UK "anti-radicalisation" law can take kids from thoughtcriming parents in secret trials

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The Conservative Party's "anti-radicalisation" laws call on teachers and other public servants to report brown children who espouse "radical" ideologies -- and now the other shoe has dropped, with the Family Division of the Judiciary promising to steal those children from their parents. Read the rest

ORG celebrates its tenth birthday: a decade of UK digital rights!

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It's been ten years since Danny O'Brien, Suw Charman and I announced the formation of the UK Open Rights Group at the 2005 Open Tech conference and asked the assembled people to pledge to pay £5/month to help fund a UK-based digital rights group that would fight for their rights online -- and everywhere. Read the rest

UK MPs learn that GCHQ can spy on them, too, so now we may get a debate on surveillance

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In 1966, UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson told MPs that the UK spy agencies weren't allowed to tap their phones and that if that changed, he'd tell them about it first. In 1997, Prime Minister Tony Blair asserted that this applied to electronic communications. This Monday, UK Home Secretary Theresa May asserted that the "Wilson Doctrine" still applied to MPs. Then, on Wednesday, the investigatory powers tribunal ruled that this was all rubbish. Read the rest

Balloon-twisted lungs and guts

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UK artist Kerry Hughes made her Pneumatic Anatomy series of detailed anatomical replicas out of twisted balloons. I love the bronchioles in the lungs especially. (Photos by Aaron Tilley) (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Police end round-the-clock Assange detail at London's Ecuadorian embassy

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Three years and £12 million later, London's Metropolitan police has ended its 24/7 surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy, through which officers kept vigil for the day that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would leave the building. Read the rest

Funny because it's true: "Tories to build thousands of affordable second homes"

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The UK humour site Daily Mash nails the UK's transformation into a Torified, bank-centric place where the need for shelter is a vulnerability to exploit in order to enrich yourself at the expense of the people around you with a brilliant short piece: "Tories to build thousands of affordable second homes." Read the rest

Jimmy Wales calls UK's proposed crypto ban "moronic"

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The Wikipedia co-founder is also the UK government's special Internet advisor. In the previous election cycle, Tory PM David Cameron promised to ban strong crypto if re-elected, and when the US surveillance establishment dropped its demands for a ban on crypto, Cameron doubled down on the proposition. Read the rest

Shaken: cocktail kits by mail

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Shaken is a UK startup that sells subscriptions to "the best cocktails you've ever made." Every month, they send you a handsome box with several bottles of rare and delicious booze, small-batch bitters, and a cocktail recipe explaining the history, chemistry and practice of some classic or novel cocktail. Read the rest

UK top government official: human rights no longer a "top priority"

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Sir Simon McDonald, Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office -- the country's most senior Foreign Office official -- told MPs that his department had sidelined human rights work in favour of global trade agreements (the same agreements that allow sovereign wealth funds from the world's most brutal, oppressive states to buy huge swathes of the UK's public institutions at knock-down prices in the Tories' great sell-off of public assets). Read the rest

Brass cuffs decorated with vintage maps, anatomy, science and math

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Kate in Dorchester, England makes gorgeous brass wrist-cuffs decorated with vintage literary, cartographic and scientific imagery: there's Poe's Raven; the periodic table; anatomical dentistry drawings; Newton's laws of motion; the human spine; a map of the Thames and the Tower of London; a tape-measure; the human foot's bones; and headlines from Jack the Ripper's killings and much, much more. Read the rest

Fun Palaces: locally made art, science and play, for participants, not audiences

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The idea of Fun Palaces has been incubating among radical librarians for more than half a century, and now it's bursting open as a full-fledged movement. Every library in the Lambeth Borough of London will be a Fun Palace this Saturday, with a wide range of participatory activities ranging from zine and science workshops to participatory theater to kids' games from the amazing Code Club. Read the rest

Tube-map labelled with one-bedroom flat rental rates

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Since the crisis, the number of people renting in the UK has sharply increased, but the number of landlords has decreased, as a smaller and smaller number of richer and richer people control the destiny of more and more Britons. Read the rest

Jamaica wants slavery reparations from the UK

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Members of Jamaica's Parliament are threatening to turn their backs on David Cameron during an official visit unless he agrees to discuss reparations for slavery during the meeting. Read the rest

Dismaland will be dismantled, used for refugee shelters in Calais

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Banksy's brilliant piss-take on theme-parks has run its course and will now be dismantled, shipped to Calais and turned into temporary shelters for the refugees massed there. Read the rest

KARMA POLICE: GCHQ's plan to track every Web user in the world

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The KARMA POLICE program is detailed in newly released Snowden docs published on The Intercept; it began as a project to identify every listener to every Internet radio station (to find people listening to jihadi radio) and grew into an ambitious plan to identify every Web user and catalog their activities from porn habits to Skype contacts. Read the rest

UK film industry: our cinemas patrolled by Silence of the Lambs nightvision LARPers

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For more than a decade, the UK movie industry makes a big deal out of announcing that audiences at the latest blockbuster movies will be surveilled by bored teenagers who get to LARP Buffalo Bill with greasy night-vision goggles that they'll use to catch camming pirates. Read the rest

Pig-fucking: the copyright angle

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Sarah Jeong led an absolutely brilliant Twitter seminar this morning on the subject of DCFAPITM and how it relates to copyright (if at all). Read the rest

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