Archive for October, 2011

GCHQ chief reports ‘disturbing’ cyber attacks on UK

Monday, October 31st, 2011

The UK has been subject to a “disturbing” number of cyber attacks, the director of communications intelligence agency GCHQ has said.

Sensitive data on government computers has been targeted, along with defence, technology and engineering firms’ designs, Iain Lobban said in the Times.

There was a “significant” unsuccessful internet-based attack on Foreign Office computer systems this summer, he added.

On Tuesday, the government hosts a two-day conference on the issue.

Foreign Secretary William Hague convened the London Conference on Cyberspace after criticism that ministers are failing to take the threat from cyber warfare seriously enough.

It aims to bring together political leaders, such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU digital supremo Neelie Kroes, with leading cyber security experts and technology entrepreneurs such as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Cisco vice-president Brad Boston.


Why is it not good to use proprietary Software or Formats?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Proprietary Software can include back doors – see Skype and Microsoft.

Proprietary formats can include metadata. This is data, which you can’t see but it can lead to your identity. They caught a Greek anonymous activist, because he uploaded a word document with his real name in the metadata.

If you are no computer expert don’t upload anything else then plain TXT files to the Internet. You can use copy and past as well to post it in web services. Even graphic formats like JPEG or TIFF can include data like GPS coordinates, the used camera, user and software name.

It’s very difficult for beginners to find this metadata. So if you are a good designer like the poor Greek one, send your PDF files to a computer expert. He can clean the metadata before the upload.

These programms can show you the metadata:

PDF – BeCyPDFMetaEdit
Viewer for many formats:

The metadata can be useful to locate the author of a document in real life, if you have questions for example. Open source programs like Libre Office uses metadata too. The trick is not to fill in your real name during installation and don’t use your real name for login.

You can use a Linux live system (like TAILS) to produce anonymous documents.


The UK government has its problems with PDF formats too:

“UK’s Ministry of Defence admitted that secret information about its nuclear powered submarines was leaked on the internet by mistake.


FOCA is a good program to show meta data for windows. You have to give an email adr. to dowload the program …

– To the original…


Directors’ pay rose 50% in past year, says IDS report

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Pay for the directors of the UK’s top businesses rose 50% over the past year, a pay research company has said.

Incomes Data Services (IDS) said this took the average pay for a director of a FTSE 100 company to just short of £2.7m.

The rise, covering salary, benefits and bonuses, was higher than that recorded for the main person running the company, the chief executive.

Their pay rose by 43% over the year, according to the study.

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in Australia, said the report was “concerning” and called for big companies to be more transparent when they decide executive pay.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the pay increases were part of a “something for nothing” culture, since the stock market had not risen to match them.

A statement from IDS said that that figure suggested that “executive largesse is evenly spread across the board”.

Base salaries rose by just 3.2%, although that was above the median rise recorded by IDS this week for average pay settlements of 2.6% for private sector workers.

The latest consumer price inflation figures showed inflation at 5.2%.

– More…


Hackers targeted US government satellites, Congressional report claims

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

It sounds like the stuff of James Bond – foreign hackers managing to gain unauthorised access to US satellites as they orbit 700 km above the Earth, and interfere with their controls.

Maybe, if things were turning really bad, the hackers could even “damage or destroy the satellite.”

Well, if the upcoming annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission is to believed, maybe this isn’t just the imagination of a Hollywood scriptwriter.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, a Congressional commision report to be released next month will reveal that hacker interfered with the operations of two US government satellites in 2007 and 2008.

The hackers, who were said to have gained access to the satellites via a ground station in Spitsbergen, Norway, are said to have interfered with the running of the Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1 Earth observation satellites which examine the planet’s climate and terrain. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the report claims Landsat-7 experienced “12 or more minutes of interference in October 2007 and July 2008”.

NASA’s Terra AM-1 satellite, meanwhile, is said to have suffered interference for two minutes in June 2008 and nine minutes in October of that year. According to the draft report, “the responsible party achieved all steps required to command the satellite.”

– More…


Japanese parliament hit by cyber-attack

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

According to local media reports, hackers were able to snoop upon emails and steal passwords from computers belonging to lawmakers at the Japanese parliament for over a month.

A report in the Asahi Shimbun claims that PCs and servers were infected after a Trojan horse was emailed to a a Lower House member in July.

The Trojan horse then downloaded malware from a server based in China – allowing remote hackers to secretly spy on email communications and steal usernames and passwords from lawmakers.

– More…



Monday, October 24th, 2011

– Someone here in New Zealand pointed out to me the other day that the United States  is, perhaps, the only country in the world to stage a “World Series” and not invite any other countries to participate.   It’s a point that’s been wryly appreciated by folks from outside the U.S. for some time.

– dennis

About the Occupy Wall Street movement

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

I’ve been reflecting on the Occupy Wall Street Movement. 

First, Bravo to them for understanding what’s happening to the world and for standing up and pointing it out so well.   I hope the movement continues to ‘grow legs’ and I also hope that, like the ‘Arab Spring’, it results in real and fundamental changes.

But, my hopes and my projections of likely outcomes live in separate boxes in my head.  And while I am deeply pleased at the OWS movement, I don’t think it will result in more than superficial change.

The problem, as I just wrote to a friend in a private E-Mail, is

“The people with power and money like, Dick Cheney for instance, are not going to give up their perks because the demonstrators make them feel guilty.   Rather, if they begin to feel the heat, they will direct that a series of measures be taken by their political handmaidens to make it look like changes are being effected when, in fact, the changes will be mostly form and very little substance.  

They will institute ‘a dazzle the bozos campaign'”.

A great strength of the new movements like the Arab Spring and OWS are their decentralized natures; they have no single head to cut off to stifle them.   But, it their weakness as well as their ‘intelligence and perceptive depth’ is limited to the average of the group since they are all independent actors.

Those who control the Multinationals and who direct our politicians like sheep with their money are far far brighter than that average and they will obfuscate the issues and make great shows of doing something through the media they control while, in fact, doing very little to disadvantage themselves.

Those are my thoughts.   Only time will tell and I, like so many, am deeply interested to see how it all plays out.




Slaying The Jabberwock

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

By Clinton Callahan 

The Jabberwock, of course, is the modern capitalist / patriarchal / empire meme-virus that is infecting the global ethnosphere and, in addition to wiping out cultural diversity by putting a 7/11 and a Starbucks on every corner, is threatening to exterminate life on Earth. This article is a mini-handbook empowering global #OCCUPY teams to build nonlinear, interconnected, resilient, leaderless social systems that make the Jabberwock irrelevant.

NOTE 1: Most of what follows I extracted from an astonishing series of blogs and comments (with permission) penned by John Robb posted at . John is the author of Brave New War.

NOTE 2: If you want to help document #OCCUPY strategies for others to copy, please add them to MiiU.


#OCCUPY is not a legal conflict. It is political insurgency.

The bad news is: as the ruling system tries to suppress the insurgency it engages in low-intensity warfare. In other words, we are already at war. The good news is: states don’t know how to win this war. “No state has ever defeated an indigenous insurgency.”   – Jerry Boyle

The Jabberwock is a loose affiliation of psychopathic personalities using single-mind intelligence passing orders down through their hierarchies.

In comparison, #OCCUPY is open-source (leaderless), and uses many-mind (swarm) intelligence, which is nonlinear and which tends to generate an abundance of parallel (unpredictable/uncontrollable) actions. Therefore, if #OCCUPY persists, then the Jabberwock has no chance!

Persistence is enhanced through intelligent understanding of #OCCUPY strategies and technologies, thus, this mini-handbook, in which you will find the following sections:




Superempowerment – #OCCUPY increases the ability of individuals and small groups to accomplish tasks through rapid improvements in decentralized decision making, teamwork, nonlinear strategy, and the use of technology to access global networks. Many-to-many collaborations enable small groups to radically increase their productivity in protests. For example, if many small groups disrupt a system by attacking its weak points simultaneously in diverse modalities (such as walkouts, flashmobs, media campaigns, street theater pieces) this can multiply the effectiveness to achieve as much as a 1,400,000 percent return on investment. That is superempowerment.

Open-source warfare – #OCCUPY gains diverse intelligences by remaining leaderless so it can be sourced by the whole swarm rather than by individual leaders. Through self-organizing its nonviolent noncompliance with what-is-not-sustainable, #OCCUPY acts in parallel through a large collection of small, superempowered groups. These small groups can work together to take on much larger foes (usually hierarchies). Open-source organizing enables high rates of wildly diverse innovation, increased survivability among the participant groups, more frequent protests, and an ability to swarm targets.

How is #OCCUPY sourcing a long-term superempowered open-source insurgency? Two steps:


Establish an idea that holds the open-source insurgency together. The plausible promise is composed of:

An enemy . The enemy serves as the target of protests. This enemy can either be perceived or manufactured (any group or organization that can be depicted as a threat, in this case: the Jabberwock.). The enemy can be any group that currently holds and exerts power: invader, the government, a company, an ethnic group, or a private organization. It’s all the Jabberwock.

A goal . This goal animates the group. Because of the diversity of the groups and individuals that join together in an open-source insurgency, the only goal that works is one that is simple and extremely high level. More complex goal setting is impossible, since it will fracture or fork the insurgency.

A demonstration. A successful demonstration proves the viability of the insurgency. People see it is actually possible to win against the enemy. The demonstration deflates any aura of invincibility that the enemy may currently enjoy. The demonstration serves as a rallying cry for the insurgency.


Every open-source insurgency is ignited by a small founding group, a foco in guerrilla parlance. The foco sets the original goal and conducts the operation that provides the insurgency with its demonstration of viability. It’s important to understand that in order to grow an open-source insurgency, the founding group or individuals must follow a simple path:

Relinquish. Give up any control over the insurgency gained during its early phases. In practice, this means giving up control of how the goal is achieved, who may participate, how to communicate, etc. The only control that remains is the power of example, the respect gained through effectively serving the goal. If ever a leader attempts to fork the protest by trying to lead it towards an agenda or policy or politics only they care about, they should be immediately ignored / rejected / blocked.

Resist (resist your hidden temptations). This means: stay small. Don’t grow the foco to a size that makes the original group easy for the enemy to target (allow very few new members in the first group). Further, don’t establish a formal collection of groups, a hierarchy of control, or set forth a complex agenda. This will only serve to alienate and fragment the insurgency. In some cases, it will make the foco a target of the insurgency itself. It will also slow any advancement on the objective since it limits potential pathways of innovation that naturally emerge from a large, loose network of self-organized superempowered groups.

Share. Rapidly give away your best resources, ideas, information, knowledge, recruits, etc. to other groups that join the insurgency. Share everything possible that doesn’t directly compromise the foco’s integrity (its operational security or viability). Expect sharing in return.


#OCCUPY is comparable to what we are seeing in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc. Remember, these are actions that have already toppled governments.

The big difference between #OCCUPY and those other protests is that #OCCUPY is not directed at governments. It is aimed at companies, but not just any companies. It’s aimed at the banks that own and run the global economy. #OCCUPY is replacing the heart of the global Capitalist system with a new human agenda on the planet.

#OCCUPY ignores governments and standard political processes because:

  • Governments are much weaker than the global economy (they are bankrupt hollow shells of what they were at the end of the Cold War).
  • Governments are too ineffectual and/or corrupt to change anything even if they are coerced (see the US, Ireland and Greece for recent examples).
  • Too little will change even if the government changes parties (see the US for how lame politics and politicians have become).

What’s the real goal of #OCCUPY? It’s a recognition that the center of world power doesn’t reside in Washington or London or Moscow or Beijing anymore. It’s in the executive suites and luxury resorts behind the global corporate hegemony. This protest dispenses with the middle men (governments) and goes straight after the real power to divest it of whatever credibility it still tries to claim.

The reason we are seeing this movement right now is because Capitalism, the last great ideological system, is in crisis. This isn’t merely a crisis of outcomes (economic depression, financial panic, etc.). It’s a crisis of BELIEF. While people generally believe in the idea of capitalism, a critical mass of people now think that the global capitalist system we currently have is so badly run, so corrupt, so terrible at delivering results that it needs either A) a complete overhaul or B) to be replaced with something new (which equates to the same thing, because the Jabberwock cannot be overhauled. Don’t fool yourself! A Japperwock cannot become anything other than a Jabberwock.).


There is no difference between a person and their absolute responsibility for the consequences of their actions. The concept that a person’s responsibility is subsumed by the corporation they work for (corporate personhood) or the government they serve (national laws, or the customs of the bureaucracy) is a false paradigm. Believing in this false paradigm leads to global suicide.

How do you know you are thinking in the false paradigm? You can catch yourself if you are:

  1. Assuming you must ignore social and environmental consequences in your decisions because they seem too expensive to consider.
  2. Strategizing ways to externalize costs so that the general public, future generations, or third world countries pay to deal with your toxic wastes.
  3. Thinking you can manufacture a product without including its recycle costs in your manufacturing and pricing.
  4. Thinking you can cut old growth forests in Borneo, make products in China, and sell them through Ikea or Walmart.
  5. Thinking that you can follow orders from a superior and kill people with robot planes in Afghanistan.
  6. Thinking you can manufacture, sell, transport, or fire depleted uranium weapons.
  7. Thinking that it does not matter if you consume false-paradigm products. (If most people stopped using Shell Oil or McDonald’s hamburgers for two weeks these firms would be bankrupt.)
  8. Thinking you can be pissed off at your neighbor without changing yourself.
  9. Thinking you can order someone else to stop a third party from creating a better world and not face the personal consequences…

For example, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought he could have the owners of Zuccotti Park –Brookfield Properties – shut down #OccupyWallStreet early in the morning of 14 October using the ruse of “cleaning the park.” He thought he could avoid the personal consequences of this decision. He was thinking inside the false paradigm.

#OCCUPY perceived the cleaning order as:

– Bloomberg vs. #OCCUPY.

   – One Mind vs. Many Minds.

   – Linear Thinking vs. Nonlinear Thinking.

From the very beginning Bloomberg had no chance. (This is true for whatever authority figure tries to subdue or suppress the people united. Meshwork meeting technologies far outpower hierarchical intelligence. )

How did #OCCUPY do it? #OCCUPY took immediate actions to delegitimize Bloomberg’s complaint that the park was dirty and unsafe. #OCCUPY reorganized itself and brought in power-washers, brooms, and mops. They deep-cleaned Liberty Square. They hired their own dump truck. They even offered to let cleaners into the square to clean 1/3 of it at a time!

With the Mayor’s complaint de-legitimized, #OCCUPY went on the offensive. It personalized the eviction move. It located Bloomberg. He was at a gala dinner at Ciprianis (a Wall Street restaurant!). They surrounded the restaurant and tried to enter it to deliver a petition with 310,000 signatures. Bloomberg hid, departed from the rear. In short order the deputy mayor announced that the eviction was cancelled!

Remember, every situation is unique, but general group intelligence strategies apply.

Here are some guidelines:

Go straight for the man . Maximize the taint of an authority’s actions on his personal brand. Blame him personally. Pierce his shield of bureaucratic impersonality. For example, #OCCUPY branded the park eviction with the name: BLOOMBERG. This is a global stage. Let’s use it. The reputation of the president /mayor /CEO /general /police chief may not matter much to you, but it certainly matters to him.

Confuse him . Respond to his attack with lots and lots of flashmobs. Go for non-violent system disruption. Shut down bridges and major streets. Overwhelm the system with actions of unprecedented speed and unpredictable volume. As soon as the police arrive in force, disperse and reassemble at new locations. Bikes plus Kids. Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt. More flashmobs equals more disruption. As long as you are under attack in one place, keep the city tied up in knots at other places. NOTE: If they lock down your area, flashmobs are the best way to participate. (Plus, as an added benefit, in running from location to location you get some needed exercise!)

Connect with more people than him . Best way to do this: Eyes in the sky. Get cameras above your action, for example. Stream the feed. The better the quality the more impact it will have. It will play across the world. Think about how important AJs video feed over Tahrirwas when things got hot. Better yet, get AJ to cover it and stream it.

Success story. The flashmob tactic was tried in Panama a couple of years ago by the SUNTRACS construction workers union. With very small groups pre-planted all over the city they drove the police absolutely crazy. Police would show up at location A, the mob would disperse immediately, two text messages and then flashmobs would simultaneously block streets at locations B and C. This worked very well and with much fewer people than #OCCUPY has available. Encourage multiple #OCCUPY flashmob teams to self-organize and operate in parallel!

Continue to exist. Logistics are important. Think ahead. Cold weather is coming fast freezing food, water, everything in a few weeks. #OCCUPY will get tough, impossible with snow blowing. Instead of slowly giving it up and going home with frostbite, consider abandoning the parks. Why not do the “very small groups pre-planted all over the city for flashmobs” all winter long from warm apartments? Print an apartment hospitality directory, or put it online, like the Mennonite Your Way Directory It’s time for tribal living.

Become Lady Randomfactor. Many random events that are out of control will wear down and use up the Jabberwock’s resources.  With such a disproportionate cost ratio between your actions and the Jabberwock’s reactions, the Jabberwock is nonviolently bleeding itself to death.

Then become Lord Critical Mass. Except, instead of every Friday, pick one random, unpredictable day (or a couple days) each week to #OCCUPY with a critical mass of people (meaning, enough people to attract attention and cause an impact). Five hundred police come out on Monday expecting the crowd from Sunday to still be there, but people have mysteriously vanished and downtown looks like a Police State. By Wednesday there are only fifty police left, and then suddenly thousands of #OCCUPYers show up there, warm, fed, showered, shaved, and feeling quite chipper, even in the middle of winter.


These are notes from a video taken October 11, 2011, featuring Chicago lawyer Jerry Boyle of National Lawyers Guild giving a street workshop to #OCCUPYCHICAGO. It contains valuable legal and strategic information for protesters everywhere. It’s an hour long, but completely engaging and well worth watching. It is posted at Linda Ross.

Police are trained to think within five legal definitions of force:

  1. Physical presence — a show of force is equal to the use of force.
  2. Verbal direction — instructions and commands.
  3. Empty hand control — no weapons. Physical contact.
  4. Intermediate weapons systems — pepper spray, baton.
  5. Lethal force.

In an interaction with police, you have the power to determine to what degree of force the situation escalates. For example, if an officer speaks to you and you ignore him, you force him to escalate his force. He must speak louder or get angry to get your attention.

Therefore, in non-violent #OCCUPY actions, you can de-escalate force by looking police officers directly in the eyes. Most police officers already sympathize with the goals of #OCCUPY. You can demonstrate compliance with their physical presence and verbal direction by acknowledging them, listening to what they say, and repeating back what you understood. You do not necessarily have to do what they say, but if you stay in relationship with them, acknowledging them, listening and speaking with them (perhaps even being kind to them) then there is a good chance the force can be kept at the verbal level.

You can also determine whether or not you will be arrested. If you do not wish to be arrested then create it so interactions stay within the first two levels of force. By the time an officer goes to empty hand control and grabs you by the arm, you are being arrested.

Police may be tired, angry, scared, or overwhelmed. They may regard dealing with street protests as a distraction from their true work of dealing with criminals. Being frustrated, they may (unconsciously) wish to escalate the level of force in an interaction so that if they do go to the trouble of arresting you, you will be charged with a higher crime. For example, police are trained in pain points. If an angry police officer grabs you he may intentionally apply pressure at a pain point causing you to automatically flail about, which on a video would be hard to distinguish from resisting arrest or attacking the officer, an automatic felony charge for you. Your flailing is also a good excuse for him to use pepper spray, a knee, or his club on you.

Some people recommend that if you are grabbed you should go limp, but if you do, you will likely be trampled or dragged around and might get hurt. If you already know a police officer might grab you in a pain point you can prepare yourself to not react aggressively no matter what. Often, these days, to avoid escalation of force, white shirt police do the actual arresting, with blue-shirt police as their backups.

To disarm a police officer, use the first three levels of force on him before he uses them on you.

For example, at level one: physical presence, to maximize the apparent show of force at a scene, the police may be outfitted in riot gear, head to toe armor, shields, batons, helmets, etc. This is the police officer’s power costume.

Well, you can wear a power costume too.

Consider this, if you wear a suit and tie, the police will have a very difficult time hitting you because blue-shirt police take their orders from people wearing a suit and tie. If you wear a pink bunny suit, it will look very bad on TV seeing a police officer beating on girls dressed in pink bunny suits. If you wear a V mask with your suit and tie they don’t know what you are. This is powerful.

Using the first three levels of force (presence of force, verbal direction, and empty hand control) on a police officer before he uses it on you disarms him. It can look like this: When the police arrive, you scan the group and locate the highest ranking officer. Then, in your suit and tie you smile professionally, make eye contact, hold out your open hands, walk enthusiastically up to the him, shake hands and introduce yourself, “My name is David Applebee. I am a possibility manager. If there are any problems here, let me know what I can do for you. I’ll be right over there.” Physical presence, verbal direction, empty hand control. Sweet.


There’s no question that the #OCCUPY groups have done a great job with constructing a foundation for resilient communities in the heart of many of our most dense urban areas.

People are already considerate with each other, despite personal discomforts. They pitch in to work. Food gets served. The area gets cleaned. There is entertainment. There’s innovation (circle meetings, improvised tech solutions, creative workarounds). There is education (lots of seminars being taught). There is open, leaderless, participatory governance with consensus decision making. There is s treaming media 24x7x365 (interviews, opeds, confrontation scenes, theater pieces). There is legal support for dealing with the complexities of congregating and living in an urban, public space.

A permanent camp in each location means that there is a gathering point for HUGE protests in the near future (quick responses to shocks/events/etc.). These are seed crystals for protests that span hundreds or thousands of cities simultaneously.

All of this is great and this experience will definitely pay off over the next decade as the global economy deteriorates, panics, and dissolves. It will make building resilient communities easier (there are lots of ways to build a resilient community, we’re trying todocument all of the ways how on MiiU).

However, is this experience building a next-culture tribal identity? A global #OCCUPY tribe? Something that can go beyond protest and build something new? A tribe that is woven tightly enough to create new resilient economic and social networks that step into the breach as the current models fail?


How do we manufacture a resilient community that protects, defends and advances the interests of its members? We build a tribe. Tribal organization is the most survivable of all organizational types, being the dominant cultural form for 99.99% of human history. Like a cockroach, it has proved it can withstand the onslaught of the harshest of environments. Global depression? No problem. (for more, see: Tribes!)

To build a tribal #OCCUPY identity, we will need to manufacture fictive kinship amongst ourselves, that is, we will need to tell each other and the world the story of who we are together. That kinship is built through the following (see Ronfeldt’s paper for some background on this):

  • Story telling. Shared histories and historical narratives.
  • Rites of passage to authentic adulthood (not just a driver’s license and the right to drink and vote) (for more on this see Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Somé, and Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel). There are rituals of membership and life transitions. Membership is earned, not given due to the geographic location of your birth, or who your parents happen to be.
  • Obligations. Rules of conduct and honor. The ultimate penalty being expulsion.
  • Egalitarian and often leaderless organization. Sharing is prized.
  • Multi-skilled. Segmental organization (lots of redundancy among parts).
  • Two-way loyalty. The tribe protects the members and the members protect the tribe. If this isn’t implemented, you don’t have a tribe, you have a Kiwanis club.

As the #OCCUPY tribe we seem to be building a stable and recognizable identity. We are experiencing in certain moments the bondedness fictive kinship. Our relationships and commitments to each other, and to our future together, are deepening. As the 99% we are regaining our individual and tribal voices. We are taking back our authority after 6,000 years of patriarchal servitude.

Going to an occupy location and helping out is a rite of passage. There are rules of conduct (growing from a shame culture to an appreciation and personal development culture). #OCCUPY is definitely egalitarian and leaderless. It’s spread out over different geographies. Given the efforts put in to keep the #OCCUPY locations intact, it appears that people have become loyal to the tribe. The only question is whether the tribe truly protects the members. Is the loyalty two way?

How to slay the Jabberwock? Use your innersword of clarity to establish and live within a set of distinctions that are not contained inside the Jabberwock. Then the Jabberwock dies of attrition.

Deeply enjoy the benefits of the #OCCUPY culture. Keep sharing your new distinctions and the ways you got them. Soon you become a bridge to sustainable culture that other people can also cross. We can only go there together.


Self Observation by Red Hawk

Tribes! by Seth Godin

Creating by Robert Fritz

Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings by Clinton Callahan

Daemon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez

And articles by Paul Chefurka, especially World Energy and Population

Clinton Callahan, originator of Possibility Management and Expand The Box trainings, author of Radiant Joy Brilliant Love and Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings, founder of Next Culture Research & Training Center in Germany, committed to (more…)

Germany spyware: Minister calls for probe of state use

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Germany’s justice minister has called for a national and state level probe into the use of controversial computer software to spy on people.

The German state of Bavaria has admitted using the spyware, but claimed it had acted within the law.

Three other states have also confirmed they have used spyware in order to investigate serious criminal offences, a German newspaper reports.

Use of the software was exposed by a German hacker group.

The Berlin-based Chaos Computer Club (CCC) said it had analysed a “lawful interception” malware programme called Federal Trojan, used by the German police force.

They found that, once installed, the programme allows its operators to monitor exactly what the user is looking at – from which websites they have visited, to the emails they send and receive and the calls made through Skype.

“The malware cannot only siphon away intimate data but also offers a remote control or backdoor functionality for uploading and executing arbitrary other programs,” the group wrote on its website.

The program, it said, had “significant design and implementation flaws”, which made “all of the functionality available to anyone on the internet”.

Strong feelings

The CCC had analysed a laptop allegedly belonging to a man accused of illegally exporting pharmaceuticals. His lawyer claims the Trojan program was installed on his client’s computer when it passed through airport customs.

Bavaria Interior Minister Joachim Herrman has confirmed that state officials have been using the software since 2009 – though he made no mention of any specific incidents – and insisted that they had acted within the law. However, he promised a review of the software’s use.

The German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Tuesday that three other states – Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony had confirmed using spyware, although it is not clear if all four states had used the same software.

Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has called on the federal and state governments to launch an investigation into the matter.

“Trying to play down or trivialise the matter won’t do,” she said. “The citizen, in both the public and private spheres, must be protected from snooping through strict state control mechanisms.”

The BBC’s Stephen Evans says the incident has sparked a row because Germans, given the country’s Nazi and Communist past, feel strongly about spying on citizens. Germany’s constitution stipulates strict protection against it, he adds.

– to the original…


EU bans pre-ticked website boxes to aid consumers

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

– This makes such deep sense to me.   It is only the business types who want to ‘force’ their advertising on us and to maximize their profits with no regard for people’s right not to be manipulated and tricked into purchasing things – they are the only ones that want this sort of thing to be legal.

– Aren’t our societies suppose to exist to maximize the quality of life for all their citizens?   This sort of legislation does just that.

Bravo for the EU.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Pre-ticked” boxes on shopping websites will be banned in European Union states under newly approved legislation.

EU ministers meeting in Luxembourg have passed a set of rules aimed at strengthening consumer rights, which the EU parliament backed in June.

They mean online traders will have to disclose the total cost of a product – including fees – and customers will have to actively opt-in to extras.

Member countries will have two years to implement the rules nationally.

‘Cooling off’ period

Announcing the legislation had been passed, the European Commission cited the example of buying airline tickets online, when customers may have needed to actively decline optional extras such as travel insurance.

“With the new directive, pre-ticked boxes will be banned across the European Union,” it said in a statement.

Customers will also be exempt from any costs of which they were not “properly informed” before placing an order and will be given a 14-day “cooling off” period for withdrawing from a sales contract. The EU’s current mandatory period is seven days.

Traders will not be allowed to make a profit from the charge levied on customers for using a credit card; those with telephone hotlines will only be allowed to charge customers basic call rates.

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