Archive for the 'Europe' Tag

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Nazi-Germany Anthem used at European Football championship

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One event currently has, during evenings, swept almost half of Europe’s population off the streets (the other half is most likely watching it in so called public viewing zones) – the European Football championship.

Now this Monday, Swiss TV who together with Austrian TV for the two hosting nations Austria and Switzerland is transmitting the TV footage from the games, had a bit of a problem staying up to date with changes in neighboring Germany during the last 60 years. To be more precise it turned back time to the 1940s of Nazi Germany.

When the two teams at the beginning of the match between Germany and Austria were singing their National Anthems, Swiss TV used the verse for the German Anthem in its sub titles that was sung until the fall of the Third Reich.

The TV station mentioned in their apology, that it all happened by mistake. Officially the incident was blamed on two junior members of the TV team that have “copied the wrong text from the Internet“. And while these sub titles…

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UK High Court rules to continue government corruption investigations

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It’s a stunning victory for the activist groups and in their today’s ruling the two UK High Court judges, with unusually harsh wording that in parts can only be described as scathing criticism of the Blair administration, have declared the stop of investigations by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into corruption within a GBP 43 Billion (USD 88 Billion) arms deal between UK’s BAE and Saudi Arabia as unlawful.

The decisions of the SFO and the UK Attorney General to drop the case were due to massive political pressure from PM Blair and his administration. The decision to drop the case two years ago also prompted the OECD to start an investigation into international corruption.

I guess (sadly) that no-one these days will be surprised anymore that the argument used by PM Blair to defend the interferences with the law was of course the general excuse / Catch-22 matters of national security“.

Nevertheless the judges today have stood up for the right of prosecutors to be independent and not subjected to political pressure.

You can read a…

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Linux: 9000 PCs in Swiss schools will switch to Ubuntu only

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Beginning from next term, all computers at schools in the Swiss canton of Geneva will be switched to Ubuntu Linux only.

Geneva newspaper Tribune de Geneve reports today that from September 2008 all computers at schools that currently are dual-boot MS Windows and Linux will have MS Windows removed and become FOSS (Free Open Source Software) only.

Besides lower costs for the administration, students will also profit from the use of Ubuntu, as they then will be able to…

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Street-Art: London as an Open Prison

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These signs are currently popping up all over London.

An excellent idea to create awareness of the planned ID card project in the UK. You find more images of this great poster “here”, “here” and “here”.

We refrain from commenting on the subject directly (in our opinion the issues…

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Internet: Wikileaks.org ordered offline by US court

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The BBC today has an article online about Wikileaks.org, a website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents.

The “BBC reports” that “…following a California court ruling, the site been taken offline in the US…” Well seemingly that’s not completely true. You won’t get access to the site via wikileaks.org but that’s because the DNS server entries have been deleted.

But hey – there are other ways. You can access the site’s content at other servers on the Internet (see image below). We suggest searching for the web site’s name and DNS and you might find it yourself. Popular bookmarking sites might also turn out helpful.

While you can question the motives why people upload documents to this site or even question the content of some of them, Wikileaks.org definitely had a rough ride the last days.

Within days they endured a fire in their server room, massive DDoS attacks and censorship threats…

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Data visualization: Leading surveillance societies around the world

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Since 1997 two NGOs – the US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center and the UK-based Privacy International – have surveyed and assessed the state of surveillance and privacy protection in 47 countries. The annual Privacy & Human Rights Report compiled from their findings has by now become one of the most comprehensive surveys of global privacy and citizen rights.

Their “most recent report” published a few days ago has been created with the help of more than 200 experts from around the world and has grown to 1,100 pages. It shows trends of

…an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance of privacy safeguards…“, and

…an increasing trend amongst governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion…

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