The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

It is nice to know that others are also discussing the shortfalls and failings of Democracy and what a gem we have that we must protect.

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Tyrannies across the world are crushing dissent. In Britain contempt for the political class is growing. Is it possible that democracy is dying?

By Max Hastings

PUBLISHED: 01:43, 22 June 2013  | UPDATED: 02:05, 22 June 2013

Few modern prophets prove themselves wise enough to invite comparison with Moses, but Francis Fukuyama made more of an ass of himself than most.

Twenty years ago, the American academic wrote a book entitled The End Of History. In it, he announced that with the end of the Cold War and collapse of Communism, liberal democracy had triumphed. It would become forever the dominant system around the world, 'the final form of human government'.

Americans alternate bouts of flagellation about their country with orgies of self-congratulation. They loved Fukuyama's book, which represented them as the winning side, and bought it in truckloads.

For five minutes, it seemed possible that the author's thesis could be right. In the Nineties, even Mother Russia, cradle of tyranny, seemed to be embracing popular consent and freedom.

Communism was the last of the 20th century's evil 'isms' to suffer defeat, after two world wars in which the democracies battled against militarism, fascism and Nazism.

And there was more good news, with South American military dictatorships giving way to elected governments.

In South Africa, minority white apartheid rule yielded to one-man, one-vote black government without the violent struggle many had feared.

A few surviving regimes, notably in China, Vietnam and Cuba, still professed themselves communist.

But the big beasts in Beijing were as greedy and materialistic as Wall Street bankers. Only a dwindling band of British university lecturers continued to fool themselves that Karl Marx was right about mankind's destiny.

Yet today, barely a generation since the publication of The End Of History, its thesis echoes hollow.

Even if communism is a dying duck, everywhere brutal dictatorships are flourishing as if their societies' flirtations with democracy had never happened.

Naive Europeans hailed the 2010 'Arab Spring' as promising a new era in the Middle East. Yet it seems more likely that those nations - Tunisia, Egypt and Libya - will merely be ruled by new autocrats.

The truth is that democracy is ailing - not least here in Britain. Many people despise and distrust politicians.

They doubt that the energy expended on trekking to a polling station once every five years will benefit them or their societies.

A few years ago, Portuguese Nobel prizewinner Jose Saramago wrote a brilliant allegorical novel about democratic corruption, entitled Seeing. It was set in a nameless modern city during an election campaign, where three-quarters of the voters are so disgusted by their politicians that they returned blank ballots.

The government, bewildered and furious  about the mass protest, orders a rerun: this produces 83 per cent of blank papers.

The writer's point, of course, is that modern politics has become meaningless to most people. It has simply descended into a struggle for power among small and unrepresentative elites, devoid of convictions or integrity, who ignore or defy the views of the people who elect them.

Earlier this month, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adopted one of the notorious phrases of the old fascist dictators: 'My patience is exhausted.'

He then committed thousands of riot police with batons and tear gas to remove peaceful protesters from Istanbul's Taksim Square.

Erdogan has said that democracy is an instrument to be exploited only as long as it is useful. He is thought to aspire to changing Turkey's constitution to make himself an elected dictator.

Most educated urban Turks are appalled by his desire to break with the country's century-old tradition of secularism and to once more put Islam at the heart of law.

He has restricted alcohol sales and attempted to criminalise adultery. More journalists are in prison in Turkey than in China.

Erdogan has been able to act despotically because as prime minister, he has delivered economic growth. He has won three elections through the votes of the small business class and rural peasantry, who value stability and traditional values far above personal freedom.

He can claim popular support, even though his style of rule is a travesty of democracy. Turkey is only the latest example of a nation bent on rolling back personal freedoms or resisting demands for it.

China may increasingly embrace capitalist economics, but President Xi Jinping and his politburo are implacable in denying their people liberty to do anything save make money.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin is an unashamed Stalinist. His country is in the hands of a gangster elite, committed to suppressing dissent and bent upon personal enrichment.

Putin himself is thought to have accrued billions in his personal bank accounts. South America, 20 years ago, seemed to have turned its back on dictatorships, but today the continent is suffering a resurgence of personal rule.

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is dead, but his successor intends to continue his disastrous tradition.

Argentina gained democracy in the wake of the 1982 Falklands War, but is now the victim of crazy Peronist economic policies that are wrecking the country.

President Cristina Kirchner can claim popular support: she wins elections by bribing the poor. But while Argentina still votes, its political system is a travesty.

Most people who care about British politics are appalled by the weakness of the current Coalition, led by Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (right)

Likewise in Africa, most rulers can claim legitimacy because they have won polls, but they rule in pursuit of personal or tribal profit, rather than in the national interest.

South Africa's ruling ANC party is riddled with corruption and its President Jacob Zuma has been up to his neck in it.

The government of India, hailed as the world's largest democracy, is mired in corruption. Paul Collier, professor of development economics at Oxford, wrote a brilliant book a few years ago, confessing that his own youthful faith in the ballot box as the solution to the Third World's troubles had been sadly mistaken.

Without a free Press, a tax system that forces citizens to think about what is being done with their money, an independent judiciary and an effective and uncorrupt civil service, democracy does not work.

Hitler showed back in 1933 that if a would-be tyrant can win just one election, he can bribe or fiddle the results of every poll thereafter.

Once a ruthless man or woman holds the levers of power, he can make sport with polls. The story becomes much more alarming when we see politics in deep trouble on our own doorsteps.

In the U.S., sensible people talk and write openly about a democratic crisis. The bitter divisions between Republicans and Democrats have created gridlock in both houses of Congress.

The old willingness to cut deals and make compromises to keep government moving has become a dead letter.

A large chunk of the U.S., and especially its old, white, mid-Western, Western and southern heartland, feels as disenfranchised as do UKIP supporters in Britain. It sees a host of things being done, or not done, in Washington, which inspires bitter hostility on religious, economic or social grounds.

The U.S. came closest to being a single nation in the Forties and Fifties, partly as a result of World War II. Today, though, it is profoundly divided, and likely to remain so, not least as a result of the rise of the Latino population.

Different sections of U.S. society want vastly different things for the country; their political leaders lack the will or gifts to reconcile them. And so to Britain.

It is strange to think that less than a century ago, universal adult suffrage seemed a precious thing - finally granted to women only after World War I.

Consider the huge impact of some general elections, above all that of 1945, which produced a Labour government committed to creating the Welfare State.

Today, by contrast, ever fewer people trouble to vote, especially in local and European elections. They feel a contempt for our political class, which seems utterly remote.

We have leaders so excited by plunging into foreign wars that they pay scant attention to the humbler hopes and fears of voters at home. Most people who care about British politics are appalled by the weakness of the current Coalition.

This could well be the shape of things to come, with the major parties repeatedly failing to secure absolute majorities at General Elections.

The result is that we get government at the speed of the slowest ship in the convoy. Most modern ministers of all parties have spent their entire adult lives in the fishbowl of politics and know nothing of real life as lived by the rest of us.

Britain's democratic process invites almost as much public cynicism as do those of Africa or Asia. Accountability seems chronically lacking.

The EU and its distant, all-powerful bureaucracies feeds more public disillusionment. Almost every day, decisions about our lives are being made without the consent of Parliament, and often against its wishes.

Lord Denning, an unusually wise judge, presciently wrote in 1974: 'The Treaty of Rome is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back.'

He was quite right, but his bewigged successors today have plenty of their own crimes to answer for.

More and more unpopular and visibly unjust British law is made by the judiciary, often flagrantly over-riding the expressed wishes of voters and Parliament.

We are entitled to ask: why does no other country in Europe suffer as severely at the hands of its judges - for instance, in upholding the rights of terrorists and their sympathisers at the expense of public safety - as does Britain?

The judiciary displays a sorry combination of conceit and complacency. It has contributed substantially to the British people's mounting belief that, while they supposedly live in a democracy, they are denied their rightful voice in their own destinies.

It is another judge, Sir Brian Leveson, whose report last year into Press ethics threatens an unprecedented legislative assault on Press freedom, that vital pillar of democracy.

There are today some welcome signs that politicians are seeing the perils implicit in implementing Leveson's ill-considered recommendations. But it is dismaying to see judges repeatedly displaying their paucity of wisdom - the quality that, above all, we are entitled to expect from them.

Meanwhile, it remains true that democracy, for all its imperfections, is the least bad system of government to which mankind can submit.

But IF it is to function, we must be able to see some small correlation between what we think we have voted for and what sort of society we get.

The corruption of democracy in Africa, Asia and much of the Middle East places nations at the mercy of elected dictators.

In the U.S., Britain and much of the rest of Europe, we are instead threatened with chronically weak government, incapable of getting big, important things done to preserve our prosperity and even safety.

To restore voters' faith in democracy, we need also to restore that of our politicians. One of my favourite stories of Winston Churchill concerns a moment in 1942 when he was much troubled by the prospect of preparing and delivering a speech to the House of Commons about the war which at the time was going badly.

His chief of staff, General 'Pug' Ismay, said emolliently: 'Why don't you tell them all to go to hell, sir?' Churchill turned on him in a flash and said furiously: 'You must not say such things. I am the servant of the House.'

Who can imagine any modern British prime minister saying, far less believing, such a thing? Until we can restore to politics the legitimacy that can derive only from respect for its processes, democracy in Britain will remain in almost as sorry a condition as it is today across much of the rest of the world.

Even if someone was silly enough to buy Francis Fukuyama's book today, the euphoric vision it offered could invite only hollow laughter.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-2346217/Tyrann...

Tags: Max Hastings

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Replies to This Discussion

The future dictators will know all they need to know about everyone.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9093961/little-brothers-are-wat...

iSPY: How the internet buys and sells your secrets

Every year you give away up to £5,000 of data online. The greatest heist in history isn't about stealing money, but taking information
Jamie Bartlett 7 December 2013

You probably have no idea how much of yourself you have given away on the internet, or how much it’s worth. Never mind Big Brother, the all-seeing state; the real menace online is the Little Brothers — the companies who suck up your personal data, repackage it, then sell it to the highest bidder. The Little Brothers are answerable to no one, and they are every-where.

What may seem innocuous, even worthless information — shopping, musical preferences, holiday destinations — is seized on by the digital scavengers who sift through cyberspace looking for information they can sell: a mobile phone number, a private email address. The more respectable data-accumulating companies — Facebook, Google, Amazon — already have all that. Even donating money to charity by texting a word to a number means you can end up on databases as a ‘giver’ — and being inundated with phone calls from other noble causes. Once your details end up on a list, you can never quite control who will buy them.

As you surf the web, thousands of ‘third-party cookies’ track your browsing habits. Then there’s your smartphone, which can log information every waking and sleeping moment. Quintillions — yes that really is a number — of pieces of data are being generated by us, about us. Look at Facebook. In a typical week, its users upload 20 billion items of content — pictures, names, preferences, shopping habits and other titbits: all information that can be stored and later employed to help advertisers.

It is perfectly legal for companies to spy on us, and it is very lucrative. Some analysts estimate we’re each giving away up to £5,000 worth of data every year. A worldwide industry has emerged over the past decade that is dedicated to finding new ways of extracting and analysing this bounty. ‘Data brokers’ operate enormous clearing houses which buy, analyse and then sell online and offline data. One of the largest, Acxiom Corporation, is believed to hold information on about 500 million consumers around the world, and has annual sales of more than $1 billion. Many of the big social media companies, including Facebook, work closely with these data brokers — cross-referencing your status updates against postcodes or loyalty-card data from shops. From thousands of fragments, they can build a remarkably detailed  picture of you.

A little further down the chain, companies are scooping up your tweets or Facebook posts, analysing them and selling on the results for a hefty fee: this week Sony paid $200 million for a company that does exactly that. This doesn’t just affect exhibitionists on Facebook; if you’ve completed the electoral register, your home address could be only a click away for anyone vaguely interested.

This harvested data can be used to figure out your probable location and guess at your consumer behaviour. In one infamous case, a US supermarket responded to a young female customer’s purchases by offering her vouchers for various pregnancy products: these were intercepted by an unsuspecting and very irate father. In another, a GPS service designed to help drivers find quick routes was also selling the information to the Dutch police, who could use it to work out who was breaking local speed limits. Each year, the Little Brothers get cleverer.

This makes it easier than ever for companies — and even politicians — to pin you down with personalised and effective marketing, messages and offers. The Labour party has recently hired one of Barack Obama’s digital gurus, Matthew McGregor. Don’t be surprised to see creepy targeted ads from Dave, Ed and Nick at the next general election, based on some innocuous comment you might have made on your Facebook page about wind farms.

How worried should you be? Having slightly less irrelevant ads popping up on your screen hardly amounts to a sustained attack on your freedom. Data brokers can’t break down your door. And after all, when you join a social network or run a search on Google, it’s an exchange: you let people spy on you, and they give you an incredible service for free.

But this exchange is starting to become a bit one-sided. Every time we download an internet app, we accept a lengthy list of terms and conditions. But few of us really know what we’re signing up to — one recent survey found under half of us knew that mobile phone apps can collect and store personal data.

And those terms and conditions? They’re usually comprehensible only to a contract lawyer with a background in software engineering, but we click yes and hope for the best. The results were explained well in a recent documentary, Terms and Conditions May Apply. ‘The greatest heist in history wasn’t about taking money,’ says the voice-over. ‘It was about taking your information — and you agreed to all of it.’

Agreement, in this case, means clicking ‘OK’ to the contracts that include all sorts of worrying, loosely worded clauses — and which it would take about a month of your life each year to read properly. But perhaps you should set that time aside. A British firm recently included a clause which asked for permission to ‘claim, now and for evermore, your immortal soul’ — a techie’s joke which harvested 7,000 souls in one day.

When the hugely popular Instagram updated its user agreement to say that ‘a business… may pay us to display your photos… without any compensation to you’, uproar ensued, the clause was removed, and the company declared that it had never intended to sell on photos. But in order to opt out of data collection, or to object to nasty terms and conditions, you have to know exactly who’s collecting your data — and it’s hard to know where to start.

Civil liberties groups are increasingly concerned, because they realise that companies, police and governments have a mutual interest in the gathering of personal data. Nick Pickles, head of Big Brother Watch, says large-scale commercial data collection is a ‘dream come true’ for governments because it dramatically extends the possibility for surveillance. Intelligence agencies don’t need to spy on you any more: they can simply go to the relevant internet companies and prise out of them what they need.

All this data is also a goldmine for fraudsters. Identity theft is increasing, which is no surprise seeing how much information people post about themselves online. Often we’re complicit. In saying where we are on our social media accounts, we also say where we are not. The website pleaserobme.com is a joke — but it has a serious point behind it, a rather brutal reminder of the dangers of location-sharing online.

The internet, of course, is just getting started. More and more everyday objects are being fitted with microchips: fridges, keys, wallets, cars. And even hair: Sony recently filed a patent for a SmartWig that could take photos and vibrate when you receive a message. Google’s augmented reality glasses will be able to record what and who you’re seeing. On a more mundane level, smart energy meters which can record your energy consumption patterns will be installed in every home by 2020. As it stands, no one really knows who will own all this information, and how will it be regulated.

The public is getting worried. So what should we do? The past six months have seen a flurry of ‘crypto–parties’ — free workshops to learn about how to protect your privacy online. (I attended a packed event last weekend in London.) Anonymous browsers like ‘TOR’, often used to access the ‘dark net’, are becoming more popular. The dark net is usually referred to as an online underworld where drugs, pornography and worse are bought and sold — but it’s also one of the few places you can go to escape Brothers Little and Big. Even Facebook users who were once happy to share everything are tightening their privacy settings.

Here is another danger. It’s right that people should be able to keep things private, but the vitality of the internet depends on people sharing information: that was the whole point of the net when it began as an academic project in the late 1960s. The more you share, the more you receive. And there are many beneficial uses of data. Professor Nigel Shadbolt, director of the Open Data Institute, says that Google has been extremely successful at using search terms to understand how epidemics spread. Satnav technology is getting better at avoiding traffic jams, because of drivers agreeing to share their progress. Analysing our energy consumption patterns could cut down bills dramatically.

As director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, I am dedicated to making this a serious discipline. Professor Shadbolt thinks if we can analyse the use of social media while respecting privacy and consent, the benefits to British society could be immense.

The digital revolution has transformed our lives, but the technology that does so much for us comes at a cost. For good or ill, the internet has ravaged notions of privacy: it’s not really possible to get by in the modern world without sharing information about yourself. The question is how to control that.

The Germans already have a term, informationelle selbstbestimmung, which translates into knowing what data you have and being in control over how it’s used. In part, that means us wising up to exactly what data is being sucked out of us. It also requires companies to be transparent about what data they’re sucking — and how they’ll use it. At the moment it’s still too shadowy and confusing. Basic market competition should help. As the value of our personal information grows (and we become more aware of that value), companies that are open about what they’re using will have a significant advantage over competitors. The big players are already looking for ways to give users more control over their data: even Axciom has started to open up a little. It makes good business sense, and probably helps that politicians and quangos on both sides of the Atlantic have starting to pay more attention to this issue.

But it may be that we do not want the Little Brothers to stop watching us entirely — we’ve become dependent on the services they help to deliver so cheaply. One of the reasons firms like Amazon and Google have grown so huge is that they deliver services which billions of us want. The majority of Brits now use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social media account — none of which charge us a penny. As the saying goes: if you’re not paying, you’re the product.

If you don't pay for a product, then you are the product.

I think I pointed out recently that the newest version of the BBC's iPlayer app wanted to right to examine my phone calls. There is no reason whatsoever that such an app should need to look at the log of phone calls.

I see he recommends TOR. That's rather depressing. Hackers have claimed for years that TOR is a product designed by the American security agencies to concentrate together those who seek to hide information, making it even easier to spy on them.

Unfortunately, anyone who needs to keep their data really secure has got little option but to start learning about how encryption works, and to become more IT-savvy.  Either that, or resign themselves to keeping nothing but the most minimal real identity for online interactions, doing everything else under a series of fake IDs and email addresses. That doesn't provide any real kind of security, but just adds layers of complexity between your real identity and your online identities.  I notice that these days every interaction with any Google service attempts to demand that all online identites coalesce with some real world identity.

I had to go to quite a lot off effort to train my nieces to take care of their online identities.  They are still far more exposed than I think is safe, but they have grown up not realising the sense of personal privacy that every previous generation has taken for granted.

What would Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot have been able to do with all this data on people?

The UK government has effectively made it illegal to send/receive email which they cannot read.

CertiVox confirms it withdrew PrivateSky after GCHQ issued warrant

CertiVox has admitted that it chose to take its secure email encryption service PrivateSky offline after a warrant was issued by a division of GCHQ.
 
CEO Brian Spector told IT Security Guru that despite having "tens of thousands of heavily active users", it was served with a RIPA warrant from the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), a division of GCHQ and a liaison with the Home Office, who were seeking the keys to decrypt the customer data.
 
He said that this was at the end of 2012, ahead of the same action by Lavabit and Silent Circle and it was before Snowden happened. “So they had persons of interest they wanted to track and came with a Ripa warrant signed by the home secretary. You have to comply with a Ripa warrant or you go to jail,” he said.
 
"It is the same in the USA with FISMA, and it is essentially a national security warrant. So in late 2012 we had the choice to make - either architect the world's most secure encryption system on the planet, so secure that CertiVox cannot see your data, or spend £500,000 building a backdoor into the system to mainline data to GCHQ so they can mainline it over to the NSA.”
 
Spector said that complying with the warrant would have been a "catastrophic invasion of privacy" of its users, so instead it chose to withdraw the product from public use and run it internally. "Whether or not you agree or disagree with the UK and US government, this is how it is and you have to comply with it," he said.
 
However some of the technology has been implemented into its M-Pin authentication options, where rather than hold the data, it is split in two so CertiVox has one half and the user has the other, and law enforcement would need both to access the data.
 
“So as far as I know we are the first to do that so if the NSA or GCHQ says 'hand it over' we can comply as they cannot do anything with it until they have the other half, where the customer has control of it,” he said

Let's imagine what this would mean in a time before the internet and massive computing power made such surveillance possible.  This is the equivalent of a government insisting that it is illegal to send a sealed letter - all communication must be by postcard, so that the the postman/censors can read your mail if they so choose.


Faced with this kind of power, Stalin and Hitler would have had all the information they needed on those who opposed them.

If any group ever come close to threatening the power of the elite, the group will be destroyed.  The threat of terrorism is giving the state sanction to put everyone under constant surveillance.

Would the elite ever make use of muslim terrorism in order to bring about the destruction of those who threatened them?  Of course they would. http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-leaders/profile-osama-bin-laden/p9951#p10

There are 2 new technological factors, that now enable a permanent totalitarian state, if it ever gets control.

  1. Previously it wasn't possible to put everyone under surveillance, because cost, technology, and scaling were in the way.  But now, its not only technically easy, its also very cheap.  There can be camera+mic surveillance in every home, and the output can even be scanned by computer, so that it can be scaled up from 1 person monitoring 100 (as perhaps happened in Communist West Germany), to 1 person (with computer scanning) monitoring 10,000.  So a population of 60 million, which is perhaps 20 million homes, can be fully monitored by a suitably  equipped  staff of 6000.  How many people work at GCHQ + MI5 anyone?
  2. Previously the kill-defeat ratio of weapons made it necessary that the warlord or king had to have agreement from a reasonable percentage of his people.  
    So, for example, if all you have is the sword, and the state maintains a monopoly on that weapon, and the sword has a kill ratio of 1:5 (that is, one person with a sword can combat and defeat upto 5 men without), then as long as you keep your army of 20% of the population fed and happy, you can control the remaining 80% of the population.  So Roman weapons technology required the Caesar to have at least 20% of the population on his side.
    [An aside to this is the Prophet of 20%'s method of sharing the spoils of war to keep his killers under control.  Splitting the loot 20:80 is a good deal for both sides, and allowed Mohammed to maintain a large enough gang of thugs to crush any dissidents or uprising, with the current technology at his disposal]
    However, modern weapons technology, like the C130 gunship or Abrahams tank, gives an effective kill-defeat ratio of 1:1000.  (We don't need to consider nuclear bombs here; those cannot readily be used for controlling the population).  
    So, with a population of 60 million say, of which perhaps 20 million are of fighting age, you will be able to control them all with an modern armed force of 20,000,000/1,000 = 20,000 men
    Well, I'm sure any modern tyrant can keep 20,000 men happy.

Google released a version of Android which prevent applications from spying on the phone's owner.  Within the next minor upgrade, Google re-enabled spying.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/12/google-removes-vital-privacy-...

Google says that the version that prevented spying on users was released by accident.

Francis Fukuyama must have read too much Continental philosophy and simply rehashed some of it (Hegel's end-of-historyism) by applying what he knew to an area no self-respecting (Leftist) Continental philosopher would dare apply it to - Capitalist America (with Hegelian capitals).

This time the End of History wasn't the Germany of the early 1820/30s, completely coincidentally, Hegel's own day and his own country, but the Capitalist America of Fuckeryama's 1990s. I have a feeling that Fukuyama has backtracked a little on his quaint little theory. In fact, he has.

Governments are now spying on their population like no time in the history of the world.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-29/nsas-50-page-catalog-back-...

In fact, they are vaccuming up so much data, they are incapable of analysing it such that they can identify the actions of terrorists.  But you can be sure that the ruling elite will be able to find some dirt on anyone who actually (legally) comes close to challenging their  hegemony. 

I think democracy has been dying for 100 years.  Communism, Fascism and National Socialism were all evidence of that.  The "post-war consensus" in the West has supposedly averted this problem.  But not if one takes Burnham's thesis seriously - this consensus is just the elite "managing" the collapse of democracy.

Governments who spy on their citizens are all about crushing dissent.  For the elite to manage the transition to the post-democratic world, they need to keep us ignorant and compliant.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/01/government-spying-citizens-a...

The London borough is one of 16 areas identified as being at greater risk of complaints of alleged vote-rigging being reported.

The study is focusing on areas with large South Asian communities.

The other areas being investigated are: Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Burnley, Calderdale, Coventry, Derby, Hyndburn, Kirklees, Oldham, Pendle, Peterborough, Slough, Tower Hamlets, Walsall, and Woking.

The Electoral Commission's also recommending everyone should have to show proof of ID when they turn up to vote.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "The Government takes the issue of electoral fraud very seriously and we thank the Electoral Commission for their work on this issue. We will consider the recommendations in this report carefully and respond in due course.

"We welcome the Electoral Commission's finding that there is no widespread electoral fraud, but there is no room for complacency. That's why we are ending the outdated system of household registration and introducing individual electoral registration.

"By requiring identification information such as date of birth and National Insurance number, we can verify that everyone on the register is who they say they are. This is vital as we create a register in which everyone can be fully confident and which reduces the risk of fraud and duplication.

"We are also legislating to require 100% of postal vote identifiers to be checked in UK polls, rather than a minimum of 20%, and to enable police community support officers to enter polling stations and count venues, which will further safeguard against electoral fraud."

http://www.lbc.co.uk/tower-hamlets-investigated-over-vote-rigging-8...

In some of those areas they now send round officials who fill in the electoral registration forms on the doorstep.  They get a representative of the household to sign to attest that the details are correct.  But no actual checks are made as to who lives in the house.

The only place from that list of rotten-boroughs that looks odd (i.e. not associated with muslims) is Woking.  But when you look at the list of mosques in Surrey, it turns out that Woking & Guildford are the two most muslim areas of Surrey. http://mosques.muslimsinbritain.org/show-browse.php?county=Surrey 

There is thus a 1:1 correlation with the electoral fraud and a high presence of muslims.

There is a website that can identify where you come from, just based on 20 words you use.

http://brooksreview.net/2014/01/i-see-you/

I'd be interested if a couple of Americans would take the test mentioned in that article, and see how accurate it is.

You'll be shocked if you ask Vodafone, T-Mobile, etc. for the information they have uploaded from your tracking device.

What they gave me filled a shelf. At first glance, the information looked harmless – just a long list of numbers, co-ordinates, dates and times. But what it revealed was approximately 40 ‘data points’ every day, monitoring where I had been at any one time for a year.

Using the data, I plotted a day in my life on a map. I could see exactly where I had been at pretty much every point of the day. The day I chose was one I had spent at party conference, where I had met members of the public, journalists and colleagues from Parliament.

So in conjunction with those people’s phone records, the data would show everybody I met that day at least as well as if I had been a prisoner on a tag.

That is before they look at who I called or texted – and if they had their way, at every website I visited and every email I sent.

The State rarely asks for information which isn’t of use to it. With this metadata they can learn as much about me as they can by reading my emails or eavesdropping on my calls.

And not only information about me but about the people I come into contact with. If you happen to be in a room with me then – thanks to an EU treaty – they can access your phone data too.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537828/Your-mobile-phone-w...

New law being brought in for the UK, to force telecoms/ISPs to record all user interactions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28237108

The law is only to last 1 year.  Yeah, like the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which was brought in during the 1970s.  It gets automatically renewed every year by LibLabCon.  The media don't even bother to report that this "temporary law" is now as old as the average person in the UK.

And the new restrictions on taking phones, laptops, etc. onto flights is another impediment in a free society.  But maybe once people start getting their dead phones taken off them and lost/destroyed by airport staff, they will stop acting like sheep and start demanding profiling.  During one TV discussion about these new restrictions, on journalist brought up the point that it's only about 1 in 100 passengers who need to be profiled (though she then backtracked and said it was more than her job was worth to identify who those passengers were).

Mind you, I'm not sure from some of the comments which have leaked out, that this new system will not be used as a de facto/covert profiling measure.  Still, that would be typical of our oligarchy/plutocracy: they introduce measures pretending they are temporary or under the cover of some other excuse.  This in itself is the opposite of democracy and an open society.

RSS

Muslim Terrorism Count

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Mission Overview

Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

The 4 Freedoms

These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms
2. SP Freedom of Election
Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms
3. SP Freedom of Movement
The government can import new voters - except where that changes the political demographics (i.e. electoral fraud by means of immigration)
4. SP Freedom from Over-spending
People should not be charged for government systems which they reject, and which give them no benefit. For example, the government cannot pass a debt burden across generations (25 years).
An additional Freedom from Religion is be deducible by equal application of law: "Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight - except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"

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