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Monthly Archives: August 2011

http://www.openfilm.com/v/27189?c1=0x767676&c2=0x0F0F0F

(Void Mirror) Documentary film exploring the rise of mechanistic philosphy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarhical systems. Topics covered include behaviorism, scientific management, work-place democracy, schooling, frustration-aggression hypothesis and human experimentation.

Blogger Evan Long wrote about the film : Metanoia’s “Human Resources,” a follow-up to “Psywar,” concerns those social systems currently in effect which tend to induce a transformation in the free-born, natural human beings who enter them into spiritually broken worker-consumer drones and the behaviorist psychological theories which contributed directly to their development. (Contrary to widespread misconception, the corporate jargon term in question, “human resources,” does not refer to “resources for humans” but rather, “those resources which are human.”) As the gears of this terrible machine turn, a certain type of “progress” is made, one which leads directly toward the total enslavement of mankind. “Human Resources” is a fairly direct confrontation of the non-recognition of the intrinsic value of life which lies at the heart of psychopathy.

For more info about Metanoia film collective: http://metanoia-films.org/index.php

Source:
http://voidmirror.blogspot.com/2011/08/human-resources-social-engineering-in.html

(thinq.co.uk) Right-wing Muslim-baiting nut-jobs the English Defence League have come in for a bit of a poking with a sharp stick wielded by hackers with a conscience.

#TeamPrinc3ss is credited with a part in the hack, though to be honest we don’t really know what that means. Twitterer froobze , has something to do with it, describing him/herself as ‘Social engineer of Team Princess and media representative’, as we twits from his ‘secret bunker’ somewhere.

The hack may have something to do with Anonymous,  orTeamprinc3ss is a splinter group, or a separate gang with similar aims or something else entirely.

What we do know is that the website http://englishdefenceleague.org/ is currently offline in what is claimed as a take-down by someone or other.

We’re guessing this is a UK-based initiative – who else has heard of the EDL? The group seems to have emerged from Luton and is proud to claim a selection of different races amongst their number. The outfit claims not to be racist – it just wants to get rid of the Muslims.

Some hope.

(eagainst.com) Zeit Campus , 27/06/2011

ZEIT Campus:Professor Chomsky, you are not only one of the most quoted scholars of the world. For 45 years, you have been a political activist. When one looks at politics today, one must ask: Can “public intellectuals” like yourself accomplish anything?

Noam Chomsky: How can you ask that question?

ZEIT Campus: There is war in Afghanistan. The world suffers in the consequences of the economic crisis. The social gap grows more and more.

Chomsky: The problem is simple. Most intellectuals are servants of power and counsel governments. They call themselves experts; they have sought prestige for centuries, not only today. However every society has critical intellectuals at its edges. Both types have influence: the servants of power and the dissidents.

ZEIT Campus: We are still skeptical. What have you changed in the past 45 years?

Chomsky: I personally did not change anything. I was part of a movement and this movement accomplished many things. The world today is fundamentally different from the world 45 years ago. The actions for civil rights, human rights, women’s rights and environmental protection, resistance against oppression and violence have substantially influenced the world. I cannot understand how you can argue nothing has changed.

ZEIT Campus: Do you believe the world is better today than 40 or 50 years ago?

Chomsky: Obviously! Walk along the open fields here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Half of the students are women; a third belongs to an ethnic minority. People are dressed more casually and are engaged for all possible things. This place was very different when I came here 50 years ago. Then you saw white men, formally dressed and only interested in their own work. You could see the same development in Germany and all over the world.

ZEIT Campus: But are students more political? Today’s generation is often reproached for being disinterested in the world.

Chomsky: I think that reproach is false. The period of high politization at the universities was very short — from 1968 to 1970. Before that, students were apolitical. Consider the Vietnam War, one of the greatest crimes since the Second World War. Four or five years went by until some form of visible protest stirred in the US. That quickly ebbed away in the 1970s. The mood was very different before the Iraq war. To my knowledge, the Iraq war was the first war in history where there were demonstrations before it began. My students missed the lectures to demonstrate. That would never have happened 50 years ago. The protests did not prevent the war but limited it. The US was never able to do in Iraq a fraction of what it had done in Vietnam.

ZEIT Campus: Were those protests only a straw fire?

Chomsky: No. The politization today is much greater than in the 1950s. Forms of lasting activism developed that enabled many of our battles to be won. For example, there was a continuous progress in women’s rights. If I had asked my grandmother whether she was oppressed, she wouldn’t have known what I was talking about. My mother said: “I am oppressed but I don’t know what to do!” My daughter would shout to me after such a question: Our world is more human!

ZEIT Campus: Do you believe in historical progress?

Chomsky: Progress is slow but dramatic over long time horizons. Think of the abolition of slavery or the development of freedom of expression. Rights are not simply bestowed. People who joined forces and banded together realized them. Still progress is not a linear development. There are also times of backward steps.

ZEIT Campus: If there are times of progress and times of backward steps, will the world be better in 50 years than today?

Chomsky: What will be in 50 years depends strongly on what the young generation does today. Two great dangers threaten the existence of the world: our relation to the environment and the danger that starts from nuclear weapons. If we do not champion environmental protection more vigorously today, we could be mired in a grave environmental crisis in 50 years, let alone the risks of nuclear weapons. The terrible catastrophe of Fukushima reminds us that the non-military use of nuclear power is fraught with extreme risks. We cannot ignore this under any circumstances!

ZEIT Campus: In 60 years students of today will be as old as you. What must they do to look back on their life with satisfaction?

Chomsky: Naturally they could say they lived contentedly with friends, children and fun. But to really lead a fulfilled and satisfying life, they should recognize problems and contribute to solving them. If they cannot look back at 80 and say “I have accomplished something!,” then their life will not have succeeded.

ZEIT Campus: At 82, are you satisfied with what you achieved?

Chomsky: Being satisfied is impossible. My life has too many dimensions, family, profession, politics and several others. In some areas I am satisfied but not in others. The problems of this world are quite great. Inequality in the US is at the level of the 1920s and the economy still has tremendous influence in our society. I cannot be satisfied!

ZEIT Campus: Political engagement like yours is rare among scholars. Are you sometimes furious at the “servants of power” as you say or at professor colleagues who only concentrate on their academic work?

Chomsky: I consider it immoral to be a supporter of a power system. However that does not mean that I am furious at anyone. Scholars per se do not have deeper political insights than other persons and are not morally superior to others. But they are obligated to help politicians seek and find the truth.

ZEIT Campus: That sounds like you are becoming mild in old age.

Chomsky: No. My views and attitudes have not changed in the course of the decades. I still believe what I believed as a teenager.

ZEIT Campus: Is that good — to still believe what you believed almost 70 years ago?

Chomsky: Yes, when fundamental principles are involved. Obviously I have changed my opinions in many questions — but my ideals are the same!

ZEIT Campus: You often say you are an anarchist. What do you mean by that?

Chomsky: Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time. Then anarchists work at unmasking and mastering the structures, whether they involve patriarchal families, a Mafia international system or the private tyrannies of the economy, the corporation.

ZEIT Campus: What was the key experience that made you an anarchist?

Chomsky: There was none. When I was twelve years old, I began to go to secondhand bookshops. Many of them were run by anarchists who came from Spain. Therefore it seemed very natural to me to be an anarchist.

ZEIT Campus: Should all students become anarchists?

Chomsky: Yes. Students should challenge authorities and join a long anarchist tradition.

ZEIT Campus: “Challenge authorities” — a liberal or a moderate leftist could accept that invitation.

Chomsky: As soon as one identifies, challenges and overcomes illegitimate power, he or she is an anarchist. Most people are anarchists. What they call themselves doesn’t matter to me.

ZEIT Campus: Who or what must challenge today’s student generation?

Chomsky: This world is full of suffering, distress, violence and catastrophes. Students must decide: does something concern you or not? I say: look around, analyze the problems, ask yourself what you can do and set out on the work!

Translation courtesy of IndyBay, correction to this version courtesy Daniel Whitesell

Source: http://eagainst.com/articles/noam-chomsky-students-should-become-anarchists/

(eff.org) What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm.

What’s worse than discovering that someone has launched a man-in-the-middle attack against Iranian Google users, silently intercepting everything from email to search results and possibly putting Iranian activists in danger? Discovering that this attack has been active for two months.

People all over the world use Google services for sensitive or private communications every day. Google enables encrypted connections to these services in order to protect users from spying by those who control the network, such as ISPs and governments. Today, the security of this encryption relies entirely on certificates issued by certificate authorities (CAs), which continue to prove vulnerable to attack. When an attacker obtains a fraudulent certificate, he can use it to eavesdrop on the traffic between a user and a website even while the user believes that the connection is secure.

The certificate authority system was created decades ago in an era when the biggest on-line security concern was thought to be protecting users from having their credit card numbers intercepted by petty criminals. Today Internet users rely on this system to protect their privacy against nation-states. We doubt it can bear this burden.

This latest attack was reportedly caught by a user running the Google Chrome browser in Iran who noticed a warning produced by the “public key pinning” feature which Google introduced in May of this year. Basically, Google hard-coded the fingerprints for its own sites’ encryption keys into Chrome, and told the browser to simply ignore contrary information from certificate authorities. That meant that even if an attacker got a hold of a fake certificate for a Google site—as this attacker did—newer versions of the Chrome browser would not be fooled.

Certificate authorities have been caught issuing fraudulent certificates in at least half a dozen high-profile cases in the past two years and EFF has voiced concerns that the problem may be even more widespread. But this is the first time that a fake certificate is known to have been successfully used in the wild. Even worse, the certificate in this attack was issued on July 10th 2011, almost two months ago, and may well have been used to spy on an unknown number of Internet users in Iran from the moment of its issuance until it was revoked earlier today. To be effective, fraudulent certificates do not need to have been issued by the same authority that issued the legitimate certificates. For example, the certificate in question here was issued by a Dutch certificate authority with which Google had no business relationship at all; that didn’t make it any less acceptable to web browsers.

As the problems with the certificate authority system become clear, lots of people are working on ways to detect and mitigate these attacks. Chrome’s pinning feature is available not only to Google web sites but to any webmaster; if you run an HTTPS site, you can contact the Chrome developers and get your site’s keys hard-coded. Other browser vendors may implement a similar feature soon. The same result could also be achieved by giving web sites themselves a way to tell browsers what certificates to anticipate—and efforts to do this are now underway, building on top of DNSSEC or HSTS. Then browsers could simply not believe conflicting information, or at least provide a meaningful way to report it or warn the user about the situation.

EFF’s own SSL Observatory aims to find attacks of this kind in the wild. Soon, our ability to do this will be expanded significantly as we deploy distributed certificate reporting features in HTTPS Everywhere and other browser add-on software; this will let users choose to tell us about the certificates they encounter for the sites they visit, letting us or other researchers or webmasters notice when people on a particular network or in a particular country are presented with an unusual certificate for a site. A new browser add-on called Convergence also aims to replace the certificate authority system entirely with a distributed reporting mechanism inspired by Perspectives. There are also further-reaching proposals to create new infrastructure for securely distributing cryptographic keys, and EFF is actively involved in research in this area.

The good news is that the computer security community is now taking this threat very seriously. Unfortunately, the bad news is spectacularly bad: users in Iran (or on any network where an eavesdropper had the key to this certificate) may have been vulnerable for two months. What’s more, there are hundreds of certificate authorities in dozens of jurisdictions, and several have been tricked into issuing false certificates. So there may well be other certificates like this out there that we don’t know about. That means almost all Internet users are still vulnerable to this sort of attack.

Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/08/iranian-man-middle-attack-against-google

(dailybail.com) With BAC stock trading under $8, the damage is already done, but we at least now know why the files were never released.

FT

Bank of America may just have dodged a bullet when it comes to the stash of its confidential information that was said last year to be in the hands of Wikileaks.  After an internal feud, a break-away member of Wikileaks has told Spiegel Online that he has destroyed information that he took from the organisation – and Wikileaks itself says that includes 5 gigabytes of information from Bank of America.

Der Spiegel

Tensions between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and ex-spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg have escalated. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, the former deputy destroyed thousands of unpublished documents entrusted to WikiLeaks. The information they contained appears to be lost forever.

Former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg claims to have destroyed more than 3,500 unpublished files obtained from unknown informants. The information they contained is now apparently lost, irrevocably. The documents in question were stored on the WikiLeaks server until late summer 2010, when Domscheit-Berg left the organization , taking the files with him upon his departure.

Now Domscheit-Berg says that these documents were “shredded over the past few days in order to ensure that the sources are not compromised.” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could not guarantee safe handling of the documents, he says.

Source: http://dailybail.com/home/long-awaited-wikileaks-secret-bank-of-america-files-have-bee.html

(guardian.co.uk) Guardian data project reveals link between economic hardship and those taking part in last week’s riots.

(…)

Based on unprecedented access to information from magistrates courts across England, the Guardian’s data project gives a new insight into the riots, shedding light on those accused of involvement, from their age and gender to the length of sentences being handed down.

The data also highlights geographical differences during last week’s unrest. In London, the evidence suggests rioters often looted shops and businesses in or near the areas where they lived. In cities such as Manchester and Birmingham, in contrast, the data appears to indicate that suspects travelled from their homes on the outskirts of the cities, or in some cases satellite towns, to riot and loot in the city centres.

One of the most striking features to emerge is the proportion of those who have appeared in court so far who come from deprived neighbourhoods.

A Liverpool University urban planning lecturer, Alex Singleton, analysed the Guardian’s preliminary data by overlaying the addresses of defendants with the poverty indicators mapped by England’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation, which breaks the country into small geographical areas.

He found that the majority of people who have appeared in court live in poor neighbourhoods, with 41% of suspects living in one of the top 10% of most deprived places in the country. The data also shows that 66% of neighbourhoods where the accused live got poorer between 2007 and 2010.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/18/england-rioters-young-poor-unemployed