How the "global super-rich" have honeycombed London's posh neighbourhoods with sub-basements, sub-sub-basements, and sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-basements

London -- ground zero for financial shenanigans, money-laundering, and the conversion of housing from a human necessity to an asset-class -- has spent decades converting itself to an inert, open-air vault full of status-displaying safe-deposit boxes owned by offshore criminals and oligarchs who "improve" their empty properties with absurd fripperies to make them more flippable come the day that their local warlord purges them and they need the ready cash. Read the rest

London cops are using an unregulated, 98% inaccurate facial recognition tech

The London Metropolitan Police use a facial recognition system whose alerts have a 98% false positive rate; people falsely identified by the system are stopped, questioned and treated with suspicion. Read the rest

UK government will deputise newsagents to collect and retain identity documents from the nation's pornography viewers

The UK public has spent years being fed a diet of ridiculous, empty promises about the government's capacity to find and block every adult site on the internet, then securely identify who is an adult, and only allow adults to look at adult content. Read the rest

75% of Theresa May's £50m gift to grammar schools will go to Tory districts

The UK Conservative Party has "made Britain great again" by restoring systems that use tax money to subsidise the wealthy; for example, they have revived the "grammar school" system of publicly funded schools that get to turn away students based on their test scores. Since you can improve your test scores by paying expensive tutors, grammar schools are primarily a way of letting wealthy people enjoy a parallel, publicly funded educational system. Read the rest

Leaked Grenfell Towers papers: Tory politicians rejected fireproof cladding proposal for a 5.7% savings

The Grenfell Towers fire was one of the most deadly fires in modern British history, killing at least 72 people, with no way to know how many more may have died. Read the rest

The UK's Data Protection Bill doesn't protect immigrants; help the Open Rights Group raise £30,000 for a court challenge

The UK's Data Protection Bill is far-reaching and long overdue, extending vital privacy protection to Britons -- unless they're immigrants. Read the rest

UK local elections: Conservative party forgets to alter placeholder text before distributing campaign literature

Prospective voters in Redford, part of the East London district of Ilford, found a flyer from the local Conservative Party in their mailboxes, in which the boilerplate text, which opens with "what we're doing/have done for ward/area name" had not been replaced with local talking points. Read the rest

Bipartisan amendment forces UK government to impose transparency on its offshore tax havens

One cute side-effect of Brexit is that it got the UK out of pending EU rules limiting financial secrecy as part of a crackdown on money laundering by looting dictators, one percenters, and criminals; the Tories had put a process in train to come up with a made-in-Britain version, which was always going to be weaksauce thanks to the outsize influence of the City of London and its finance bosses on UK politics, but even that was killed by Theresa May's disastrous snap elections last year. Read the rest

Scottish Tories defeat anti-money-laundering measure aimed at shutting down the Russian oligarch-Scotland pipeline

The Scottish Limited Partnership is a notorious financial secrecy vehicle that's been used to launder at least $80 billion, mostly from oligarchs and organised crime figures from the former USSR, in only four years. Read the rest

It's back! British Conservative politicians' habitual "go ahead, kick me in the balls, I can take it" pose

Since George Osborne set the trend in 2015, UK Tory politicians have been posing for photos in a legs-too-wide stance laughably called the "power pose." Read the rest

McDonald's workers across the UK are striking

It's May Day, and McDonald's workers in Manchester, Watford, Crayford and Cambridge have walked out, demanding an end to zero-hours contracts and a £10/hour living wage. Read the rest

Parliament to Zuck: show up or else

When the Cambridge Analytica scandal first broke -- and along with it, the news that the company had boasted of using deceptive and illegal tactics to sell Brexit -- Parliament asked Mark Zuckerberg to show up and account for himself. He told them to go fuck themselves. Read the rest

The UK's surveillance regulator changed names and dropped its domain, which is now squatted by a premature ejaculation scammer

The Interception of Communications Commissioner was a watchdog created by the UK government to produce annual reports on the government's use of its surveillance powers; in September 2017 that function was folded into the Investigatory Powers Commissioner Office (IPCO) as part of the Snoopers Charter, and the UK government let the iocco-uk.info domain lapse. Read the rest

The UK is finally cracking down on its Russian money-laundry, but hasn't hired people to do the job

Scottish Limited Partnerships are a preferred money-laundering tool of the world's criminals, looters and oligarchs, especially favored by criminals from the former USSR, who have pumped an estimated $80B through them in the past four years alone. Read the rest

The US gave its client states hundreds of millions for anti-terrorism, then crooked UK military contractors ripped it all off

Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced a criminal investigation into the misuse of $458,000,000 that the US government gave to Iraq and Afghanistan to build out mass-scale domestic surveillance apparatus and other "anti-terrorism" capabilities. Read the rest

The BBC finally admits that MI5 secretly vetted its employees, an open secret for generations

My wife -- whose father is a TV director who'd worked for the BBC -- learned as a little girl that the British spy agency MI5 secretly vetted people who applied for work at the BBC and denoted possible subversives by putting a doodle of a Christmas tree on their personnel files; people who were thus blacklisted were discriminated against within the Beeb. Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica data-raid: the number is "much greater than 87 million"

Brittany Kaiser is an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee who gave written testimony and answered questions at the UK Parliament this week in which she revealed that the Facebook apps that Cambridge Analytica used to covertly gain access to millions of users' data went far beyond the ones disclosed to date, and that the number of total users implicated is "much greater than 87 million." Read the rest

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