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)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

143 mn affected in hack of US credit agency

Yahoo – AFP, Glenn CHAPMAN, September 8, 2017

Hackers penetrated the computer network of credit reporting firm Equifax, the
latest big company to report a major breach (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

San Francisco (AFP) - A major American credit reporting agency entrusted to safeguard personal financial information said Thursday hackers looted its system in a colossal breach that could affect nearly half the US population as well as people in Britain and Canada.

Equifax said that a hack it learned about on July 29 had the potential to affect 143 million US customers, and involved some data for British and Canadian residents.

The Atlanta-based company disclosed the breach in a release that did not explain why it waited more than a month to warn those affected about a risk of identity theft.

Filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed that three high-ranking Equifax executives sold shares worth almost $1.8 million in the days after the hack was discovered.

An Equifax spokesperson told AFP the executives "had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares."

Copies of SEC filings regarding the transactions were on an investor relations page at the company's website.

Equifax collects information about people and businesses around the world and provides credit ratings used for decisions regarding loans and other financial matters.

It also touts a service protecting against identity theft.

"The fact that it is a credit company that people pay to be protected from breaches, and now they have been breached... it feels like a betrayal of trust to a point," said Aires Security chief executive Brian Markus, whose firm specializes in computer network defenses.

He considered the breach "gigantic," made worse by the fact that Equifax stores extensive personal information about people and keeps it up to date.

Markus wondered what level of responsibility Equifax is going to take if stolen information is used for fraud or identity theft, and advised people to enlist credit monitoring services to alert them to trouble.

'Strikes at the heart'

Equifax released a statement saying that it learned of the breach on July 29 and "acted immediately" with the assistance of an independent cybersecurity firm to assess the impact.

"Criminals exploited a US website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files," the statement said.

An internal investigation determined the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017, according to the company.

Equifax said the hackers obtained names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers from the database, potentially opening up victims to identity theft.

The company said credit card numbers were compromised for some 209,000 US consumers, as were credit dispute documents for 182,000 people.

Equifax vowed to work with British and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps for customers affected in those countries, but added in the release that it "found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted."

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do," said company chairman and chief executive Richard Smith.

"I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes."

He added that Equifax is reviewing its overall security operations.

Equifax said it had established a website to enable consumers to determine if they are affected and would be offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to customers.

The company is the latest to announce a major breach. Yahoo last year disclosed two separate cyber attacks which affected as many as one billion accounts.

More than 400 million accounts were affected by a breach disclosed last year at the hookup site Adult Friend Finder, and other firms affected in recent years included Heartland Payment Systems and retail giant Target.

"Every company out there is potentially susceptible in today's cyber landscape," Markus said of hacking attacks, some even by nation states.

"These incidents can put companies out of business."

Equifax shares were down more than 13 percent to $124 in after-market trades that followed news of the hack.

Related Article:


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Dating app Tinder finds gold at Apple's App Store

Yahoo – AFP, September 2, 2017

Tinder's rise to become the top-grossing app in Apple's App Store came after
it rolled out a new "Gold" service (AFP Photo/LIONEL BONAVENTURE)

San Francisco (AFP) - Tinder for the first time became the top-grossing app in Apple's online shop, topping the likes of Netflix, Pandora and hit mobile games like "Clash Royale."

Tinder wore the crown as the top money-making app at the App Store, according to rankings posted online by market data firm App Annie on Friday.

Tinder, which made its debut five years ago, lets people swipe left or right on profiles to indicate those that they like as possible date partners.

The dating application's ascension to the top came quickly after it announced this week the worldwide roll-out of a new "Gold" service with features including the ability of subscribers to see who out there has "liked" them.

Tinder Gold was described in a blog post as a "members-only service, offering our most exclusive features: Passport, Rewind, Unlimited Likes, five Super Likes per day" and more.

"Think of it as your personal Swipe Right concierge -- available 24/7 -- bringing all of your pending matches to you," Tinder said.

"Now you can sit back, enjoy a fine cocktail, and browse through profiles at your leisure."

Tinder Gold made its debut at $4.99 a month, and was to be available on Android-powered smartphones in a month or so.

Tinder introduced a "Plus" subscription service in 2015 that freed users of a daily cap on the number of "swipes," and has pursued ad revenue.

Tinder, owned by a Match Group subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp, boasts some 50 million users and is reported to be valued at several billion dollars.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Dutch consumers spend €11bn online in first six months

DutchNews, September 1, 2017


Dutch consumers bought goods and services online totalling nearly €11bn in the first six months of this year, market research group GfK said on Friday. 

Spending was up 13% on the year earlier period and online shopping now accounts for  23% of total household expenditure on goods and services, the latest Home Shopping Market Monitor said. 

The biggest growth areas are toys and beauty products, up 43% and 41% respectively. The figures show that ‘nearly all retail growth is down to online shopping, both from web shops and high-street retailers with an online arm,’ Wijand Jongen of online retail lobby group Thuiswinkel.nl said.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Going from Dark to Light" – (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon.com, June 24, 2017

This live channelling was given in Buffalo, New York

Lee Carroll
To help the reader, this channelling has been revisited [by Lee and Kryon] to provide even clearer understanding. Sometime information is even added or condensed. Often what happens live has implied energy within it, which carries a kind of communication that the printed page does not. So enjoy this enhanced message given in Buffalo.

Greetings, dear ones, I am Kryon of Magnetic Service. I want you to put a bubble around this place, blocking out all other sounds and concepts. There is an energy here for you, and for some of you this day of teaching is an energy of "a-ha!" It's an energy that isn't new, for it's remembering.

Dear ones, for many of you there will be many of these rememberings, and this is what you expected at this time. You are going to start remembering the things of ancient days that made sense. These are the things you learned and experienced as shamanic beings in your past. The ancients were you, old soul, and there's a lot to remember.

You'll remember the various prophecies that even you, as ancients, participated in - knowing at some level you'd actually be in that future some day - and now here you are. All of these things began to make sense within the feelings that you are now starting to have. This particular channel is one that asks a question, "How are you going to perform life now, going from the dark to the light?" When you, as an old soul, have literally been on the planet for thousands of years, from the very creation story, you are literally imbued with the knowledge of light and dark. You've been alive at some level, civilization after civilization. You've even been here in civilizations that history books don't know about yet.

That's how old you are. Yet each time you were on this planet, you returned into a low consciousness. On a scale of one to 10, meaning one is starting consciousness and 10 is the wisest consciousness, Human civilization is still only at about three-and-a-half. That is as far as it has developed within any civilization on this planet. Be aware that some started with more, but de-volved into what you have now. You have lived thousands of years within an older energy, and here you are with a changing energy where light is starting to show itself and where darkness is starting to flail in its dysfunction.

Low consciousness (darkness) is losing because the very attributes of what used to feed it are no longer viable. The systems that featured the lack of integrity and greed are going to start to crumble. Different parts of the planet will be affected first, and others will follow. However, they will crumble because light is winning. How are you doing personally? How will it be, walking into the light from thousands of years of darkness? What habits are you going to carry into this new era that will keep you in the dark?

I wish to share with you just a few attributes in these few moments. These will be what you call food for thought, old soul. You are the hope of the planet, the light of the planet, old soul. You are the experienced ones of the planet, yet so many of you are still working the puzzle in the dark. How are you going to do it? I'm going to make a list of attributes, as I often do, and it's not a long one. The list will represent steps and insights into the process of moving from the dark to the light.

Belief

Like so many other lists we have given you, number one goes like this: Do you believe it? Do you really believe it? We've given channels about health and your ability to mine the Akash. We've spoken about you, talking to your cells and working with your innate. In all of these, number one is always: Do you believe it? The reason that this step is primary and the most important is that unless your consciousness takes it in as truth, the rest of your body hasn't got a chance. You are the boss of your cells and your consciousness talks to that which is your innate, and you have to be on board with all of it. You have to make it your own. Do you believe it? Do you really believe a shift is taking place?

As you look around the planet and see all that is happening in business and government, you may see something odd. Although these things all happened regularly in an old energy, they are floundering in this new energy, or at least appearing to be inappropriate. You have never seen this energy, which has never been tested in your lifetimes. No Human has ever seen these coming attributes yet. If you take salt-water fish and put them into fresh water, they will die unless there is a mechanism for them to refine their metabolism. They are aquatic, but not with that type of water. You're moving from dark to light, and although you have lived many lives, the paradigms are different. You will have to adjust. So number one is that you have to believe it.

Is this really happening on the planet, or is it something you heard at a seminar during a channel? Is it wishful thinking - something that you are not really on board with - or are you a part of it? If you are, then you have to say, "I see it! Wow, it's really happening! I am in the right place at the right time and I am part of the shift. It's one of the grandest things that has happened on the planet. I am alive at the right time, and I came for this."

Some of you may be super analytical and say, "I couldn't have come for this new darkness/light shift because I'm too old. This or that is wrong with me, so I can't proceed with something so different with so much change." Dear one, the creation of light is something you do best no matter who you are, how old you are or what's happening in your body. The creation of compassion and light is consciousness working in its most elegant way, and all of you can do this.

There are so many who have said, "I'm not coming back. I've done my job!" Yes, you are! I'll say it again and again. You wouldn't miss the party! Dear ones, you're not going to make the same mistakes you did this time. You will come in with freshness and an Akashic remembrance that will create wisdom that is new. That's what is going to happen later, but for now we need you, old soul. You are here now to literally win this war of light and dark while you're still alive, and that is why we offer you information for extended life when you start to understand how you can heal your body, talk to your cells, and create that which medicine has said is impossible.

Some are sitting here right now and you've already done it. I know who's here, and I know who sits in front of me. Miracles abound with you and synchronicities are here in the audience. I know what has happened in your life. Spirit knows. You are so ripe for this information! Once you have decided that it's real, and decide to own it for yourself, then you can begin the journey into the light. Next you have to ask: If it's real, what am I going to do to cooperate with it? What changes within me because I have cognized or owned the fact that there is a dark/light shift happening? This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the ages, and you are in a time that is unusual and ripe with change. What is your next step? What are you going to do?

Old Consciousness Habits

Human, you contain old habits and this is nothing to be ashamed of or be guilty about. Habits are habits, and you've done what you've done to survive all your life, and now the fabric of what you are used to has started to shift. So what if you were to analyze your reaction to things? Are you a complainer? You may not even realize you are because it's so easy to chime in with other complainers without thinking about it. Did you know this is a habit? It's a cultural habit. You may not actually believe the things that you say, but it's a habit.

Do you have a positive approach to the future? You may say you do, but when others around you say, "We're all doomed and it will never get better. It's all going downhill!" Do you say nothing and nod your head yes? That's easy to do.

Perhaps you are more proactive. Perhaps, without being contrary or anti-social, you instead think about the negative statements and say, "Well, I'm not really sure. I've heard some good things. I'm a little more positive than that." Perhaps you have learned to be more positive without stating something that would make your friends uncomfortable or wrong? Have you figured out the diplomacy of common sense and balance? Perhaps you have figured out how to go against the grain of the negative habits of those around you, yet not be seen as somebody who is out of touch, but rather one who is forward thinking and positive? There's a difference.

With what you now know about the shift, can you start looking at things differently? What thing is possible now, when before you thought it wasn't? In your own life, will you start taking stock of perhaps of what might be instead of that which you've already decided can't be? I'm talking to some here who have defined the planet and themselves, and feel that nothing will change it. That's just not true, dear ones. I gave a channel recently about the delusions of the darkness and the great untruths and one untruth is this: Nothing will ever change; Human nature will always be the same, and history proves it. Can you get out of the box of the past and start looking forward to something you don't expect?

When somebody says to you, "Look, these are the facts. Cleaning this up just can't happen! Look, these are the facts! This is what happened in the past over and over, and it will continue to happen." Can you then say, "I don't know how it's going to happen, but I feel confident that we are not the same as in the past, and the future is not what we've been told. You see, we don't know everything. You don't know what you don't know and, therefore, there is hope - not just hope, there's promise"? Are you one who believes in the shift? How, then, do you change old habits to show it? That was number two.

Marketing the Drama and Unseen Truth

Number three: There are some very old energies in your society and in your culture that have always been the same and represent past Human nature, and you have to decide what to do with them. You may not be able to change them, but you have a choice on what to do with them.

If you believe in the shift and you are starting to think more positive, then let me tell you something that will help. There is light on this planet that is not being reported. There is the beginning of high consciousness ideas and new thought about the future of humanity in very powerful places. These are seeds of new thought that are beginning to grow, and some of them make so much sense and are elegant, yet you'll never know about them. The reason? Your media is filled with the old dark consciousness of drama above all else and many of you willingly create a platform to sustain it.

Some of you will come home from work and feel it's a nice idea to turn on the media and watch all of the horrible things that happened on the planet that day. Perhaps you don't want the news, so you go for entertainment instead. So you turn on a program where you can watch families in drama, arguing and complaining. What I'm telling you, dear ones, is that your media is broken, and you watch it anyway.

Right now, it continues in the old energy and the management in charge thinks it knows best what you and your neighbors want. So it's going to deliver darkness on a regular basis, and if there's nothing dark, it will create it for you. That is what you're faced with. Here is my advice. Select the media carefully that you believe is true and accurate. Wouldn't you rather have fun things to watch? Perhaps you'd like to watch cute pets or animals doing fun things? How about children doing amazing and hilarious things, or great stories of heroism with uplifting endings? How about amazing nature or comedy that is hilarious? Right now with new devices, you can see all of that as much as you want, without commercials. This is the newest trend and evolution of your media selection - personal control over programs in your home, without commercial interruption. Did you see this happening and wonder why now?

So the solution to drama-biased media is simple: Don't watch or listen to standard broadcast! Instead, find out about the alternates and be selective. Select news that is less biased in bringing you full-time drama. Of course, you need to stay in touch with what is happening, but you don't have to accept a program that is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the drama of the day and making it worse - or that gives no news at all about the good things going on.

I say this because broadcast not only is broken, it's dangerous, since it gives false impressions of the overview of the planet. They are stuck in the old energy and haven't caught up yet with the overview of what might really be happening on the planet. Not yet. Even the channels that will give you supposedly good education and history are biased in ways that you would not even expect. They continue to believe in slanting even historic or documentary stories to be horrific and dark. They believe that is what people really want.

What would happen if these companies started programming things people really wanted to watch? What would happen is exactly what they want, and their revenues would go up! I hope they're listening. There will come some day, dear ones, where there'll be more than one good news channel and you can tune in to hear the most heroic and heart-rendering things that have happened on that day on the planet. It will be balanced, perhaps with some other things that also happened. But it will be a balance that you have not seen yet anywhere.

Disabling Drama

Let me give you another: Dear ones, some of you have friends, family and colleagues at work who are difficult to be around. Each time you show up, there is drama. It hurts your heart. Sometimes it makes you afraid to be there, and it always makes you tired. It's not anything you can change. It's the nature of darkness.

I want to tell you something I've never said before. There are two kinds of situations here and two kinds of answers to these kinds of issues. One is consistent drama. If this is something that is happening where you now live, it would serve you, old soul, to find an avenue out of the drama, whatever that means to you. Disengage from the drama and when you do you're going to find that you're going to live longer, light is going to come in, and you're going to laugh more.

Lightworker, listen to me. Old soul, listen to me. Get out of the drama. Don't let any situation go to a dramatic place over and over and over while you sit there and let it. If you cannot control it, if you cannot be part of changing it, then remove yourself. Why would you sit around poison? Why would you continue to ingest things that are going to kill you? Then why stay with drama?

Two is temporary drama. The hardest one? Drama often spins and spins in families and it's the reason that so many of you in this room and listening have disengaged from the core family. You have become the black sheep. Actually, you are the white sheep and what is black is the drama that the family spins within! That is why holidays are so difficult for you. It's a time where there is an obligation to visit and, in the process, you must pop back into the family drama for a day or two and it's very uncomfortable, often confrontational, and difficult.

When you go, don't let them push your anger or frustration buttons. Stay balanced and be ready for potential family drama. If they try to get you to be involved in their drama process, just stay balanced and show them what you have learned - how to be positive and not be affected by their process.

This is difficult, but if you can do it, they notice. They notice that they can't upset you or frustrate you or bully you with something that is very old, karmically not tuned to you any longer or inappropriate. No matter how much they try, you laugh it off and clearly are not "taking the bait". You have no idea how empowering this is for you and how much light it creates in dark places. You just won't "play" drama with them. This is what mastery is really about.

Role of the Inner Child 

I want you to invite the inner child back into your life. Can you remember, dear ones, a time where you had nothing to worry about? Can you remember when the biggest issue in your life was how long you could play and when you had to come back in the house? That wonderful feeling of release from life's issues is still inside. It's not an invitation to be irresponsible, but rather it's an invitation to find the joy of the child and to paste it back upon your current life when you need to.

This creates a more relaxed Human and a kindness and balance that only the remembrance of the innocence of a child can create. This is a critical step to staying balanced and not letting the adult world dictate your depression or your clinical feelings toward life.

This actually may be the hardest of the steps because of what is around you and the situations you encounter and the increasing battle of light and dark. Within all of this, I'm asking you to find joy. In order to do that, you bring back remembrances of the most joyful things that have ever happened to you. This often has to do with your childhood. You create the feelings of the day before Christmas, or your birthday or the day before some event that you've been looking forward to for so long. The excitement that you have for these things makes you want to jump up and down and smile. Life is good.

These things are all still part of the inner child within you. Dear ones, the evolved Human Being is the one who has the opportunity to have this as part of every day life until the last breath. It doesn't just belong to children. It belongs to an evolved Human Being. That's what makes the difference between the old and the new.

Compassion will play its part here naturally. It becomes automatic and self-evident. Love will play its part naturally. Common sense will, too. Balance prevails with common sense. You don't have to try to love; you don't have to try to be compassionate; it's just who you are.

Can you cognize this? Is it really happening? Is the shift happening? The wind is finally at your back. We've said that before. This is the new energy. Welcome to the new earth!

Go from this place changed. There will be some who listen to this and say that Kryon is crazy. "There is no improvement or light coming." It's not what they see on the news. Exactly! So why watch it? There are things on this planet that are beautiful and are happening now that are not being seen. I want you to cognize that and know it, believe it, and understand it. Light is winning.

And so it is.

KRYON

Friday, August 18, 2017

Internet doors slammed on white nationalist extremism

Yahoo – AFP, Glenn CHAPMAN, August 17, 2017

A demonstrator holds a sign in front of the White House during a vigil in response
 to the death of a counter-protestor in the August 12 "Unite the Right" rally in
Charlottesville, Virginia (AFP Photo/ZACH GIBSON)

San Francisco (AFP) - White extremists are having doors to the internet slammed on efforts to promote violent and bigoted agendas.

Internet titans that have contorted to balance free speech with odious content were standing firm this week against being used to glorify killing in the name of race or eliminating those who oppose that kind of ideology.

A consistent message from Silicon Valley firms contacted by AFP was that advocating violence and bigotry violated clearly-outlined terms of service, resulting in accounts being closed or content being removed.

Just a day after a woman protesting racism was killed at a white supremacist rally, major website hosting service GoDaddy cancelled the domain name of Daily Stormer, which helped organize the event in Charlottesville to protest removal of a Confederate statue.

The 'Unite the Right' rally turned tragic when a suspected Nazi sympathizer, James Fields, plowed his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, leaving a woman dead and 19 others injured.

"We generally do not take action on complaints that would constitute censorship of content and that represents the exercise of freedom of speech and expression on the Internet," GoDaddy digital crimes unit director Ben Butler said in an email statement.

"In our determination, especially given the tragic events in Charlottesville, Dailystormer.com crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence."

Daily Stormer switched the website to Google Domains. The registration quickly cancelled for "violating our terms of service," a Google spokesperson told AFP.

The neo-Nazi website also apparently came under attack by hacker group Anonymous and retreated to a 'dark' portion of the internet where websites lurk out of sight from online search engines.

Leading social network Facebook and famously free-wheeling online conversation forum Reddit have also taken action against accounts or content in the aftermath of the deadly Charlottesville rally.

Physical Removal tossed

Reddit banned a 'Physical Removal' community advocating that Democrats be "removed from society" in the real world. Posts at Physical Removal had mocked the woman killed at the rally.

"We strive to be a welcoming, open platform for all by trusting our users to maintain an environment that cultivates genuine conversation and adheres to our content policy," a Reddit spokesperson told AFP.

"We have banned /r/Physical_Removal due to violations of the terms of our content policy."

Facebook has a policy of removing material that attacks people based on race or that praises violent acts or hate groups.

Facebook removed shared posts of a Daily Stormer article denigrating the killed anti-racism demonstrator, unless they had captions condemning the content.

The social network applied the same rules used to remove content posted by terrorist groups.

A 'Unite the Right' event page was removed from Facebook over the weekend after it became clear that rather than simply promoting an event it was promoting real-world harm.

Other accounts or pages removed from Facebook or its photo-message service Instagram included Right Wing Death Squad; Genuine Donald Trump, and Radical Agenda: Common Sense Extremism."

Facebook and Instagram personal profiles of vocal white supremacist Christopher Cantwell have also been removed.

Not playing

A free Discord chat service popular with gamers this week shut down accounts evidently being used for violent white nationalist agendas instead of video game play.

Online chat rooms openly praised Adolph Hitler and Nazi genocide, and were used to help organize the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, according to a New York Times report.

Internet fund-raising and payment platforms have declined to be used by white-supremacists seeking to solicit funds for Fields, who is in jail facing charges including murder.

Online financial transactions service PayPal has a longstanding rule against being used for physical harm or racial intolerance.

"We work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance," PayPal senior vice president of corporate affairs Franz Paasche said in a blog post.

"This includes organizations that advocate racist views, such as the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups. "

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump found himself in the eye of a political storm Wednesday after his stunning remarks on the unrest in Charlottesville.

His assessment that there was "blame on both sides" for the deadly melee sparked a rare comment on current affairs from his two Republican predecessors, George Bush and George W. Bush, who called on Americans to "reject racial bigotry... in all its forms."

Trump's defiant statements, delivered Tuesday in a caustic way at Trump Tower and immediately hailed by a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan for their "courage," left many lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, speechless.

Related Article:


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.