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Australia To Enforce Mandatory Internet Censorship

Australia To Enforce Mandatory Chinese-Style Internet Censorship
Government to block “controversial” websites with universal national filter

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
October 29, 2008

The Australian government is set to impose Chinese-style Internet censorship by enforcing a universal national filter that will block websites deemed “controversial,” as part of a wider agenda to regulate the Internet according to free speech advocates.

A provision whereby Internet users could opt out of the filter by contacting their ISP has been stripped from the legislation, meaning the filter will be universal and mandatory.

The System Administrators Guild of Australia and Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked the proposal, saying it will restrict web access, raise prices and slow internet traffic speeds.

The plan was first created as a way to combat child pornography and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia,” reports the Australian Herald Sun.

Communications minister Stephen Conroy revealed the mandatory censorship to the Senate estimates committee as the Global Network Initiative, bringing together leading companies, human rights organisations, academics and investors, committed the technology firms to “protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of their users”. (Complete black is white, up is down, double talk).

Human Rights Watch has condemned internet censorship, and argued to the US Senate “there is a real danger of a Virtual Curtain dividing the internet, much as the Iron Curtain did during the Cold War, because some governments fear the potential of the internet, (and) want to control it.”

Speaking from personal experience, not only are “controversial” websites blocked in China, meaning any website that is critical of the state, but every website the user attempts to visit first has to pass through the “great firewall,” causing the browser to hang and delay while it is checked against a government blacklist.

This causes excruciating delays, and the user experience is akin to being on a bad dial-up connection in the mid 1990’s. Even in the center of Shanghai with a fixed ethernet connection, the user experience is barely tolerable.

Not only are websites in China blocked, but e mails too are scanned for “controversial” words and blocked from being sent if they contain phrases related to politics or obscenities.

Googling for information on certain topics is also heavily restricted. While in China I tried to google “Bush Taiwan,” which resulted in Google.com ceasing to be accessible and my Internet connection was immediately terminated thereafter.

The Australian government will no doubt insist that their filter is in our best interests and is only designed to block child pornography, snuff films and other horrors, yet the system is completely pointless because it will not affect file sharing networks, which is the medium through which the vast majority of such material is distributed.

If we allow Australia to become the first “free” nation to impose Internet censorship, the snowball effect will only accelerate – the U.S. and the UK are next.

Indeed, Prime Minister Tony Blair called for Internet censorship last year.

In April 2007, Time magazine reported that researchers funded by the federal government want to shut down the internet and start over, citing the fact that at the moment there are loopholes in the system whereby users cannot be tracked and traced all the time. The projects echo moves we have previously reported on to clamp down on internet neutrality and even to designate a new form of the internet known as Internet 2.

Moves to regulate the web have increased over the last two years.

– In a display of bi-partisanship, there have been calls for all out mandatory ISP snooping on all US citizens by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

– In December 2006, Republican Senator John McCain tabled a proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards. It is well known that McCain has a distaste for his blogosphere critics, causing a definite conflict of interest where any proposal to restrict blogs on his part is concerned.

– During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News in November 2006, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an “adversarial and ugly climate.”

– The White House’s own de-classified strategy for “winning the war on terror” targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to “diminish” their influence.

– The Pentagon has also announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

– In an October 2006 speech, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a “terror training camp,” through which “disaffected people living in the United States” are developing “radical ideologies and potentially violent skills.” His solution is “intelligence fusion centers,” staffed by Homeland Security personnel which will are already in operation.

– The U.S. Government wants to force bloggers and online grassroots activists to register and regularly report their activities to Congress. Criminal charges including a possible jail term of up to one year could be the punishment for non-compliance.

– A landmark November 2006 legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations sought to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web – and their argument was supported by the U.S. government.

– A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

– The European Union, led by former Stalinist John Reid, has also vowed to shut down “terrorists” who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

– The EU data retention bill, passed after much controversy and implemented in 2007, obliges telephone operators and internet service providers to store information on who called who and who emailed who for at least six months. Under this law, investigators in any EU country, and most bizarrely even in the US, can access EU citizens’ data on phone calls, sms’, emails and instant messaging services.

– The EU also proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

– The US government is also funding research into social networking sites and how to gather and store personal data published on them, according to the New Scientist magazine. “At the same time, US lawmakers are attempting to force the social networking sites themselves to control the amount and kind of information that people, particularly children, can put on the sites.”

Governments are furious that their ceaseless lies are being exposed in real time on the World Wide Web and have resolved to stifle, regulate and control what truly is the last outpost of real free speech in the world. Internet censorship is perhaps the most pertinent issue that freedom advocates should rally to combat over the course of the next few years, lest we allow a cyber-gag to be placed over our mouths and say goodbye to our last medium of free and open communication.

 

DARPA building search engine for video surveillance footage

Ars Technica
October 21, 2008

The government agency that birthed the Internet is developing a sophisticated search engine for video, and when complete will allow intelligence analysts to sift through live footage from spy drones, as well as thousands of hours worth of archived recordings, in order to spot a variety of selected events or behaviors. In the past month, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced nearly $20 million in total contracts for private firms to begin developing the system, which is slated to take until at least 2011 to complete.

According to a prospectus written in March but released only this month, the Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool (VIRAT) will enable intel analysts to “rapidly find video content of interest from archives and provide alerts to the analyst of events of interest during live operations,” taking both conventional video and footage from infrared scanners as input. The VIRAT project is an effort to cope with a growing data glut that has taxed intelligence resources because of the need to have trained human personnel perform time- and labor-intensive review of recorded video.

The DARPA overview emphasizes that VIRAT will not be designed with “face recognition, gait recognition, human identification, or any form of biometrics” in mind. Rather, the system will search for classes of activities or events. A suggested partial list in the prospectus includes digging, loitering, exploding, shooting, smoking, following, shaking hand, exchanging objects, crawling under a car, breaking a window, and evading a checkpoint. As new sample clips are fed into the system, it will need to recognize the signature features of new classes of search terms.

Read Full Article Here

 

EU Set to Move ‘Internet of Things’ Closer to Reality

Daniel Taylor
Old-Thinker News
November 2, 2008

If the world-wide trend continues, ‘Web 3.0′ will be tightly monitored, and will become an unprecedented tool for surveillance. The “Internet of Things”, a digital representation of real world objects and people tagged with RFID chips, and increased censorship are two main themes for the future of the web.

The future of the internet, according to author and “web critic” Andrew Keen, will be monitored by “gatekeepers” to verify the accuracy of information posted on the web. The “Outlook 2009″ report from the November-December issue of The Futurist reports that,

“Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen believes that the anonymity of today’s internet 2.0 will give way to a more open internet 3.0 in which third party gatekeepers monitor the information posted on Web sites to verify its accuracy.”

Keen stated during his early 2008 interview withThe Futurist that the internet, in its current form, has undermined mainline media and empowered untrustworthy “amateurs”, two trends that he wants reversed. “Rather than the empowerment of the amateur, Web 3.0 will show the resurgence of the professional,” states Keen.

Australia has now joined China in implementing mandatory internet censorship, furthering the trend towards a locked down and monitored web.

The Internet of Things

Now, the European Union has announced that it will pursue the main component of Web 3.0, the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media for the EU, “The Internet of the future will radically change our society.” Ultimately, the EU is aiming to “lead the way” in the transformation to Web 3.0.

Reporting on the European Union’s pursuit of the IoT, iBLS reports,

“New technology applications will need ubiquitous Internet coverage. The Internet of Things means that wireless interaction between machines, vehicles, appliances, sensors and many other devices will take place using the Internet. It already makes electronic travel cards possible, and will allow mobile devices to exchange information to pay for things or get information from billboards (or streetlights).”

The Internet of Things consists of objects that are ‘tagged’ with Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) that communicate their position, history, and other information to an RFID reader or wireless network. Most, if not all major computer companies and technology developers (HP, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, etc.) are putting large amounts of time and money into the Internet of Things.

Cisco and Sun Microsystems have founded an alliance to promote the Internet of Things and further its implementation.

South Korea is at the forefront in implementing ubiquitous technology and the Internet of Things. An entire city, New Songdo, is being built in South Korea that fully utilizes the technology. Ubiquitous computing proponents in the United States admit that while a large portion of the technology is being developed in the U.S., it is being tested in South Korea where there are less traditional, ethical and social blockades to prevent its acceptance and use. As the New York Times reports

“Much of this technology was developed in U.S. research labs, but there are fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea,” said Mr. Townsend [a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California], who consulted on Seoul’s own U-city plan, known as Digital Media City. ‘There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards.’

An April 2008 report from the National Intelligence Council discussed the Internet of Things and its possible implications.

A timeline shown in the April 2008 NIC report

The report outlines uses for the technology:

“Sensor networks need not be connected to the Internet and indeed often reside in remote sites, vehicles, and buildings having no Internet connection. Smart dust is a term that some have used to express a vision of tiny, wireless-connected sensors; more recently, others use the term to describe any of several technologies that range from the size of a pack of gum to a pack of cigarettes, and that are widely available to system developers.

Ubiquitous positioning describes technologies for locating objects that may reside anywhere, including indoors and underground locations where satellite signals may be unavailable or otherwise inadequate.

Biometrics enables technology to recognize people and other living things, rather than inanimate objects. Connected everyday objects could recognize authorized users by means of fingerprint, voiceprint, iris scan, or other biometric technology.”

These trends towards internet censorship and the internet of things are undoubtedly going to continue, but restricting your free speech and violating your privacy will be harder with your outspoken resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I3T_kLCBAw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKZm34jsNHY

DARPA spies on analyst brains; hopes to offload image analysis to computers
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20..-image-analysis-to-computers.html

Security services want personal data from sites like Facebook

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/oct/15/terrorism-security

UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/20/government_internet_regulation/

 



Hoover Planned Mass Jailing of Americans In 1950

Hoover Planned Mass Jailing of Americans In 1950

NY Times
December 22, 2007

A newly declassified document shows that J. Edgar Hoover, the longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a plan to suspend habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty.

Hoover sent his plan to the White House on July 7, 1950, 12 days after the Korean War began. It envisioned putting suspect Americans in military prisons.

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to “protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage.” The F.B.I would “apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous” to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under “a master warrant attached to a list of names” provided by the bureau.

The names were part of an index that Hoover had been compiling for years. “The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven per cent are citizens of the United States,” he wrote.

“In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus,” it said.

Habeas corpus, the right to seek relief from illegal detention, has been a fundamental principle of law for seven centuries. The Bush administration’s decision to hold suspects for years at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has made habeas corpus a contentious issue for Congress and the Supreme Court today.

The Constitution says habeas corpus shall not be suspended “unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.” The plan proposed by Hoover, the head of the F.B.I. from 1924 to 1972, stretched that clause to include “threatened invasion” or “attack upon United States troops in legally occupied territory.”

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush issued an order that effectively allowed the United States to hold suspects indefinitely without a hearing, a lawyer, or formal charges. In September 2006, Congress passed a law suspending habeas corpus for anyone deemed an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

But the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the right of American citizens to seek a writ of habeas corpus. This month the court heard arguments on whether about 300 foreigners held at Guantánamo Bay had the same rights. It is expected to rule by next summer.

Read Full Article Here

 



Oil Prices Rise Near $99 As Temps Fall

Oil Prices Rise Near $99 As Temps Fall

AP
November 26, 2007

Oil prices rose to near $99 a barrel Monday with temperatures falling in the United States and Europe and continued weakness for the U.S. dollar.

The Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday marked the unofficial start of winter in the United States. Among other areas, southeastern New Mexico got up to 9 inches of snow and experienced colder than normal temperatures over the holiday weekend. Snow also fell in Germany over the weekend.

“The onset of cold U.S. weather is going to boost fuel demand,” said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery added 75 cents to $98.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, midday in Europe.

On Friday, the contract rose 89 cents to settle at $98.18 a barrel, besting the previous settlement record by 15 cents.

January Brent crude added 68 cents to $96.44 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Meanwhile, the dollar hit a new low against the euro Friday as speculation continued that the American credit crisis will lead to another cut in U.S. interest rates.

“The weakened U.S. dollar remains at record low levels and so we’ve got pricing trying to test $100 again,” Shum said.

Oil futures offer a hedge against a weak dollar, and oil futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the U.S. currency is falling.

Nymex crude prices reached a trading record of $99.29 a barrel on Wednesday, and are within the range of inflation-adjusted highs set in early 1980. Depending on how the adjustment is calculated, $38 a barrel then would be worth $96 to $103 or more today.

“Almost anything could push prices higher from here and we have to expect to see a move to” $100 per barrel this week, said Peter Beutel, president of U.S. energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover, in a research note, listing a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate cut, a weaker U.S. dollar, colder weather forecasts or “any petro-political problem” among the factors which could push oil prices to three digits.

“We have reached the point, though, where the inability to touch or break $100 this week would be seen as rather a spectacular failure,” Beutel wrote. “There is no reason for prices not to hit $100 this week.”

Shum said that data suggesting OPEC is increasing production more quickly than expected is likely to keep a temporary cap on oil prices.

Oil Movements, an oil tanker tracking firm based in Britain, reported that Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil exports are likely to jump by an average of 720,000 barrels a day in the four weeks ended Dec. 8, more than the expected 500,000 barrels per day.

Oil prices rose 43 percent between August and early November on falling domestic inventories, concerns about supply disruptions overseas and, many analysts argue, speculative buying. But recent forecasts have suggested high prices are cutting demand.

Nymex heating oil rose 1.94 cents to $2.7236 a gallon (3.8 liters) while gasoline prices gained 1.70 cents to $2.484 a gallon. Natural gas futures rose 19.6 cents to $7.896 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Forex – Euro retreats after Friday’s failure at 1.50 usd

Forbes
November 26, 2007

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – The euro was a touch lower as the currency continued to retreat after failing to rise past the 1.50 usd level last Friday.

After hitting an all-time high of 1.4968 usd, there was not enough momentum to keep the euro flying. Additionally, the test of the key level came amid thin conditions with at least part of US traders still out after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

As trading resumed in earnest today, the euro found it harder going.

Read Full Article Here

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