Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was a dangerous place to be in the late 1970s. With bombs, shootings, British Army Patrols, riots on the streets, and The Ramones and New York Dolls on the turntable, the most punk thing 5 Catholic lads could do was to sing upbeat songs about adolescent lust, girls, getting nowhere with said girls, and the general struggles of being young. In the bleeding heart of The Troubles, The Undertones escaped by dreaming of a life more ordinary. [more inside]
A UK man who downloaded recipes on how to make explosive devices has been jailed under the controversial Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which makes it a crime to be "in possession of records of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". [more inside]
Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to conceal future information of terrorist threats from the British government, unless the British government disobeys the High Court ruling requiring them to release information about the US government's acknowledged torture program. This may be a breach of the Convention Against Torture. Glenn Greenwald has new evidence. Previously.
The UK's national risk register is made public. It is kept updated by the secret squirrels in the Cabinet Office, and was previously kept under wraps. Pandemic flu and flooding beat out terrorism as the major risks facing the UK at the moment. Both are seen as less likely than a terrorist attack, but more devastating. The full pdf has a chart on page 7 showing the main risks on a grid.
Article in UK newspaper The Independent about two members of Nottingham University, U.K., Rizwaan Sabir and Hicham Yezza, who were arrested last week on terrorism charges and held for six days before being released without charge. The reason was that they had downloaded a terrorist manual from a US government website, which MA student Sabir needed for his research into terrorism, and which was approved by his supervisor. His friend Hicham Yezza, former student and current administrator at the university was arrested for helping to print out the 1500 page document. On release Yezza was then immediately rearrested on immigration charges and now faces imminent deportation, despite being a resident of the UK for 13 years and currently in the process of applying for citizenship. A campaign is currently underway to prevent this. [more inside]
Investigation reveals British Police knowingly employed serial killers as informers. Or should that be "knowingly employed informers as serial killers"? Film at 11.
"The thing is, we're in Central London and we have to be really careful these days. I like your shots though... very nice." Dave Gorman's ever-so-slightly surreal Flickr adventure.
[ConspiracyFilter] Was the alleged "binary liquid explosives" plot actually plausible, in the sense of being capable of producing "mass murder on an unimaginable scale?"
A timetable of UK trains carrying nuclear waste. (PDF file). The related Greenpeace UK article. UK nuclear waste train route graphic. Mirror tabloid hack plants fake bomb on nuclear waste train. "The gate was open, there were no security guards. I walked up to the train and planted my bomb". The Guardian's take on the story.
Blair loses in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
Blair now a 'legitimate target.' A spokesman for a British Islamic group has said Tony Blair is a 'legitimate target.' According to spokesman, "This means if any Muslim wanted to kill him or get rid of him, I would not shed any tears." Salman Rushdie roomate jokes aside, this is pretty chilling.
Planes over London will be shot down, warns government. The UK government warned that any plane venturing into airspace over central London was likely to be shot down. All aircraft movements over the heart of the capital are banned until further notice. The flight path into London-Heathrow airport passes close to the Canary Wharf skyscraper in the east of the city and along the River Thames over the House of Parliament, the Guardian newspaper reports. (Down the page a ways.)
It was "clearly a big device", which contained high explosives. Set by what appears to be the IRA outside of the BBC headquarters in London. Clues were given via coded messages phoned into a hospital and an "unnamed charitable trust" much in the same way as when the M16 building was attacked with a rocket last year. Forget Osama bin-laden. The Irish can be dangerous as well.
1970: The UK negotiates with terrorists and capitulates. Apparently in the UK there's a 30-year rule where certain documents are revealed after said delay. They've just released documents about the "Black September" hijackings in 1970.