Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency has gained secret access to fibre-optic cables
carrying global Internet traffic and telephone calls, The Guardian said on Saturday citing documents disclosed by rogue US intelligence technician Ed Snowden.The latest claims sparked fresh outcry from privacy campaigners and surfaced as the United States filed espionage charges against 30-year-old Snowden and asked Hong Kong -- where he has fled to -- to detain him.The Guardian said Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has started processing vast amounts of personal information -- including Facebook posts, emails, Internet histories and phonecalls -- and is sharing it with its US partner the National Security Agency (NSA).GCHQ added however that it was "scrupulous" in its compliance with the law.The newspaper reported that GCHQ was able to tap into and store data from the cables for up to 30 days."It's not just a US problem. The UK has a huge dog in this fight," Snowden told the newspaper."They (GCHQ) are worse than the US."Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong in May, has since proceeded to leak details of secret US intelligence programmes to international media outlets.The Guardian claimed Tempora had been running for 18 months and GCHQ and the NSA were able to access vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people.It also claimed that the intelligence-gathering directly led to the arrest and jailing of a British terror cell, the arrests of others planning acts of terror, and three London-based people planning attacks prior to the city's 2012 Olympic Games.The Guardian said the documents it had seen showed that by last year, GCHQ was handling 600 million "telephone events" each day, had tapped more than 200 fibre-optic cables and was able to process data from at least 46 of them at a time.The two main components of GCHQ's surveillance programme are called "Mastering the Internet" and "Global Telecoms Exploitation", the daily said, adding that the operations were all being carried out "without any form of public acknowledgement or debate".Shami Chakrabhati, director of human rights group Liberty, expressed shock at the latest revelations."I'm shocked -- but not surprised. Clearly they (GCHQ) are exploiting the fact that the Internet is so international in nature," Chakrabarti told the BBC."And I'm pretty sad in a democracy when all that appears to be holding back the secret state is its physical and technological capability and not its ethics or a tight interpretation and application of the law."Nick Pickes, the director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, added: "This appears to be dangerously close to, if not exactly, the centralised database of all our Internet communications, including some content, that successive governments have ruled out and parliament has never legislated for."If GCHQ have been intercepting huge numbers of innocent people's communications as part of a massive sweeping exercise, then I struggle to see how that squares with a process that requires a warrant for each individual intercept. This question must be urgently addressed in parliament."But the chairman of parliament's intelligence and security committee, Malcolm Rifkind, said that all agencies like GCHQ used the latest technology to gain intelligence."What all intelligence agencies do, not just in Britain but throughout the world ... is to obtain intelligence and they use the most modern technology in order to do that," he told the BBC."The crucial question is not how much data could they theoretically collect but what can they get access to -- is it an intrusion on the privacy of the citizens."If GCHQ wants to know the content of your or my email, they have to go through exactly the same legal procedure of getting a warrant from the secretary of state, regardless of whether they are going to intercept the emails themselves, or whether they are going to ask the NSA or someone else to do it."'authorities have gotten so used to lying, deceitnA GCHQ spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on intelligence matters. Our intelligence agencies continue to adhere to a rigorous legal compliance regime."GCHQ are scrupulous in their legal compliance."
Police are hunting for a man who broke a two-year-old boy's collarbone at a railway station in what has been described as a racist attack.
The incident occurred on Sunday, when the 30-year-old mum was on a train from Walthamstow to Chingford. A man who boarded the train at the same time as her at Walthamstow Central began to abuse her for having a mixed race child.
When the woman got off the train at Highams Park, the man followed her, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground, tipping over the toddler's pushchair.
The little boy was left with a broken collarbone after the sickening attack.
Police say they are appealing for witnesses to the assault and are looking for a black man in his 40s of slim build and about 5ft 10inches tall. He was said to be wearing a beanie hat with fake plaited hair underneath.
The East London Guardian reports that the mum was unharmed in the attack, and her little boy has since been discharged from hospital.( How about a moral compass here)
|Why Try Green Coffee?|
|Scientists have found new evidence that green, or unroasted, coffee beans can produce a substantial decrease in body weight in a relatively short period of time.|
Researcher Joe Vinson, who is with the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, and colleagues described how a group of overweight or obese people who consumed a fraction of an ounce of ground green coffee beans each day lost about 10% of their body weight.
"Based on our results, taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract a day — while eating a low-fat, healthful diet and exercising regularly — appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight," Vinson said.
(some people feel low fat is not a good idea, healthy fat from organic butter from raw milk, grass fed meat, organic eggs and so on. We need cholesterol, not from unhealthy foods, cut out sugar some carbs)
Amusing letter, perhaps there is some truth in it
THIS IS A REVAMP OF WHEN THE EU FIRST STARTED THE RICE, PIG AND POTATO FIASCO. IT'S ABOUT THIRTY YEARS OLD BUT STILL APPLICABLE. THERE WAS A REPLY FROM THE OLD MINISTRY I WILL TRY AND FIND IT. THIS NOT MADNESS AS SEEMS OR FUNNY, IT IS A LAW UNDERB THE EU LIKE THE OLD STRAIGHT BANANA, CARROTS AND CUCUMBERS, NOT BAD FOR A HUGE SALARY A WEEK EH?
- Earth's soil is now being depleted of nutrients at more than 13 percent the rate it can be replaced. We may also be facing looming shortages of two critical fertilizer ingredients: phosphorous and potassium
- Many areas of Minnesota, which is prime farmland, now face the problem of having dangerously elevated levels of nitrogen in their drinking water. More than half of 40 lakes surveyed in China also suffer from fertilizer runoff
- According to soil science expert, fertilizers are unnecessary. Healthy plant growth is dependent on having the right helper organisms in the soil, which take the mineral material from the soil and convert it into a plant-available form
- Organic farming practices use natural, time-tested techniques that naturally prevents soil depletion and destruction, and doesn’t use chemical fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals that pollute our soil, air, and waterways
The awful facts about drone attacks.
Courtesy of Johan Siggesson. Apologies for not mentioning author of the photo originally.
47 mins of Russia's President giving facts about ET.