UK Technology Feature Archive
Bristol Indymedia has been hosted on a Bytemark Debian virtual server since the last server seizure in 2005 [ 1 | 2 ], during the run up to the G8. From then up until November 2013 the site was running Oscailt, in March 2014 it was re-launched as a WordPress site "using the software modremoveip". On 14th August 2014 Bristol Indymedia switched off open publishing on the site for a summer break with the intention in September to "review whether we have the time and inclination to turn publishing back on".
On 27th August 2014 Bristol Indymedia reported that, "the police had a court order to access the Bristol Indymedia server. We don’t know for sure, but assume that our web hosts have complied with the order and given the police this access". Bristol Indymedia disabled open publishing on the server and said "it is unlikely that open publishing of news items will ever be re-enabled as it would require complete re-installation of the server".
Since then the only source of further information has been from an article in The Times which reported that the PACE special procedure production order obtained by Avon and Somerset Police and served on Bytemark on 15th August 2014 "demands access to the details of administrators and bill-payers, login credentials, information on those who posted articles and the IP addresses of everyone who visited the site over an unspecified period". The court order served on Bytemark hasn't been published. The Times has reported that the Police have said that, "No arrests have been made in connection with this incident".
Corporate Coverage: [ The Times: Activist website Indymedia shuts down after police raid (repost) | The Bristol Post: Anarchist website Bristol Indymedia to close following police raid (repost) | Bristol24-7: Bristol Indymedia offline for good after police raid ]
Activist Coverage: [ Urban75: Indymedia Bristol raided by plod, servers accessed! | LibCom: Sources and the police raid on Bristol Indymedia ]
On 27th May at Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertsfordshire, more than 400 growers, bakers and families from across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Belgium marched against the return of open air GM field testing. Take the Flour Back linked arms with their European counterparts, notably France’s Volunteer Reapers and walked calmly towards the field of GM wheat before being stopped by police lines.
From the newswire: European activists link up to draw the line against GM| Final details| Take the Flour Back defend Direct Action on Newsnight| Open letter to Rothamsted| What is food sovereignty| Pull up the GM wheat, or we will, say growers| Meet-up point announced| Callout
Links: Take the flour back
Gloucestershire's skies were darkened again by the Royal International Fairford Air Tattoo as some of the world's worst climate criminals and human rights abusers compared their best killing machines. This is an event about the glorification of everything that a civilised society should feel repelled about. Despite this, virtually every single newspaper, TV and radio show lavished it with praise. In so doing, they justified the entertainment budgets that the military industrial complex lays on at our expense.
Over 3,000 anti-nuclear protesters took part in the blockading of a shipment of nuclear waste into north-western Germany this week. After activists and local communities spent four days blocking them at every turn, the toxic containers finally arrived at their Gorleben destination on Tuesday (2nd).
Tasers are becoming an increasingly prominent tool in the arsenal of police in Nottinghamshire and elsewhere. This should raise important questions, regardless of whether you accept the anarchist critique of the police as a tool of state control, view them as a necessary evil or actually regard the boys in blue as good for society. However, these questions do not seem to be asked. Despite a number of high profile incidents when tasers have been deployed, we continue to creep towards a situation where police are routinely armed without any public debate on whether this is actually what we want or not.
Having spent £25m on the branding rights to London's new cycle hire scheme, the bright sparks in the Barclays marketing department have started a dialogue with the public which could last for several years. The scheme is part of a private finance initiative providing thousands of rental bikes in return for painting London's roadways in the bank's corporate colours.
Only minutes after the bank unveiled the bikes-for-rent in partnership with the city's Conservative administration, situationist guerrilla teams struck in the night to add their own mobile advertising messages under the Barclays logo. One of the messages, "Funding depleted uranium birth defects in Iraq", was particularly timely. New studies suggest that the ongoing genetic damage caused by the U.S. attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004 may be worse than that caused by the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 65 years ago.
Barclays was also targeted in Cambridge on Friday 30th July 2010.
Mostly from London Action Resource Centre the capital's most cheeky radio crew have netcasted a lively radio show every other Friday for the past three years.
On Dissident Island's third birthday, the crew brought a nice mixed bag of happenings from the UK and beyond.
In the History corner this week we have Martyn Everett discussing the life and work of revolutionary Frechwoman Louise Michel.
Finishing off the talking we had an exclusive follow up with members of the Belgrade 6 on their acquittal. Ronin rolled up to the studio at around 10 to help us celebrate our birthday in style - raise a toast to three years of radical radio!
Check it - click here to download (132 mb),
We're really keen to involve more people in Oxford Indymedia. If you've got an interest in grassroots camapigning and activism, we would love to see or hear from you. There are many roles within Oxford Indymedia - from writing feature stories to writing computer code; from writing your own news to moderating other people's news; from designing graphics to promoting Oxford Indymedia - everybody has something they can contribute.
Oxford Indymedia is the grassroots alternative to the mainstream media. Unlike most news outlets, we don't have any hidden agendas, corporate sponsors, or owners that we have to appease. Our website (which you're currently looking at) allows you to publish your own stories in your own words and with your own pictures. And we have an events calendar so you can promote your events to get more people involved in grassroots actions in Oxford.
This week sees GM firmly back in the spotlight. On Wednesday the EU took a huge step in pushing forward the genetic modification agenda by copping out of regulation and putting the decision on whether to GM grow or not back into the hands of national governments. The European Commission approved changes to the rules which may break the deadlock that has prevented any significant cultivation of GM crops in Europe. What does this mean for GM production in the UK and other nation-states? And where does this leave the resistance movement?
"I told many people in Gaza about the people's strike on EDO MBM... When I recounted this action to people, I saw an expression come over their faces that I hadn't encountered before when talking about international solidarity. It was a kind of respect, a sense of surprised pride at a tiny move towards a leveling between the blood sacrifices and living hell of so many here, and sacrifices made by people in comparative comfort zones on the other side of the world - for them" - Ewa Jasiewicz - human rights activist/journalist eyewitness to Operation Cast Lead
In the early hours of 17th January 2009, during Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' offensive against Gaza, six people broke in to the EDO/ITT weapons' components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the production line. (see SchNEWS 663 and also check out the local paper's video of some of the damage)
In SchNEWS: 721 | 663
The Nottingham City Council scheme to impose CCTV on Forest Fields is facing increasingly organised opposition. Much of the affected area has been leafletted with anti-CCTV material and campaigners against the scheme attended a consultation meeting last Thursday to make their views known. Many are worried about the intrusive and controlling nature of CCTV and think it would contribute to suspicion rather than strengthening the local community.
Whilst the police and the Council's Area 4 Management claim to be engaging in consultation their language regarding CCTV has always framed it as a necessary development. Ironically, these same people objected to a journalist taking their photos at the meeting, indicating that residents are not the only ones who are concerned about surveillance! The plans have already been scaled down from 5 camera masts in Forest Fields to masts at 3 locations but campaigners vow to continue until it is scrapped.
Newswire: CCTV proposed scheme for Forest Fields : public meeting report | CCTV in Forest Fields - public meeting on April 23rd | Forest Fields Latest: CCTV | Forest Fields CCTV Update | CCTV coming to Forest Fields unless we act NOW! | Surveillance of Nottingham city centre | Surveillance of Nottingham City Centre [Update]
Previous feature: Watching the watchers in Nottingham
Indymedia UK (IMC-UK) is a network of activists who provide an open publishing platform. We are part of the wider Indymedia Network that started in Seattle during the protests against the WTO in November 1999, and the UK site was one of the first to join the network in early 2000. In common with all Indymedia Centres (IMCs) around the world, as designated in the (draft) Principles of Unity, IMC-UK does not log IP addresses - as detailed on the security page. Moreover, following on from previous requests by governmental authorities for logs, IMC-UK and many other Indymedia sites (e.g. the global website, www.indymedia.org) do not retain any logs related to the website. These facts are documented on our open mailing lists and on the open IMC documentation site, docs.indymedia.org. (here for example).
In the rest of this article, we provide some advice on how to improve the measures you take when publishing on the website if you want to do so anonymously. We also outline some legal procedures that could potentially be used to attack Indymedia and the right to free expression, as well as describing some of the technical points in more detail.
From the 28th January, as part of an extended pilot scheme, residents of Nottingham will be subject to Voice Risk Analysis when telephoning to make a claim for Job Seekers' Allowance.
Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) software analyses a person's 'normal' voice and flags up changes in frequency and tone characteristics which may mean the person is lying. The DWP has helped to fund a series of local pilot schemes to study the effectiveness of the technology in reducing so-called "benefit fraud" (which pales into insignificance when compared with tax evasion by the rich). Even amongst those who worry about such things, there is scepticism about this usefulness of this technology as an anti-fraud tool. Mainstream critics say that savings do not necessarily mean the software is accurately pinpointing fraudsters, arguing that genuine claimants may also be deterred from claiming when entitled to benefits.
Background Links: Nottingham Proforma for Expressions of Interest for DWP City Strategy | Strategy: Nottingham Local Area Agreement | DWP Fraud and error - Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) | DWP Press Release: Hutton announces new technology to strengthen fight against benefit fraud | TUC lies, damned lies and lie detectors: introducing lie detector tests for benefit claimants | Handard - Social Security Benefits: Lie Detectors 23 Apr 2007 : Column 928W | Government to use voice 'lie detector' technology to catch benefit thieves | Advanced Validation Services (AVS)
On Tuesday November 27, Nottinghamshire Police used a Taser stun gun on a man in Beeston. Although it has attracted only limited interest, it could be an important development. Tasers have recently been introduced to the police arsenal in the UK, having been widely used by police in the US and Canada for some time. This happened with minimal public debate, despite increasing concerns about their use across North America. Currently restricted to armed response officers there are calls from both senior and rank and file police officers for their use to be greatly expanded. They certainly aren’t going to go away any time soon
According to the Evening Post, Notts police were called to reports of a man acting erratically outside the Natwest on High Road, Beeston at 11.30am. The Post also indicates that there was a suggestion the man might have been carrying a firearm, however it is now clear the man did not have a gun and there is little in the article to indicate on what basis such suspicions might have arisen. The various eyewitness reports certainly indicate erratic behaviour, but if anything make the presence of a gun seem unlikely. One account has the man shouting, “Call the police,” while another has him pushing people about threatening to “knock you out.” Hardly behaviour which would indicate he was armed.
Links: Tasers in Nottingham | Police taser diabetic in a fit,when they should be arresting terror oil corprats | Canada Probes Taser After Another Death | USA - anotherone killed by police using "less" lethal taser | TASER GUNS BY UK POLICE ,HAVE BEEN CAUSING CONTROVERSY IN AMERICA | Taser’s don’t kill, Excited Delirium does!
A court in Bangalore has issued an order for the 'arrest without the possibility of bail' of seven campaigners over their websites postings about labour conditions of an Indian supplier of fashion label G-Star. The activists are from the Clean Clothes Campaign and the India Committee of the Netherlands; the director of their Netherlands based ISP, Antenna, is included.
The case could have implications for activists posting anything on the web, with the court using the Convention on Cyber Crime to call for extradition. It all happens with the backdrop of the continuing campaign about labour conditions and particularly the huge number of child workers in India coming up against the religion of 'free trade'.
The case has been running for some time now. As the legal threats get worse the campaign are asking for solidarity. As G-Star is the only remaining buyer from the jeans manufacturer at which the CCC and ICN have highlighted the labour rights violations they are asking people to make demands of them listing things you can do [cleanclothes.org]. In the UK No Sweat! have called a picket of G-star [nosweat.org] focusing on their Covent Garden store. There are lots of outlets around on their store locator [g-star.com].
This week Europe’s largest Biofuels event took place in Nottinghamshire amid growing concerns about severe impacts on climate, biodiversity and food production. The exhibition, featuring over a hundred trade stands, ran alongside a conference which opened on Wednesday with a key note speech from BP Biofuels’ Europe & Africa Director Oliver Mace, but was quickly thrown into chaos when a number of people dressed in suits marched onto the stage and pied the BP’s CEO for the ‘dangerous and dishonest’ greenwash and protest at the catastrophic effects of replacing climate-stabilising ecosystems with arable crops for biofuel feedstocks.
Throughout the afternoon, people held a very visible protest outside the conference which was held at the Newark Showground, north of Nottingham. To coincide with the national Biofuels Conference, protestors from No Agrofuels UK blockaded the D1 oils refinery and offices in Middlesbrough to raise awareness of the detrimental impact of agrofuels. 18 Protestors chained the 3 gates to the refinery shut and 2 protestors were D-locked to the main gates. No vehicles were able to enter or leave the site and all work appeared to have been stopped. Several banners were tied over the gates including "No Agrofuels, Land 4 People, Food, Biodiversity" and "Climate Change Profiteers".
On the newswire: Activists crash biofuel party 2 [afternoon] | Activists crash biofuel party 1 [morning] | Photos from Bio-Diesel Expo banner demo | Banner Protest outside Biodiesel Expo in Newark | Blockade of D1 Oils - anti-agrofuel demo | BP Executive pied as Europe's largest Biofuels Event disrupted | Biofuelwatch talk at the Sumac Centre, Nottingham