Archive | July 9, 2014

UK to Legalize Mass Surveillance*

UK to Legalize Mass Surveillance*

By Nadia Prupis

Big Brother by MeluzzoThe UK government is pushing to pass an emergency law that would allow for storing and tracking the public’s phone calls, text messages, and internet use.

The bill, which is set for inter-party reforms later this week and is expected to pass, was created as a response to alleged domestic terrorism threats — although the validity of these threats and the likeliness of an attack are uncertain. Recruitment propaganda and videos of alleged war crimes by British citizens in Syria that surfaced on social media this year have helped fuel speculation and reports of radicalization on the home front. However, former MI6 chief Richard Dearlove said Tuesday that recent fears of extremism in the West have been overblown by governments and media, with most terrorist activity having been refocused into the Middle East.

The bill closely resembles a previous plan, proposed in 2012 by Home Secretary Theresa May, that would have required telecommunications companies to retain detailed information about their customers’ phone calls and internet use for up to 12 months. The proposal, called the Communications Data Bill, was dropped in 2013 after its tactics were deemed invasive and disproportionate by opposing members, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Before being vetoed, the plan became known as the “Snooper’s Charter.”

Ministers from the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats have promised not to let the new bill become an updated version of the old one. A Liberal source told the Guardian,

“There is no question of a snooper’s charter, watered down or otherwise, being introduced by this government.”

“The government does have to respond to the European court of justice ruling, which we are currently examining, and will respond in due course. But that is about the retention of existing powers rather than their extension,” the source said.

Minister for Security James Brokenshire recently stated that legalization of spying is an essential step for the government to take, promising in October 2013 that the Communications Data Bill would be reintroduced “at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Internet spying has a poor track record in the UK. Yet another surveillance law, established in 2006, which instructed telecom companies to record customer data for up to two years, was recently struck down by the European Court of Justice for interfering with the “fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.”

The problems with the 2006 directive were not limited to it being an invasion of privacy. The court also said in its ruling that law enforcement had to have a reason to target an individual for surveillance.

However, other laws already exist that allow the government to spy on its citizens through various loopholes. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000 says that messages passed between users on a service based outside of the UK, such as Facebook, are considered “external communication” and subject to unregulated surveillance — even if the users themselves are British citizens who would otherwise be protected from data interception.

Earlier this year, director general of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism Charles Farr responded to civil liberties groups, internet privacy watchdogs, and other critics by calling the law a “critical resource for the Government in seeking to take preventative action to counter threats, and save lives.”

As Liat Clark at Wired UK points out, the bill could lead to “legal justification… for the mass surveillance of UK citizens.”

A Home Office spokesperson told the Guardian that the “retention of communications data is absolutely fundamental to ensure law enforcement have the powers they need to investigate crime, protect the public and ensure national security.”


Related Topics:

NWO: ‘Annoying’ Behaviour Now Under Police Control in the U.K. *

British Governance: When You Fear the People…*

Is Pope Francis about to Resign?*

Guardsman Incarcerated for Thought Crime*

Elite Powerbrokers Behind Sweeping Censorship in U.K.*

British MP Describes Pressure to not Expose Pedophiles in Parliament*

U.K.s Chancellor Gives Power to take from Personal Bank Accounts*

Rothschild’s Summit Fine-tuning Capitalism into Global Economic Tyranny*

European Court Invalidates EUs Big Brother Personal Data Collection*

Snowden’s Statement to EU Parliament

NWO: UK Effectively Bans Homeschooling*

The Indoctrinated West*

Ireland Removing the Right to Live in the Countryside*

The Return of Feudalism

“Our Liberation is for the Whole of Humanity”

Can Blair Mess Up Egypt Even Worse? (Hint: Yes)*

Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins

Algerian Football Heroes Shine for Gaza*

Algerian Football Heroes Shine for Gaza*

By John Catalinotto

Algeria’s soccer team competing in the World Cup in Brazil took the prize this year. No, not for winning the cup, although it’s true the Fennec Foxes got further along in the tournament than ever before. The prize the Foxes won was that of advancing the politics of the World Cup spectacle.

The cup, like most international sports events in these days when capitalism in its imperialist stage dominates the world, is run to make profits, however popular soccer may be. And the World Cup is the most popular of all such competitions. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the soccer conglomerate running the games, establishes the rules to maximize these profits. In Brazil this meant using police power to displace the poorest inhabitants of favelas and spending billions to build stadiums that may be of dubious value beyond the games.

The Fennec Foxes struck a blow that improved the atmosphere. Not only did their team perform well on the field, making it to the round of 16, but they did something much better: They made a collective decision to donate their $9 million prize money to the people of Gaza.

As the Foxes’ star striker, Islam Slimani, told the media when the Foxes were being cheered by tens of thousands of people in Algiers: “They need it more than us.” (Independent, July 3)

The donation comes as a welcome sign of solidarity with the people of Gaza, who have been facing relentless bombing from the Israeli settler state. It is also a sign that someone can be a star without losing his/her political conscience.


Related Topics:

Were the Three Settler Kidnappings an Israeli “False Flag” Operation?*

Israel: Operation Brother’s Keeper*

The World Cup is Damaging Brazil*

Remote German Village Sets Up Own Fast Internet*

Remote German Village Sets Up Own Fast Internet*

By Peter Oliver

Getting high speed Internet from existing providers proved impossible for one small German village. So, residents decided to go it alone and find a way of doing it themselves.

Related Topics:

Cities Making the Internet a Public Utility*

Snowden: Here’s How We Take Back the Internet‏

Reset the Net’s Report*

Brazil Passes ‘Internet Constitution’ Ahead of Global Conference*

GM Mosquitos Causing Dengue Fever*

GM Mosquitos Causing Dengue Fever*

Civil society groups today expressed alarm at an increase in dengue incidence, leading to an emergency decree, in a town in Brazil where releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes are taking place.

The promise was to create genetically modified mosquitoes that would end dengue, but results from field trials conducted in Bahia, Brazil have not been published to date and did not evaluate the relation between Aedes aegypti mosquito populations and the occurrence of dengue. Nevertheless, the Brazilian regulator Comissão Técnica Nacional de Biossegurança (CTNBio) recently gave the green light to the commercialization of the technology proposed by Moscamed Brazil in partnership with the English company Oxitec and the Universidade de São Paulo.

The Brazilian press had welcomed the new weapon to combat dengue but missed the information that Jacobina’s mayor, a locality where the trials took place, issued a decree in February 2014 renewing the state of emergency “due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic.” Before that, Moscamed had announced 81% and 100% reduction in the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in at least two localities of Jacobina, claiming that this meant the experiments were a success. According to Oxitec, pilot-scale releases started in the north-west of Jacobina in June 2013 and the programme will roll out across the entire city over two or three years.

During the evaluation of the commercial application for the release of the GM mosquito, a CTNBio member had presented a report with information questioning the impact of the GM mosquitoes on the incidence of dengue and warning that in some circumstances the releases could make the disease worse, even if the number of wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes was reduced.  The concerns raised did not convince the majority of the Commission. The Brazilian National Agency of Sanitary Vigilance (ANVISA) is now in charge of registering and monitoring the product, which according to the company’s recommendation implies weekly releases of 10 million GM mosquitoes for every 50 thousand inhabitants. Meanwhile, the date of publication of the promised results remains unclear.

Brazilian and international civil society organisations, including AS-PTA, Third World Network, RALLT (Network for a GM Free Latin America) and GeneWatch UK, today called on ANVISA to require Oxitec to publish the results of its experiments in a scientific journal and to cease further experiments and the commercial use of this technology until it has assessed the effects on the incidence of dengue and put an effective monitoring programme for the disease in place.

“CTNBio should review its decision to approve commercialization in light of the reality seen in Jacobina and ask for further serious studies on the full implications of releasing the GM mosquito over the local population” said Gabriel Fernandes, from AS-PTA, Brazil.

“Oxitec is knocking on the doors of many countries, promoting its GM mosquitoes as being able to address the serious threat of dengue. Yet, with no concrete proof that this technology is able to reduce dengue incidence, any approval of the GM mosquitoes would be grossly premature,” said Lim Li Ching, Senior Researcher at Third World Network.

“It is extraordinary that experiments with Oxitec’s GM mosquitoes continue and commercial releases have even been approved without any monitoring of the effect on dengue”, said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK “The declaration of a dengue emergency in Jacobina should be a wake-up call for the authorities”.

Notes for Readers:

[1] Reducing the numbers of mosquitoes does not necessarily reduce the incidence of disease as the number of mosquitoes needed to transmit the disease is low. Further, the targetted mosquitoes may simply move to another area and/or a different species of mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which also transmits dengue can move into the area. Complex immune responses to the four types of dengue virus mean that a partial reduction in mosquito numbers can reduce cross-immunity to the different serotypes and increase the number of cases of the severe form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, which is more likely to be fatal. Success in reducing illness in young children can also mean more delayed and serious cases of dengue. See for example: Thavara, U., Tawatsin, A., & Nagao, Y. (2014). Simulations to compare efficacies of tetravalent dengue vaccines and mosquito vector control. Epidemiology & Infection, 142(06), 1245–1258.

[2] DECRETO Nº 089 de 10 de fevereiro de 2014

[3] Comissão de biossegurança aprova mosquito da dengue transgênico, G1, 11/04/2014. Available at:

[4] Dengue fever. The fastest growing mosquito-borne disease. E-book. Oxitec. January 2014.


Related Topics:

Can the Smarter Mosquito Outwit the GM Mosquito!?

This Sri Lankan Newspaper REPELS Mosquitoes

Fighting Malaria with Nature

GM Toxins Found in Human Blood

Pakistan Death by GM Contamination*

GM Caused Crop Failure in India and Bangladesh*

Bill Gates’ Polio Vaccine Program Eradicates Children, Not Polio*

Millions of Americans Contaminated with SV40 Virus through Polio Vaccine