Tag Archive | society

Windows 10 Settings Still Raise Concerns: E.U. Privacy Watchdogs*

Windows 10 Settings Still Raise Concerns: E.U. Privacy Watchdogs*

The group asked for more explanation of Microsoft’s processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising.

European Union data protection watchdogs said Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process.

The watchdogs, a group made up of the E.U.’s 28 authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law, wrote to Microsoft last year expressing concerns about the default installation settings of Windows 10 and users’ apparent lack of control over the company’s processing of their data.

The group — referred to as the Article 29 Working Party — asked for more explanation of Microsoft’s processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising.

“In light of the above, which are separate to the results of ongoing inquiries at a national level, even considering the proposed changes to Windows 10, the Working Party remains concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data,” the group said in a statement which also acknowledged Microsoft’s willingness to cooperate.

Microsoft was not immediately available for comment.

A number of national authorities have already begun inquiries into Windows 10, including France which in July ordered Microsoft to stop collecting excessive user data.

The E.U. privacy group said that despite a new installation screen presenting users with five options to limit or switch off Microsoft’s processing of their data, it was not clear to what extent users would be informed about the specific data being collected.

Microsoft uses data collected through Windows 10 for different purposes, including advertising, the group said in its statement said.

“Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid,” the group added.

Source*

Related Topics:

Microsoft Taking Vengeance on Windows 7 Users*

Microsoft Shifts Spyware Windows 10 to ‘Recommended Update, Automatic Download*

Microsoft Adding Windows 10 Spyware to Windows 7 and 8*

Senior Russian Lawmaker Seeks Ban on Windows 10 in State Agencies*

Windows 8 – Links to NSA*

U.S. Keeps Stealing Iraq’s Oil*

U.S. Keeps Stealing Iraq’s Oil*

Despite remarks by Defense Secretary James Mattis, U.S. presence in Iraq is aimed at “stealing oil,” an analyst says.

Gordon Duff, senior editor at Veterans Today, made the statement while commenting on Monday remarks by Mattis ahead of an unannounced visit to the war-ravaged country.

In an apparent attempt to distance himself from recent remarks by President Donald Trump regarding Iraq and its oil, the Pentagon chief, who was en route to Iraq, asserted that Americans are “not in Iraq to seize” oil.

In the course of one year after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. “stole 40% of Iraq’s oil that was sent out thought the Kirkuk pipeline to the Mediterranean port, south of Seyhan, Turkey,” Duff told Press TV.

“And it was loaded on the tankers owned by, well oddly enough, mostly Exxon corporation.”

The former ExxonMobil CEO, Rex Tillerson, currently serves as Trump’s state department secretary.

“Those tankers would be loaded, supertankers one after another, with Iraqi oil that was never paid for and then again we have the issue of ISIS (Daesh) and their 12,000 trucks that the U.S. never saw.”

Photo taken on October 19, 2016 shows a man taking a selfie in front of a fire from oil that has been set ablaze south of Mosul

 

“The oil trade is still going on,” asserted the Ohio-based commentator. “That oil [is] being shipped into Turkey, where it’s processed for the Turkey market or it’s put in the same Seyhan pipeline.”

The stolen oil is also being sold at a “highly discounted price” to ExxonMobil, “and that would be Rex Tillerson.”

Duff noted that Mattis himself “knows all about this.”

There remains the question, he asked, “why does he [Mattis] say this?”

“We are not there in Iraq to steal oil? Or we’re not there to steal oil anymore? Or perhaps we are there to stop stealing oil because the U.S. is still stealing oil from Iraq?”

In March 2003, the U.S. and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law, over Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction,” but no such weapons were ever discovered in the country.

Commenting on Iraq in a speech to CIA staff on January 21, Trump said, “We should have kept the oil. But okay. Maybe you’ll have another chance.”

Later he clarified his saying, by stating that the U.S, “should have taken the oil. You wouldn’t have ISIS (Daesh) if we took the oil.”

Iran, Iraq seal deal to export Kirkuk oil

Iran and Iraq have signed a basic agreement that envisages exporting Iraqi oil through the Iranian territory – a scheme that would remove Baghdad’s reliance on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to export its oil through a pipeline to Turkey.

The agreement was signed during a meeting between Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi and his visiting Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh.

Both sides also agreed to commission an international consulting company to conduct a feasibility study over the project, Iran’s Shana news agency reported.

This came against the backdrop of a long-standing dispute between Baghdad and the KRG over a scheme to pipe Iraq’s oil from Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

The flow of the pipeline was interrupted for several months last year as the Iraqi government disagreed with the Kurds on their share in the national oil revenue and budget, Reuters wrote in a report on Iran-Iraq agreement.

Last August, a top Iraqi official was quoted by media as saying that Baghdad was considering shipping its crude oil through Iran.

This was raised after indications grew that Iraq and the KRG were unable to resolve disputes over a demand by the Kurds for a bigger share of the oil proceeds.

“If the negotiations [between Iraq and the KRG] come to a close without an agreement, we will start to find a way in order to sell our oil because we need money, either to Iran or other countries,” Reuters quoted Iraq’s Deputy Oil Minister Fayadh al-Nema as saying in a report last August.

Under the scenario, the Iraqi government would be shipping about 150,000 barrels per day of oil through Iran from fields in Kirkuk, the report added.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Changes its Mind on Seizing Kurdish Iraqi Crude Oil*

Oil Drives U.S. and U.K. Airstrikes in Iraq*

U.S. is Buying Disputed Iraqi Kurdish Crude Oil*

U.S. Admits Using Radioactive Weapons in Syria that Left Thousands of Iraqi Babies Deformed*

The Treasure at the Heart of Iraq

Iraqi Engineering Students Share their Graduation Ceremony with Iraq’s Orphans*

A Case against Microwave Technology*

A Case against Microwave Technology*

By Catherine Frompovich

Science is the hallmark of everything—supposedly, except when it’s out to lunch in its hypotheses or when it is downright fraudulent, as is the case with vaccinology in order to protect vested Pharma interests.  Even the U.S. CDC and FDA cover Big Pharma’s derriere when it comes to chanting the mantra “vaccines are safe.”  So much science in the peer review realm is out there published stating totally opposite documented scientific facts, but still U.S. federal health agencies function on the ‘flat earth’ concept regarding human health safety!

Such obstinate scientific posture also prevails in the field of microwave technology regarding EMF/RF/ELF and the various rays emitted by microwaves and their intensities.  The only waves recognized by microwave industry giants and vested interests relative to human exposures are thermal (heat) waves, which were identified back in the 1940s and ‘50s when radar science was in its infancy.  We now live in 2017!  Microwave technology has progressed to the point where it wants 5GHz and above capabilities, but still emphasizes 1940s’ safety principles!  What’s not making sense?

What’s not making sense is this:  IF the microwave industry were to admit what’s been scientifically proven since the 1930s, i.e., non-thermal radiation adverse waves affect human biology (bio-electromagnetics), then their emission regulations for every ‘smart’ gadget invention would have to be revised and corrected to the point where they could not implement safety standards because it would be too costly to implement.  Consequently, the industry and its mouthpieces—industrial professional societies, e.g., IEEE, ICNIPR, etc., keep pushing smart gadgets as ‘safe’ they know  consumers get addicted to, but do little to protect consumers from non-thermal radiation waves, since they adamantly refuse to acknowledge them, even when 32% percent of microwave industry studies found non-thermal adverse effects.

That sounds a little bit like what happens in the vaccine industry.  Big Pharma pushes out more vaccines—almost 300 new vaccines in the pipeline now—and persuades government agencies to mandate those vaccines by law while not protecting healthcare consumers from fraudulent science and technology, including totally neurotoxic ingredients in vaccines.

If non-thermal radiation wave adverse effects aren’t real or recognized, why, then, does the World Health Organization (WHO) designate them as “idiopathic environmental intolerance” or “IEI,” a medical diagnostic term, which physicians use?  IEI also encompasses “multiple chemical sensitivities” (MCS), another adverse health problem previously disavowed for many years until it became recognized as “sick building syndrome.”  Today there are “Sick Building Syndrome Contractors and Design Professionals”

An impressive percentage of the global population is affected by IEI or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS).  Here are some statistics:

  • 26% of the USA population (Caress & Steinemann, 2003)
  • 19% of the Swedish population (Johansson et al, 2005)
  • 27% of the Danish population (Berg et al, 2008)
  • 32% of the German population (Hausteiner et al, 2005)

More and more individuals are becoming electrosmog sensitive daily due to all the ‘smart’ appliances and gadgets humans have become addicted to.  The most sinister is Wi-Fi in schools and the work place.  Wi-Fi channels and frequencies begin around 2.4 GHz, which is overcrowded, so now they want access to 5 GHz and higher.  However, there’s something few folks realize: Wi-Fi and microwave ovens operate in the same GHz-wave lengths, so being in a Wi-Fi environment at work or school is comparable to leaving your operating microwave oven door open with exposure for hours on end.  Few people realize that’s a reality when exposed to Wi-Fi.

In 2014 an exceptional clinical study research paper titled “Metabolic and Genetic Screening of Electromagnetic Hypersensitive Subjects as a Feasible Tool for Diagnostics and Intervention” was published in Mediators of Inflammation, Volume 2014 [3] by seven international co-authors.  The following is taken from the Introduction of that paper:

The term electromagnetic hypersensitivity or electro-sensitivity (EHS) referred to a clinical condition characterized by a complex array of symptoms typically occurring following exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) even below recommended reference levels and is followed by remission through the complete isolation. The most frequently claimed trigger factors include video display units, radio, televisions, electrical installations, extremely low-frequency ranges of electromagnetic fields or radio-frequencies—including the so-called dirty electricity due to poor isolation of electric wires and telephonic lines, wireless devices, and wi-fi—fluorescent lamps and low-energy lights, appliances with motors, photocopiers, microwave transmitters, and high tension power lines . EHS is characterized by a broad range of nonspecific multiple-organ symptoms implying both acute and chronic inflammatory processes, involving mainly skin and nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal systems, in most cases self-reported in absence of organic pathological signs except skin manifestations. [CJF emphasis]

[Notation should be made that AMI smart utility meters (electric, natural gas and water) are wireless devices and, therefore, are guilty on several fronts, i.e., including dirty electricity and ZigBee radio GHz waves.]

[….]

Clinical similarities and frequent comorbidity between EHS and the other medically unexplained multisystem conditions of environmental origin, like multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia (FM), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sick building syndrome, Persian Gulf War veteran syndrome, and amalgam disease, to which EHS is often associated, have induced many authors to hypothesize that these so-called idiopathic environmental intolerances (IEI), more extensively also defined as sensitivity-related illnesses (SRI), may share common genetic and/or metabolic molecular determinants connected with an impaired capability to detoxify xenobiotics

Children on the Autism Spectrum seem to be impacted more disproportionately than children who have no neurodevelopmental problems.

Interestingly, the Viewpoint in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a timely piece, “The Emerging Market of Smartphone-Integrated Infant Physiologic Monitors” where on their webpage to purchase that published article it states:

In the past 2 years, a new class of infant physiologic monitors marketed to parents for use in the home has emerged. Smartphone applications (apps) integrated with sensors built into socks, onesies, buttons, leg bands, and diaper clips have the capability to display infants’ respirations, pulse rate, and blood oxygen saturation, and to generate alarms for apnea, tachycardia, bradycardia, and desaturation (Table). Despite the lack of publicly available evidence supporting the safety, accuracy, effectiveness, or role of these monitors in the care of well infants, sales of these products are brisk and the market is expanding. For example, the makers of a “smart sock” monitor (Owlet Baby Care) that claims to alert parents if their infant stops breathing recently reported sales of 40 000 units at $250 each.  [5]   [CJF emphasis]

Note sensors have transmitting devices of some type in them to send alarms, which are exposing infants to EMFs/RFs/ELFs depending upon the type of transmitter involved, possibly a ZigBee radio chip, which may transmit at GHz wave length.  It is my opinion, as someone who has researched EMFs, etc., you never want to wear wearable microwave technology, just like you should keep a “live” cell phone off your body.  Take live cell phones out of pants pockets, bras and off belts.  Do your research, please.

And yet, with all the above stated, the microwave industry refuses to make its technology safe!  But read the fine print on cell phone agreements!  Safety guidelines are infinitely outdated and inadequate.  Basically, we’re living in a sea of microwaves and being slow cooked—literally, body organs, especially the human brain.

A more recent development in microwave technology is “flying cell towers.”  AT&T tested that idea and “it could change everything” – I bet!  How about this: Consider the legal culpabilities, plus financial liabilities, for assault and battery offenses filed against operators for perpetrating experiments on humans.

The only way I think the microwave industry wakens up to making safe its business operations and products will happen is when consumers refuse to buy into the addiction of being obsessed and ‘owned’ by electromagnetic technology ‘smart’ gadgets and devices.  Until then, consumers really don’t understand the huge trade off health-wise they find themselves in, as current safety standards are totally inadequate and irresponsible, in my and other researchers’ findings and opinions.

As I stated in the Brief I filed with the PA PUC Administrative Law Court January 25, 2017,

In the BioInitiative 2012 Report,[1] a 1557-page report, which is impossible to include in this Brief, about 1800 new studies regarding low-intensity electromagnetic fields and wireless technology (radiofrequency radiation including microwave radiation) were discussed.  In the Preface to that report, it states:

The great strength of the BioInitiative Report (www.bioinitiative.org) is that it has been done independent of governments, existing bodies and industry professional societies that have clung to old standards. Precisely because of this, the BioInitiative Report presents a solid scientific and public health policy assessment that is evidence-based.

Non-thermal waves adverse effects are something no one in the microwave industrial professional societies, ICNIRP in particular, wants to hear, or even acknowledges, exist!  Industrial societies program the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ‘safety’ standards, though.

The FCC does not have the expertise or the capabilities to determine the safety of electromagnetic fields.  FCC stated “Because the Commission does not claim expertise as a de facto health agency, it necessarily considers the views of federal health and safety agencies and institutes that continue to address RF exposure issues in formulating such judgments” in the Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 4, 2013 / Proposed Rules[3].  Basically, the FCC takes no responsibility for the science.   Frompovich Brief Jan. 25, 2017, Pg. 39

Source*

Related Topics:

Electro-Smog and the Shift of Ages

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity from Microwave Technology Finally Medically Proven*

What You Should Know About Microwaves*

Children’s Exposure Guidelines to EMF Radiofrequencies Updated by ANSES*

Schoolgirl Found Hanged after Developing Allergic Reaction to School Wi-Fi*

Tests Prove Li-Fi 100 Times Faster and More Secure than Wi-Fi*

Canada Parliament Committee Calls for “Protection of Vulnerable Groups” from Wi-fi*

How Wi-Fi Will Be Used to Erase Civil Liberties*

Parents Sue School over Son’s ‘Wi-Fi Allergy’*

Conscientious Scientists Make an Int’l Appeal on the Wide-scale Problem of Wi-fi*

Wi-fi Affects the Memory*

The Counter-Productive Health Risks of Wi-Fi in Schools*

Son Died from Wi-Fi Induced Brain Cancer Parents Say*

Principal of Australian Girls School Resigns Over Wi-Fi*

Walking into a Wi-Fi Field 2*

Students and Parents Rebel Against RFIDs

 

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

Two Police Officers Turned in Badges in Support of Standing Rock Water Protectors*

By Lance Schuttler

It was reported by Redhawk at Standing Rock in North Dakota that two police officers have turned in their badges in support of the water protectors.

“There have been at least 2 reports of police officers turning in their badges acknowledging that this battle is not what they signed up for. You can see it in some of them, that they do not support the police actions. We must keep reminding them they are welcome to put down their weapons and badge and take a stand against this pipeline as well. Some are waking up.”- Redhawk

Hearts are opening...

Hearts are opening…

Hearts are opening

With actions from militarized police continuing to be seen as extremely violent and dangerous, this news is a big win for the water protectors and for humanity as a whole. While the actions of some police officers are not appropriate, we all must continue to visualize and intend/pray that the hearts of all involved in this situation continue to open. Police must be held accountable for their actions, though we must continue to welcome them over to the side of the water protectors.

Having the police lay down their weapons and join the people is the goal. It is also a win-win solution, which is the best case scenario. So what is it that opened the hearts of these two officers?

At the time of this writing, the answer is not known but we can speculate on a few different items.

  • Word is spreading quickly that there are 17 multi-national banks funding this pipeline and that the propaganda being spread about this deal “creating American jobs” or “helping America’s economy” is being seen as just that, propaganda. The American people, as well as people of the world, know that the big banks and U.S. Government does not care for the people, but only themselves. These banks and the government showed their hand in 2008 when they were bailed out after the stock market crash, leaving the public to bear the economic and social burdens. Even the police are becoming aware of this fact that the government and banks do not care for them and see the police only as pawns in a bigger game the government wishes to control.
  • Water is life is not just a meaningless slogan in many people’s minds. It is becoming understood by more and more that water IS indeed life. If water becomes toxic, all life that depends on that water becomes toxic…including the families of these same police officers who are currently protecting the construction sites. They too would be affected by toxic water.
  • It is innately traumatizing for humans to hurt other humans. While we have been seeing this for some time now with this situation, police officers are realizing the harm they do when they assault an unarmed, peaceful water protector. In essence, peace is wanting and needing to be established.

Take a look at what happened in Frankfurt, Germany in May of 2012. The police removed their helmets and began marching with the people who were protesting the big banks, while also safely escorting them down the streets.

Let us all use this latest news as a big step forward towards peace and resolution of this pipeline issue. The pipeline construction needs to and must stop. With the announcement from Barack Obama yesterday that the White House is considering “re-routing” the pipeline, we must continue to demand that it’s construction cease entirely. We can also view that statement as a buckling of the Establishment. Continue on, water protectors. Truth and love is spreading.

Source*

Related Topics:

Standing Rock Protestors Use Mirrors to Inspire Humility among Police Officers*

Mirrors Brought to Protests to Force Police to Look at What They’ve Become*

German Police Officers Take Off Helmets & Marched With German Citizens Against Rothschild European Central Bank!

Wisconsin Police Join the Mass Protest

Islamophobes Found Themselves Surrounded in a Sea of Diversity*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

By Fr. Mark Hodges

Shelly Wall received the news that no pregnant woman should hear: Her baby would not survive.

Doctors told Shelly that the baby inside her — a boy — not only had Spina bifida but also had developed a rare complication of the defect. Hydrocephalus caused his skull to fill with fluid, stopping his brain from growing.

Physicians told Shelly and husband Rob that the baby would not live and urged them to abort him. They refused. Experts told the Walls that even if their baby survived birth, he would die soon after. They still would not consider aborting him. Surgeons told Shelly that even if he lived, he would be severely physically and mentally handicapped.

Noah's brain scans at birth (left) and age 3

Noah’s brain scans at birth (left) and age 3

Noah’s brain scans at birth (left) and age 3.

The couple, who already had a teenage daughter, was advised by professionals five times to abort their child. Each time they refused.

But the Walls did follow their doctor’s advice and plan for the worst while praying for the best. Shelly and Rob planned their little boy’s funeral before he was even born.

“I’d never seen a baby’s coffin before,” Shelly said.

The Hydrocephalus prognosis was, tragically, correct. When tiny Noah was born, he had less than two percent of a brain.

Little Noah was rushed into emergency surgery immediately after birth to close the opening at the bottom of his spine and to drain fluid from his empty brain cavity.

The surgery was successful beyond anyone’s hopes. As time went on, Noah’s brain began to grow into its cavity.

Today, Noah is a “chatty” little four-year-old, always smiling and very happy. He can count to 10 and hold a pen, is learning to read and write, and interacts socially with others at his local primary school.

He asks his mother, “You alright?” in reaction to Shelly’s tears as she latches his leg braces.

Last year, British television showed Noah’s amazing survival in a documentary entitled “The Boy with No Brain.”

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

The Mirror reported that Noah’s brain “is developing beyond all expectation.” In fact, brain scans dramatically showed Noah’s empty cranial cavity at birth and then at three years old, when his brain had expanded to 80% of normal.

On Friday night, a new documentary, “The Boy Who Grew a New Brain,” chronicled Noah’s improbable maturity.

One key to Noah’s miraculous mental advancement is his family. Shelly, Rob, and sister Steph (23)

work hard to always be around him. They continually keep his brain stimulated to aid its growth.”

The Walls call this constant cognitive stimulation Noah’s “brain-training.”

Spina bifida caused Noah to be paralyzed in the lower half of his body, but several hip surgeries are giving the Walls hope that Noah may one day walk.

“We’re determined that Noah will be able to walk” either with or without mechanical aids, his proud and heroic father Rob declared.

Noah’s life-saving neurosurgeon, Dr. Claire Nicholson of Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital, summed up the lesson from Noah’s story.

He teaches the medical profession,” she said, “that you can’t ever know.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Miracle of Pregnancy: Couple Told to Abort or Die*

Love Even Affects the Size of a Child’s Brain*

The Igbo’s Traditional View on the Sanctity of Life*

Mother’s Love brings Life back to her Son Two-Hours after Pronounced Dead!*

Your brain does not process information…*

How the CIA Lets In The Terrorists*

How the CIA Lets In The Terrorists*

Related Topics:

CIA Pays each Terrorist in Syria $1000*

“E.U. has been supporting the terrorists in Syria from the very beginning”*

NATO’s Military Commander Suggests very Few Terrorists are Entering with Refugees*

France, U.K., and Germany produce the most ISIS Terrorists from Europe*

Syria Raps U.N.’s Security Council for Meeting in Support of Terrorists*

German Newspaper Editor Who Exposed CIA Found Dead*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

What They Don’t Want You to Know About the E.U.-Canada Trade Deal*

What They Don’t Want You to Know About the E.U.-Canada Trade Deal*

By Amy Hall

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace.

Meet the corporate sell off trade deal that Dr. Liam Fox snuck through a back-room of parliament as the Commons debated Brexit.

It is one of a ‘new generation‘ of trade deals agreed in secretive negotiations around the world. It has been described as the ‘ugly brother‘ of TTIP, the E.U-U.S trade deal, and the ‘most ambitious’ trade agreement that the E.U. has concluded.

The E.U/Canada trade deal threatens to put corporate interests over many things that we in Britain take for granted. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – to give it its official name – risks our food standards, undermines our rights at work, and fails to adequately protect the environment or bolster efforts to stop runaway climate change.

While civil society has largely been left out of negotiations, it seems that corporate lobbyists have been closer to the action.

If the European parliament votes CETA through (voted through 15th Feb), much of the deal can be provisionally implemented without the agreement of member states. While Britain remains part of the E.U., we will be bound by this. If our parliament ratifies CETA before we leave the E.U. we will be bound by the whole thing.

Brexit or not Britain faces CETA, or something that resembles it uncannily. Determined to prove that leaving the European Union does not mean that the UK’s free trade hopes are dashed, the way the government has dealt with the CETA process could be an indicator of how trade and investment policy works post-Brexit – and it isn’t looking good.

CETA is being seen as something to emulate in future free trade agreements, including with the European Union and Canada.

“We can pick up the almost complete agreement between the E.U. and Canada, and if anything liberalise it,” wrote David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on the for Conservative Home.

For now though, the government is not giving up on CETA. Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, who is no stranger to the world of corporate lobbying, had committed to debating CETA on the main floor of the House of Commons. But he managed to bury this long awaited session to a House of Commons committee room on Monday 6 February: the same time as the Brexit Bill vote.

Fox, who has long made clear he feels the U.K. should have fewer trade ties with Europe and more with North America has been accused of “disregard for proper scrutiny of parliament” over CETA.

It’s not surprising the trade minister was so keen to sneak this deal past MPs. CETA challenges our already flawed democratic system by handing over more power to multinational corporations through the Investment Court System. This has replaced the notorious Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in E.U. investment negotiations, and can force governments to compensate corporations over public interest policies that threaten their profits, bypassing national legal systems and courts, and hugely undermining the ability of MPs to legislate on vital matters of public interest.

It’s these corporate courts which have been one of the things most rattling people about trade deals like CETA. A European Commission consultation on investment protection and TTIP in 2014, which had nearly 150,000 replies, found ‘wide-spread opposition’ to ISDS.

U.N. Independent Expert Alfred de Zayas has described ICS as “a zombie of ISDS” and argued that ICS and ISDS should be abolished.

“It is States, particularly developing States, and their populations that need protection from predatory investors, speculators and transnational corporations, who do not hesitate to engage in frivolous and vexatious litigation, which are extremely expensive and have resulted in awards in the billions of dollars and millions in legal costs,” he said in a U.N. press release.

CETA will increase the number of companies able to sue the E.U. and its member states. Research by Gus Van Harten of York University and lawyer Pavel Malysheuski published in 2016 found that the beneficiaries of ISDS have “overwhelmingly been companies with more than USD1 billion in annual revenue – especially extra-large companies with more than USD10 billion – and individuals with more than USD100 million in net wealth.”

As well as threats to democracy, food safety, public services and workers’ rights, CETA is a massive danger to environmental protection. The European Commission argues that the agreement contains ‘strong rules‘ to protect the environment, but environmental experts who have seen it argue that it can’t be enforced adequately if they are violated and the language is weak.

One of the major threats comes from industries like mining and fossil fuel extraction. As highlighted by a group of NGOs earlier this year,

“The extractive industry is prolific in launching arbitration lawsuits. Over 50% of global mining companies are based in Canada.”

Canadian companies already have form. For example, in 2016 Canadian energy company TransCanada launched a US$15-billion lawsuit against the U.S. government under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of the pre-Trump decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

CETA could also increase imports into Europe of oil from Canada’s destructive tar sands. As well as a devastating impact on the climate through emissions and deforestation, these are also causing destruction in and risk the health of First Nations communities, including poisoning their water supplies and destroying sacred territories.

It was hoped that the E.U.’s Fuel Quality Directive could have stopped tar sands oil coming into Britain because of its much higher emissions, compared to conventional oil.

But lobbying from the Canadian government, supported by the likes of BP and Shell, contributed significantly to weakening the directive and leaving the possibilities for tar sands oil in Europe open.

Pressure from campaigners killed TPP and TTIP. Whatever happens with today’s vote on CETA, now is not the time to hold off the pressure. Although there can be provisional application of most of the deal if it passes, there does still need to be ratification in regional and national E.U. parliaments for it to take full effect.

In Britain there is important work to do when it comes to future trade deals negotiated with countries like the US and Canada, but also others around the world.

Mark Dearn, War on Want’s senior trade campaigner says that the movement is looking out for what comes next, including a potential US-UK trade deal post-Brexit. “Is the movement ready?… (I) very much so,” he says. “People have become very wise to the threat of trade deals off the back of TTIP and CETA so they’re very mindful of what comes next.”

As Dearn says, trade mechanisms, and the process of their negotiation, need to be transparent and accountable as we need to make sure things are done in the best interests of people, animals and the planet, and not just profit. We need to look at what it is that could be “negotiated away.”

There are many ways we can try and ‘take back control’ in post-Brexit Britain, including working from the grassroots to challenge neoliberal politics and the power of multinational corporations in the ways we work and live. There also needs to be more pressure on our politicians to stop them treating environmental protection, safety and public services as troublesome ‘red tape’ to be slashed away.

Source*

Related Topics:

European Parliament Demands Legal Scrutiny of CETA’s ‘Corporate Court’ System*

British Gov’t Silent on Secret E.U. Meetings with Lobbyists*

Eurocrats Making Record Number of Laws in Secret*

Growing Opposition Forces E.U. into a Humiliating Climb-down on CETA*

GMO Wheat Trials to Begin in Europe*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

Indigenous Women Shut Down Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing*

BP, Trafigura and Vitol Export Dirty Oil to Africa to Kill People*

On the Rights of Nature*