18 April 2017 — Drone Wars UK
Soon after it had been re-constituted in the new parliament, the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) issued a statement in October 2015 saying that an investigation into the drone strikes in which British nationals were killed was an “immediate priority”.
Fifteen months later, in December 2016, the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) put a short note on its website saying that it had handed over its report, UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria, to the Prime Minister after completing its inquiry and expectated a redacted version would be published in the New Year. Four months later we are still waiting.
15 April 2017 — SumOfUs
Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the British government last year introduced the Investigatory Powers Act (aka the Snoopers Charter) — granting itself the most far-reaching surveillance powers of any modern democratic government.
With the ability to indiscriminately record and monitor the internet use of the entire population, the bill also requires private Internet Service Providers to store our data for up to a year.
Join me live at 11am on Thursday April 27th, where I will be joined by Senior Developer Omar Sahyoun for a webinar on what we can do to protect ourselves from these measures, and keep our data safe and secure online.
See you there!
What is the Investigatory Powers Bill and what does it mean for my privacy?, The Telegraph, 29 November 2016
How can I protect myself from government snoopers?, The Guardian, 24 November 2016
9 April 2017 — medConfidential
medConfidential Bulletin, 9th April 2017
Where does your data go? And do you know? These are questions to which we’ve been getting you answers for three years or so, but now you have an opportunity to ask these questions too… Local elections are coming up, and political parties want your vote…
What just happened?
In a 280-page PDF from NHS Digital is one item worth noting; “Programme 12: General Practice Data for Secondary Uses” (item C4 on page 56) with a deadline of this Christmas is – as far as medConfidential is aware – the first public sighting of… the return of care.data
6 April 2017 — Institute of Race Relations
Institute of Race Relations weekly digest – Against Racism, for Social Justice
It was not just Britain First and the English Defence League that tried to make political capital out of the attack in Westminster by Khalid Masood that led to the deaths of a police officer on duty, a US tourist, a South London pensioner and a teacher picking up her children from school. We’ve collected together some of the statements of UK politicians and international figures who were not slow to add their very unhelpful pennyworths to the supposed analysis of the atrocity. Predictably, the extreme Right linked the attacks to immigration, reigniting toxic debates about immigration and social change that had already been unleashed by Brexit. As a Kurdish teenage asylum seeker from Iran fights for his life, after a brutal racist attack in Croydon, we join those who call for an end to the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.
This week, IRR News delves deeper into the immigration debate. Liz Fekete in ‘Stop feeding the beast!’ examines themes thrown up by the National Theatre’s My country: a work in progress based on seventy interviews with ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’, and concludes that immigration (with the aid of the tabloids) now stands in for a set of general disillusions at the end of an era of full employment. Jenny Bourne takes issue with David Goodhart’s The Road to Somewhere: the populist revolt and the future of politics which demands a place in the sun, in the name of ‘decent populism’ for majority grievances against immigration. Grievance as a form of identity, she argues, is a very superficial way of interpreting the seismic changes being brought about by neoliberalism, the changes now presenting such a challenge to the Labour Party and trade union movement.
Returning to the Westminster attacks, Sue Conlan, takes issue with demonisation by the mass media of a whole city – Birmingham – as a convenient scapegoat for the production of supposed extremists. Finally, our regular calendar of racism and resistance, a fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, is available here.
IRR News Team
Video: Victims of political policing demand accountability at Undercover Policing Inquiry, in London
6 April 2017 — TRNN
Two years have passed since the establishment of the Pitchford Inquiry into Undercover Policing. Participants say that as of yet, no oral evidence has been taken and that the police are seeking to delay the process in perpetuity. TRNN Researcher Mohamed Elmaazi attended the first Hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on April 04th 2017, and interviewed participants and their supporters.
24 March 2017 — medConfidential
It has been a while since we last sent a newsletter. Our apologies for that, but we have been kept busy!
We are entering a period where a lot of things are happening – and are likely to happen – in quick succession, so we wanted to provide a perspective and some context that we hope will help explain at least some of what is going on.
IT’S ALMOST A YEAR since anti-capitalist protestors, intending to set up camp in front of the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square under the banner of Occupy LSX, were ejected from the square and parked themselves instead in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. The result was one of the starting points for this film: a highly public debate about capitalism and the Church. Continue reading this...
16 March 2017 — 38 Degrees
This is huge. You – along with thousands of other people – have helped throw a major spanner into Rupert Murdoch’s plans to take full control of Sky. Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, just announced an investigation into the takeover. 
This means that instead of getting waved through, Murdoch’s plan faces a fresh obstacle. Ofcom, the media watchdog, now has to look into Murdoch’s dodgy media empire. Spoiler alert: Rupert Murdoch probably won’t like what they say. 
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Made in Britain, Tested on Yemenis: The Reality of Working for the “Bomb-makers”
9 March 2017 — Middle East Eye
Jack sits down with his pint in the Fielden Arms in Mellor, and contemplates his latest shift making Typhoon warplanes for the Saudi air force.
Tucking into steak and chips, the 25-year-old talks of moving in with his girlfriend, his good pay at the nearby BAE factory – £40,000, almost twice the local average – and the security it brings.
And then he thinks of the people those planes will be sent to kill. Continue reading this...
27 February 2017 — Drone Wars
Drone Wars UK is today publishing a new report detailing UK armed drone and air operations against ISIS. The report contains data on UK operations in Iraq and Syria gained through Freedom of Information requests since 2014 as well as background and a timeline of UK air operations. In addition, the report highlights continuing issues of concern about the use of armed drones reflected through the lens of UK drone operations.
27 February 2017 — Moon Of Alabama
Hollywood is all about fake. That is what movies are – fake depictions of a fake reality that only exist in the mind of scriptwriters, directors and a usually gullible audience. (Disclosure: I do like some movies.)
Hollywood has never been shy of plagiarizing. Every idea, tale of cinematographic trick that made a splash somewhere – and is thereby a potential money generator – will get copied again and again. Every successful make gets a remake. And another one. Continue reading this...