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)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Beijing urges fairness after Australia maintains Huawei ban

Want China Times, Xinhua 2013-10-31

Huawei's company logo. (Photo/Xinhua)

China on Tuesday urged joint efforts with Australia to provide a fair environment for enterprises from both nations after Australia maintained a broadband ban on Chinese telecom firm Huawei.

"China has always opposed pleading national security as an excuse for disturbing normal economic and trade cooperation between two countries," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

"We hope that both countries can work together to create favorable conditions and a fair environment for enterprises from both sides to conduct cooperation based on mutual respect and equality in line with the principles of market economy," Hua told reporters.

Australia on Tuesday maintained a ban issued by the previous Labor administration to bar Huawei from bidding for the country's high-speed national internet program.

Hua said China and Australia have kept close contacts since the new Australia administration was established in September.

As important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia share broad common interests, she said, adding that it accords with both sides' core interests to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality and mutual respect.

Huawei Australia was banned by the former Labor administration earlier last year from tendering in the National Broadband Network project over security reasons. Shortly after that, the United States also issued a congressional report, saying that Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom company, pose a security threat to the United States and should be barred from US contracts and acquisitions.

The US report was dismissed by Huawei Australia chairman John Lord as "protectionism," not security.

Related Article:

Google and Yahoo furious over reports that NSA secretly intercepts data links

Leaked files suggest NSA can collect information 'at will' by intercepting cables that connect Google and Yahoo's data hubs

Google said in a statement: 'We have long been concerned about the
possibility of this kind of snooping.' Photograph: Walter Bieri/AP

Google and Yahoo, two of the world's biggest tech companies, reacted angrily to a report on Wednesday that the National Security Agency has secretly intercepted the main communication links that carry their users' data around the world.

Citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, the Washington Post claimed the agency could collect information "at will" from among hundreds of millions of user accounts.

The documents suggest that the NSA, in partnership with its British counterpart GCHQ, is copying large amounts of data as it flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the worldwide data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.

The story is likely to put further strain on the already difficult relations between the tech firms and Washington. The internet giants are furious about the damage done to their reputation in the wake of Snowden's revelations.

In a statement, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, said the company was "outraged" by the latest revelations.

"We have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping, which is why we have continued to extend encryption across more and more Google services and links, especially the links in the slide," he said.

"We do not provide any government, including the US government, with access to our systems. We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform."

Yahoo said: "We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency."

According to a top-secret document cited by the Post dated 9 January 2013, millions of records a day are sent from Yahoo and Google internal networks to NSA data warehouses at the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. The types of information sent ranged from "metadata", indicating who sent or received emails, the subject line and where and when, to content such as text, audio and video.

The Post's documents state that in the preceding 30 days, field collectors had processed and sent on 181,280,466 new records.

Internet firms go to great lengths to protect their data. But the NSA documents published by the Post appear to boast about their ability to circumvent those protections. In one presentation slide on "Google Cloud Exploitation," published by the Post, an artist has added a smiley face, in apparent celebration of the NSA's victory over Google security systems.

In its report, the Post suggested the intercept project was codenamed Muscular, but the Guardian understands from other documents provided by Snowden that the term instead refers to the system that enables the initial processing of information gathered from NSA or GCHQ cable taps.

The data outputted from Muscular is then forwarded to NSA or GCHQ databases, or systems such as the XKeyscore search tool, previously reported by the Guardian.

The Post said that by collecting the data overseas, the NSA was circumventing the legal restrictions that prevent it from accessing the communications of people who live in the United States, and that it fell instead under an executive order, signed by the president, that authorised foreign intelligence operations.

In response, the NSA specifically denied that it used the presidential order to circumvent the restrictions on domestic spying, though the agency said nothing about the rest of the story.

The NSA statement said, in full: "NSA has multiple authorities that it uses to accomplish its mission, which is centered on defending the nation. The Washington Post's assertion that we use Executive Order 12333 collection to get around the limitations imposed by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and FAA 702 is not true.

"The assertion that we collect vast quantities of US persons' data from this type of collection is also not true. NSA applies attorney general-approved processes to protect the privacy of US persons – minimizing the likelihood of their information in our targeting, collection, processing, exploitation, retention and dissemination.

"NSA is a foreign intelligence agency. And we're focused on discovering and developing intelligence about valid foreign intelligence targets only."

A GCHQ spokesman said: "We are aware of the story but we don't have any comment."

The NSA statement was much more narrowly drawn than the initial response by the agency's director, General Keith Alexander. At a Washington conference on Wednesday as the Post story broke, Alexander issued an immediate denial, but was not specifically asked to address allegations that the NSA intercepted data transiting between the companies' data centers.

The latest disclosures may shed new light on a reference in a GCHQ document, first reported in September by the Guardian, the New York Times and ProPublica. As part of its efforts with the NSA to defeat internet encryption, GCHQ, the 2012 document said, was working on developing ways into the major webmail providers, including Google and Yahoo. It added that "work has predominantly been focused this quarter on Google due to new access opportunities being developed".

Other documents provided to the Guardian by Snowden suggest that GCHQ's work on Muscular, and a related tool called Incensor, is regarded as particularly valuable by the NSA, providing intelligence unavailable from other sources.

"Muscular/Incensor has significantly enhanced the amount of benefit that the NSA derives from our special source access," one 2010 GCHQ document notes. It adds that this highlights "the unique contribution we are now making to NSA, providing insights into some of their highest priority targets".

Relations between the tech companies and the government are already strained over the Snowden revelations. Speaking at a tech conference in September, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said the government had done a "bad job" of balancing people's privacy. "Frankly, I think the government blew it," he said.

Google will have its first turn before a legislative panel to confront surveillance questions next month. Senators Al Franken and Dean Heller, who are backing a bill to compel the government to provide more transparency about bulk surveillance, announced Wednesday that the Internet giant will send a representative to a Senate hearing they will hold on 13 November.

Swedish technology likely used in Georgia surveillance

Google – AFP, Anna-Karin Lampou (AFP), 30 October 2013

A man talks on his mobile phone as he enjoys the sunset from a roof bar in
Tbilisi, March 29, 2005 (AFP/File, Mladen Antonov)

Stockholm — The Georgian government may be using technology from Swedish telecom giant Ericsson to illegally monitor its own citizens, the company said Wednesday.

The technology, originally designed to track criminals, is standard and Ericsson sold it along with networking equipment to Georgian telecom provider Geocell in 2005, the Swedish company told AFP.

"The technology is aimed at lawful monitoring to fight crime, but the (Georgian) authorities allegedly use it for purposes it's not intended for," said Ericsson spokesman Fredrik Hallstan.

He was speaking after Swedish public radio reported that the Georgian government may be using Ericsson technology to eavesdrop on its own population.

The story, first reported Wednesday, has an additional Nordic dimension as Geocell is majority-owned by Swedish-Finnish telecom operator TeliaSonera.

Authorities in Georgia have the technical capacity to monitor 21,000 mobile phones, of which one-third are connected to Geocell, according to the radio, which did not give a source for these figures.

The claim that Ericsson's technology is being used for unauthorised eavesdropping comes in the wake of allegations that the Georgian government is deeply involved in monitoring its own citizens.

Surveillance without court authorisation is a "systematic practice" in Georgia, according to a report published last month by Thomas Hammarberg, the EU special adviser on constitutional and legal reform and human rights in Georgia.

"The possibility of some access to inter-personal communications could be essential in the fight against organised crime and terrorism," Hammarberg wrote in the report.

"However, the risk for misuse means that there is a need of legal regulations and democratic and judicial control over all activities in this domain."

Salomon Beckele, spokesman for TeliaSonera, told AFP that operators in Georgia are required to give the government access to their networks.

"It monitors the networks, and we don't have any idea what they are listening to and what information they gather -- neither we or any other operators would know," he said.

Pasi Koistinen, CEO at Geocell, told Swedish radio that the surveillance was legal under Georgian law.

"I find it unacceptable and would like to see the law changed," he told the radio from Georgia. "But as long as the surveillance is done according to the laws, we must follow the laws in this country."

But Elisabeth Loefgren, a spokeswoman at Amnesty International Sweden, told AFP that companies have a responsibility not to violate human rights, and the argument that their actions are legal is a poor excuse.

"If the tapping is against the law as we see it -- if it is illegal surveillance -- it is clear that Ericsson and Geocell, TeliaSonera's subsidiary, have to take responsibility," she said.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Twitter making tweets more 'visual' with overhaul

Google – AFP, 29 October 2013

The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer
screen in London on September 11, 2013 (AFP/File, Leon Neal)

San Francisco — Twitter said Tuesday it overhauled its user display to make the messaging service "more visual," as it ramps up competition against photo-sharing services like Instagram.

"So many of the great moments you share on Twitter are made even better with photos or with videos from Vine," Twitter's Michael Sippey said in a blog post.

"These rich tweets can bring your followers closer to what's happening, and make them feel like they are right there with you."

Sippey said that "starting today, timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in tweets."

Some Twitter users noticed the change, which makes pictures, graphics and videos more prominent.

The company said it was incorporating the changes in Twitter on the Internet and its Android and iPhone apps.

The shift comes as Twitter is preparing its stock market debut, possibly as early as next week.

While Twitter has amassed more than 200 million users and a strong core of celebrities, journalists and political leaders, some critics say the service lacks the visual appeal of photo-centric services like Pinterest or Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook last year.

Twitter is seeking to raise some $1.6 billion in its IPO, valuing the company in the range of $9.3 billion and $11.1 billion.

Phonebloks: a phone that can be built like Lego

Phonebloks is a smartphone made up of separate parts that can be swapped and replaced like Lego so it lasts for ever and can be customized

A screenshot of Phoneblok's design featured in the video Photo: Dave Movies 

A smartphone with detachable parts that could last forever has been designed.

Phonebloks is a sustainable device that can be built like Lego and would allow users to replace its parts over time instead of buying new smartphones.

Dutch designer Dave Hakkens designed it after his favourite camera broke and he was advised to buy a new one as it was cheaper than replacing the broken part.

He has not yet built the phone but his concept has generated a lot of interest and he told the BBC: "Right now, I'm thinking about what would be the best next step.

Related Articles

"Would it be to build it myself, open-source, online - or partner up with companies and collaborators?

"Half of the world says it's possible, the other half says it's not possible. I don't think anyone really knows because no-one's really tried it."

The phone would have a replaceable screen and easily changeable "blocks" containing different elements such as the battery and chipset.

It would be easy to use so the average consumer could replace the parts themselves.

The project also has 959,233 supporters on its website and a video publicising it has had more than 16 million views on YouTube.

The video says: "Every day we throw away millions of electronic devices because they get old and worn out - but usually its only one of the components that causes the problem.

"Its simply because electronic devices are not designed to last."

The detachable blocks are connected to the base, and the pieces are attached by two small screws.

It allows the user to customise their phone, by upgrading their camera or attaching larger batteries or speakers depending on their needs.

Related Articles:

"The New Paradigm of Reality" Part I/II – Feb 12, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)  (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, Dictators, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Google taps into PC market with Asus's Chromebox in 2014

Want China Times, Chan Tzuhsien and Staff Reporter 2013-10-29

A user checks out a Chromebook laptop at a launch event in the US, Feb. 21.

Google has been eyeing the personal computer market, with several brand makers, including Taiwan's Asus, gearing up for rolling out devices that run on Google operating systems.

In addition to Acer, HP and Samsung, Japan-based Toshiba also recently partenered up with Google after it introduced its version of the Chromebook at the Intel Developer Forum. Asus will launch the Chromebox, reportedly a tiny device no bigger than the +Google TV settop box, next year. Asus's assembler Quanta is said to be ready for production.

The market was abuzz earlier this year with news that Google was planning to adopt its Android operating system for traditional notebooks that will be configured with a touch screen, and will be aimed at capturing a market share in both the tablet and notebook markets.

Lenovo's IdeaPad A10, priced at US$249, was the first notebook model to run on the Android operating system, and it has a 10.1-inch screen and a Rockchip ARM chip. The reversible screen on the device means the device functions as both a tablet and a notebook.

Other Android notebooks, developed by HP and Samsung, are expected to hit the shelves during the second quarter of 2014. However, some market observers have displayed a negative attitude toward the Android tablet, which along with the Chromebook will target the lower-end of the market.

The sales momentum in the notebook market also remains weak. Several brand makers hope to boost the sales with Google's Chromebook and Android notebooks.

At present, three of the top five sales on Amazon were for Chromebook, with Samsung's Chromebook being the most popular and the fourth and fifth places being taken by the HP and Acer C720 Chromebooks.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vatican official: Pope's Twitter account teaches us about authority

Mons. Tighe's talk at 2013 Catholic
 New Media Conference: "The Vatican
and Digital Media”
Because of its expanding use of social media and handling of Pope Francis' wildly popular Twitter account, the Vatican is learning a wide range of lessons on the nature of authority in the 21st century, one of the officials who handles its new media outreach has said.

At the center of those lessons, said Msgr. Paul Tighe, is the fact that the church can no longer claim authority without working for it.

"The social media landscape is peer to peer, it's free and it's open," said Tighe, the second-in-command at the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications, speaking Saturday at a conference on the use of so-called new media.

"That's not the immediate description of the church at times," he continued. "What we need to realize is when in an environment where authority is different ... authority, broadly, we have to earn it rather than we can claim it."

Tighe, an Irishman who served as the director of public affairs for the Dublin archdiocese before taking up the job as secretary for the pontifical council in 2007, gave the keynote at the conference, hosted by the Boston archdiocese.

Speaking for more than an hour, the Vatican official laced his talk with both tidbits on the inside day-to-day running of the pope's Twitter accounts, available in English @Pontifex and in several other languages, and with deeper insights into what his council's work means for the future direction of the church.

Explaining that the pope's Twitter posts, called tweets, are re-tweeted more than any other public figure, Tighe said that shows that church "comes not from the center, but from the local."

"How would it look for the church to build a capillary network?" he asked. "So that the church becomes interactive, using the platform of the Pontifex account."

He said people who re-tweet the pope may end up "touching the hearts of people who might not normally choose to read the Gospel message or the thought of the church."

Tighe also said Vatican officials were surprised with how quickly Twitter followers latched onto the pope's efforts for a day of prayer for peace in Syria as part of his call against U.S. military intervention in the country.

Officials at the communications office chose for the event a special hashtag -- a way for Twitter users to easily categorize each others tweets -- labeled #Prayforpeace.

"It's almost like the hashtag became the point of contact for Catholic communities around the world to get that message out there," said Tighe.

"The hashtag created this almost subversive network of people who were getting the word out there, even though it wasn't getting a huge amount of play in the mainstream media."

Tighe also said his office was surprised at how quickly the pope's first message in English, made Friday for a conference in the Philippines, spread on Facebook. Within 3.5 hours of posting, Tighe said, some 250,000 Facebook users had shared the message.

Church officials, Tighe said, have to realize that young people in the 21st century are "forming relationships and creating community in a different way."

"That is challenging all of us because the change is not in technologies, but it's a change in communication itself," he said.

Tighe also likened the church's work in the digital sphere, what he called the "digital continent," with its evangelization of the world's physical continents in past centuries. Missionary efforts in places like Africa or Asia "began with an understanding of the language and its culture," he said.

Coming to the concept of authority, Tighe said members of his generation grew up with a linear sense of communication and authority.

"We grew up with the idea of the pulpit," he said. "I'm here. I talk; you listen. The microphone let us reach further. The radio took us even further. The TV let you see us as well as hear us. But we were at the center and you were out there consuming."

"New media is different," he continued. "I speak, I talk, I reflect, I say something. If you like it, or if you disagree with it enough to comment on it … you might share it."

"It's participative," he said. "It's interactive. If I say something, I have to be prepared to answer questions back."

Pope Francis has some 10 million followers on Twitter across accounts in eight languages. Tighe's office manages those accounts as well as many of the Vatican's other social media efforts, including the portal, which collects many of the pope's statements and official acts on one website.

Here is a video of Tighe's full address at the Boston conference, made available by the archdiocese. His remarks start at about the six-minute mark.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR national correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

UPDATE: The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has now made an unofficial transcript of Tighe's remarks available online here.

Related Articles:

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint 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)

“…  1 - Spirituality (Religions)

Number one: Spirituality. The systems of spiritual design on your planet are starting to change. This is not telling you that certain ones are going to go away. They're simply going to change. Some of the largest spiritual systems, which you would call organized religion on the planet, are shifting. They're going to shift away from that which is authority on the outside to authority on the inside. It will eventually be a different way of worship, slowly changing the rules while keeping the basic doctrine the same.

The doctrine of the Christ has always been to find the God inside. The teachings were clear. The examples of the miracles were given as an example of what humans could do, not to set a man up for worship as a God. So when that has been absorbed, the teaching of the Christ can remain the teaching of the Christ. It simply changes the interpretation.

The teachings of the great prophets of the Middle East (all related to each other) are about unity and love. So once the holy words are redefined with new wisdom, the Human changes, not the words of the prophets. In fact, the prophets become even more divinely inspired and their wisdom becomes even more profound.

You're going to lose a pope soon. I have no clock. Soon to us can mean anything to you. The one who replaces him may surprise you, for his particular organization will be in survival mode at that point in time. That is to say that fewer and fewer are interested in starting the priesthood. Fewer and fewer young people are interested in the organization, and the new pope must make changes to keep his church alive. That means that his organization will remain, but with a more modern look at what truly is before all of you in a new energy. It is not the fall of the church. It is instead the recalibration of the divinity inside that would match the worship that goes on. It's a win-win situation. The new pope will have a difficult time, since the old guard will still be there. There could even be an assassination attempt, such is the way the old energy dies hard. That is number one. Watch for it. It's a change in the way spiritual systems work. It's a realignment of spiritual systems that resound to a stronger truth that is Human driven, rather than prophet driven. …”

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

NSA spying: 'People are getting concerned'

Deutsche Welle, 27 October 2013

"We are the people, defend the Bill of Rights!" At the Stop Watching Us rally, communication scientist Lindsay H. Hoffman spoke with DW about changes in the land of the free and the current American mindset.

DW: The Patriot Act was signed 12 years ago, and today (26.10.2013) hundreds of people are demonstrating in Washington, D.C. and other cities against the mass
surveillance revelations of the past months. Is the America of today the land of the free or the land of the observed?

Lindsay H. Hoffman: Difficult to say. Starting with WikiLeaks and now with [former National Security Agency analyst] Edward Snowden we are beginning to discover what the NSA is actually doing. Even though spying is an old business, many Americans had no idea of the extent to which it was invading their own personal lives. I think Americans are starting to become very concerned. That said, the rally here was not very well attended.

I think it's just another issue on the agenda. If you asked what Americans are most concerned about right now, they are thinking more about health care and the recent government shutdown.

Why are people suddenly so surprised by the extent of surveillance?

If you go back to the Patriot Act, Americans were very concerned about terrorism and it seemed entirely justifiable. People were not opposed to this kind of surveillance at all, they said: 'I have done nothing wrong. I have nothing to hide. Look at my information – if it helps preventing a terrorist attack, I am OK with that.' And that came along with an increased reliance on technology. People are using Facebook and Twitter and email every day. Over time it became normal to give more and more of your information away and we sort of forgot about the Patriot Act.

Around 800 people gathered in Washington
D.C. to protest NSA surveillance
In addition, many Americans were under the impression that all these kinds of things were private and if you weren't doing anything wrong, there would be no reason for anyone to look at your records. So it's really the revelation that you don't have to be suspicious – and the government can still find out everything about you. I think that's what is concerning people.

And now they're starting to get upset?

Freedom obviously has a huge value for citizens in America. Any time there is a threat against individual rights, Americans will get upset about it. So, right now Americans are mostly concerned about getting spied on – even here at the rally – rather than what has come out in recent days about spying on other foreign leaders, although this is actually perhaps more troubling.

Have there been consequences?

There have been some interesting movements. There are now Internet service providers to which you don't give any of your information and you pay in cash for the connection. So they have almost no idea who you are or how to connect to you. And there are some people going back to the idea to opt out, not being online. Even some of my college students say: 'Maybe I will go off Facebook for a while.' I have never heard them discuss this before. But now some are actually quitting the social network.

Speaking of Facebook, the NSA revelations have also shown how the US can influence Internet companies. What do Americans think about the cooperation between IT companies and the government?

The initial releases of the Snowden leaks were the Verizon leaks saying that Verizon had handed over phone records to the government. And Verizon is an extremely popular mobile provider in the country. That was alarming.

What people are arguing for – also people at the rally today – is getting away from corporate sponsored software and working more toward an open source software environment, where the people own the software and own the source code. They know how it works and what information is there. People are starting to realize that they are losing control over their digital identity. There has been a movement towards going around these existing corporate structures and communicating in other ways.

Americans are starting to become very concerned about privacy issues

What options does the US government have to limit surveillance?

Transparency is the first step. Companies like Facebook and Twitter need to be very clear about their policies. But what is really necessary, I think, is a policy change. The Patriot Act needs to be reconsidered because technology has changed dramatically and what we do, how we communicate has changed so profoundly.

We have seen some legislation introduced about surveillance. However, right now there is so much going on with Obamacare and the budget that it's not a top priority. But if we keep seeing the story in the media, and polls show that this is one of the top issues, and the public is outraged enough, politicians will be forced to respond.

Would pressure from the outside, from Europe, for example, help developments inside the US?

I think most Americans are unaware of how much discontent there is in other countries and of how upset Europeans are about the surveillance. Only in the last week or so have we begun to see how this has impacted our foreign allies and our reputation. I hope the [EU] representative coming next week will make it very clear how much this defies international alliances and how there may be repercussions if the surveillance continues. If [America's] allies speak out – and [Chancellor Angela] Merkel has been very clear – things could definitely change.

Many Americans agree with the anti-NSA
sentiment in Europe
What about a "no spying agreement" with allies like Germany and France?

It's a global issue – also because the Internet itself is borderless, somewhat stateless. We cannot just let nation states decide what the policies are regarding surveillance because this does cross geographical borders. However, this is also unprecedented territory. The question is: What is the governing body that should manage how our information is stored and retrieved? It's a complex issue.

Is this protest against mass surveillance uniting the nation?

Until these revelations, it was a rather unusual to be worried about spying. You would imagine this paranoid person worried that everyone is spying on him. What has happened is that it's no longer these kinds of people at these protests who are speaking out - it's the regular people who are shocked.

I don't think this is an issue that's going to unify everyone. But I found it really fascinating to see people of different ages – from people in wheelchairs to little kids – and from different backgrounds at the rally. There is no divide along these strict ideological and political lines. That is something that has made this movement unique.

Lindsay H. Hoffman is an associate professor of communication and political science at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on the intersection of media, politics and technology.

A Taiwanese media report on the alleged tapping of the cell phones of 35 world
leaders by the US National Security Agency. (Photo/CNA)

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

NSA denies hackers involved in website outage

Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2013

The US National Security Agency has denied that its website was disabled by hackers, saying the outage was due to a technical mistake. A worldwide furor surrounds the NSA over its vast surveillance operations.

The US agency accused of monitoring phone calls of 35 international leaders said Saturday that an outage of its own website was caused by an erroneous update. The National Security Agency (NSA) site reappeared 8 hours later.

Earlier, a NSA spokesman rejected speculation on social networks that hackers might have staged a so-called "denial of service" attack.

" was not accessible for several hours tonight [Friday, local time] because of an internal error that occurred during a scheduled update," he said.

The loosely organized international hacker collective Anonymous played down any role, saying ironically: "Don't panic. They have a backup copy of the internet."

Draft resolution to boost privacy

Disclosures from fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by media outlets internationally prompted Brazil and Germany on Friday to begin drafting a UN General Assembly resolution.

Its demand that excessive spying and invasions of privacy be ended follows complaints from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and most recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel over tapping of their communications, allegedly by the NSA.

Latin American and European diplomats quoted by the news agency Associated Press said Brazil and Germany were leading efforts to draft the resolution.

It would seek to expend privacy rights stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In the 193-nation General Assembly it would be nonbinding but carry moral weight.
Build trust 'anew'

Last month, Rousseff called off a high-profile state visit to Washington. On Thursday, Merkel said trust had to be "built anew" after claims that her Berlin-based mobile phone was tapped by the US.

Germany on Friday said it would send a senior-level delegation to Washington next week to seek responses to a catalogue of questions it submitted months ago.

Washington contends that data interception is necessary to deter terrorism.

On Thursday, just ahead of a EU summit, Britain's Guardian newspaper said a confidential memo indicated that the NSA had monitored phone calls of 35 international leaders in 2006.

Accountability unchecked

Gordon Adams, a professor at American University who served in the administration of former US president Bill Clinton, said the Patriot Act and other laws adopted after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington by al-Qaeda aircraft hijackers "basically unleashed what we see today."

"In a climate of fear, we basically took the reins off of accountability for the intelligence community," Adams said.

Post-2001, Congress had "opened up a floodgate" and gave the NSA "immense running room," first under ex-president George W. Bush and then incumbent President Barack Obama, Adams told the news agency AFP.

In a commentary in Thursday's edition of USA Today, Lisa Monaco, one of Obama's homeland security advisors, however said US spy services had "more restrictions and oversight that any other country in history."

ipj/tj (AFP, Reuters, AP)
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goldenageofgaia.comSteve Beckow,  August 7, 2013

“… SB:  Okay. Thank you for that.

Now, we have about four minutes before we run out of time, and this is a bit of a complex topic. But Matthew Ward told us in I think his June message that Obama is working with the galactics; that there are galactics in the National Security Agency; that the National Security Agency was gathering evidence on the Illuminati, and that explains why Obama was supporting the… well, if not supporting, then not doing something about the spying of the NSA. It’s really directed at the Illuminati.

Can you talk a little bit more generally about Obama’s working with the galactics? And if you can — I mean, you may not be able to, but if you can — on the galactics in the other agencies and what they’re doing to bring forward a cleansing of those agencies, please?

AAM:  Let me say that your star brothers and sisters, the galactics and the inter-galactics are everywhere. And yes, they are certainly very deep within the administration not only of the United States but might we say most powerful nations, and those that you would not even deign as powerful.

So yes, of course Obama is working with the galactics, and he has been for some time. And that partnership has been important. Now, there have been some very rough patches, and we would be remiss if we did not mention them. But it is not yet time to discuss the fullness of those rough patches. They will come to light.

The purpose of what you think of as spying has been, yes, targeted to Illuminati or those who are not acting in the best interests of the collective, whether it is the United States, Israel, Botswana, Switzerland, Germany, Russia — it does not matter.

There are more of your star beings, your brothers and sisters on the ground than you can fathom. And one of the reasons why this approach… not only has the approach been taken to assist in this shift, it has also been taken to anchor that energy fully and completely on Gaia.

So, the vision of a fleet of starships arising, or coming across the horizon and causing fear has been circumvented. Look to the person standing next to you and look in their eyes. There is a very good chance that you are looking at one of your star brothers or sisters.

SB:  Wonderful. Thank you very much, Lord. …”