The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)



Etiquette mavens say the book on manners must be rewritten, literally, to take into
account new technologies and social media (AFP Photo/Ed Jones)

A 2012 survey by Intel found that in several countries, a majority said they were put
off by "oversharing" of pictures and personal information on the
internet and smartphones (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Forget oil, Russia goes crazy for cryptocurrency

Yahoo – AFP, Maxime POPOV, 16 August 2017

Stacks of computing power gives bitcoin miners a shot at harvesting crypto currencies

Standing in a warehouse in a Moscow suburb, Dmitry Marinichev tries to speak over the deafening hum of hundreds of computers stacked on shelves hard at work mining for crypto money.

"The form of currency we are used to is about to disappear," predicts the 42-year-old entrepreneur, who also works as President Vladimir Putin's adviser on internet matters.

Marinichev is one of Russia's leading crypto-businessmen at the helm of operations in this facility larger than a football pitch located in a former Soviet-era car factory, which collects virtual money on the accounts of its clients.

Individuals, or firms like Marinichev's, provide the computing power to run the so-called blockchain which records the world's virtual money transactions. In return for providing that service they receive virtual money, of which bitcoin is the most popular, as payment -- a process bitcoiners call "mining".

Mining farms like this represent a growing craze in Russia for bitcoin and other virtual currencies not backed by governments or central banks that are increasingly used for goods and services on the internet.

The hunt for virtual currencies is accessible "to anyone who may be hardly familiar with computer science," Marinichev said. "It's no more complicated than buying a cellphone and connecting to a mobile network."

The practice has become so popular in Russia that computer stores in the country have run out of graphic and video cards developed for gamers but are used by bitcoin miners to boost the processing power of their home computers.

Marinichev this week unveiled a more sophisticated setup, inviting investors to pitch in $100 million to join a mining club and develop a Russian mining chip called Multiclet through his startup.

Benefit of long winters

"The explosion of virtual currency value has made mining profitable enough to make it a professional activity," said Sergei, a 29-year-old computer scientist who runs half a dozen graphics cards plugged into the electrical grid of the company where he works.

He launched his mining operation in March, when the value of bitcoin and its main competitor ethereum, created by Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin, reached record heights on the currency's exchange.

Don't call my virtual currency evil

Since the beginning of 2017, bitcoin has quadrupled in value, surpassing $4,000 at the weekend, while ethereum experienced a rise of 4,500 percent to hit a record of $374 in June, later falling to $268 in August.

While the assembly of a mining operation is easy enough, it consumes a large amount of electricity, which can reach the equivalent of several households' needs.

"All my friends who were interested in Bitcoin or ethereum built their devices and plugged them into their corporate networks, and I did the same," Sergei said. "Others cut into the municipal electrical cables."

Russia has a competitive advantage as an environment for mining, as Marinichev points out in a brochure for prospective investors: electricity here costs just 1.3 US cents per kilowatt hour while long winters save money on cooling systems.

'Not an absolute evil'

Authorities in Russia were long suspicious of virtual money but have now come to recognise it as a force. A new bill is set to be debated this autumn which aims to regulate the possession and creation of crypto currency in the country.

The legal foundation for virtual money has so far been non-existent in Russia and it is associated with illicit activities like hacking and used to purchase drugs on the dark web.

"There is now an understanding at the highest level in the country that virtual currencies are not an absolute evil but a possible good, especially for the economy," said Marinichev.

Putin in early June even held a meeting at an economic forum with Buterin, the 23-year-old creator of ethereum, who lobbied the Russian president to expand the currency's use in Russia.

Last year, Russia's largest banks tested the platform for some of their transactions. The country's central bank even pondered development of a "national virtual currency".

Though at all-time-high in August at $116 billion, the global cryptocurrency market is still quite young, volatile and prone to speculation.

Bitcoin, for example, lost almost a third of its value between mid-June and mid-July, before gaining it back over the course of a week. Since then, it has been regularly breaking records.

"The rush to virtual money is not a fad or a fleeting phenomenon. The virtualisation of our lives is a market process that has gone on and will continue," Marinichev said.

In a sign of the times, several cafes and restaurants in Moscow this summer began to accept payments in virtual currencies.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Estonia 'e-residency' offers Brexit Brits EU loophole

Yahoo – AFP, Mike COLLIER with Mary SIBIERSKI in Warsaw, August 13, 2017

Taavi Kotka, Estonia's chief information officer, presents the e-residency IDs
project. As Brits brace for the upheaval that Brexit could bring, some are turning to
Estonia's e-residency digital ID programme to keep doing business across
the EU. (AFP Photo/RAIGO PAJULA)

Tallinn (AFP) - As Brits brace for the upheaval that Brexit could bring, some are turning to Estonia's e-residency digital ID programme to keep doing business across the European Union.

Using its knack for digital innovation to capitalise on the global explosion in e-commerce, the small cyber-savvy Baltic eurozone state became the first country to offer e-residency identification cards to people worldwide in 2014.

Touted as a "trans-national government-issued digital identity", e-residency allows users to open a business in the EU and then run it remotely with the ability to declare taxes and sign documents digitally.

It does not provide citizenship, tax residency, physical residency or the right to travel to Estonia. Applications can be made online via the www.howtostayin.eu website and cost 100 euros ($112).

Just over 22,000 people from 138 countries across the globe have become e-residents so far, including around 1,200 Brits and last year's Brexit vote triggered a boom in applications from the UK.

Before it, only three British citizens applied per week, but that shot up to over 50 in its aftermath. There was also a 75 percent spike in UK traffic on the website after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the Article 50 EU exit clause in March.

A "soft Brexit" would mean that Britain could retain access to the European single market like non-EU member Norway. But the "hard Brexit" option that has prevailed so far would see Britain leave the European single market and the customs union, creating a nightmare scenario for UK businesses as there would no longer be free movement of goods and services.

"The UK may have chosen to leave the EU, but its entrepreneurs can still choose to remain inside the EU's business environment" through e-residency, programme director Kaspar Korjus told AFP.

E-residency spokesman Arnaud Castaignet explaind that if a British entrepreneur becomes an Estonian e-resident and establishes a company producing goods in Estonia then they "will have the same access to the EU market as any EU company."

So far the majority of companies established by e-residents are in consultancy services, IT programming, web developing, business support services.

'Insurance policy'

Winners of the Mayor of London's 2017 Entrepreneur competition say they signed up for e-residency to mitigate the risk Brexit poses for their business, a startup making environmentally-friendly wet wipes.

Ellenor McIntosh and Alborz Bozorgi both live in London but say they took up e-residency in order to be able to keep their company, Twipes, inside the EU's single market.

Billing Twipes as "the future of toilet paper", its owners say they have registered it both in the UK and Estonia to boost investor confidence.

"We had discussions with many investors from across Europe, Cyprus and Estonia in particular, and they view the uncertainty of Brexit as a huge risk," Bozorgi told AFP via email.

"We had to incorporate in both the UK and EU as a method of hedging risk," he added.

If Britain loses access to the single market, however, the company would need to source materials and produce Twipes inside the EU to keep duty free access to the bloc.

Brit Dirk Singer established his Rabbit digital marketing agency six years ago in the UK, but wary of Brexit he digitally relocated it to Estonia last year thanks to e-residency.

"I applied for e-residency shortly before the EU referendum last year. Essentially, I was not so optimistic that we would vote to stay and so I saw this as an insurance policy," Singer told AFP.

"Two of my five biggest clients are from the EU. I'm concerned that as a small UK service-based business, Brexit could start to make life difficult for me."

British writer Will Mawhood who runs the "Deep Baltic" culture website says he jumped at the opportunities and flexibility e-residency offers, especially having his company registered in a eurozone member.

"I split my time between the UK and Latvia, but since all my work is online, I often spend prolonged periods of time in other countries," he told AFP.

"People involved in my company are based in a variety of countries, so having to sign important documents in person would be unnecessarily time-consuming and complicated," he added.

Digital banking

An upgrade to the e-residency programme in May saw Finnish fintech company Holvi team up with Estonia to launch , eliminating the need for e-residents to travel to take care of business banking.

Korjus told AFP that there are signs that this uniquely Estonian digital innovation is catching on abroad.

"We've had interest from governments around the world who are keen to understand the programme and even introduce their own versions of e-residency."

He insists that safeguards are in place to prevent the programme from being abused for tax evasion or money laundering, including police checks of applicants.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Silicon Valley's accidental war with the far right

Yahoo – AFP, Rob Lever, August 13, 2017

Google and other Silicon Valley giants are increasingly being targeted by the extreme
right amid efforts to crack down on what is described as hateful speech (AFP Photo/
JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

Washington (AFP) - Silicon Valley is finding itself entrenched in battle with the far right over ground rules for the digital world, a conflict that mirrors the polarization of American politics in recent years.

The recent firing of a Google engineer for questioning the internet giant's diversity efforts, which ignited a backlash from the "alt-right" and fueled charges of hypocrisy, is just one example.

Facebook has been accused of suppressing conservative voices and skewing information presented in its news feed.

Twitter has banned accounts from far right activists for violating its terms on "hate" speech.

Paypal refused to transmit donations to a group in Europe seeking to turn back refugees, claiming it does not support activities that promote "hate" or "violence."

And even Airbnb canceled accounts ahead of a white nationalist rally for promoting discrimination in violation of the terms of the home-sharing platform.

Activists on the extreme right have responded with an outcry against the tech giants and have begun migrating to alternatives for social networking and money transfers.

The conflict has caught Silicon Valley off-guard, amid a political onslaught from critics as online platforms grow in importance.

In Silicon Valley, "you've got a bunch of people who are interested in technology who would prefer to be apolitical," said Bob O'Donnell, consultant for Technalysis Research.

"They are being dragged into these decisions and being put into a difficult spot."

O'Donnell acknowledged that the big tech firms may allow bias to filter into their business operations because "Silicon Valley and northern California are heavily Democratic and heavily focused on political correctness."

The flare-up of tensions come with the tech sector roiled by accusations of discrimination, sexual harassment and a lack of diversity despite the idealism espoused by its leaders.

Evolving from 'fake news'

Alan Rosenblatt, a digital strategist for left-leaning groups, said alt-right activists are frustrated because they have been unable to exploit online platforms as much as they would like.

"It traces back to the whole 'fake news' issue" starting in the 2016 election campaign, Rosenblatt said.

Rosenblatt said social networks such as Facebook and Twitter were correctly working to crack down on disinformation, such as the erroneous report about a child sex ring in a Washington pizza restaurant in an effort to tarnish candidate Hillary Clinton.

It was appropriate, Rosenblatt argued, to suspend accounts "pushing alt-right messaging that is either hateful or disinformation."

President Donald Trump, he argued: "is the greatest enabler of the alt- right. He gives political coverage to their attacks on diversity and workplace fairness."

Tensions have flared at Google over the firing of engineer James Damore, who published a "manifesto" which claimed "biological differences" were a key factor in the low percentage of women in technology jobs.

Google said Damore's memo went too far in advancing "harmful gender stereotypes" but his dismissal fueled criticism that the tech giant was ignoring diverse viewpoints.

Damore said in an essay Friday that Google had become an "echo chamber" intolerant of open debate.

"How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?" he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

Elaine Ou, an engineer at a financial technology company, offered a similar comment in a column for Bloomberg: "Silicon Valley won't solve its gender issues if political correctness shuts down every conversation."

In a sign of the fractious atmosphere, Google canceled a "town hall" meeting intended to air viewpoints on diversity, sexism and free speech, citing worker safety concerns.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a memo to staff that despite the cancellation he wants a "frank, open discussion" and that "all of your voices and opinions matter."

'Hijacked' the discourse

Some analysts argue a small group of activists are trying to impose their will on the tech sector.

"A small group of social terrorists have hijacked the rational discourse led by society's most accomplished, intelligent, and promising organizations," said a blog post by John Battelle, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and journalist.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Road safety body urges minister to up fines for using smartphone while driving

DutchNews, August 2, 2017

Is this as dangerous as drunk driving? Photo: Depositphotos.com 

Road safety group Veilig Verkeer Nederland has written to acting justice minister Stef Blok urging him to increase the punishment for using a smartphone while driving. 

The minister said at the end of last month he is working on new legislation to increase the penalties for people involved in serious traffic offences which includes changes to the official definition of ‘reckless behaviour’. 

Although drunk driving and speeding can be considered reckless behaviour, higher courts rarely accept them as such when handing out punishments. 

VVN said on Wednesday that it considers drunk driving, driving at very high speeds and using smartphones to be a form of reckless driving. Fines for drunk driving currently begin at €300 while using a smartphone will lead to a fine of €230. 

Research by national statistics office CBS earlier this year showed that one in 10 motorists sends smartphone messages while driving without having a hands-free set. 

Around 600 fatal or serious incidents a year in the Netherlands are linked to people making calls or using social media behind the wheel. 

The VVN is currently working with phone firm KPN on developing a smartphone app which will stop phones being used by cyclists. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dutch police launch a data base for stolen emails

DutchNews, July 28, 2017


Dutch police have set up a data base to allow people to check if their email address has been hacked using information gleaned by cybercrime investigators. 

The data base contains 60,000 email addresses which have turned up in in the hands of hackers and botnets during police investigations. People who think their email may have been hacked simply send their email address to the police who will notify them and offer help if it has been taken over. 

The police stress that the data base is far from complete and recommend people who are worried to check other sites such as haveibeenpwnd.com as well. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

China cashing out as mobile payment soars

Yahoo – AFP, Allison JACKSON, July 23, 2017

This photo taken on June 27, 2017 shows a man making purchases through his
smartphone at a seafood booth at a market in Beijing

Yang Qianqian holds out her smartphone to scan a barcode on the mobile of a vendor selling fresh fruit and vegetables at a bustling outdoor market in Beijing.

The dance student is part of an explosion in the use of mobile payment platforms in China as consumers increasingly take out phones instead of cash to pay for everything from a coffee to a language class or a gas bill.

"Even though I have cash on me it's not convenient to get it when I am carrying a lot of bags," said Yang, 25, clutching plastic bags filled with pears, potatoes and watermelon.

China was the first country in the world to use paper money but centuries later the soaring popularity of mobile payment has some analysts forecasting it could be the first to stop.

The gross merchandise value of third party mobile payment rose more than 200 percent to 38 trillion yuan (about $5.6 trillion) in 2016 from a year earlier, according to China-based iResearch.

The growth of the cash-free system has been supported by China's rapidly expanding e-commerce market as Chinese shoppers increasingly shun bricks and mortar stores.

"I think it's really very possible that China becomes the first or one of the first cashless societies in the next decade," said Ben Cavender, a director at China Market Research Group.

Cavender estimates China's mobile payment market is already 40-50 times larger than the United States.

This photo taken on June 27, 2017 shows a woman looking at QR codes 
used for scanning payments at a seafood stall at a market in Beijing

Cashless

Alipay, started by e-commerce giant Alibaba and now owned by its affiliate Ant Financial, and WeChat Pay, which is built into Tencent's popular messaging service, have hundreds of millions of users between them and are China's dominant payment platforms.

In Beijing it is hard to find a product or a service that cannot be purchased with a mobile.

At the fresh produce market, stallholders display barcodes on tables laden with fruit and vegetables for customers like Yang to scan -- though many shoppers appeared more comfortable with cash.

"People at my age don't dare to use it," said a woman in her 50s.

Some restaurants in the capital no longer accept bank notes while it is common for motorbike taxis, street food carts and hair salons to offer mobile payment.

Mobile accounted for eight percent of the total value of retail payments in 2015 and is expected to reach 12 percent in 2020, according to a report published in April by UN-backed Better Than Cash Alliance.

But cash is still king in China -- although less so than it used to be.

The Better Than Cash Alliance expects cash's percentage of the value of retail payments to fall to 30 percent by 2020. It stood at 61 percent in 2010.

A key attraction of mobile payment is convenience.

People can carry little or no cash and avoid the problem of their debit or credit card being rejected due to the limited number of point-of-sale terminals in stores.

China's relatively short history of using bank cards also makes consumers more open to new technology, said Martin Utreras, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer.

"In China a lot of people never had any financial instruments that were automated in any way and the first thing they had was mobile payment," he said.

This photo taken on June 27, 2017 shows a woman making purchases through 
her smartphone at a shop in Beijing

'Hands off'

But some have been reluctant converts to the cashless system.

Among them is a 63-year-old woman surnamed Song who sells hand-knitted sunflowers and peashooters from the popular video game Plants vs Zombies in a pedestrian underpass in Beijing.

She prefers cash but accepts mobile payment because some customers do not carry real money.

"Cash is more convenient for me because I'm getting older and have bad eyesight," she said, standing next to her bright-coloured ornaments neatly displayed on the ground.

Riding on their success, payment providers are expanding their businesses to offer consumer and business credit scoring, short-term lending and even investment products.

The shift fits with the Chinese government's domestic agenda of boosting consumer spending and increasing access to financial services among ordinary people.

Alibaba and Tencent are also taking their technology -- and deep pockets -- abroad as they target cashed-up Chinese tourists and nascent payment markets in developing countries.

Tencent earlier this month teamed up with German payments company Wirecard to launch WeChat Pay in Europe where Alipay is already available.

Security of mobile payment is a growing concern, however, after reports of criminals replacing real barcodes with fake ones carrying software that steals personal information or drains users' bank accounts.

Authorities are still working out "the right balance between innovation and regulation", according to Better Than Cash Alliance, but they have been "more active" in taking steps to reduce financial risk and fraud.

"The government doesn't want to slow down adoption... that's why they have kept their hands off," said Cavender.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Cheap 3D printed prosthetics could be game changer for Nepal

Yahoo – AFP, July 21, 2017

Leprosy sufferer Ram uses his new 3D printed prosthetic hand

Ram's new hand was manufactured on a 3D printer in Nepal's capital for just $30, an innovation that could be a game changer for many in the impoverished Himalayan country.

Once a farmer, Ram lost his hands and toes within a few years of contracting leprosy, forcing the father-of-three to turn to begging in a desperate bid to feed his family.

That's where he was spotted by US-born Matthew Rockwell, the founder of Disaster Hack, a non-profit technology startup that is making functional prosthetic hands for those who couldn't otherwise afford them.

Disaster Hack makes its money doing tech consulting and teaching people to code, while running altruistic ventures on the side like teaching Nepalis IT skills and manufacturing low-cost, basic prosthetics.

Rockwell -- who flits between Nepal and the US, where he is part of the tech team behind the annual Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert -- brought a 3D printer to Kathmandu after a powerful earthquake struck the country in 2015.

Soon, he began printing new hands for those in need: a girl who lost both limbs after being electrocuted by hanging power lines, a construction worker whose hand was crushed beyond repair.

Disaster Hack founder Matthew Rockwell (R) attaches a 3D printed prosthetic 
hand to leprosy sufferer Ram's arm in Kathmandu

"We've only distributed to five so far but we have a list that keeps on growing," said Rockwell, sitting in a cramped office in Kathmandu, the 3D printer whirling behind him.

Recycled materials

Rockwell only has the capacity to make hands at the moment -- a leg requires a more heavy-duty printer -- but he has identified more than 7,000 people in Nepal who could benefit from Disaster Hack's creations.

"A traditional prosthesis costs anywhere between $1000 to $3000 to $5000," Rockwell explained.

"Now we're able to produce prostheses for right around $30 so it (3D printing) lowers the cost dramatically for a functional prosthesis."

Rockwell hopes to bring down the cost even further by recycling plastic bottle tops to make the wire that feeds the printer.

Nepal's healthcare sector is chronically underfunded and ill-equipped but 3D printing can reduce both the cost and time it takes to bring medical equipment to those who need it most.

Nepal's healthcare sector is chronically underfunded and ill-equipped but 3D 
printing can reduce both the cost and time it takes to bring medical equipment
to those who need it most

The 3D printed hands being manufactured by Disaster Hack take nearly a full day to print, and are comprised of roughly 20 different parts.

Rockwell hopes the mostly volunteer-run project will sow the seeds for something bigger.

He has now trained 20 prosthetists at hospitals in Nepal in 3D printing, and signed a deal with Kathmandu's largest university to set up the country's first biomedical 3D printing lab.

Meanwhile for Ram, a new hand could mean a chance to give up begging.

"What should I say, I have nothing to eat. If I stay here I make 100 rupees ($0.97), 50 rupees," he said from his daily spot on the corner of a busy intersection.

He lifted the new prosthetic hand, and as he slowly contracted the plastic fingers to make a fist, a smile spread across his face.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dutch police take control of dark web market, monitor thousands of deals

DutchNews, July 20, 2017


Dutch police said on Thursday they have shut down and dismantled one of the biggest ‘illegal market places on the internet today’ after keeping it running for a month and recording thousands of transactions. 

Hansa Market was the most popular dark market on the ‘anonymous’ part of the internet, or dark net, police said in a statement

The international investigation was carried out together with Europol, the FBI and the authorities in Germany and Lithuania. This week a Dutch seller was arrested in Krimpen aan den Ijssel and his accounts, with some €2m in bitcoins were seized. 

Police say the winding up of Hansa Market is the final step in an undercover operation which began when Dutch police seized control of the illegal market place on June 20 after two of the site’s administrator were arrested in Germany. 

The website was hosted on servers in Lithuania. Once the administrators were arrested, the servers and infrastructure were sequestered and transferred to Dutch servers, allowing the police and public prosecution department to monitor all trades. 

Drugs

Most of the trades were involved drugs, police said. On average, 1,000 orders per day were placed in response to almost 40,000 advertisement sand more than 50,000 transactions have been monitored since the authorities took control of the website. 

Some 10,000 foreign addresses of Hansa Market buyers were passed on to Europol and more than 500 Dutch delivery addresses were reported to couriers and postal services so they could halt deliveries, police said. 

Dark net markets enable large-scale trading in chiefly illegal goods, such as drugs, weapons, child pornography, and ransom software. Well-known examples include Silk Road (taken down by the FBI in 2013) and Alpha Bay (reportedly shut down earlier this month). 

The police said that the number of transactions processed through Hansa Market rose from 1,000 to 8,000 after Alpha Bay was dismantled. No weapons or child pornography were sold on Hansa Market.


The shutdown of two dark web marketplaces announced by US Deputy Attorney 
General Rod Rosenstein (C), Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) and other law 
enforcement officials came three weeks after AlphaBay stopped functioning 
with no explanation (AFP Photo/CHIP SOMODEVILLA)

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rapper Akon to buy 50% of African music download service

Yahoo – AFP, July 15, 2017

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Badara Thiam, announced in Dakar he would
 become the majority shareholder in the service, describing Musik Bi as 'the
platform of the future' (AFP Photo/John Muchucha)

Dakar (AFP) - Senegalese-American rapper Akon announced Saturday he would purchase 50 percent of African music download service Musik Bi, as the platform struggles to gain a foothold after its launch 18 months ago.

Africa's first home-grown platform for legal music downloads, Musik Bi launched in Senegal in February 2016 with a mission to promote African artists, pay them properly, and fight internet piracy.

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Badara Thiam, announced in Dakar he would become the majority shareholder in the service, describing Musik Bi as "the platform of the future".

"It's not just a platform for Senegal but for Africa," he added, refusing to be drawn on what he had paid for the transaction.

Best known for his singles "Locked Up" and "Smack That", Akon has devoted more of his time in recent years to his Lighting Africa solar energy initiative and other charitable pursuits.

He launched his latest single "Khalice", a collaboration with Senegalese superstar Youssou Ndour, exclusively on Musik Bi.

More than 200 internationally famous musicians, along with younger rappers, jazz artists and Christian and Muslim vocalists, initially agreed to put their music on Musik Bi, where users can download it using their phone credit.

CEO Moustapha Diop, whose company Solid pioneered the project, said ongoing disputes with phone companies over their cut of takings had hindered Musik Bi's reach.

"We have the ambition of developing across Africa and being 'the' musical distribution platform in Africa," Diop told journalists.

"The profit made by the operators is problematic because it goes against the interests of the artists and the platform in general. We will keep pushing to get a reasonable deal," he added.

After mobile operators took their share, artists keep 60 percent of their income from the service, while Musik Bi take the remaining 40 percent.

The platform also hopes to broaden into a music festival, television channel and a streaming service, Akon said.

Piracy and changing consumer habits have seen record sales drop across the continent, with illegal downloads tempting African consumers looking online for music while copyright enforcement remains relatively weak.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Police step up social media presence following successful pilot in Twente

DutchNews, July 13, 2017

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch police are stepping up their efforts to monitor social media use following the success of a pilot scheme in Twente. 

The police force wants all divisions to have a strategy in place for investigating social media within three years, theTelegraaf reports

In Twente 20 officers have been delegated to operate the area’s social media channels on a rota basis. The trial scheme has already had tangible results, such as successfully intervening on Instagram last week to stop a teenage girl taking her own life. 

‘We want to make contact with society. That’s what people expect of us,’ Ron de Milde, who is in charge of the new media strategy, told the Telegraaf.