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Expanding state power in times of ‘surveillance realism’: how the UK got a ‘world-leading’ surveillance law

A fragmented opposition, public resignation in the face of omnipresent data collection, and a dominant security discourse has created a social context for the Investigatory Powers Act to be passed largely unhindered.

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Showcasing the thinking and stories of people concerned with surveillance cultures.

Expanding state power in times of ‘surveillance realism’: how the UK got a ‘world-leading’ surveillance law

A fragmented opposition, public resignation in the face of omnipresent data collection, and a dominant security discourse has created a social context for the Investigatory Powers Act to be passed largely unhindered.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

In Theresa May’s Britain, a proposed new ‘espionage act’ is alarming, but hardly surprising

It is part of a misguided trend of civil liberties being sacrificed in the name of security across Europe and the United States.

How can we create an ethical framework for journalism in an age of terror?

The issue, as always, is where to draw the line between public safety and public knowledge. A new book argues that it’s the job of journalists and intelligence agencies to negotiate a responsible middle-ground. 

Adhocracy helps create a future of political engagement

For us, it is already a democratic achievement if you have the possibility to participate.

Simplicity, openness, and modifiability

Governments, endogamic institutions since forever, are not used to opening up. But now there’s political will for it to happen, if a lot of trial and error in the process.

Obama may have commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence – but his legacy on whistleblowers is not one of clemency

Obama should be remembered for his persecution of whistleblowers and presiding over a culture of intimidation. It’s a legacy that Trump’s administration will happily build on in the years to come.

State surveillance is a global threat to press freedom

The state should not have the power to secretly identify then persecute whistleblowers.

We need to remove free movement from the vicious circle of security

While freedoms, such as the principles of equality and non-discrimination, the presumption of innocence and respect for privacy, undoubtedly still exist, they have been relegated to the margins.

The media–technology–military industrial complex

In a world of so-called fake news and post-truth politics, the influence of largely invisible qualities of concentrated power over media, public and policy agendas, warrants renewed and urgent scrutiny.

A whistleblowing platform against corruption for the City Council of Barcelona

Corruption can’t be eliminated by institutions scrutinising themselves. Civil society must play a central, continuous role.

We design money with the blockchain

Would you design and run your own, fairer money system, with your own politics built into it, if only technology allowed?

Representation is no longer enough - A Q&A with Michel Bauwens

A Q&A with Michel Bauwens, as part of our focus on Platform Co-ops and the forthcoming open2017 conference.

openDemocracy offers you a 10% partner discount to the event here

What would Twitter be if it adopted Wikipedia’s politics?

As Twitter drowns with trolls, dictators and profit warnings, could now be the time for a co-operatively run, open source alternative?

Part of our focus on Platform Co-ops and the February open2017 conference. we offer you a 10% partner discount to the event here

Algorithms: the villains and heroes of the ‘post-truth’ era

We often focus on the negative or positive impacts of algorithms. But is this a distraction from how power is actually deployed through them?

Expanding state power in times of ‘surveillance realism’: how the UK got a ‘world-leading’ surveillance law

A fragmented opposition, public resignation in the face of omnipresent data collection, and a dominant security discourse has created a social context for the Investigatory Powers Act to be passed largely unhindered.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled against the UK government, but will they listen?

The court has ruled that the indiscriminate retention of electronic communications data by governments is incompatible with a modern democracy. But what will this mean following the Brexit vote?

Catalonian lessons: civil society has something to offer on the gaming tables of governance

A statement made before the Catalan Parliamentary Committee for the Study of Anti-Corruption Measures and for Democratic Regeneration.

Out of prison, Barrett Brown recommits himself to agitating against existing order

After four years behind bars on hacking-related charges, journalist and activist Barrett Brown, still plans a global platform by which to generate real, cogent, viable opposition to the state of things.

Digital democracy and technological sovereignty

Panel discussion: what place does technology have in the decline of neoliberalism, and the rise of populism? As social dependency on the Silicon Valley increases, how should we fight for our technological sovereignty? (108 minutes)

War, peace and the technological revolution

Technology is forcing through a new form of conversation — even in conflicts. How will the next generation of tools transform the construction of peace?

Networks, social movements and the internet in Mexico

We cannot imagine contemporary social movements, or even the world, without internet. But this world is changing all the time and we have much more to learn. Español

Beauty and callousness: the world of drone art

Artist Mahwish Chishty approaches the world of military drone warfare through the language of vibrant Pakistani ‘truck art’, in a stunning new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

Waking up to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Act

The myth of ‘this is a liberal democracy, these things don’t happen here’ is shattered. And now we have created an infrastructure for really serious social and political control.

“Build democracy and it spreads like a virus”

A Q&A on Platform Co-ops with Nathan Schneider, as part of our focus on Platform Co-ops and the forthcoming open2017 conference.

openDemocracy offers you a 10% partner discount to the event here

Hidden Warfare 3: Special forces

While Britain’s conventional army is being slashed, Britain’s special forces are benefiting from special treatment. Their budget was doubled in last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Loomio and the problem of deliberation

One of the frustrations within the current political system is that most people are alienated from deliberation. The founders of decision-making software Loomio want to give everyone access to that essential skill. 

The Facebook President: fact trumps fiction

Did Facebook really turn Hillary Clinton from POTUS 45 into Al Gore 2016?

The free space for data monopolies in Europe is shrinking

If the new EU data protection regulation is enforced equally for EU and non-EU companies, supported by anti-trust and consumer protection laws, new types of data-based monopolization could be controlled.

Resisting the movement of control

We must fight for more transparency, and against technologies of decision-making. We cannot not do it. But this is not enough. We must learn the language of becoming other. A Tacit Futures interview.

Big Brother is about to be joined by his Crazy Cousin. The time for trust is over.

Whatever happens over the next few years, if there is to be a storm, then it is best to prepare. It is essential that western liberal democratic societies are resilient enough to uphold their fundamental values.

Drones, Baby, Drones

Drama going beyond journalism at the Arcola theatre in London, until 26 November, Box Office: 0207 503 1646

Hidden Warfare 2: Drones

In an attempt to give them a better image, the British MoD has renamed them Protector rather than Predator.

Internet politics: a feminist guide to navigating online power

Recognising the political importance of our technical decisions is within reach, leading ultimately to reclaiming power and control of our activism in the digital sphere as well as in the offline world. Français Español

Hidden Warfare 1. Cyber

The UK agency would like to be known as on the front line defending UK interests from cyber attacks, rather than as an eavesdropping agency collecting data on individuals en masse.

UK re-elected to UN Human Rights Council despite worrying moves against press freedom at home

Press freedom in the UK is under threat as the Snoopers' Charter undergoes its third and final reading at the House of Lords today, 31 October.

Hyper-security, video-surveillance and borders: an interview with Catarina Frois

What types of democratic control of movement should we be fighting for?

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