UK

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This week Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group FACT revealed that the Film Distributors Association had handed out cash rewards to more than a dozen cinema workers who managed to sniff out so-called movie ‘cammers’ in UK cinemas. But despite every case being reported to the police – some involving Skyfall and The Hobbit – authorities could do little in response. Not a single cammer was charged or prosecuted.

Source: Twelve Hollywood Movie Cammers Caught, Police Prosecute None

High Court Orders UK ISPs to Block Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy

The website blocking phenomenon has continued today in the UK, with the High Court adding three major torrent sites to the country’s unofficial ban list. Following complaints from the music industry led by the BPI, the Court ordered the UK’s leading Internet service providers to begin censoring subscriber access to Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy.

Source: High Court Orders UK ISPs to Block Kickass Torrents, H33T and Fenopy

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BitTorrent Site Admin Hits Out at UK Music Industry Site Blocking Demand

Within days the UK music industry will head back to the High Court with demands that the country’s leading Internet service providers should begin blocking three of the world’s largest torrent sites. Today, the owner of one of them describes the action as an attack on file-sharers and questions whether the process will be as straightforward as the one previously carried out against The Pirate Bay.

Source: BitTorrent Site Admin Hits Out at UK Music Industry Site Blocking Demand

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UK: Surveillance Devices to Monitor Web Traffic

eye

The U.K. plans to install an unspecified number of spy devices along the country’s telecommunications network to monitor Britons’ use of overseas services such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a report published Tuesday by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. The devices — referred to as “probes” in the report — are meant to underpin […]

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Pirate Bay Censorship Turns Proxies Into Local Heroes

All around the world the copyright lobby is pushing for increased censorship of ‘pirate’ websites, The Pirate Bay in particular. Thus far this has resulted in court-ordered blockades in several countries including the UK, the Netherlands Finland and Belgium. However, instead of stopping people’s download habits these blockades have resulted in an influx of visitors to Pirate Bay proxies, turning these sites into local heroes.

Source: Pirate Bay Censorship Turns Proxies Into Local Heroes

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Golden Eye Hit UK With Piracy Letters, First Innocents Step Forward

After a long and drawn out procedure, Golden Eye and associated company Ben Dover productions have finally begun sending out letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK. The letters, which contain claims of BitTorrent-related copyright infringement, ask those targeted to enter into a settlement arrangement with the company within 28 days. Failure to do so, the company says, could result in their case being taken to court. The file-sharing letters are the first sent out in the UK since the collapse of the notorious ACS:Law.

Source: Golden Eye Hit UK With Piracy Letters, First Innocents Step Forward

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Fighting for ourselves – anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle

The Solidarity Federation’s book, Fighting for ourselves: anarcho-syndicalism and the class struggle, aims to recover some of the lost history of the workers’ movement, in order to set out a revolutionary strategy for the present conditions. In clear and accessible prose, the book sets out the anarcho-syndicalist criticisms of political parties and trade unions, engages […]

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Will New UK Censorship Impact Torrent Sites?

Last week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new porn filtering system that will go online sometime during the coming year. However, the blockades, which are intended to deal with porn, may end up developing into a backdoor ban on BitTorrent and other file-sharing related sites.

Source: Will New UK Censorship Impact Torrent Sites?

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Copyright Vultures Circle As Court Green-Lights Anti-Piracy Scheme

Despite intervention by the Open Rights Group, an adult movie company in the UK has been given the green light to hugely expand its anti-piracy operations in the UK. The Court of Appeal told Golden Eye, a company connected with the Ben Dover porn brand, that it can start sending out thousands of cash demands to individuals suspected of sharing not only their works online, but those that belong to third party righsholders. Already the company has indicated it intends to expand its project.

Source: Copyright Vultures Circle As Court Green-Lights Anti-Piracy Scheme

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Pirate Bay Censorship Backfires as New Proxies Bloom

After legal threats from the music industry the UK Pirate Party saw no other option than to shut down their Pirate Bay proxy service. However, as is usually the case with censorship, the Internet has found a way to route around it. Responding to the UK situation Pirate parties in Argentina and Luxembourg have decided to start fresh Pirate Bay proxies.

Source: Pirate Bay Censorship Backfires as New Proxies Bloom

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Pirate Party Proxy Shutdown Means Activists Will Fight Another Day

As reported earlier today, the UK Pirate Party has taken the difficult decision to shut down their Pirate Bay proxy service. The law firm representing the party has informed TorrentFreak that due to the state of the law, choosing to carry on providing the service would be “untenable”. While PPUK’s move will be unpopular with some, it does mean that the party can put this episode behind them and fight another day.

Source: Pirate Party Proxy Shutdown Means Activists Will Fight Another Day

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Pirate Party Shuts Down Pirate Bay Proxy After Legal Threats

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The UK Pirate Party has taken down its popular Pirate Bay proxy. While no official statement has yet been released, it’s believed that legal threats made by music industry group BPI are behind the unexpected move. The decision comes a few days after six individual Pirate Party members received a letter from the BPI’s solicitors. In addition to taking down the proxy, the Pirate Party have also pulled their legal battle fundraiser campaign.

Source: Pirate Party Shuts Down Pirate Bay Proxy After Legal Threats

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Sealand

During the Second World War the British government built several Fortress islands in the North Sea to defend its coasts from German invaders. These forts were built illegally in international waters. One of these Fortresses, consisting of concrete and steel construction, was the famous royal fort Roughs Tower situated slightly north of the estuary region […]

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UFO Hacker Gary McKinnon talks about NASA Hack

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Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked, will not face charges in the UK, bringing to an end a 10-year legal battle.Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said the chances of a successful conviction were “not high”.Janis Sharp, Mr McKinnon’s mother, said the news was “amazing” and she was grateful […]

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Chasing Ice movie reveals largest iceberg break-up ever filmed – video

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  t’s like watching ‘Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes’, says one of the researchers for filmmaker James Balog. He’s describing the largest iceberg calving ever filmed, as featured in his movie, Chasing Ice. After weeks of waiting, the filmakers witnessed 7.4 cubic km of ice crashing off the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland. […]

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Starbucks Occupied Across Britain

a group of protesters stand with banners in front of a starbucks

a group of protesters stand with banners in front of a starbucks

Last weekend, anti-austerity activists including UK Uncut and Occupy London targeted the U.S. corporation Starbucks for tax avoidance while making a point about the disproportionate impact of austerity on women. Over 40 protests occurred across the UK at Starbucks shops, UK Uncut’s biggest day of action yet. Protesters staged sit-in occupations and transformed Starbucks cafes into refuges, crèches, libraries, and homeless shelters in protest against the impact of the government’s cutting of services ranging from subsidies for single mothers to rape crisis centers. Occupy Wall Street stands in solidarity with this brilliant action to attack austerity and demonstrate the alternatives of mutual aid and resistance, while also calling attention to the inherent hypocrisy of governments’ allowing multinational corporations to avoid taxes while cutting services to the poor. This issue is by no means limited to the UK only; these actions stand as an inspiration and one possible model for resistance movements fighting austerity across the world.

via UK Uncut:

Growing public anger at Starbucks was clear today as over 40 of their shops across the UK- including in Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol and Shrewsbury- were targeted today by the anti-cuts direct action network, UK Uncut.

In central London a creche and women’s refuge were set up in Starbuck’s flagship stores, and in Birmingham people slept in sleeping bags on the floor to highlight homelessness. In Barnet, activists turned Starbucks into a library, while in York protesters handed out free tea and coffee in store.

The group took action to confront the company over its tax avoidance and highlight the impact of the government’s cuts on women.[1]

The group says that Starbucks’ offer of £10 million is a ‘PR stunt straight out of their marketing budget’. Starbucks and other tax-dodging companies, including Google and Amazon, have had to face increasing public outrage and stinging criticism from the Public Accounts Committee over their tax practices this week. Nearly £5 billion new cuts were announced by George Osborne on Wednesday in the Autumn Statement.

Protesters say that they chose to target Starbucks as a result of its tax avoidance practices. They say that the government should be clamping down on tax avoidance by companies such as Starbucks rather than making cuts to the welfare state and the NHS which are devastating people’s lives.

Women’s groups [2] and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Cornwall participated in their biggest national day of action yet. Sit-in style protests saw Starbucks branches transformed into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters to highlight the disproportionate impact of the government’s spending cuts on women.

Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist said: “It is an outrage that the government continues to choose to let multinationals like Starbucks dodge millions in tax while cutting vital services like refuges, creches and rape crisis centres. It does not have to be this way. The government could easily bring in billions by clamping down on tax avoidance that could fund vital services by clamping down on tax dodging.”

Responding to Starbucks’ announcement that it will not claim tax deductions in the UK on a range of its tax arrangements and Starbucks statement regarding worker safety, Hannah Pearce, a UK Uncut supporter said:

“Offering to pay some tax if and when it suits you doesn’t stop you being a tax dodger. This is just a PR stunt straight out of the marketing budget in a desperate attempt by Starbucks to deflect public pressure – hollow promises on press releases don’t fund women’s refuges or child benefits.

The government must force Starbucks and every other tax dodging company to pay their fair share, instead of cutting welfare and tax credits for single mums and disabled women. All of our protests are fun, creative with a serious message to Starbucks management and the government, the hypocrisy of Starbucks execs claiming to concerned about workers’ safety because of protests is staggering at a time when workers are reporting they are being forced to sign new contracts with reduced benefits or lost their jobs.”

Kara Moses, at the UK Uncut protest in Birmingham, said “So many people have come to this protest because there is genuine public outrage that multinational companies are being allowed to avoid tax while benefits and essential services are cut. Starbucks’ admission that they have not been paying enough tax is a clear admission of guilt, and shows that direct action by the public works. We will keep the pressure up to end tax avoidance and these cuts that are devastating women’s lives around the country”

A spokesperson from Global Women’s strike, one of the women’s groups supporting Saturday’s action said:

“Women – in families, homes, communities and jobs – bear the brunt of austerity. At our Women’s Centre we see more women cut off benefits, losing their jobs, being made homeless and going hungry. Already, 3.5m children live in poverty, 1 in 5 mothers skips a meal to feed her children, and many walk miles to get food handouts because they can’t afford the bus fare. Women are also expected to pick up the pieces as services disappear or turn people away, saying they are overwhelmed. Asylum seekers were the first to be made destitute, and this is now becoming the norm. Victims of rape and domestic violence are particularly affected as more will be forced to stay in violent relationship to keep a roof over their heads.”

Starbucks has come under fire after a Reuters investigation disclosed that the company had paid no UK corporation tax in the last three years, despite reporting sales of £1.2bn.[4] The company was also reported to have filed accounts saying the companies UK operations were making a loss, while reporting strong UK profits to investors. Campaigners have highlighted research showing that women will experience a disproportionate impact as a result of the government’s public spending cuts.[5]

Women are bearing the brunt of cuts to public sector jobs, wages, housing benefit, childcare, and pensions.[6] Additional hardship on women is being caused by the government’s decision to cut £5.6m from violence against women services, £300m from Sure Start centres and a further £10 billion in benefit cuts. Every day 230 women are turned away from refuges as a result of the government’s cuts to women’s services.[7]

Sheena Shah, a UK Uncut activist said “Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of out-of-touch millionaires. The government’s savage austerity plans are pushing the cause of women’s equality back decades. Welfare, healthcare, Sure Start centres, childcare, rape and domestic abuse services are being cut and female unemployment is rocketing. Benefits cuts are forcing women to choose between heating the house and feeding the family. No one should have to make these choices.”

ENDS
1- UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network, well-known for targeting corporate tax avoiders: www.ukuncut.org.uk
2- Go Feminist, UK Feminista, Southall Black Sisters, Global Women’s Strike – http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/ http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/
3- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/9718420/MPs-demand-action-over-Starbucks…
4- http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-britain-starbucks-tax-idUSBRE89E0EX20121015
5- http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/Gender_Impact_of_the_Cuts.pdf & http://fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/The%20Impact%20of%20Austerity%20on%20Women%20-%2019th%20March…
6- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/31/domestic-violence-rape-crisis-cuts_n_2049137.html
7- http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/charities-have-to-turn-away-women-seeking-refuge/6520815.article & http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1237

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Music Industry Threatens to Sue UK Pirate Party over Pirate Bay Proxy

pirate bay proxy

Music industry group the BPI is sending its lawyers after the UK Pirate Party after they refused to take their Pirate Bay proxy offline. Last week the BPI kindly asked the Pirates to shut down the website, but quickly turned to threats when they didn’t get their way. Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye tells TorrentFreak that they are determined to stand behind their principles, even if that means getting involved in an expensive legal battle.

Source: Music Industry Threatens to Sue UK Pirate Party over Pirate Bay Proxy

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Shattered Lives in Gaza

How the IDF Targeted Civilians

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NZBMatrix Shuts Down Citing Piracy Troubles

NZBMatrix, one of the leading Usenet indexing services, has shut down voluntarily. The website’s owners explain that it has become increasingly difficult to operate in a business where copyright holders vigorously protect their content. A large takedown notice from Hollywood’s movie studios as well as issues with payment providers are cited as reasons for NZBMatrix to throw the towel.

Source: NZBMatrix Shuts Down Citing Piracy Troubles

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Richard O’Dwyer Piracy Extradition Battle Ended in New York Court

The epic battle to stop UK student Richard O’Dwyer being extradited to the United States is finally over. His excited mother Julia contacted TorrentFreak from New York with news that all necessary paperwork had been signed and that a brief court appearance had effectively ended legal action against her son. Richard thanks all those who supported him and says he is looking forward to getting his life back on track.

Source: Richard O’Dwyer Piracy Extradition Battle Ended in New York Court

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Richard O’Dwyer Piracy Extradition Battle Ended in New York Court

Thumbnail image for Richard O’Dwyer Piracy Extradition Battle Ended in New York Court

The epic battle to stop UK student Richard O’Dwyer being extradited to the United States is finally over. His excited mother Julia contacted TorrentFreak from New York with news that all necessary paperwork had been signed and that a brief court appearance had effectively ended legal action against her son. Richard thanks all those who supported him and says he is looking forward to getting his life back on track.

Source: Richard O’Dwyer Piracy Extradition Battle Ended in New York Court

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UK student convicted of denial of service attack

A London jury has convicted a 22-year-old student and member of the hacking group Anonymous of taking part in cyberattacks on several major companies’ computer systems.

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UK ISPs Unblock Pirate Bay’s Artist Promos After Protests

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On Sunday, TorrentFreak broke the news that several UK Internet providers were blocking access to The Promo Bay, The Pirate Bay’s perfectly legal promotion platform for independent artists. After a storm of protest the local music industry group BPI has now instructed the ISPs to unblock the site. While the BPI should be applauded for their move, the incident raises the question whether a private industry group should be in control of an Internet blocklist to begin with.

Source: UK ISPs Unblock Pirate Bay’s Artist Promos After Protests

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UK: ‘Hostile states’ constantly attacking ‘crucial’ infrastructure

Anonymous have said they will shut down the Syrian governments websites around the world in response to Syria’s internet blackout.

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