The UK plots to ban private messaging

UK’s media regulator Ofcom will get more surveillance powers than spy agencies under the Online Safety Bill, according to a legal analysis by the Index on Censorship organization.

The legislation would allow Ofcom to force tech companies to clamp down on “child abuse” and “terrorist content” by ending end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger and force all communications to be scanned.

Human rights lawyer Matthew Ryder, in a legal opinion commissioned by Index on Censorship, said that the powers that Ofcom would be afforded by the bill allow “allow the state to compel [tech companies] to carry out surveillance of the content of communications on a generalized and widespread basis.”

The regulator would not need prior authorization before making a demand to a tech company to scan messages and there would be no independent oversight over how the regulator uses its powers.

Ryder added: “We are unable to envisage circumstances where such a destructive step in the security of global online communications for billions of users could be justified.”

Communications by journalists, whistleblowers, and victims would no longer be safe. Additionally, it is not clear if Ofcom would make public the demands it issues or whether it would keep them secret.

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UK plans to criminalize digitally putting someone’s face on nude body

The UK’s controversial Online Safety Bill has a section that would make sharing “pornographic deepfakes” without consent a criminal offense in England and Wales. This would involve digitally putting someone’s face on a naked body.

The bill seeks to address the rise in manipulated explicit images, where a person’s face is superimposed on another person’s body.

Current legislation requires proving that the images were shared to “cause distress.”

However, the proposed law does not require the prosecution to prove that someone intended to cause harm, potentially leaving the door open for jokes to be prosecuted.

According to the government, one in 14 people in England and Wales have been threatened with their intimate images being shared online. It added that there is a global concern about deepfake technology being used to create fake pornographic images. A website that creates nudes from clothed photos had 38 million visits in 2021.

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Oversight Board tells Meta to stop complying with police requests to censor rap music

Meta’s Oversight Board said that Meta should not have complied with a request from London’s Metropolitan Police to ban a drill music track. Drill music is a rap genre that politicians and law enforcement agencies have associated with gang violence.

In January, rapper Chinx (OS) posted a video of his song “Secrets Not Safe.” Shortly after posting the song on Instagram, Meta received an email from the police requesting the removal of the song. Meta escalated the case to a team for special consideration, and ruled that it violated its policies because it referenced a shooting that took place in 2017 and included what police believed to be a “threatening call to action.”

After the song was removed, Chinx appealed and had it reinstated by a moderator who was not part of the special consideration team. The decision was overruled and the song got banned again after a week, again following a request by the police.

The board questioned whether Meta considered the context, or simply compiled because it was a request from the police.

“Not every piece of content that law enforcement would prefer to have taken down — and not even every piece of content that has the potential to lead to escalating violence — should be taken down,” the board wrote in its decision.

Social media platforms are less transparent about informal requests like the email from the Met.

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Leaked documents: British spies constructing secret terror army in Ukraine

Documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal plans by a cell of British military-intelligence figures to organize and train a covert Ukrainian “partisan” army with explicit instructions to attack Russian targets in Crimea.

On October 28th, a Ukrainian drone attack damaged the Russian Black Sea fleet’s flagship vessel in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. Moscow immediately blamed Britain for assisting and orchestrating the strike, as well as blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines – the worst acts of industrial sabotage in recent memory.

The British Ministry of Defense issued a blustery denial in response, branding the accusations “false claims of an epic scale.” Whoever was behind those specific attacks, suspicions of a British hidden hand in the destruction are not unfounded. The Grayzone has obtained leaked documents detailing British military-intelligence operatives inking an agreement with the Security Service of Ukraine’s Odessa branch, to create and train a secret Ukrainian partisan terror army.

Their plans called for the secret army to conduct sabotage and reconnaissance operations targeting Crimea on behalf of the Ukrainian Security Service (SSU) – precisely the kind of attacks witnessed in past weeks.

As The Grazyone previously reported, the same coterie of military-intelligence operatives was responsible for drawing up plans to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge. That goal was fulfilled on October 8th in the form of a suicide truck bomb attack, temporarily disabling the sole connecting point between mainland Russia and Crimea, and triggering a major escalation in Moscow’s attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.

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UK Man Sent To PRISON For 6 Months For Serving Snacks At Club During Lockdown

A 72-year-old man has been sentenced to six months in prison for the crime of serving mince pies with wine at his shooting club in 2020 while the area was under a lockdown.

The BBC reports that “Maurice Snelling broke tier three restrictions at Cloudside Shooting Grounds in 2020,” by allowing people to sit in at his premises rather than take away.

Mr Snelling pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, but argued that his club was in an area where restrictions stated visitors could sit inside and consume drinks if they were accompanied by food.

The judge presiding over the case was not convinced, however, and said “I find it hard to believe that Mr Snelling didn’t know which lockdown tier he was in.”

Police disrupted the gatherings at the time after residents in the area reported Snelling.

He reportedly refused to provide police CCTV from the club and allegedly attempted to have the footage destroyed, prompting the contractor company hosting it on a hard drive to hand it over to authorities.

The lawyer representing Snelling told the BBC that he has suffered ill health since the case began and “This has tarnished his reputation. He believed he was targeted by neighbours and this built up resentment of a man with good character.”

The report also notes that the Judge believed Snelling to be “anti-establishment, especially to the police. He doesn’t like being told what to do. He treated police with resentment.”

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UK “Nudge Unit” recommends banks track carbon footprint of transactions, reward “sustainable behaviors”

An influential United Kingdom (UK) based social purpose organization that was blamed for the UK government’s use of “grossly unethical tactics to scare public into Covid compliance” is recommending that banks use the “wealth of data that they hold” to provide “carbon feedback” on transactions and introduce social credit-style rewards and incentives to encourage “sustainable behaviours.”

The measures are being pushed by the Behavioural Insights Team (also known as “The Nudge Unit”) which specializes in using behavioral insights to “nudge” people into changing their behavior.

In a recent blog post, The Nudge Unit revealed that it had partnered with “carbon footprint management” company Cogo to “explore how banks should go about nudging their customers to go green.”

Cogo already has partnerships with several banks, including the UK’s NatWest bank, which uses Cogo’s services to provide a personalized, real-time carbon footprint tracker in its mobile app. Cogo’s carbon footprint tracker displays carbon footprint saving and recommendation messages next to transactions. The messages include “you could save up to 138kg [of carbon] by taking public transport” and “you could save up to 7kg of carbon by changing your diet.”

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Now It’s UK: Why Are Labs Racing To See Who Can Create The Most Deadly Virus?

A potentially deadly new strain of COVID has been created in a University lab in London, according to a report.

The Daily Mail reports that researchers at Imperial College London have hybridised the original Wuhan strain of the disease with both the Omicron or Delta variants separately.

The College is yet to reveal how effective the strain they have created is, and has denied that the work constitutes gain of function, the process now widely believed to have been responsible for the original strain in Wuhan.

Molecular biology expert Dr. Richard Ebright warned that the new mutant strain, which was injected into hamsters in London, “is insanity, both in terms of the redundancy and waste,” and that it has zero “foreseeable practical applications.”

Dr. Ebright further warned that the development is huge “especially, in terms of the risk of triggering a new pandemic wave upon accidental or deliberate release of the laboratory-generated viruses.”

“This should be a wake-up call,” the biologist urged, adding “If the world wishes to avoid new pandemic waves and pandemics caused by lab-generated enhanced potential pandemic pathogens, then it is urgently necessary to restrict senseless high-risk, low-benefit research that creates enhanced potential pandemic pathogens and to implement effective national oversight, with force of law, on such research.”

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“It’s done”: realities of the hyper-transparent spy world

On Monday, 26 September 2022 someone blew up the Nord Stream pipeline system, built at Germany’s request, to deliver Natural Gas from Russia to Germany. For a number of reasons, some of which I articulated in the article, “Britain’s Secret Diplomacy and the European Wars,” I thought that Great Britain was probably the mastermind and one of the perpetrators behind the attacks. Again, not any legitimate British government organization, but some deep state networks within the British military and structures. I expressed this view in the podcast with Tom Luongo, published five days after the attacks.

This week, Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defence revealed that Britain’s (then) PM Liz Truss sent a message to the US State Secretary Antony Blinken, saying “It’s done.”

The message was sent only one minute after the pipelines were destroyed. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded an explanation from the British government. Not surprisingly, the allegations were rejected on both sides of the Atlantic, with the UK Ministry of Defence claiming that the Russians were “peddling false claims on an epic scale.” Of course they are: we all know that we in the west are the good guys and that the Russians are evil, so that should settle the issue. Or maybe not. If you’re not so sure about the western narrative anymore, please continue reading.

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Before Ukraine blew up Kerch Bridge, British spies plotted it

The secret British intelligence plot to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge is revealed in internal documents and correspondence obtained exclusively by The Grayzone.

The Grayzone has obtained an April 2022 presentation drawn up for senior British intelligence officers hashing out an elaborate scheme to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge with the involvement of specially trained Ukrainian soldiers. Almost six months after the plan was circulated, Kerch Bridge was attacked in an October 8th suicide bombing apparently overseen by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence services.

Detailed proposals for providing “audacious” support to Kiev’s “maritime raiding operations” were drafted at the request of Chris Donnelly, a senior British Army intelligence operative and veteran high ranking NATO advisor. The wide-ranging plan’s core component was “destruction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait.” 

Documents and correspondence plotting the operation were provided to The Grayzone by an anonymous source. 

The truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge differed operationally from the plot sketched therein. Yet, Britain’s evident interest in planning such an attack underscores the deep involvement of NATO powers in the Ukraine proxy war. At almost precisely the time that London reportedly sabotaged peace talks between Kiev and Moscow in April this year, British military intelligence operatives were drawing up blueprints to destroy a major Russian bridge crossed by thousands of civilians per day.

The roadmap was produced by Hugh Ward, a British military veteran. A number of strategies for helping Ukraine “pose a threat to Russian naval forces” in the Black Sea are outlined. The overriding objectives are stated as aiming to “degrade” Russia’s ability to blockade Kiev, “erode” Moscow’s “warfighting capability”,  and isolate Russian land and maritime forces in Crimea by “denying resupply by sea and overland via Kerch bridge.”

Read the complete blueprint: Support for Maritime Raiding Operations – Proposal

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‘Eco’ power station in tree-felling storm: Wood-fired plant that takes billions in green handouts is hacking down Canadian forest, TV probe alleges

Britain’s largest renewable power station is cutting down carbon-rich forests while receiving billions in green- energy subsidies from UK taxpayers, an investigation claims.

Panorama tonight reports how Drax, which generates 12 per cent of the UK’s renewable electricity by burning wood pellets at its Yorkshire power station, bought logging licences to cut down two areas of forest in western Canada.

The company claims it only used leftover sawdust and waste wood from the forests but the BBC film, titled The Green Energy Scandal Exposed, shows logs from the forest being loaded on to a Drax truck and then unloaded at one of its pellet plants.

The programme says that Drax’s power station burned more than seven million tonnes of imported wood pellets last year and that documents on a Canadian forestry database show that only 11 per cent of logs delivered to two of its pellet plants are the small, twisted or rotten timber the company says it uses.

Drax has already received £6billion in green energy subsidies even though burning wood gives off more greenhouse gases than burning coal, Panorama emphasised.

The two areas of environmentally important forest – in the Canadian province of British Columbia – where Drax bought logging licences have never been logged before.

One of the sites includes large areas that have been identified as rare, old-growth forest. Drax’s own responsible sourcing policy says it ‘will avoid damage or disturbance’ to primary and old-growth forest. However, satellite pictures show Drax is now cutting down this forest, according to the BBC.

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