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Category: Opinion

Web Pioneer Sir Tim Berners-Lee: “We Must Resist These Technologies”

Hot on the heels of Facebook’s Sean Parker’s concerns about his creation, now the man who came up with the concept of the Web Browser expresses his own concerns about the intrusiveness of emerging Internet technologies (what I refer to as “Data Storage and Patterning” technology):

 

The web is 28 years old but these days it often appears to have the growing pains of a teenager.
There’s the scourge of fake news, growing pockets of censorship around the world, the fiery debate over net neutrality and more.

When teens get into trouble, you typically talk to the parents. For the web, that is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who proposed the idea of using a tool called a web browser to visit distinct pages on the internet.

He was recently interviewed at at World Wide Web consortium meeting, and things got interesting, fast.

Reuters
Sir Tim Berners-Lee: “We must resist these technologies.”

When asked if he occasionally felt like Dr. Frankenstein, wondering, “What have I wrought?” while watching the unfolding saga of fake news on the web and its implications for democracies. “Yeah, I have,” he replied.

His concerns during the web’s first 25 years focused on expanding access to more people. But now he thinks the web has become as complex and intricate as a human brain-so the tech industry requires a multi-disciplinary approach to “look out for unintended consequences” and study the impact of services as they are introduced to the world.
But too often web companies just plow ahead without understanding the consequences.
He criticised the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter for creating advertising systems that, for example, incentivised fake-news purveyors.
“They didn’t do that out of malice,” Berners-Lee said. “They did it completely commercially, not even caring about who won the election. But Google gave them money [to do it], and that trained them to think of headlines like, ‘Hillary really wants Trump to win.'”
Berners-Lee was also asked if he was worried that big tech companies have too much power.
He said the giants of the past, like AT&T, AOL and Microsoft, were once considered unassailable, only to be upended by unexpected competitors: “It’s amazing how quickly people can pick stuff up on the internet; it’s also amazing how quickly they can drop it,” he said. That said, he worries that “you can’t imagine having such a strong dominance in these markets without losing out on innovation.”
Turning abroad, we discussed efforts to censor internet content.
Early in the web’s history, there was a belief that “information wants to be free”-that internet users would find ways to route around attempts at censorship. Berners-Lee conceded that thinking was a “a bit simplistic.”
He says there’s “no magic recipe that the internet will be able to solve censorship, so censorship is something we have to protest against.”
Obliquely referencing countries that restrict internet content he said: “Openness is a sign of a strong government. You can be strong in lots of different ways. The ability to be strong enough to allow people to see the alternative views of the opposition is a particular strength which I hope various countries will find.”
Berners-Lee also said it was important for people to be able to own and control their own data and that companies should think twice before assuming it’s a business asset.
“It used to be said that data is the new oil,” he said. “Personally, I think it’s like nuclear fuel. It’s becoming toxic. Two years ago, the question from the board was, ‘How are we monetising the data?’ Now the question is, “How are we protecting ourselves from the damage of this getting out?'”
I asked Berners-Lee if he owned a connected assistant like the Amazon Echo or Google Home.
The answer, he said, is no; he believes that when conversations and queries are recorded in our home and transferred to the cloud, they inevitably become vulnerable to intruders and accessible to prying governments.
Sounding very unlike the web pioneer who created the web nearly three decades ago, he vowed, “We must resist these technologies.”
– Bloomberg

https://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/98850665/the-father-of-the-web-confronts-his-creation

See Also:

Sean Parker: Facebook was designed to exploit human “vulnerability”

White Rabbits, White Pickups and White Washes: Police Incompetence

I watched with horror on the TV news the other night as Police officers in Providence pursued a white pickup truck, based on information that an escaped felon had abandoned a stolen Police car in favour of a “a white pickup”. "white pickup"

Now, I don’t know how many “white pickups” are cruising the streets over there, but there must be a few. In this case the Law picked a seemingly random target and chose to pursue it in typical “cops and robbers, reality TV” dramatic style. The result was disastrous, incompetent and an unnecessary Judge Dredd style execution., despite the claims that it was necessary “to protect the public”.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rhode-island/articles/2017-11-10/police-no-weapons-found-in-truck-officers-shot-on-i-95

In this day and age of high tech law enforcement gadgetry that would make Batman envious, surely there are more efficient methods of dealing with suspects who fail to pull over and co operate? We can read a license plate from outer space; we have surveillance drones that can outpace a Lamborghini; some vehicles can be remotely disabled.

How hard would it have been to follow the pickup truck to it’s destination covertly and without fuss?

Better still, do a quick of ALL white pickup trucks in the area and track them until you get the RIGHT white pickup?

As for the claim that the guy had to shot and killed (he was unarmed) because he was endangering the public? Shoot the car’s tires out? Shoot to disable as a last resort? Hell, they fired FORTY rounds into this guy, and wounded his passenger in the process.

There is no justification whatsoever for the incompetent and inefficient procedures that were followed during this failed attempt to apprehend the wrong guy, in the wrong car, at the wrong place and time.

Whether he had good reason to evade the police or whether he just panicked, we may never know.

Dead men tell no tales.

Martin H

 

Microchip Brain Implant To Unlock “Mankind’s True Potential” ? No Thanks!

SUPER HUMANS could exist in just 15 years thanks to a computer chip inserted into the brain to unlock the mankind’s full potential.
By SEAN MARTIN
PUBLISHED: 12:19, Thu, Nov 9, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:24, Fri, Nov 10, 2017

Bryan Johnson outlines plan to put a CHIP in your brain
People will be able to buy new memories and delete unwanted ones in the near future as experts believe they are close to biohacking the body’s most powerful tool, according to a leading technology entrepreneur.

Speaking at Lisbon’s Web Summit, Bryan Johnson, the founder of Kernel – a start-up researching the possibilities of microchips being inserted on the brain – says unlocking the true potential of the mind is the “single greatest thing” humanity can achieve.
Kernel’s first step is to design chips that can help fight disease, but then it hopes to evolve the brain to offer superhuman abilities.
The firm’s website reads: “To further explore our own human boundaries, a wave of new technologies needs to emerge that can access, read, and write from the most powerful tool we have — the human brain.

chips inserted brain

GETTY
Chips inserted in brains will give us MIND-BLOWING abilities within years

Read more

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/877457/brain-function-dementia-super-power-human-kernel

 

Yes, yet more evidence of the transhuman agenda rapidly progressing.

Computer chips will give us “mindblowing” lobotomies and turn us into robotised zombies living in an artificially generated, holographic reality-simulation. It’s already well under construction. 
“Welcome to the Matrix. Neo”.

And what’s more, our brains are perfect as they are. We have indeed only just begun to unlock it’s TRUE POTENTIAL and THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE AFRAID OF: Hence the desire to chip us and turn off our minds.

This music video sums up the situation better than my words ever could:

From Superpower To Incompetence, by Paul Craig Roberts

From Superpower to Incompetence
Paul Craig Roberts
Having grown up during the second half of the 20th century, I don’t recognize my country today. I experienced life in a competent country, and now I experience life in an incompetent country.

Superpower incompetent
Everything is incompetent. The police are incompetent. They shoot children, grandmothers, cripples, and claim that they feared for their life.
Washington’s foreign police is incompetent. Washington has alienated the world with its insane illegal attacks on other countries. Today the United States and Israel are the two most distrusted countries on earth and the two countries regarded as the greatest threat to peace.
The military/security complex is incompetent. The national security state is so incompetent that it was unable to block the most humiliating attack in history against a superpower that proved to be entirely helpless as a few people armed with box cutters and an inability to fly an airplane destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon itself. The military industries have produced at gigantic cost the F-35 that is no match for the Russian fighters or even for the F-15s and F-16s it is supposed to replace.
The media is incompetent. I can’t think of an accurate story that has been reported in the 21st century. There must be one, but it doesn’t come to mind.
The universities are incompetent. Instead of hiring professors to teach the students, the universities hire administrators to regulate them. Instead of professors, there are presidents, vice presidents, chancellors, vice chancellors, provosts, vice provosts, assistant provosts, deans, associate deans, assistant deans. Instead of subject matter there is speech regulation and sensitivity training. Universities spend up to 75% of their budgets on administrators, many of whom have outsized incomes.
The public schools have been made incompetent by standardized national testing. The purpose of education today is to pass some test. School accreditation and teachers’ pay depend not on developing the creativity or independent thinking of those students capable of it, but on herding them through memory work for a standardized test.
One could go on endlessly.
Instead, I will relate a story of everyday incompetences that have prevented me from writing this week and for a few more days yet.
Recently, while away from my home, a heavy equipment operator working on a nearby construction site managed to drive under power lines with the fork lift raised. Instead of breaking the wire, it snapped the pole in half that conveyed electric power to my house. The power company came out, or, as I suspect, an outsourced contractor, who reestablished power to my home but did not check that the neutral wire was still attached. Consequently for a week or so my house experiened round the clock surges of high voltage that blew out the surge protection, breaker box, and every appliance in the house. Expecting my return, the house was inspected, and the discovery was that there was no power. Back came the power company and discovered that high voltage was feeding into the house and had destroyed everything plugged in.
So. Here we have a moron operating heavy equipment who does not understand that he cannot drive under power lines with the lift raised. We have a power company or its outsourced contractor who does not understand that power cannot be reconnected without making certain that the neutral wire is still connected.
So every appliance is fried. Glass everywhere from blown out light bulbs. We are talking thousands of dollars.
This is America today. And the incompetents ruling incompetents want war with Iran, Korea, Russia, China. Considering the extraordinary level of incompetence throughout the United States, I guarantee you that we will not win these wars.

From Superpower to Incompetence

Paul Craig Roberts

The Paradise Papers: Queen’s Private Cash-Stash Exposed

This has always been something that angers me, so it’s about time the MSM turned their spotlight on the subject. Elite tax havens: Trillions of dollars of “dead” money sitting rotting in tax havens while millions struggle to survive. This is what’s wrong (among other things) with the United nations 2030 Agenda and the whole “do with less so others can have more” line we’re being fed, while those preaching the Austerity Gospel sit like fat dragons on their hoards of treasure. Prince Charles on his soapbox about saving the planet while mommy dodges taxes that are supposed to pay for her subjects to sweep the streets and take away the trash. Hypocrisy in the extreme.

….And no, it isn’t illegal, but is it ethical?

Martin H

Queen tax haven

A huge leak of 13.4 million documents from an offshore law firm and a trust company in Singapore is drawing comparisons to last year’s Panama Papers scandal.
The documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, were obtained by the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The papers “show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants,” the ICIJ wrote on Sunday.
The names of more than 120 politicians in nearly 50 countries appear in the 1.4 terabyte data leak, along with figures from the worlds of sports and business.

Among public figures linked to the documents was the Queen’s private estate which has millions of pounds invested in the tax havens, the BBC reported.
It is alleged that the Duchy of Lancaster, which handles the Queen’s investments, has held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Around GBP10 million ($NZ22m) of the Queen’s private cash is said to have been tied up in offshore portfolios, the BBC reports.
There is nothing to suggest that any investments are illegal.
The documents show that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the Trump administration’s point man on trade and manufacturing policy, has a stake in a company that does business with a gas producer partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the ICIJ, Ross is an investor in Navigator Holdings, a shipping giant that counts Russian gas and petrochemical producer Sibur among its major customers. Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov once owned more than 20 per cent of the company, but now holds a much smaller stake….

Read The rest:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11940833

queen reptile tax haven

JFK Files: Hitler Living In Colombia According To CIA Informant, But Is It “New” News?

 

Hitler CIA Colombia

You’ve heard all about it in the MSM no doubt. Here’s the file in PDF:

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/HITLER%2C%20ADOLF_0003.pdf

And here’s the MSM buzz for those that want it:

“The CIA was told about a man claiming to be Adolf Hitler who lived in Colombia among a community of ex-Nazis during the Fifties, declassified documents reveal.
Agents did not take the claim made by a former SS soldier seriously, however the station chief in Caracas did forward the claims to superiors complete with a photo.
The files show that a man named Phillip Citroen approached agents in 1954 to say he had met a man claiming to be Hitler and living in the town of Tunja, north of Bogota.
By the time agents took any action the man claiming to be the Fuhrer – who was called Adolf Schuttlemayer – had apparently fled to Argentina. However the CIA was clearly extremely skeptical of the claims and recommended the matter be “dropped”.

The claims have resurfaced now after Colombian journalist Jose Cardenas tweeted the files from the CIA archive that were declassified in the Nineties, the MailOnline reported.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11939192

This was the most objective news report on the matter I could find, stating correctly that A: this is information that has been available since the 90’s, and B: that the CIA expressed considerable doubt about the information.

There you go.

Regulation Is Killing Community Banks. Public Ownership Can Revive Them.

Regulation Is Killing Community Banks. Public Ownership Can Revive Them.

Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.
At his confirmation hearing in January 2017, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said, “regulation is killing community banks.” If the process is not reversed, he warned, we could “end up in a world where we have four big banks in this country.” That would be bad for both jobs and the economy. “I think that we all appreciate the engine of growth is with small and medium-sized businesses,” said Mnuchin. “We’re losing the ability for small- and medium-sized banks to make good loans to small and medium-sized businesses in the community, where they understand those credit risks better than anybody else.”
The number of U.S. banks with assets under $100 million dropped from 13,000 in 1995 to under 1,900 in 2014. The regulatory burden imposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act exacerbated this trend, with community banks losing market share at double the rate during the four years after 2010 as in the four years before. But the number had already dropped to only 2,625 in 2010. What happened between 1995 and 2010?
Six weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, the 1,100 page Patriot Act was dropped on congressional legislators, who were required to vote on it the next day. The Patriot Act added provisions to the 1970 Bank Secrecy Act that not only expanded the federal government’s wiretapping and surveillance powers but outlawed the funding of terrorism, imposing greater scrutiny on banks and stiff criminal penalties for non-compliance. Banks must now collect and verify customer-provided information, check names of customers against lists of known or suspected terrorists, determine risk levels posed by customers, and report suspicious persons, organizations and transactions. One small banker complained that banks have been turned into spies secretly reporting to the federal government. If they fail to comply, they can face stiff enforcement actions, whether or not actual money-laundering crimes are alleged.

In 2010, one small New Jersey bank pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act and was fined $5 million for failure to file suspicious-activity and cash-transaction reports. The bank was acquired a few months later by another bank. Another small New Jersey bank was ordered to shut down a large international wire transfer business because of deficiencies in monitoring for suspicious transactions. It closed its doors after it was hit with $8 million in fines over its inadequate monitoring policies.
Complying with the new rules demands a level of technical expertise not available to ordinary mortals, requiring the hiring of yet more specialized staff and buying more anti-laundering software. Small banks cannot afford the risk of massive fines or the added staff needed to avoid them, and that burden is getting worse. In February 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed a new rule that would add a new category requiring the flagging of suspicious “cyberevents.” According to an April 2017 article in American Banker:

[T]he “cyberevent” category requires institutions to detect and report all varieties of digital mischief, whether directed at a customer’s account or at the bank itself. …
Under a worst-case scenario, a bank’s failure to detect a suspicious [email] attachment or a phishing attack could theoretically result in criminal prosecution, massive fines and additional oversight.

One large bank estimated that the proposed change with the new cyberevent reporting requirement would cost it an additional $9.6 million every year.
Besides the cost of hiring an army of compliance officers to deal with a thousand pages of regulations, banks have been hit with increased capital requirements imposed by the Financial Stability Board under Basel III, eliminating the smaller banks’ profit margins. They have little recourse but to sell to the larger banks, which have large compliance departments and can skirt the capital requirements by parking assets in off-balance-sheet vehicles.
In a September 2014 article titled “The FDIC’s New Capital Rules and Their Expected Impact on Community Banks,” Richard Morris and Monica Reyes Grajales noted that “a full discussion of the rules would resemble an advanced course in calculus,” and that the regulators have ignored protests that the rules would have a devastating impact on community banks. Why? The authors suggested that the rules reflect “the new vision of bank regulation—that there should be bigger and fewer banks in the industry.” That means bank consolidation is an intended result of the punishing rules.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, sponsor of the Financial CHOICE Act downsizing Dodd-Frank, concurs. In a speech in July 2015, he said:
Since the passage of Dodd-Frank, the big banks are bigger and the small banks are fewer. But because Washington can control a handful of big established firms much easier than many small and zealous competitors, this is likely an intended consequence of the Act. Dodd-Frank concentrates greater assets in fewer institutions. It codifies into law ‘Too Big to Fail’ … . [Emphasis added.]
Dodd-Frank institutionalizes “too big to fail” by authorizing the biggest banks to “bail in” or confiscate their creditors’ money in the event of insolvency. The legislation ostensibly reining in the too-big-to-fail banks has just made them bigger. Wall Street lobbyists were well known to have their fingerprints all over Dodd-Frank.
Restoring Community Banking: The Model of North Dakota
Killing off the community banks with regulation means killing off the small and medium-size businesses that rely on them for funding, along with the local economies that rely on those businesses. Community banks service local markets in a way that the megabanks with their standardized lending models are not interested in or capable of.
How can the community banks be preserved and nurtured? For some ideas, we can look to a state where they are still thriving—North Dakota. In an article titled “How One State Escaped Wall Street’s Rule and Created a Banking System That’s 83% Locally Owned,” Stacy Mitchell writes that North Dakota’s banking sector bears little resemblance to that of the rest of the country:

With 89 small and mid-sized community banks and 38 credit unions, North Dakota has six times as many locally owned financial institutions per person as the rest of the nation. And these local banks and credit unions control a resounding 83 percent of deposits in the state—more than twice the 30 percent market share that small and mid-sized financial institutions have nationally.

Their secret is the century-old Bank of North Dakota (BND), the nation’s only state-owned depository bank, which partners with and supports the state’s local banks. In an April 2015 article titled “Is Dodd-Frank Killing Community Banks? The More Important Question is How to Save Them,” Matt Stannard writes:
Public banks offer unique benefits to community banks, including collateralization of deposits, protection from poaching of customers by big banks, the creation of more successful deals, and … regulatory compliance. The Bank of North Dakota, the nation’s only public bank, directly supports community banks and enables them to meet regulatory requirements such as asset to loan ratios and deposit to loan ratios. … [I]t keeps community banks solvent in other ways, lessening the impact of regulatory compliance on banks’ bottom lines.
We know from FDIC data in 2009 that North Dakota had almost 16 banks per 100,000 people, the most in the country. A more important figure, however, is community banks’ loan averages per capita, which was $12,000 in North Dakota, compared to only $3,000 nationally. … During the last decade, banks in North Dakota with less than $1 billion in assets have averaged a stunning 434 percent more small business lending than the national average.
The BND has been very profitable for the state and its citizens—more profitable, according to the Wall Street Journal, than JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The BND does not compete with local banks but partners with them, helping with capitalization and liquidity and allowing them to take on larger loans that would otherwise go to larger out-of-state banks.
In order to help rural lenders with regulatory compliance, in 2011 the BND was directed by the state legislature to get into the rural home mortgage origination business. Rural banks that saw only three to five mortgages a year could not shoulder the regulatory burden, leading to business lost to out-of-state banks. After a successful pilot program, SB 2064, establishing the Mortgage Origination Program, was signed by North Dakota’s governor on April 3, 2013. It states that the BND may establish a residential mortgage loan program under which the Bank may originate residential mortgages if private sector mortgage loan services are not reasonably available. Under this program a local financial institution or credit union may assist the Bank in taking a loan application, gathering required documents, ordering required legal documents, and maintaining contact with the borrower. At a hearing on the bill, Rick Clayburgh, President of the North Dakota Bankers Association, testified in its support:

Over the past years because of the regulatory burdens our banks face by the passage of Dodd Frank, and now the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it has become very prohibitive for a number of our banks to provide residential mortgage services anymore. We two years ago worked both with the Independent Community Bankers Association, and our Association and the Bank of North Dakota to come up with the idea in this program to help the bank provide services into the parts of the state that really residential mortgaging has seized up. We have a number of our banks that have terminated doing mortgage loans in their communities. They have stopped the process because they cannot afford to be written up by their regulator.

Under the Mortgage Origination Program, local banks get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee for sending rural mortgage loans to the BND. If the BND touches the money first, the onus is on it to deal with the regulators, something it can afford to do by capitalizing on economies of scale. The local bank thus avoids having to deal with regulatory compliance while keeping its customer.
The BND is the only model of a publicly-owned depository bank in the US; but in Germany, the publicly-owned Sparkassen banks operate a network of over 15,600 branches and are the financial backbone supporting Germany’s strong local business sector. In the matter of regulatory compliance, they too capitalize on economies of scale, by providing a compliance department that pools resources to deal with the onerous regulations imposed on banks by the EU.
The BND and the Sparkassen are proven models for maintaining the viability of local credit and banking services. It is time other states followed North Dakota’s lead, not only to protect their local communities and local banks, but to bolster their revenues, escape the noose of Washington and Wall Street, and provide a bail-in-proof depository for their public funds.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, a Senior Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, and author of 12 books, including “Web of Debt” and “The Public Bank Solution.” A 13th book titled “The Coming Revolution in Banking” is due out this winter. She also co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money.” Her 300-plus blog articles are posted at EllenBrown.com.

Kingmaker Puts NZ In The Red

Yes, As all kiwis will now well and truly know, NZ First leader Winston ” Kingmaker ” Peters, after employing his well practised flair for showmanship by keeping the media in suspense for days while has a nice little chat and a cuppa with Bill English (National/Democratic Independent Union) and Jacinda Ardern (Labour/Progressive Alliance), has crowned The Red Queen. Not really a surprise in hindsight considering the spectacular last minute switch of Labour leader and subsequent media frenzy over charismatic Fabian Ardern.

kingmaker

To be honest, I’m impressed with the show that the NWO has put on for us. The most entertaining elections puppet-show we’ve had in New Zealand politics for a long time, and a fitting last performance for Winston Peters, who’s been loving every minute of it.

It will be very interesting to see what unfolds!

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/341979/the-moment-ardern-knew-peters-would-choose-labour

Ardern

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