Posts tagged Europe
Those concerned about Facebook’s controversial privacy policies may have yet another reason to worry. The social network is reportedly developing a smartphone application which will track the location of its users – even when the app isn’t running.
The app is scheduled to be released in mid-March, two anonymous sources told Bloomberg.
It’s allegedly designed to help users find nearby friends by revealing those friends’ locations. But unlike Facebook’s current mobile app, which allows users to let others know where they are by “checking in” at a location, the new app would continuously follow the user once the program is activated.
The app would track user whereabouts in the “background” of Apple’s mobile operating system – even when the app isn’t open on the phone, one of the sources said. It remains unclear whether the app will run on other platforms.
It’s a technique that would likely require the social networking site to ask permission from users. But there’s a loophole – Facebook may have already gotten consent from its users to run the feature.
The app may fall under Facebook’s data policy – which tells users that a company may use location information “to tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or to offer deals to you that you might be interested in.”
“When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city)…but we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications,” the data use policy says.
The app isn’t drastically different from current applications, such as Apple’s “Find My Friends” and Math Camp Inc.’s “Highlight,” which constantly track user locations to help people find friends or places of interest.
When approached by Bloomberg to speak about the tracking application, Facebook Spokesman Derick Mains declined to comment.
Based on past precedents, the new app is bound to raise concern from users who value their privacy.
Facebook is no stranger to controversy surrounding its privacy settings. The site has already been under fire from US and European regulators, who claim it doesn’t do enough to keep user data private.
In early January, the EU pressured internet giants such as Facebook to boost personal security controls and limit the collection of data without users’ consent.
Last September, the site was forced to stop using its facial recognition software in Europe following an investigation by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.
And now, the social network’s new “Graph Search” system – which is waiting to be tested – is raising red flags.
The system is designed to search Facebook for very specific information, such as ‘Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’ and ‘Languages my friends speak.’
But after using the system, computer programmer and ‘Gadget Geek’ Tom Scott found the program can conduct much juicier searches.
For instance, it will easily find ‘Married people, who like prostitutes’ or ‘Current employers of people who like racism,’ Scott revealed in a blogpost.
News of the location tracking app comes less than one week after Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the need for new mobile products during Facebook’s Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call, which was broadcast on the internet.
“A lot of what we had to do last year was simply to improve our mobile development process…the next thing we’re going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences,” Zuckerberg said during the call.
And while this may, indeed, be a “mobile-first experience,” it remains unclear whether it’s an experience that Facebook users will actually want.
The EU will spend more than $3 million on ‘troll monitors’ to trawl Eurosceptic debates on the internet ahead of European elections in June 2014, UK media reports. It comes amid fears that hostility against the EU is growing.
The new strategy will include “public opinion monitoring” to “identify at an early stage whether debates of a political nature among followers in social media and blogs have the potential to attract media and citizens’ interest,” according to internal documents reportedly discovered by the Telegraph.
Spending on “qualitative media analysis” will be increased by more than $2.6 million. Most of the money will be found in existing budgets, although an additional $1.2 million will be needed.
“Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism,” a confidential document said.
The monitors’ roles are clearly laid out in the documents. The controversial plan is designed to promote a stronger Europe, while engaging in conversation with those who hold an anti-EU sentiment.
“Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths.”
“In order to reverse the perception that ‘Europe is the problem’, we need to communicate that the answer to existing challenges… is ‘more Europe’ – not ‘less Europe’.”
But the EU is facing an uphill battle, as it seeks to change the minds of those who associate the bloc with economic crisis and high rates of unemployment.
“It is evident that the EU’s image is suffering,” the document said.
The information has been met with disapproval by many, who say the strategy is a waste of time.
“Spending over a million pounds ($1.5 million) for EU public servants to become Twitter trolls in office hours is wasteful and truly ridiculous,” UK Independent Party Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall told the Telegraph.
Training for the so-called “Twitter trolls” is set to take place later this month.
The news comes as Eurosceptic moods continue to gain momentum in the union.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership.
Without reform, “Europe will fail and Britain will drift to the exit,” the leader said in a January speech.
Cameron has been dubbed a “trendsetter” by Conservative MP David Campbell Bannerman, who believes many other countries are seeking more flexibility within the EU.
But it’s not just governments looking for a bit more leeway when it comes to EU membership – individual workers in crisis-hit countries are unhappy with the bloc’s leadership and austerity measures, too.
Last Wednesday, anti-austerity protesters in Athens broke into a government building and threatened the labor minister. Riot police then responded with tear gas, batons, and pepper spray.
Even German citizens have expressed interest in leaving the EU – despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ongoing support of EU policy.
Last September, a poll conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed that 49 per cent of Germans believed things would be improved by leaving the European Union.
And the Germans aren’t alone – 34 per cent of French citizens also said they would be better off without the EU.
By Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
(NaturalNews) A new animation film from Infomatic Films has just been launched by Natural News: “GMO A Go Go” is available for viewing now on YouTube and TV.naturalnews.com. Here are the links:
The film was created by Kirk Rutter of Infomatic Films and animated by Paul Davies. Natural News sponsored the film with a financial donation, using funds from sales of products at the Natural News Store.
Viewers are encouraged to re-post the video to your own YouTube account and help spread the word.
The video covers all the basics on GMOs, including how they’re engineered, why they kill the things that eat them, and the disastrous health effects they’ve been linked to in humans. It serves as both a reminder of the facts to those who already know about GMOs as well as a great primer for people new to the subject.
Here’s the full YouTube video:
By Tyler Durden
In just under 30 minutes, Peter Schiff and Doug Casey muse on many facets of the crumbling edifice of the status quo that is our current world.
From Gold’s relatively imminent rise to $5,000 and beyond, to investor ignorance of reality, Casey & Schiff swing from discussions of the US as political entity going forward to ‘escape from America’ plans for personal and wealth assets, and the realization that the biggest casualty (of US indebtedness), aside from individual liberty, is the value of the dollar – as taxing the middle class is unpopular with both parties – leaving only one route for the government – the inflation tax. Owning gold, silver, and foreign assets is preferred and while the rest of the world is also printing, the US is likely to beat them all.
People “are clueless with respect to the true state of the global economy,” with regard to inflation, fiat currencies, and specifically what will happen to the dollar. The conversation is wide-ranging and absolutely must-see as they remind market-watchers that “the whole thing is artificial,” as you can’t just keep printing money and monetizing debt without the dollar imploding with monetary policy descending (along with its trillion dollar coin) into ‘Three Stooges’ comedy.
The conversation weaves to some endgame discussions which bring Peter to discuss his father, who he sees as a political prisoner, and his views on the future…
“the biggest change that is coming to the global economy is a realignment of global living standards.”
There is something here for everyone…
By Ezra Van Auken
As you may know, former Congressman Ron Paul has a weekly talk show, which he uses to deliver opinions on current issues including the economy, civil liberties and foreign policy; this week former Rep. Paul explained some much needed information into the newest Western war of Mali. The retired Texas Congressman first acknowledged that President Obama made a daring statement during his inauguration speech, “A decade of war is now ending.”
Responding to the message of ending war, Paul said, “As he spoke, the US military was rapidly working its way into another war, this time in the impoverished African country of Mali.” So far, the U.S. has provided C130s to the French for transportation of soldiers, deployed trainers to assist in training Mali soldiers and officials have agreed to fueling missions for the French fighter jets. Ramping up even more of a presence in northern Africa, the New York Times reported that AFRICOM’s top officials are seeking the go-ahead to build a drone base in Niger – just east of Mali.
Although American boots are not engaging in gunfire, Ron Paul explained, “Even if US involvement is limited, and, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, US boots on the ground are not being considered “at this time,” this clearly is developing into another war. As usual, the mission is creeping.” Overall, the stern non-interventionist believes that this war will eventually snowball into something more like the Afghanistan war.
Paul alluded to French officials during the first days of invasion and how they said Mali’s military intervention would be a quick response, fast paced mission that wouldn’t last long. “France announced that it would be forced to send in thousands of troops and would need to remain far longer than the few weeks it initially claimed would be necessary.” To accompany the claim that Mali’s war will turn into another prolong occupation, France’s Defense Minister told France-5 that Mali would be a “total reconquest”.
Jumping back a year or so, Dr. Paul detailed the events leading up to Mali’s war driven country. “When Gaddafi was overthrown in Libya, many fighters from Mali who had lived in Libya and been trained by Gaddafi’s military returned to their home country with sophisticated weapons and a new determination to continue their fight for independence for northern Mali.” Paul then said, “Thus the France-initiated action against Libya in 2011 led to new violence and instability in Mali that France decided it must also address.”
Overall, the former Congressman is calling out blowback for being the reason of instability – by attacking Libya and destabilizing the country – this havoc poured into Mali once extremists were on the move.
Paul summarized his daily talk show on Monday by saying, “By placing that authority in Congress, the people’s branch of government, they intended to blunt the executive branch’s enthusiasm toward overseas adventurism.”
Somewhat agreeing with the clause of Mali being blowback is Michael Scheuer, a former CIA official – however Scheuer thinks this was far from unintended blowback. Scheuer wrote on his online website non-intervention.com, “In Mali, the interventionist establishment already is lying about “unintended consequences”. The ex-CIA official called out Wall Street Journal’s Shiraz Maher, going on to say, “Now, I have never heard of Professor Maher but, clearly, he is an intellectually dishonest jackass.” Scheuer pointed out that “Just as in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no way to truthfully argue that “unintended consequences” are at work in Libya, Mali, or elsewhere in Africa.”
According to Scheuer, the events in North Africa and the Sahel aren’t seen as a positive to the U.S., Canada and Europe – but Scheuer says these wars were easily predictable because of Libyan intervention.
Regardless of blowback being intended or not, one thing is clear and that is, U.S. and European officials have boiled a greater force in the African region since toppling Gaddafi.
America Sets Its Sights On Controlling African Resources … And Reducing Chinese Influence
The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.
Democracy Now notes:
U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.
[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries
Glenn Ford writes:
The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.
Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:
AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region. Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.
In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:
And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.
The assault by government agencies against another family farm, which in this case has been ongoing for quite some time. Sadly this is not that uncommon in our time with over regulation, government power and land grabs while pushing policies such as the United Nations Agenda 21.
History and updates on the Bakers Green Acres Farm please visit http://bakersgreenacres.com/
It’s being reported that Bulgaria has invited the US to send troops to its territory. One Bulgarian daily newspaper says Washington has already pumped around 60 million dollars into rebuilding a training range in the country’s East. The government in Sofia says this will help boost regional security and assist with the training of its soldiers. Anti-war activist Brian Becker says the US is seeking to extend its influence in eastern Europe.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air
Published on Nov 29, 2012 by breakingtheset
Abby Martin returns from her trip to Haiti and goes over her interview with former US President Jimmy Carter and their discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the erosion of the rule of law in the US.
It seems I have recently heard some of these same sentiments spoken by the only honest and non warmongering presidential candidate the last two election cycles, Dr. Ron Paul!