4. June 2008

Data Retention Effectively Changes the Behavior of Citizens in Germany

A new survey shows that data retention laws influence the actual behavior of citizens in Germany. 11% had already abstained from single telecommunication acts, 52% would not use phone or e-mail for confidential contacts.

» read on!

(This article is also available in German)

Topics: Germanypoliticsprivacysurveillancesurvey

16. November 2007

Survey: Surveillance cameras in Berlin’s subway are ineffective

In 2006, a pilot project was started to install surveillance cameras in several routes of Berlin’s subway. One condition of the project was that it had to be evaluated. The disillusioning intermediary result:

A change of crime rates due to the introduction of video surveillance does not become apparent. A significant effect on the security in Berlin’s subway is not to be expected.
(Page 6 of the report, translated by me)

Curiously, the operating company reacted on these results not by stopping the surveillance, but by stopping the evaluation. They announced to expande the surveillance to all 170 subway stations in Berlin.

Their argument is that this kind of evaluation is not fit to verify an improvement of objective security for their customers with the currently rising crime rate in public transport.

How good to see that surveillance projects are handled to responsibly… *sigh*

Source: Humanistische Union – Videoüberwachung in den U-Bahnen bringt keinen Sicherheitsgewinn (German)

(via Fefe via Kreativrauschen.de)

Topics: Berlinpoliticssurveillancesurvey

9. November 2007

German Bundestag Decides to Implement Data Retention

Starting next year, all communication providers in Germany will have to store all connection data for six months.

» read on!

Topics: Germanypoliticssurveillance

15. September 2007

The Power of Nightmares – Behind the Scenes of the Politics of Fear

I recently finished watching a fascinating series of documentaries by Adam Curtis for the BBC, which is available as a free download: The Power of Nightmares

It explains in three parts how politicians (especially in the USA and Great Britain ) use the fears of people to ensure their power. It also tells the history of islamic terror groups. A short trailer explains it the best:

» read on!

Topics: documentaryfearislamistspoliticsterrorUSA

30. August 2007

Iran does not want to wipe Israel off the map

“Israel must be wiped off the map”

This is a famous quote of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad that is used over and over to show how dangerous Iran allegedly is. Considering the publicity of this quote, it is quite surprising that almost noone knows that this is a mistranslation and crudely taken out of context.

In an article titles “WIPED OFF THE MAP” – The Rumor of the Century, Arash Norouzi shows the errors in the translation, and the history of this twisted quote.

The correct translation would be:

The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.

Arash also explains the context of this quote in great detail, so make sure you take a look at his article if you really want to understand what Ahmadinejad was saying, read the linked article. Here’s a very short excerpt describing a part of the quote’s context.

Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America’s powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books.

Note that the speech also does not contain any announcement to actively cause this “vanishing” of the regime. Another article (Putting Words in Ahmadinejad’s Mouth) nicely concludes the meaning of the quoted phrase:

His message was, in essence, “This too shall pass.”

Topics: IranIsraelpoliticspropagandatranslation

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