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offsite link Ukraine Buys Huge Amounts of Russian Fue... Fri Jan 20, 2023 08:34 | Antonia Kotseva

offsite link Turkey Has Sent Ukraine Cluster Munition... Thu Jan 12, 2023 00:26 | Jack Detsch

offsite link New Israeli Government Promises to Talk ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 21:13 | Al Majadeen

offsite link Russia Training Iranian Pilots Ahead of ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:19 | The Times of Israel

offsite link Lukashenko Abolishes Copyright Protectio... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:05 | Nikki Main

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link News Round-Up Fri Mar 01, 2024 00:22 | Richard Eldred
A summary of the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the virus and the vaccines, the ?climate emergency? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Climate Change is Bigger Existential Threat Than Nuclear Holocaust, Says Biden Thu Feb 29, 2024 18:04 | Richard Burcik
What's the bigger existential threat to humanity, climate change or nuclear holocaust? Biden says climate change, Trump disagrees. Richard Burcik looks at the facts.
The post Climate Change is Bigger Existential Threat Than Nuclear Holocaust, Says Biden appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link How Sweden Proved the World Wrong About Lockdown Thu Feb 29, 2024 15:24 | Will Jones
Two Swedish researchers from Lund University have shown once again that Sweden proves the world wrong about lockdown, publishing their research in the journal Economic Affairs.
The post How Sweden Proved the World Wrong About Lockdown appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Stonewall Funded Church of England Guidance that Said Primary Schoolchildren Can be Transgender Thu Feb 29, 2024 13:00 | Will Jones
Church of England guidance telling primary schools that children as young as five can be transgender was funded by Stonewall, it has emerged.
The post Stonewall Funded Church of England Guidance that Said Primary Schoolchildren Can be Transgender appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Mild Myocarditis Post-Vaccination Can Result in Sudden Death, Japanese Autopsy Finds Thu Feb 29, 2024 11:05 | Dr Jonathan Engler
Mild myocarditis following Covid vaccination can lead to sudden death from a fatal heart arrhythmia, a Japanese autopsy has found. But this would not be picked up by most autopsies as the relevant test is left out.
The post Mild Myocarditis Post-Vaccination Can Result in Sudden Death, Japanese Autopsy Finds appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

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Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link The European Union against farmers, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Feb 27, 2024 06:58 | en

offsite link The Silence of the Guilty, by Manlio Dinucci Mon Feb 26, 2024 13:24 | en

offsite link Thierry Meyssan's interview with the Serbian daily Ve?ernje Novosti, by Thierry ... Mon Feb 26, 2024 05:29 | en

offsite link Ukraine at the heart of the Munich Security Conference Sat Feb 24, 2024 03:57 | en

offsite link Voltaire, International Newsletter N°75 Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:31 | en

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Civil liberties, the cashless society sets off alarm bells

category international | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Thursday March 08, 2018 11:12author by Emma Robinson Report this post to the editors

Despite political institutions keeping the subject on the low, whistleblowers and civil rights activists are raising flags regarding what they regard as a threat to fundamental freedom for States. A trend leading to the disappearance of physical currency, they fear, will inconspicuously and irreversibly invite totalitarianism into our lives.

As the virtual layer of the world continuously expands, more and more things from our daily lives lose their material feel, to enter the computerized and intangible world. Fewer and fewer people know the feel of mail paper on fingertips, or pilots no longer use the expression “flying by the seat of their pants”, as computers have been entasked with more and more of our operations. Amongst the things disappearing from our lives, are coins and paper. Adam Forrest writes (1) for the Guardian: “As more shops and transport networks adapt to contactless card and touch-and-go mobile technology, many major cities around the world are in the process of relegating cash to second-class status. Some London shops and cafes are now, like the capital’s buses, simply refusing to handle notes or coins.” The website LetsTalkPayments.com confirms (2) with hard data: “UK’s popular mobile payment system Paym. has crossed 26 million pounds in transaction volume. Two thirds (66%) of the UK population is aware of mobile payments, with more than half (52%) of those with knowledge of mobile payments aware of Paym.” Would this new era replace hassle with danger?

The right to privacy has been a rising concern for many citizens in the developed world, as they become gradually aware of the extent to which anyone and everyone can keep an eye on them. Large-scale government surveillance (3) was perhaps the primer to the subject, as citizens realized their every move and action was under discreet scrutiny. The rise of uncontrolled data originating from social networking sites (SNS) added a new layer of worrying complexity to the matter, as was revealed by an in-depth study (4) by CyberPsychology :”The booming popularity of SNSs has brought an additional dimension to the complexity of privacy risks. According to Zittrain (2008), early threats to people’s online information privacy came mostly from data stored in government or corporate databases, which he calls Privacy 1.0; yet, with the rise of SNSs, we have transitioned into an era of Privacy 2.0, where the data is generated and shared by individuals, and the “generativity” of SNSs breeds a new generation of privacy problems”. But how does this data jeopardize our liberty?

Traceability is the key word in this cashless society we are slowly drifting towards, where financial information is linked to locations, people and things, through the aggregation of banking and SNS data. When virtual purchases are carried out by a citizen, they leave information within server logs, known as a “paper trail”, even though they are dematerialized. Nathan Heller, from the New Yorker, wrote (5):”With a pocket of cash, you could be anyone: a Russian spy, a birthday celebrant, an avvocato out for a night on the town. With a cashless trail, you were fated always to be what you had always been; you couldn’t flee far from your name, your purchases, even your network of friends. You were always, by your cards or cell phone, outed as yourself”, designating the constant accountability for non-cash-payments. Part of this information is transmitted to the citizen himself, in his bank statement. But banks also keep a record of these transactions. Who can then access these records, is anyone’s guess. Of course, State agencies are on the usual suspects’ list. This is one of the reasons why governments are keen to accelerate the demonetization of societies. In addition to representing a hefty expense for them, in the design, production and management of bills and coins, currency creates a lack of control for the legal and economic policies which they wouldn’t mind seeing gone.

Now, to some extent, many citizens don’t object to having a government keep an eye on such matters, because they perceive immediate benefits and no immediate downsides. In a way, these citizens are right. With transaction data, banks can provide us with instant information, and companies can target their advertising towards things we would actually be liable to purchase, rather than random and annoying guesses. As for the government’s capacity to monitor an increasingly cashless society, it increases their capacity to prevent terrorism, and to fight crime, whilst leaving the honest citizen in relative peace. But civil rights activists are not concerned about today, they are alarmed about tomorrow. Elaine Ou, writing for Bloomberg, describes (6) the cashless perspective as falsely convenient and safe, and also “creepy” : “A cashless economy violates the basic laws under which currency has operated since before the Industrial Revolution. The justification for giving up a fundamental freedom is that it would clear the way for an experimental policy designed to place a tax on currency. Money may be a shared illusion, but cash abolitionists are in a hallucination all their own.” Their fear is based not on what governments do, but on what they can do, our could do with that information in a near future. With a comprehensive list of all a citizen’s purchases and belongings, a government is liable to use public force to pressure its citizens by stripping them of all of their belongings.

It is in the nature of crises that they become visible when it is already too late to respond, or else they would never come to be. Civil rights activists are trying to bring the matter to public attention before populations have locked themselves into a situation where no longer have any escape. If modern societies continue to drift towards the cashless era, they will have failed to keep powers, between States and their peoples, on an even keel.

(1) https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/09/rise-cas...ciety
(2) https://letstalkpayments.com/which-countries-are-close-...orld/
(3) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/may/29/qanda.jan...rrone
(4) https://cyberpsychology.eu/article/view/6184/5914
(5) http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/10/imagining-...world
(6) https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-10-14/the-...ntasy

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