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Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

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

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Says Nord Stream 2 Was Blown Up by U.S. Navy Wed Feb 08, 2023 18:14 | Toby Young
Award-winning US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has written a sensational blog post in which he claims to have proof that the US Navy blew up Nord Stream 2 last year.
The post Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh Says Nord Stream 2 Was Blown Up by U.S. Navy appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Guardian Lives to Regret Asking Women to Share Experiences of Online Misogyny Wed Feb 08, 2023 11:55 | Will Jones
The Guardian asked women to share their experiences of being "subjected to online misogyny" ? and soon found itself barraged with replies from women for whom the main source of online misogyny was, er, the Guardian.
The post Guardian Lives to Regret Asking Women to Share Experiences of Online Misogyny appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link The Questions I Want the Chief Medical Officer to Answer About Why We Are Vaccinating Babies Against... Wed Feb 08, 2023 09:00 | Hugh McCarthy
In December, after the U.K. approved the Covid vaccine for infants, Hugh McCarthy asked the CMO for N. Ireland why we were vaccinating babies against Covid. These are the questions left unanswered by his reply.
The post The Questions I Want the Chief Medical Officer to Answer About Why We Are Vaccinating Babies Against Covid appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link No, Wind and Solar Power is Not ?Cheaper Than Coal? Wed Feb 08, 2023 07:00 | David Craig
The latest claim from Net Zero activists is that wind and solar power is now cheaper than coal in the U.S. But that's a fiction created by the $369bn of new Government subsidies, writes David Craig.
The post No, Wind and Solar Power is Not “Cheaper Than Coal” appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Wed Feb 08, 2023 00:45 | Will Jones
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.

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Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Seymour Hersh: Nord Stream was destroyed by U.S. and Norway Wed Feb 08, 2023 17:41 | en

offsite link The Hunter Biden / Ihor Kolomoïsky affair, by Thierry Meyssan Wed Feb 08, 2023 05:24 | en

offsite link Use of chemical weapons by a Ukrainian unit Tue Feb 07, 2023 12:14 | en

offsite link ?360° Cooperation with Libya.? But Which Libya?, by Manlio Dinucci Tue Feb 07, 2023 07:29 | en

offsite link Voltaire International Newsletter N°26 Sat Feb 04, 2023 05:43 | en

Voltaire Network >>

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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