Tag Archives: Crimes Act 1900

Automated Fraud Dangers

What a world we live in, not only is there the crime of fraud, there is now the option to automate it. Yes, the Guardian is giving us (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/08/fake-news-full-fact-software-immune-system-journalism-soros-omidyar), the automation against ‘fake news’. It is the subtitle that gets the blackberry pie in this. With ‘Full Fact software backed by George Soros and Pierre Omidyar fact-checks statements in parliament and news media in real time‘ we see the start of a series of events, and I am honestly not sure where they are trying to take it at present. The bias is intentional, because we all have this feeling, when a billionaire (or plural) support something, it will put them in a better position. It could be seen as unfair bias, yet bias is in the human core, which in light of what the media does more and more not the worst position to place yourself in.

To get there, we need to take a few steps. With fraud we need to see where that is at. We get “wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain“, so let’s take a gander into The Fraud Act 2006. This gives us three options.

The first being that with fraud by false representation we can go hilariously with ‘I really have an 11 inch dick‘, or better stated, in section 2 paragraph 2 it is all about:

A representation is false if: (a)it is untrue or misleading, and (b)the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

This issue as seen in the first part as it could be measured and acted on by the rulering (pun, innuendo and Full Fact challenge intended), yet the statement ‘I am the greatest lover in the world‘ is that fraud, being delusional of conviction of a personal ability through (or enabled by) the deceit of your own ego, so how to prove such subjectivity, against fraud? Now the important part here, which is not covered in lust (or perhaps it is) is seen in paragraph 3 with

(3) “Representation” means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of (a) the person making the representation, or (b) any other person.

and the important part that matters in his case is paragraph 5 which gives us (5) For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention)“, this puts tweets, social media and optionally this software solution in a similar weird new position.

Now this is part one and you can see where this is going, and there is no twist to this part of the tale, yet the other two are still important.

The second is fraud by failing to disclose information. Now in this case journalists get a free pass, because it is about the legal duty and that person is in breach of this section if he (or she)

(a)dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and (b)intends, by failing to disclose the information

  • (i)to make a gain for himself or another, or
  • (ii)to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

so this tends to be professionally set to the makers of laws, accountants, those people with red or purple robes and wigs, you know the types, in this case doctors, and not to forget certain contractors working for governments, in this the military and intelligence community cannot be convicted or prosecuted as they have other sets of rules, like national security, military law and in some cases maritime law could leave a person not in breach of this, yet they would have their own set of rules that still sets clearly their responsibilities.

And last we get fraud by abuse of position. I am merely mentioning this almost for the completeness of the fraud as it is in common law. Yet with

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he (or she), (a) occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person,(b) dishonestly abuses that position, and (c)intends, by means of the abuse of that position

  • (i)to make a gain for himself or another, or
  • (ii)to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

(2) A person may be regarded as having abused his position even though his conduct consisted of an omission rather than an act.

Actually, now that I think of it, the makers of the software program once called the “bullshit detector” in an early version of the system by its creators, is now set to be a virtual truth vaccine. I am in two set mind here, on one side I love the idea and on the other side there are a few hitches that would make it fall over for possibly a lot longer than anyone could consider. You see, when I think of fake news, I do not think merely of the actual fact misusers. The joke that Channel Nine became in the evening as they got the first lead on a shooting (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjkQSREjxH0), the lady now nationally known as the ‘chick chick boom girl’, gave an eye witness report and the journo just ate it all up. A sexy looking girl giving the news all the ‘facts‘ as she was allowed to report this in the limelight offered. The reporter felt so good and six days later the Age gives us “Within 24 hours of the footage first airing on Channel Nine, T-shirts emblazoned with “chk chk boom“, the phrase which Ms Werbeloff used to describe the gunshot, were being sold on a US website. There were also drink bottles with the slogan and a rap-music remix of her video, and in addition, the fact that the news was bogus, fake, not real and pretty well made up“, we now have two issues, she is not merely guilty of fraud, she possibly impeded an investigation into a shooting.

This is more than a funny story, even as we can admit that one comment in the YouTube states that it is still funny and to some extent I agree, merely because the gullible reporter basically got played. We can set in equal measure giggle to the smallest extent as KVTU reported that the names of the MH370 crew members were Captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk and Bang Ding Ow. The fact that the newsreader and the editor did not ‘seemingly realise‘ that this was fake is a failure on an entirely different level and no software on the planet will protect us from stupid people (or gullible politicians for that matter). So that in the back of my mind within a minute of the article in the Guardian had me pondering this ‘software solution‘. Now, I do believe that the software could be used to flag thousands of messages almost instantly, yet the claim we get from “The early version of the software scans the subtitles of live news programmes, broadcasts of parliament, the Hansard parliamentary record, and articles published by newspapers. It tracks millions of words sentence by sentence until it identifies a claim that appears to match a fact-check already in its database” is dangerous on a few levels, yet as the makers interestingly and validly point out: “Babakar is keen to stress the limitations of the system so far and believes the tool should only be used by journalists in the first instance rather than the general public“, I like that part, they admit that the software is nowhere near ready even when it initially launches.

So where is my issue?

There are a few sides, with ‘claim that appears to match a fact-check already in its databasewe have to realise that the vetting process is a critical part in this, so how soon will we see clearances and cleared checks of miscommunications, the previous news cast from KVTU being a first example. This process would require internal political hands from whoever uses it and there is where the bias sets in. We might go biased and auto accept the facts from sources like the Washington Post, the Times, the Dutch NRC Handelsblad and the Swedish Dagens Nyheter, yet now we get the second part, we have all seen and under the best of conditions there is the danger of getting ‘lost in translation‘ (not the movie which was brilliant). So when we apply the lost in translation, we have the local versions (UK version of English) with the Sun giving us today: ‘1,200 killed by mental patients‘, so is this fake news? I would state so, but knowing the people behind the Sun, they will have some numbers that add up to 1200. Yet ‘today’ was October 2013, when it actually was ‘today’. So here we see the first application of lost in translation, the second side in that headline was seen when we go to the ‘actual’ news, were we see “It discovered 1,216 people were killed by patients with mental illness from 2001-2010 — an average of 122 deaths a year” (at https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/1052064/1200-killed-by-mental-patients/), so is this still fake news? That same article gives us “The study — the first of its kind in the UK — found 45 per cent of those with severe psychiatric problems were victims of crime in the previous year“, now giving weight to anything the Sun states is one thing, accepting the good looks of the lady on page three is another, yet in the end, were these stated ‘facts’ lies? I have had loads of issues with tabloids for the longest of times. Still, when we now look at fraud, where ‘A representation is false ifit is untrue or misleading, and the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.‘ The additional ‘a representation may be regarded as made if it is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention)‘. Here is the initial ballgame, you see, it is not merely about fake news, it now becomes about the interpretation of language. In its most basic terms, a grammar system designed to comprehend innuendo. When we know that loads of Journalists are incapable of comprehending sarcasm under even the most optimal conditions and in addition, when I state that sarcasm that backfires is merely irony, they are likely to become even more confused. So the heavens might love the simple minded, but here it becomes an issue on a much larger scale.

The article gives us “The fledgling system is not without its problems; sometimes it flags up a fact-check that isn’t relevant, for example. The challenge for the programmers is to get the software to understand the fuzzy logic and idiom used so often in speech” This actually barely scratches the surface. You see, there are a few other parts, how would the Metro front page ‘Brexit begins‘ be seen? Officially, the letter was delivered, yet the overwhelming ‘news’ is that Brexit has not started yet, could flag this news article. The truth is the interpretation of what constitutes the start of Brexit is also the issue. It’s not like having sex (yes the example matters, so do read on), that is the act and point in time, it is what happens after. So when is the baby seen as alive? When the conception has happened? When the child is capable of being born alive? In Australia it is seen after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Yet in separate Australian states, in this case Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, the terminal points for abortions are 16, 24 and 20 weeks, so there is an issue on a few levels. In cases there is the Crimes Act 1900 (sections 82-84), whilst the ACT had abortions repealed as a criminal offense from the Crimes (Abolition of Offence of Abortion) Act 2002. So, one moment in time that on a national level already has 4 different assessment dates on one national calendar. In that mess on one ‘simple’ issue, we see a mess that becomes even messier when theology gets in the way of the subject of conversation and that is more than just a reference to separation of church and state. This shows part of the problem, also for the us where federal law can be a real mess for the non-legal people and that also has implications for the ‘fake news’ vetting system. So how could any article on illegal abortion be weighed correctly, especially when a politically or religiously tainted tabloid becomes the provider of that news?

Now, if they pull it off would be quite a feat, yet when we go back to the initial fraud part, if the system flags an article as possible fake, what happens when the news agency in light of thousands of items a day scraps that one item? Would the non-reported article by the journalist be seen as a matter for an aggrieved status? That is part of the problem these makers face, because in some nations the torts law is pretty strong and if there is a case of ‘redress of damage‘ the roll of the dice would be well worth it. There would be a direct and instant case of insurance companies, especially in any editorial status to not warrant any level of insurance when such software is used. Not now, possibly even not ever, although the latter part would be highly speculative by me and I hope to some extent that I am wrong, because pulling it off, getting software to be this able would be quite the achievement and the essential requirement for any evolving AI. This is because intelligence artificial or not would be about the ability to weigh information and facts to the proper value of innuendo and ascertainment of paraphrased facts. Weighing information is a skill that is almost never done correctly on the present day internet. A nice example is to compare the search engines Bing and Google, when you seek ‘UK torts‘ the search engine Bing gave me as a 4th and several subsequent mentions ‘Tort law in Australia – Wikipedia‘ as well as a few other Australian references to Australian law. Was that what I had asked for? No, it was not (which is why Bing is my preferred source for not finding facts, yay Google).

All issues given that could be seen as fake news, or is that fake information, so when we see the flags, how long until the bias sets in? You see that is my largest issue with what could come, with bias I get what they want me to see, which I touched on in the very beginning, because automated or not, censoring is a dangerous principle under the most ideal situations. With software, no matter how good the intention we could see a dangerous curve towards what is automated assumed we wanted to see. You see, there are too many parts of the dimension of ‘fake news’. This has been the larger issue with media for a much longer time. In this, Mevan Babakar the project manager at Full Fact in London has his work cut out for him, I do not envy him, yet if this gets solved and if it works, the value of this software would be a lot larger than most people could realise, and it would be a technological software marvel to behold.

 

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Waffles, the Welsh Sidestepper

On my side, my party (specifically George Osborne) is stating that Brexit would leave UK ‘permanently poorer’, whilst on the other side we see Boris Johnson stating: “‘Its b******s’: Boris Johnson hits out at David Cameron over impact of Brexit on trade and jobs” as given in the Independent.

I stand by my party, but there are questions that need to be asked. Brexit, as well as a bankrupt America has been forever about greed moving, about giving in to banks and financial institutions. When we look at the Panama papers (and the debatable method how they got out in the first place), we see a banking structure that is completely greed driven, whilst we see again and again how the US (Congress, the Senate and the White House) give in to that greed whilst being unable to manage their debts and their budgets. In that same light we see the EEC remaining unaccountable for too long, pushing debts, overspending and non-accountability.

The Conservatives need to realise that scaremongering is no longer a method, yet here, is my usage of scaremongering correct? Are they scaremongering? You see, when we see statements from the PM, the Exchequer and the governor of the bank of England, we need consider the positions they hold. We might all consider the fact that we are being ‘misled’ because of a desperate, clueless and greed driven America, but is that the actual fact here?

I wish I could give you a clear concise and utterly precise answer. That I cannot do. Yet, what can I show you? Let’s take a look at that part!

The first consideration is given in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/its-bs-boris-johnson-hits-out-at-david-cameron-over-impact-of-brexit-on-trade-and-jobs-a6988236.html), where Boris Johnson gave us the following: “Now there is this idea that trade is entirely controlled by governments, that no trade takes place unless governments agree with each other” and “Well, b******s. It’s nothing to do with governments. It’s to do with businesses, people and enterprises deciding they have something to buy or sell“. We can to some clear part agree towards this? America is the best example here. They will sell anything and anyone at the mere drop of a hat (any hat), business is merely the operation of a seller selling its goods. Every corporation needs sales, whether locally or internationally. As the UK is selling, it is also buying, because these two go hand in hand; there is an equilibrium (at least some form of). As long as a nation exports more than it imports it is making a clear profit (whether taxable or not is another matter). This simple truth gives validity and power to the words of Boris Johnson.

The Bank of England gives us the following (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/14/bank-of-england-warns-brexit-could-do-serious-harm-to-uk-economy). We get to see: “extended period of uncertainty about the economic outlook, including about the prospects for export growth. This uncertainty would be likely to push down on demand in the short term,” then we get “A vote to leave could have significant implications for asset prices, in particular the exchange rate. The MPC would have to make careful judgements about the next effects of these potential influences on demand, supply and inflation. Ultimately, monetary policy would be set in order to meet the inflation target, while also ensuring that inflation expectations remained anchored” and finally there is “A Reuters poll this week found that 17 of 26 economists thought a vote for Brexit could prompt the Bank to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis“. First the last one, because it is an easy option. I think that is a reality that the UK would face no matter what. Do you think that Mario Draghi setting negative interest rates would not impact the UK? Do you think that Draghi starting a spending spree, one that monthly exceeds the total fortune of Bill Gates will not be felt (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-01/draghi-begins-ecb-monthly-bond-spend-exceeding-gates-s-fortune)?

We see in the News that Draghi has a planned total of about 1.74 trillion Euros of purchases in mind. That much debt added on the Eurozone. Who is paying for that? No one in Europe has that kind of cash, so explain to me how this would end well for anyone except the bankers and the financial sector? What will you expect when you send your 13 year old child with your credit card into a mall? Do you think that this teenager (regardless of gender) will come back with only the rashers of bacon, a pair of socks and a yoyo? Perhaps the storekeeper will talk your teenager into the consoles, shoes and lollies. It’s a credit card and the bill does not need to get paid at present. This is the reality the people at large have had enough of.

Now, back to the main line, because neither is lying, but in this first part, does the forecast of the Governor of the Bank of England matter? This situation is already out of hand, getting out seems to be the better of choices as no one is muzzling Mario Draghi, or those behind him trying to make sure that the money is spent. The Irish Times gave us another headline regarding the shopping spree of Mario Draghi: ‘In a world of negative rates borrowers get paid and savers penalised‘, in an age where the golden age group is the largest, the governments at large are using whatever they have saved to damage the elderly even more, whilst the criminals causing the damage are not required to be accountable. You might wonder how I am now labelling a party Criminal.

You see, in the Crimes Act 1900, where we see section 195 Destroying or damaging property. At Section 195(1) we see: “A person who intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable to imprisonment for 5 years“. Seems odd doesn’t it? Yet, this conviction could make for an essential claim form the government as well. You see Austlii gives us “‘Property’ includes every description of real and personal property; money, valuable securities, debts, and legacies; and all deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods; and includes not only property originally in the possession or under the control of any person, but also any property into or for which the same may have been converted or exchanged, and everything acquired by such conversion or exchange, whether immediately or otherwise“, which means that money and valuable securities, meaning ones retirement coin. In that regard, Draghi is playing with cash he doesn’t have, diminishes money he is not entitled to and the people at large are left with nothing.

Is anyone even surprised that the Brexit group is growing so fast?

So back to the Bank gov. You see, he is talking about forecasts, expected events and non-expected events. This is done as he should, but the silence around irresponsible spending has not been addressed for years now and this has the people scared, panicky and riled up, a really lousy combination if I might say so.

Now we get to the big one. The exchequer giving us “Britain would be “permanently poorer” if voters choose to leave the EU” as well as “The conclusion is clear for Britain’s economy and for families – leaving the EU would be the most extraordinary self-inflicted wound”, you see. I am not convinced. Moreover, I am not convinced that the 6% downturn would not happen. When we see spending into the trillion plus, what shortage would not happen? The question becomes how reliable is the quote “Britain would be worse off, permanently so, and to the tune of £4,300 a year for every household“. So where did he get those numbers from? There is a real risk of an economic contraction, but that risk is already there. I reckon that should the Exchequer want to regain any reliability and trust, than this full calculation with all evidence would be made public for scrutiny. That is massively unlikely to happen. This gives us the problems we currently face. Those who are needed in the trenches do not seem to be correctly informed and going public on those numbers would cause too many searchers for a document that has no longer value after the scaring is done.

Or is that scarring?

You see, this current government is not sitting safely where they are. When we read “It is a well-established doctrine of economic thought that greater openness and interconnectedness boosts the productive potential of our economy. That’s because being an open economy increases competition between our companies, making them more efficient in the face of consumer choice, and creates incentives for business to innovate and to adopt new technologies” we see the initial part of the problem.

What is written is a clear truth, but it does not touch on the issue that resides in all this. The image is given, with in personal mind that we are all accountable and that correct scope in usage is there. Yet the truth is that this required proper taxation laws where corporations can be held accountable. Governments all over (including the UK) have created a labyrinth of shelters leaving them with a mere shadow of a coffer, a government coffer that is empty, giving us the nightmare scenario we all currently face. You see, as I see it, greater openness requires accountability and the law at large has been remaining too short on the facts and yes to the options. Now we see an additional piece from the Guardian where they are explaining that magical number, still it reads like a presentation and not a journalistic piece. It is like the article is mainly the treasury making its case and no critical eye is falling on it. Yet, there is absolutely no indication that any of it is a lie. Yet, the countersign is equally a worry. The article implies that the UK could only exist through the coat tails of the EEC, that is not the image I ever held of the UK, this, not unlike the Panama papers, seem to give off a feeling that there is American orchestration. There is absolutely no evidence of it, but the way it is presented, it implies that high investment only comes from EU connections. I disagree, we only need to see how absurd luxurious and unaffordable sky scrapers come into existence in the UK to see that cash will remain on course towards the UK, the nice thing of an island is that space is finite and London is built to the max of its land size. The cost of irresponsible spending seems to be neglected as well as the paper downplaying the pressure of paying the EU. In equal measure is has (as I personally see it) downplayed the consequences of recessions. Greece has another one now, soon to be followed by Spain. Both France and Italy running high risks of two years of recession, all downplayed. The IMF added the last drop to the bucket. Again embellishing the effects of a Brexit, whilst they attacked Osborne’s austerity path in January 2013 (Olivier Blanchard), 1 year ago to the day Christine Lagarde is now admitting that Osborne’s plan was good as well as the best option.

So neither party seems to be lying, you are merely seeing different cogs of different engines in this entire play whilst you expected to see only one engine. That is no longer the case. What is still equally worrying is that the US is involved in all this. For them to not be involved is just too ludicrous to contemplate. That will be part forever overlooked. You see, the consequence that the Euro will have on the dollar has been trivialised.

This is where we stand, we see that there are no lies, but certain statements aren’t getting the proper back-up from open data. It is the rhythm in all this that we expect an American link to come forward sooner rather than later, for the mere reason that the collapse of the Euro will hit the US dollar like a sledgehammer, one that will spark collapses all over the financial field. This is something we see more and more in publications at present, but the one source I am referring to is the one I predicted on January 30th 2013, over three years ago (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/01/30/time-for-another-collapse/), there was no time line of the event, but I had initially (wrongly so) predicted it to be before now. So the entire Euro mess has been going on for 3+ years and again and again we get the unbelievable projection that next year will be better. Can anyone explain to me how that can become a reality when 41 trillion is unaccounted for? (US, Japan, UK, Germany, France and Italy)

Apparently debts are not dealt with, that whilst the top of banking on a near global scale ends up with a bonus exceeding 5 billion dollars (just the bonuses). Where does this money come from and who is getting the invoice on all this? It is that part that is pushing Brexit and Frexit forwards (although the massive reason for Frexit remains to be Brexit).

Waffling, sidestepping, welshing all terms to avoid dealing with the issues that are on our front door and let’s be clear, we all elected those people to do just this. If you didn’t vote you don’t get to complain! Even now, the bulk refuses to deal with anything, especially with the US element in all this. As for the perjury bit, is intentional misleading not the same as lying? It is the intentional part that bothers too many people, which is making Brexit fans as well as UKIP slightly too happy.

The final part

Here we get the final pat as excellently brought by Phillip Inman (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/19/brexit-is-a-risk-to-uk-growth-says-carney). Not that word for word is such an achievement in reporting, but the article gives the part everyone should read. Here we see Marky Mark of the British bank (aka the Governor of the Bank of England) riding in on his shiny leased equestrian solution. Here we see a calm report given at the House of Lords. The important side is not the quotes, it is the way the parts were brought. The quote “Any positive impact of a [sterling] depreciation on activity would need to be set against any net negative impacts [whether on investment, consumption, exports or potential supply] stemming from its underlying cause.” He does not hit the nail with a hammer, he pretty much drives over it with a tank. You see, all he tells us in the article we get, we all understand and accept. The important side here is not what the immediate issue addresses, it is the indirect consequence of the act. A version of what lies beneath. Even if the Pound drops a little extra, that part is not the issue, the interest on a 1.5 trillion debt is the issue, that wave will hold too many people under water for a little too long, creating wrinkle upon wrinkle, each wrinkle drowning a few people with every wave. That part is addressed with the quote: “These are balances of probability, but the likelihood is that it will become more expensive to fund that deficit [if the UK leaves the EU] and, with a shift in the structure of it, it may mean that for a period the UK economy cannot run as large a current account deficit – it means that there would be less activity in the economy, less growth”. This is the brilliant side, because we waited until the Brexit crew was done waffling, we waited until UKIP shouted itself horse and the calm composed voice of Mr Carney now gives in clarity the part we all need to hear.

In perspective against the utter stupidity of the EEC with non-accountability and unregulated overspending, the British people are confronted with the simple fact that moving out of the EU will stop the ability for England to pay its debts (the interest on it). Until the economy improves the UK would go the same way as America with its unsustainable debt. It is by far the first clear element given to keep the UK within the EU for now. I have been on the fence for quite some time, but here is the one fact that matters. The British people by themselves cannot survive by itself to deal with what lies beneath.

It does not take away that the EEC needs to make massive changes, changes it needs to do tomorrow, not next week. Which shows a second part that the voters had forgotten about. You see, both David Cameron and George Osborne have been adamant and fighting to get the debt down, the one part forcing the UK in the EU, is the one element none of the conservatives want to see on the books. They prove that they want the best for England, which also gives more worry about Labour and the path Corbyn is putting the UK on, because in deep debt the UK will never have any options of choice.

So I say: Well presented and well played Mark Carney!

 

 

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Fail it until you nail it

Another day another moment I roll my eyes. You see the Guardian came with an interesting article, interesting and kind of useless (OK, useless is a bit of a stretch). Let’s explain that part. The title is interesting enough. When we see ‘World’s biggest tech companies get failing grade on data-privacy rights‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/nov/03/data-protection-failure-google-facebook-ranking-digital-rights), many of us, me included get to be a little curious.

The first part is shown here: “Given a percentage grade on privacy, freedom of expression and their commitment to those value based on an exhaustive analysis of their user agreements, no single company scored an aggregate grade above 65%“, the quote by Rebecca MacKinnon might sound nice, but she should know better in more than one way.

In the first, some of these companies are so global that many rights tend to be an upper level aggregation of the nation with the least rights. If America wasn’t so Prudishly Hypocritical a lot less would be ‘censored’. In addition, a global internet sounds nice, but it is crossing borders with national legislation, the internet does not get to have rights above national legislation, even in nations that are as liberal as it gets, issues will rise and the largest tech companies are trying to surf those waves as Rebecca MacKinnon very well knows. I am even more worried when a company like Vodafone (aka Vodafail in Australia) scores better than Twitter.

As for the grades, the beginning of the methodology (at https://rankingdigitalrights.org/project-documents/2015-indicators/#TOTAL) rears its ugly head in an interesting way when we look at question C3.

Here we see:

C3. Internal implementation

Does the company have mechanisms in place to implement its commitment to freedom of expression and privacy?

Checklist elements (select all that apply):

The company provides employee training on freedom of expression and privacy issues.

The company maintains an employee whistle-blower program.

 

The items here are the fun part:

The company provides employee training on freedom of expression and privacy issues.

Let’s take a look at some of these ‘great’ techies. Orange, Vodafone and Axiata. All telecom companies. In order of mention: ???,92000,20000. So let’s say 125,000 staff members, so should employee training on freedom of expression be available to all? In Addition, Orange merged in several nations. These mergers include France Télécom and T-Mobile UK, whilst in addition Orange is being phased out by its parent company EE Ltd. (aka Everything Everywhere). And for the whistle-blower part. How often was this a ‘hidden’ option to commit gross and unacceptable industrial espionage? As a Journalist it might sound like a sexy article, but did she for one moment realise that tech corporations need to hold onto their IP on several levels? Her book might be regarded as ‘amazing’ (Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom), yet when I read:  “Though the technology used for coordinating and organizing may be politically neutral, the context in which it is deployed is rarely so. Governments everywhere—whether they do business in the home government of companies or in the host government of markets—are demanding that Internet and telecommunications companies take sides, or at least stand back and avert their eyes while the government does what it needs to do, leaving the user or customer none the wiser.”, I worry!

Americans seldom comprehend that the right to be an utter idiot is not a god given right. In some places you get to be held accountable. I will go one step further, most of these self-proclaimed freedom fighters have excelled, through their train of thought, in protecting criminals and organised crime, which is some feather to put in your resume!

In addition, as people are crying for a free internet they also hold others accountable for their own stupidity.

Let’s show this with an example. If we change all global policies so that as per January 1st any hacked account who did not have a proper password will not be refunded, so the issue “Most banks will refund you your lost money after you sign some forms saying that you had nothing to do with the theft” will now include that not having proper quality passwords in place will be regarded as ‘assisted theft’. So you get no refund! I reckon it will take less than 1 day for the entire internet to go crazy regarding the injustice of that ruling. This is the issue, Rebecca MacKinnon doesn’t want a free internet; she wants an unaccountable internet. In her ‘netizenship’ she wants a free internet to hold governments to account, but in her virtual nation she has done nothing to hold those netizens accountable for Cyber bullying, harassment and assault on one’s devices. In that world there is no ‘Netfray’ (a made up crime definition), which might be freely seen as per adjusted version of the Crimes Act 1900 section 93C(2) “Netfray, a person who uses or threatens unlawful cyber violence towards another and whose conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable user skills present at the scene to fear for his or her personal data and internet safety is guilty of netfray and liable to imprisonment for 10 years“.

That part we will not see!

This is what makes that report an issue. Tech companies need to protect themselves non-stop. So, even as we agree that the cyber joke (aka Ashley Madison) is one side, the other side is Sony, which has a massively higher level of protection. In the latter case it is still speculations from many sides (including one from me), but a real timeline, and an account of events that could be decently precise was never revealed. Now I would expect that both sides of the fence prefers to keep it a secret, but in my view that hack was never clearly solved.

In that environment Rebecca MacKinnon wants an open internet, who is she kidding?

Back to that report, because the mentioned items are connected to what comes next!

F11. Identity policy (Internet companies)

Does the company require users to verify their identity with government-issued identification, or with other forms of identification connected to their offline identity?

More important, the part that follows: “This indicator is only applicable to Internet companies. We expect companies to disclose whether they might ask users to verify their identities using government-issued ID or other forms of identification that could be connected to their offline identity. Evaluation: This indicator has two possible answers. A company will receive full credit if its answer is “No,” and a company will receive no credit if its answer is “Yes.”

So as hackers use dummy accounts, trolls use fake id’s and Identity thieves use your id to have ‘fun’ and profit from what is not theirs, finding ways to stop them loses you a credit. There are places where a person’s ID is not the issue, but in this day and age those places are quickly diminishing. If you doubt this (always an option) then perhaps you remember Caroline Criado-Perez, who did something truly British by petitioning for Jane Austen to be face of the Bank of England £10 note.

By the way, the amount of death threats she got, how many of those people got arrested, how many of those got convicted? Yes, an open internet would stop all that! (That’s my sarcasm for voicing ‘no it will not’).

Another issue with her quotes is seen here: “Part of the problem is that this is a new world with the internet, and we are so dependent on these companies that we really need them to get it right. And they have a lot of work to do.”, so how about hammering on proper legislation and better issues on prosecuting some of those offenders? When the internet gets cleaned up, a lot more leeway could be given to something like the internet. In this a nice example is given by herself as she answered a question on movie piracy (September 2012), “the fact they are kids and they’re doing stuff and they don’t even realize it is illegal, or it is not that big deal“, it is only part of the answer, but she makes a decent case, yet the issue here is that it is a BIG deal, these ‘kids’ are causing harm to the rightful revenue of the maker of that movie, so you want an open internet, but the transgressions there are far too often trivialised and for the most they end up not getting prosecuted, you want accountability on one side, but not on your side, that is too uneven a scale and for the most many nations have not caught up with the quality IP laws they need to protect their innovators.

Now, it is not all bad, reading the linked ‘2015 Indicators’ of the Ranking Digital Rights is actually a lot more interesting than the article. A few of the questions were an amazing topic for discussion by themselves and the people behind them had done an interesting job, yet overall how can you compare Malayan company Axiata against Vodafone, or Orange for that matter? Axiata which was only recently rebranded (2009), whilst Vodafone has had a global one-sided (and to some extent one-sided failure) in the industry. A brand that has its fingers in the national pies of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Places where you either adhere to the law or you get shut down. So how can they receive a fair weighted grade? If not than the article and the exercise are almost moot. Almost because there is one part of the article I wholeheartedly agree with: “MacKinnon said remained optimistic the industry would improve its privacy efforts over time. “This is the test you take at the beginning of the class where everybody fails, and then you get to work, and then everybody’s going to improve,” she said

It is not a mere ‘Amen to that’ ending, there are several serious issues that come to light, especially when you consider players like Apple and Microsoft. In case of Apple (with whom I still have some beef), is the fact that from 1995 onwards I have had a few of their devices, the Performa 630, the MacBook Pro and the G5, all between 2100 and 3000, all affordable and all on the ‘above average’ end of the range when they were released. The iPad 1 (I still have it) at a price that is still good, because that that same price you now get the latest version with 128GB; in an open non-accountable internet that is no longer an option, the billions poured into a design will find itself cheaply reengineered making new innovations no longer an option. Microsoft has a similar part, the Xbox One now at almost 50% of what the initial Xbox360 costs and close to equal in price with the very first Xbox. Even though this sounds good, these firms have had their shares of ‘errors’ to deal with, but overall those consumers (for the most) have never received a sour deal, this is only possible with quality protection in place, protection that MacKinnon is not considering to the extent she should, in her view of ‘netizens and the open internet’ she should get an equal fail grade, both sides need to work on whatever future comes our way, McKinnon know this too!

You do not get to graduate Harvard and run CNN in Beijing and Tokyo without a clear realisation that national borders are a lot more than a mere line on a map, which is what she almost implies, almost!

 

 

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How to (un)screw an MP

We have seen a fair collection of choices and changes that adds up towards the life and makings of a situation. If diplomacy fails, you extend it into war. If the statistical answer does not match, you change the question and when you are unable to remain a journalist, you create it through entrapment.

This is what we are confronted with today as we see the header “Sunday Mirror under pressure to reveal details of Tory minister ‘sexting’ sting” (at http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/28/sunday-mirror-pressure-reveal-details-tory-minister-sexting-sting-brooks-newmark). So as labour sees their political chances fall further and further, we see a labour based paper having a go at the Tories. Now, to be fair, having a go at Tories from a newspaper point of view is not wrong (I am one for the most myself), conservative publications have a go at labour, so I reckon when it is news, then we can state that all is fair in love and political envy. Yet, when the Lloyd Embley machine starts creating it through entrapment, we get another thing entirely.

So what happened?

The reporter, who is not on the staff of the Sunday Mirror, created a fictional account of ‘Sophie Wittams’ on Twitter, which has since been deleted, and appears to have contacted at least six Conservative MPs including the latest Ukip defector, Mark Reckless“. So the Lloyd Embley machine seems to have played a game involving an exchange of explicit photographs. The quote “Newmark, who owns the investment firm Telesis Management and whose wealth was estimated at £3.2m in 2009, was contacted by ‘Sophie’, before engaging in a series of flirtatious messages and photograph exchanges“, so if this is exchange, whose photos were used?

It seems that the press still cannot get a grip on accountability. I personally think that it is time for the Lloyd Embley machine to feel the brunt of their utter ignorance (or let’s just call it greed based bashing). Instead of going just for a fine, how about shutting down the paper for let’s say three weeks? This means that those with subscriptions will get an alternative paper for three weeks (paid by the Trinity Mirror group). Now let’s see when money stops in its tracks, whether the editors get a firm wake up call.

There is more to this. It seems that even after the phone hacking scandal and after some of these so called journalists claimed that they can police themselves, we see more and more evidence that they can do nothing of the sort. These transgressions just show the essential need for the entire Leveson recommendation to be passed, which makes this new event upsetting to a fair amount of people.

So how about looking at this from the other side using a series of articles that the Mirror MUST publish on page one and it has to be an independent journalist chosen by the Conservative party. That journalist will get the ENTIRE page one, so no ads anywhere on that page.

Wouldn’t that just ‘sting’ the labour paper?

It is the last quote that is actually the most upsetting “A spokesman from Ipso said: “Ipso will look into any complaint about the story concerned if any such complaint is submitted.”“. This seems to clearly indicate that IPSO is utterly toothless (as implied by me in a previous blog) and as such might end up not being of any use, which was pretty much what the people of hacked off claimed IPSO to be. Now consider that IPSO starts their own webpage with this statement “IPSO is the new independent regulator for the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. We uphold the highest standards of journalism by monitoring and maintaining the standards set out in the Editors’ Code of Practice“. Is that so?

Consider the Crimes Act 1900 for NSW, where we see at Part 5A False and misleading information, which holds section 307b/307c.

A person is guilty of an offence if (partial extraction as these parts seems to have been proven already):

(a) the person makes a statement (whether orally, in a document or in any other way), and
(b) the person does so knowing that, or reckless as to whether, the statement:
  (i) is false or misleading, or

  (ii) omits any matter or thing without which the statement is misleading, and
(c) the statement is made in connection with an application for an authority or benefit

The result is: Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years, or a fine of 200 penalty units, or both.

So why is the so called ‘reporter’ not arrested?

What was the name of the ‘journalist’?

Is the paper now obstructing justice? All fair questions I would state. Now, I used the Australian version of the Crimes Act, yet I feel at present decently certain that the UK has similar rules.

Whilst getting creative I considered the issues of consent, even though it reflects on sexual assault, we could argue that the MP got screwed by a journalist. So was there consent? Well Section 61HA (5) tells us ‘A person does not consent‘, where ‘(a) under a mistaken belief as to the identity of the other person‘, which is proven as the woman in the images was never part of this. In addition there is subtopic c, which states ‘under any other mistaken belief about the nature of the act induced by fraudulent means‘, well fraudulent means is certainly the case here, so again the paper loses out. In reality, these parts do not apply as there was no real penetration (as described in the Crimes Act 1900), yet the MP got screwed then he got hosed, so I reckon we can be flexible here as IPSO seems to have little intent of keeping the highest standards, just me observing those who do not meet them, which we get from their own quote.

As the Criminal Act 1900 NSW talks about penetration, there are a few issues here, yet as this is the UK, they have a few other sides, as they will use the Sexual Offences Act 2003. I will not go into it, because Matthew Scott, who has the ‘Barrister Blogger’, has quite the article on it (at http://barristerblogger.com/2014/09/28/tricked-sex-fraud-sunday-mirrors-sting-brookes-newmark-criminal/)

I see news coming in regards to monitoring on how we have a right to speak, how we should have privacy, but what about accountability? If the press cannot be held accountable whilst they engage in unadulterated entrapment, should we even be allowed an internet? So, how does that relate? We seem to think that we can do whatever pleases us in a form of freedom of opinion, no matter how false the statements are. We are all de-evolving into a state of anarchy and chaos. If there is a path that leads somewhere then it might be open to debate, but that is not the case. Whilst we ‘bicker’ over how we can speak about everything, we leave big business unchecked to do what they want and leave us without anything.

I have made several observations on a failing press, whilst no one is taking notice on how we never had any rights in the first place. How these ‘holier than though‘ editors seem to regard harlotry above integrity, my evidence in this? The User agreement changes Sony pushed through a week before the release of the PS4 ‘Pricing a Sony game!‘ on November 20th 2013, the list goes on, but this is not about advertising my blog, or revisiting too many old articles.

Because as we see the events unfurl, we now have a new iteration of information as the daily mail is mulling over all that information and these photographs again. It is there where we find these two final quotes: “And criminal barrister Matthew Scott wrote on his blog yesterday: ‘What conceivable public interest was served by tricking Mr Newmark in this way?” Well in my opinion there was no public interest, it is a clear cut slam bash from a labour based paper to have a go at a conservative.

And “Lloyd Embley, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, defended the story after former BBC journalist Sue Llewellyn claimed it was ‘unethical’. He tweeted: ‘1) it wasn’t a Mirror sting 2) there’s a nailed-on public interest.’“, my response? It was a mirror sting. From the current information this came from a reporter not employed by the Mirror, which means that in my view you Lloyd Embley are directly responsible and accountable! You see, if you are not, then this means that you are not really an editor (they tend to know EVERYTHING that happens at their newspaper), which makes you redundant! In the second, there is at present direct indication that these events follow from criminal activities. In that we get a nice last issue as presented by the Press Complaints Commission “iii) Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation“.

Yes, now consider that it is the press themselves that is knowingly misleading the public in the most intentional way!

 

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