Archive | December 22, 2016

E.U.’s Top Court Rules against Mass Surveillance*

E.U.’s Top Court Rules against Mass Surveillance*

By Nika Knight

The ruling “makes clear that blanket and indiscriminate retention of our digital histories — who we interact with, when and how and where — can be a very intrusive form of surveillance that needs strict safeguards against abuse and mission creep.” (Photo: duncan c/flickr/cc)


The European Union’s highest court on Wednesday issued a landmark ruling against mass surveillance in a judgment that challenges key portions of the U.K.’s so-called “Snooper’s charter,” a sweeping surveillance bill that was set to become law by the end of the year.

The decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which directly calls into question both the British law and a similar bill in Sweden, finds that indiscriminate storing of private citizens’ communications data is illegal under EU law.

The court’s ruling finds that data retention is only allowable when government agencies are investigating a “serious crime,” such as terrorism.

The “general and indiscriminate retention” of emails allowed by the “Investigatory Powers Act,” or Snooper’s charter, is therefore illegal, the Guardian reports.

“Today’s judgment is a major blow against mass surveillance and an important day for privacy,” said Camilla Graham Wood, legal officer with the rights organization Privacy International.

“It makes clear that blanket and indiscriminate retention of our digital histories — who we interact with, when and how and where — can be a very intrusive form of surveillance that needs strict safeguards against abuse and mission creep. Unfortunately, those safeguards are not present in the Investigatory Powers Act, which is why it’s a Snooper’s Charter.”

The Guardian notes:

The finding came in response to a legal challenge initially brought by the Brexit secretary, David Davis, when he was a backbench MP, and Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, over the legality of GCHQ‘s bulk interception of call records and online messages.

Davis and Watson, who were supported by Liberty, the Law Society, the Open Rights Group and Privacy International, had already won a high court victory on the issue, but the government appealed and the case was referred by appeal judges to the [CJEU]. The case will now return to the court of appeal to be resolved in terms of U.K. legislation.

The long-awaited judgment “raises significant questions about whether vast swathes of the [Snooper’s charter] should now be repealed,” observes Privacy International.

The advocacy group summarizes the key portions called into question by the decision:

  • In particular, the judgment raises concerns about the viability of the mandatory communications data retention powers (Part 4 of the Investigatory Powers Act), which are carried over from DRIPA. Under the new Act, communications data — which includes the who, when and where of our telephone calls, emails and instant messages — can be subject to a retention order for up to 12 months for reasons that go far beyond what is strictly necessary for fighting serious crime.
  • The judgment also demands a rethink of the government’s significant expansion of data retention powers to so-called ‘Internet Connection Records’, which could include the retention of browsing histories for the past 12 months.
  • The judgment may also mean that the U.K. government is forced to increase safeguards, such as judicial authorization and notification, for data that it keeps about us. These were shown to be lacking in DRIPA. The judgment could mean that the government will need to introduce new safeguards for accessing communications data (including Internet Connection Records) and other intrusive powers contained within the new law.

“In addition to rejecting generalized retention and narrowing down access to serious crime with independent authorization, the CJEU has further established that as a rule only the data of people suspected of direct involvement in […] crimes can be accessed,” observes the U.K.-based Open Rights Group.

“Accessing other people’s data must be an exception and also based on specific evidence of how this may help investigations.”

Wood added: “The court has rightly recognized that our communications data is no less sensitive than the content of our communications. This is something that the U.K. government has willfully ignored, allowing a large number of public bodies to access our personal data without a warrant. The government must now urgently fix the Investigatory Powers Act, so that access to our data is properly authorized.”


Related Topics:

Everyone Who Can Now See Your Entire Internet History, Including the Taxman…*

Petition to Repeal U.K.’s Mass Surveillance Bill Hits 100,000+ Signatures*

U.K. just Passed the Most Invasive Surveillance Law in the Democratic World*

U.K. GPs to Gather Info on Sick Patients for the State*

GCHQ gets Green Light to Spy on MPs*

U.K. Bill Hands vast Surveillance Powers to Police and Intelligence Agencies*

Spy Agencies Illegally Collected Personal Data on British Citizens for 10 Years*

U.K. Spying Report Warned of Intelligence Failure*

At these 3 British Airports, a U.S. Spy Agency Decides Who can Travel*

Children as Young as 4 Ensnared in U.K. Football Paedophile Investigations*

Children as Young as 4 Ensnared in U.K. Football Paedophile Investigations*

The number of suspects has more than doubled over the last 18 months, with 366 public figures now standing accused of ‘non-decent’ child sex offenses. In sports alone the number has risen threefold since last November, after allegations of abuse in football academies and junior league teams exploded.

Statistics released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) as part of Operation Hydrant show that while in May 2015 there were 1,433 suspects listed, the number had risen dramatically to 3,469 by December 2016. The number of people identified as victims stands at 3,531, with 74% of those who had come forward being men.

Football allegations worse than thought
Between November and December this year the number of sports organizations investigated by the police rose from 26 to 74 due to several former footballers coming forward with claims of abuse as young children.

A wave of complaints hit the police after Andy Woodward – a former professional at Bury and Sheffield United – waived his anonymity to openly talk about his alleged serial rape by youth coach and convicted paedophile Barry Bennell.

According to the NPCC there are now 429 identified victims in the world of sports, nearly all of whom are men. The police believe that children as young as four might have fallen victim to paedophiles operating inside the sports industry, with the eldest survivors being 20 years old. A total of 155 people are being investigated in the world of sport alone.

© Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters

© Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters

“The numbers keep growing,” said Norfolk Police Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who is leading the child abuse case for the NPCC.

“We are dealing with some of the most complex investigations you can imagine. We are dealing with incredibly sensitive matters, sometimes in very high profile cases and of course all those factors create a huge challenge for the service.”

Bailey added that the police are “ensuring an efficient and effective service-wide approach to investigating allegations, removing the potential for duplication and enabling the timely and effective sharing of intelligence and information between forces.

“We are also liaising closely with the Football Association to ensure all relevant information they hold is shared to inform investigations moving forward.

“We will listen and treat all reports sensitively and seriously. Anyone with any information regarding child sexual abuse is also urged to come forward. When allegations are reported it enables police to assess whether there are current safeguarding risks and ensure that appropriate action is being taken to prevent children being abused today.”


Related Topics:

British Teacher and Buddhist Monk Jailed for 4 Years in Thailand for Selling Children to Paedophiles*

U.K. Paedophile Whistleblower Convicted without Evidence*

Forced to Go into Hiding a Victim of U.K. Paedophile Politicians Speaks Out*

More Paedophiles Exposed Amongst U.S. Military and U.K. Politicians!

The Concept ‘Gender Identity’ came from a Paedophile and Human Experimenter*

Largest Paedophile Ring in History, 70,000 Members, Heads of State, the Rats Scramble*

British Paedophile Who Abused Over 200 Children in Malaysia Gets Life in Prison*

Abuse and Missing Pupils Cover Up Revealed at Illegal Jewish Schools in the U.K.*

Arrests Taking Place against Hollywood and Washington D.C. Paedophile Rings*

Politicians, Police Reportedly among 20 Arrested Suspects in Norway Paedophile Scandal*

Satanic Paedophilia Network Exposed in Australia*

Copy of Missing Dossier on Paedophile Ring Handed to MP*

FBI to Release Evidence on Clinton Child Sex Scandal*

Boys Forced to Rape each other at Australian Military Schools*

Rare Snow Falls on the Sand Dunes of Algeria*

Rare Snow Falls on the Sand Dunes of Algeria*

Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata


Residents of a small Saharan desert town of Aïn Séfra in Algerian Naâma Province experienced a rare phenomenon for their region on December 19, 2016 when the sand around their town was covered in a thin layer of snow. Contrary to most media reports, it was not only the second Saharan snow in living memory.

According to the photographer Karim Bouchateta, who took the images below, residents were surprised by the rare snowfall on December 19.

“Everyone was stunned to see snow falling in the desert. It is such a rare occurrence,” Bouchetata said.

“It looked amazing as the snow settled on the sand and made a great set of photos. The snow stayed for about a day and has now melted away,” he added.

The phenomenon was not seen in the region since 2013, the TSA Algerie reports.

Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata


Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata


Aïn Sefra, known as “The Gateway to the Desert” is a town, and municipality, in western Algeria.

It is situated in the Saharan Atlas Mountains, 45 km (28 miles) east of the border with Morocco. The town lies in a broad valley between Mount Aïssa and Mount Mekter.

Snow in Aïn Séfra, Algeria on December 19, 2016. Photo by Karim Bouchetata


Contrary to many media reports, snow in this region is not that extremely rare, and it’s certainly not the first time it snowed in Aïn Séfra since 1979.

That year, snow was indeed reported in Algeria, and it seems it was the first in living memory, but to the surprise of many, it happened in the country’s south, far away from Aïn Séfra.

As reported by LiveScience, on February 18, 1979, low altitude areas of the Sahara desert recorded their first snowfall in living memory. Snow fell in spots in southern Algeria, where a half-hour snowstorm stopped traffic. Several Saharan mountain ranges, however, receive snow on a more regular basis.

“In winter, temperatures drop low enough on the Tahat summit, the highest mountain peak in Algeria, to cause snow about every three years. The Tibesti Mountains, in northern Chad, receive snow on peaks over 2.5 km (8 202 feet) once every seven years on average.

Suomi NPP image acquired December 19, 2016. Credit: NASA/NOAA/Dod



Related Topics:

NASA Satellite Imagery Reveals Shocking Proof of Climate Engineering*

Plasma Waves and Obama’s Executive Order Regarding Space Weather

Likud deputy minister: Italy’s Earthquakes Retribution for UNESCO Vote*

Global Warming Fraud: NOAA Shows Record Warming Where NO Temperature Stations Exist*

Deadly Louisiana Flood Cover-up*

Cloud Seeding Causes Major Flooding in Tasmania*

M5.9 Earthquake Hits Tanzania*

Italy, the Philippines and Oklahoma get an Earthquake*

Chemtrail, HAARP Space Fence and Weather Warfare*

Israel’s Rule of Annexation in West Bank*

Israel’s Rule of Annexation in West Bank*

Israel is due to evacuate more than 300 settlers from the Amona outpost, a colony built on land belonging to Palestinians in three nearby villages near Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank.

The evacuation was ordered by Israel’s high court, with 25 December as the deadline.

But legislators, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are pushing the so-called Regulation Bill through Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. If passed, it would retroactively legalize all of the approximately 100 unauthorized outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land throughout the West Bank.

The Israeli government meanwhile intends to relocate Amona’s settlers to private Palestinian land – “replacing one land theft by another,” as the anti-settlement group Peace Now has said.

Israel’s deputy minister of defense stated that the Regulation Bill is “a historic law that will put an end to the high court terror of the radical left.”

According to Ziv Stahl, research director of the human rights group Yesh Din, the legislation would make Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, the effective ruling body of the West Bank.

“Once the Knesset is the sovereign, we are not talking about a rule of occupation in the West Bank, we’re talking about a rule of annexation in the West Bank.”

Video by Keren Manor/Activestills, translation by Deema Darawshy.


Related Topics:

For Greater Israel: Israeli Legal Jurisdiction to be Extended to Judea and Samaria*

For Greater Israel: 3,200 acres of Palestinian Land Near Jerusalem*

Greater Israel” Requires the Breaking up of Existing Arab States*

Greater Israel and the Tale of Two Temples*

When the Bible mentioned ‘Israel’ it did not mean Judea*

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

Israeli Prepares to Build Illegal Settlement that would Split West Bank in Two*

Israeli lawmaker Accuses Tel Aviv of “ethnic cleansing” the West Bank*

West Bank Charity Continues Ancient Duty to Feed the Hungry*

The Oldest Standing University in the World*

The Oldest Standing University in the World*

By Kerry Sullivan

A section of the of the University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco


Although many people would imagine that the oldest university in the world is in Europe or China, it’s not. The oldest standing university on Earth is in Morocco. Founded in 859 AD, Al-Qarawiyyin is recognized by UNESCO and the Guinness World Records as the oldest existing, continuously operating university, as well as the first institution to issue educational degrees. The University of Al-Qarawiyyin is located in the city of Fes, once a leading spiritual and educational centre of the Muslim world. A fact that makes Al-Qarawiyyin all the more unique is that it was founded by a woman, Fatima al-Fihri, a young princess from Tunisia.

Part of the University of Al- Qarawiyyin in the city of Fes, Morocco. (Anderson sady/CC BY SA 3.0)


Founding the Institution

Over 1200 years ago, Mohammed al-Fihri and his family moved from Qayrawan (modern-day Tunisia) to Fes. The al-Fihris were just one of many migrants moving across North Africa to the prosperous cities of Morocco. The al-Fihris and other ‘Qayrawaniyyins’ formed a community in the western district of the city. Mohammed al-Fihri, a wealthy merchant, had two daughters – Fatima and Mariam. Both were well-educated and brought up to be devoutly religious.

Tunisian Mosque, 1899


When their father died, Fatima and Mariam came into an enormous inheritance (unlike in Europe, in Islamic countries women were able to inherit). Fatima accepted the unique gift of such sudden wealth by attributing the windfall to the blessing of Allah. She vowed she would spend her entire inheritance on building a mosque and learning centre where the Qayrawan community could glorify Islam. Little else is known about Fatima or the other al-Fihris. However, her story sheds a great deal of light on the role women played in Islamic society at the time. Moreover, Fatima was not the only woman to found a mosque – hers is just the oldest still operating.

The Oldest Library Too

The library at Al-Qarawiyyin was an essential part of her enterprise for both religious and scholarly pursuits. Today, that library is also recognized as the oldest in the world. It contains over 4000 manuscripts, some of which date back to the 9th century. Of particular note is a collection of hadiths which are thought to be the oldest copy of the of the Prophet Mohammed’s sayings still in existence.

The library’s main reading room. (Aziza Chaouni)


The university embodies the spiritual learning that was at the very heart of the Muslim civilization in the days when the Islamic Empire stretched from Spain to India. Although located at the far edge of the empire, scholars and artisans would come to Morocco from all over the known world. Al-Qarawiyyin was originally founded as a mosque with a madrasa (Islamic school) so that the community of Fez could practice their faith while expanding their knowledge of spiritual matters. From the instruction of the Qur’an, the madrasa expanded to teach Arabic grammar, calligraphy, mathematics, music, chemistry, legislation, Sufi mysticism, medicine, astronomy, history, geography, and rhetoric.


The renown of the educational aspect of Al-Qarawiyyin quickly outpaced the reputation of the mosque itself. Al-Qarawiyyin became known the world over as a place for great discussions and debates on religious, scholarly, and political matters. In addition to a wide variety of topics, the university attracted some of the highest quality teachers of the era.

Applications for admission flooded in. As a result, the administrators had to put in place a vigorous selection system. Some of the conditions of entry are still in place for those hoping to study at Al-Qarawiyyin today, for example, applicants must have memorized the whole Qur’an if they are even to be considered for admission.

University of Al-Qarawiyyin. (Anderson sady/CC BY SA 3.0)

With such acclaim, the university naturally attracted a number of sultans and wealthy merchants who hoped to give their children first-class educations. They became patrons of the Al-Qarawiyyin and lavished wealthy subsidies, gifts, and treasures on the institution – especially books and manuscripts, which were in short supply in the 9th century.

The university produced a number of “high profile scholars that exercised a strong influence on the intellectual and academic realms in the Muslim world. Among the great names, the list includes Abu Abullah Al-Sati, Abu Al-Abbas al-Zwawi, Ibn Rashid Al-Sabti (d.721 AH/1321 CE), Ibn Al-Haj Al-Fasi (d.737 AH/1336 CE) and Abu Madhab Al-Fasi who led his generation in studies of the “Maliki” school of thought.” (The Foundation for Science, Technology, and Civilization, 2016)

Flourishing Muslim Scholars

While Europe was engulfed in the Dark Ages, Islamic society flourished. It is thanks to the Muslim scholars that the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans were preserved and translated. Indeed, it was the close proximity of Morocco and Spain that ultimately allowed European states to absorb the wisdom of Islamic and Greek scholars. “Among Christian witnesses of the contribution of al-Qarawiyyin is Gerbert of Aurillac (930-1003), famously known as Pope Sylvester II, and who is credited with introducing the use of zero and Arabic numerals to Europe” (The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, 2016)

Despite the abundance of knowledge clearly visible at Al-Qarawiyyin, Europeans still looked down on the African institute. When the French conquered Morocco, they even sought to ‘civilize’ the university. Thankfully, their efforts failed and today one can still see the 9th-century buildings, as well as scholars studying and discussing the Qur’an.


Related Topics:

The Inner Technology of Islam

A True Revolutionary Who Evolved a Spiritual Nationality

Muslim Cordoba Going for a Song

Between the Builder and the Architect: Frederick II, and the Castel Del Monte

Where the First Adhan was heard in Africa, and the Unfinished ‘Jasmine Revolution’

The Oldest Qur’ans are Actually in Yemen, in Danger of Being Bombed*

Hebrew Bibles from Syria Taken by MOSSAD*

The aql is not Reason – it’s Consciousness*

Dajjal and the New World Order

The Symbols of the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order*

The Space In-between: A Journey through Solitude to Spiritual Growth*

An Unorthodox Rabbi Who Allied Himself With Prophet Muhammad*

U.S. Airstrikes Killing Civilians not ISIS as Fallujans Walk out on ISIS Sermons*

The Big Bang is Just a Theory, as New Equations Point to Infinity*

How the British Empire aka New World Order Sowed Seeds of Destruction towards Islam*

Iraqi Fighter Jets Kill 70 ISIS Terrorists in Nineveh Province*

Iraqi Fighter Jets Kill 70 ISIS Terrorists in Nineveh Province*

As many as 70 members of ISIS terror group were killed in an aerial operation on terrorists’ positions in the Northwestern Iraqi Nineveh Province, a defense ministry statement said Thursday.

Iraq’s Defense Ministry said in the statement that around two dozen ISIL commander were among those killed in the airstrikes conducted on ISIS positions South of Tal Abtah in Nineveh Province.

The statement, published by Sumeriya News, added that the operation resulted in the annihilation of 20 ISIL commanders along with 50 other members of the terror outfit.

In a separate operation, the Iraqi warplanes destroyed an ISIS weapon and ammunition cache and a workshop used by the militants for making IEDs and other improvised devices in the Akashat Desert in Western Anbar Province.

Earlier on Thursday, the ISIL terrorists exploded two car bombs and an explosive package in Kokjeli, West of Mosul, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens more.

Also on Thursday, the United Nations said in a report that up to four Iraqi aid workers and at least seven civilians were killed by indiscriminate mortar fire this week during aid distribution in two separate incidents in Eastern Mosul.

A U.N. statement did not assign blame for the attacks, but ISIL militants retreating from the Iraqi military’s offensive in the Northern city have repeatedly shelled “liberated” areas, killing or wounding scores of residents fleeing in the opposite direction, the Daily Star reported.

The operation in Mosul, the terrorists’ last major stronghold in Iraq, has retaken a quarter of the city but the troops’ advance has been slow and punishing.

The Iraqi army and volunteer fighters have been leading a large offensive to retake Mosul since October 17. The Northern city of Mosul fell to ISIL in 2014, when the terror outfit began its campaign of death and destruction in the Arab country, FNA reported.


Related Topics:

U.S. Airstrikes on Iraqi Army Slowing Advance on Mosul*

US-led Coalition Airstrikes Kill 60+ Civilians in Mosul*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

George W. Bush on Trial for “Crimes of Aggression” Against Iraq*

U.S. Tries to Assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister in Missile Attack*

Iraqi Forces Kill over 950 ISIS Terrorists in Mosul*

Zionist Israelis Sneaking into Iraq*

What You Aren’t Being Told About The Iraqi ISIS Offensive*

Saudi Arabia Budget Deficit for 2017 about $53bn*

Saudi Arabia Budget Deficit for 2017 about $53bn*

Saudi Arabia has forecast that its budget deficit for next year will be about $53 billion despite economic measures adopted by the government in response to low oil prices.

According to a cabinet statement, the shortfall was predicated in the 2017 state budget released on Thursday.

Next year, Saudi expenses will reach $237 billion against revenues of $184 billion, the statement read.

It further noted that the 2016 deficit will stand at $79 billion, down 8.9 percent from an earlier estimate.

“This budget comes at a time of a highly volatile economic situation … which led to a slowdown in world economic growth and a drop in oil prices that impacted our country,” Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud told on official television at a cabinet meeting.

Earlier this month, King Salman acknowledged that some of the economic measures adopted by the government are “painful,” but they are needed to avert more complicated financial woes.

The finances of Saudi Arabia, the world’s second largest crude producer after Russia and largest oil exporter, have been hit by a downturn in oil prices that were above $100 a barrel in 2014, but sank below $40 two years later. The prices, however, recovered toward the end of 2016 and traded below $55 on Thursday.

The plunge in global oil prices prompted Riyadh to rein in public spending in a bid to save money. The kingdom’s economic measures are being led by Salman’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud.

Earlier this year, the Riyadh regime cancelled financial perks for public sector employees and slashed salaries of ministers and members of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, also known as the Shura Council.

It further froze major building projects and made unprecedented cuts to fuel and utilities subsidies.

The cutbacks sparked concerns among retailers and residents.

The developments come amid the country’s rising military expenditure, a large amount of which is being funneled into a military campaign against neighboring Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 with the purpose of reinstalling the country’s former government, a close Riyadh ally, Press TV reported.


Related Topics:

Saudi Arabia Abandons Islamic Calendar as Part of Cost-Cutting Measures*

Washington Planning a Syrian invasion by Turkey and Saudi Arabia to split Syria in half with Washington controlling the Oil Fields*

Saudi Arabia $135bn in Deficit*

Saudi Arabia Faces Collapse as Oil Revenues Decline*

India Permits Free Energy Technology Despite Threats from U.K., U.S., Saudi Arabia*

Eyewitness Discloses Saudi Embassy’s Role in Masterminding Recent Massacre in Nigeria*

U.S, U.K., Israel, China, Saudia behind Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide*

U.S. Earns $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months from the Destruction of Yemen*

Saudi Pilot Kills himself for Massacring Yemeni Children*

Wahhabism, Saudis and the Divided Ummah*

Saudi Arabia Uses Israeli Firm G4S to Make E-Bracelets for Hajj*

Saudi Arabia Facing Flack from both Sunni and Shia Leaders*

Most of the Terrorists in Aleppo were Turkish, Saudi (Israeli) Officers*