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Data Privacy Advocates Alarmed By NHS’s New ‘Contact-Tracing’ App

Data Privacy Advocates Alarmed By NHS’s New ‘Contact-Tracing’ App

As both countries prepare to start unwinding the strict nationwide lockdowns imposed more than 6 weeks ago, the UK and France are collaborating on a new ‘voluntary’ surveillance app purportedly designed to help with ‘contact tracing’ for coronavirus patients.

The Evening Standard reports ministers from both countries have been “liaising” on the development of the new technology, which is expected to be ready within two or three weeks.

But why are the two allies collaborating on building their own ‘surveillance’ app instead of adopting a model proposed by Apple or Google? Well, apparently, British officials felt Apple’s treatment of user privacy was “too cautious”.

The app will use bluetooth to collect data from the phones of everybody one passes; should one of them test positive, a user will be notified.

A consultant to the French government said: “Apple appeared to be much more cautious about protecting client data and privacy than the French or British authorities.”

The smartphone app will track and trace any possibly affected persons near the user. Some have feared its use of Bluetooth could divulge confidential information about people’s locations.

To be sure, Matthew Gould, head of the unit at the NHS that’s in charge of developing the app, has said the location-tracking feature – pretty much the only reason to use the app – would be “opt-in”.

Matthew Gould, head of the NHS unit developing the app, has said the location aspect of the system would be “an opt in” and not compulsory.

“If you want to protect the NHS and stop it being overwhelmed while at the same time want to get the economy moving, the app is going to be part of the essential strategy,” he told the Commons science and technology committee.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Coronavirus Death Toll Nears 100k As Thousands Die In Britain & America: Live Updates

Global Coronavirus Death Toll Nears 100k As Thousands Die In Britain & America: Live Updates

The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide climbed at a rate of roughly 85k overnight yesterday, a rate that was roughly consistent with the prior two days. That would lead scientists to believe that the global outbreak might finally have “plateaued” – word that’s been thrown a lot lately.

Unfortunately, while the number of new cases remained stable, deaths in the US and UK continued to climb. But while thousands of families bid a distant farewell to their loved ones, the Fed’s latest intervention – couched as a lifeline for small business – has sent badly beaten junk bonds on their strongest daily rally since 2009 as spreads collapsed.

Now that the Fed has apparently extinguished credit risk from the market, ensuring that thousands of “zombie” firms will continue to borrow at extremely attractive rates, allowing them to lumber on through another day as ‘moral hazard’ is extinguished. What’s worse, almost, is that no one seems to care. 

With markets around the world closed for Good Friday, and millions of Christians around the world observing the holiday while stuck inside their homes, the biggest story of the day is the fact that the global death toll will likely top 100k before midnight on the East Coast of the US. Roughly 17k – about 20% – of those deaths are from the US.

Then again, it’s extremely likely that the true number of deaths has already passed that number, as more reportsare finding that Americans are almost certainly being left out of the counted dead, just like many Italians and Chinese probably were.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UK: Google data transfer to USA just the start – “possibilities for abuse are enormous”

UK: Google data transfer to USA just the start – “possibilities for abuse are enormous”

UK digital transfer to USA - "possibilities for abuse are enormous"

By TruePublica: Google is planning to move its British users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them under US jurisdiction instead, the company confirmed on 19 February. The shift, prompted by Britain’s exit from the EU, will leave the sensitive personal information of tens of millions with less protection and within easier reach of British law enforcement. But it won’t end there.

Alphabet Inc’s Google intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service including the new jurisdiction.

Nothing about our services or our approach to privacy will change, including how we collect or process data, and how we respond to law enforcement demands for users’ information,” Google said in an emailed statement. “The protections of the UK GDPR will still apply to these users.” If that was true, they would leave it where it was and not go to the expense. This is just the start of much more to come.

Unsurprisingly, a spokesman declined to answer questions.

Mission creep

The British state is the West’s worst offender for breaches of privacy, mass surveillance and using its secretive 360-degree architecture of civilian supervision and control. For the government, more surveillance and gathered data is better, not worse. But Google’s announcement will be followed by the other big tech firms and digital startups will look upon the UK as an increased opportunity to make money from fewer safeguards.

It was only a two months ago that the Times reported that a leading British trade economist had warned that NHS patient data will be exploited by US technology companies under a trade deal with America. Alan Winters, director of the Trade Policy Observatory at Sussex University, said clauses on data sharing and algorithms that US negotiators want inserted into a deal will be used to capture the value in NHS patient records, estimated at £10 billion a year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Tanker Operators Suspend Travel Through Strait Of Hormuz

Following Iran’s decision to lob missiles at US-Iraqi bases last night, several major tanker operators have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, the site of several tanker attacks last year.

Petrobras, Bahri – Saudi Arabia’s state-run tanker operator – and other tanker companies have suspended sailing through the Straits of Hormuz, WSJ reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Gulf officials are already trying to convince the world that there’s nothing to worry about in what’s essentially a tinderbox inside another tinderbox. United Arab Emirates’ Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Wednesday he saw no immediate risk to oil passing through the critical gateway through which 20% of the global supply of crude travels. al-Mazrouei made the comments on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

The source of their concerns is clear: Iran carried out its “retaliation” for the killing of General Suleimani last night – though the Pentagon has confirmed that there have been no American casualties from Iran’s strikes. However, many fear that Iran isn’t finished with its retaliation. 

Mazrouei added that OPEC was not discussing any precautionary steps at the moment, but would re-evaluate the situation if a supply shortage emerged, according to Reuters. He said earlier that the global oil market was well supplied.

Oil prices initially moved higher after last night’s attacks, but prices have since settled, and the market largely ignored the news about the tanker suspensions, as it was already largely priced in.

On Tuesday, Washington warned about “the possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests” in the Middle East.

“U.S. commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf and nearby waterways,” the U.S. Maritime Administration said in a statement on its website.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Britain Furious Iran Tanker Broke ‘Promise’ Not To Sell Its Oil To Syria

Britain Furious Iran Tanker Broke ‘Promise’ Not To Sell Its Oil To Syria

Britain has slammed Iran for what it says is a breach in assurances regarding the previously detained Grace 1/Adrian Darya 1 tanker. Specifically a condition of the vessel’s release from UK/Gibraltar captivity last month was that it would not offload its 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. 

But the UK can do little beyond merely issuing a formal complaint to the United Nations, which it plans to do next month, according to Reuters. London was also reported to have summoned Iran’s ambassador on Tuesday to condemn the moveImage via EPA-EFE

“Iran has shown complete disregard for its own assurances over Adrian Darya 1,” foreign minister Dominic Raab said in a statement. “This sale of oil to (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s) brutal regime is part of a pattern of behavior by the Government of Iran designed to disrupt regional security.”

The diplomatic row comes days after over the weekend Iran’s foreign ministry confirmed the tanker had unloaded its valuable cargo, estimated at $130 million in crude, “on the Mediterranean coast,” according to state media. Just prior the Iranian tanker was observed within a few nautical miles of Syria’s coast via satellite images. 

“Iran’s actions represent an unacceptable violation of international norms,” the UK statement said.

However, we should point out it’s also not within “international norms” – indeed it’s unprecedented – for Royal Marines to raid a foreign vessel in international waters at the bidding of Washington, which is precisely what happen when the tanker was detained in the first place. 

Currently, Tehran is rumored to be preparing the release the British-flagged Stena Impero, captured in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 in retaliation for Britain’s prior capture of the Grace 1 off Gibraltar on July 4.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir

British colonialism laid the ground for the crises in Hong Kong and Kashmir
© REUTERS/Thomas Peter; © REUTERS/Mohsin Raza 

Though distance-wise Hong Kong and Kashmir may be about 4,000km (2,485 miles) apart, they have in common a history of being scarred by the crimes of British colonialism.

This history and those scars cannot be abstracted when it comes to grasping the nettle of the crises that have engulfed both places now because, without factoring this in, no serious analysis can be undertaken and no salutary lessons will be learned.

Starting with Hong Kong, when senior Conservative Party MP and former British Army officer Tom Tugendhatrecently suggested that the people of Hong Kong should be granted UK citizenship (regardless of whether they want it or not) as a form of protection from Beijing, he provided the world with an insight into the colonial mind of the British establishment.ALSO ON RT.COMHong Kong phooey! Would you like any hypocrisy with that?

In making this ludicrous suggestion, amounting to an outrageous imposition of British sovereignty over the city, Mr Tugendhat revealed that to him China should know its rightful place as a lesser power. In this he has been joined by the UK’s former governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten of Barnes (I promise you, I’m not making this up), who with astonishing arrogance has called for a British commission of inquiry to be established to look into the unrest, with particular emphasis on the actions of the Hong Kong police.

Both Tom Tugendhat and Lore Patten could, to all intents, have been standing on the shoulders of Lord George Macartney, the man who led Britain’s first ever trade delegation to China in 1792 on the orders of King George III.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

Global Warming and U.S. National Security Diplomacy

Old power station, West Linn, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Control of oil has long been a key aim of U.S. foreign policy. The Paris climate agreements and any other Green programs to reduce the pace of global warming are viewed as threatening the aim of dominating world energy markets by keeping economies dependent on oil under U.S. control. Also blocking U.S. willingness to help stem global warming is the oil industry’s economic and hence political power. Its product is not only energy but also global warming, along with plastic pollution.

This fatal combination of the national security state’s mentality and oil industry lobbying threatens to destroy the planet’s climate. The prospect of raising temperatures and sea levels along the coasts while inland regions suffer drought is viewed simply as collateral damage to the geopolitics of oil. The State Department is reported to have driven out individuals warning about global warming’s negative impact.[1]

The only attempts to restrict oil imports are the new Cold War trade sanctions to isolate Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The aim is to increase foreign dependence on U.S., British and French oil, giving American strategists the power to make other countries “freeze in the dark” if they follow a path diverging from U.S. diplomatic aims.

It was the drive to control the world’s oil trade – and to keep it dollarized – that led the United States to overthrow the Iranian government in 1953, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to invade Iraq in 2013, and most recently for Donald Trump to isolate Iran while backing Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi foreign legion in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Sixty years earlier, in 1953, the CIA and Britain joined to overthrow Iran’s elected President Mohammad Mosaddegh to prevent him from nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. A similar strategy explains U.S. attempts at regime change in Venezuela and Russia.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Brexit, Britain and the Permanent Crisis in the Gulf

Brexit, Britain and the Permanent Crisis in the Gulf

What on Earth were the British politicians and officials thinking who gave the go-ahead for the seizure of the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar on 4 July? Did they truly believe that the Iranians would not retaliate for what they see as a serious escalation in America’s economic war against them?

The British cover story that the sending of 30 Royal Marines by helicopter to take over the tanker was all to do with enforcing EU sanctions on Syria, and nothing to do with US sanctions on Iran, was always pretty thin.

The Spanish foreign minister, Josep Borrell, has said categorically that Britain took over the tanker “following a request from the United States to the United Kingdom”.

One fact about Iranian foreign policy should have been hardwired into the brain of every politician and diplomat in Britain, as it already is in the Middle East, which is that what you do to the Iranians they will do to youat a time and place of their own choosing.

The US and UK backed Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran in 1980, but this was not unconnected – though it was impossible to prove – with the suicide bombing that killed 241 US service personnel in the marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.

Commentators seeking an explanation for the UK’s seizure of the Grace 1 suggest that it was suckered into the action by super hawks in the US administration, such as the national security adviser John Bolton.

But, given the inevitability of the Iranian reaction against British naval forces too weak to defend British-flagged tankers, the British move looks more like a strategic choice dictated by a lack of other options.

Confrontation with the EU over Brexit means that Britain has no alternative but to ally itself ever more closely to the US.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Britain Ramps up Media War on Russia

Britain Ramps up Media War on Russia 

The British government appears to be more and more aping a Monty Python-type farce with each passing day. Soon the absurd ensemble will be complete if either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt becomes the next prime minister.

This week the mandarins at the Ministry of Funny Walks ruled that two internationally respected Russian news media channels were banned from attending a global conference on “press freedom”.

RT and another Russia-based news outlet Sputnik were refused permission by the British government to participate in the Global Conference for Media Freedom, held in London.

A British Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their earlier role in spreading disinformation.”

The irony of it. The British government is peddling unsubstantiated accusations (more accurately, ridiculous slander) against Russian media which is then invoked as “justification” for censorship at a much-vaunted international conference supposedly dedicated to freedom of the press. You could hardly make the farce up. It’s a kind of cross between George Orwell and Monty Python.

What the British government is doing is blatantly ramping up the media war against Russia. London is giving a license for further outrageous repression of Russian news media, as well as piling on demonization of Russia as a state.

In the same week it was reported that fellow NATO member Lithuania has blocked the news website of Sputnik in the Baltic country.

Previously, France had banned RT and Sputnik journalists from attending public press conferences held by President Emmanuel Macron. In the US, Sputnik radio stations have been curbed from reaching their American audiences.

Russia’s foreign ministry slammed the British and Lithuanian moves this week as putting unreasonable obstacles on the professional work of Russian news media.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

British Oil Tanker Seeks Shelter Over Fears It Could Be Seized By Iran

British Oil Tanker Seeks Shelter Over Fears It Could Be Seized By Iran 

After a former IRGC commander exhorted his government to take a British oil tanker hostage following the seizure by Royal Marines last week of a vessel hauling Iranian crude, an oil tanker run by British Petroleum is sheltering in the Persian Gulf over fears it could soon be seized by Iran in a tit-for-tat response, Bloomberg reports.

Tanker

British Heritage

The tanker, which is named ‘British Heritage’, is able to haul about 1 million barrels of crude. It had been sailing toward Iraq’s Basrah oil terminal when it made an abrupt U-turn over the weekend.

The ship is now hanging out near Saudi Arabia’s coast because BP is reportedly worried that the vessel could be targeted if Iran seeks to retaliate for the seizure of the tanker Grace 1 on Thursday. 

The Grace 1 was seized after being caught transporting Iranian crude, in breach of sanctions.

British Heritage, registered in the Isle of Man and flying under the British flag, had been chartered by Royal Dutch Shell Plc to transport crude from Basrah to northwest Europe. However, it never collected its cargo and the booking was canceled.

Of course, the ship won’t be able to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, the chokepoint through which about 1/3 of global oil shipped by sea moves, without sailing close to Iran’s coast. It’s unclear how long the ship will be sheltering for.

Map

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said on Sunday he considered the seizure of Grace 1 to be an ‘act of piracy,’ while a former leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the Islamic Republic should take a British tanker in response.

While it’s owners apparently believe the British Heritage to be ‘safe’ in Saudi custody, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was conveniently and mysteriously ‘bombed’ like the handful of other tankers over the past few months – an incident that the UK and KSA would have no problem pinning on the Iranians.

How Stupid Do They Think We Are?

How Stupid Do They Think We Are? 

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Consumers of the print or electronic output of the League of Copy Typists and their Instructors are expected to believe many impossible things and believe them, not just before breakfast, but all day too.

Come to think it, believing any part of the official Skripal story, from the incredibly lethal nerve agent that didn’t kill them, to the spectacular coincidence of the British Army’s chief nurse being on the scene, to the re-wrapped perfume bottle would tax the White Queen’s ability. Here’s a list. But that’s not to say that we’re finished yet: there always seems to be another absurdity like the dead ducks.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The British Roots Of The Deep State: How The Round Table Infiltrated America

The British Roots Of The Deep State: How The Round Table Infiltrated America

With the nearly weekly revelations that the British Foreign Office, MI6, and GCHQ have been behind the long standing agenda to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump and undo the peaceful alliance between nationalist leaders in America, Russia, China and elsewhere, a new focus on the British hand in undermining the United States has become a serious thought for many citizens. In the first week of the new year, fuel was added to this fire when internal memos were leaked from the British-run Integrity Initiative featuring a startling account of the techniques deployed by the anti-Russian British operation to infiltrate American intelligence institutions, think tanks and media.

For those who may not know, The Integrity Initiative is an anti-Russian propaganda outfit funded to the tune of $140 million by the British Foreign office. Throughout 2019, leaks have been released featuring documents dated to the early period of Trump’s election, demonstrating that this organization, already active across Europe promoting anti-Russian PR and smearing nationalist leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn, was intent on spreading deeply into the State Department and setting up “clusters” of anti-Trump operatives. The documents reveal high level meetings that Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly had with former Trump Advisor Sebastien Gorka, McCain Foundation director Kurt Volker, Pentagon PR guru John Rendon among many others.

The exposure of the British hand behind the scenes affords us a unique glimpse into the real historical forces undermining America’s true constitutional tradition throughout the 20th century, as Mueller/the Five Eyes/Integrity Initiative are not new phenomena but actually follow a modus operandi set down for already more than a century. One of the biggest obstacles to seeing this modus operandi run by the British Empire is located in the belief in a mythology which has become embedded in the global psyche for over half a century and which we should do our best to free ourselves of.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Oil Defeated The Nazis

How Oil Defeated The Nazis

Kraftstoff

General Erwin Rommel, “the Desert Fox,” was reputedly the best tactician in the entire German Army. For years, he led his panzers across multiple campaigns in North Africa.

But what was a German army doing zipping across the deserts of Libya?

Simple: Rommel was trying to capture the Suez Canal, and with it the route to the precious, untapped oil fields of the Middle East.

From the deserts of North Africa to the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the jungles of the South Pacific and the skies above Romania, World War II was defined by a struggle over a single resource – petroleum.

Without oil, modern mechanized warfare was impossible. It fueled the war effort of each major power, and battles over access and control of petroleum resources marked the war’s most important episodes—from the Battle of Stalingrad to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hitler’s Dilemma

German fuhrer Adolf Hitler rose to power in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression – a cataclysmic economic crisis that affected the entire world, but which hit Germany especially hard. Amidst spiraling inflation and mass unemployment, Hitler preached a return to national greatness through conquest. Germany would dominate Europe, and in so doing capture all the resources it would need to become a self-sustaining, self-sufficient economic power.

Despite being one of the most powerful industrial nations on earth, Germany had no oil reserves. Furthermore, it lacked an empire – like the British – that would give it access to oil overseas.

In fact, in the 1930s oil production was dominated by a handful of countries—the United States, which accounted for 50% of global oil production, as well as the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, and Romania.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

Top British Commander In Rare Public Dispute With US Over Iran Intelligence

An awkward public exchange unfolded between the US military and its closest allied military coalition force during a Pentagon press conference on Tuesday wherein a top British commander in charge of anti-ISIS coalition forces rebuked White House claims on the heightened Iran threat. 

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, a deputy head of the US-led coalition, asserted confidently in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon in response to a CNN question. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”British Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika during the Pentagon briefing Tuesday. screenshot via OIR/US Army

The British commander’s words prompted a rare and swift rebuke from the US side hours later into the evening when US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued its own statement slamming Gen. Ghika’s words as inaccurate, insisting coalition troops in Iraq and Syria were an a “high level of alert” due to the “Iran threat”. 

“Recent comments from OIR’s deputy commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from US and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” the CENTCOM statement said.

“US Central Command, in coordination with OIR, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to US forces in Iraq.”

How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent

How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent

Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.

But the real reason that Assange has been surrendered by the Ecuadorian government, imprisoned by the British government, and ignored by the Australian government is not directly related to any of those governments, but to that of the United States of America. An unsealed indictment from the Trump administration’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accompanied by an extradition request, charges Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer” during Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leak of government documents exposing US war crimes.

This charge is premised on a fraudulent and manipulative distortion of reality, and you may be one hundred percent certain of it. Let me explain.

You can be absolutely certain that this charge is bogus because it isn’t based on any new information. The facts of the case have not changed, the information hasn’t changed, only the narrative has changed. In 2010 the United States opened a secret grand jury in Virginia to investigate whether Assange and WikiLeaks could be prosecuted for the publication of the Manning leaks, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration was conducting “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into the matter.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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