Friday, November 23, 2007

[micro-control 7] uninvited, beyond authority and opaque

The greatest problems facing this post are where to start and how much to include of the sprawling mass of emerging material on Newthink and the NGOs.

The thrust of this post is to highlight aspects of both, especially concerning web control. which permeates policy determination. It's not highbrow – you can follow it quite easily.

I'll start with an interesting meeting held by the Scottish Arts Council.

The Scottish Arts Council (SAC) organised a quiet event for an audience of 'arts managers' in Glasgow on 14/4/99. Called "Facing the Future," this took the form of a lecture by Ian Christie, then director of think tank 'Demos'.

After an obviously unwanted debate (chaired by Mrs. Jack McConnell, Labour Party) in which the audience clearly did not accept what they were told, the final words from Seona Reid (then Director of the SAC) conveyed the impression that some form of transaction had taken place, that "SAC was working to ensure the arts were incorporated into the range of Government policies - but arts organisations and artists needed to play their part in making this a reality".

Christie made reference to “reality fabrication” which had also been the purpose of another Christie talk, "A New Agenda for the Arts" which was that there was no need to form an arts policy distinct from that dictated in London. If "autonomous Scotland" were to follow the government line Scotland would be the "envy and fascination" of the rest of the country.
Interconnection

This is a key aspect of the new policy thrust – the interconnection of groups and individuals within those groups. An example is Demos, a non-governmental think-tank, according to themselves.
Demos trustees brought together Sir Douglas Hague (former adviser to Margaret Thatcher), Jan Hall (Chief Executive of the advertising agency Gold Greenlees Trott), Martin Jacques (Co-founder of Demos, former editor of Marxism Today), Julia Middleton (Chief Executive of Common Purpose), The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The RAND Corporation, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Hudson Institute (founded by Herman Khan - model for Kubrick's Dr Strangelove), The Heritage Foundation, The Centre for Policy Studies, The Institute of Economic Affairs, The Aspen Institute, The Adam Smith Institute and so on...
The founder and Director of Demos was Geoff Mulgan.
A Cabinet Office news release of 1/9/00 announced the appointment of Mulgan as Director of the 'Performance and Innovation Unit' (PIU):

"The PIU's aim is to improve the capacity of Government to address strategic, cross-cutting issues and to promote innovation in the development and delivery of policy and in the delivery of the Government's objectives. The Unit reports direct to the Prime Minister through Sir Richard Wilson."
So Demos is non-governmental? Technically, yes.
"Mulgan has worked since 1997 as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on social policy issues...responsible for social exclusion, welfare to work, family, urban, voluntary sector and other issues...
Geoff Mulgan now chairs the Advisory Council alongside Martin Taylor, a steering group member of the Bilderberg group. Mulgan's views on policy possibilities:
We now live in a world in which fantasy and reality are hard if not impossible to distinguish. Information is the raw material of both fact and fantasy, and has been so industrialised that its origins are rarely visible. Now it can be manufactured, twisted, multiplied and disseminated almost without limit.

Assisted by the power of computing, it can be created as if from nothing: tailor made to cognitive needs, put together as pastiche or copy. It needs only minimal reference points. The links between it and an objective reality - the claim of positivism and enlightenment - are ever more tenuous. As a result for the receiver there are few grounds for judgement, apart from received authority or limited experience.
Simon, on 07 November 2007, noted this about another Demos member, Julia Middleton:
In her book Beyond Authority, Middleton argues for a leadership style that enables [Common Purpose graduates] to lead beyond the traditional boundaries and constraints of their organizations. This of course means beyond the constraints of democratic accountability, whether at local or national level.

As Peter Mandelson, former Communist and European Commissioner put it in March 1998:
"It may be that the era of pure representative democracy is slowly coming to an end."
Demos and the officially unconnected other bodies emanating from the policy thrust have become very interested in Semantic Web:
For instance, text-analyzing techniques can now be easily bypassed by using other words, metaphors for instance, or by using images in place of words. An advanced implementation of the semantic web would make it much easier for governments to control the viewing and creation of online information, as this information would be much easier for an automated content-blocking machine to understand.

In addition, the issue has also been raised that, with the use of FOAF files and Geolocation meta-data, there would be very little anonymity associated with the authorship of articles on things such as a personal blog.
The web gurus have become involved in this as well:
But at present there is no easy way to take into account the policies that govern the use of information, some of which could be sensitive health data, said Nigel Shadbolt, professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Southampton and the incoming president of the British Computer Society.
One initiative to provide better data transfer has been John Poindexter's TIA [note the logo in the top left corner of this post and see if you notice anything interesting in the design and choice of colouring]:
Total Information Awareness - a prototype system -- is our answer. We must be able to detect, classify, identify, and track terrorists so that we may understand their plans and act to prevent them from being executed. To protect our rights, we must ensure that our systems track the terrorists, and those that mean us harm. h/t Ian P
John Poindexter was Vice President of Syntek Technologies, a government contractor. Syntek and Poindexter worked for years with DARPA to develop Genoa, a surveillance device that's a combination cutting-edge search engine, sophisticated information harvesting program", and a "peer-to-peer" file sharing system. Kind of a military-grade Google/Napster for use in instant analysis of electronic data.

The result: Facebook.

One of the rationales for Total Information Awareness is that unregulated data on the web is subject to "capture" and exploitation by unscrupulous groups:

Therefore better networking and better information transfer systems are required. For what purpose is “better information transfer' required? Back to the UK, here is one example of an application for the new technology. Home Office Minister Meg Hillier said:
"In order to... fully realise the benefits of combining registration of life events in England and Wales and the issuing of passports, it is sensible that the IPS and GRO should be part of the same organisation."
These "registration of life events" - Ian P explains that this relates in some measure to the Office of National Statistics' idea of "through life records", which were intended to take the basic and relatively uncontentious matter of birth, marriage and death registration and flesh it out into a continually updated life record.

And let's add to this:
Plans to add fingerprints to UK overseas passports are under way, despite the cost and complexity involved in gathering biometrics from UK citizens across the globe, a parliamentary answer revealed last week. Passports issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office are already "biometric", but only in the somewhat minimalist sense required by ICAO - the addition of fingerprints, however, would pull overseas UK residents into the National Identity Register net, closing off a prized but little-known escape route.
And:
Alongside these Byrne offered faster Criminal Records Bureau checks via ID cards, use of ID cards and/or the Identity & Passport Service's identity verification service for checking the employment status of foreign nationals, the prospect of ID cards being used for proof of age when shopping for alcohol, knives and solvents, the biometric visa programme, and ID-related projects with the Department of Work & Pensions and the Government Gateway to be unveiled next month.
Which are being promulgated at a time of continual data loss. A more recent example is the loss of Child Endowment records in the last two days.

Back to Total Information Awareness and the need to regulate the web – this is also evident in the setting up of the Media Standards Trust [you might be bemused by their own stated connection with George Orwell:
The MacArthur Foundation – famed for its ‘genius grants’ – has just awarded a grant of $350,000 to the Media Standards Trust and the Web Science Research Initiative to develop their plans for “authenticating news” on the web. In other words – unregulated political assertions by bloggers need to be authorized.

The plans are based on an idea originally conceived by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, and since developed by the Media Standards Trust.
Now, about the major funder MacArthur:
John D. MacArthur (1897-1978) developed and owned Bankers Life and Casualty Company and other businesses, as well as considerable property in Florida and New York.
And:
The Fellowship has no application. People are nominated anonymously, by a body of nominators who submit recommendations to a small selection committee of about a dozen people, also anonymous. The committee then reviews every nominee and passes along their recommendations to the President and the board of directors. The entire process is anonymous and confidential. Most new MacArthur Fellows first learn that they have even been considered when they receive the congratulatory phone call.
More on the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) here. More on the MST:
"The Media Standards Trust, chaired by Sir David Bell (Chairman of the Financial Times), is a new, independent not-for-profit organisation working to foster high standards in news."
Sir David Bell is Common Purpose. As is Julia Middleton. CP comes out of the ODPM and is a Prescott initiative, that is from a “Minister' with no portfolio.
The attempt to control the web in Europe finds criticism from an, at first, seemingly unlikely source:
US ambassador David Gross remained equally unimpressed. "It seems to me to be a potentially historic shift in policy by the European Union to be a much more top-down, 'governments should control technical aspects of the Internet' approach," he told us. "Something that as you know is not the policy of the United States."
The EU has also been urging both data sharing within the union, i.e. inwards towards the commission:
For example, there are European Union directives that require that government information be made available in a general way for reuse.
Also concurrent is the EU directive that data cannot be concealed by member states from the Commission - in the interests of transparency, they maintain:

The house of Lords European Union Committee's 40th Report of Session 2005/6 had grave concerns over EU these data sharing activities and data protection:

Electronic inclusion is a new buzzword. The idea is that many people in the lower and less accessible groups in society should be encouraged to communicate electronically, thereby registering with the electronic database:


In line with governmental recommendations on service transformation, that unnecessary contact between public and government should be reduced, the less accessible are advised that they should use an ICT device instead:


To assist these unregistered plebs [who must, by definition be stupid], to understand what an ICT device is, it's explained in some detail that one such device is the telephone:


Another initiative is OCAM, which proposes keeping lists of journalists and other political commentators. This is called an "open commission" for accuracy in the media, which is pure doublespeak by this genre of people:

And so it goes on and on. Dizzy, whilst also tracking down the Media Monitoring group, sums up the overall situation in his comment on the government's breaching of their own data protection guidelines:
What's important to point out here is this is not about saying you think Gordon Brown and the Labour Government are secretly trying to enslave us all in an Orwellian nightmare with the ultimate aim of destroying democracy. No, this is about asking whether the proposal passes the Stalin Test. Would someone like Stalin have found a system like this useful?

Notes
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

13 comments:

lady macleod said...

That's a great deal of data. I'm going to think it over rather than making an ignorant comment.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I think I need to do the same. What a lot of work, James!

jmb said...

Now this one is really scary. I do hope you are getting all this information out to be considered by more people than comment here.

Anonymous said...

What's important to point out here is this is not about saying you think Gordon Brown and the Labour Government are secretly trying to enslave us all in an Orwellian nightmare with the ultimate aim of destroying democracy. No, this is about asking whether the proposal passes the Stalin Test. Would someone like Stalin have found a system like this useful?

You are incorrect.

It IS ABOUT the enslavement of the "electorate"

1)They are to be divided into small groups, reporting direct to Brussels.
No-one will have a large enough voice, and it voids the chance of any antagonistic national or regional body being elected.
2)Destruction of national identity destroys mainline opposition rallying reasons/calls.
Rewriting history, dumbing down education, politicising of children, endless banal initiatives, think-tanks, quangos.
Representatives of regions will be required to represent such a range of diverse and conflicting variety of views on ALL subjects, that coherent and logical representation will be impossible. Rule from the centre will persist.

3)One of Gordons early moves was to raid pension funds. Basically his moves resulted in every private pension being underfunded by 25%, immediately. Everyone remained silent. The professionals who realised were mute. The net result was that, since pensioners were increasingly reliant on the state for their survival, a labour vote became more likely.
The same is happening with Third Level education, with "social engineering" for places.
The same is happening with private schools and the possible loss of their charitable status, while other, absolutely illegal charities go unmolested, and private companies, with one shareholder, with links to CP, and Camelot, and enormous sums of money, in extremely opaque conduits, go completely unexamined.

4)The most important part, and the reason for the "gendarmerie", and the restrictions of freedom.
- - - - Following the 2000 crash, the world led by the Fed has deliberately vastly inflated the supply of global money. Initially this had no inflationary effect, because of the cost savings delivered by Chinese/ South East Asia manufacturing. Now inflation grips the world, and nations are competitively devaluing their currencies, using various methods. The Yen carry trade has added to this wall of money. The US financial world found a way of slicing and dicing sub-prime debts, renaming them, and selling them around the world, to anyone who would buy them. Current estimates are $400B sub-prime and $2trillion total problem. This will probably rise. It's not over, by any means.
Certain banks have probable losses in excess of their shareholder equity. They are therefor trading illegally.
Meanwhile Gordon Brown, and the US, changed the measuring methods of home inflation, to vastly understate the figures. Once again professionals capable of recognising this remained for the most part, mute. In the UK, real inflation is running at more or less 3 times the official quoted figures that are used to calculate annual state pension adjustments. Pensioners are being absolutely screwed. Their capital, and savings, and pension funds, representing a lifetime of work are being stolen from them, to maintain illusory finance house and bank profits, and obscene bonuses to bank failures.

Look at it this way, if inflation is actually running at 5% in the UK, and Gordon is claiming GDP growth of 2%ish, next year, what does that really mean? And then think of the last few years, when the REAL rate of inflation has been higher than the GDP growth, and Gordon's claims of economic wizardry!

Any company that cannot grow its top line in excess of the rate of inflation, is either contracting, or in the wrong market.

King, of the MPC, is saying that bank rates will come down next year. And the press is bleating that this bodes well for mortgage holders.
Look at it this way. Banks are commercial companies. If the true rate of inflation is 5%, do you seriously believe that mortgage rates will fall, and banks will willingly sacrifice their capital base?
My opinion is that next year in the UK, the true rate of inflation will be significantly more than 5%

Now King, of the MPC, MUST reduce rates, because the FED will reduce rates aggressively to try to encourage growth in an economy rapidly falling into recession, and maybe depression, hand in hand with stagflation. At the same time the growth in money supply will be vastly increased to inflate away the problems. Hence money supply in the UK at the hands of the BoE will also balloon. And this to maintain currency lockstep (roughly) with the US, and to maintain the existing terms of trade, or to very gradually disengage the parity.

Competitive devaluation of currencies.

Basic foodstuffs become dearer. Petrol (unless Gordon relinquishes some tax) becomes vastly more expensive, same with gas and electricity.

The signs of problems are there. Discretionary spending is down, mortgage approvals are down, retailers warn of gloom, all grains, meat, veg, are up, some by 20%pa

There will be council tax refusniks, property defaults and repossessions, food and fuel protests, and probably inter-ethnic problems spilling into the streets.

The insane economic policies virtually guarantee this.

Control legislation is in place. Detention times are being aggressively pursued, cameras are everywhere. Technologies are almost in place.

What will be the first test of the Gov't resolve, and will the Tories agree, or condemn them?
Irrelevant really, it could well end up being orchestrated from Brussels.

So, the ultimate aim of the EU has always been about destroying democracy, hence CP bleating about "post democracy", and the endless think tanks, quangos, initiatives, etc, all emanating from the hell-hole of the ODPM, all of them anti- democracy.
"Would Stalin have found them useful?
Damn right he would

But with new technologies,and databases, and finger prints and DNA, and RFID chips, and communications, and cctv, and satellite monitoring, Stalin would now find control infinitely easier.

Papers please.
Welcome to the gulags.

Lord James-River said...

JMB first - it's not the sort of thing to be commented on. those who know it's true - what's there to say? Those who deny it - there doesn't seem much point. The rest just don't know.

Yes, Lady M and Welshcakes - one can only really comment one way or the other after reading endless Newspeak and it's not fun.

I expected [hoped] WC and JMB would comment [Lady M is a bonus] but the comments are not really the thing. It's way ahead of al other posts just now in entry pages and that's a nice thing - to know it's being read.

Possibly after the weekend the Anon's might comment, possibly with yet more data. Wolfie hasn't, which surprises.

Lord James-River said...

Thanks Anon - didn't see this before - went over to Safari.

UBERMOUTH said...

Wow! What a lo0t of work you put into this, James.

If one thought about this too much though we wouldn't be able to sleep nights.

Yes,. half way through this post I thought (DUH) how the p.c WILL be the means for monitoring/controlling us all.

Anonymous said...

Concerning data loss.

In August, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee published a report which recommended a law governing data breaches.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/10/lords_net_security_report/


In October, the government rejected its recommendations.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/30/ukgov_cybercrime_response/

William Beer, security practice director for Europe at Symantec, said "Twenty-five per cent of data breaches come from governments - because of the amount of data they hold and the number of sites they run. Technology can help with this, but it is not a silver bullet. It's about processes and people too."

They are culpable. They knew their own data-loss statistics.
They rejected advice.
They are guilty of at least 25 million breaches of the Data Protection Laws.

Will anyone prosecute?

Anonymous said...

Jack Straw has a brother with a criminal conviction, and a son with a drug related conviction. Nice Family.

Mr Straw is a lawyer.

During the first week of June, 2005, he said in the Commons "Let me make it clear that there is no plan, proposal or intention to slip elements of the constitutional treaty through by the back door,"

History has proven him to be a bare-faced liar.

Bernard Jenkin MP then asked why, in that case, the EU had already set up its European Defence Agency, "a central provision of the constitution"

Mr Straw replied: "The defence agency is not in the treaty."

He lied again.

Article I-41.3 of the constitution gives (but only after ratification, via referendum of the constitution, which as we know, received a NO vote) legal authorisation for the setting up of the "European Defence Agency". This, without waiting for the constitution, was launched last January, 2005, to play a hugely important role in planning and co-ordinating "a single EU defence identity"

In order to justify this, Straw went on to explain that it was an "aspirational" clause in the Maastricht Treaty.

Straw is a lawyer, and knows the difference between an aspirational clause, and legal authorisation.

On the Wednesday of that week, when EU ministers held a "Space Council" in Luxembourg to plan "a European space policy", they were acting illegally, in that the only authorisation "to draw up a European space policy" is contained in Article III-254 of the Constitution.

In other words they had no legal power to do what they were doing, committing EU taxpayers to spend 10 billion euros (£7 billion) a year.

When ministers are caught acting illegally in this way, what do we expect them to do? Come clean and admit they have made a mistake? Or just tell bare-faced brazen lies about it? And there bye show their disgusting contempt for, and break the trust of, the electorate that gave them their position and still, regrettably, pays their salary.

And how long will the UK tolerate these lies and contempt, and hold these liars legally responsible for treason?

Anonymous said...

EC directive 2004/52 relates to the setting up of a "European electronic toll service", designed to use Galileo once it has been put in place by French Ariane V rockets in 2008.

The constitution received a NO vote, so any expenditure on this is currently "illegal" (see previous comment)

These two links :-
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/12/galileo_shoeing_uk_pols/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/13/merkel_sarko_galileo_alliance/
relate to the current state of Galileo.

It goes without saying that the sequestration of funds earmarked for other expenditure, in order to progress Galileo, is not only illegal under EU laws, but is also illegal as the constitution has not been ratified.

On 7/6/07, Mr Paterson asked a question for Hansard

here, revealing that the Chinese learnt from their access to EU technology, and now have their own GPS system and thus no need for the EU Galileo, and the Russians also have a GPS system, while the EU has a satellite in orbit emitting a Beep, purely to preserve its spectrum freehold.

The answer given for Hansard was clearly deliberately evasive, :_
"Dr. Ladyman: There are presently no proposals from local authorities for satellite based charging systems. The use of signals from different systems will be dependent on the technology selected at the time that any such scheme were proposed".

Of course there can't be any proposals from local authorities for satellite based charging systems, since the silly buggers can neither agree how to fund it, nor who should be responsible for it! At present Galileo is not functional. (The Indians have gone with the Russian System)

Mr Owen Paterson has clearly given the matter a lot of thought

It would seem that in the absence of Galileo, ANPR will progress for road use tolls, and surveillance.

it should be obvious to the public at this point that since there has been no ratification, and a NO vote on an issue that was billed as requiring a unanimous vote, that there must be considerable doubt as to the legal existence of the EU at this point. Certainly expenditures on activities set up in the unauthorised "Constitution" are entirely illegal.

So where are the legal challenges?
Why is our Monarch mute?
These reptiles are entirely soluble, so lets dissolve the bu**ers!

Anonymous said...

Reference Galileo

The missing billions were originally to have been provided by the European space-biz sector, but private industry ultimately did not believe they would recoup such a level of investment from Galileo pay services. (The American military GPS sat nav system already offers a very adequate civil service for free.) The European Commission (EC) - the EU's full-time officials - broke off negotiations with business leaders earlier this year, and it was agreed in principle by national transport ministers that the missing money would come from public coffers.

So business regards Galileo as not worth the investment, as income is difficult to quantify.
Politicians however know better, and are prepared to use our tax monies to invest in a politically motivated scheme designed for CONTROL, that has no hope of financial viability

And here's me thinking that the EU had strict vetting and cost/benefit analysis systems in operation for use on such expenditures.

Silly me, - assuming rational thought on the part of the EU, and our elected representatives.

Cassandra said...

Dear James,
In reply to your comment on my last, It may that I've been out of the loop a bit, but which articles do you mean? I've updated by file here http://politeia-dbase.blogspot.com/2007/10/dossier-common-purpose.html , but cannot trace instalment number 6.
Great job! thanks.

Cassandra said...

x