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.)

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)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amnesty sharply criticises Vodafone over Egypt cutoff - report

M&C, Jan 29, 2011, 13:53 GMT

Dusseldorf - Human rights organisation Amnesty International has sharply criticised British telecom provider Vodafone for the cutoff of services by the company's unit in Egypt, the German business paper Handelsblatt reported Saturday.

AI general secretary Salil Shetty, in an interview with the newspaper, said 'Vodaphone's willingness to close down its network is simply beyond belief.'

Shetty said the move by Vodafone Egypt 'not only betrayed those who buy and use its phones but reveals a shocking disregard for freedom of speech by one of the world's leading telecommunications companies.'

With 25 million customers, Vodafone is one of the largest telecom providers in Egypt, a country of some 80 million people.

On Friday, Vodafone Egypt tersely stated that all mobile phone operators in the country had been 'obliged' to suspend services. 'Under Egyptian legislation the authorities have the right to issue such an order and we are obliged to comply with it,' Vodafone said.

Shetty blasted the move in the Handelsblatt interview.

'Vodaphone has played directly into the hands of the Egypti'

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Friday, January 28, 2011

WikiLeaks rival launches new secret-spilling site

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Davos | Fri, 01/28/2011

A former member of the group that created WikiLeaks has launched a rival website with the aim of giving whistleblowers more control over the secrets they spill.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg says the new platform called OpenLeaks will allow sources to choose specifically who they want to submit documents to anonymously, such as to a particular news outlet.

He told reporters Friday that the site will begin testing in several weeks and hopes it will be fully operational later this year.

Domscheit-Berg says the site has no funding for now but will be fully transparent with any money it receives.

OpenLeaks was launched on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meeting of top business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

US tells Egypt to unblock Facebook, Twitter

Today Online, 05:55 AM Jan 28, 2011

WASHINGTON - As the Egyptian authorities struggled to quash anti-government protests on Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the long-time United States ally to unblock social networking sites that have been used to organise protests, such as those operated by Facebook and Twitter.

By urging Egypt's government "not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media", Mrs Clinton renewed her call for freedom of expression and assembly online and fuelled debate over how to promote those goals without undermining other US interests.

Mrs Clinton's defence of social networking is "a very delicate balancing act", because of the long-standing US relationship with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said Mr Ethan Zuckerman, a senior researcher at Harvard University's Berkman Centre for Internet and Society.

"At the same time, we're starting to see evidence of an anti-authoritarian revolution in the region and she doesn't want to be on the wrong side of that either. The safe stance is to be pro-free speech," said Mr Zuckerman. Bloomberg

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Nokia's global mobile-phone market share drops   2011-01-28

HELSINKI, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Nokia Corp.'s global market share of mobile phones shrank by 4 percent in the 4th quarter of 2010, the world's largest mobile phone maker said Thursday.

Nokia said in its 2010 annual report that its global market share shrank from 35 percent a year ago to around 31 percent in the fourth quarter.

In the three-month period, the company sold 123.7 million mobile phones, up 12 percent from the previous quarter, but down 3 percent from a year earlier.

With competition in the mobile market growing tougher, Nokia, which performs well in the mid-end smart phone segment, is struggling in the high-end and low-priced phone segments, analysts say.

In the smart phone segment, its market share in Q4, 2010 was at 31 percent, decreasing significantly from 40 percent of the corresponding period in 2009.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said Thursday that faced with growing competition and a changed business environment, the company will have to adjust itself faster.

Nokia's share price at the Helsinki stock exchange fell 3.3 percent after the report's release.

Editor: yan

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No proof WikiLeaks breaking law, inquiry finds

Google/AP, Jan 27, 2011

FILE - The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange faces the media after making an appearance at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, in this Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 file photo, as part of his fight to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he's wanted on sex crimes allegations. WikiLeaks hopes to enlist as many as 60 news organizations from around the world in a bid to help speed the publication of its massive trove of secret U.S. diplomatic memos,Assange said Tuesday Jan 25 2011. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

LONDON (AP) — A company asked by Visa to investigate WikiLeaks' finances found no proof the group's fundraising arm is breaking the law in its home base of Iceland, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.

But Visa Europe Ltd. said Wednesday it would continue blocking donations to the secret-spilling site until it completes its own investigation. Company spokeswoman Amanda Kamin said she couldn't say when Visa's inquiry, now stretching into its eighth week, would be finished.

Visa was one of several American companies that cut its ties with WikiLeaks after it began publishing a massive trove of secret U.S. diplomatic memos late last year. U.S. officials have accused the site of putting its national security at risk — a claim WikiLeaks says is an attempt to distract from the memos' embarrassing content.

When it announced its decision to suspend WikiLeaks donations on Dec. 8, Visa said it was awaiting an investigation into "the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules" — though it did not go into details. The Norway-based financial services company Teller AS, which Visa ordered to look into WikiLeaks and its fundraising body, the Sunshine Press, found no proof of any wrongdoing.

"Our lawyers have now completed their work and have found no indications that Sunshine Press ... acted in contravention of Visa's rules or Icelandic legislation," Teller's chief executive Peter Wiren said late last month in a letter obtained by the AP.

The two-page document said that Teller stood ready to process payments to WikiLeaks — but only if Visa gave the go-ahead. Teller confirmed the letter's authenticity Wednesday.

The refusal of Visa and other companies — including MasterCard Inc., PayPal Inc., and Moneybookers Ltd. — to handle WikiLeaks' donations has hit the site hard at a time when its founder, 39-year-old Julian Assange, is fighting an attempt to extradite him to Sweden over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Help wanted: Google hiring in 2011

Google Blog, 1/25/2011 11:00:00 AM

2010 was a huge year for Google. Many of our big bets—on mobile, display advertising, the cloud and more—really started to pay off. Amazingly, Android now runs on over 100 devices with more than 300,000 activations each day. Chrome has at least 120 million active users and it’s growing quickly. Last year more than 1 million businesses switched to Google Apps and embraced its 100% web approach. And we’ve made search faster than ever, even when you’re on the go.

But it wasn’t just a growth year for our products—the company grew as well. In 2010 we added more than 4,500 Googlers, primarily in engineering and sales: second only to 2007 when we added over 6,000 people to Google.

I love Google because of our people. It's inspiring to be part of the team. And that's why I am excited about 2011—because it will be our biggest hiring year in company history. We’re looking for top talent—across the board and around the globe—and we’ll hire as many smart, creative people as we can to tackle some of the toughest challenges in computer science: like building a web-based operating system from scratch, instantly searching an index of more than 100 million gigabytes and even developing cars that drive themselves. There’s something at Google for everyone—from geo, to enterprise, to video—with most of the work done in small teams, effectively working as start-ups. (The average number of software engineers on a project at Google is 3.5.) That’s why the vast majority of our people stay with us, building their careers and taking on new challenges within the company.

I joined Google more than eight years ago—when we had barely 500 employees and still used Outlook for email and AIM for chat—and while there have been many changes, Google is still the same entrepreneurial company it was when I started, encouraging Googlers to take on big ideas and high-risk, high-reward opportunities.

If you think you want to join the team, check out

Posted by Alan Eustace, SVP Engineering and Research

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vodafone to go Dutch with new chairman Gerard Kleisterlee

Daily News, By SIMON DUKE, 25th January 2011

Vodafone is poised to name the boss of Dutch electronics giant Philips as its new chairman.
The mobile phone giant is understood to be close to hiring Gerard Kleisterlee as a replacement for the departing Sir John Bond.

A board meeting is scheduled for this week to discuss a shortlist of three candidates, with the German-born Kleisterlee a clear front runner, sources said.

New job? The mobile phone giant is understood to be close to hiring
Gerard Kleisterlee as a replacement for the departing Sir John Bond

The Footsie giant is aiming to finalise the succession before next Thursday’ third-quarter results, but an announcement could come as early as this week.

If all goes according to plan, Kleisterlee would first join the board as a non-executive director before taking Bond’s role in the summer.

Kleisterlee’s elevation follows a protracted search for a European businessman with global stature and consumer nous.

An early candidate was John Varley, the recently-departed chief executive of Barclays. But Vodafone swiftly opted against replacing Bond – a former boss of HSBC – with another ‘stiff collared banker’, a source said.

Rolls Royce boss Sir John Rose and Unilever chairman Michael Treschow were also considered for the position.

Although a relative unknown in Britain, Kleisterlee has a big reputation in the technology industry. Like his father before him, he has spent his entire career at Philips.

After rising to chief executive a decade ago, he helped turn the firm into a global conglomerate.
Vodafone began looking for a replacement for Bond in the wake of a frosty investor meeting this Summer.

Since then, chief executive Vittorio Colao has attempted to mollify investors with a series of disposals of minority stakes in Chinese and Japanese businesses.

Colao is hoping to raise at least £7bn from the sale of its 44pc holding in French operator SFR.
More important still will be securing a resumption in dividend payouts from its Verizon Wireless.

Google to hire 1,000 in Europe

Outgoing Google chief executive Eric Schmidt announces aggressive expansion after fourth-quarter profits of $2.54bn Sweney, Tuesday 25 January 2011 

Eric Schmidt ... Google heavyweight. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

The outgoing chief executive of Google, Eric Schmidt, has announced a plan to hire more than 1,000 staff over the coming year to boost its European operation.

Schmidt, speaking at the DLD conference in Germany today, said that the new recruits would be roughly split equally between technology and sales staff.

The recruitment plan is aggressive, amounting to an increase of almost 20% on Google's existing 5,000 staff across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"We had a very, very good year and a very strong quarter," said Schmidt, referring to Google's fourth-quarter profits of $2.54bn.

"We looked at this year and in particular our prospects for growth in Europe, and our businesses globally are doing well, both our core business as well as our adjacent businesses, our 'hockey stick' businesses as we call them. It's all very, very good. We are going to invest in Europe," he added.

Last week the company announced that the 55-year-old Schmidt will take the role of executive chairman on 4 April, handing day-to-day control to co-founder Larry Page after leading the company's massive growth in the past decade.

Yesterday Google announced that as he steps down as chief executive Schmidt will receive $100m (£62m) in stock and options that cannot be cashed in fully for four years.

"I think my next decade at Google will be even more interesting than the first," he said. "Technology will finally start doing what we want, instead of us telling technology what we want it to do."

Google's plans to ramp up its European operations, parts of which are in the early stages of being investigated by the European Commission, follows Facebook announcing that its Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Dublin would be expanded by 100 staff.

The juggernaut-like success of the two companies contrasts with that of respective rivals Yahoo, which last month announced 700 staff would be cut, and MySpace, which earlier this month announced that almost half of its 1,000 remaining employees are to be axed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Venezuela-Cuba undersea cable link work starts

BBC News, 22 January 2011

Work has begun on laying an underwater fibre-optic cable to link Venezuela and Cuba.

The cable is expected to reach Cuba in February
and be operational in July
It will stretch 1,600km (1,000m) and considerably improve telephone and internet services to Cuba, which currently relies on a costly and slow internet connection via satellite.

The new connection is expected to increase data capacity 3,000 times.

The cable, laid by French company Alcatel-Lucent, is expected to be operational in July.

In a televised ceremony, divers attached the cable to the seabed to the applause of Cuban and Venezuelan officials.

Cuban officials praised the cable for breaking the country's "historic dependence [on the United States] in the sphere of telecommunications".

And Venezuelan Minister for Science and Technology Ricardo Menendez was heard shouting "Venezuela's breaking the embargo!".

Broader access?

The cable will connect Camuri in Venezuela to Siboney
in Cuba, with a side link to Jamaica
Cuban officials blame the decades-old US trade embargo, imposed shortly after the Cuban revolution, for the slow connection and low internet take-up.

According to Cuban government figures, only 16% of the population have access to the web - one of the lowest internet usage rates in South America.

But it is not just low bandwidth and high cost which are making web access difficult for Cubans.

Related stories

Analysts say government restrictions demanding that people using the internet obtain official permission are keeping many from using the web.

And in November, the official communist party newspaper Granma already dashed the hopes of those who had thought the new cable would bring the internet to more homes.

In an article, praising the undersea communication line, an official said it would provide higher quality communications, "but not necessarily mean a broader extension of the same".

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Microsoft Reaches for Clouds With Indonesia Ambitions

Jakarta Globe, Shirley Christie | January 21, 2011

Software giant Microsoft is looking to invest around $2.5 billion in Indonesia to develop cloud-computing systems, an official said on Thursday.

Software giant Microsoft is looking to invest around $2.5 billion
in Indonesia to develop cloud-computing systems, an official
said on Thursday. (AP Photo)
Sutanto Hartono, chief executive of Microsoft Indonesia, said it was partnering with Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), Astra Graphia Information Technology, cloud-computing infrastructure firm Greenview and Infynis System Indonesia for the initiative.

Cloud computing, in which vast data banks and programs can be accessed remotely using a personal computer connected to the Internet, would be invaluable to the corporate market, he said.

“It’s going to be cost-saving and efficient because instead of spending on capital expenditure, a company would spend on operational expansion using cloud computing,” he said at the Microsoft Cloud Summit in Jakarta.

The best-known examples of cloud computing services are those offered by Google as well as Amazon, which launched S3, an online data storage service.

Cloud computing, essentially a network of servers, also allows users to access online applications anywhere in the world, often for a subscription fee, without having to install software on their own computers.

“Cloud computing is now the center of all the things we do,” said Chris Sharp, regional cloud strategist for Microsoft Asia Pacific and Japan.

He said among the 17 countries that he had managed so far, Indonesia posed a unique opportunity to generate about $75 million annually from cloud services within several years.

“It’s an evolution of virtualization,” said Arya Sanjaya, business developer manager for Intel Indonesia, referring to the system of separating computer functions from physical hardware.

“If a company used to have three servers to run three applications, with virtualization, it could run all three applications using one server,” Arya said.

Sutanto added that companies would no longer have to buy servers — computer systems that allow users in a network to access and store files — and hire technicians to maintain them.

“Now, all a company needs is a computer and a broadband Internet connection [to benefit from] cloud computing,” he said.

The cost of running a virtual server is small, Sutanto said. A small shop running inventory software from a public cloud can spend $300 on a computer and $15 a month for Internet and cloud service subscriptions.

Larger companies can create their own private clouds which can host all their applications.

But many local firms are reluctant to use cloud computing, still a relatively new concept in Indonesia, due to concerns about data security and effectiveness.

Still, government agencies and at least 14 big firms had expressed interest in cloud technology, according to Manish Chopra, Microsoft Indonesia’s marketing and operations director.

He cited the estimated 700 participants who flocked to the recent Cloud Summit, a roadshow for the new technology.

Chopra said he saw huge potential in this country with its more than 30 million online users, as of last year. Broadband access is also growing, with the penetration rate expected to reach more than 75 percent this year.

Brian Prentice, vice president for research at IT firm Gartner, said revenue generated from cloud services around the world were estimated to reach $68.3 billion last year, or up 16.6 percent from $58.6 billion in 2009.

“With an average growth rate of 20 percent, we estimate that by the end of 2014, this figure will increase to $148.8 billion,” he said.

Aside from Microsoft, other technology firms are linking up with Indonesian companies to set up cloud computing systems.

Last week, Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), a subsidiary of Telkom, said it was partnering with Google to launch Business Connect, a Web-based package.

It includes e-mail, instant messaging, office operation tools, a calendar and documents-sharing under Google Apps.

Doug Farber, Google Asia Pacific’s managing director for enterprise, said in a statement that the cloud-based applications would help boost business productivity in a way that standard applications could not.

Some of the advantages, he said, were larger data capacity, instant messaging enabled with voice and video chat, as well as the ability to access apps using mobile phones.

Sharp said competing firms offering cloud services would drive companies like Microsoft to develop better technology and products for customers.

An update from the (Google) Chairman

Google Blog, 1/20/2011 01:01:00 PM

When I joined Google in 2001 I never imagined—even in my wildest dreams—that we would get as far, as fast as we have today. Search has quite literally changed people’s lives—increasing the collective sum of the world’s knowledge and revolutionizing advertising in the process. And our emerging businesses—display, Android, YouTube and Chrome—are on fire. Of course, like any successful organization we’ve had our fair share of good luck, but the entire team—now over 24,000 Googlers globally—deserves most of the credit.

And as our results today show, the outlook is bright. But as Google has grown, managing the business has become more complicated. So Larry, Sergey and I have been talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure and speed up decision making—and over the holidays we decided now was the right moment to make some changes to the way we are structured.

For the last 10 years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions. This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.

Larry will now lead product development and technology strategy, his greatest strengths, and starting from April 4 he will take charge of our day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Officer. In this new role I know he will merge Google’s technology and business vision brilliantly. I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.

Sergey has decided to devote his time and energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products. His title will be Co-Founder. He’s an innovator and entrepreneur to the core, and this role suits him perfectly.

As Executive Chairman, I will focus wherever I can add the greatest value: externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership that are increasingly important given Google’s global reach; and internally as an advisor to Larry and Sergey.

From left to right - Eric, Larry and Sergey in a self-driving car in a
photo taken earlier today

We are confident that this focus will serve Google and our users well in the future. Larry, Sergey and I have worked exceptionally closely together for over a decade—and we anticipate working together for a long time to come. As friends, co-workers and computer scientists we have a lot in common, most important of all a profound belief in the potential for technology to make the world a better place. We love Google—our people, our products and most of all the opportunity we have to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

Posted by Eric Schmidt

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Google Earth, Chrome and Picasa now available in Iran

Software downloads for Iran

Google Blog, 1/18/2011 09:00:00 PM

During the protests that erupted in Iran following the disputed Presidential election in June 2009, the central government in Tehran deported all foreign journalists, shut down traditional media outlets, closed off print journalism and disrupted cell phone lines. The government also infiltrated networks, posing as activists and using false identities to round up dissidents. In spite of this, the sharing of information using the Internet prevailed. YouTube and Twitter were cited by journalists, activists and bloggers as the best source for firsthand accounts and on-the-scene footage of the protests and violence across the country. At the time, though, U.S. export controls and sanctions programs prohibited software downloads to Iran.

Some of those export restrictions have now been lifted and today, for the first time, we’re making Google Earth, Picasa and Chrome available for download in Iran. We’re committed to full compliance with U.S. export controls and sanctions programs and, as a condition of our export licenses from the Treasury Department, we will continue to block IP addresses associated with the Iranian government.

Our products are specifically designed to help people create, communicate, share opinions and find information. And we believe that more available products means more choice, more freedom, and ultimately more power for individuals in Iran and across the globe.

Posted by Neil Martin, Export Compliance Programs Manager

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cyber crime is the threat of the future

RNW, 19 January 2011, By Willemien Groot (Willemien Groot)

It’s been 25 years since the advent of the computer virus. The first was the Brain virus, created by two Pakistani software developers fed up with pirate copies of their programmes being made. Experts believe cyber war and cyber sabotage are the threat of the future. The Netherlands is sharing its knowledge with other countries in the battle against cyber crime.

The Stuxnet worm, which brought a large part of the Iranian nuclear programme to a standstill, was just the beginning. The Stuxnet is so complex it’s likely a foreign government was behind the attack, probably the US and Israel jointly. China is also believed to carry out in cyber sabotage. Nowadays, every conflict has a cyber element, says Aart Jochem from the Dutch government’s GovCERT, the Cyber security and Incident Response Team:
“You see certain conflicts are being fought and are reinforced by attacks on the internet. You see it with WikiLeaks, in which the conflict between the US and WikiLeaks is manifested in all kinds of cyber conflicts.”

Aart Jochem
(Photo: Willemien Groot))
Working overtime

The era of fun computer viruses is over, says Mr Jochem. “At the end of the eighties you saw a little figure cross your screen and jumble up what was on it.”
Now, organised crime has tens of thousands of forms of malware. They do anything from emptying internet accounts to threatening government systems. Cyber criminals work hard to evade the investigators, and earn more than they would in the drugs trade.
Meanwhile, GovCERT is working overtime. It does not have investigative powers, but it works closely with the police and Public Prosecution Office and uses the expertise of anti-virus companies to limit damage.

Cyber espionage

You don’t have to do something stupid to get a computer virus, says Eddy Willems of the anti-virus company G Data.

Eddy Willems
(Photo: Willemien Groot)
“Even the internet is a threat. It sounds stupid, but all you have to do is enter an infected website and you’ve got problems. Where floppy disks used to be used to spread viruses now it’s done via USB sticks. They are just as dangerous or even more dangerous. And then there’s the threat to large companies, organisations or even governments called cyber espionage or cyber sabotage.”

International cooperation

There are around 200 CERT teams in 43 countries around the world. Each works for a specific group, such as governments or hospitals. The Netherlands uses its vast expertise to help others. The Dutch helped South Africa set up its own team and Dutch software is being used by 20 countries to spot new threats on the internet. Likewise other countries pass their information on to the Dutch.
“This helps you catch up with the cyber criminals, who also cooperate internationally. If you had to develop it yourself, you wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace.”

Continuous process

Nevertheless the chance of catching cyber criminals is small. As a result they are becoming more professional and are setting their sights on new targets.
Public services have been more aware than ever before how vulnerable they are, says Mr Jochem.
“You see they are behind in technology and software updates. In the old days that wasn’t a problem because their systems were not connected to the internet and were therefore difficult to infect. But Stuxnet shows that even these systems could be infected.”
The danger is that updates cause systems to malfunction, because new software is not compatible. According to Mr Jochem, the risks and the costs have to be considered. But even if all software is replaced, it is out of date within a year. It’s a continuous process and nothing is 100 percent secure.

Viruses and other malicious software
The many shapes of cyber crime

  • Virus - is hidden in a program or file. It is activated when the user opens the program or file. PDF document files are a popular vehicle for viruses.
  • Worm - a virus which copies itself and e-mails itself to everyone in your address book, repeating the process on the recipients' computers. You notice its existence only by your computer getting slower and slower.
  • Trojan (Horse) - disguises itself as a useful application, such as a free antivirus program. Once inside your computer it creates a "backdoor" in your computer's security, allowing third parties access to your passwords or online banking data.
  • Malware (malicious software) - generic name for dangers to internet and computer security, including spam, phishing, botnets, and spyware.
  • Phishing - using fake websites or e-mails pretending to be your bank or credit card company to collect your passwords and logins for internet banking.
  • Botnet - cyber crime infrastructure, consisting of a number of 'hijacked' computers which are being used for illegal activities.

    The first virus to hit the computer world was 'Brain' on 19 January 1986, originally intended to prevent programs from being copied illegally. The software makers made sure that the virus was unleashed when unregistered copies of the program were made. The virus spread via the floppy disks whose content was copied - this was before the advent of the internet.

    The 'Brain' virus did not cause any damage, it just displayed a warning on the user's screen when the illegal copy of the program was started up. The term 'computer virus' was introduced later, but because of the way 'Brain' spread, it is generally seen as the first virus.

    Over the years, computer viruses became a tool for criminals targeting internet banking and government websites.

    Botnets, virtual networks of computer 'hijacked' by criminals, are widespread. Recent government research suggests that 5 to 10 percent of Dutch computers, or about half a million, have been infected and recruited by a botnet.

    Some kinds of cyber crime rely on web users' credulity, such as phishing. One golden safety rule to remember: banks never use e-mail to ask for your password or access code.

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Jakarta US embassy asks for $100,000 for its Facebook page: Wikileaks

Guardian, 18 Jan, 2011

The US embassy in Jakarta made a request for $100,000 in funding to boost its Facebook fans to one million weeks before Barack Obama's visit to Indonesia.

A cable sent in February by US diplomats in the Indonesian capital described itself as "already the leading US Mission in the World on Facebook with nearly 50,000 'fans', and one of the leading missions using Twitter, YouTube and engaging local bloggers to promote USG [US government] messages and information."

"We are uniquely positioned to use these tools to amplify key topics and themes to support the upcoming visit by President Obama," it added. The embassy described itself in the cable as "on the forefront of Public Diplomacy 2.0."

Requesting the $100,0000, the cable said that the embassy could boost its Facebook fan page membership to one million in 30 days in a country it described as one of the fastest-growing Facebook markets in the world.

But it is unclear if it reached the target – with or without the money.

By April last year, the total number of Facebook fans of the US Embassies and consulates in Indonesia was 161,000, according to an interview given by the embassy team behind the page.

The cable set out how the money was to be spent, including increasing advertising on Indonesian online portals and elsewhere, as well as generating interest in the presidential visit by offering Facebook users the chance to win a "golden ticket" to meet Obama:

"If the White House approves, we could invite fans to post why they should meet President Obama, and in doing so, use our social media platform to connect fans to the visit, as well as build excitement beforehand and follow-up coverage afterwards"

The embassy's suggestion that it should also team up with a television show subsequently came to fruition. On a national television show, three Facebook fans of the Jakarta embassy won "educational trips" to the US to visit places that were said to have played a part in Obama's life – this was the embassy's suggested alternative prize if the White House did not give its blessing to meetings with Obama for competition winners.

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China launches its own online mapping service 2011-01-18

BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday officially launched a state-sponsored mapping website aimed to offer an "authoritative, credible and unified" online mapping service.
The online service, called MAP WORLD, is overseen by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) and can be accessed at

The bureau said in a statement that the website included the most comprehensive geographical data and information on China.

Global geographic data is accessible at the site, said SBSM vice director Min Yiren at a Tuesday press conference, adding that the data on China was "particularly detailed," covering towns and villages in China's extensive rural areas.

MAP WORLD has 11 million place names in it. Among them are some 120,000 points of interest including hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, government institutions, banks and roads.

It provides remote sensing images accurate to a resolution of 60 cm for more than 319 Chinese cities and three-dimensional maps in some cities, according to the statement.

People can use MAP WORLD, for instance, to find a hotel in Beijing near subways or bus stations and then plan a travel route by measuring the distance between the hotel and tourists sites like the Forbidden City, Min said.

According to him, there is no charge for using MAP WORLD's basic services, but services designed for corporate users will come with fees.

Tuesday's official version came out after revisions and improvements were made based on users' suggestions since the launch of the beta version last October.

Min said his bureau will use unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites and other remote sensing technologies to constantly improve the quality and precision of the mapping services.

Based on a software named "GeoGlobe," Chinese scientists have independent intellectual property rights on MAP WORLD which is supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program, Min said.

Currently, a couple of Chinese companies, such as Baidu and Sohu, as well as foreign rivals provide online mapping services in China. The SBSM last year issued a regulation, asking all services providers to be qualified for business.

Min said at the press conference that so far more than 100 websites, including one run by a joint venture with Nokia, have qualified to provide online mapping services in China.

Another nearly 100 websites' applications are pending approval, he added.

Editor: Deng Shasha

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