2015 June 18 Home // 2015 June 18

Belgian privacy watchdog sues Facebook

Belgian privacy watchdog sues Facebook

Belgium’s national privacy watchdog is taking US internet company Facebook to court, arguing that the way the social network website tracks the behaviour of both members and non-members is illegal under Belgian and European law.

The basis for the case is research requested by the privacy commission and published in March, which noted that Facebook tracks user behaviour on non-Facebook websites by default until they opt-out, instead of after seeking permission.

It also noted that Facebook tracks the behaviour of people who are not members of Facebook, which also violates the EU’s e-Privacy directive.

“Even people who explicitly state that they do not want to be tracked, are tracked anyway”, Debeuckelaere told Belgian newspaper De Morgen, which broke the story on Monday (15 June).


European Court Rules Online News Sites Liable For Online Comments

European Court Rules Online News Sites Liable For Online Comments

Those who advocate for free speech online, including the Computer & Communications Industry Association, are concerned that this ruling will crush online debate on issues of public interest.

“If online news portals, big and small, must now fear legal liability for user generated content, it will force them to allow only limited and heavily monitored and censored user comments.”



No comment *innocent face*

Greece –  Painless poverty is better than embittered wealth.

Greece – Painless poverty is better than embittered wealth.

The title is from a Greek proverb. We’ve been covering the Greek situation here since the launch of the site on May 11th, as those who have been following the news stories will know. This is a short summary – a synopsis – a ‘meze’ of  morsels to give the flavour of what is currently on the table.

Before we set out some dishes – here’s the background cloth.

Greece’s short- term ‘repayment’ schedule



Here’s the repayments till August 2015 http://static6.uk.businessinsider.com/image/55252ad282e985b661d8da30-808-697/hsbc%20greece.png

Unfortunately Greece couldn’t ‘stump up’ the June payments – so

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday allowed Greece to bundle its four debt payments due this month into a single payment now due on June 30.

(How very kind of the IMF?)

But that ”concession” follows the temporary indigestion of The Bailout Farce in May. http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-bailout-farce-greece-borrows-imf-funds-to-pay-imf-now-will-need-new-imf-loan-to-repay-next-month/

Greece Borrows IMF Funds To Pay IMF Now; Will Need New IMF Loan To Repay Next Month

and at that point


(Maybe just go back and check that chart of what’s still outstanding?)

Now Greece has declared that the debt is

Illegal, Illegitimate, And Odious as we posted on here yesterday (thanks zerohedge)


Then we have Lagarde (who is clueless)    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/christine-lagarde-is-clueless-70-words-of-pure-keynesian-claptrap/


Greece will be in default if it fails to meet a €1.6 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund due on 30 June 30, Christine Lagarde said on Thursday. There would be “no period of grace” for Greece, Lagarde told reporters.

So where are Greece going to get the euro dosh?

Russia Won’t Comment on Aid to Greece Ahead of Tsipras Visit.   http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_RUSSIA_GREECE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-06-18-05-18-36

And Russia has already invited Greece to join BRICS


– and BRICS is –a brave new world  where leading developing countries finally challenge the iniquitous international system.


(New World…………?)

Now. Take a rest between courses and ask a question.

Is it just about the money?

Why should it matter to Brussels/the Troika if Greece gets the money from Russia?

Well the secret ingredient is this:

Unless Greece agrees economic reforms (or sells off assets) with its creditors by the weekend, EU officials believe time will run out for Athens to access a much-needed €7.2bn tranche remaining in its bailout programme before it expires in two weeks.

So the Greeks get another loan – which goes to repay an earlier loan – but ONLY if they DO AS THEY’RE TOLD

Let’s not forget what hidden jewels Greece harbours

Analysis: Could oil and gas reserves save the Greek economy?


What’s the best way for 3rd parties to get hold of those assets cheaply I wonder?

Well – a bank run always helps?

Game Over For Greek Banks: Depositors Yank €2 Billion In Past Three Days


followed by an official denial:                   EU OFFICIAL: ECB DIDN’T SAY GREEK BANKS MAY NOT OPEN MONDAY

then undermine Tsipras and scaremonger

Stournaras approved a coruscating statement released by the BoG condemning Tsipras and asserting (rather than hypothesising) doom for Greece unless it agreed to the latest Troika demands.   Stournaras also sits on the IMF Board

Threats that Greece will be forced out of the EU and spiral into economic collapse without a rescue deal are crude intimidation

The central bank did not present these as potential dangers in a worst case scenario – something we might all accept – it asserted that they would occur unless Mr Tsipras agrees to terms imposed by Brussels before the Greek treasury runs out of money.

Never before has such a “monetary policy” report been published by the central bank of a developed country, or indeed any country. It is a political assault on its own elected government.



CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.

CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.

Read CIA doc here http://www.theguardian.com/law/ng-interactive/2015/jun/15/human-experimentation-cia-document

Full article http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/15/cia-torture-human-experimentation-doctors


Churches introduce FACIAL RECOGNITION to keep track of members’ attendance

Churches introduce FACIAL RECOGNITION to keep track of members’ attendance

Churchix is software designed to pick out people’s faces from photos in order to monitor attendance or help to sort massive collections of photos from events.

It’s built using the same technology used to identify criminals, problem gamblers and terrorists at airports.

The company says the system is already being used by more than 30 churches in the USA, Asia and Europe.


Wonder if donations are via bitcoin…………?

Keep asking yourselves WHY?

Russia calls investigation into whether US moon landings happened

Russia calls investigation into whether US moon landings happened

The increasingly tense relationship between the United States and Russia might be about to face a new challenge: a Russian investigation into American moon landings.

In an op-ed published by Russian newspaper Izvestia, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the government’s official Investigative Committee, argued that such an investigation could reveal new insights into the historical space journeys.


Copyright: Washington Post

Everyday plastics plunge men into fertility crisis

Everyday plastics plunge men into fertility crisis

Plastics have caused a sharp decline in fertility among men, leaving only one in four with “good” sperm, scientists say.

Chemicals called phthalates — found in plastics and products such as shower curtains, car dashboards and cleaning materials — can be breathed in, consumed or absorbed through the skin of pregnant women, inhibiting testosterone production in male foetuses, leading to sons with low sperm counts.

Read more  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/health/news/article4473064.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2015_06_17

Also see BPA article http://loucollins.uk/2015/06/11/bpa-lined-containers-hike-blood-pressure-immediately/

Bees contribute more to British economy than Royal Family

Bees contribute more to British economy than Royal Family

Bees contribute £651 million to the UK economy a year, £150 million more than the Royal Family brings in through tourism.

The figures show that their overall economic value has increased from £220 million in 1996 to £651 million in 2012 – an increase of 191 per cent.

The research also found that 85 per cent of the UK’s apple crop and 45 per cent of the strawberry crop relies on bees to grow. Alone those two crops brought in £200 million to Britain in 2012.

The government is currently reviewing whether to lift a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides which farmers are currently prohibited from using over fear it is causing colony decline.

“Hundreds of thousands of us are asking why the government is even considering allowing harmful pesticides back on British fields. We’re calling for Environment Minister Liz Truss and the government to keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides, with no exceptions.


BBC is working on technology that will allow viewers to select channel just by concentratin

BBC is working on technology that will allow viewers to select channel just by concentratin

Picture the scene, you’re sitting through a boring film, when all of a sudden the TV switches to the football simply through the power of your mind.

It might sound far-fetched, but mind control television could soon become a reality – as the BBC revealed yesterday it is working on technology that could one day replace the remote.

In tests of a prototype, users were able to operate a headset that allowed them to navigate through BBC iPlayer and select what they wanted to watch by concentrating or meditating.