Archive for the 'How To' Category

FLAC Off

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

I have often been put off downloading FLAC files as the format is not supported via iTunes, converting FLAC to mp3 is a bind to say the least, and I don’t usually listen via VLC. Poor excuses I know. So the FLAC files just sit there doing nothing on my hard drive.

Somewhat belatedly I have tried Burrrn, to copy FLAC files to audio CD. From there to mp3 is a cinch, with the bonus of having a full-quality CD to listen to ‘properly’. It is a blessing. So simple, so functional and intuitive. Another door opens.

Thank you, Matjus Vojtek.

A film for every decent person

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Thanks to a tip from Alun, I watched the film The lives of Others last night.

This is a brilliant and very important film. People often cite the STASI and its tactics and corrosive effects on East German society as a way of warning people of the sort of place Britain will become should it continue down the road of the insane mass surveillance that it has embarked upon. The lives of Others portrays in a most compelling and gut wrenching way what the STASI really means.

In the light of Poole Council’s nauseating surveillance of a British family, this is a film that everyone, every decent person in Britain, should see, as an example and warning of what is here and what is coming.

The parallels to East Germany and today’s Britain are clear. Britain is turning into a place where the horizon of surveillance is now under our feet, and the next stage, acting on it German style, is beginning to approach.

For my part, the idea of these people carrying out these operations in the past made me sick, as it always does. Watching fat pig government employees violate and wield unlimited power over people should make all good people feel queasy.

The main lesson of this film however is that the decent people did nothing. They carried on as best they could, trying to live as normal a life as possible, putting up with every outrage like prisoners suffering from one of those psychological disorders that affect mammals habituated to incarceration. They were frightened to the point that it was impossible for them to even speak. And then….

It all just ended.

Its rather like the three prisoners in THX-1138 walking out of the white space, being astonished that nothing stopped them. The power of the state is an illusion in this way. All of those East Germans could have simply stood up and walked away at any time. The only thing that was stopping them was their belief that the system was real, when in fact, it was not.

I note with dismay, that the names of the councilors and actors who carried out the surveillance were not names and photographed by the newspapers who feigned outrage. It is almost as if they were frightened of some unspoken consequences of doing the obvious; shaming these people so that they are made to suffer humiliation when they violate the rights of others. As it stands now, we do not know who these people are, what they look like or anything about them; they cannot therefore be shunned and vilified by decent people. This is part of the problem. It is this self protecting system of keeping quiet that emboldens these monsters.

Here are some links:
http://www.enjoy-surveillance.org/

Im Not Being Mean, Youre Just Retarded, Sir

Our state collects more data than the Stasi ever did. We need to fight back

To trust in the good intentions of our rulers is to put liberty at risk. I’d go to jail rather than accept this kind of ID card

Timothy Garton Ash
Thursday January 31, 2008
The Guardian

This has got to stop. Britain’s snooper state is getting completely out of hand. We are sleepwalking into a surveillance society, and we must wake up. When the Stasi started spying on me, as I moved around East Germany 30 years ago, I travelled on the assumption that I was coming from one of the freest countries in the world to one of the least free. I don’t think I was wrong then, but I would certainly be wrong now. Today, the people of East Germany are much less spied upon than the people of Britain. The human rights group Privacy International rates Britain as an “endemic surveillance society”, along with China and Russia, whereas Germany scores much better.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2249473,00.html

It isn’t too late to turn everything around. This is how it starts:

Do you get me?

The Totnes Pound: The future of money

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

As the fiat currencies collapse, people will turn to new, unassailable currencies like the Guernsey Pound and the Totnes Pound

In response to the massive interest generated by the distribution of 300 Totnes pounds Transition Town Totnes (TTT) are issuing 5000 Totnes Pounds, supported by Schumacher College and Totnes and District Chamber of Commerce.

The new issue of the Totnes Pound will be launched at the Schumacher College Open Evening on 20 June. Wolfgang Sachs, acclaimed German researcher and writer on the environment and development will be presenting at the Open Evening as part of a series of lecturers by teachers on the Schumacher College course The New Economics: From growth to well-being.

The first edition of the Totnes Pounds, endorsed by Anthony Steen MP, was put into local circulation to launch the Transition Town Totnes Economics and Livelihoods group on Wednesday 7th March. The Pound was originally inspired through an alternative economics course at Schumacher College.

Eighteen outlets signed up to the Transition Town Totnes Pound pilot. The target for the second phase is 50 outlets. The project team monitored the use of the Pound up until 1st of June, the official end of the pilot, and have decided to begin a new phase of the project, including the issuing of a new note, due to the success of the original circulation.

The organisers aim to engage many more people with the second issue of the Pound and challenge the notion of the role of money and currency in local economic systems. This is part of a wider strategy of TTT and the courses at Schumacher College of encouraging a re-examination of social systems and the practice of new ways of engaging the community in the local economy, reducing our dependence on large-scale national and international production and trade and massive carbon dioxide production.

[…]

http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/news/the-totnes-pound-is-far-from-spent

read more about it here, and here is another town launching its own currency.Watch this documentary for an explanation about why you will be spending ‘London Pounds’ or ‘Manchester Pounds’ in the near future.

Before I finish this post, let us put to bed the nonsense about ‘reducing carbon dioxide production’. Anyone who studied Photosynthesis in school will know that plants thrive on C02. You will also have done the experiment where two nearly identical potted plants are placed in sealed jars, one fed pure C02 from a bottle the other fed air from the classroom via a pump. The plant that is fed C02 grows at a higher rate than the one being fed classroom air.

Carbon Dioxide helps plant growth. That is a fact. C02 is not a ‘threat to the environment’. Dope growers buy it to help them grow better dope. Maybe the environmental loonies should smoke some of this C02 enhanced dope; they might talk more sense when they are completely stoned:

Now Available as Optional Equipment
for Experienced Growers.
This unit can be shipped with a C02 system
with some huge benefits…

Tank not included

These C02 Enrichment Systems feature an accurate, easy to adjust C02 flow meter, a preset regulator that never needs adjusting, a solenoid valve and complete instructions. This Hydrofarm C02 Injection System attaches to any standard C02 tank (available at any welding or beverage supply store) and includes a timer, regulator, solenoid, and a flow gauge. Includes C02 tubing with holes, and is pre-mounted to the interior ceiling of your mini-stealth growing chamber. Utilizing the Drip Ring Method a nylon “T” ring is mounted to the ceiling of the growing environment with tubing that disperses C02 evenly as it drops evenly down over the garden!

Carbon Dioxide Enrichment will dramatically increase the growth of green plants. Green plants use carbon dioxide ( C02 ) and water in the presence of light to synthesize organic compounds. The plant then converts these organic compounds into elements that it can use (food). This process is called photosynthesis. If any of these ingredients ( C02, water or light ) are at levels below what the plant can use for maximum efficiency, it will only be able to perform at that level and no greater. Adding carbon dioxide to a growing environment that is not receiving proper nutrients or is low on light will not produce the desired results. Similarly, plants that are receiving plenty of sunshine and nutrients will only perform as well as the ambient level of C02 will allow. The ambient level of C02 in the earth’s atmosphere is generally between 300 and 600 ppm. Most plants receive far more water and energy in the form of sunshine than they can use. Increasing the C02 in the growing area will let the plant use the excess water and energy that is stored in the leaves. The result is a substantial increase in the growth rate of any plant that uses chlorophyll in the process of photosynthesis. Enrichment should commence at sunrise or when photoperiod begins and refrain during darkness hours. The average C02 level that is recommended is 1000 to 2000 parts per million (PPM).

The included timer can be used to set the intervals that the C02 will be released at, and it allows you to turn off C02 during the “night” period, when it is not needed.

[…]

http://www.homegrown-hydroponics.com/catalog.html

and further:


A typical C02 setup includes (from right to left) a large tank, adjustable pressure reducing regulator and flow meter. C02 is tricky to manage, as a result, it is generally not recommended for beginners although the rewards can be up to 40% more mass at harvest time according to recent studies.

As your plants “breathe” C02 and “exhale” O2, the balance of these two critical gases begins to shift. In nature, this exchange fits in perfectly as animals “breathe in” O2 and “exhale out” C02. Of course, a perfect world this is not. Modern industry and the burning of fossil fuels has somewhat “unbalanced” this effect. However, in your greenhouse or grow room, you will need to help your plants breathe by supplying a constant exchange of fresh air, which by nature contains about 2% C02. If you have already employed a thermostat and humidistat in combination with a vent fan, there is a good possibility that these two mechanisms will provide a good exchange of fresh air. However, if your fan is not operating frequently enough, you may be starving your plants of their most important atmospheric gas, C02.

Generally speaking, it is best to exchange the entire contents of your growing area about once an hour during daylight hours. To do this efficiently, you can use a fan that either runs continuously at a slow speed, or a fan that runs at high speed in short bursts. To determine the size of the fan that is necessary, simply multiply the length of your growing area by its height and then by its width. This number (use feet as a measurement unit) will be the Cubic Feet of your area. When buying a fan, you will notice that they are sold according to “Cubic Feet per Minute,” or CFM ratings. What this means is the amount of air this particular fan will move in one minute. Therefore, if your greenhouse or growing room is 10 feet x 10 feet x 8 feet, thats a total of 800 Cubic Feet. You will need an 800 CFM fan to exchange the air in the entire greenhouse in one minute. Thats a big fan and you certainly dont need to move it all out in just a minutes time. I would suggest using a 100 CFM fan and running it for 4 minutes every half hour. You can do this with a cycle timer.

[…]

http://www.growhydroponicgarden.com/articles/15/1/Supercharge-Your-Garden-With-C02/Page1.html

My emphasis.

By all means, take a look at all the people who use C02 as a tool to enhance plant growth. On an earth that has an increasing amount of C02 in the atmosphere, we can expect bigger, faster plant growth and more 02 production. C02 is not a problem gas, it is absolutely crucial to life on this planet, and the production of it does not need to be regulated.

Every schoolchild knows this.

Does this mean that pollution is OK?, of course not; pollution and waste are real problems. What everyone must not do however, is drink the Kool-Aid and repeat like lemmings that ‘C02 is bad’.

Now, back to the Totnes Pound.

This money, and the other monies that are coming, will be inflation free money; they will exist only as a means to facilitate exchange. It is a long and complex subject, and the documentary linked above explains it well. One fact demonstrates how important these currencies will become. Benjamin Franklin said that that the real reason the revolution happened was the Colonial Scrip and, “The refusal of King George to operate an honest colonial money system which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the manipulators was probably the prime cause of the Revolution”.

Amazing!

A man who talks BLOGDIAL

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

An Idea Whose Time Has Come – G. Edward Griffin – Freedom Force International

This is a lecture, where G. Edward Griffin says everything we have said on BLOGDIAL for the past seven years is repeated point for point.

You should watch it.

Then check out his website:

http://www.freedom-force.org/

Where you can read his ‘Freedom Creed’:

THE CREED OF FREEDOM

Intrinsic Nature of Rights
I believe that only individuals have rights, not the collective group; that these rights are intrinsic to each individual, not granted by the state; for if the state has the power to grant them, it also has the power to deny them, and that is incompatible with personal liberty.
I believe that a just government derives its power solely from the governed. Therefore, the state must never presume to do anything beyond what individual citizens also have the right to do. Otherwise, the state is a power unto itself and becomes the master instead of the servant of society.

Supremacy of the Individual
I believe that one of the greatest threats to freedom is to allow any group, no matter its numeric superiority, to deny the rights of the minority; and that one of the primary functions of just government is to protect each individual from the greed and passion of the majority.

Freedom of Choice
I believe that desirable social and economic objectives are better achieved by voluntary action than by coercion of law. I believe that social tranquility and brotherhood are better achieved by tolerance, persuasion, and the power of good example than by coercion of law. I believe that those in need are better served by charity, which is the giving of one’s own money, than by welfare, which is the giving of other people’s money through coercion of law.

Equality Under Law
I believe that all citizens should be equal under law, regardless of their national origin, race, religion, gender, education, economic status, life style, or political opinion. Likewise, no class should be given preferential treatment, regardless of the merit or popularity of its cause. To favor one class over another is not equality under law.

Proper Role of Government
I believe that the proper role of government is negative, not positive; defensive, not aggressive. It is to protect, not to provide; for if the state is granted the power to provide for some, it must also be able to take from others, and once that power is granted, there are those who will seek it for their advantage. It always leads to legalized plunder and loss of freedom. If government is powerful enough to give us everything we want, it is also powerful enough to take from us everything we have. Therefore, the proper function of government is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens; nothing more. That government is best which governs least.

Logins for 8,700 FTP servers found on sale

Friday, February 29th, 2008

By John E. Dunn
Techworld
27 February 2008

Criminals have assembled a huge database of hacked FTP server logins belonging to some of the worlds leading companies, a security company has revealed.

Finjan said it had stumbled upon a database containing account usernames, passwords and server addresses for a staggering 8,700 FTP servers, many of which were being used by US Fortune 100-level enterprises.

The hacked servers could be used to distribute crimeware by injecting iframe tags into any webpage stored on the compromised FTP servers. Indeed the server accounts were themselves being traded by a web application able to rank and price them according to their Google page rank for re-sale to other criminals.

The company found the database while examining what appears to be a sophisticated Russian crimeware hub built using a newer version of the Neosploit crimeware toolkit, sophisticated enough to offers its criminal users a SaaS (software as a service) interface for carrying out attacks.

The company didnt name the domains involved for obvious reasons, but the range of sectors and countries reads like a whos who of big business. FTP details for telecoms, media, online retail, and government agencies were all present, across every leading economy and beyond.

Using the Alexa.com domain ranking, Finjan found 10 of the top 100 domains in the database, 100 of the top 500 domains, and 50 of those between 500 and 1,000.

Breaking these down by location, 2,621 were in the US, 1,247 in Russia, 392 in Australia, 354 in Asia/Pacific. The rest were covered Eastern Europe, with only a handful in western European countries such as Germany and the UK, which accounted for 80 and 78, respectively.

“With this new trading application, cyber-criminals have an instant ‘solution’ to their problem of gaining access to FTP credentials and thus infecting both the legitimate websites and unsuspecting visitors, said Finjans Yuval-Ben Itzhak.

[…]

http://www.techworld.com/security/news/index.cfm?newsID=11561

I could have used substitution here to make this an article about ID cards and how ‘criminals’ are going to create tools to trade in the ‘identities’ of people, but this article was just too juicy as it stood.

Back in the day there were the forerunners of these tools, like ‘cc master’ (at least thats what I think it was called; it was something around on the old [1994/5] BBSes that you could play with if you wanted to get your machine virus’d). Now of course, they are running everything on the internets as services, like bugmenot, only much more serious.

The same thing is going to happen with ID details. Underground supermarkets are going to be created where you can buy the ‘identity’ of just the sort of person you need to commit a crime, and this will include fingerprints that will be used in software that uses playback exploits to fool the back ends that are being attacked. Even without that, simple Social Engineering will be made possible by collecting and studying the detailed identity records of some sheep, that can be inserted into a script for reading out, and all of this will be done in a slick service that you pay to access.

Imagine, you pay a subscription to a service that generates scripts for you to read over the telephone. You log in. You select your gender and accent type. The system then generates some scripts for you to read, and sets up VOIP calls for you to activate with a click of your mouse. The scripts are filled with the personal details of someone (bought on a DVD) and the call is made to their bank or building society, and the script provides you with a spiel that lets you transfer money to your own account.

You are paying for the right to use these identities and the related generated scripts; if you have success or not thats down to your mad skillz as a social engineer. Recommended Reading, ‘The Art of Deception’ by Kevin D. Mitnik.

The more scripts you read and the better you get at it, the more money you collect. Snarfed profiles are charged by how many people have used them; fresh, unused profiles are the most expensive (like fresh leads; they are for closers). Identities that have been passed around alot are nearly worthless, so you can read scripts generated for these in their thousands for only a few euros.

“I’m here from downtown, and I’m here on a mission of mercy….”

True!

The word on the streets

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

This poster:

is appearing all over London.

I wonder who is behind them?

Google says: Your search – DRD/Noid – did not match any documents when we search for “DRD/Noid”.

When we search for “H.M.P. London” the third result is a flickr page showing the posters plastered on a telephone booth near Holland Park.

Fascinating.

It would have been an even better poster if it had some government / bad contract style super small print that you could only see if you went up close to the poster, explaining why ID Cards are such a bad idea.

Still we have to award them an ‘A’ for effort; good job lads.

The great Neil Young says that music cannot change the world. This is essentially correct.

Gestures like this poster are, like music, moving and beautiful, but they will not solve the problem. They will not even convey enough information so that you can make a coherent argument. If you are going to make the effort to print thousands of posters, and then take the risk of flyposting them illegally, then you should make the best of that effort, and remove all ambiguity from the act. That means each poster should explain in detail what the problem is and what needs to be done.

Look at how the state does it:

look at how it is laid out, and the way it clearly and succinctly conveys important information.

If I were to design a poster, it would be a pastiche of the second one, with an appropriate text, so that everyone reading it would have the living daylights frightened out of them. THAT is the kind of poster that would be an effective information tool, of the kind that we need.

The Suffragettes: Terrorists!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

The Suffragettes wanted the privilege of the vote for women.

The move for women to have the vote had really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. “Suffrage” means the right to vote and that is what women wanted – hence its inclusion in Fawcett’s title.

Millicent Fawcett believed in peaceful protest. She felt that any violence or trouble would persuade men that women could not be trusted to have the right to vote. Her game plan was patience and logical arguments. Fawcett argued that women could hold responsible posts in society such as sitting on school boards – but could not be trusted to vote; she argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws; she argued that as women had to pay taxes as men, they should have the same rights as men and one of her most powerful arguments was that wealthy mistresses of large manors and estates employed gardeners, workmen and labourers who could vote……..but the women could not regardless of their wealth…..

However, Fawcett’s progress was very slow. She converted some of the members of the Labour Representation Committee (soon to be the Labour Party) but most men in Parliament believed that women simply would not understand how Parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the electoral process. This left many women angry and in 1903 the Women’s Social and Political Union was founded by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia. They wanted women to have the right to vote and they were not prepared to wait. The Union became better known as the Suffragettes. Members of the Suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted.


Emmeline Pankhurst



Christabel Pankhurst

In fact, the Suffragettes started off relatively peacefully.  It was only in 1905 that the organisation created a stir when Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney interrupted a political meeting in Manchester to ask two Liberal politicians (Winston Churchill and Sir Edward Grey) if they believed women should have the right to vote. Neither man replied. As a result, the two women got out a banner which had on it “Votes for Women” and shouted at the two politicians to answer their questions. Such actions were all but unheard of then when public speakers were usually heard in silence and listened to courteously even if you did not agree with them. Pankhurst and Kenney were thrown out of the meeting and arrested for causing an obstruction and a technical assault on a police officer.

Both women refused to pay a fine preferring to go to prison to highlight the injustice of the system as it was then. Emmeline Pankhurst later wrote in her autobiography that:

“this was the beginning of a campaign the like of which was never known in England, or for that matter in any other country…..we interrupted a great many meetings……and we were violently thrown out and insulted. Often we were painfully bruised and hurt.”

The Suffragettes refused to bow to violence. They burned down churches as the Church of England was against what they wanted; they vandalised Oxford Street, apparently breaking all the windows in this famous street; they chained themselves to Buckingham Palace as the Royal Family were seen to be against women having the right to vote; they hired out boats, sailed up the Thames and shouted abuse through loud hailers at Parliament as it sat; others refused to pay their tax. Politicians were attacked as they went to work. Their homes were fire bombed. Golf courses were vandalised. The first decade of Britain in the C20th was proving to be violent in the extreme.

Suffragettes were quite happy to go to prison. Here they refused to eat and went on a hunger strike. The government was very concerned that they might die in prison thus giving the movement martyrs. Prison governors were ordered to force feed Suffragettes but this caused a public outcry as forced feeding was traditionally used to feed lunatics as opposed to what were mostly educated women.

The government of Asquith responded with the Cat and Mouse Act. When a Suffragette was sent to prison, it was assumed that she would go on hunger strike as this caused the authorities maximum discomfort. The Cat and Mouse Act allowed the Suffragettes to go on a hunger strike and let them get weaker and weaker. Force feeding was not used. When the Suffragettes were very weak……….they were released from prison. If they died out of prison, this was of no embarrassment to the government. However, they did not die but those who were released were so weak that they could take no part in violent Suffragette struggles. When those who had been arrested and released had regained their strength, they were re-arrested for the most trivial of reason and the whole process started again. This, from the government’s point of view, was a very simple but effective weapon against the Suffragettes.

As a result, the Suffragettes became more extreme. The most famous act associated with the Suffragettes was at the June 1913 Derby when Emily Wilding Davison threw herself under the King’s horse, Anmer,  as it rounded Tattenham Corner. She was killed and the Suffragettes had their first martyr. However, her actions probably did more harm than good to the cause as she was a highly educated woman. Many men asked the simple question – if this is what an educated woman does, what might a lesser educated woman do? How can they possibly be given the right to vote?

It is possible that the Suffragettes would have become more violent. They had, after all, in February 1913 blown up part of David Lloyd George’s house – he was probably Britain’s most famous politician at this time and he was thought to be a supporter of the right for women to have the vote!

However, Britain and Europe was plunged into World War One in August 1914. In a display of patriotism, Emmeline Pankhurst instructed the Suffragettes to stop their campaign of violence and support in every way the government and its war effort. The work done by women in the First World War  was to be vital for Britain’s war effort. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed by Parliament.

[…]

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/suffragettes.htm

UPDATE!

Spy pictures of suffragettes revealed

By Dominic Casciani

BBC News Online


Photos uncovered by the National Archives show how the police spied on the suffragettes. These covert images – perhaps the UK’s first spy pictures – have gone on display to mark the centenary of the votes-for-women movement.

Ninety years ago, a Scotland Yard detective submitted an unusual equipment request.

It was passed up the chain, scrutinised, reviewed and finally rubber-stamped in Whitehall itself. Scotland Yard duly became the proud owner of a Ross Telecentric camera lens. And at a cost to the taxpayer of 7, 6s and 11d, secret police photographic surveillance (in the shape of an 11-inch long lens) was born.

Within weeks, the police were using it against what the government then regarded as the biggest threat to the British Empire: the suffragettes.

Documents uncovered at the National Archives reveal that the votes-for-women movement probably became the first “terrorist” organisation subjected to secret surveillance photography in the UK, if not the world.

The covert photographs are at the heart of an exhibition marking the centenary of the founding of the Women’s Social and Political Union, which invented modern direct action and ultimately changed the face of the UK.


The suffragettes, founded in October 1903, forced a social revolution to give women the vote. Photographs uncovered by the National Archives reveal hidden secrets of how the state spied on what it regarded as a terrorist threat. This first picture shows a suffragette caught in a confrontation with opponents and the police.

State surveillance

The state’s use of cameras in fighting crime began when prisons were instructed to photograph all inmates in 1871.

But police found the technology’s real value as they tried to combat the increasingly militant suffragettes.

Within two years of the founding of the WSPU, Christabel Pankhurst had become the first woman to be jailed for direct action. That civil disobedience continued within prison walls as jailed women refused to be photographed.

So Scotland Yard brought in the UK’s first long-lens paparazzi-style photographer, says Carole Tulloch, curator of the exhibition.


In 1912, Scotland Yard detectives bought their first camera to covertly photograph the suffragettes. The pictures were compiled into ID sheets for officers on the ground.
This first sheet shows 1. Margaret Scott, 2. Olive Hockin, 3. Margaret McFarlane, 6. Rachel Peace, alias Jane Short, 7. Mary Gertrude Ansell 8. Maud Brindley.


The ID list was also circulated to potential targets. This list was supplied to the Wallace Collection art gallery in London after curators feared they would come under attack.
Pictured are 11. Mary Richardson 12. Lillian Lenton, alias May Dennis 13. Kitty Marion, 15. Miss Johansen 16. Clara Giveen 17. Jennis Baines.


The police photographers showed no preference in whom was placed under surveillance. If they were considered a threat, they were photographed, followed and watched.
But the suffragettes had sophisticated tactics. Nellie Taylor (picture 4) used the alias Mary Wyan while Annie Bell (picture 5) had two alter egos – Hannah Booth and Elizabeth Bell.

That first photographer, Mr A Barrett, sat quietly in a van, snapping away as the women walked around Holloway Prison’s yards, according to the documents.

On the outside, detectives compiled photographic lists of key suspects, the aim being to stop arson attacks, window-smashings or the dramatic scenes of women chaining themselves to Parliament’s railings.

“The police got quite good. They would even send people along to meetings to take pictures and notes of what was being said,” says Ms Tulloch.

“They eventually put an officer in plain clothes and on a motorbike to try and keep up. He was able to make some notes but failed to keep up with the suffragettes because he had not been given a bike with an automatic starter motor.”

At Manchester Prison, the authorities used the technique to snap infamous window-smashers Evelyn Manesta and Lillian Forrester.

When the results were disappointing, the records suggest another attempt was made to coerce the women into posing.

Evelyn Manesta resisted and eventually a guard was used to restrain her around the neck. But when the photograph was reproduced in the official rogue’s gallery, it had been doctored – replacing the arm with a fashionable lady’s scarf.


In prison, the civil disobedience continued. When Evelyn Manesta, one of the Manchester suffragettes refused to pose for a picture, a guard was brought in to restrain her in front of the camera.


But when the photograph of Evelyn Manesta appeared, the arm had been removed. The photographer had acted on official instructions to doctor the photograph so that it would be less controversial.

Gallery panic

Back in London, the nation’s greatest art collections were nervous after suffragettes slashed the National Gallery’s Rokeby Venus in March 1914.

SUFFRAGETTES’ LEGACY

We still have her suffragette plaque and brooch and I remember as a child how my mother and grandmother would bring them out and explain to me their significance

The private Wallace Collection gallery appealed to Scotland Yard for help, and detectives supplied their list of London’s most wanted – almost all of the pictures secretly taken.

One of the women on the list, Kitty Marion, went on to become one of the most celebrated of the suffragettes as she endured more than 200 force-feedings in prison while on hunger strike.

“On the one hand, the state considered them dangerous terrorists, but on the other it simply did not know what to do with them,” says Ms Tulloch.”

The police and prison officials were so worried about what to do they made sure that every step they took was authorised by the Home Office. In the records you can find daily communications between the governor of Holloway Prison and Whitehall. In that era it was extremely rare for government to communicate so quickly.”

But the police surveillance did nothing to stop the movement – nor did it dim the growing support they were finding in the country. While the photographs presented the women as dangerous subversives, press photographs uncovered by the National Archives also exposed what some newspapers- particularly the Daily Mirror – regarded as police and mob brutality.

“I think we take for granted what they fought for,” says Ms Tulloch. “One of the images we found shows a lone woman on a cart, surrounded by 1,000 men.

“Today, she would be on a podium, surrounded by supporters in an organised event. No doubt many of those men would be telling her what to do – go home and feed the kids. The courage these women showed was remarkable.”

[…]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3153024.stm

The mass is mobilizing

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Look at this video on YouTube.

I have been saying for years that all that is needed to kill the war machine is for people to stay home en masse, to stop feeding the machine, and that marching and demonstrating in the streets is useless. There is a reason why so many horror / disaster films feature empty streets as the ultimate nightmare:

The only way we can permanently stop war is to think obliquely use common sense and do not do anything that will not permanently fix what is wrong.

We had this debate on BLOGDIAL before the historic march organized by StopWar. Demonstrations are pointless because they do not achieve their ends, and the people who go on them are nothing more than stupid monkeys; the people who organize them are actually working for the enemy. Time and time again we have said this, (and other stuff) and had it proved, sadly.

Now the directors of this film, after everything we have said and witnessed are asking everyone to:

[…]

http://irdial.com/blogdial/?p=739

Now, it seems, the message has emerged into the infinitely dense inertia sump of the mass that the only way out is O.U.T.

This video is only the beginning. The next obvious step is for all those people to simply NOT PAY on the 15th.

This is all a consequence of the internets, some ideas whose time has come, and a shift in the mass that is unstoppable. The only choice that the enemy has is to be swept aside as the mass moves, like a glacier, crushing everything underneath it that is not part of it, carrying boulders along with it, carving out the landscape in its slow, majestic and inexorable way.

Global warming will not melt THIS glacier. No lie will penetrate it, or deflect it.

False flag terror has been de-fanged as a way to motivate the mass, thanks again to some great documentary films on the internets.

The ideas of liberty are now spreading geometrically to every corner of the mass on the globe. It is bigger than one man. This next action, and the actions to follow will have a profound, tangible, measurable effect that will be iterated again through the network that connects the mass, further empowering it in a feedback loop that will increase the density of the liberty idea within the mass, making it even more impenetrable, more able to absorb any lie, in the way that black holes absorb everything; but in the case of the mass, there is no event horizon. Ideas falling into the mass are actually absorbed and then destroyed.

This action is quite different to the feel good, useless, safety valve false maneuvers of demonstrations and marches, that feed back only despair, failure, exhaustion and an overwhelming feeling of impotence, smallness and hopelessness – just what the enemy and its witting and unwitting boosters have been using to corral the mass into acquiescence. Now, another type of feedback is building up, and its shrill shriek blots out the bleating of the ‘there is nothing we can do’ brigade of sheeple; it is a force field of feedback that uses the infinite gravity of the mass as its power source. All the old messages are dead. The old lies are crumbling under the tidal forces as the mass moves.

They are FINISHED!

Security Breakdown: fear-mongering from The Grauniad

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

This year computer users will be more exposed to cybercriminals than ever before. It’s not just because online crime is so attractive to identity theft gangs but, ironically, because the computer security industry that is supposed to protect users has deteriorated – from one which shared everything about newly discovered weaknesses to what some within it now call a “protection racket”.

It may sound alarmist,

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/17/computersecurity

SNIP!

Yes, it IS alarmist, and yet another example of computer illiteracy at The Guardian.

The fact of the matter is that you can…anyone can… download and install Ubuntu and be free of this ‘problem’.

The fact of the matter is that writers like Sean Hargrave are a part of this ‘protection racket’ because they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge and spread the information that there are perfect alternatives to Winblows; i.e. Ubuntu, which Dell are now delivering on their machines pre-installed. By stopping people from dumping Windows, Hargrave is protecting the Windows monopoly and monoculture which is the source of all these problems, and many others.

There is no longer any excuse not to run Linux instead of Windows. It outperforms Windows in every way, and has everything you need that you find on Windows (office suite) but for FREE. Its user interface is now more sophisticated than Aero on Vista, and since you can buy it pre-installed, that problem is gone also.

The reason why The Guardian doesn’t like linux is because they are an old economy newspaper. They are against the free music, free publishing, and free software movements, and every time they have an article about anything to do with any of the aforementioned subjects, they always take the stand of ‘the man’.

The answer to this is not fear-mongering articles with pictures of devils menacing the lone Guardian believer in his C02 neutral hovel. The answer is ‘go open source’; then the secrecy that unscrupulous companies use to gain commercial advantage is erased and everyone benefits…unless you are in the pockets of the people who sell the crappy products that you are complaining about.

And then there is the ‘problem’ of having nothing to fearmonger about once Windows is dead. But then people like this always find something to try and scare everyone about.

I think we need a new category: ‘fear-mongering’.

The Ron Paul Movement

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

by Lew Rockwell
It was always Murray Rothbard’s argument that while we might from time to time be short-term pessimists, we should always be long term optimists, for many reasons from economics and history.

And look at what Ron Paul has done. Building on an unmatched record in public life, and decades of serious study of Austrian economics, foreign policy, American history, and constitutional law and philosophy, he has led a movement that is rightly called a revolution.

That revolution has touched the hearts of young people–and not only young people–across the country and the world. The ideals of peace, free trade, non-intervention, the gold standard, free markets, private property, and civil liberties have never been spread so well and so widely.

The fact that up to 10% of the Republican Party base, people who have historically supported war, empire, managed trade, central banking, business regulation, and the police state–“red-state fascists,” as I have called them–is really something quite extraordinary. Among independents and some Democrats, we will do much better.

Libertarians have long exulted in Ed Clark’s almost-one percent. Ron has improved on Ed by 900%. The political fight is far from done, of course. Ron will campaign hard in Michigan, Nevada, South Carolinia, and all the Super Tuesday states. He will not give up. He will never give up.

From the standpoint of the right and good, Ron Paul and our ideas should have an easy victory. But when has that ever been true, in all of human history?

Ron and his revolutionaries face not only bad ideas from neoconservatism to socialism, but a vast apparatus of entrenched rip-off artists from the Fed and its big banks and investment houses, to the military-industrial complex. There is, we could say, much work to do, and Ron Paul will do it.

Through the primaries, the convention, and beyond, Ron and his movement will stand for liberty against its enemies. He will get more and more votes, and more and more supporters, to add to the hundreds of thousands already onboard. His presence on the national scene will only grow, and so will libertarian ideals. Murray loved Ron Paul, thought the world of him as a candidate in 1988 and as an intellectual, and so do all real libertarians and pro-liberty conservatives.

And now, by the way, on to Michigan, where people are really feeling the pain of the Fed’s deepening recession, and will be especially ready to hear Ron’s message of sound noney and no business cycles under freedom.

“Wilkes and Liberty” was the cry of English and American classical liberals in the 18th century, naming a parliamentary champion of free speech, free press, and civil liberties against government tyranny. From now on, the cry of every libertarian will be, “Ron Paul and Liberty”! We have much work to do.Roll up your sleeves and join our champion!

[…]

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/018458.html

There are the problems of the vast apparatus of entrenched rip-off artists from the Fed and its big banks and investment houses, to the military-industrial complex, but there is also the problem of the army of sheeple, of Eloi, of nincompoops, of people who are physically incapable of thinking (low IQ), the hard headed, the habituated, the delusional. These people, all of them, HAVE THE VOTE.

People in the 18th century had common sense. Men who did not own property could not vote. What we have today is a population that is too stupid to vote. That anyone, anywhere in the world, other than his relatives, could vote for John McCain is (yet another) testament to the utter stupidity of the american public.

Am I advocating the disenfranchisement of vast swathes of the american public? Hmmm! What is the inevitable outcome of the current crop of imbeciles having the vote and unthinkingly electing anyone other than Ron Paul? It means the disenfranchisement of ALL americans forever, as america is dismantled and its broken carcass subsumed into a North American Union and then a world government like human flesh absorbed into The Blob. Wouldn’t it be better if we took away the vote from these cretins BEFORE america is lost forever? In the final analysis the phrase, ‘live free or die’ if taken literally means that a free man could not and can not tolerate what the mass of dunderheads are unleashing upon him and his family.

And there you have the thinking behind the people who are determined to absolutely control everyone everywhere. They came to this conclusion decades ago, and are making sure that no one can ever cast a vote that will take away their liberty, which in this case, is predicated upon their absolute control over the population. Either that, or its all happening at random and I’m not sure if that is a worse proposition to contemplate.

Back to John McCain…

This is a man who says that it “would be fine with me” if the americans stay in Iraq for 100 years. Out loud. In public. Quite apart from all of his other insane policies, this one phrase alone should scare the flesh off of any american. What he is advocating is literally, the complete extinction of America. This is the same public that now knows that the pretext for invading Iraq was a lie. This is the same public that now believes that ‘911 was an inside job‘. Wether or not you believe that 911 was an inside job or not, if the majority of people believe that it is true, how is it possible that anyone other than Ron Paul is getting the majority of votes in these primaries? How can he possibly be equal in numbers to Judy Ruliani, arch warmonger / fearmonger whose whole campaign centers around the very 911 that they all believe is at the very least, fishy?

It boggles the imagination.

A very clever man said just before he died:

[…]

We have had the two worst Prime Ministers in our history – Edward Heath (who dragooned us into the Common Market) and Tony Blair. The harm these two have done to Britain is incalculable and almost certainly irreparable.

Whether the public can be blamed for letting them pursue their ruinous policies is debatable.

Short of assassination there is little people can do when their political masters have forgotten the true meaning of the democracy of which they are forever prating, are determined to have their own way at all costs and hold public opinion in contempt.

[…]

Daily Mail

When The Daily Mail prints an article saying that the only solution left is assassination, you know that there has been a sea change.

Live free or die. That phrase doesn’t mean ‘live free or commit suicide’. It means that you are willing to do anything unto death in order to be free. Disenfranchising the population, assassination, secession, suddenly people are actually talking about these options; not through desire for carnage and chaos and upheaval, but because every decent person has been backed into a corner and there is no way out.

A decent man with sons would not let the bovine majority cast a vote condemning his boys to be drafted into an insane man’s insane war. He has a few choices, and we all know that these choices have all been exercised in the recent past:

  • Assassination,
  • Disenfranchisement,
  • Secession,
  • Mass murder,
  • Escape,
  • Run for office and change the world (work in progress!),

Have I left anything out?

Oh yes:

  • Join the winning side in the new feudal system!

Think about it; you keep everything you own, you get to own whatever else you like, you become one of the bosses, and there are no repercussions because the long pigs are too stupid to understand what is going on right in front of their faces.

Now, less of the horrorshow.

There have been great movements on this planet that have achieved monumental change without catastrophic bloodletting. I have said it before over and over, the only thing that you need to do to defeat the warmongers is NOTHING. No marching, no confrontation, simply remove yourself, (O.U.T.), no more participation, no more contribution, no more cooperation, no more passive obedience, no more of anything or action that helps the system work, unless the country is completely restored, all unconstitutional laws struck down and America returns. This ‘Do Not’ idea, when propagated widely is so profoundly disruptive, so powerful and unstoppable, it can topple any infrastructure. Since it is an idea, you cannot kill it. No on is marching in the streets to be arrested. No one is pitting themselves against armored personnel of the war machine. There is nothing to attack, no one to peruse, no head to cut off and nothing to capture..except the minds of your neighbors.

I do not believe that violence is right or necessary. You can get everything you want without so much as a fist fight. Assassination, disenfranchisement and other forms of violence are what our enemies use; they are the solutions of the imagiiantionless, the weak minded, mean spirited…the bad guys.

Thanks to the way democracy works, there is going to be a permanent unrepresented majority who are fed up to the teeth. It is this huge population of people, numbering in the high tens of millions, who are the constituency of the free, the people who can tip the balance and force change. They are the artists, the writers, business men, scientists, the better educated, the smart; they are the ones who make everything run, and they are the ones who can bring it all to a halt should they choose to do so.

All without firing a shot, clenching a fist or appearing in public.

The dream scenario is that the system works and America changes course and the world is put off of high alert. But I have always said that, “dreams are for those who sleep” either way the power to end this is in our hands, at the ends of our fingertips.

So let’s end it.

Take a Stand – Make the No2Id Pledge

Friday, December 7th, 2007

This week we launched The NO2ID Pledge – a way for people to personally and publicly declare that they will refuse to comply with the government’s ID scheme. It says:

I solemnly and publicly promise that:

  • I shall not register for a national identity card
  • I shall not supply personal details or fingerprints to a National Identity Register
  • I shall not apply for any document or service if joining the National Identity Register is a condition of obtaining it
  • I shall not co-operate with any Identity and Passport Service interview concerning my identity.

I also promise by my example to encourage others to do the same.

The pledge is an act of *pre-emptive* resistance and is, as such, entirely legal. It’s something positive that you can do NOW. In fact, there’s not much ID law to break at present – most of the powers in the Identity Cards Act 2006 have yet to be brought into force. The government certainly hasn’t made it illegal to declare you’ll refuse to go along with its scheme.

The ID scheme is like a vampire. It has no life of its own, and thrives only if it feeds.

There is its weakness. We, collectively, can choose to starve the Identity and Passport Service. It only works smoothly if few are prepared to face some inconvenience to resist. It only works at all if a large majority of the population can be hypnotised into thinking that it is just routine, no big deal. If enough of us refuse to be bled willingly, the beast will either starve or show its fangs.

The NO2ID Pledge will lead to civil disobedience only if the government fails to see sense and scrap its monstrous ID scheme. The polls have long said millions will not submit to being numbered like cattle. Is the government really going to risk trying to make them beg to be branded?

To make pledging straightforward we have created The NO2ID Pledge certificate, for you to fill out and sign in front of a witness. You can find out more and download certificates from http://www.no2id.net/pledge/

Please don’t just print one copy… print five… or fifty and pass them on to people who you think might also pledge. The idea is to spread The NO2ID Pledge as far and as wide as possible.

Anyone can do it. Anyone can help others do it. And the more who do, the easier it is.

Note: This is a new pledge, if you signed our previous PledgeBank “refuse” pledge then you can still make this pledge.

Referring back to this post.

“It’s treason, then…”

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Finally, at the 11th hour, people are waking up and realizing that the only way to kill The War Machine is to choke it of its blood:

The Nation:

I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran–which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election–will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup dtat that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.

Let us hope sanity prevails. But sanity is a rare commodity in a White House that has twisted Trotskys concept of permanent revolution into a policy of permanent war with nefarious aims–to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to strip citizens of their constitutional rights.

A war with Iran is doomed. It will be no more successful than the Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon in 2006, which failed to break Hezbollah and united most Lebanese behind that militant group. The Israeli bombing did not pacify 4 million Lebanese. What will happen when we begin to pound a country of 65 million people whose land mass is three times the size of France?

Once you begin an air campaign it is only a matter of time before you have to put troops on the ground or accept defeat, as the Israelis had to do in Lebanon. And if we begin dropping bunker busters and cruise missiles on Iran, this is the choice that must be faced: either send US forces into Iran to fight a protracted and futile guerrilla war, or walk away in humiliation.

But more ominous, an attack on Iran will ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with possible Silkworm missile attacks by Iran against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, could send the price of oil soaring to somewhere around $200 a barrel. The effect on the domestic and world economy will be devastating, very possibly triggering a global depression. The Middle East has two-thirds of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and nearly half its natural gas. A disruption in the supply will be felt immediately.

This attack will be interpreted by many Shiites in the Middle East as a religious war. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia (heavily concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province), the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey could turn in rage on us and our dwindling allies. We could see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for US troops. The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has so far not joined the insurgency, has strong ties to Iran. It could begin full-scale guerrilla resistance, possibly uniting for the first time with Sunnis against the occupation. Iran, in retaliation, will fire its missiles, some with a range of 1,100 miles, at US installations, including Baghdad’s Green Zone. Expect substantial casualties, especially with Iranian agents and their Iraqi allies calling in precise coordinates. Iranian missiles could be launched at Israel. The Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, will become treacherous, perhaps unnavigable. Chinese-supplied antiship missiles, mines and coastal artillery, along with speedboats packed with explosives and suicide bombers, will target US shipping, along with Saudi oil production and oil export centers.

[…]

A country that exists in a state of permanent war cannot exist as a democracy. Our long row of candles is being snuffed out. We may soon be in darkness. Any resistance, however symbolic, is essential. There are ways to resist without being jailed. If you owe money on your federal tax return, refuse to pay some or all of it, should Bush attack Iran. If you have a telephone, do not pay the 3 percent excise tax. If you do not owe federal taxes, reduce what is withheld by claiming at least one additional allowance on your W-4 form–and write to the IRS to explain the reasons for your protest. Many of the details and their legal ramifications are available on the War Resisters League’s website (www.warresisters.org/wtr.htm).

I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know. But I do know this: I have friends in Tehran, Gaza, Beirut, Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cairo. They will endure far greater suffering and deprivation. I want to be able, once the slaughter is over, to at least earn the right to ask for their forgiveness.

http://www.truthdig.com/

And there you have it.

Like I have said before if only the half of the american populatoin that are against this insanity refuse to support and finance it, everything will grind to a halt.

MoveOn, and its UK equivalent StopWar and all other groups that have tens of millions of members combined, but which do not have either singly nor collectively a plan or strategy to achieve their aims other than to write letters, march in the streets like lemmings and hold candle lit vigils outside No.10 Downing Street; all of these groups, all of these people, collectively, have always had the power to stop this insanity in its tracks.

Chris Hedges is right to be doing this, but he is dead wrong that it is, “a desperate and perhaps futile gesture”. It is in no way futile, any more than the existence of a single snowflake in a blizzard is futile. Collectively, a blizzard of snow can paralyze a country in a single night. A blizzard of individual disobedience can do the same. That is not futility, that is RAW POWER, and now, thanks to the internets, it is trivial to organize such a blizzard.

I have said this over and over, and in many different ways. Ron Paul becoming President of the United States of America will put a stop to the madness; this cannot happen for over a year, so in the interim, some form of positive, effective, logical mass action has to be taken so that hell is not unleashed in advance of the Ron Paul Presidency.

Imagine the nightmare of having just the right man in the White House and him being handed Iran in flames, Iraq in ruins (this is already the case of course) and a world in 10 times more chaos than it is today. Not a pretty picture is it? Something needs to be done RIGHT NOW, at the very minimum, pledges of real, appropriate and logically correct action of the type that Chris Hedges is making.

Take a look at this comment attached to his piece:

[…] God damn right. And why do journalists on TV, where 90% of Americans get 100% of their political and policy information, keep behaving as though there is anything at all to talk about except stopping this insane plan to destroy Iran?

Even Keith Olbermann, supposedly the greatest liberal in prime time TV political commentary, doesnt seem to get it. He should be devoting 80 to 95% of his show every single night to this subject.

This is an absolutely out and out, hair on fire emergency. And everyone is sleepwalking right into it. It isnt even THERE for normal people. […]

This commenter is correct. And I have said before, all the special comments in the world will not do anything in the end; an action is required to put out this ‘hair on fire’ emergency and FINALLY people are starting to wake up to this, and when I say ‘people’ I mean writers of the type who would normally not put themselvs ‘out on a limb’. That is how serious this is.

Note also in the comments the number of people who are saying, “sign me up I’m with you”, “where do I sign up?”. This idea is going to spread until it is out of control…right where it needs to be.

Mentally Retarded Liars

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

This story shows the extent to which these people are a bunch of mentally retarded incompetent liars. According to BBQ:

Private data ‘also given to firm’

Unencrypted discs with 25 million Child Benefit records on them were handed to an accountancy firm by government auditors, it has emerged.

Obviously the drone that wrote this report has taken the phrase ‘unencrypted discs’ and inserted them here because she thinks that any disc that leaves the government must be encrypted to protect it. The fact is in this case, the disc was handed over personally, and so wether or not it was encrypted is not an issue. What IS an issue is that the data was not anonymised, and that someone had root aceess to the database to be able to export all the tables.

The National Audit Office (NAO) gave the CDs – similar to the ones lost by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials – to accountants KPMG for auditing.

It said the discs – with bank account details on them – were delivered “by hand” to KPMG and returned safely.

The Information Commissioner is probing whether data laws were broken.

A spokesman said the commissioner would be looking at “all aspects” of data protection surrounding the missing Child Benefit records as part of its investigation.

‘All aspects’ will not include wether or not ContactPoint is to be abandoned no doubt.

Meanwhile, police looking for the missing discs say they expect to finish their search at the HM Revenue and Customs office in Tyne and Wear on Friday night. The focus will then turn to premises run by the couriers, TNT.

Something of this value that has been missing for this long will have been copied, so even if they find the discs, the data is out there now. Period. The fact that everyone is scrambling around to find these discs (especially in the light of this story) and not shouting for the closure of ‘the database state’ shows just how STUPID they all are.

‘Treated securely’

An NAO spokesman said it had not asked for sensitive information to be included in the material sent to it by HMRC – but it was confident it had taken steps to ensure its security.

This is absurd. Once the data is out there, all the measures in the world will not put it back. The motherlode has already been shot. There is now no real incentive for criminals to get a hold of any other database because this one will satisfy any criminal for years to come.

This is what we have been saying for years. Once the data is out there, it can never be put back. This cannot be undone. No penalty, no sanction, no censure, no sentence can un-violate the violated.

“We feel we treated this data securely but at the same time we will look at any lessons that may have to be learned,” he added.

If you feel that then you are an unmitigated imbecile.

The data given to KPMG was for the 2006/07 audit and was sent to the NAO offices in March this year. The missing data was produced for the 2007/08 audit.

The details were revealed in a letter sent by the NAO, which was released on Thursday.

The letter from an NAO director, whose name is blanked out, says: “I also confirm that I have asked KPMG to provide me with assurances that they have deleted or erased the data that they analysed as part of our 2006-07 Resource Accounts audit.”

All it takes is one employee to make a pair of copy discs, or ISO images, store them on his iPhone or iPod or laptop, and then BOOM the data is out there forever. There is no way of knowing that it was done or who might have copied the discs. Any assurances, even if given honestly, are worthless. And I GUARANTEE you that this data is lurking in one of KPMG’s backup devices!

Returned safely

The letter was dated 9 November – the day after senior management at HMRC was told about the missing discs.

The NAO told the BBC the data was delivered to KPMG’s offices by hand and had now been returned safely.

This is so TARDED it is beyond belief. These people clearly think that discs are analogous to paper. Even PAPER can be copied after it is handed over, so these assurances are not only wrong, but they are extremely insulting to anyone with half a working brain cell.

A KPMG spokesman agreed with this statement and said any trace of the data contained on the discs had been erased from the company’s computer system.

The Child Benefit details had originally been put on to disc and forwarded to the NAO by HMRC officials at its Tyne and Wear offices in March.

[…]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7108532.stm

Even if this is true, they cannot GUARANTEE that no one copied the data while the discs were in their offices. If they did give such a guarantee, they would be certifiably insane, because there is no way to distinguish a released copy of the discs that escaped from another source and the data set that they were handed. It would be easy to say that ‘it was not us’ and there would be no way to prove or disprove it.

Needless to say, this BBQ report does not counter each of the bogus and TARDED points that have been put out there to re-assure the sheeple public. This is another …YET ANOTHER… example of poor journalism from BBQ. But I digress.

It is abundantly clear that no one can trust these people to handle any sort of data, and it is abundantly clear taht they are the most incompetent people in this country.

It is ASTONISIHING that audits are not ‘done in house’ and that private firms are hired to do the work. Is there NOTHING that the government does for itself? is there nothing that is not outsourced?

And now we hear that they did it DELIBERATELY with forethought:

A secret meeting of senior Whitehall officials made the decision to release personal information on millions of people, it emerged last night, as the “cover-up” row in the lost data scandal deepened.

The Daily Telegraph has established that officials from at least three units within HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) authorised the decision not to strip out sensitive, confidential data before sending the child benefit records of 25 million people through the post.

Nigel Jordan, an assistant director at HMRC, who received copies of key correspondence on the release of the information, is to be hauled before the Commons public accounts committee to explain how the records were lost.

[…]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/24/ncustoms124.xml

Once again, they can haul whomever they like before a committee; that will not put the genie back in the bottle!

These mentally retarded subhuman monsters JUST DONT GET IT; they have let escape, on more than one occasion, a perfect, formatted, searchable, exportable, plaintext list of ALL THE CHILDREN IN THE UK along with their parents names, addresses and bank account details of same.

They should all be hung drawn and quartered.

OR

They should take immediate steps to make sure that such a thing can never happen again. That means abandoning all databases involving children and citizens of the UK, and doing everything in the list on this post.

It will be literally a generation before the effects of this disaster start to wind down and the data becomes so out of date that it is rendered useless and worthless. If the government stops collecting and centralizing data on British Citizens now, and return to tightly compartmentalized systems that cannot easily compromise privacy, by the time we reach 2075 they will have a system in place that actually works for the population without violating them, and a population that is no longer in danger from these two DVDs.

En Gardasil! – Touche!

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Now we have this:

Schoolgirls to get ‘cancer jab’

Human papillomavirusHPV causes most cases of cervical cancer

Schoolgirls in Britain will be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer from September 2008, ministers have announced. This goes further than recommended by experts, with all aged 12-13 eligible, and a catch-up campaign up to 18.

It is thought that vaccinating against human papilloma virus (HPV) could save hundreds of lives in the UK each year.

The vaccine is given in three injections over six months at a cost of around 300 a course.

Note the syntax, that schoolgirls WILL BE VACCINATED. Not, ‘parents will be offered vaccination for their children’. And all that this difference implies.

Note also that ‘Boys will not be vaccinated under today’s announcement, after the JCVI said it was not cost-effective.’ Not cost-effective. There you go, the ultimate deciding factor is cost. Not health. Which is bizarre, as this will cost 100-200 million of your GB pounds per annum to save around 300-700 lives, depending on who is giving the figures. Cost-effective?

Note finally that the vaccine to be used has not been chosen. Imagine the lobbying going on! This is multi-multi-millions over many years… Do you trust our politicians not to be ‘influenced’ in any way, and to come to the best decision for spending your taxes? Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?

We would say this is a piece of Public Heath Theatre. Are you clapping along in the audience?

——

Below are excerpts from emails relating to the previous En Gardasil post. They are a lesson in trust. Trusting your source, or not, and remembering that ‘good’ lies are no better than ‘evil’ ones. An open, curious mind is a very sharp weapon.

……..

May I burn down that straw man?

Aspirin is safe; that is the difference between it and Guadakill. Aspirin was initially prepared from the bark of trees. It is a naturally occurring medicine, unlike Guardakill which is a man made poison.

There is *no straw man here*. Aspirin and STW are used, in my context, to denounce your point on alum, i.e. that just because you don’t understand how something works doesn’t mean it must be distrusted. One could apply this to all homeopathy, I just picked SJW at random. According to ‘the science’ SJW is no more effective than a placebo.
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/#science
And that from the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

St Johns Wort is also a naturally occurring plant, and is therefore much safer and preferable as a medicine. It also has a long history of safe use.

Now, HERE is a straw man. I would guess there are many more deaths from digitalis than Gardasil will ever manage, despite also being a plant with a long history of safe use. Aspirin kills 500 people in the US per year, apparently. Just a stat, and probably through misuse, but its still a killer. One can twist anything… omigoditsachemical! …. its all about context.

Alum has been used for /just/ 60 years and has recently been ‘proven’ safe on paper, when anyone who has used it has known it is safe in vivo. And yes, I’ve used it and taken it.
http://www.drugresearcher.com/news/ng.asp?id=49797-alum-given-clean

Together we could say “Who do you trust?”. Or, “Why trust one drug and not the other?”, as someone clever once said. Now we both know the answers to /those/ questions.

Mankind is much better off living inside and with his environment. Guardakill is an unnatural medicine; the need for it is artificial, the lust behind its making is the lust for money, and while the medicine itself is not evil, the people who make it most certainly are.

I would agree with this. What I wouldn’t agree with is throwing petrol and matches on non-existant straw men. There should be enough real, substantive data and well-argued opinion (and there is) to let people come to their own conclusion… that only a fool would inject their child with ‘GovDrugX’.

Guardasil has killed people. That is a fact.

No it’s not! You can show people the reality, but you can’t make up ‘the truth’. Those FDA reports should put enough doubt in anyones mind about Gardasil, but there is no “Gardasil Kills – Fact”. If one starts sounding like the Daily Mail, credibility flies out of the window.

The rules of peer review do not extend into the coroners office, and those recorded deaths and the numbers of people damaged are *not* opinion. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is not going to falsely attribute death to a vaccine (I would imagine) which is where those numbers come from.

Wrong again! I read all the FDA/VAERS reports last night and not a
single one attributes death to Gardasil.

Not.
A.
Single.
One.

They merely report adverse effects in anything from minutes to weeks following Gardasil vaccination. Many of the patients had other injections at the same time. Many had so long between jab and death that mentioning Gardasil seems nothing more than thoroughness.

Now, you KNOW what I think of these ‘medicines’, and you know what I will do for my daughter. If drugs like Gardasil and chickenpox vaccineare to exposed for the fraudulent, greed-soaked tripe that they are then it must be done through strong, coherent argument and not by setting flame to reality.

—————————————–

just because you don’t understand how something works doesn’t mean it must be distrusted.

It shouldn’t be distrusted by itself, but when people are compelling you to take it, common sense says (at least to me) it has to be 100% understood before compulsion. There shouldn’t be any doubt over the mechanism or the elements, otherwise, it should be 100% voluntary.

Gardasil is so new and novel WITHOUT teh accelerant it should absolutely not be mandatory, or anywhere near mandatory. Also no one has pointed out that HPV is not like chickenpox or the flu – it spreads only in a very particular way, by sex. Vaccinations should be used where disease is spread non consensually, i.e. through sneezing – where the public health is at risk, and even that is a near bogus rationale.

But I digress.

One could apply this to all homeopathy, I just picked SJW at random.

Homeopathy is voluntary, as all medicines should be. If it works, then you keep using it. Gardasil doesn’t work to provide life long immunity, and so it is broken out of the vial. By the time a 12 year old reaches drinking age its efficacy will be gone. It is a total sheep dip vaccine.

According to ‘the science’ SJW is no more effective than a placebo.

I don’t believe these studies, in the same way that the anti-homeopathy brigade to not believe the century plus of of trials that homeopathic medicines have been through. These people have an agenda that has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with control of science.
But I digress again.

And that from the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

which is run by the US government, the same organization that mandates vaccines like Guardakil. YEAH, I’m really going to trust *them*.

Aspirin kills 500 people in the US per year, apparently.

and so, should we now ban aspirin or provide defenses against it that are mandated by law? The numbers are almost the same as those who die from Cervical Cancer…

Just a stat, and probably through misuse, but its still a killer. One can twist anything… omigoditsachemical! …. its all about context.

exactly, and Gardasil is the same as anything else; /until it is mandated/ this is the biggest problem with it. Anyone can produce any medicine they like. You are free to take it or not, after you have made a jugement in concert with your doctor. That is your and my right.
Gardasil and the politcs surrounding it break, sour and queer the relationship between patient and doctor. That is probably its most evil effect.

Together we could say “Who do you trust?”. Or, “Why trust one drug and not the other?”, as someone clever once said. Now we both know the answers to /those/ questions.

I trust the one that is old and not mandated. I do not trust the one that is new and mandated. That is my rule, and I apply it to all my medicines. I will not be a party to experimentation or the recouping of someone’s R&D.

If someone I trust explains that Alum is safe in a very particular context, then I will trust it, otherwise, I do not trust any medicine without looking into it myself and getting other opinions.

There should be enough real, substantive data and well-argued opinion (and there is) to let people come to their own conclusion… that only a fool would inject their child with ‘GovDrugX’.

This is about trust. We cannot trust the people who make Gardasil and anyone who promotes it because the whole programme is tainted from the off. People cannot come to that conclusion on their own because it is hard to be a dissenting voice in this matter if you do not have the credentials.

there is no “Gardasil Kills – Fact”.

So you are telling me that the report that attributes the deaths of
those girls to Gardasil is false, yes?

Wrong again! I read all the FDA/VAERS reports last night and not a single one attributes death to Gardasil.

then what you are saying is that Judicial Watch are libeling Merc. Both things cannot be true at the same time.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/6428.shtml says unambiguously that the deaths are related to Gardasil. Are you saying that they are lying?

http://www.judicialwatch.org/archive/2007/GardasilVAERSUpdatedDeaths0907.pdf

??? so the above is a forgery? Help me out here!

That is a VAERS report listing Gardasil as the cause of death!

they would NEVER list Gardasil as the cause of death if they were
not absolutely sure would they not?

What have I missed here?

I’m not sure what the reality is; VARERS says ‘death by Gardasil’ you
say no such reports even exist.

The ambiguity, the complexity, everything about it screams out to me that it must be totally shunned. An impenetrable reality is as bad as a lie, and in the face of that, taking the risk is just not an option.

Then add into the mix that Justice Watch had to sue for the information, the case is closed; these guys are evil and their medicine is no good!

————————————————————–

So you are telling me that the report that attributes the deaths of those girls to Gardasil is false, yes?

JudicialWatch’s conclusion that G-causes-D is OPINION based on a misinterpretation of official documents. The reports never link G and D. They are simple, clear reports which state known facts about each case.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/6428.shtml says unambiguously that the deaths are related to Gardasil. Are you saying that they are lying?

Not lying per se, but distorting beyond reasonable limits. As I said
previously, this does no good and leaves them looking like rabid haters without the ability to construct a strong enough argument from the available information, without resorting to screeching FEAR! EVIL! DEATH!

That is a VAERS report listing Gardasil as the cause of death!

NO!!! Read that pdf!
Lets see…
1st page: ‘Gardasil did not cause the patients death’

P.2 ‘Cause of death was sudden death’. Other factors involved. Does notblame Gardasil.

P.3 All just hearsay! A nurse who heard from a nurse… and anaphylaxis DOES NOT occur 3 days after exposure. It’s a bit quicker than that. Ask anyone with a peanut/bee sting allergy. Does not blame Gardasil.

P.4 Hearsay! Bloodclot 2 weeks after vacc. Could have been any cause! Does not blame Gardasil.

P.5 Death 2 weeks after vacc. No direct link at all. Does not blame Gardasil.

P.6 Another 2 week gap Does not blame Gardasil.

P.7 States ‘manner of death natural’!!!! Does not blame Gardasil.

P.8 History of heart problems, died of heart problem. Does not blame Gardasil.

P.9 Viral sepsis and secondary infection. Symptoms started BEFORE last vaccine. Does not blame Gardasil.

P.10 Hearsay, no cause of death reported. Does not blame Gardasil.

Are you now seeing the difference between the official VAERS reports and the conlusions/opinions in the JudWac piece?

then they would NEVER list Gardasil as the cause of death if they were not absolutely sure would they not?

See above; Gardasil is NEVER listed as cause of death by VAERS.

Why trust one source and not another?
Just because JudWac appear to agree with our stance on BigPharma does not mean they are virtuous truth-givers. They have their agenda, just as Merck does.
We at Blogdial should know better though, and decide for ourselves.

Now, who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? ((C) Groucho)

What have I missed here?

The blindingly obvious! That Mercks clinical trial, and JudWac’s take on the VAERS reports are all spin to support a position, and somewhere under it all, crushed and splintered, lies the reality.

I’m not sure what the reality is; VARERS says ‘death by Gardasil’ you say no such reports even exist.

VAERS NEVER EVER says death by Gardasil.

The ambiguity, the complexity, everything about it screams out to me that it must be totally shunned. An impenetrable reality is as bad as a lie, and in the face of that, taking the risk is just not an option.

But we can find the reality, when we remember to treat JudWac with the same basic scepticism that we treat Merck. I would like to believe JudWac, but they give me no reason to do so when I look at the reality behind what they are saying.

these guys are evil and their medicine is no good!

And JudWac are misguided, severely biased, narrow-minded, blinkered scaremongers whose stance does not stand up to the most preliminary of scrutinies. But we have found this out, and we can understand the reality. We can take each for what it is and still know that Merck is evil, and that JudWac is at least trying to stand on the right side.

Citizens turn to Blackberry in the face of government spying

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

By Chad Skelton
CanWest News Service
Vancouver Sun
October 08, 2007

VANCOUVER — Police often say organized crime in B.C. is big business. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before gangsters adopted the device of choice among corporate workaholics: the BlackBerry.

It has become so popular among B.C. gang members that an internal RCMP “threat assessment” on organized crime produced this year devotes an entire section to the device.

“It’s something we’ve seen increasing over the last three to four years,” Staff Sgt. Bruce Imrie, head of the RCMP’s Vancouver Integrated Technological Crime Unit, said in an interview. And that poses a big challenge for law enforcement, because encryption and security features make the devices much harder to wiretap than land lines or cellphones.

“The BlackBerry (server) was created with corporate data security in mind,” states the RCMP report, obtained by The Vancouver Sun through the Access to Information Act. “Until recently, this system was only affordable by companies such as Telus, CIBC, and the like; they are now more affordable and it is easy for individuals to set-up a network.”

Imrie confirmed when police get a warrant for a criminal’s BlackBerry messages it can be difficult to intercept them.

“The use of BlackBerries may allow them to circumvent lawful access … (with) the encryption involved in the transmission,” said Imrie.

Even when police confiscate a criminal’s actual BlackBerry, he said, cracking its password to view the messages stored on it can be a challenge.

BlackBerries are most popular among a gang’s highest-ranking members, said Imrie.

“Your general street-level criminal doing organized shoplifting is not as likely to have a BlackBerry as your high-end drug trafficker,” he said. “(And) depending on the sophistication of the criminal organization, the use of the BlackBerry seems to increase.”

However, as BlackBerries become more affordable, that distinction is starting to blur, he said, with the devices becoming more prevalent among all types of criminals.

RCMP Insp. Gary Shinkaruk, head of biker gang investigations in B.C., said BlackBerries are “extremely common” among the criminals his unit investigates.

“For a lot of groups, it’s standard practice,” he said.

Research In Motion, the Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry, did not respond to a request from The Sun to comment on its security measures.

However in June, Scott Totzke, RIM’s vice-president of global security, told The Times of London that its encryption is virtually unbreakable.

“Every message that is sent via a BlackBerry is broken up into 2Kb (kilobyte) packets of information, each of which is given a 256-bit key by the BlackBerry server,” said Totzke. “That means to release the contents of a 10Kb e-mail, a person would have to crack five separate keys, and each one would take about as long as it would for the sun to burn out – billion of years.”

The 500-page RCMP report, titled the Integrated Threat Assessment on Organized Crime, is produced each year.

The copy released to The Sun was heavily edited, with the RCMP deleting many sections for security reasons.

Canada.com

Privacy will be the exclusive reserve of the rich and the ‘criminal’, like we said before.

This is of course, only one sort of private network that anyone can set up, and Asterisk is even simpler and more stealthy. A group of people requiring telephone privacy would, for example, set up an asterisk server somewhere, and then distribute handsets to all the members of the group. Once this is done, the following features become available:

  • free phone calls to any member
  • unbreakable encryption
  • no traffic analysis, because no one even knows that a phone call is in progress
  • phone calls from any open wireless access point, so no cellular network triangulation

Since the plaintext and ciphertext of calls are not stored anywhere, this is a better solution for everyone since there is no ‘evidence’ left behind for anyone to trawl through or try to decrypt. If anything at all is found, only a server and some handsets will turn up and no trace that even a single call was made.

It doesn’t take much imagination to substitute the words ‘gangster’ and ‘criminal’ for ‘you’ and ‘me’. If you want to keep the contents of your email private, there are ways to do it right out of the box.

Will we finally see a surge in the use of GPG/PGP? Only time will tell. What is for certain is that there are more people who are thinking about there privacy than ever before, and some of them are taking steps to protect themselves.

Time to break out the Oblique Strategies deck Brian

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Our leaders would undoubtedly be happy if we “moved on” from Iraq. They don’t want to talk about it any more: it was a dreadful blunder, and reflects little credit on any of them. Presumably this is why the question has hardly been debated in parliament. Although the majority of the public were always against the war, this was not reflected by their elected representatives. The government behaved in a way that was transparently undemocratic but the Conservatives won’t call them on it, for without their almost unanimous support the whole project couldn’t have happened.

But to conveniently forget Iraq now is to forfeit the only possible benefit the war might have: the chance to rethink the dysfunctional political system that got us into this hole. If we don’t, we risk digging a series of ever deeper holes. The Iraq adventure was justified as the planting of a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. Not only did it utterly fail at that, it also undermined our democracy. Appealing to our paranoia more than our vision, George Bush and Tony Blair obtained restrictions on freedoms that had taken centuries to evolve. They said these were necessary to ensure our security – a device used by authoritarian leaders since time immemorial.

Civil liberties never seem important until you need them. But by definition, that is the very time you won’t be able to get them, so they have to be in place in advance, like an insurance policy. In his book Defying Hitler, the historian Sebastian Hafner describes how Germany slid into nazism. At first people laughed at Hitler and played along with what seemed trivial changes in the law. For most Germans it was all rather abstract, and they were expecting things to return to normal when Hitler faded back into obscurity. Only he didn’t, and civil liberties were so compromised there was no way to stop him.

If we don’t stand up about Iraq then we tacitly sanction the next steps in this deadly experiment of democratic evangelism. Those will likely include an attack on Iran, a permanent force of occupation in Iraq (probably always the intention), the complete militarisation of the Middle East, and a revived nuclear future.

What do you mean by ‘stand up’? This is the question.

Stop the War Coalition planned a march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square on Monday – the day parliament resumes – to draw attention to the fact that a lot of us are still thinking about Iraq and to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops. Using an archaic law (the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act), that demonstration has now been banned. Now why would that be? Stop the War Coalition has organised dozens of such demonstrations, and as far as I know not one person has been hurt. So it can’t be public safety that’s at stake.

No, it’s the elephant in the room. This government wants to show itself as clean and new, and doesn’t want attention drawn to the elephant and the mess it has left on the carpet. So it invokes an old law, to shave a little more off the arrangements by which citizens communicate their feelings to government (a process, by the way, called democracy).

The elephant in the room is Stop the War. They are wearing the emperors new clothes. They are engaging in the inexplicable and illogical behavior that needs to be explained.

Two million people marched in the streets against the illegal, immoral, unjustified, murderous invasion of Iraq; a demonstration which Stop the War organized, and that two million were supported by at least another ten who didn’t turn up, and they were all ignored.

Anyone who now calls for more demonstrations is part of the problem. I have said this again and again on BLOGDIAL, and it took the failure of the march to get my fellow BLOGDIALERS to swallow that bitter pill. It may be your ‘democratic right’ to protest but the fact is that demonstrating is a useless gesture, and this has been comprehensively proven.

The time you have spent writing this article Eno, and the thought you put behind it was wasted. It would be far better for you and Stop the War to break out a pack of Oblique Strategies to allow you to come to a solution that will solve the actual problem, since it appears that you cannot synthesize on on the fly or off the cuff. Your problem is the momentum of the war machine and the attack on Iran that is on the horizon. That is what you need to comprehensively defeat; that is the fire you have to put out.

Demonstrations are an energy sink; they are a distraction. Your essay about you not being able to demonstrate has diverted your energy away from the problem by two degrees; firstly, you are complaining about not being able to demonstrate, which in itself is useless, because demonstrations do not work to solve the problem.

This is how they keep you under tight control, you and Stop the War and anyone else who is decent and moral. You need to stop working for these people, because they are not offering any real solutions. All they are offering is a never ending series of useless marches and petitions. It has to stop. If you do not accept this, then you must be prepared for war without end.

It would take courage for Gordon Brown to say: “This war was a catastrophe.” It would take even greater courage to admit that the seeds of the catastrophe were in its conception: it wasn’t a good idea badly done (the neocons’ last refuge – “Blame it all on Rumsfeld”), but a bad idea badly done. And it would take perhaps superhuman courage to say: “And now we should withdraw and pay reparations to this poor country.”

I don’t see it happening. But the demonstration will, legal or not: on Monday Tony Benn will lead us as we exercise our right to remind our representatives that, even if Iraq has slipped off their agenda, it’s still on ours. Please join us.

[…]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2184946,00.html

WE ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT.

Tony Benn and Stop the War are gatekeepers who’s only aim is to pacify the outrage of the public and to channel it into useless acts that will not solve the problem.

Anyone who marches at this event is a FOOL.

One of two things will happen at this event:

  • All of you or some of you will be arrested, and nothing will change.
  • They will let the march go ahead, and you will all go home and nothing will change.

If you are really serious about putting an end to war, you all need to think hard. Think about how you solve other problems in your life, like leaking pipes or repairing a tyre puncture. You need to apply that logic to this problem, the problem of the war machine.

If you really think that marching will change anything then you are either delusional or deliberately acting to keep the whole obscene war economy running. I do not know or care which one it is, but what you cannot do is call for more impotent marches without being challenged.

Pronoun Problems at Ordnance Survey

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

These maps cost us 110m. We can’t give them away for free

Were Ordnance Survey to lose its sales income, the quality of its data would decline, says Scott Sinclair

The Guardian Technology section’s Free Our Data campaign believes that Ordnance Survey’s core mapping, along with other public-sector information, “should be made freely available to the knowledge economy” (Digital Norway sweeps away barriers to information sharing, September 27).

At the same time, any moves we make to widen access, such as launching a new website for people to share walking routes, are simply seen as not good enough. You quote an Ogle Earth blog attacking us for “entering a market niche that is serviced much better and for free by the private sector” (Government opens data channel as Ordnance Survey takes a walk, September 20).

It is no surprise that the spotlight in this campaign is often on us. Mapping is incredibly popular and has a whole range of uses. The ambulance that arrives at your front door in the middle of the night, the sat-nav that takes you to your remote holiday cottage, and the local-authority call centre that lets you report the location of an abandoned car all rely on Ordnance Survey.

But in repeatedly calling for our core information to be given away, the campaign ignores the fact that someone still has to collect supposedly “free” data, and that it needs to be supported by an appropriate infrastructure. Out-of-date or poor-quality data is useless.

It cost Ordnance Survey 110m to collect, maintain and supply our data last year, but we are not “paid for by taxes”, as the campaign often claims. Instead, we depend entirely on receipts from licensing and direct sales to customers for our income – we receive no tax funding at all.

If we are successful, we can cover our costs, encourage widespread licensing through partners, and stay focused on providing value for users. Under licence, there are many examples where our data is free at the point of use. This does not mean there is zero cost.

Many local-authority websites and free-to-air services from private-sector companies embed Ordnance Survey information. We offer an emergency mapping service that helped in the response to the summer flooding. More than 30,000 university students and staff download free mapping from us.

We make a free OS Explorer Map available for every Year 7 pupil in Britain. Around 4 million children have benefited from this, making it the biggest initiative of its kind in British schools. We also provide free access to GPS survey control data over the web – vital for utilities and the construction industry.

Underpinning all of these examples is accurate and up-to-date information, which requires investment. Experience from around the world, and even from our own history between the world wars, shows that underinvestment can lead to a severe deterioration in quality.

The key aim of the Free Our Data campaign is to force us to give everything away. We believe this would seriously threaten the quality of our information at a time when more people are relying on more of it in more ways than ever before.

Scott Sinclair is head of corporate communications at Ordnance Survey

corporatecommunications@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Guardian

Looks like Scott Sinclair has Pronoun Problems

First of all, the facts:

Ordnance Survey (OS) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government. It is the national mapping agency for Great Britain,[1] and one of the world’s largest producers of maps.

[…]

In recent years there have been a number of criticisms of Ordnance Survey. Most of these centre on the argument that OS possesses a virtual government monopoly on geographic data in the UK.[2] Although OS is a government agency it is required to act as a “trading fund” or commercial entity. This means that it is totally self funding from the commercial sale of its data whilst at the same time being the public supplier of geographical information.

The Guardian newspaper has a long-running “Free Our Data” campaign, calling for the raw data gathered by the OS (not to mention data gathered on its behalf by local authorities at public expense) to be made freely available for reuse by individuals and companies, as happens, for example, with such data in the USA,[3] although the campaign rarely makes any comparison between the quality of the OS data and the quality of the data available from these free sources.[citation needed]

On the 7 April 2006 the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) received a complaint from the data management company Intelligent Addressing[4]. Many, although not all, complaints were upheld by the OPSI, one of the conclusions being that OS “is offering licence terms which unnecessarily restrict competition”. Negotiations between OS and interested parties are ongoing with regard to the issues raised by the OPSI report, the OS being under no obligation to comply with the report’s recommendations.

[…]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_survey

Ordnance Survey is run by HMG. But the taxpayers do not pay for it. That is completely wrong. Either ORdnance Survey goes private and competes like everyone else, or it belongs to government and government pays for it, and the data is made available to anyone who wants it.

The ‘110m’ Scott Sinclair is whining about is 10m more than HMG are going to spend on Gardasil every year, and orders of magnitude less than they are spending on the immoral illogical and murderous Iraq invasion. There is money for this essential service.

There is absolutely no reason why something as important as Ordnance Survey should not be totally financed by the public, and the public given free access to all the data.

If ‘These maps cost us 110m’ and we pay for them, then they will belong to US since WE will have paid for them.

You say, “any moves we make to widen access”.. YOU are an EMPLOYEE of the state, and that means that YOU WORK FOR THE TAXPAYER in ordinary circumstances. It is not for YOU to say what YOU will and will not withhold from YOUR EMPLOYER.

You say, “The key aim of the Free Our Data campaign is to force us to give everything away. We believe this would seriously threaten the quality of our information at a time when more people are relying on more of it in more ways than ever before.”

This is nonsense, and you have deliberately missed a step. Giving away the data will not “seriously threaten the quality of our information”, underinvestment is the cause of that, by your own words. If the investment stays the same and the data is given away, the quality remains high and the benefits to everyone go through the ceiling because there are no artificial barriers to getting the data.

Better luck next time.

Unfortunately, the position of OS is rather odd; it is a state run organization that is not funded by the state. Once that flaw is fixed, then they will not have a leg to stand on.

What this man should be doing, to be on the right side of history, is joining the campaign; the argument about no money causing the map quality to deteriorate is valid. What he should be saying is, “we would love to give it away, but until HMG funds us 100% we cannot cut off the licensing model, otherwise our data quality will suffer”. This is an entirely reasonable line of argument and approach. He would not look like a luddideish, buggy whip cracking data hoarder and maybe the campaign would actually be able to pull it off.