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Old 03-12-2012, 12:24 PM
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Default Is the EU becoming nationalist/fascist/undemocratic?

Now actually that is a bit of a rhethorical question because I think it is quite obvious that it already is not really democratic with a weak parliament that is more often not asked to decide when the EU commission makes a decision - and then all member states feel obliged to follow these regulations made in that undemocratic way. Often things happen very obsured, MOPs may only read certain proposals of new regulations in a closed decure room and are not allowed to talk about it to the public and so on. And it is becoming more nationalist and fascist as can be seen by the reecent years worth of pushes for censorship laws, crackdown on immigration, ACTA, data retention, contracts with the US to deliver passenger lists of air travel and information on bank accounts. And some states like Hungary but also it seems Scandinavian countries are increasingly nationalist as well. The UK is a joke anyways in that respect with their internet censorship laws, CCTV everywhere and recently they seem to think about privatizing large part of their police force and give private contractors the right to detain people and investigate crimes. Denmark had a little lapse recently when their internet censorship firewall accidentially blocked google and a number of other large webservices.

But now to the current videos that brought me to bring this up again:
Here is an incredibly strange ad by the EU. They pulled it back after they saw that people are not ready to swallow that much xenophobia yet, but it is still out there on youtube:
EU enlacement ad - YouTube
(It depicts coloured people from other countries like Asia, Africa and the Middle East as male attackers against a female European white person who then defeats them by multiplying - and then she herself becomes just another star in the banner)

And some stuff about the EU financial situation and the decline of democracy by shutting people and even legislation out of the process of how to deal with debt, new money, tax money etc:
EU: Treaty of debt (ESM) - stop it now! - YouTube
It seems to be valid, though maybe a bit hyperbole in leaving out other parts. Still it is scary to see how that huge sums of money are thrown around when no one really has any and how that whole thing is then protected by a set of immunity laws that protect participants of these commissions. That has nothin at all to do with democracy or even a state of law if people are excempt from judicial processes, law and executive force. It makes sense if peoples privacy is in peril, like with lawyers and doctors - but not with financial decisionmaking.

So I see that even from within the EU the signs are visible (from outside maybe they are even obvious) that the EU is going the same path as the US in these times of crisis - namely turning towards a politics of isolation, nationalism, nondemocracy, authoritarianism and sacrifices liberty and freedom to safety, security and profit.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:38 PM
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By the way--- today is World Day of fighting internet censorship... that's already happening in democracies, too, as well as the total surveillance of cell phone net cells, lest one bloody activist disturbs some Federal hullaballoo going on... so, best to watch everyone, making it impossible for anyone to emerge from that mass.

It seems, like "us" western civilized like the feeling of our breeches pooped brim-full from "our" fear of vile aliens, other religions, people wanting to live differently (and that means, in accord with Nature, listening to Her and treating Her with affection and respect...).

Speaking of fear... in Bonn, Germany, an islamist named Yassin Chouka (propaganda officer of the Uzbek Islamic Movement) is warning of possible terrorist attacks in Germany...


Sorry, if this sounded too bitter... just had to vent a little...



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Last edited by txim_asawl; 03-12-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:27 PM
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I don't know about the rest of the EU but to be honest, I don't think the UK is in that bad shape. I wasn't aware of internet censorship here and CCTV is just the price you pay for living in an urban area.

The privatization of the police force is kind of odd,but if that goes ahead we can deal with it. Everytime somebody is deported from here, the European court of dumbasses cries 'human right violation' and criminals only gets a slap on the wrists for their crimes, I think we've a way to go until things get super bad, respectfully
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:52 PM
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The sooner we get out of the EU the better, I think. While I'm not so sure about nationalism, it definitely has federalist tendencies, and that is reason enough to leave - the impending collapse of the euro should be driving more nations to seek proper independence, but many have given away too much power to, when laws are made by some anonymous unelected official in Brussels based on latest political correctness targets and quotas instead of a country's elected representatives.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:07 PM
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When it started as just the union of coal and steel industries throuhgout Europe, the so-called "Montanunion" together with the farming cooperation and, oh, yes Euratom as well, it was clear to be just an economic complex.

By now, the surveillance and security measures are making me feel rather unsafe living here...

I am looking for ways out (of this country only, people... no worries, OK? )

Wiggling bare toes,

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Old 03-13-2012, 10:11 PM
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One of the awesome things about being in the EU is the fact that moving to and working in another EU country is made sooo much easier. Txim_asawl, assuming you wanted to you could go to wherever you want and barefoot all over Europe
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:23 AM
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That benefits some countries, but not others. Yes, the whole 'Eastern Europe taking everyone's jobs' is a cliche, but it's still true that a lot of people don't benefit from that other than not needing a visa to go on holiday.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silver Stag View Post
One of the awesome things about being in the EU is the fact that moving to and working in another EU country is made sooo much easier. Txim_asawl, assuming you wanted to you could go to wherever you want and barefoot all over Europe
Oh, I've been barefoot in Holland, the Alsace, Denmark, Sweden... a few Eurozone countries already... you're not surprised, right?


Well, OK, granted, the comparingly open borders (in comparison to the pre-iron curtain-fall-era) are a benefit. The problem is the giant balloon called financial system hovering above it like a full-grown Pandora puffball tree, ready to explode...



Most likely, I will never cross the Atlantic, unless that 15-year storage of all passenger data to prevent terrorism is going to be thrown to the dustbin it belongs into... authorities already have so much data from me... I just took the second round of the German Zensus 2011 - yes, I was in the "Wiederholungsbefragung", the second round of inquiry... I took the easy way out... again in my life. I could have easily footed the bill of a 300 Euro fine...

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Old 03-14-2012, 10:44 AM
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Sure - travelling within Europe is a bit easier (though it was not that hard in the past either. You needed a passport, change money and get a travel health insurance. Big deal. The big difference now is that you can also get a job anywhere in Europe without it being a big deal, though it still is not just completely easy. But I think these freedoms come at a high price - too high I believe. A true federal system is not the worst situation - it implies that the members keep their sovereignty and work together in a federal way in aspects that really do affect all the participants. If that federal system takes over power, things are getting more into something like the United states of Europe. As quite often, at the base of this was economic interests. The comforts for the people are basically a byproduct and a way to sell this to people. The tip of the iceberg. And the policy against non-EU members are getting worse, not better. It is easier to move from Italy to Spain maybe but it has become harder to move from any other country into the EU. And that sort of attitude displayed in the video clip does not really help to work against that tendency.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:42 PM
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"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." one hippie-era music icon sung once...
Even though Germany now has another protestant cleric at the top of the government (we already have a priest's daughter as chancellor), I doubt that suddenly things will change on this matter...

Quite on the contrary, our new German president Joachim Gauck is a strong fan of things like Vorratsdatenspeicherung (large-scale data mining and storage of all internet connections for at least six months, regardless of any criminal or so-called terrorist charges...). Cheer up citizens... life's gonna be a lot safer now...

Wiggling bare toes, a little sarcastically, too...

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Old 03-18-2012, 09:48 PM
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EU... i never liked that idea anyway, perhaps it was a good idea in the beginning, but so many stupid things did follow afterwards..

I would for sure not cry if the EU would finally be go down once and for all
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:19 PM
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Sometimes I wonder if America's greater problems are exacerbated by the size of land and amount of people governed. Perhaps the same goes for the EU, in a manner of speaking.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txim_asawl View Post
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." one hippie-era music icon sung once...
Even though Germany now has another protestant cleric at the top of the government (we already have a priest's daughter as chancellor), I doubt that suddenly things will change on this matter...

Quite on the contrary, our new German president Joachim Gauck is a strong fan of things like Vorratsdatenspeicherung (large-scale data mining and storage of all internet connections for at least six months, regardless of any criminal or so-called terrorist charges...). Cheer up citizens... life's gonna be a lot safer now...

Wiggling bare toes, a little sarcastically, too...

~*Txim Asawl*~
Strong encryption. Learn and use GPG*/PGP (myself, a I prefer a GPG implementation simply because it's open source), and if anything has an https option, use it. Read up on security and good practice. The more informed people are, the harder such surveillance is to implement.

*Ironically, indirectly funded by the German government
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:10 PM
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Some things are possible with encryption, but many are not. Email encryption for example only works if both persons do have it - that means you have to insist on it and probably install encryption software at your friends computers. Oh and then you have to convince them not to use Yahoo Messenger or Skype like all their friends do but something like Jabber with OTR. And then you have to install certpatrol on firefox and use TOR and convince all your favourite websites to ude SSL, which they do not want to do because valid certificates cost money and self signed cause freaky error messages and besides all thet, SSL is buggy and was hacked several times.
Believe me, I am trying to use the internet safely for years and it is a nightmare - most of all because no one else is interested in it, but people instead post the photos from the last student party on facebook and give the facial recognition software all the names of the people visible there. And they allow facebook and google to read their emails and adress books and thus read my emails to them as well. That way facebook knows more about me already than I know. And how do you use GPG for emails that you send to people who only use webmail, which are A LOT nowadays. Even if their webmail solution has such a thing as GPG, the cleartext would end up on their server. OR you have to manually copy each encrypted email text into some GPG application to read it.
The problem is not that I myself cannot use secure ways of communication, but that most people and services I communicate with do not know/want this...
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"Humans are storytellers. These stories then can become our reality. Only when we loose ourselves in the stories they have the power to control us. Our culture got lost in the wrong story, a story of death and defeat, of opression and control, of separation and competition. We need a new story!"
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Some things are possible with encryption, but many are not. Email encryption for example only works if both persons do have it - that means you have to insist on it and probably install encryption software at your friends computers. Oh and then you have to convince them not to use Yahoo Messenger or Skype like all their friends do but something like Jabber with OTR. And then you have to install certpatrol on firefox and use TOR and convince all your favourite websites to ude SSL, which they do not want to do because valid certificates cost money and self signed cause freaky error messages and besides all thet, SSL is buggy and was hacked several times.
Believe me, I am trying to use the internet safely for years and it is a nightmare - most of all because no one else is interested in it, but people instead post the photos from the last student party on facebook and give the facial recognition software all the names of the people visible there. And they allow facebook and google to read their emails and adress books and thus read my emails to them as well. That way facebook knows more about me already than I know. And how do you use GPG for emails that you send to people who only use webmail, which are A LOT nowadays. Even if their webmail solution has such a thing as GPG, the cleartext would end up on their server. OR you have to manually copy each encrypted email text into some GPG application to read it.
The problem is not that I myself cannot use secure ways of communication, but that most people and services I communicate with do not know/want this...
To use the Alice and Bob style, if Alice uses GPG then she can sign her messages with her key, in which case they are still cleartext but they have a hash that can be verified against her public key to prove it is the message she sent; Bob only needs to have an implementation to receive messages encrypted to his own public key. The point is that retaining the ability to communicate securely does not prevent non-secure methods, while it leaves the user with more options.

Yahoo, MSN, and Skype are all insecure, yes, but the principle isn't to make ALL communication secure, only to have the ability if necessary. Always consider WHAT you're sending and the nature of how it's transfered, including points of failure security-wise. There's no need to use Tor for most circumstances, as PGP or a strong symmetric cipher hides content just as well, and Tor has its own security issues when it comes to facilitating packet sniffing.
Yes, SSL is a pain for small sites to implement, but that's why I mentioned to take advantage of it on anywhere that DOES offer it, not to insist that all transactions are covered by it (although obviously, keep in mind what you transfer based on whether or not it is). Vulnerabilities on SSL are of the Man in the middle attack type (common to any form of key exchange that is not an in-person meeting)*, which does limit potential as the level of access needed is high - but again, that's why the critical point, as in any system, is awareness of limitations, the Debian OpenSSL bug was very specific and keys generated with the cryptographic weakness are blacklisted almost everywhere; overall, the level of access to break SSL is still high - yes, people under extreme risk would do well not to rely on it, but it isn't something most people will encounter.

*Not strictly true, but close enough, and ways to work around this involve a web of trust.

As for webmail, that's not true. If Alice sends PGP message to Bob and Bob accesses it with a webmail application, it still only displays the ciphertext. If he used some form of integrated implementation, then ys, there's clearly a risk, but instead, he could copy it to his computer and use it locally (a far better idea as it does not allow remote access to the private key) so the plaintext is only on his system. Yes, that's a slight burden, but the point is that there is always a tradeoff of convenience, while having the ability and understanding does not make it a requisite for all communication. Manually copying a block of ciphertext is not such an inconvenience, especially when it's far simpler than having to type in a long key for strong symmetric encryption (128- or 256-bit).

In the end, a proper understanding and having the ability won't make all communication secure, certainly, but it's having the ability that is important, as well as the understanding of the principle, because the more people that do, the more realise surveillance will always prove inviable against people who actually know what they're doing; who are of course the people it is intended to target.
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