Oread Daily

Speaking at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco a leading US climate scientist has warned that the world has one decade to get to grips with climate change.

Dr James Hansen told the meeting that just 1C more of warming would take the Earth into climate patterns it has not experienced for more than 500,000 years.

Hansen said determined action on energy efficiency to bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emission could lead to some stabilisation.

However, Dr Hansen warned that the planet will be very badly damaged within 10 years if global warming isn't slowed down.

In Montreal where the United Nations conference on climate change is reaching its climax the United States continued its deadly obstructionist policy and opposed an an initiative by Canada to start formal discussions on how to tackle global warming outside of the Kyoto Treaty. Inida and Saudi Arabia joined the US in opposition to the Canadian proposal.

Other developing countries including China, South Africa and Brazil seem willing to go along with the plan. However, those same countries don't want to commit to any formal targets to limit emissions.

As the endless debate continued the World-Wide Fund for Nature(WWF) said that 2005 will go down as the hottest, driest and stormiest year on record, and it's most likely due to climate change. The WWF says there has been more extreme weather like hurricanes and droughts this year than any other. They also say that the amount of ice at the poles has shrunk more than before.

In October this year, the report noted, NASA reported that the global average temperature was already 0.1 Fahrenheit warmer than in
1998, the record year.

The WWF based its conclusions on data from US government sources, NASA, and the World Meteorological Organisation.

World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) spokesperson Lara Hansen said the violent weather that has hit many places in 2005 is too strong to just be explained by natural cycles. "There is a cyclical signature to hurricanes, but what were seeing now is even beyond what that cyclical nature would lead us to believe has happened," said Hansen.

Hansen said some predictions indicate that the Arctic North could become ice-free by the end of the century, even possibly by mid- century. In fact, the smallest area of Arctic sea ice ever was recorded in September -- 500,000 square miles smaller than the historic average -- and a 9.8 percent decline, per decade, of perennial sea ice cover, the report said.

"The rate at which we are losing sea ice goes beyond the normal models of what we would think would be happening," she said.

Waters in the Caribbean were hotter for longer, causing extensive bleaching from Colombia to the Florida Keys says the WWF report.

The year has also been the driest in decades in the Amazon, where a drought may surpass anything in the past century.

With so many environmental flash points, Hansen said the world must accept the urgency of preventing global warming, despite the lack of leadership from Washington.

The message is "Act now", said the WWF. It warned that governments meeting in Montreal must make the Kyoto agreement on climate change, initiated in 1997 but largely ignored by the US and criticised for failing to meet objectives, work. "They have to start now on the next round of carbon dioxide emission reductions, to keep the process on track after the current commitment period ends in 2012."

Otherwise, WWF claimed, a "window of opportunity" would be lost to keep the average world temperature less than 2C above pre-industrial levels: "Failure to do that would be a key tipping point for the world's ecosystems."

The WWF warning came only days after a report by Britain's National Oceanography Centre that part of the oceanic system that drives the Gulf Stream, the warm current that flows from the Caribbean towards northern Europe, has slowed by almost one-third since 1992 because of global warming. As the Gulf Stream flows, it releases huge amounts of heat, creating the warm winds that keep Europe's climate relatively mild. Without that heat, Europe would have a more hostile climate and Britain, on the same latitude as Labrador in Canada, could see winter temperatures plummet to minus 30C. Sources: Radio New Zealand, CBBC, RTE (Ireland), Cape Argus, Forbes, Scottsman, AHN, Live Science

To see the NEW Oread Daily Blog: http://oreadaily.blogspot.com/ To view the entire Oread Daily: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oreadaily/

Informant: reg

Second opinion on gallery cancer link

By Joyce Morgan
Arts Editor
December 5, 2005

AN environmental health expert will visit the National Gallery of Australia this week to look at whether there is any connection between cancer cases among security staff and the workplace.

Associate Professor Malcolm Sim, the head of the Occupational and Environmental Health Unit at Monash University, has been appointed to give a second opinion following an assessment by Health Services Australia in 2002, which discounted any connection.

That assessment was strongly criticised in a health and safety report by an independent investigator in September, which recommended that a second opinion be obtained.

Sim’s appointment is the latest move by the gallery to clear the air over long-running questions about the health and safety of the Canberra building.

And it comes nearly a year after the Herald first reported that the gallery knew in 2001 that at least 14 security guards had developed cancer, but it had not told an investigator looking into health concerns at the time. No timetable would be imposed on Sim, who was appointed in mid-November, gallery spokesman Ken Begg said.

“The timing of his report will be his decision,” he said.

Sim’s appointment comes in the wake of the report by an independent investigator, Robert Wray, who found that the gallery was highly likely to have been a “sick building” in the mid-1990s.

Wray criticised as a “paper and literature investigation” the cancer assessment prepared by Health Services Australia.

Management and workers had not been consulted, nor had there been an assessment of the working conditions or allegations of contaminated air-conditioning systems, Wray said.

Sim heads a team of about 15 research staff at Monash, where his unit’s research interests include the human health effects of occupational and environmental chemical exposure.

He will conduct his first visit on Wednesday to familiarise himself with the gallery, learn of staff concerns and to determine the direction his investigation will take.


Study finds hundreds of toxic chemicals in umbilical cords of newborns


Informant: Friends

Globalisierungsgegner fordern Stopp der WTO-Verhandlungen

Freihandel: Globalisierungsgegner fordern Stopp der WTO-Verhandlungen (06.12.05)

Am 13. Dezember beginnen neue Verhandlungen über die Liberalisierung des Welthandels. Ein drittes Debakel nach Seattle und Cancun, wo es beidesmal nicht gelang, den Durchbruch beim Abbau von Zöllen und Agrarsubventionen zu erzielen, will man diesmal in Hongkong vermeiden. Die Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) mit 149 Mitgliedsländern, darunter Deutschland, will für die weltweit agierenden Unternehmen den Handel erleichtern, indem sie für den Abbau von Zöllen und Subventionen eintritt. Mehr als 150 soziale Bewegungen, Gewerkschaften und Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen haben jetzt die Politik der Welthandelsorganisation in einer gemeinsamen Stellungnahme scharf kritisiert und einen Stopp der Verhandlungen gefordert. Die so genannte Entwicklungsrunde der WTO sei "ein Rezept für die massenhafte Zerstörung von Existenzen, für Massenarbeitslosigkeit und die Verschlechterung von Arbeitsverhältnissen", heißt es in dem Papier, das aus Deutschland neben Attac auch Organisationen wie der Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland und die Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft unterzeichnet haben.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:


Badisch-elsässischer Bauernprotest: Landwirte demonstrieren gegen "hemmungslosen Welthandel" (07.12.05)

Mit einer gemeinsamen Protestaktion haben deutsche und französische Bauern am Mittwoch gegen einen Abbau von Importzöllen für Agrarprodukte demonstriert. Nach Angaben eines Polizeisprechers blockierten rund 1000 Landwirte mit mehr als 150 Traktoren beidseitig die Europabrücke zwischen Kehl und Straßburg. Auf französischer Seite wurde eine Kundgebung abgehalten. Die Brücke musste für mehrere Stunden voll gesperrt werden. An der Aktion beteiligten sich vorwiegend Bauern aus dem Elsass und aus Baden. Sie forderten die EU-Kommission auf, der Welthandelsorganisation WTO keine weiteren Zugeständnisse mehr zu Lasten der europäischen Bauern zu machen.

Die ganze Nachricht im Internet:


Warum die Menschheit ihrem unvermeidlichen Ende entgegensteuert... Eine Mär von Gier und Anspruchsdenken.

*dringgggg* - *bimmel* - *hup* - *schell* - *dang-a-dang-dang-a-dang*

Kommt Ihnen bekannt vor? Solange Sie nicht im afrikanischen Busch oder auf der sprichwörtlichen einsamen Insel wohnen, haben Sie dergleichen unter Garantie schon gehört. Es klingelt allerorts, und kaum ertönt der aktuelle Charthit, greifen zig Leute zu ihren Mobiltelefonen, nur um festzustellen, dass der Nebenmann oder die nette Blonde da drüben dasselbe JAMBA-Sparabo hat. Was für eine Gelegenheit, sie anzusprechen: "Hallo Unbekannte! Auch das Sternchen übersehen?"

Ich sehe nur noch Sterne, wenn ich mir aktuelle Angebote angucke. Nicht, weil die Preise so hoch sind, auch wenn das durchaus ein ebenso guter Grund wäre. Nein, dieser wie Fliegendreck anmutende Fleck neben dem super günstigen Preis heißt, dass er noch interpretiert werden möchte. Glücklicherweise wird eine Interpretationshilfe stets mitgeliefert, in augenfreundlicher 6-Punkte-Schrift, leichtgrau auf Weiß. Wenn Sie die entziffert haben, brauchen Sie nur noch einen befreundeten Juristen zu fragen, wem Sie da Ihre Seele verkaufen. Und das Tolle an der ganzen Sache ist, dass Sie sie gleich mehrfach verkaufen können! Bis die Bank Ihre Konten sperrt.

Es begann mit dem Mobilfunk. Ein geschickter Marketingmensch, der hier ungenannt bleiben soll, erdachte die Strategie „schenken, dann nehmen“. Sie bekommen ein Handy geschenkt, können es aber nicht nutzen, bevor Sie besagte Seele verkauft haben. Genau genommen sind Sie Ihre Seele schon los, wenn Sie das Geschenk annehmen. Man sollte meinen, nach der Geschichte mit dem trojanischen Pferd wären die Menschen klüger geworden.

Ich weiß. Das ist kurzsichtig und idealistisch gedacht. Das trojanische Pferd gibt es immer noch. Es ist von Würmern zerfressen, und die Würmer haben Viren. Geiz ist Geil. Demnächst kostenlos auch auf Ihrem PC*

* Nur in Verbindung mit einem Kashban-Sparabo für 4,99 EUR/Monat für zehn elektronische Kopien dieses Beitrags. Schicke jederzeit "HIERISTMEINGELD" inklusive Kontoverbindung, PIN und TAN an gibmirdeingeld@kashban.de für eine sofortige Kündigung des Abos.


Nachricht von der BI Bad Dürkheim

Experten gegen Speicherung von Kommunikationsdaten

07. Dezember 2005

Sechs Tage vor der Abstimmung des Europa-Parlaments zur so genannten Vorratsdatenspeicherung von Telekommunikationsdaten haben Fachleute das Vorhaben bei einer Anhörung im Parlament scharf kritisiert.

Hohe Kosten und neue Sicherheitsrisiken sieht etwa Fiona Taylor vom Verband der europäischen Kommunikationsanbieter: "Wenn Sie wirklich alle IP-Daten zwölf Monate lang speichern wollten, dann bräuchten Sie Datenbanken von einer Größe, die heute unvorstellbar ist." Allein auf die deutschen Unternehmen kämen dadurch nach Schätzungen von Fachleuten Kosten in dreistelliger Millionenhöhe zu.

Wird das Gesetz verabschiedet, dann sind die Provider verpflichtet, Verbindungs- und Standortdaten ihrer Kunden bei Mobilfunk-Gesprächen, Kurzmitteilungen und E-Mails sozusagen auf Vorrat zu speichern. Im Fall schwerer Straftaten sollen die Ermittlungsbehörden auf die Daten zugreifen können.

Behörden erhalten schon jetzt Daten

Kritiker weisen allerdings darauf hin, dass Kriminelle ihre elektronische Kommunikation auch weiterhin anonym führen können - etwa über Internet-Cafés oder öffentliche WLAN-Zugangspunkte. Außerdem ließen sich bei Mails und SMS-Botschaften Verbindungsdaten und Inhalt nur schwer von einander trennen.

"Es ist ja nicht so, dass die Strafverfolger bisher keine Daten zur Verfügung gestellt bekämen", so Taylor weiter, die das Verhältnis der Anbieter zu den Behörden als "fruchtbare Zusammenarbeit" bezeichnete. So seien nach den Anschlägen von Madrid und London Verdächtige auch aufgrund von Providerdaten festgenommen worden.

Sjoera Nas vom Nutzerverband European Digital Rights warnte zusätzlich davor, dass auch Unschuldige ins Visier der Fahnder geraten könnten, etwa dann, wenn wie im Fall von Spam die wahren Absender gefälschte Adressen für ihre Kommunikation benutzten. Für wirkliche Kriminelle sei es jedoch "einfach, die Datenspeicherung zu umgehen, gerade auch im Internet."

(N24.de, Netzeitung)


Nachricht von der BI Bad Dürkheim

Was macht synthetische DNA im Blut?

Nachweis von Gentech-DNA aus Monsanto-Mais in Tierorganen und -blut wirft viele Fragen auf.


Telekommunikativ überfordert?

Wenn das Leben nur noch am Handy und online stattfindet.

The Post 9/11 Saturation Of Our Culture In Torture


Stop CIA Kidnappings That Submit People to Torture and Abuse

This week, even as the ACLU filed an historic lawsuit on behalf of an innocent European kidnapped by the CIA and held in a secret detention center, the president and the secretary of state continued to deny these unlawful practices.

“We abide by the law of the United States. We do not torture,” said President Bush in a White House press conference on Tuesday. But the same morning, across town, the world heard a different story from Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen who was kidnapped during a vacation and transported, or “rendered,” to Afghanistan where he was drugged, beaten and held in secret for five months.

The practice of “extraordinary rendition” violates the Constitution and United States law. Its very purpose is to enable interrogations in places where, in the United States’ view, no laws apply. This week, the practice was also denied by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who told reporters “the United States does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture.”

As outrage over the government's actions grows at home and abroad, you can do something to tell our leaders and the rest of the world that many, many Americans do not support these illegal and inhumane acts being committed in our name. Urge Congress to vote for the anti-torture amendment sponsored by Senator John McCain.

By telling your Member of Congress to support the McCain amendment, you can help our leaders bolster the prohibition on torture and stop the government from using these practices again.

Take action now!

Top U.S. officials know the story of our client Khaled El-Masri. In fact, they even knew about El-Masri’s rendition and wrongful detention at the time it occurred. But the CIA continued to hold him in the notorious prison known as “the Salt Pit,” long after they knew he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

But even now Vice President Dick Cheney is personally lobbying Congress to exempt the CIA from the McCain amendment, so that the agency can continue to kidnap, torture and abuse people in its secret prisons.

Go to http://action.aclu.org/torture to take action right now and tell your Members of Congress to support the McCain anti-torture amendment without an exemption for the CIA. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=F_fR-T6nE4Q0OAP-4IhcGA..

Or, read more before taking action.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

December 7, 2005

Email Congress, Then Learn More at ACLU.ORG

Americans cannot tolerate government kidnappings and secret detention networks that subject innocent people to torture and abuse.

You can learn more about El-Masri v. Tenet and read Khaled El-Masri's story in his own words.

Go to our information page on "extraordinary rendition" to see El-Masri's diagram of his cell in Afghanistan, video from this week's Washington D.C. press conference where El-Masri and ACLU leaders answered questions about the case, the full text of our court filing, El-Masri's own statement and additional resources from the ACLU and others about this unlawful practice.

The United States government has yet to acknowledge its abduction and mistreatment of El-Masri. No U.S. official has yet been held accountable for violating El-Masri's rights to due process and fair treatment.

Take action now! Then, learn more at:

Fitzgerald Presents New Information to Grand Jury

With the new grand jury, Fitzgerald continues to consider charges against White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who failed to reveal to the FBI and the grand jury in the early days of the investigation that he had provided information about CIA analyst Valerie Plame to Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.


Dean Attacked for Anti-War Views

Top Republicans and Democrats exchanged sharp new words over the Iraq war today, as President Bush dismissed as "pessimists" those raising questions about his strategy and calling for a troop withdrawal.


Skepticism Seems to Erode Europeans' Faith in Rice

It would be hard to imagine a more sudden and thorough tarnishing of the Bush administration's credibility than the one taking place here right now. There have been too many reports in the news media about renditions - including one involving a Lebanese-born German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, kidnapped in Macedonia in December 2003 and imprisoned in Afghanistan for several months on the mistaken assumption that he was an associate of the September 11 hijackers - for blanket disclaimers of torture to be widely believed.


Republicans Have Lost High Moral Ground

Robert Scheer writes: To see behind the scenes as Christian-right superstar Ralph Reed, bought off by top Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, dupes his grassroots "pro-family" followers into unwittingly supporting casino-rich Indian tribes under the guise of anti-gambling initiatives, is to glimpse moral corruption of biblical proportion.


Donald Rumsfeld's War

The lack of soldiers on the ground has been a hot-button issue since the start of the Iraq war in March 2003. Career military officials believe that's the reason the war hasn't been a "cakewalk," and they blame Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for designing a flawed war plan.


Our chance to rise to the occasion

Common Dreams
by Andrew Bard Schmookler


[W]hen I feel sorry for myself for this burden of having to battle against the Bushites: I remind myself of what my parents' generation had to sacrifice to meet the challenge of World War II. They, too, had lives they wanted to be living -- work they wanted to be doing, sweethearts they wanted to stay with -- but were instead compelled by what history had dealt them to set all that aside. Men of my father's generation not only had to interrupt their lives, they had to risk having no life at all -- and hundreds of thousands of them never returned -- in order to meet the threat posed to all they valued by the rise of evil. Looking at their example, I am able quickly to silence the voice of that inner baby-boomer who feels somehow entitled to have things the way he wants. The ease of our lives -- all that we've been able to take for granted for so long -- is the exception and not the rule in human experience. We have no good reason to suppose that we were promised a rose garden, that history would not some day call upon us to deal with dark and dangerous things...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Patriot Act needs to be squashed

Eagle Tribune
by Nat Hentoff


Dec. 15 is Bill of Rights Day, celebrating the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, without which our founding document would not have become the law of the land. Begun in Northampton, Mass., in November 2001, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, led by Nancy Talanian, has allied with the American Civil Liberties Union and a range of conservative libertarian organizations. Currently among those insisting on essential Patriot Act reforms are the American Conservative Union, the American Library Association, and such business groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.These business organizations have joined with civil libertarians to focus on the Patriot Act's sweeping expansion of government powers to obtain a huge range of personal information by claiming only that the records are "relevant to an authorized investigation" on terrorism...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

America the beautiful?

Liberty For All
by Ed Lewis


There is a great risk one takes when one searches for the truth. Granted, the truth will set you free, but it may not be without great pain caused by severe mental anguish. You see, the truth may be in opposition to what one has believed all of one's life. It may, in fact, be the exact opposite of what one has believed. The writer, as have millions of other people, grew up believing that America was the greatest, purest country of all countries that ever existed. He believed that the American people were not evil, that the land held the most moral, ethical, and honest people that had been created...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Is Big Brother planning to tag and track drugs?

Institute for Health Freedom
by staff


Since the federal government now is the largest payer for health care in the United States, it has the ability to coerce physicians into implementing anti-privacy practices they might not set up in a truly free-market system. Citizens should watch to make sure the federal government does not use its Medicare muscle to apply financial penalties to physicians who do not write electronic prescriptions. All told, a national mandatory (or coerced) electronic prescribing system would make it much easier for Big Brother to tag and track citizens' use of prescription drugs...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The deficit reduction myth

Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Bert McLachlan


Congress is treating the deficit as a big joke, but surely most people aren't so stupid as to think that 'deficit reduction' is really that. Congress has outspent its own income in 45 of the last 50 years, thereby running up deficits by over $5 trillion. But $4 trillion of those deficits were in just the last 20 years. And then President Bush's budget submission this last February projected $3 trillion more of deficits in just the next 6 years. That is how much Congress itself actually spends in excess of its own income tax revenue...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Basic economics

by Walter E. Williams


Economic ignorance, misconceptions and superstition drive us toward totalitarianism because they make us more willing to hand over greater control of our lives to politicians. That results in a diminution of our liberties. Think back to the gasoline price controls during the 1970s. The price controls caused shortages. To deal with the shortages, restrictions were imposed on purchases. Then national highway speed limits were enacted. Then there were more calls for smaller and less crashworthy cars. With the recent gasoline supply shocks, we didn't experience the shortages, long lines and closed gas stations seen during the 1970s. Why? Prices were allowed to perform their allocative function -- get people to use less gas and get suppliers to supply more...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The imperial presidency

by Tom Engelhardt, Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith


"How has the Bush administration gotten away with such apparently illegal acts as hiding intelligence reports from Congress, creating secret prisons, establishing death squads, kidnapping people and spiriting them across national borders, and planning unprovoked wars? Part of the answer lies in the administration's deliberate effort, initiated even before September 11, 2001, to tear down any existing legal and institutional means for preventing, exposing, or punishing violations of national and international law by American officials...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Putting America last

by Justin Raimondo


Government exists for one reason and for one reason only: the self-perpetuation of the power, perks, and privileges of our rulers and their supporters. Has the distribution of 'homeland security' funding become a way for our elected representatives to buy votes at everyone else's expense? Of course it has: that's the way the system works. This is the 'democracy' we want to export to the ends of the earth, not in its corrupted form but in its purest essence. I conclude, from this structural critique of what's wrong with our anti-terrorist effort, that: (a) our leaders will continue their policy, so vividly on display during the Katrina catastrophe, of putting America last, (b) another attack is inevitable, and (c) our rulers will take the same lesson from 9/11-II that they learned in the first instance -- they'll use the occasion to grab more power and launch more wars...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Alito's recusal policy questioned

Boston Globe


In 1987, Samuel A. Alito Jr., then the US attorney for the district of New Jersey, signed a bank fraud indictment of a New Jersey man named Larry Kopp. Later, when Alito became a federal appeals judge, he put the Kopp case on his 'standing recusal' list, seeking to uphold his promise that he would disqualify himself from any case that he had supervised as US attorney. But in 1992, Alito was noted as 'present' in the court's final decision in the Kopp case, in which the vacating of Kopp's sentence was upheld. If Alito did take part, it would appear to be a fourth instance in which the Supreme Court pick was recorded as being in a case he had promised to avoid. The chief judge of the appeals court, Anthony J. Scirica, said in a telephone interview that the clerk should have kept Alito from considering the case, and that there was no way to know from the record whether he had participated...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Enable Nigerians to know whether or not siting of GSM masts near residential areas, schools, health centres, churches or even police stations can be hazardous in any form whatsoever

Sadly enough, nobody has bordered to ascertain the health implications of their actions not even the State or Federal Ministry of Health.

Should the masts collapse for one reason or another, the consequences may be very disastrous.

It is unclear if health ministry (Federal or State) had made any effort whatsoever to find out whether or not the indiscriminate erection of GSM masts pose any form of danger to people’s health, especially those who work or live close to where these masts are erected. It is very unfortunate.

I am therefore calling on both the federal and state ministries of health to carry independent survey investigations with a view to coming out with results that will enable Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike to know whether or not siting of GSM masts near residential areas, schools, health centres, churches or even police stations can be hazardous in any form whatsoever.

May I equally call on the Nigerian Communications Commission to properly monitor and regulate the activities of mobile phone operators in the country as what is worth doing is worth doing well.

This call has become necessary following emerging evidence that there could be some very serious health implications, most notably an increased incidence of cancer for people working or residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base transmitter masts

Bearing this in mind, one can now understand why former president of America, Mr. Bill Clinton, 1n 1995 issued a formal memorandum stating that transmitter masts should not be sited in schools or residential areas.

In the same vein, in 2000, a special committee in the United Kingdom (UK), the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (also known as the Seeward Commission’s) issued a report on mobile phones safety issues, while follow up reports were issued in 2003, and in that same year, the expert group concluded its work and came up with its findings.

Also in 1999, an expert panel assembled by the Royal Society of Canada issued a report on mobile phones safety, regarding mobile phone base stations and the expert panel equally concluded its surveys and made public the outcome of its investigations.

It is equally on record that an Expert Panel in U.S.A. did something about the safety of mobile phone base stations as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2001, published a statement on mobile phone base stations and also came out with its reports.

The Health Council of the Netherlands was not left out in this very crusade as it issued a report in 2002, on the safety of mobile phones, with regards to mobile phone base stations, and as in other cases it also made public its findings.

Infact, the list of countries that have at one time or another constituted panels or commissions on the safety of mobile phone base stations is endless.

All the panels and commissions constituted by different countries of the world had one thing in common as none of them supported siting of GSM masts close to schools, police stations, churches, healthcentres and residential areas as we are experiencing here in Nigeria today.

Even if they had supported a thing like that, is it not better and safer for authorities concerned, to carry out their own survey for the fact that their climate or weather condition is quite different from what we have here in Nigeria.

In effect, what is not harmful there may be harmful here or vice versa, and this makes it imperative for both the State and Federal Ministries of Health to carry out surveys with a view to ascertaining the health implications of indiscriminate siting of GSM masts by GSM phone operators in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission whose duty it is to regulate the activities of GSM phone operators in the country should also wake up from its slumber and live up to expectations by monitoring and regulating effectively the activities of the operators and insisting on undiluted compliance.


Masts: call to end lose-lose situation

Dundee East MSP Shona Robison is to press for detailed planning guidance from the Scottish Executive to end the “lose-lose” situation suffered by residents opposing the erection of mobile phone masts close to their homes, writes Steve Scott.
Ms Robison expressed her “great disappointment” with the planning inquiry decision to uphold an appeal by mobile operators 02 against the decision of Dundee City Council to refuse permission to upgrade a telecoms mast close to the Campfield Square shopping centre in Barnhill.

“I believe the residents had a good case, professionally put together by Dr Shirley McEwan and other local residents, and I am sure they will be furious to see their concerns dismissed out of hand like this,’’ she said.

“I was a witness to the inquiry last month and while the reporter listened to our concerns with sympathy, the planning regulations as they relate to these masts at the moment mean his hands were tied, and it makes it a lose-lose situation for everyone.

“I will continue to press for greater guidance from the Executive because it is intolerable that residents’ views on planning decisions in their area are continually being disregarded in this way.’’

Ms Robison is also calling for mobile phone users to put pressure on the companies to invest further in new technologies such as BT’s Microconnect System, which uses less invasive equipment that in most cases would not require planning permission.

“I understand there has to be more investigation into the system, but I was very annoyed by the way 02 dismissed it at the inquiry,’’ she continued.

“It has worked on trials in several English cities and hopefully mobile phone users will put pressure on their operators to research better technologies which might end the requirement for these mast eyesores.”

© All copyright D C Thomson & Co Ltd., 2005


A Special Forces Officer Turned Anti-War Socialist


Informant: Friends

That End-Of-Empire Feeling

by David Corn, TomPaine.com

From the war to the economy, this holiday season bears the signs of a great nation in decline.


Protect Anti-Torture Amendment

Take Action Now

Please contact your Members of Congress today to urge them to keep the anti-torture amendment exactly as passed by the U.S. Senate and to oppose the Graham Amendment.

Click here to take action

We need your help to ensure that members of the House support the Anti-Torture Amendment as passed by the Senate, and oppose the Graham Amendment.

Some Representatives are reportedly trying to strip the anti-torture amendment. Please send an email and call your Representative today to urge them to keep the Anti-Torture Amendment exactly as passed by the Senate, and to support the fundamental right to due process by opposing the Graham Amendment!

Click here to take action now.

A critical vote in the House of Representatives could come as early as tonight. Representatives may soon vote on how to advise a small group of their colleagues who are negotiating the fate of the Anti-Torture Amendment. They might also vote on the fate of the Graham Amendment that would dangerously restrict the right for detainees at Guantanamo to challenge their detention in federal courts.

Click here to take action now.

You can also call your Member of Congress:

U.S. Representative

Anti-Torture Talking points

Because there are differences between the House and Senate passed versions of the bills, Congress will appoint a select group of Representatives and Senators to a "conference committee" responsible for reconciling the discrepancies between House and Senate versions of legislation and agreeing on one final version for both chambers to vote on and send to the President for signature. For this reason, we'd like activists to contact both of their Senators and their Representative in support of the Anti-Torture Amendment and opposing the Graham Amendment.

-- As your constituent, I urge you to adopt the Anti-Torture Amendment, as originally passed by the U.S. Senate. I urge you to forcefully oppose any effort to modify or to strip the language of the Senate passed amendment from the Department of Defense Appropriations bill. And I urge you to press the President to sign the provision into law without revisions.

-- Any attempts to create exemptions for the CIA, a presidential waiver on the ban, or other qualification would put the U.S. government in a position of authorizing inhumane treatment, in violation of core principles that Americans embrace and in violation of U.S. and international law. Any such revisions to the original amendment should be overwhelmingly opposed.

-- Torture is a tool of terror, not liberty. No country can hope to promote freedom, democracy and justice if it also claims a right to inflict inhuman cruelty. America’s best values will only survive for our children if we stand by them in fearful and uncertain times. We must never let terrorists influence standards for moral and lawful behavior.

-- I am particularly concerned to hear that some Representatives may want to strip the anti-torture language from the Appropriations bill, and let identical language wither and never be signed into law on the authorization bill. The Senate passed anti-torture language must be adopted without modification on both bills. I urge you also to oppose the Graham Amendment to the Defense Authorization bill and to ensure that Congress protect core principles of justice and due process, especially the basic right to Habeas Corpus. The ability to challenge one’s detention in a court of law is absolutely critical to protect the human rights of anyone in custody.

-- The US Army Field Manual recognizes that torture and inhuman treatment is ineffective, stating that "Use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."

-- As my elected official, I urge you to press for the adoption of the Anti-Torture Amendment in the form passed by Senate, and to urge the President to sign the provision into law without revisions.

Stonewalling on CIA Abuses in Europe



Stonewalling on CIA Abuses in Europe

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's refusal to provide a substantive, factual response to the European Union's request for details regarding possible Europe-related activities of the reported CIA secret prison network. The EU's request comes in the context of its inquiry to figure out whether international law was violated, within its jurisdiction, in connection with the network. Rice did promise that the U.S. would not use torture -- but Mariner argues that this promise offers only cold comfort, in light of the U.S.'s current, narrow definition of what counts as torture, and of the scope of the relevant treaties.

Guest Column
Why Did the Fourth Circuit Suggest it Might Vacate its Decision In the Case of Alleged Dirty Bomb Conspirator Jose Padilla?
FindLaw guest columnist Jennifer Van Bergen, a journalist with a law degree, discusses possible reasons for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's recent, surprising decision to ask for briefing in the Jose Padilla case. Padilla is the federal detainee who was originally said to be a dirty-bomb co-conspirator, and then indicted, recently, on separate charges. The Fourth Circuit asked for briefing on whether it should vacate its decision upholding Padilla's three-and-a-half-year detention in light of the change in the government's rationale for detention.

Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2005


From ufpj-news

Voting Machines Under Scrutiny

The potential perils of electronic voting systems are bedeviling state officials as a January 1, 2006, deadline approaches for complying with strict standards for machine reliability.


051207 - R - Mobilfunk - Newsletter


Condoleezza Rice, neo-Orwellian


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Next-up news 7 Dec 2005


Kein Recht auf gesunde Nahrung? - UNO ignoriert, dass die "grüne Gentechnik" zahlreichen Menschenrechten widerspricht

Die Plattform gibt folgende Pressemeldung bekannt!

Seit über fünf Jahren kämpfen wir gegen die "Grüne Gentechnik" und bezeichnen diese, als den größten Wahnsinn den die Menschheit bisher je erlebt hatte! Außer katastrophalen Auswirkungen durch diese "Technik", gibt es kein einziges Produkt weltweit, was durch die "Grüne Gentechnik" für den Menschen, Tiere und die Umwelt nachhaltig von Vorteil wäre! In Amerika wo die Gentechnahrung in den Verkaufsregalen seit zehn Jahren angeboten wird, ist der Krebs um 47 % gestiegen! Viele namhafte Wissenschaftler sehen darin den Grund! Obwohl es noch keine menschlich Studie dafür gibt, beweisen aber alle Tierstudien sehr genau, wenn man Tieren Gentechnachrung füttert, dass sie sehr schnell davon krank werden und auch rasch sterben, wogegen parallel dazu mit herkömmlichen Futter gefütterte Tier ganz normal weiterleben! Mehr davon auf unserer Homepage http://www.proleben.at ! Weil diese Sache irreversibel ist und uns alle berührt, haben wir die EU bereits zweimal deswegen eingeklagt! Alle beiden Klagen wurden aber abgeschmettert, so wie jüngst auch die Klage vom Land Oberösterreich! Deswegen haben wir die Menschenrechte eingeklagt, die die "Grüne Gentechnik" verletzt. Jeder Mensch hat das Recht auf eine gesunde Nahrung, hat das Recht auf eine gesunde Umwelt... (78 solcher ) Menschenrechte haben wir beim Hochkomisseriat für Menschenrechte in Genf erst mal weltweit eingeklagt! Am 7.Nov. haben wir diese dort mündlich dargelegt! Das Plenum wiedersprach uns bis auf einen Punkt nicht! Das Hochkomisseriat für Menschenrechte ist der Meinung essen gehört nicht mehr zu den Menschenrechten und das befremdet uns schon sehr! Wir haben auch wohlweislich keine schriftlich Stellungnahme erhalten! Auch wurde es nicht im Internet veröffentlicht, obwohl dies gesetzlich verankert ist und auch bei allen anderen Anklagen so praktiziert wird! (Man will das ganz einfach totschweigen)!

Deshalb senden wir diese hochinteressante Meldung an Sie. Im Anhang befinden sich: Das Titelbild der Pakt - Broschüre für Menschenrechte, (Recht auf gesunde Nahrung etc.)! die über 150 Staaten unterschrieben haben, unter anderem auch Österreich!


Die Presseaussendung! Der Parallelbericht in Kurzform. Die Originalfassung ist unter http://www.proleben.at (news -downloads ganz oben als erstes abrufbar)! Wir hoffen sehr, dass Sie dem mehr als dem üblichen Aufmerksamkeit schenken, da diese Sache uns alle angeht, denn wie lange können wir uns noch mit natürlicher Nahrung ernähren?

Mit den herzlichsten Grüßen an Sie und Ihr gesamtes Team. Für Rücksprachen wie immer:


Kontakt: Richard Leopold Tomasch, Tel.: 04235/2347; rileto@proleben.at ; http://www.proleben.at ; http://www.proleben.at/presse für Bilder zum Herunterladen!

Kein Recht auf gesunde Nahrung?

UNO ignoriert, dass die "grüne Gentechnik" zahlreichen Menschenrechten widerspricht

Die österreichische Antigentechnik-Plattform "Pro Leben" ist erschüttert über den vergangenen Woche vom UN-Ausschuss für wirtschaftliche, soziale und kulturellen Rechte veröffentlichten Bericht zur Lage der Menschenrechte in Österreich. Denn erstmals weltweit hat "Pro Leben" vor diesem UN-Menschenrechtsausschuss schriftlich und - am 7. November in Genf - mündlich dargelegt, dass die "Grüne Gentechnik" gegen die Menschenrechte verstößt. Auch Österreich ist keine Ausnahme, weil die Republik die gesetzlichen Voraussetzungen für den Einsatz von gentechnisch veränderten Organismen (GVO) geschaffen hat. Obwohl verantwortliche Mitglieder des Menschenrechtskomitees in anschließenden Gesprächen Zustimmung zu unseren Einwänden äußerten, wurde das Thema im UN-Bericht totgeschwiegen. Das Komitee widerlegte zwar keinen angeführten Punkt, fühlte sich aber letztlich "nicht zuständig", wie dies Mitglieder selbst zugaben.

Doch wie kann sich der für Menschenrechte zuständige Ausschuss nicht zuständig fühlen, wenn durch eine Technologie, nach der niemand gerufen hat, zahlreiche Rechte des Internationalen Paktes verletzt werden? Dabei handelt es sich um:

· Das Recht der Völker auf Selbstbestimmung (Artikel 1) (Alle § im Paktvertrag verankert)!
· Das Recht auf freie Verfügung über natürliche Reichtümer und Mittel bzw. Verbot des Raubs der Existenzmittel eines Volkes (Artikel 1, Absatz 2)
· Das Recht auf Arbeit (Artikel 6)
· Das Recht auf Nahrung (Artikel 11)
· Das Recht auf Gesundheit (Artikel 12)
· Das Recht auf Freiheit von Wissenschaft und Forschung (Artikel 15)

(Siehe auch beigefügte Kurzfassung oder Langfassung unter http://www.proleben.at/Parallelbericht_ProLeben.pdf ).

Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Österreicher und EU-Bürger lehnt die Gentechnik in der Landwirtschaft und in der Nahrung ab. Die Verunreinigung des Saatgutes, illegale Importe von GVO und die Kontamination gentechnikfreier Pflanzen durch Pollenflug werden toleriert oder riskiert, wenn die Gentechnik Einzug hält. Wenn der Staat beispielsweise den Anbau von genmanipuliertem Mais freigibt, lässt er zu, dass mehrere gesundheitsbedenkliche Stoffe in unsere Nahrung gelangen.

Republik und UNO müssen Farbe bekennen

Unsere Lebensgrundlagen Gesundheit, Arbeit und Umwelt sind durch GVO gefährdet. Auch wenn der UN-Menschenrechtsausschuss vor dieser Problematik die Augen verschloss, werden wir alles daran setzen, die Gentechnik in die Schranken zu weisen: Zum einen streben wir eine Klage gegen die Republik Österreich an, damit sie die Gentechnikfreiheit verfassungsmäßig verankert, zum anderen werden wir und unsere Mitstreiter dafür sorgen, dass der UN-Menschenrechtsausschuss von NGOs anderer Länder auch in Zukunft regelmäßig mit diesem Thema konfrontiert wird. Kläger: Richard Leopold Tomasch (Sprecher von Pro Leben) DI Volker Helldorff (von der Gentechnik bedrohter Biobauer, Pro Leben) Karl Raab (von der Gentechnik bedrohter Biobauer, Pro Leben)

Kontakt: Richard Leopold Tomasch, Tel.: 04235/2347; rileto@proleben.at ; http://www.proleben.at http://www.proleben.at/presse Bilder zum herunterladen (Zürich und Genf)!

Parallelbericht zum 3. und 4. Staatenbericht der Republik Österreich über die Umsetzung des Internationalen Paktes über wirtschaftliche, soziale und kulturelle Rechte

Soziale Menschenrechte in Österreich

Menschenrechtsverletzungen in der Landwirtschaft und bei den Verbrauchern durch die Einführung der Gentechnik

Vorgelegt durch: Antigentechnik-Plattform Pro Leben Österreich

Zusammenfassung des Parallelberichtes und Vorschläge für die "concluding observations":

Durch die Einführung der Gentechnik in Österreich werden folgende Rechte des Internationalen Paktes verletzt:

Verletzungen des Rechts der Völker auf Selbstbestimmung (Artikel 1):

· 80 Prozent der Verbraucher sind gegen Gentechnik. 1997 stimmten 1,2 Millionen von 8 Millionen Österreichern gegen Gentechnik
· Verunreinigung des Saatgutes - schon nach einer Aussaat ist alles kontaminiert, ohne dass die Bauern davon wissen und es wollen.
· Illegale Importe - mangels ausreichender Kontrollen gelangen nicht für den Verzehr erlaubte Gentech-Nahrungsmittel in die Supermärkte. Amnesty International sieht das als "schwerwiegende Bedrohung für das Leben der Bauern und Verbraucher".
· Kontaminierung durch Pollenflug und Witterung - niemand bleibt von GVO verschont. Sicherheitsabstände sind unnütz. Niemand haftet für die wirklichen Schäden.

Absatz 2: Recht auf freie Verfügung über natürliche Reichtümer und Mittel / Verbot des Raubs der Existenzmittel eines Volkes:

· Konzerne verkaufen Saatgut, das nur 1x benutzt werden kann - Bauern werden abhängig und müssen jedes Jahr neues Saatgut kaufen.
· Darüber hinaus patentieren die Konzerne mehr und mehr Pflanzen: Bauern sind gezwungen schon für die Erlaubnis, dieses Saatgut zu verwenden, zu bezahlen. "Das ist eine Versklavung der Bauern" (Vandana Shiva, alternative Nobelpreisträgerin).

Verletzung des Rechts auf Arbeit ( Artikel 6)

Das Recht auf Arbeit aller gentechnikfrei wirtschaftenden Bauern wird durch Patente auf Leben, die zunehmende Abhängigkeit von Großkonzernen über Saatgut und Verträge sowie die drohende Kontaminierung durch Nachbarn gefährdet. Da mit Einführung der Gentechnik in der Landwirtschaft die gentechnikfreie Produktion langsam aber sicher zu teuer wird, wären Landwirte gezwungen, ihren Betrieb aufzugeben oder auf GVO - und damit in die direkte Abhängigkeit der Konzerne - umzusteigen.

Verletzung des Rechts auf Nahrung (Artikel 11):

Durch den Anbau von genmanipuliertem Mais gelangen zwei hochwirksame Gifte und ein Antibiotikum in unsere Nahrung. Mit Gentech-Pflanzen verlieren die Bauern ihre Arbeit, ihren Zugang zu Nahrungsmitteln und ihr Einkommen verringert sich um bis zu 60 Prozent. Lt. FAO und dem Generell Comment No. 12 hat der Staat die Pflicht, den Zugang zu angemessener Nahrung und Nahrung ohne gesundheitsbedenkliche Stoffe durchzusetzen und sicherzustellen, dass Veränderungen der Nahrung sich nicht nachteilig auf die Zusammensetzung auswirken dürfen.

Verletzung des Rechts auf Gesundheit (Artikel 12)

Der 100. deutsche Ärztetag und zahlreiche im Parallelbericht aufgeführte Studien weisen auf, wie GVO in irreversible Schäden für die Gesundheit - bis hin zum Tod - resultieren.

Verletzung des Rechts auf Freiheit von Wissenschaft und Forschung (Art. 15)

95 Prozent der Wissenschaftler arbeiten für die Gentech-Industrie. Bei Studien, die Risiken und Gefahren der Gentechnik nachweisen, wird versucht, die Veröffentlichung mit allen Mitteln zu verhindern.

Empfehlungen für die "concluding observations" (Anm.: wurden leider nicht angenommen):

Das Komitee teilt der österreichischen Bundesregierung seine große Sorge über die Einführung der Gentechnik mit, die nach den vorliegenden Berichten und Erkenntnissen eine massive Gefährdung der Ernährungssicherheit und Gesundheit des österreichischen Volkes bedeuten.

Der Ausschuss empfiehlt deshalb der Bundesrepublik Österreich, dringend den Einsatz von Gentechnik in Landwirtschaft und Nahrungsmittelproduktion sowie die Einführung von gentechnisch veränderten Produkten für die Nahrungsmittelherstellung - z. B. auch im Tierfutter - zu verbieten, bis Langzeitstudien (bei Medikamenten 7 - 10 Jahre) durch unabhängige Forschung jegliche Risiken ausschließen. Die Einführung einer Schadenshaftung für die Verursacher, die Konzerne, wird eine objektive Risikoforschung unterstützen.

Call your Representative about PATRIOT Act reauthorization

The House may vote as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, December 7) on a PATRIOT Act "compromise" bill, known as a "conference report," that is identical or close to the unacceptable version drafted before Congress's Thanksgiving recess.

What the House may vote on: The conference report fails to make adequate changes to Section 215, expands National Security Letter powers, and otherwise disregards civil liberties. It places seven year sunsets on sections 206, 215 and "lone wolf" and makes the rest of the PATRIOT Act permanent. (For more information about the bill, see http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/bordc-act-alert39.php#draft .)

As an alternative to the conference report, the House may vote on a "continuing resolution," which would extend all expiring provisions, without changes, for a specific period, such as 3-6 months. A continuing resolution would extend the debate, so it is preferable to a bad bill.

Take Action/Talking Points: Please phone or fax your House member today or tomorrow (sorry, not enough time for emails!) and tell him or her that the conference report is unacceptable because [insert the issues you feel are most important], and to vote against it on behalf of his/her constituents, including those in [cities and counties in their district], which have passed civil liberties resolutions. Ask your Representative to oppose the conference report and vote in favor of a continuing resolution, if one is proposed.

Look up your Representative's contact information at
http://www.house.gov .
See expanded talking points at
Look up resolutions passed in your district at
http://www.bordc.org/list.php?sortAlpha=1 . We will send updates on House and Senate votes when we have more information.
Thanks for all you do,

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Web: http://www.bordc.org
Email: info@bordc.org
Phone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116

Informant: Mofmars3

Listen to Nixon talk about our war in Iraq


It was stunning and surreal to listen to the audio clip Jerry Springer put together yesterday during his Air America Radio Talk show. He took a speech Nixon delivered during the Viet Nam war and ONLY changed the words Viet Nam with the word Iraq. It is, practically, verbatim what Bush has been saying. It is as thou Bush is following some kind of script!

I'm glad I didn't share this yesterday for this recording becomes more apropos in light of the attacks Howard Dean has been receiving today for saying that we are making the same mistakes we did in Viet Nam and that the results would be similar...the Iraq War is unwindable.

Are we, again, going to wait until we are, once again, in the 10s of thousands of our dead soldiers before we finally get it!

http://PlayAudio-234.com/play.asp?m=246855&f=VXSCVD&ps=13&p=1 (2 min)

Jack Topel

Total Surveillance

Interview: New consumer-tracking technology threatens to make personal privacy a thing of the past.

Katherine Albrecht
By Michael Beckel

December 6, 2005

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P L U S : The Watchful & the Wary Mining the Matrix

Imagine a future in which your every belonging is marked with a unique number identifiable with the swipe of a scanner; where your refrigerator keeps track of its contents; where the location of your car is always pinpoint-able; and where signal-emitting microchips storing personal information are implanted beneath your skin or embedded in your inner organs.

This is the future of radio frequency identification (RFID), a technology whose application has so far been limited largely to supply-chain management (enabling companies, for example, to keep track of the quantity of a given product they have in stock). RFID is set to be applied in a whole range of consumer settings. Already being tested in products as innocuous as shampoo, lip balm, razor blades, and cream cheese, RFID-enabled items are promoted by retailers and marketers as the next revolution in customer convenience. Consumer advocates say this is paving the way for a nightmarish future where personal privacy is a quaint throwback.

Katherine Albrecht has been at the forefront of efforts to sound the alarm about the (already) $10 billion-a-year customer surveillance industry. As the founder and director of the consumer advocacy group Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN, a nod to C.S. Lewis’ valiant prince), she has uncovered everything from hidden cameras to tracking devices in shopping carts to fake shoppers who follow you around stores.

In her new book, Spychips (co-written with colleague Liz McIntyre and published by Nelson Current), Albrecht, whose work is motivated in part by deeply held Christian beliefs, details how global corporations—and governments—are working to turn RFID into a way of tracking the day-to-day activities of ordinary citizens.

“Regardless of whether your beliefs are progressive or conservative, socially or politically, everybody’s got a reason to not want somebody spying on them,” she says. “Whether you’re afraid that Big Brother is going to take the form of an evil corporation or Big Brother is going to take the form of an evil government or take whatever form, everybody’s got a reason to be concerned.”

Mother Jones recently talked with Albrecht about her consumer activism, the techniques of customer manipulation, and a future where RFID is ubiquitous and personal privacy in short supply.

Mother Jones: What are the greatest threats posed by radio frequency identification technology in particular in the surveillance operations of stores?

Katherine Albrecht: The problem with RFID has to do with the fact that the RFID tags can be so easily hidden into products—things people buy and carry—and the reader devices can be so easily hidden into aspects of the environment. This makes it extremely easy for someone who wants to observe and watch people in these surreptitious ways to do so. We’ve identified three different arenas that the RFID threat could come from: marketers, the government, and criminals.

MJ: What examples have you seen in those three areas?

KA: The Metro, the RFID industry’s showcase retail outlet in Germany, is a good example of a retailer abusing RFID in a surreptitious way. About a year and a half ago, we toured the store for over three hours. The next day I was giving a talk to a group of Germans on privacy and RFID. We had set up a $200 reader device we had bought off the Internet to read the RFID tags off the Pantene shampoo and the Gillette razor products and just on a lark, one of my colleagues held his frequent shopper card up to the reader device and a number appeared on the screen. We found out that they had actually tagged us—and apparently 10,000 other shoppers—at the store, by giving out these cards without being told that they contained RFID tracking devices.

That’s the retailer’s dream: Instead of having to rely on all of this extremely expensive technology to follow you and watch you walk around the store, they can issue you something that you put in your wallet willingly. That way they could figure out how long you stood in front of the bread aisle or they could figure out how long your shopping trip took. They could identify you from the moment you walked in the door. They could identify your value to the store and then treat you differently depending on how profitable you are.

MJ: Companies are actually thinking like that?

KA: Oh, absolutely. I have thousands of pages to back that up. Actually, the whole current retail environment is set up to maximize profit. There are things that have been going on long before RFID became available to retailers that are quite revolting. They’ve got shelf cameras that can zoom in and capture your customer expression as you look at a shelf. They’ve got fake shoppers who can literally follow you around and record what you say to the people you’re shopping with. It’s a $10 billion per year industry. And it’s almost entirely invisible to the average consumer.

MJ: And what can the average consumer do to fight back against this?

KA: The first thing is to become informed about it, because I think very few people have any clue at all that it’s even happening. We detail a lot of this at our NoCards.org website. We’ve protested shopper cards, which are essentially a tool to get you to reveal your purchasing patterns [with the aid of] very sophisticated data mining filters. We recommend a multi-tier approach: educate yourself, educate other people, boycott stores that engage in it, punish them financially by withholding your shopping dollars from them. If the punishment becomes more painful than the desired reward, just like with anything else, companies will pull back from these practices.

MJ: What motivates your advocacy against RFID technology?

KA: What motivates me is an absolute resistance against the idea that we would all just be reduced to being numbers and tagged and tracked like cattle. When I see RFID and I think about a world in which the powers that be—be they corporate or government—can essentially watch, surveil, track, manipulate, and control the people, that’s what motivates me: a desire to see that not happen, to my generation, to my children, to my grandchildren. History is going to judge us based on how we respond to this threat now.

MJ: So, you walk into a store and you purchase something using the store card, or get a product with one of those RFID tag devices. Can you walk through some of the things that are going on from the surveillance perspective?

KA: Let’s say I buy a pair of size 7 women’s Nike running shoes with a credit card. Currently, most major national chains are recording information about what people are buying. In the future, however, my pair of size 7 Nike running shoes will have a unique ID number in an RFID tag embedded in the sole—unless we stop it—so anytime that I step on carpeting or a floor tile that’s been equipped with an RFID reader, it can scan that number and know: “Hey, I’m at the Atlanta courthouse, and I just saw shoe number 308247 step by. Let me cross-reference that in the database. That’s the shoe that was purchased by Katherine Albrecht.”

And shoes are a particularly interesting example to think of in that regard because we don’t trade shoes with other people, for a variety of hygiene and fitness reasons, and most of us tend to wear only a few pairs of shoes regularly. So if you can identify a pair of shoes as belonging to an individual and strategically locate reader devices—put them in the entrance to the airport, the entrance to the courthouse, the entrance to the Wal-Mart store—you can pinpoint the time and place at which a person was seen entering that location. That opens up a whole new horizon of tracking capability to watch people, for marketers and homeland security folks.

MJ: How might the government use this technology for homeland security?

KA: Depending on your politics, you may attend a peace rally or a gun show or a talk by a Muslim cleric or a union meeting or a particular political rally, all of which are protected by the First Amendment. But in the RFID world, federal agents could attend that meeting with a hand-held reader hidden in a backpack, mill around long enough to capture a couple thousand RFID numbers associated with the people at the meeting, upload all of that to a central database, cross-reference it, and figure out everybody who was there.

Also, once you’ve got the private sector wielding all of this technology, they are at liberty to sell that information to the federal government. At that point, the government does not run a foul of Constitution restrictions for essentially spying on its own citizens. There are a lot of private sector-government partnerships in sharing of this information once it’s been gathered, and we anticipate that there will be more and more of that in coming years.

MJ: That seems to require an enormous about of infrastructure and cooperation between these businesses and the database registration.

KA: Pieces of this are already happening. When you make a purchase, records, including your identity and all of the things you bought are collected and recorded. And there are companies that specialize in purchase-record consolidation, such as Information Resources Inc.

MJ: How far away is that future?

KA: That future is going to happen as soon as we allow them to put RFID tags on the things we wear and carry. If you ask the industry, that future is by 2010. When the industry gets RFID tags down to five cents, or preferably a fraction of a penny, at that point, I think we’ll begin to see them appearing on everything, and we’re really looking at a future in which every physical object on earth will be uniquely numbered and trackable in real-time all the time.

MJ: How can RFID tags be used in a consumer responsible way?

KA: This is a great technology if you want to track things from point A to point B. If you run a warehouse and want to keep track of the inventory in the warehouse, RFID is a super way to do it. Conceivably, RFID could have some consumer benefits, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the risks that this technology poses. Industry will tell you, “Won’t it be great when you can waltz through a check out line without having to stop and stand in line?” If the price I have to pay for that is having all of my belongings remotely identifiable and being under the thumb of Big Brother, I would rather stand in line. The trade off just seems so ludicrously lop-sided.

MJ: What alternatives do you suggest for responsible marketers?

KA: I would say let people make their own decisions without trying to manipulate them. The advice I give to professional marketers is “If you can’t tell people you’re doing it, you shouldn’t do it.” I don’t think that the marketers’ challenge is so great right now that they have to resort to these kinds of underhanded tactics to meet their objectives. I want to buy something on the merits of the product.

MJ: What’s your take on the VeriChip Company and Tommy Thompson—former Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Bush administration and now VeriChip Board member—advocating more RFID technology for medical information?

KA: It absolutely scares the heck out of me. In the last six months to a year, this company has really stepped up its efforts to get some powerful players behind it. The fact that people listen to this with a straight face is even more extraordinary to me. You’ve got Tommy Thompson talking about linking medical records with a chip implanted in your arm. You’ve got Senator Joe Biden in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings talking about implant chips to track people with a straight face. It’s unbelievable how quickly we’ve gone from saying “Oh, that’s pet chipping technology, we’ll never put that in people” to people with a straight face suddenly talking about implanting chips into American citizens. Terrifying.

Michael Beckel is an investigative fellow at Mother Jones.

© 2005 The Foundation for National Progress



Tracking by tagging our children

Fordern und Fördern im lebenswerten Hessen

Arbeitsamt und Arbeitszwang

Alltägliche Schikanen

An das Arbeitslosenzentrum Frankfurt

„Liebe Frau Dr. Sommerfeld oder Arbeitslosenzentrum, heute muß ich Ihnen schreiben, was im Hildesheimer Arbeitsamt abgeht…“ So beginnt ein persönlicher Brief von H.R. vom 10.10.2005 über das „Fordern und Fördern“ im lebenswerten Hessen an FALZ Frankfurt.

Trainingsmaßnahmen und andere Umschulungen

Weiterbildung für Arbeitslose

Vom Umtausch ausgeschlossen

Weniger Teilnehmer, kürzere Kurse: Bildungsgutscheine für Arbeitslose werfen mehr Probleme auf als sie lösen. Artikel von Fabinne Melzer in Süddeutsche Zeitung vom 02.12.2005

Dazu unser Un-Zitat des Tages:

"…Wir tun viel zur Eingliederung Langzeitarbeitsloser. Wir haben Einarbeitungsmaßnahmen, wir haben Training on the Job und ähnliches. Wir erfahren wegen der Forderung in unserem Programm, die Zahl der Saisonarbeitskräfte aus dem Ausland um ein Viertel zu reduzieren, großen Widerstand. Wir sollten vielleicht einfach einmal darüber nachdenken, ob diese Trainingsmaßnahmen nicht auch den Körper betreffen sollten und nicht nur den Kopf und ob wir nicht vielleicht einen Monat lang den Arbeitslosen Fitnessangebote machen sollten, damit sie dann, wenn sie eingesetzt werden, tatsächlich die von ihnen erwartete Arbeit leisten können…“ Ilse Falk (CDU/CSU) lt. Plenarprotokoll - Vorab-Veröffentlichung von der 6.Sitzung des Bundestags am 2. Dezember 2005


Aus: LabourNet, 6. Dezember 2005

Sozialer Angriff und Widerstand

Schwarzbuch Hartz IV. Sozialer Angriff und Widerstand – Eine Zwischenbilanz

Agenturschluss (Hrsg.) bringt am 2. Januar 2006 die Zwischenbilanz nach einem Jahr Hartz IV als Buch (ISBN 3-935936-51-6; ca. 180 Seiten; ca. 11,- €) bei assoziation a heraus! Vorbestellungen sind jetzt schon möglich (Tel.: 030-69582971 | Fax 030-69582973 | assoziation-a@t-online.de) – wer es nicht abwarten kann, möge schon jetzt schmökern in:

Klappentext http://www.labournet.de/diskussion/arbeit/aktionen/asbuch1.html

Editorial http://www.labournet.de/diskussion/arbeit/aktionen/asbuch2.html

In einigen Tagen folgt die Auswertung der Anonymen Umfrage zum Arbeitsamt und zu Ein-Euro-Jobs als Vorabdruck!

Aus: LabourNet, 6. Dezember 2005

Länger schuften für den Job

"Es war nur eine kleine Meldung: Der Elektrokonzern Philips kehrt in Deutschland zur 40-Stunden-Woche zurück, ebenso wie die Textilkette C&A. Damit setzt sich ein Trend fort, der noch vor zehn Jahren undenkbar war: Die Deutschen arbeiten länger - zum gleichen Lohn..." Artikel von Ludwig Greven in FDT vom 29.11.2005


Vorreiter Ostdeutschland

"Was in Westdeutschland immer noch für Aufregung sorgt, ist in den neuen Bundesländern längst der Normalfall: die Beschäftigten arbeiten länger, als es die Tarifverträge erlauben. Die Ostbetriebe profitieren davon..." Artikel von Marleen Jacobs in der FDT vom 01.12.2005 http://www.ftd.de/pw/de/30575.html

Aus: LabourNet, 6. Dezember 2005

9. bundesweites Treffen des Aktionsbündnis Sozialproteste

Alle Dokumente lassen sich außerdem im Archiv unserer Homepage http://www.die-soziale-bewegung.de ansehen und downloaden.

Aktionsbündnis Sozialproteste
Homepage: http://www.die-soziale-bewegung.de
Email: die-soziale-bewegung@web.de

Erinnerung 9. bundesweites Treffen des Aktionsbündnis Sozialproteste

Zur Beratung dringlich anstehender Fragen möchten wir Euch für den 10.12.2005 zum nächsten bundesweiten Treffen einladen.

Ort: DGB-Haus, Obere Masch Str. 10, Göttingen, (4 bis 5 Minuten vom Bahnhof)

http://www.die-soziale-bewegung.de/mails/anfahrt_dgb_goe.jpg . Ausführliche Anfahrtbeschreibung in Worten siehe im Archiv unserer Homepage.

Zeit: 11:00 Uhr bis 17:00 Uhr

Tagesordnung (Vorschlag):

1. Lageeinschätzung des Aktionsbündnis Sozialproteste, Berichte aus den Städten
Verantwortlich: Michael Maurer, Wolfram Altekrüger (Einschätzung des Koordinierungskreises lt. Beratung vom 03.12.2005)

2. Finanzen des ABSP und Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten unserer politischen Arbeit
Verantwortlich: Edgar Schu

3. Gegen den Sozialkahlschlag im Frühjahr 2006 (Bündniskonzept der Großdemo, Vernetzung mit anderen Organisationen der Sozialproteste)
Verantwortlich: Edgar Schu (Einleitung und Entwurf des Aufrufes)

4. Gegen die EU-Dienstleistungsrichtlinie "Bolkestein" am 14. Februar
Verantwortlich: Helmut Woda (Einleitung)

5. Struktur des ABSP, Entwicklungen der letzten Wochen
Verantwortlich: Ottokar Luhn (Newsletter/Zeitung und Selbsthilfe), BAG-SHI und Erwerbslosenforum (Selbsthilfe)

6. Der schwarz-roten Koalitionsvertrag und mögliche Schlussfolgerungen
Verantwortlich: Peter Grottian

7. Verschiedenes

Moderation: Rainer Wahls


Es gibt einen gemeinsamen Topf. Es können bei Bedarf z.B. bei ALG II- und Sozialgeldempfängern 50% der Reisekosten erstattet werden. Bitte vorher Anfrage an: die-soziale-bewegung@web.de

Mit solidarischen Grüßen

Wolfram Altekrüger, Claudio Coladangelo, Renate Gaß, Peter Grottian, Ottokar Luhn, Michael Maurer, Edgar Schu, Detlef Spandau, Rainer Wahls, Helmut Woda

Contractor 'knew how to grease the wheels'

In government documents, he is referred to as "co-conspirator No. 1": a man who gave more than $630,000 in cash and favors to former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham for help in landing millions of dollars in federal contracts.


From Information Clearing House

The king of congressional corruption

THOSE OF US who are true fans of hypocrisy and corruption need to pause and salute Randy Cunningham on his way out of town toward the beckoning slammer.


From Information Clearing House

FBI botched terrorism probe

FBI agents botched a terrorism investigation in Florida and tried to cover up mistakes, said Justice Department investigators, who also concluded that a high-ranking official retaliated against the veteran undercover agent who first pointed out the problems.


From Information Clearing House

Time, money and ever-present terror threats have done little to close gaping holes in the nation's security system

Panel gives U.S. five 'F's in attack-preparation:

Time, money and ever-present terror threats have done little to close gaping holes in the nation's security system, the former Sept. 11 Commission said Monday in accusing the government of failing to protect the country.


From Information Clearing House

The National Security Strategy of the United States

Video: Documentary 'Preventive Warriors':

The film examines a bold new foreign policy paper introduced by the White House in September 2002 entitled: “The National Security Strategy of the United States.” The document outlines a radical new doctrine in American foreign policy: one of so-called “pre-emptive warfare.” The Bush administration used this policy as a justification for the invasion of Iraq.


German Man Claims U.S. Tortured Him

"I am asking the American government to admit its mistakes and to apologize for my treatment,'' al-Masri said in a written statement. "I am hoping that an American court will say very clearly that what happened to me was illegal and cannot be done to others.''


From Information Clearing House

Months Of Terror For Man Held By Mistake

With his arms held high behind his back he was driven to a plane, thrown on the metal floor and given an injection.


From Information Clearing House

Keep quiet about secret flights to secret jails, Rice tells Europe

CONDOLEEZZA RICE challenged European leaders to back controversial American anti-terrorism tactics yesterday as she robustly defended the CIA’s extrajudicial seizure, transportation and interrogation of thousands of suspects.


From Information Clearing House

CIA Flights Made 50 Landings at Ireland's Shannon, Amnesty Says

The group said the information contradicts U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said last week that Shannon had not been used for "untoward'' purposes.


From Information Clearing House

MPs dismiss US denials as 'disingenuous' and 'beyond belief'

Assurances by Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, that America did not send detainees abroad for torture were dismissed last night by a cross-party group of MPs as "beyond belief".


From Information Clearing House

No exceptions to the ban on torture

The absolute ban on torture, a cornerstone of the international human rights edifice, is under attack. The principle we once believed to be unassailable - the inherent right to physical integrity and dignity of the person - is becoming a casualty of the so-called war on terror.


Torture Saves European Lives, Rice Tells Europe's Leaders

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chastised European leaders on Monday, saying that before they complain about secret jails for terror suspects in European nations, they should realize that interrogations of these suspects have produced information that helped “save European lives.”


From Information Clearing House

Victims Could Sue for Human Rights in European Court of Justice

The Munich human rights attorney Georg Note speaks with Spiegel Online about Germany's responsibility and possible repercussions of the affair.


Opfer könnten vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte klagen


Münchner Völkerrechtler Prof. Dr. Georg Nolte
Institut für Internationales Recht, Uni München

CIA 'closes terror prisons'

Eleven al-Qaeda prisoners who were held in Eastern Europe have been transferred and were being relocated "to a CIA site somewhere in north Africa," ABC reported, citing CIA sources.


From Information Clearing House

Top Al Qaeda Figures Held in Secret CIA Prisons

10 Out of 11 High-Value Terror Leaders Subjected to 'Enhanced Interrogation Techniques' = Torture.


From Information Clearing House

ElBaradei: No 'smoking gun' in Iran

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no "smoking gun" in Iran that would indicate a nuclear weapons program, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the IAEA, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.


From Information Clearing House

Mother of All Trials

Couldn't they find more credible witnesses? They were fifteen and ten at the time... it just doesn't make sense.


From Information Clearing House

Dean Questions Commitment to Iraq Strategy

Democratic Chairman Howard Dean on Monday likened the war in Iraq to Vietnam and said, "The idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong."


From Information Clearing House

We will fight for the next 20 years

US-Iraqi troops wage military operation in Ramadi:

Approximately 100 Iraqi army soldiers and 400 US soldiers conducted their offensive, code-named Operation Rams, since Sunday,the military said in a statement.


IRAQ: Hundreds of families flee fighting in Ramadi:

Hundreds of families have fled Ramadi, capital of the western Anbar Province, amidst fierce fighting between US military forces and Iraqi insurgents, according to aid agencies.


Insurgents dismiss Iraq polls, brace for battle:

"Expect black days. Elections won't change anything. This is a long-term struggle. We will fight for the next 20 years," said Abu Mohammed.


From Information Clearing House

China Spill Could Threaten Endangered Tiger

Along with other endangered animals and plants, Siberian tigers are part of a unique ecosystem that faces a new threat: a toxic benzene slick headed toward the Amur River after an explosion upriver at a chemical factory in China.


Kyoto Questioned as US Moves on Coal

Diplomats trying to salvage international efforts to curb global warming say they will have to dangle more financial carrots and play down the sticks to win support from nations that have so far spurned agreements to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.


How the Wind Could Be Our Best Weapon against Global Warming

Wind power has far greater potential than previously thought for providing countries in the developing world with access to cheap and clean energy, new data suggests. Already China, environmentally, probably the most important country in the developing world, has enlarged its target for wind energy as a result of the findings.


9-11's Unanswered Questions

Some questions can't be answered. People who lost loved ones will never know exactly how the end came, if it hurt, what the final thoughts and words were. But other questions are more tractable. Here are 10 of them.




Informant: NHNE

Research Studies done on Microwave Radiation


Tracking by tagging our children

While the US has been at it for years, are UK parents ready to use satellite technology to keep tabs on their children?

By Lucy Atkins
Wednesday, Dec 07, 2005,
Page 9

This week a firm called Teddyfone launched a teddy-bear- shaped mobile phone aimed at four-to-eight-year-olds, just in time for Christmas.

At the same time, it launched the i-Kids satellite mobile phone, which looks a bit like a spaceman and incorporates the latest global positioning satellite (GPS) technology, allowing you to track your child's movements through a secure website -- or from your own mobile phone -- to a radius of 20m to 50m.

These are just two new additions to the latest parenting growth industry: a multimillion-dollar market in new and increasingly flashy "child-tracking" devices.

Using fast-developing mobile phone, wireless, radio, microchip and GPS technology, these new inventions will enable us to keep tabs on our children wherever they are, night or day.

In the UK, for example, child-tracking is currently focused on mobiles. Earlier this year Mymo, the first mobile phone aimed at very young kids, was taken off the market after William Stewart, the chairman of the UK Health Protection Agency, warned that children under eight could absorb too much radiation from mobile phones.

Despite such warnings, however, in March it was reported that the average age of British children owning their first mobile phone had fallen from 12 to eight in only four years, and that more than a million children aged five to nine had a mobile. Mymo was repackaged and relaunched as the Owl phone (an "emergency phone" for children), and if industry predictions are right, another half a million children should be signed up to mobile devices by 2007.

But why? Certainly, around Christmas parents are more likely to cave in to whining requests for a new Baby Annabel, a Tamagotchi or a cuddly animal-shaped mobile phone. But there's more to it than naked materialism. The trend seems to be more about protection than possession: We believe these devices will help to keep our children safe in what is, we perceive, an increasingly scary, predatory world.

And we're prepared to pay.

The i-Kids phone allows parents to select a "Safety Zone Alert" -- an area on the map surrounding the place where your child is meant to be. You are then alerted by text if the phone leaves the zone.

"The world is a more dangerous place than it used to be," says Paul Liesching, managing director of Teddyfone, "and these devices give children more freedom; maybe they'll be able to play in the park, like they used to."

KidsOK, the first mobile child-tracking service to hit the high street, recently became available in shops including Boots, BHS and Toys R Us. To track your child using the KidsOK package, you simply "ping" his/her phone -- it will work on any handset -- by sending a two-word text to KidsOK. You wait a few seconds and a map "pings" back to your mobile showing the location of your child's handset.

The technology is relatively straightforward. When a mobile is on, every minute or so the handset communicates with the network operator to check it has reception and to find the nearest mast. This means operators always know, within a certain radius, where any handset is.

Apart from the obvious fact that your child's handset could be lying in the mud, may have run out of power or been stolen (or removed), there are limitations to current phone-tracking technology: GPS won't work if the phone is in a building or underground, and clouds and trees can also interfere. While standard "cell technology" on mobile phones works anywhere there are masts, it is less accurate than GPS.

The phone network only knows roughly where a handset is by working out a point between local phone masts. This means that in the city you can pinpoint a phone by about 500m but in the countryside it could be a 4km-7km radius.

"These levels of accuracy are peace of mind levels," says Richard Jelbert, the chief executive of KidsOK.

"The product won't stop anything bad happening, or absolutely confirm that all is OK. But it is another tool you can use, alongside texting or calling, to give you the extra ability to check that your child is OK," he says.

Some argue that this is all a bit "big mother-ish" and ultimately pointless given how easy it is to lose a mobile. But according to Michelle Elliot, the director of the UK children's protection charity Kidscape (which endorses KidsOK), tracking technology can be reassuring for children as well as their parents.

"Many children do like the security of knowing their parents are there -- it's about peace of mind for both parent and child," he says.

Indeed, much of this technology is two-way: Last week KidsOK launched "ping alert" (anyone with a mobile can sign up on http://www.pingalert.com ). If you sign up, the number 5 on your child's phone, which has a dimple on it on all mobiles, becomes a panic button. In a sticky spot your child simply holds 5 down and your mobile is sent a map and an alert message.

But all this is distinctly small fry compared to developments in the US where electronic tagging is the latest child-tracking buzz.

In the UK, electronic tags -- or "radio frequency identification" (RFID) tags -- are mostly being used on early release prisoners, or being investigated as a possible alternative to barcodes in shops. In the States, meanwhile, one San Diego company, Smart Wear Technologies, is launching "Home Alarm" next year.

Small, high-frequency RFID tags act as your child's "unique digital ID" and can be simply sewn, like name tags, into pyjamas or clothes. Sensors attached to the doors and windows of your house create "an invisible barrier" -- if your tagged child "breaches the boundary" an alarm sounds.

In Silicon Valley, Wherify Wireless was until recently selling a US$200 watch that picks up GPS signals, as well as a child's GPS -- implanted backpack, priced US$900. These products have now been replaced by its Wherifone -- a small GPS mobile aimed at teens and pre-teens -- largely because parents wanted the two-way calling feature.

Elsewhere, Teen Arrive Alive, Ulocate and DriveDiagnostics have developed special car-tracking devices that use GPS technology to locate the exact whereabouts, speed and direction of your newly qualified teenage driver. Even Microsoft was recently showing off a "cyber-teddy" that "watches" your child with glassy, microchip -- implanted eyes. But do we want this sort of thing?

In the UK, it seems we do. In 2003 a think tank, the Future Foundation, conducted a survey that found 75 percent of British parents would buy an electronic bracelet to trace their child's movements if they could.

"The potential for this sort of technology is huge," says a Future Foundation spokesperson. "The climate is shifting -- we have a whole generation of teens growing up now whose parents expect to know where they are at all times."

It is hardly surprising technology companies are cashing in, agrees Frank Furedi, author of The Politics of Fear.

"These technologies give the illusion of control," he says, and despite the fact that statistically the world is no more dangerous now for children than it was at the start of the 20th century, "fear has become the common currency of life. Nowadays, if you want parents to do anything -- or buy anything -- you simply prey on their fears."

So how scared are we? John Davidson, the chief executive of a Newcastle-based company, Globalpoint Technologies, believes we're ready for the next step.

This month his company released an anti-abduction device called the "Personal Companion" -- a slim band that folds round your child's arm (hidden under her clothes) and uses a combination of mobile phone and GPS technology to enable you to track her within two metres.

If in trouble, your child can simply squeeze the band, which then automatically calls your mobile, allowing your child to speak to you, or if your child can't speak, letting you listen in to what's happening (and, crucially, find out where).

The band is expensive (from ?450) and has the usual GPS limitations, but, says Davidson, "without a doubt this is a mass market for us. The technology is becoming cheaper every day and is developing all the time."

Clearly, then, child-tracking is in its infancy. How far we're prepared to go with this kind of surveillance remains to be seen. But teddy-bear phones are surely just the beginning.

Copyright © 1999-2005 The Taipei Times. All rights reserved.



Teddy bear mobile ‘puts 4-year-olds at risk from radiation’

Total Surveillance

CIA Flights Into and Out of Europe, Data Openly Contradicts Rice's Assurances to Irish Foreign Minister


CREW Sues the Dept of Interior Over Abramoff Documents


If it's Not Torture


The Questions Condoleezza Must Answer


Food Crisis Feared as Fertile Land Runs Out


A Time to Run the Iraq war


Eliminating Bird Flu Fears


New CIA facility in North African desert


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

NO Plane Hit the Pentagon

Animation showing Military precision of 9/11 Flight Paths + No Plane Hit The PENTAGON !

Team8Plus- a specialized 9/11 research team:
News Address: http://www.team8plus.org/news.php?item.32

NO Plane Hit the Pentagon.
Address: http://thewebfairy.com/911/pentagon/
Changed:5:56 PM on Tuesday,
July 5, 2005

Informant: ranger116

Bird-Dogging Hillary


Ancient legends give an early warning of modern disasters


Informant: Lew Rockwell

The Rwandan Genocide: The Dallaire Genocide Fax A Fabrication


Informant: Lew Rockwell

War Crimes Made Easy


Dodging Debate on Alito

E. J. Dionne Jr.: When conservatives revolted against President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, they proudly proclaimed their desire for a big debate over constitutional principles. Now they are running from the fight.


Ohio Republicans Plan Holiday Burial for American Democracy

A law that will make democracy all but moot in Ohio is about to pass the state legislature and be signed by its Republican governor. Despite massive corruption scandals besieging the Ohio GOP, any hope that the Democratic party could win this most crucial swing state in future presidential elections, or carry its pivotal US senate seat in 2006, are about to end.


Protesters Greet Cheney at DeLay Fundraiser

Protesters bearing signs that read "The GOP Is in an Ethics Free-Fall" and chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Dick Cheney has to go," greeted Vice President Dick Cheney as he stopped in Houston on Monday to speak at a campaign fundraiser for embattled US Rep. Tom DeLay.



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