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Mon, 28 Nov 2022
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Singapore Installing Island-Wide Camera Network

Surveillance Cameras
© Wikimedia Commons
Singapore has begun installing police surveillance cameras that will eventually cover all 10,000 public-housing blocks across the island, officials confirmed yesterday.

The move immediately drew mixed reactions in a city-state already famous for being one of the world's safest societies but now undergoing political transition as citizens demand greater freedom from government control.

"Welcome to Big Brother!" popular local satirist Mr Brown wrote on Twitter, referring to a fictional character in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty Four about a totalitarian state where each citizen is watched by a camera.

Critics also posted negative comments on the police Facebook page but supporters enthusiastically welcomed the move.

"Excellent, good idea. Keep it up. God bless Singapore police force," Facebook user Rahul Chaudhary wrote.

Installations have begun at 300 blocks and by 2016 the cameras will be operational on the ground floors of all 10,000 government-built apartment blocks where over 80 per cent of the population live.

Entry and exit points of public car parks will also be covered.

"The cameras will not be monitored 'live' but the images that they record can be used to solve crime should it occur within the camera zone," the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a statement sent to AFP.

Bad Guys

Shocking Conflict of Interest: Private Water Companies Partner With Fracking Lobby

water
© Shutterstock/apostol_8
Selling water to drillers, two of the nation's biggest private water utilities may soon profit from treating the wastewater.

Two of the country's largest private water utility companies are participants in a massive lobbying effort to expand controversial shale gas drilling -- a heavy industrial activity that promises to enrich the water companies but may also put drinking water resources at risk.

The situation -- which some watchdogs describe as a troubling conflict of interest -- underscores the complex issues raised by the nationwide push to privatize infrastructure and services like water, prisons, and roads.

The water companies -- American Water and Aqua America -- are leading drinking water suppliers in Pennsylvania, where drilling is booming. They also sell water to gas companies -- which use a drilling technique that requires massive amounts of water -- and have expressed interest in treating drilling wastewater, a potentially lucrative opportunity.

Bad Guys

Prison Camp USA: Courtesy of The Federal Government

Giant Prison
© The Economic Collapse Blog
There has been no society in the history of the world that has ever been 100% safe. No matter how much money the federal government spends on "homeland security", the truth is that bad things will still happen. Our world is a very dangerous place and it is becoming increasingly unstable. The federal government could turn the entire country into one giant prison camp, but that would still not keep us safe. It is inevitable that bad stuff will happen in life. But we have a choice. We can choose to live in fear or we can choose to live as free men and women.

Our forefathers intended to establish a nation where liberty and freedom would be maximized. But today we are told that we have to give up our liberties and our freedoms and our privacy for increased security. But is such a trade really worth it? Just think of the various totalitarian societies that we have seen down throughout history. Have any of them ever really thrived? Have their people been happy?

Unfortunately, the U.S. federal government has decided that the entire country needs to be put on lock down. Nearly everything that we do today is watched and tracked, and personal privacy is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Many of the things that George Orwell wrote about in 1984 are becoming a reality, and that is a very frightening thing. The United States is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sadly, we are rapidly becoming the exact opposite of that.

I don't know about you, but I never signed up to live in North Korea. When I was growing up I was taught that repressive regimes such as North Korea are "the bad guys" and that America is where "the good guys" live.

So why do we want to be just like North Korea?

When they put in the naked body scanners at U.S. airports and started having TSA agents conduct "enhanced pat-downs" of travelers, I decided that I was not going to fly anymore unless absolutely necessary.

Then I heard about how "random bag checks" were being conducted at Metro train stations in the Washington D.C. area, and I was glad that I was no longer taking the train into D.C. anymore.

But now the TSA is showing up everywhere. Down in Houston, undercover TSA agents and police officers will now "ride buses, perform random bag checks, and conduct K-9 sweeps, as well as place uniformed and plainclothes officers at Transit Centers and rail platforms to detect, prevent and address latent criminal activity or behavior."

So now I have another thing to add to my list of things that I can't do anymore.

No more riding buses for me.

But the truth is that you can't escape this expanding security grid no matter how hard you try.

Chess

Misinformation Campaign Targets USA TODAY Reporters Investigating Pentagon Propaganda Contractors

Image
© theatlanticwire.com
Pentagon Propaganda Campaign Targeted Reporters Asking About Propaganda
Washington - A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names.

The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan - campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

Grey Alien

"They Live", the Weird Movie With a Powerful Message

'They Live' is a science-fiction movie from the Eighties that features aliens, a WWF wrestler and a whole lot of sunglasses. What's not to like? While, at first glance, the movie appears to be a bunch of nonsense, 'They Live' actually communicates a powerful message about the elite and its use of mass media to control the masses. Is the movie describing what we call the Illuminati? This article looks at the deeper meaning of John Carpenter's strange but fascinating movie 'They Live'.
Image

Bomb

EU official says Sanctions Imposed on Iran oil may be Reviewed

iran oil
© Press TV
File photo shows gas flares from an Iranain oil production platform.
A senior European Union official says the bloc may in the next two months review the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic's oil industry, which are scheduled to take effect in July.

"The situation in oil markets is being kept under close review," Reuters quoted the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying on Friday.

European countries including Greece are facing difficulty finding alternative suppliers, he added.

Tehran decided to cut crude exports to certain European countries after EU foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of the country's Central Bank across the EU.

Comment: Economic reality of EU assisting US/Israeli warmongering bites?


Display

Introducing CISPA: Even More Censorship Than SOPA

cybersecurity graphic
© n/a
First, there were ACTA, then PIPA, then SOPA, now there's CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act, the worst of all.

Though it has not met yet blasts of criticism as the first three cyberspying acts, US lawmakers have already come up with another authoritarian bill that would give them carte blanche to spy on the web in the name of cybersecurity. Like a bad rash, these bills keep coming back, only worse and more irritating than the preceding and nixed ones.

H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation with the title Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act, has a very unholy downside. It's been crafted under the ruse of being a necessary tool in our eternal war against cyber attacks. But the fuzzy verbiage packed within the pages of the law could give Congress the clout to dance around existing exemptions to online privacy laws and basically monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it believes to be disruptive to the government or private parties.

Critics have already jumped on CISPA for the power it seemingly will give to any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP ACTS that were tossed on the Capital Building floor after very successful online campaigns to defeat them, widespread knowledge of what this latest brainchild "law" will do has not reared its ugly head yet, at least not to the same degree.

But Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) told Russia Today (RT.com) that Congress is currently looking at a slew of bills that could eventually become law, but for the persistence of the groups that openly advocate an open Internet. It's amazing how eager Congress and the NSA are to spy in any way possible on the American people. We are the new enemy, it seems. Burman warns that provisions in CISPA are real reasons to worry what the realities could turn out to be if it ends up on the desk of our ever-vigilant President Obama. So far CISPA has had its coming-out party, introduced, referred and reported by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and expects to put to a vote in the coming weeks.

Eye 1

Pity Ploy: Sarkozy Plays Contrite to Gain Last Minute Votes

sarkozy
© Unknown
Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to gain 25.5% of the vote in the first-round vote, according to the latest opinion polls.
Nicolas Sarkozy apologised for his mis-steps Friday, the final day of campaigning in France's presidential election, while his main rival Francois Hollande was increasingly confident of victory.

The latest polls ahead of Sunday's first round point to a resounding win for the Socialist in the May 6 run-off against Sarkozy, dogged by criticism his flashy and overbearing style lowered the standing of France's head of state.

"Perhaps the mistake I made at the start of my mandate is not understanding the symbolic dimension of the president's role and not being solemn enough in my acts," a contrite Sarkozy told RTL radio.

"A mistake for which I would like to apologise or explain myself and which I will not make again," he said, insisting: "Now, I know the job."

Telephone

Developments in British Phone-Hacking Scandal

Rupert Murdoch
© PA
News of the world, Rupert Murdoch leaving News International
Developments in a phone-hacking scandal involving British newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.:

November 2005: News of the World royal reporter Clive Goodman writes story saying Prince William has a knee injury. Buckingham Palace complaint prompts police inquiry.

August 2006: Goodman arrested along with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire for suspected hacking into voicemails of royal officials.

January 2007: Goodman jailed for four months; Mulcaire given six-month sentence. News of the World editor Andy Coulson resigns but insists he had not known about the hacking.

May 2007: Conservative Party leader David Cameron taps Coulson to be his media adviser.

July 2009: Coulson tells parliamentary committee he never "condoned use of phone hacking."

September 2009: Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World and its sister paper The Sun, named chief executive of News International, News Corp.'s British arm.

February 2010: Parliamentary committee finds no evidence that Coulson knew about phone hacking but states it's "inconceivable" that no one apart from royal correspondent Goodman knew about it.

Rocket

North Korea Threatens War as Seoul Unveils Missile

Image
© Agence France-Presse
File photo shows missiles displayed at the war museum in Seoul. North Korea demanded Thursday that South Korea apologise for what it called insults during major anniversary festivities, or face a "sacred war", as Seoul unveiled a new missile to deter its neighbour
North Korea demanded Thursday that South Korea apologise for what it called insults during major anniversary festivities, or face a "sacred war", as Seoul unveiled a new missile to deter its neighbour.

Regional tensions have risen since Pyongyang went ahead with a long-range rocket launch last Friday, defying international calls to desist.

The event was to have been a centrepiece of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary Sunday of the "Day of the Sun", the birthday of Kim Il-Sung who founded the communist nation and the dynasty which still rules it.

But the rocket, which the North said was designed to launch a satellite, disintegrated after some two minutes of flight.

"The puppet regime of traitors must apologise immediately for their grave crime of smearing our Day of Sun festivities," said a government statement on Pyongyang's official news agency.

Otherwise, it said, the North Korean people and military "will release their volcanic anger and stage a sacred war of retaliation to wipe out traitors on this land".