UK to empower media regulator Ofcom to regulate internet, remove 'harmful' content

The UK government has announced a plan to put media regulator Ofcom in charge of regulating the internet, with a focus on removing illegal content and minimizing “harmful” content. Read the rest

Brexit means the UK will shelve the EU Copyright Directive (for now)

Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable blacklist of supposedly copyrighted works; and to allow news sites to veto or charge for links to their articles. Read the rest

London cops announce citywide facial recognition cameras

In 2018, London's Metropolitan Police Force announced trials of a facial recognition system that could be married to the city's legendarily invasive CCTV thicket; the tests failed 98% of the time and led to arrests of people who opted out by covering their faces. Read the rest

Large, diverse coalition of civil society groups tell the US, UK and Australian governments not to ban working encryption

Facebook's decision to default to end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger prompted the governments of the UK, the USA and Australia to write to Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to delay implementation of the move, warning him that adding working encryption by default would make it harder for spies and cops to do their jobs. Read the rest

A song about the Tories, for anyone confused about this Thursday's election

Andy Moore writes, "My friend the marvelous Ms. Truelove Waits made a song containing election advice for anyone in the UK confused about who to vote for this Thursday." (I am a member of the Labour Party and a donor to the 2019 campaign). Read the rest

US pharma and biotech lobbyists' documents reveal their plan to gouge Britons in any post-Brexit trade-deal

Both Phrma (the lobby for the global pharmaceutical industry) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (biotech lobbyists) provided letters to a US-UK government meeting to discuss post-Brexit trade terms, in which both organisations called for substantially higher British prices for essential medicines after Brexit. Read the rest

Opendemocracy: the Libdems tried to censor our article about their sale of voter data, then used a forged email to intimidate us

There's not really any dispute that the UK Liberal Democrats party sold voter data for £100,000 to the Remain campaign in 2016, though the Information Commissioner's Office tried to suppress that revelation until after the coming election; the Libdems say they did nothing wrong, but when Opendemocracy's Jim Cusick approached the party for a statement ahead of an article, he got no reply. Read the rest

A quick trip through the ghastly, racist, sexist, eugenicist, authoritarian things that Boris Johnson has said in recent years

For many years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a newspaper columnist for the Telegraph, where he espoused some of the most reactionary, disqualifying garbage ever published by a mainstream UK publication, a trend that continued after he began his political career. Business Insider has rounded up a "greatest hits" reel of Bojo's most disgusting and awful rhetoric, as the old Etonian plute fights his first-ever election as a prime ministerial candidate. Read the rest

Crowdfunding another year of Theyworkforyou, the UK's astounding, essential political tool

For more than a decade, Britons have relied on Mysociety's Theyworkforyou to find out who represents them in Parliament (as well as the regional assemblies), find out what those people are doing and saying, and to get in touch with their lawmakers and their fellow constituents to hold them to account. Read the rest

The Labour manifesto: transformation of the welfare system, fair conditions for workers, universal housing, home care for elderly, fully funded NHS, fair taxes for the rich

The Labour Party's 2020 Election Manifesto is out, and it promises a comprehensive reworking of the British state to benefit the vast majority of Britons, not the tiny minority who have waxed ever-richer through decades of neoliberalism and ten years of cruel Tory austerity. Read the rest

Twitter censures UK Tory Party for changing its blue-check account name to "FactCheckUK" during the prime ministerial debates

The UK is having an election in less than a month, and last night, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn debated Tory archclown Boris Johnson for a televised debate in which Johnson had to defend his record as a lying, racist, philandering, cowardly failure of a human being, and of a leader to his party and the nation. Read the rest

Extinction Rebellion floats a drowned house down the Thames

Extinction Rebellion's Sinking House is a protest art-installation in the form of a suburban house drowning in the Thames. They launched it early last Sunday. Read the rest

Supercut of British voters insulting Boris Johnson on the campaign trail

Presenting: Boris Johnson Gets Out of London and Talks to People Who Are Not Rich Remainers: The Essential Collection. Read the rest

Why are we still treating economics as if it were an empirical science that makes reliable predictions?

Robert Skidelsky is an eccentric British economist: trained at Oxford, author of a definitive three-volume biography of Keynes, a Lord who sat with the Tories as their economics critic during the Blair regime, who now sits as an independent who is aligned with Labour's left wing. Back in September, Yale University Press published Skidelsky's latest book, Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics, a retelling of the history of economics as a discipline that seeks to uncover how economics' failings created the 2008 crisis and have only made things worse since. Read the rest

Labour pledges universal broadband and nationwide fibre, will renationalise the farcical, terrible BT Openreach

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have pledged universal, free broadband and a nationwide fibre buildout by 2030 if elected; they plan to renationalise parts of BT and tax Big Tech to pay for the fibre rollout. Read the rest

Massive spike in young people registering to vote in the UK

The announcement of a UK General Election on Dec 12 -- the third in less than five years! -- was attended by predictable rises in the numbers of people registering to vote, but as official statistics show, the end of October saw a massive spike in voter registration among under 45s, led by under-25s and 25-34 year olds. Read the rest

How the British left should seize this moment to strip finance of its political clout

In 1977, Nicholas Ridley, a Tory MP in Margaret Thatcher's government, wrote The Ridley Plan, a kind of shock doctrine manual that the Thatcher government followed in its program of mass-privatisations, attacks on trade unions, and the "stealth" privatisation of the NHS. Read the rest

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