CoolBrands: New Zealand coolest place in the world

Posted on September 27, 2017September 27, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Zealand has been voted the coolest place in the world by United Kingdom brand: CoolBrands.

Coolbrands is owned by a consultancy firm in the UK, called Superbrands. It started in 2001, CoolBrands is a way of telling how ‘cool’ a brand is. Superbrands defines “brands that have become extremely desirable among many style leaders and influencers. They have a magic about them, signifying that users have an exceptional sense of taste and style.”

George Hickton, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, said: “This win is a vindication of the recent work we’ve put in to the UK market, with the Chelsea Flower Show and our 100% Pure New Zealand advertising campaign ensuring New Zealand stays top of mind with potential travellers.”

“It’s very gratifying to see we are such a desirable destination, especially as this poll includes opinion leaders who can have an real influence on people’s travel choices.” says Mr Hickton. “this is the second award New Zealand has received in the UK this September, with Conde Nast Traveller magazine also voting New Zealand best destination this month.”

Editor of Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, Sarah Miller, called New Zealand a “point of authenticity.” And professional nation brander, Wally Olin, said “New Zealand has been very, very clever. It has turned its disadvantages into advantages.”

“Reaping the benefits of its recent marketing campaign, New Zealand is apparently the hottest place to be,” said the London News.

650 brands were chosen by researchers which were then put before 23 judges and were made available for the public, of which 1,725 people participated in an online survey. Five percent of the original 650 made it to the finals, including Morocco, Maldive and Australia.

New Zealand receives most of its tourists from Australia, closely followed by the UK.

The top ten destinations included:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Morocco
  3. Fiji
  4. Prague
  5. Australia
  6. Maldives
  7. Amsterdam
  8. Brighton
  9. Bahamas
  10. Bermuda

Wikinews interviews Fred Karger, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Saturday, April 28, 2012

United States political consultant and gay rights (LGBT) activist Fred Karger of California took some time to discuss his Republican Party presidential campaign with Wikinews reporter William Saturn. Karger holds the distinction as the first openly gay person to seek the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party.

Before entering electoral politics, Karger worked as an adviser for such prominent Republicans and former U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Since retiring as an adviser in 2004, he has been involved in LGBT issues: opposing California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state; and leading investigations of such same-sex marriage opponents as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormon Church).

In 2010, Karger first announced his intentions to seek the Republican presidential nomination, but did not officially announce until March 2011. One of his early campaign goals was to participate in a GOP presidential debate, but was never invited due to polling thresholds. However, Karger argued that he did meet the requirement for an August debate, but was still excluded after the organizers deemed polls he cited as inadequate.

So far, Karger has appeared on four Republican primary ballots including Puerto Rico, where he was able to top Congressman Ron Paul, who, at the time was one of the four major candidates in the race. Karger will next appear on the ballots in California on June 5, and in Utah on June 26.

Karger brands himself as “a different kind of Republican” that wants to open the party to outsiders. He backs gay marriage, is pro-choice on abortion, and wants to lower the voting age. However, he also holds some traditional Republican views: he favors a strengthening of the private sector and believes the U.S. should be steadfast in its support for the nation of Israel.

In talking to Wikinews, Karger discusses his personal political background and activism, the 2012 presidential election and his GOP campaign, as well as his political views on both domestic and foreign affairs.

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 2012 presidential campaign
  • 3 Political views
  • 4 Related articles
  • 5 Sources

Car bomb in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico kills several, many injured

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A car bomb that exploded at about 20:00 MDT Thursday (01:00 Friday UTC) in a violent area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico killed several people and injured more.

Police spokesman Jacinto Seguro said Friday that Mexican federal police received a call that an officer was dead. Seguro went on to say, “When they went to check the car, there was a dead body in there, dressed up like a police officer, but it wasn’t one of ours. They put him in a civilian car but dressed him up in a municipal police uniform. That’s when the bomb went off. It’s like an act of terrorism.”

Federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas said the blast killed two officers, a paramedic, and one civilian, although Mayor Jose Reyes said that only three died. At least six others were injured, although reports have said the total injured may be as high as sixteen. Four remain in the hospital, including three paramedics and one civilian.

Mexican authorities say it was a car bomb, but counter-terrorism experts are still unsure as to what caused the vehicle to explode. Intelligence expert Fred Burton said, “For this to be an improvised grenade attack, in some capacity, it doesn’t surprise me.”

The Juarez cartel, one of the two drug-traffickers in the area, claimed responsibility for the bombing in a graffiti message. “We have more car bombs,” the graffiti said.

Ciudad Juárez has a history for trafficking drugs to the United States, especially into Texas.

Before the explosion, the police arrested a suspected leader of the Juarez cartel, Jesus Armando Acosta Guerrero.

This year more than 7,000 people have died as a result of drug-related violence in Mexico since this year began. Attorney General Arturo Chavez on Friday said nearly 25,000 people have died in the last three and a half year period.

Ten April Fool’s pranks of 2009

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools’ Day pranks harmlessly pervaded worldwide again this year. Media outlets and internet sites have joined family, office workers, and friends to provide a wide variety of practical jokes. Ireland, France, and the United States celebrate April Fools all day, whereas a few countries celebrate jokes only until noon such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Car and Driver claimed that GM and Chrysler were ordered out of NASCAR by the White House by the end of 2009 in order to receive any more government loans. There are press releases about this short-lived prank which received controversial feedback.

The Swiss Tourism Board has announced that volunteers were desperately needed, The Association of Mountain Cleaners “makes sure that our holiday guests can always enjoy perfect mountains. Using brooms, brushes, water and muscle power, they clean the rocks of any bird droppings.”

This year Gmail produced a new autopilot feature for April 1, 2009 which can read your email and automatically respond to every message.

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BMW released its new Magnetic Tow Technology which allows your BMW to magnetically attach to the vehicle ahead of you. This enhanced technology allows the driver to remove their foot from the gas pedal and turn off the motor.

The Guardian proposed its move to Twitter, which would allow the newspaper to fit its article content into 140 character messages or “tweets”. Included in this venture was the archiving of past events reported by The Guardian, such as, “1927 OMG first successful transatlantic air flight wow, pretty cool! Boring day otherwise *sigh*”

Google’s technological break through for April Fool’s Day was CADIE, (Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity). By extracting internet search patterns combined with Brain Search, a part of CADIE technology, Google can now search your thoughts and memories.

Wikipedia even fooled Fox News who claimed that “every item on the home page of the user-generated site Wikipedia is fake. The featured Wikipedia article regaled the “Museum of Bad Art” in Boston.” However, each item on the main page was based on reality — even news articles such as NASA reports a shower of diamonds over the Republic of Sudan, which was based on a meteorite which passed over Sudan whose fragments did reveal diamonds upon discovery.

The Conficker Internet worm had been in the news warning of a worst case scenario when computers worldwide would be affected by the virus. Even the chief security adviser for Microsoft, Ed Gibson, didn’t want to make any predictions about what would happen. Experts just knew that it was set to go off on April 1. Several anomalous happenings were attributed to Conficker including Leroy “Mac” MacElrie who claimed to be the programmer of the Conficker worm and turned himself in to police.

Hotels.com ran an advertisement offering hotel room bookings on the moon which would be offered on European websites starting at £800 a night.

Qualcomm ingeniously revealed a new wireless networking technology called wireless convergence. Making use of the flight patterns of pigeons. They then use innovative solutions to converge the birds with wolves to protect the internal improvements.

Media outlets were not the only ones pulling pranks. Gaming websites across the internet Blizzard, Joystiq, and affiliates posted reviews and announcements of games with tongue in cheek. YouTube offered viewers a unique April Fool’s experience as videos were offered upside down. In Ireland, U2 fans received a U2opia concert on a shopping centre roof top concert rather than the real thing.

South African prosecutors charge ANC leader Jacob Zuma with corruption

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Saturday, December 29, 2007

File:JacobZuma.jpg

Corruption-related charges have been brought against Jacob Zuma, the newly-elected leader of the African National Congress (ANC), according to his lawyer. A trial is scheduled to begin on August 14, 2008.

The charges stem from an arms deal with a French company, which is alleged to have involved bribes and fraud. Zuma’s financial adviser at the time, Schabir Shaik, was convicted in 2005 of attempting to solicit a bribe of US$72,500 per year from the arms company on Zuma’s behalf and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Zuma was fired as deputy president in 2005 by South African President Thabo Mbeki due to the scandal.

Two-term ANC leader Mbeki recently lost an ANC leadership contest to Jacob Zuma, who garnered about 60 percent of delegate votes in his win.

Zuma had been charged with corruption in 2005, but the case was dismissed on procedural grounds. Michael Hulley, Zuma’s defence lawyer, indicated that they will strongly contest the new charges in court. Hulley also suggested that the South African government’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its anti-organised crime division known as The Scorpions, have carried out a smear campaign against Zuma.

“These charges will be vigorously defended, in the context of the belief that the Scorpions (NPA) have acted wrongly and with improper motive calculated to discredit Mr. Zuma and ensure that he play no leadership role in the political future of our country,” said Michael Hulley in a statement.

Given that the ANC has been the governing party in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, it is likely that Jacob Zuma could become the next president after general elections in 2009. Zuma has said, however, that he would resign if he was found guilty by the courts.

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to be auctioned off

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Neverland Valley Ranch, owned by Michael Jackson, is to be sold at auction on March 19, 2008, unless Jackson pays over US$24 million.

Financial Title Company, the trustee of his Santa Barbara County, California, home and amusement park, has foreclosed on the property. They notified Jackson of the foreclosure and sale on Monday. Jackson had only just recently paid an overdue property tax bill of $600,000.

The court filing, addressed to Jackson, says, “You are in default of a deed of trust … Unless you take action to protect your property it may be sold at a public sale.” Fox News published the filing.

The foreclosure includes the ranch and all possessions on the property, inside or out.

The foreclosure auction will take place in front of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Santa Barbara. Jackson has until then to pay $24,525,906.61 he owes the title company.

In 2006, Jackson refinanced previous loans that had been bought up by Fortress Investment Group. The $300-million loan was secured with the aid of Sony Music Entertainment. However, the Neverland property was not part of that deal.

Jackson has not lived at Neverland since June 30, 2005, when he moved to Bahrain after a rape charge and subsequent acquittal.

UK Serious Fraud Office to investigate MG Rover collapse

Posted on September 26, 2017September 26, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office is to launch an investigation into the collapse of car manufacturer MG Rover. The move follows the conclusion of a four-year enquiry started immediately after the firm became insolvent.

The group of four who owned MG Rover — John Towers, Nick Stephenson, Peter Beale and John Edwards — have been accused of asset stripping. The quartet, known as the Phoenix Four, paid a symbolic £10 (approximately €15) for Rover in 2000. At that time the company received an interest-free loan from former owner BMW for £427 million (approximately €700 million) and came with a large amount of unsold stock.

Between then and Rover’s April 2005 bankruptcy, by which time there were unpaid debts of £1 billion (approximately €1.5 billion), the Phoenix Four had removed an estimated £40 million worth of assets including pensions and salaries. An enquiry was launched by ministers that was expected to take a year, but the final report was not delivered to business secretary Lord Mandelson until three weeks ago.

The government used taxpayer’s money to fund a £6 million loan to MG Rover and attempted to negotiate a deal with a Chinese company, but these efforts failed. MG Rover’s collapse caused the loss of an estimated 15,000 jobs, including with various suppliers. A former MG Rover factory does still build a small number of MG sports cars in Longbridge by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, who bought most of the designs.

The Phoenix Four released a statement criticising the criminal investigation. “There has never been any suggestion of improper conduct by the directors and this was confirmed in a report by the administrators PWC six months after they took over the running of the company. Four years on, any suggestion [of] another further investigation is frankly ridiculous and smacks of kicking this issue into the long grass. If the government has been so concerned to get to the heart of the matter why has it flatly refused more than 30 requests under the Freedom of Information Act which would have revealed correspondence and documents the directors believe would have shed some light on the government’s role in the affair?”

Dental Care Tips Everyone Can Start Using Today}

Posted on September 25, 2017March 27, 2018Categories Dentist

Dental Care Tips Everyone Can Start Using Today

by

George Velvet

Dental care is something that many people want to know more about because improper care can lead to many expensive problems down the road. If you would like to avoid these problems, then keep reading below to learn about great dental care tips. They are simple to follow and will help you achieve that white smile.

Finding a dentist can be hard especially if you have recently moved into a new neighborhood. There are many websites available that gives dentist scores. You may also find that your primary care physician is a good source for information on dentists located in your community. Additionally, your insurance company may be able to recommend a dentist in your area.

Avoid soda as much as possible if you want to preserve your teeth’s health and avoid getting a cavity filling Greenwood Village, Colorado. Soda not only contains a lot of sugar, but also contains acids, which can eat through the enamel on your teeth. Thus, if you drink these carbonated beverages, you are more likely to have cavities.

Brush ALL of your teeth, every single time. The act of brushing your teeth seems simple enough, so why do so many people do it incorrectly. A recent survey of dentists reveals that one of the most common mistakes people make is brushing only their front teeth. Don’t focus on brushing only the teeth that other people see. Your molars and other back teeth are equally important, so don’t neglect them!

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Do you have bad breath? You should clean your tongue more regularly. Invest in some tongue scrapers and use them after each meal to remove bacteria from your tongue. Rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouth wash can help too. If the problem persists, go to your dentist to find out what is causing your bad breath.

If you suffer from a dry mouth, use a toothpaste and mouthwash specially designed to help relieve dry mouth. Many of today’s leading toothpaste brands contain ingredients that will dry out your mouth. Therefore, if you suffer from dry mouth, look for dry mouth relief toothpastes and mouth washes.

Although they are very healthy for your insides, acidic things like oranges and orange juice can be brutal on your teeth. The acidic properties can wear away the vital layer of enamel on the surface! Whenever you do enjoy foods high in acids, be sure and brush well as soon as possible or you may be facing front teeth replacement Denver, Colorado.

Consider purchasing electric toothbrushes for the whole family. They cut down the effort you have to produce to get the same results with a manual brush. Electric toothbrushes are not only affordable, but are recommended by most professional dentists. They have solid bristles which cup around your tooth and quickly help brush away plaque.

Don’t forget to floss. A lot of people don’t take the time to floss twice a day, but it really helps. You cannot reach all of the food and bacteria with your toothbrush. Flossing can help you to get in between all of your teeth, which means that you will have less cavities.

Try to remember to drink water every time you get thirsty instead of reaching for a soda. The more often you choose water over soda, the more often you are deciding to protect your enamel instead of wear it down. This also applies to other sugary beverages like sweetened teas and fruit juices.

Having a white smile can be achieve by practicing the right dental care. Not everyone has a good smile because they’ve never read great tips such as these. Thankfully you came across them, and now you can practice good dental care to achieve that white smile you’ve always dreamed about.

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Cadd Centre Autocad 2d}

Posted on September 25, 2017December 24, 2017Categories Arts

Cadd Centre Autocad 2d

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ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

Posted on September 25, 2017September 25, 2017Categories Uncategorized

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both Amazon.com and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to Twitter.com, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
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((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.