Campaigners take a picnic to Peel Holdings next urban project

Campaigners picnicked today on an urban site on the Trafford/Salford border in the hopes of bringing awareness to people that a important ecological area is under threat.

Manchester Campaigner Loz Kaye uses the area on a regular basis "It will be a great shame to see Peel Holdings take this area and develop it, it will destroy some of the last remaining areas that are so close to the city."

Friday, 21 March, 2014 - 21:00

Loz Kaye : LibDems and Labour – Nothing to Offer on Mass Surveillance

There is a set pattern for speeches from mainstream politicians about the Internet. Start off with a few “isn't it amazing what the kids can do nowadays” generalities to show you are vaguely with it. Then do a nod in the direction of the economic benefits technology can bring, to keep business happy. That leaves you clear to get on to the meat of what you really want to talk about – how the Nettywebz are a Pandora's box of terror, abuse, threats to citizen's rights, and moral dissolution.

So it has proved with the much trailed speeches by the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and the LibDem Leader Nick Clegg respectively. In particular, Cooper's speech is so packed with web cliches that it is clear that the Labour top remains fundamentally anti-Internet in its outlook. There are too many lazy conflations to mention, Facebook and NHS data are lumped together for example. She refers to the “digital challenges of the last 12 months” regarding mass surveillance. I have no idea what this means specifically, and I suspect whoever wrote it doesn't either.

To cut through the padding, the heart of what they set out to address, was surveillance in the light of the Snowden revelations. I want to focus on the substance – such as it is – of what they said and proposed, rather than how it was sold to the media.

The fact that they are discussing this at all shows that it is beginning to filter through to politicians that they can't ignore the gravity of the serious breaches of trust that have taken place. That's in no small way thanks to all the work of grassroots digital rights and privacy activists over the months. And of course Edward Snowden himself, whatever Cooper might claim to the contrary. To be fair, this is some kind of progress.

The Mancunion interviews Loz Kaye

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye speaks to Features Editor Sam Dumitriu about surveillance, filters and how the internet can transform politics.

Just because our politicians failed to hold the security services to account, doesn’t mean those of us outside of the Westminster bubble aren’t interested, but you have to let your MP know you’re concerned about these issues because one of the things they love to say is that that nobody cares and no one contacted us.

Monday, 10 March, 2014 - 17:00

The fight against the surveillance state has only just begun

The truth is that Labour and Conservatives have colluded over subsequent governments to dramatically expand the extent of the surveillance state in Britain – writes Loz Kaye

We are often told that the British public at large does not really care about the issue of mass surveillance. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he does not “think that Snowden has had an enormous public impact”. Certainly, the United Kingdom has not seen huge public demos or the kind of intense pressure on our politicians that has been seen in the United States and in Germany.

Thursday, 13 February, 2014 (All day)


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