Does the NSA have a quantum computer?

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By Joe Kloc

According to the secret U.S. intelligence budget leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Department of Defense spends $11 billion a year on cryptanalysis—almost certainly more than any other group in the world.

So how good is the U.S. intelligence community at cracking encryptions?

The question is an important one: Since Snowden leaked a trove of documents detailing the NSA’s controversial Internet surveillance program, it has become clear that the NSA is “touching” a good portion of emails, messages, chats, photos, and videos.

In an opinion piece for Wired, security expert Bruce Schneier explored just how advanced the NSA’s secret encryption capabilities might be.

Schneier pointed to a curious line in the introduction of the intelligence budget, written by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “we are investing in groundbreaking cryptanalytic capabilities to defeat adversarial cryptography and exploit Internet traffic.”

According to Schneier, it is likely that the NSA does have more advanced cryptoanalysis techniques than those publicly known. Indeed, the NSA is one of if not the largest employer of mathematicians, often recruiting researchers from top-tier Ph.D. programs.

However, Schneier wrote, it is unlikely that the NSA’s encryption techniques would be advanced enough to break plain text encryptions used for many sensitive Internet communications. In short, these encryption algorithms are so far beyond any known attack techniques that the idea the NSA would have made such a leap in mathematical understanding is “so impossible as to be fanciful.”

That said, Schneier did offer one intriguing—yet highly unlikely—possible explanation for Clapper’s bold claim about the agency’s encryption-breaking capabilities: a quantum computer. Theoretically, we know—and have known for a while—that when the quantum computer arrives, it will be able to make quick work of encryption algorithm’s on the Internet.

As far as the academic world is concerned, that day is still a ways off. As Schneier wrote, “it extraordinarily unlikely that the NSA has built a quantum computer capable of performing the magnitude of calculation necessary to do this, but it’s possible.”




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I had underage sex with police officers at guest house used by ‘VIP paedophile ring’: Astonishing allegations by masseur who worked as a 16-year-old at notorious party venue ‘used by politicians, judges and pop stars’

. Lee Towsey told new investigation he had underage sex with officers
. He was working as a masseur at London’s infamous Elm Guest House
. He is the first person with first-hand knowledge of events to speak publicly
. In an MoS interview, he also talks of a sexual encounter with Cyril Smith
. He claims police told him to ‘keep quiet about what and who you saw’

By Paul Cahalanand Ian Gallagher

A former child actor has told detectives he was abused by undercover male police officers at a guest house at the centre of an alleged VIP paedophile ring.

Lee Towsey made the astonishing claim to Scotland Yard’s Operation Fernbridge, which is investigating historic child sex abuse.

He says it happened while he worked at the Elm Guest House in South-West London in 1982. At the time, Mr Towsey was 16, then under the age of homosexual consent.

‘I was naive and struggling to come to terms with my sexuality,’ he said. ‘After we had sex the officers offered me money.’

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he also tells of a sexual encounter with Cyril Smith – and how he was warned by police to ‘keep quiet about what and who you saw’.

For years, the question of what went on at the Edwardian terrace in Rocks Lane, overlooking Barnes Common, has been the subject of speculation. It was claimed politicians, judges, pop stars, a high-ranking policeman, a member of the Royal household and an MI5 officer were among the visitors. There were allegations that some VIPs preyed on boys from a nearby children’s home.

But until today no one with any first-hand knowledge of what went on has ever spoken publicly. In bombshell testimony, Mr Towsey, who worked at Rocks Lane for five months as a masseur, claims:

  • Guest house owner Carole Kasir paid police protection money.
  • Names of high-profile guests were kept in a black book, referred to by Kasir as ‘my insurance policy’.
  • Kasir told him a Cabinet Minister was a regular visitor.
  • He only knew Cyril Smith was a politician when he recognised his Spitting Image puppet years later.

Mr Towsey has also spoken to Labour MP Simon Danczuk, whose book about Smith revealed how he abused scores of boys. Last night Mr Danczuk said: ‘This is a significant part of the jigsaw in what is a complex cover-up. It really moves on the need for a more in-depth inquiry.’

The infamous address in Barnes

House of depravity:

Mr Towsey first visited Elm Guest House in February 1982. At the time he was pursuing his dream of becoming an actor. He later appeared in Grange Hill and Doctor Who.

‘I went out one night with a friend and we ended up going back to where he was staying in Barnes, which was on my way home,’ said Mr Towsey. ‘It was Elm Guest House. We had a couple of drinks in the bar and that’s where I first met Carole Kasir, the owner. She was kind of hippy-ish and made quite a fuss of me.’…

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Vile paedophile who hoarded videos of babies being raped and tortured was allowed to continue running child hypnotherapy clinic after being found guilty

Timothy Millender continued working for the clinic despite being a convicted paedophile

Timothy Millender continued working for the clinic despite being a convicted paedophile

. Timothy Millender, 32, collected pictures and videos of child abuse
. Despite being given a suspended sentence, he continued to run Redwood Health Therapies, in Winchester, which offered treatments to children
. The clinic rebranded itself earlier this month and may have been shut down

By Sam Creighton

A paedophile was allowed to run a clinic offering treatments to young children for two months after a court found him guilty of his sickening crimes.

Timothy Millender, 32, continued to work at Redwood Health Therapies, in Winchester, Hampshire, which offered hypnotherapy to youngsters under 16, despite being given a six month suspended sentence for hoarding vile images of babies being raped and tortured.

Millender pleaded guilty at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court to having 740 pictures and 106 videos of children as young as six months being abused. Some of the films were level five, the most extreme level possible.

On top of his suspended sentence, he was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register but still went back to work at the clinic.

Millender was listed as a director of the company which, according to the Sunday Mirror, was hastily shut down last week.

However, the website is still live and claims the hypnotherapy sessions ‘help children to free themselves of their bottled up emotions’ by using the ‘Blowaway Technique’ – a popular form of therapy where children are hypnotised into a physically relaxed state and then told to literally ‘blow away’ any bad feelings or problems they may have.

A former employee told the Sunday Mirror: ‘It’s shocking a convicted paedophile could carry on running a business advertising services for children.

‘The images he was looking at were of the very worst kind yet he walked free from court and was able to carry on running the clinic for two months after he pleaded guilty. It’s disgusting…

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Monsanto pressures Sri Lanka to reverse ban on herbicide believed to be causing widespread kidney disease


by: David Gutierrez

(NaturalNews) Monsanto has successfully pressured the government of Sri Lanka to back off from banning its signature chemical glyphosate, commonly known by the trade name Roundup. The Sri Lankan government had moved to ban glyphosate following findings that linked it to an epidemic of kidney failure that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers.

For years, a rare kidney disease has been devastating farm workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. The cause of the disease remains unknown, although scientists have suggested that a combination of chronic dehydration (due to hard labor in tropical climates) and exposure to toxic chemicals may be to blame.

On March 12, the Sri Lankan government made an announcement that the country’s president would be banning the herbicide based on a scientific report that “revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate.”

Monsanto, other chemical companies and Sri Lankan officials connected to the pesticide industry immediately began contesting the decision, attempting to cast doubt on its scientific basis. Less than a month later, the government placed the glyphosate ban on hold.

A similar story took place in El Salvador last year. The country’s Legislative Assembly approved a ban on glyphosate and 52 other agricultural chemicals, largely due to their suspected role in the kidney disease epidemic. The president refused to sign the bill into law, however.

Roundup binds to toxic metals

The scientific paper that led to the now-suspended Sri Lankan ban was published by Channa Jayasumana of Rajarata University in Sri Lanka, along with another Sri Lankan researcher and one from California State University-Long Beach. The paper suggested that Roundup is unique among herbicides in the strength with which it binds to heavy metals, including toxic ones such as arsenic and cadmium. This binding produces new, stable compounds that do not break down until they enter the kidneys, the researchers hypothesized. In fact, glyphosate’s original patent was as a chelating agent, a chemical that forms strong bonds with metals.

“Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney,” Jayasumana said.

Scientific support for this hypothesis is accumulating. A World Health Organization study found detectable levels of both glyphosate and cadmium (as well as other pesticides and heavy metals) in the urine of kidney patients, as well as in the environments of places where the disease is endemic.

Both experimental and theoretical evidence also support the contention that glyphosate binds to metals more strongly and aggressively than other pesticides. At least one experimental study has suggested that it forms strong bonds with cadmium specifically.

“As far as I know, there are no other common herbicides that would have this same sort of strength of interactions with metals,” U.S. Geological Survey researcher Paul Capel said.

Although the existence of a chemical compound formed by a union of glyphosate and toxic heavy metals has not yet been proven, Jayasumana’s paper suggests a possible chemical structure for this compound. In addition, Jayasumana says that his research team has detected the compound and is planning to publish the findings.

“We experimentally detected [the compound] in drinking water samples, some food items and in urine samples of [kidney disease] patients,” he said.

Ban may still go through

The fight over the future of glyphosate is far from settled. In Sri Lanka, the ban may still go forward. In El Salvador, campaigners hope that the country’s newly elected president will sign the ban that his predecessor rejected.

And in Brazil, which has not suffered from the kidney disease epidemic, a prosecutor has nevertheless asked the government to ban glyphosate and a number of other agricultural chemicals.

Their safety, he says, has never been proven.

Sources for this article include:

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Concentration Camps, Nazi Collaborators, and Zionist Contradictions (Part VI)

The attributions of anti-Semitism to a uniquely distorted ‘German mind’ or ‘German character’ are largely irrelevant, whether based on psychology, sociology, intellectual history, or demonology.” Historian Sarah Gordon[1]


…by Jonas E. Alexis


Holocaust-industryWe must never forget that Jews were not the only ones to be sent to concentration camps. There were Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, ordinary Germans, political dissidents, Communists, and even homosexuals.

Even Richard J. Evans, one of the key figures in the Holocaust establishment, admits that there were at least 190,000 German “criminal offenders” by 1945.[2]

There were several concentration camps designated for dissenters, Catholics and others, such as Dachau.

According to Paul Berben, there were four main categories of prisoners: “the ‘Politicals,’ the ‘Racials,’ the ‘Criminals’ and the ‘Anti-Socials.’ The ‘Politicals’ formed the largest group.”[3] The Politicals were exclusively

“German Communists and Social Democrats who actively opposed the seizure of power by the National Socialists. They were considered to be dangerous opponents and were treated as such throughout their stay in Dachau. But other opposition groups, such as Conservatives and Monarchists, were also persecuted.

“Over the years there came to the camp men who had been found guilty of all kinds of transgressions of the new laws and regulations promulgated by the Nazi regime.

“Some, for example, had listened to foreign radio stations, some had simply had disagreements with some authorities, others had made unfavorable remarks about Nazism and had been denounced.”[4]

There were also priests who were part of the political group.[5] By 1937, the Catholic Church overwhelmingly opposed National Socialism. In retaliation

“schools were shut, Catholic organizations and works were banned, religious communities were abolished and their property seized, children were separated from the Church and their families, the State alone being responsible for their upbringing.

“At the same time the cunning propaganda was used systematically to denigrate the Church, the clergy and religious observance. Foul accusations were made, and a series of trials was held to show members of the clergy as a body of money traffickers who were corrupting youth…Finally the famous encyclicla Mit brennender Sorge of 1937 solemnly denounced the pagan ideology of Nazism and its vile practices.

“The Vatican’s action did not put a stop to persecution. Far from it. Nazi government denounced the Church as the enemy of the nation more rigorously than ever. Hundreds of members of the clergy were arrested and sent to concentration camps, where a large number met their deaths.

“After playing a waiting game at the start, some bishops, first and foremost the Bishop of Munster, Mgr von Galen, protested against the doctrine of blood and race and against the new paganism…He publicly denounced Nazi crimes, in particular euthanasia.”[6]

The second group was the racial group, and it is where numerous Jews fit in.[7] Jews, however, were not the only group to be part of the racial category. Gypsies were also taken to Dachau for the same reason.[8]

The third group was the Criminals, who “were far less numerous at Dachau than the ‘politicals.’ On 26th April 1945 they numbered only 759, a large number of them having been enrolled in S.S. formations or sent to other camps.”[9]

The Anti-social group was “an extremely ill-assorted group in which were to be found beggars, hawkers, tramps, workers who had left their jobs or had had a row with their employers. Men who had simply wished to defend their rights as working people, when promises made to them had been broken, were also considered anti-social.

“There were men too who had been wrongly denounced or who had committed some minor transgression which in no way justified their being considered ‘anti-social.’ As in the case of the criminals distinctions could be made between them, for while some were genuinely ‘anti-social,’ others behaved well.”[10]

The Jehovah’s Witnesses were not part of any of the groups mentioned above, but “were banned in Germany from 1933.”[11] Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals were not part of any group, but were imprisoned.[12]

There were other unfortunates as well.[13] In the end, the prisoners who stayed at Dachau during its twelve years did not amount to millions.[14]

In general, the Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, political dissidents, and gypsies were sent to Dachau. But they were far from the only groups. Dr. Johannes Neuhausler, a Catholic priest who was at Dachau from 1941 until 1945, wrote that there were people there from various parts of the world:

Albanians, Americans, Arabians, Armenians, Belgians, Bulgarians, Danes, Dutchmen, Englishmen, Estonians, Finns, Frenchmen, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Russians, Slovacs, Slovenes, Spaniards, Swedes, Swiss, and Turks.[15]

Dachau’s prisoners did not have it easy: “The prisoners’ clothing was clearly inadequate and could not protect them from the rigours of the winter. As they did not have changes of clothing they often had to spend the whole day and even the night in wet clothes.”[16]

But since “living conditions in these subsidiary camps varied greatly according to the way they were laid out,” there were a few things that were available in many of those camps…









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An Oslo Criminal

… by Uri Avnery, … with Gush Shalom


Alice and her make believe friends...just like the kind that Israel has

[ Editor's note: Uri takes us once again on an Alice and Wonderland trip through the Byzantine maze of Israeli politics to show that while Oslo was not a useless effort, Israel never feels itself bound to live up to any agreement that it signs.

It is a peculiarity of their people, a supremacist thing in my opinion, that they are “above” that obligation.

To be concerned about obligations is something for the other side who cares about its international reputation. For Israel, that is the least of their concerns. As long as the US keeps vetoing UN resolutions against Israel they have been for all practicality an officially protected rogue nation, and a terrorist one to boot.

But the winds of change are in the air with the steadily growing call for stronger sanctions on Israel. This makes the Zionists even more dangerous as they will be looking for "game changer" event to turn that all around.

Would the Likuds orchestrate a huge terrorist attack against there own people if they thought it would nix the growing boycott movement? You bet your booties they a New York minute.

But for today Uri gives us a good refresher course from the Oslo Accords forward to the peace talks time warp in which we find ourselves today. He does this with all the details and personal vignettes that only someone who had a front row seat to it all can share. We have him here, despite our differences, because we learn a lot from Uri, a good reason to have him around... Jim W. Dean ]


- First published April 19, 2014 -


Ron Pundak at the 10th anniversary of the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa

The death of Ron Pundak, one of the original Israeli architects of the 1993 Oslo agreement, brought that historic event back into the public eye.

Gideon Levy reminded us that the Rightist rabble-rousers, in their furious onslaught on the agreement, called the initiators “Oslo criminals” – a conscious echo of one of Adolf Hitler’s main slogans on his way to power.

Nazi propaganda applied the term “November criminals” to the German statesmen who signed the 1918 armistice agreement that put an end to World War I – by the way, at the request of the army General Staff who had lost the war.

In his book, Mein Kampf (which is about to lose its copyright, so that anyone can print it again), Hitler also revealed another insight: that a lie will be believed if it is big enough, and if it is repeated often enough.

That, too, applies to the Oslo agreement. For more than 20 years now the Israel right-wing has relentlessly repeated the lie that the Oslo agreement was not only an act of treason, but also a total failure.

Oslo is dead, we are told. It actually died at birth. And by extension, this will be the lot of every peace agreement in the future. A large part of the Israeli public has come to believe this. The main achievement of the Oslo agreement, an act of history-changing dimensions, bears the date of September 10, 1993, which happened to be my 70th birthday.

On that day, the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Prime Minister of the State of Israel exchanged letters of mutual recognition. Yasser Arafat recognized Israel, Yitzhak Rabin recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. Today’s younger generation (on both sides) cannot realize the huge significance of these twin acts.


Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir

From its inception almost a hundred years earlier, the Zionist movement had denied the very existence of a Palestinian people.

I myself have spent many hundreds of hours of my life in trying to convince Israeli audiences that a Palestinian nation really exists.

Golda Meir famously declared: “There is no such thing as a Palestinian people.”

I am rather proud of my reply to her, in a Knesset debate: “Mrs. Prime Minister, perhaps you are right. Perhaps a Palestinian people really does not exist. But if millions of people mistakenly believe that they are a people and act like a people, they are a people!”

The Zionist denial was not an arbitrary quirk. The basic Zionist aim was to take hold of Palestine, all of it. This necessitated the displacement of the inhabitants of the country. But Zionism was an idealistic movement. Many of its East European activists were deeply imbued with the ideas of Lev Tolstoy and other utopian moralists. They could not face the fact that their utopia could only be realized on the ruins of another people. Therefore the denial was an absolute moral necessity.

Recognizing the existence of the Palestinian people was, therefore, a revolutionary act. On the other side, recognition was even harder.

From the first day of the conflict, practically all Palestinians, and indeed almost all Arabs, looked upon the Zionists as an invading tribe that was out to rob them of their homeland, drive them out and build a robber-state on their ruins.

The aim of the Palestinian national movement was therefore to demolish the Zionist state and throw the Jews into the sea, as their forefathers had thrown the last of the Crusaders quite literally from the quay of Acre.


Oslo Accord Signing Ceremony, 1993 - How was it implemented?

And here came their revered leader, Yasser Arafat, and recognized the legality of Israel, reversing the ideology of a hundred years of struggle, in which the Palestinian people had lost most of their country and most of their homesteads.

In the Oslo agreement, signed three days later on the White House lawn, Arafat did something else, which has been completely ignored in Israel: he gave up 78% of historical Palestine.

The man who actually signed the agreement was Mahmoud Abbas. I wonder if his hand shook when he signed this momentous concession, minutes before Rabin and Arafat shook hands.

Oslo did not die. In spite of the glaring faults of the agreement (“the best possible agreement in the worst possible situation,” as Arafat put it), it changed the nature of the conflict, though it did not change the conflict itself. The Palestinian Authority, the basic structure of the Palestinian State-in-the-Making, is a reality.

Palestine is recognized by most countries and, at least partly, by the UN. The Two-State Solution, once the idea of a crazy fringe group, is today a world consensus. A quiet but real cooperation between Israel and Palestine is going on in many fields.

Countries that have recognised the State of Palestine

But, all this is far from the reality of peace which many of us, including Ron Pundak, envisioned on that happily optimistic day, September 13, 1993.

Just over twenty years later, the flames of conflict are blazing, and most people don’t dare to even utter the word “peace,” as if it were a pornographic abomination.

What went wrong? Many Palestinians believe that Arafat’s historic concessions were premature, that he should not have made them before Israel had recognized the State of Palestine as the final aim…







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Police Beat Up Entire Wedding Party, Ruin Pro Baseball Player’s Career


Cole O’Balle’s head wound. (Source: ABC-13)

GALVESTON, TX — More than a dozen wedding guests were brutalized by police officers during a raid on a wedding party at a hotel. Cops fired tasers, used batons, and generously applied pepper spray to the guests of a bride and groom hours after their wedding. Among them was former pro-baseball star Brandon Backe, who said the shoulder injuries that he received from police caused his pitching career to end.

After causing a gaping head wound, bruises, hair pulled out, a broken nose, and pepper spray on numerous individuals, the only reprimand any of the officers received was a paperwork violation. Interestingly, none of the 3 dozen cops reported any use of force.

Wedding Crashers

An event that should have been happy and memorable turned into violence and chaos when the Galveston Police got involved. A couple had just exchanged their vows and were celebrating with friends and family at the San Luis Hotel.

Everything was fine until an off-duty police officer thought that he had witnessed the bride’s brother, Daniel “Cole” O’Balle, 19, walking outside with an alcoholic beverage in his hand. Suspecting an under-aged adult had consumed a beverage without government permission, and violated the “open container” prohibition law, he phoned the police department for backup.

Police officers arrived to confront Mr. O’Balle. Joe and Shannon Belluomini, guests of the wedding party, witnessed the altercation and said that O’Balle was complying with security. Nonetheless, “out of nowhere, mayhem started,” explained Joe Belluomini to KTRK.

When the Belluominis tried to defuse the situation, they became targets themselves. Shannon Belluomini explained to KTRK that her husband was grabbed by the throat as Mr. O’Balle was assaulted. “The officer that had a baton in his hand started beating Cole with it. And then there just seemed like there were more and more officers.”

As Shannon Belluomini witnessed Cole O’Balle getting pummeled with baton strikes, she tried to intercede to protect his head, which was gashed open and bleeding. “That’s when they grabbed hold of me and threw me backwards and basically encased me with mace. It felt like acid being poured over my face and my eyes and my chest.”

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Composing Only 5% of the World Population, Americans Take 50% of All Pharmaceutical Drugs


Source: Christina Sarich, Natural Society

While Americans comprise only 5 percent of the world population, we consume an incredible 50 percent of Big Pharma’s drugs, as explained in Jeff Hays’ documentary film, Doctored. Make no mistake. These drugs are meant to keep us imprisoned in poor health, not heal us. It’s time to kick the drug habit America. Tell the drug pushers – Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, GlaxoSmith Kline, Abbott, Astra-Zeneca, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Sanofi (along with the FDA and CDC) that you are going cold turkey, and learn what true health really means.

Sadly, Americans are more familiar with names like Abilify, Nexium, Humira, Plavix, Crestor, Advair Diskus, Enbrel, and Cymbalta, the top selling drugs of Big Pharma, than names like Aloe barbadensis, Curcuma longa, Allium sativum, Moringa oleifera, Vitis vinifera L, all indigenous plants that have healed millions around the world.

You’ve likely heard the phrase before – just a dozen huge corporations are keeping Americans popping pills while they rake in billions, but have you really thought of what these numbers translate into, in terms of real health?

Annual sales for just one drug, Humira, was $9.3 billion. That puts Abott squarely at the top of the list as one of the most successful drug companies of all time.

One drug. One year. $9.3 billion.

This particular drug is meant to inhibit cancerous tumor growth, but there are dozens of natural remedies for the same purpose. Consider: turmeric, papaya leaf, grape seed extract, ginger, cannabis, and a host of other inexpensive plants can treat cancer. Here are 4 cancer fighting foods. Cost – around $3 per day per item.

Or the ‘what if’ scenarios:

  • What if that $9.3 billion were used to clean up the environmental messes from fracking, oil drilling, oil spills, mining, nuclear meltdowns, chemtrails, pesticide and herbicide spraying, chemical dumping, and more, that cause cancer to begin with?
  • What if we hired comedians to visit patients with cancer, using the proven technique of laughter therapy to treat many diseases, cancer among them?

Our money and our health is wasted on these companies, but we have to unplug from the drugs. We are overworked, under-nourished, over-fed, and lied to. You don’t need another pill. What really needs to pop is the illusory bubble that Big Pharma is the answer.

Additional Sources: ScienceDaily





Posted in Big Pharma, Bizarre, Curiositys, Freak U.S.A, Health, Living, Media&Culture, Visions | 1 Comment

Britons’ privacy at ‘real risk’ from weakly-regulated street cams – watchdog

Reuters / David Moir

Britain’s ‘surveillance society’ increasingly functions in ways the public is unaware of. An abundance of CCTV – and roadside – cameras misleads the public as to the true nature and scope of government snooping, the surveillance watchdog says.

The overall rise in surveillance culture over the past decades has not only led to public ignorance over how road cameras (dash-cams) scan millions of journeys and registration details daily, but also to a rise in private CCTV habits that has Britons snooping on each other and feeling the pressure of constantly being watched by their neighbors.

This was revealed in an interview to The Independent by Tony Porter, the Government’s Surveillance Commissioner. He argues that better and clearer guidelines are required to regulate the government’s bulk data gathering on innocent citizens. Among other things, it should be regularly updated and removed in a timely manner.

But another crucial point Porter feels the public is missing has to do with public fears of clandestine government operations and hacking overshadowing the surveillance being carried out right under everyone’s noses.

“There is a very real risk that if systems aren’t adhered to, innocent members of the public could be put at risk of having their privacy impacted upon… There are other concerns that have been expressed … the large data-grab of information and the period of retention of that information,” Porter said. Among other things, the information – even on innocent people – is stored by the cams’ network for a period of two years.

Now, a series of probes into ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) has thrust the police into the spotlight, following the system’s failures, which put into question the justifications for the dash-cams’ use. The system is at the center of the country’s growing concern with government surveillance in general.

In Porter’s eyes information gathering by some 50,000 government-controlled cams (and there are literally around 18 million journeys caught daily) solidifies ANPR’s reputation as that of the “biggest surveillance networks that most people have never heard of,” according to campaigners…




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The Profits of Doom

For most of the world’s population, climate change means nothing but trouble. For a few, it means laughing all the way to the bank.

by George Black

Every cloud has a silver lining. And every hurricane, every melting glacier, every millimeter of sea-level rise. That’s the uncomfortable message delivered by McKenzie Funk’s Windfall: while global warming may bring catastrophe to billions, it will also make some people very rich. Banks, hedge funds, and smart investors had this epiphany, Funk says, around 2007, after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that 11 of the previous 12 years had been the warmest in human history. In the words of a Deutsche Bank press release at that time, “The debate around climate change is shifting away from cost and risk toward the question of how to capitalize on exciting opportunities.”

This, of course, was precisely when others were having their own epiphany after watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The difference is in how these two epiphanies played out. For most people, says Elke Weber of Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, it’s difficult to achieve a sense of urgency because the “time-delayed, abstract, and often statistical nature of the risks of global warming does not evoke strong visceral reactions.” The pursuit of profit works in the opposite way; the viscera and the frontal lobe of the brain operate in tandem. Strike now, before the other guy does; place your bets decisively on disaster.

So where exactly should you invest? John Deere would be one good bet. If drought destroys wheat farming in Australia, American farmers will need more tractors. The Schroder Global Climate Change Fund favors big supermarket chains: “If climate change will be a negative for crop yields, then people will just have to spend more on food. Retailers are a clear beneficiary.” Water may be the biggest profit center of all. With “hydrocommerce” already a $400 billion-a-year industry, the chief economist of Citigroup predicts that water will “become eventually the single most important physical commodity-based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities, and precious metals.”

Funk divides his tour of these new profit centers into three segments: The Melt, The Drought, and The Deluge. But a single theme runs through all three: there will be winners and losers, and how the competition shakes out will be determined by money and power. Not surprisingly, perhaps, those who will make the greatest profits from climate change, and have the best chance of resisting its impact, live in countries that are principally responsible for causing it in the first place.

As this implies, some of the shakeout will occur at the political level—within, between, and among nation states. Funk devotes a chapter to the aspirations of Greenland, which he thinks may become “the first country in the world created by global warming.” In this Danish possession (which is 50 times larger than the mother country), massive deposits of minerals will appear miraculously from beneath melting glaciers. Valuable fish stocks are migrating into Greenland’s coastal waters as ocean temperatures climb. Disaster tourists are flocking to watch icebergs calve and collapse. The independence movement is salivating…









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