they were the largest demonstrations in Icelandic history (and possibly the largest demonstrations, proportionally of any country in history). Read the rest

Iceland's Prime Minister says he won't resign, mass demonstrations gain momentum

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After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview). Read the rest

If Iceland held its elections today, the Pirate Party would win

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Pirate Party MP Birgitta Jonsdottir has long sat in the Icelandic parliament, later joined by two more MPs, being part of the reform movement that has repudiated the Icelandic establishment, which helped drive the planet to the brink of ruin through corrupt banking practices. Read the rest

Iceland's fastest-growing "religion" courts atheists by promising to rebate religious tax

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In Iceland, tax-authorities collect "parish fees" from all residents and remit them to churches based on the stated religious affinities of those residents. If you're an atheist, your fees are collected and go into a general fund shared by all churches. Read the rest

Power-pylons that look like looming giants

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Choi + Shine, an architecture firm, has proposed modifying Iceland's existing power-transmission pylons to turn them into looming giants whose arms are poised to reflect their positions -- pylons ascending a hill will be posed as though they were scaling its slopes. Read the rest

Icelanders school their PM on solidarity with Syrian refugees

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The Prime Minister of Iceland offered to take in 50 Syrian refugees; 10,000 of his countrymen responded to this announcement by offering their homes to house Syrians fleeing horrific violence and danger. Read the rest

Iceland names street after Darth Vader. It's called "Black-head."

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The Reykjavík City Council has approved a citizen-led effort to rename a street Svarthöfði, translated as Blackhead, which is the Icelandic name for Darth Vader. Read the rest

Beautiful video of Iceland

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Garðar Ólafsson has been "around Iceland the last few months" shooting video. The results are spectacular, even by the high standards of Iceland Vimeo. Bonus points are awarded for not using Sigur Rós as the soundtrack. Read the rest

Icelandic fog waterfall

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“Captured this whilst hiking the cliffs in Látrabjarg [Iceland]. This came across as an anomaly where it seems that the fog was flowing down like a waterfall.” Reginald Schmidt via r/videos.

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WATCH: Gorgeous drone footage of Iceland

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Cinematographer Dima Balakirev created this striking montage of Iceland, including waterfalls, geothermal features, and lava formations. Crank it up to 2160p! Read the rest

Icelandic Pirates soar: citizenship for Snowden?

The Icelandic Pirate Party is out-polling all the country's other parties, with 24% of the population backing them. Read the rest

Want to make games and pet lambs on a remote farm in Iceland?

Do you need some time on your own? Do you need some time all alone? If you want to make games but feel the chorus to "November Rain" burning in your heart, you're not the only one. Several of your kindred spirits will soon be gathering on a remote farm in northern Iceland for the Isolation Game Jam 2015, where you can create games and "enjoy the silence and near complete lack of human civilization."

This is the second year for the event, which is organized by Jóhannes Gunnar Þorsteinsson, founder of the Icelandic Game Assembly. "The best word to describe the area is bleak, and I do not mean that in a bad way," Þorsteinsson told Kill Screen. Close your eyes, and let the event description take you on a journey:

Imagine sitting outside, with barely any sign of human civilization around you. The only thing you can see is the barren highlands ahead and the small pack of game developers around you who got the same crazy idea as you. To travel to an old farm far inside a dead end valley in North West Iceland to make games.

GO ON.

Did I mention you will be able to pet lambs?

Well, that settles it. If you can afford a plane ticket to Reykjavík, reserve your space now. The event will run from May 28 to June 1 and charge 5,500 Icelandic kronur (about $40 for Americans) for lodging, in addition to the cost of food and travel. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

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