publishedmedium:the guardian

  • The Twitter Smearing of Corbyn and Assange
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/14/the-twitter-smearing-of-corbyn-and-assange

    Analysis of 11 of these individuals has been undertaken to assess to what extent their tweets have linked Corbyn unfairly (for a definition see below) to Russia. The results show two things:

    – first, the smearing of Corbyn about Russia is more extensive than has been revealed so far;

    – second, many of the same individuals have also been attacking a second target – Julian Assange, trying to also falsely link him to the Kremlin.

    Many of these 11 individuals are associated with The Times and The Guardian in the U.K. and the Atlantic Council in the U.S. The research does not show, however, that these tweets are associated with the Integrity Initiative (see further below).


  • Why Signal and not Threema ? : signal
    https://www.reddit.com/r/signal/comments/852qor/why_signal_and_not_threema

    Signal is open source, Threema is not, so that disqualifies Threema as a secure app in my opinion. You could as well continue using WhatsApp since it’s also end to end encrypted but closed source. Wire is another great alternative, and it’s German.

    Hacker erklären, welche Messenger-App am sichersten ist - Motherboard
    https://motherboard.vice.com/de/article/7xea4z/hacker-erklaren-welche-messenger-app-am-sichersten-ist


    C’est en allemand, mais c’est valable sans égard de la langue que vous utilisez pour votre communication.
    – La communication sécurisée en ligne doit obligatoirement passer par une app et un prootocole open source.
    – Il vous faut un système qui exclue ou rend très difficile la collection de métatdonnées par des tiers.
    – Votre système de communication « voice » et « chat » doit fonctionner avec des clients smartphome et desktop si vous voulez entretenir un fil de commmunication indépendamment du type d’appareil à votre disposition.

    Passons sur les exigences plus poussées, je ne vois que Signal qui satisfait tous ces besoins. Après on peut toujours utiliser plusieurs « messenger apps » afin de rester au courant des « updates » de tout le monde - à l’exception des apps de Facebook (Whatsapp), Wechat et Google parce que leur utilistion constitue une menace de votre vie privée simplement par l’installation sur votre portable.

    Roland Schilling (33) und Frieder Steinmetz (28) haben vor sechs Jahren begonnen, an der TU Hamburg unter anderem zu dieser Frage zu forschen. In einer Zeit, als noch niemand den Namen Edward Snowden auch nur gehört hatte, brüteten Schilling und Steinmetz bereits über die Vor- und Nachteile verschiedener Verschlüsselungsprotokolle und Messenger-Apps. So haben sie beispielsweise im vergangenen Jahr geschafft, die Verschlüsselung von Threema per Reverse Engineering nachzuvollziehen.

    Ihre Forschung ist mittlerweile zu einer Art Aktivismus und Hobby geworden, sagen die beiden: Sie wollen Menschen außerhalb von Fachkreisen vermitteln, wie elementar die Privatsphäre in einer Demokratie ist. Im Interview erklären sie, auf was man bei der Wahl des Messengers achten soll, welche App in punkto Sicherheit nicht unbedingt hält, was sie verspricht und warum Kreditinstitute sich über datenhungrige Messenger freuen.
    ...
    Roland Schilling: Bei mir ist es anders. Ich bringe die Leute einfach dazu, die Apps zu benutzen, die ich auch nutze. Das sind ausschließlich Threema, Signal und Wire. Wenn Leute mit mir reden wollen, dann klappt das eigentlich immer auf einer von den Dreien.
    ...
    Frieder: ... Signal und WhatsApp etwa setzen auf die gleiche technische Grundlage, das Signal-Protokoll, unterscheiden sich aber in Nuancen. Threema hat ein eigenes, nicht ganz schlechtes Protokoll, das aber beispielsweise keine ‘Perfect Forward Secrecy’ garantiert. Die Technik verhindert, dass jemand mir in der Zukunft meinen geheimen Schlüssel vom Handy klaut und damit meine gesamte verschlüsselte Kommunikation entschlüsseln kann, die ich über das Handy geführt habe. Signal und WhatsApp haben das.
    ...
    Roland: Ein gutes Messenger-Protokoll ist Open Source und ermöglicht damit Forschern und der Öffentlichkeit, eventuell bestehende Schwachstellen zu entdecken und das Protokoll zu verbessern. Leider gibt es auf dem Messenger-Markt auch viele Angebote, die ihre vorgebliche „Verschlüsselung“ diesem Prozess entziehen und geheim halten, oder das Protokoll zwar veröffentlichen, aber auf Kritik nicht eingehen.

    Secure WhatsApp Alternatives – Messenger Comparison
    https://www.boxcryptor.com/en/blog/post/encryption-comparison-secure-messaging-apps

    Threema and Telegram under Control of Russia’s Government ?
    https://medium.com/@vadiman/threema-and-telegram-under-control-of-russias-government-f81f8e28714b

    WhatsApp Exploited by NSA and US Secret Services?
    Go to the profile of Vadim An
    Vadim An
    Mar 7, 2018
    This is the end of era centralized communication!

    The 2017/2018 years are hot and saturated with cybersecurity challenges. Almost every week, a major media source reported hacking incidents or backdoor exploits in popular communication and messaging services. Some of which granted government agents unauthorized access to private and confidential information from within the communications industry.

    According to mass-media reports, one of the most popular Swiss secure messaging apps Threema moved under the control of the Russian government and has been listed in the official registry with a view to controlling user communications.

    This can be seen on regulatory public website https://97-fz.rkn.gov.ru/organizer-dissemination/viewregistry/#searchform

    This knockout news was commented by Crypviser — innovative German developer of the most secure instant communication platform based on Blockchain technologies, of the point of view, what does it mean for millions of Threema users?

    To answer this question, let’s understand the requirements for getting listed in this registry as an “information-dissemination organizers” according to a new Russian federal law, beginning from 01 June 2018.

    The law requires that all companies listed in internet regulator’s registry must store all users’ metadata (“information about the arrival, transmission, delivery, and processing of voice data, written text, images, sounds, or other kinds of action”), along with content of correspondence, voice call records and make it accessible to the Russian authorities. Websites can avoid the hassle of setting aside this information by granting Russian officials unfettered, constant access to their entire data stream.

    This is very bad news for Threema users. Threema officials have reported that they are not aware of any requirements to store, collect, or provide information. Maybe not yet though since there is still some time until 01 June 2018 when the new law kicks in and Threema will be obligated to provide direct access to sensitive user’s data.

    It’s possible that Threema is fully aware of this despite claiming otherwise. They may realize that the most popular messenger in Russia, Telegram, has been under pressure since refusing to officially cooperate with Russian secret services. If Russia takes steps to block Telegram as a result, then Threema would become the next best alternative service. That is assuming they’re willing to violating the security and privacy rights of its users by giving in to the new law’s requirements.

    Based on the reports of Financial Time magazine, the Telegram founder agreed to register their app with Russian censors by the end of June 2017. This, however; is not a big loss for Telegram community because of the lack of security in Telegram to date. During the last 2 years, its security protocol has been criticized many times and many security issues were found by researchers. Although there is no direct evidence showing that Telegram has already cooperated with the Russian government or other governments, these exploitable bugs and poor security models make Telegram users vulnerable victims to hackers and secret services of different countries.

    The same security benchmark issues have been explored in the biggest communication app WhatsApp. The security model of WhatsApp has been recognized as vulnerable by the most reputed cryptographic experts and researchers worldwide. According to the Guardian, a serious “backdoor” was found in encryption. More specifically, the key exchange algorithm.

    A common security practice in encrypted messaging services involves the generation and store of a private encryption key offline on the user’s device. And only the public key gets broadcasted to other users through the company’s server. In the case of WhatsApp, we have to trust the company that it will not alter public key exchange mechanism between the sender and receiver to perform man-in-the-middle attack for snooping of users encrypted private communication.

    Tobias Boelter, security researcher from the University of California, has reported that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, based on Signal protocol, has been implemented in a way that if WhatsApp or any hacker intercepts your chats, by exploiting trust-based key exchange mechanism, you will never come to know if any change in encryption key has occurred in the background.

    The Guardian reports, “WhatsApp has implemented a backdoor into the Signal protocol, giving itself the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered. The recipient is not made aware of this change in encryption.”

    But on the other hand, the developer of Signal messaging app Open Whisper Systems says, ”There is no WhatsApp backdoor”, “it is how cryptography works,” and the MITM attack “is endemic to public key cryptography, not just WhatsApp.”

    It’s worth noting that none of the security experts or the company itself have denied the fact that, if required by the government, WhatsApp can intercept your chats. They do say; however, WhatsApp is designed to be simple, and users should not lose access to messages sent to them when their encryption key is changed. With this statement, agrees on a cybersecurity expert and CTO of Crypviser, Vadim Andryan.

    “The Man-in-the-Middle attack threat is the biggest and historical challenge of asymmetric cryptography, which is the base of end-to-end encryption model. It’s hard to say, is this “backdoor” admitted intentionally or its became on front due lack of reliable public — key authentication model. But it definitely one of the huge disadvantages of current cryptographic models used for secure instant communication networks, and one of the main advantage of Crypviser platform.”

    Crypviser has introduced a new era of cryptography based on Blockchain technologies. It utilizes Blockchain to eliminate all threats of Man-in-the-Middle attack and solves the historical public key encryption issue by using decentralized encryption keys, exchanges, and authorization algorithms. The authentication model of Crypviser provides public key distribution and authorization in peer-to-peer or automated mode through Blockchain.

    After commercial launch of Crypviser unified app, ”messenger” for secure social communication will be available on the market in free and premium plans. The free plan in peer-to-peer authentication mode requires user interaction to check security codes for every new chat and call. The full-featured premium plan offers Blockchain based automated encryption model and powerful professional security features on all levels.

    You can see the comperisation table of Crypviser with centralized alternatives in the below table

    #internet #communication #sécurité #vie_privée


  • Rahaf al-Qunun lands in Toronto after long journey to safety | World news | The Guardian

    Voilà. Macron était trop occupé à montrer le sens de l’effort.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/12/rahaf-al-qunun-lands-in-toronto-after-long-journey-to-safety-saudi-teen

    The Saudi woman who barricaded herself in a Thai hotel room in a desperate attempt to flee abuse landed in Canada on Saturday, capping a tumultuous and uncertain journey towards safety.

    Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun arrived in Toronto, the country’s largest city, tweeting “OMG … I’m in Canada everyone” and posting a video of her plane touching down at Pearson International airport.

    As she entered the arrivals area, she was accompanied by Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, who has been a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s jailing of female dissidents.


  • Blind date: ‘I left my knickers at a house party we crashed’ | Life and style | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/12/blind-date-joanne-morgan

    First impressions?
    Cute, chatty and early.

    What did you talk about?
    I can’t really remember much after four negronis and wine but: books, scumbag Tories, coming out.

    Any awkward moments?
    Probably when we got kicked out of the house party we crashed. And leaving my knickers behind. I think I also fell over at some point.

    #dating #sites_de_rencontre


  • Mother wins right to seek new inquest into girl’s death linked to air #pollution | Environment | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/11/ella-kissi-debrah-mother-wins-right-seek-new-inquest-high-court-air-pol

    “Now I hope a new inquest will make those in power realise that our children are dying as a result of the air that they breathe. This cannot go on.

    “Why is this not being taken more seriously by the government? What do we need to do to make them prioritise our children’s lives over convenience and the rights of people to pollute?”

    Ella lived 25 metres (82ft) from the heavily polluted South Circular Road in Lewisham. She died in February 2013 after three years of seizures and 27 visits to hospital for asthma attacks.

    An expert last year linked her death to the dangerously high levels of pollution from diesel traffic that breached legal limits.

    Jocelyn Cockburn, a partner at the law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, who represents Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, said the decision was a major step towards justice for the family.


  • CRISPR might soon create spicy tomatoes by switching on their chili genes - MIT Technology Review
    https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/612721/the-next-feat-for-crispr-might-be-spicy-tomatoes-made-with-chili-g

    Looking for perfect heat and lots of it? Gene engineers in Brazil think they might be able to create eye-watering tomatoes.

    Hot stuff: Even though chili peppers and tomato plants diverged from a common ancestor millions of years ago, tomatoes still possess the genetic pathway needed to make capsaicinoids, the molecules that make chilis hot.

    Now, Agustin Zsögön from the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil writes in the journal Trends in Plant Science that gene-editing tools like CRISPR could turn it back on.

    Spicy biofactories: Tomatoes are much easier to grow than peppers, so making them hot could turn them into spice factories. “Capsaicinoids are very valuable compounds; they are used in [the] weapons industry for pepper spray, they are also used for anaesthetics [and] there is some research showing that they promote weight loss,” he told the Guardian.

    Strange fruit: Tomatoes are not the first food that scientists have suggested could be given an unusual new twist using CRISPR. Sweeter strawberries, non-browning mushrooms, and tastier ground-cherries have all been either attempted or mooted in the past.

    #Biotechnology #Hubris #CRISPR


  • I was a terrible PhD supervisor. Don’t make the same mistakes I did | Education | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2016/mar/24/i-was-a-terrible-phd-supervisor-dont-make-the-same-mistakes-i-did

    Research points to high levels of depression among PhD students.

    (...) Every one of my students got depressed at the beginning of their second year. They reached a point where they finally understood what they were trying to do, but did not yet believe that they could do it.

    (...) Looking back, perhaps what they were missing was the feeling of competence. I could have had them give seminars, conference talks or even work with undergrads or first-year PhD students, anything to make them realise how much they’d already achieved.

    (...) I didn’t know how to foster trust, celebrate success or maintain motivation. I was an utterly appalling supervisor and I didn’t even realise it. Perhaps you can learn from my example.

    #recherche #management #dépression #vécu


  • Off the chart: the big comeback of paper maps | Travel | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/jan/08/off-the-chart-the-big-comeback-of-paper-maps-stanfords-print-any-map

    I think paper is going to make a comeback. You just cannot orientate yourself as well with a handheld device.”
    ‘In a time when facts are to be treasured, perhaps paper maps have real significance.’

    Part of the reason for this possible comeback is that Stanfords can now print any map you need, centred on the place you choose, at a scale that suits your purpose.

    http://www.stanfords.co.uk

    #cartographie #papier #personnalisation


  • UK scientists test breathalyser for detecting early #cancers | Society | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/03/uk-scientists-test-breathalyser-for-detecting-early-cancers

    A breathalyser test that could revolutionise cancer diagnosis is being tested in the UK. The Breath Biopsy device is designed to detect cancer hallmarks in molecules exhaled by patients.

    Scientists hope it will lead to a simpler, cheaper method of spotting cancers early. The breathalyser has the potential to save thousands of lives and millions of pounds in healthcare costs, its developers have claimed.

    The two-year trial, taking place at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge, is recruiting 1,500 participants, including healthy individuals as well as cancer patients.

    Initially, patients with suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers will be asked to try the test. Later it will be extended to include prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers.

    #santé #dépistage


  • Assad will remain in power ’for a while’, says Jeremy Hunt | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/03/syria-president-assad-will-remain-in-power-for-a-while-says-jeremy-hunt

    The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has admitted for the first time that Russian support for the Syrian regime means Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for some time.

    The UK has been at the forefront of calls for the Syrian president to leave office as part of a transition to a new government, but over the past year British diplomats have acknowledged that Assad would have to be allowed to stand in any UN-supervised democratic elections in Syria.

    Messieurs les Anglais, tirez les premiers ! aurait dit le ministère des Affaires étrangères français !...

    #syrie #tout_ça_pour_ça #normalisation


  • Top boss pay overtakes staff in three days, report says

    In the first three days of 2019 top bosses will have earned more than the typical worker will earn all year, according to a report.

    Mais c’est que des jaloux, parce que les gens en haut, c’est les meilleurs de toutes façons alors.

    However, free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute described the research as “cod statistics”.

    “If these activist organisations actually cared about workers, and not just the politics of envy against our best and brightest, they would talk about ways to actually increase worker pay,” said Matthew Lesh, head of research at the Institute.

    “Limits on executive pay would drive top British talent and companies offshore, ultimately leading to fewer jobs and lower pay for workers,” he said.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46744840

    #beyondParody


  • Turkey’s gift of a mosque sparks fears of ‘neo-Ottomanism’ in Kosovo | Cities | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/jan/02/turkey-is-kosovo-controversy-over-balkan-states-new-central-mosque

    It is six years since Islamic leaders and government officials laid the cornerstone of Pristina’s new central mosque – a slab of stone now hidden beneath weeds in a parking lot.

    Pulling back the weeds reveals it is covered with bright red graffiti – death threats to Kosovo’s chief mufti, along with the words: “No Turkish mosque or there will be blood.”

    #turquie #kosovo #mosquée #islam #religion


  • UK sending Syrians back to countries where they were beaten and abused

    Refugees tell of being held in cages and even tortured in European countries including Hungary and Romania

    Britain is using EU rules to send asylum seekers from Syria and other countries back to eastern European states where they were beaten, incarcerated and abused, the Guardian has learned.

    Migrant rights groups and lawyers say the Home Office is using the rules to send people back to “police brutality, detention and beatings” in several European countries.

    The Guardian has spoken to refugees who were subjected to assaults as they travelled through Europe. The men tell of being held in “cages” in Hungary, waterboarded and handcuffed to beds by detention centre guards in Romania and beaten in Bulgaria.
    Britain is one of worst places in western Europe for asylum seekers
    Read more

    They now face being returned to those countries as, under the so-called Dublin law, asylum seekers are supposed to apply in their first EU country of entry.

    In 2015 more than 80,000 requests were made by EU countries for another government to take back an asylum seeker. The UK made 3,500 of these requests to countries around Europe, including Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Hungary.

    The Home Office claims it should be entitled to assume that any EU country will treat asylum seekers properly.

    The charity Migrant Voice has collected testimony from several refugees who are fighting removal from the UK to other European countries. Nazek Ramadan, the director of the charity, said the men had been left traumatised by their journey and their subsequent treatment in the UK.

    “We know there are hundreds of Syrians in the UK who have fingerprints in other European countries,” said Ramadan. “Many no longer report to the Home Office because they are afraid of being detained and deported away from their family in the UK. Those who have been forcibly removed often end up destitute.

    “These are people who were abused in their home country, sometimes jailed by the regime there. Then they were imprisoned again in Europe. They feel that they are still living in a war zone, moving from one arrest and detention to another.”

    The law firm Duncan Lewis recently won a key case preventing forced removals back to Hungary because of the risk that people might be forced from there back to their country of origin.

    The firm is also challenging removals to Bulgaria because of what the UN refugee agency has described as “substandard” conditions there. A test case on whether Bulgaria is a safe country to send people back to is due to be heard by the court of appeal in November.

    The situation could get even more complex as an EU ban on sending asylum seekers back to Greece is due to be lifted on Wednesday after a six-year moratorium.

    Krisha Prathepan, of Duncan Lewis, said: “We intend to challenge any resumption of returns to Greece, as that country’s asylum system remains dysfunctional and the risk of refugees being returned from Greece to the very countries in which they faced persecution remains as high as ever.”

    The Home Office says it has no immediate plans to send refugees back to Greece, but is following European guidelines.

    “We have no current plans to resume Dublin returns to Greece,” a spokesperson said, citing among other reasons “the reception conditions in the country”.

    She added: “In April 2016, the high court ruled that transfer to Bulgaria under the Dublin regulation would not breach the European Convention on Human Rights. If there is evidence that Bulgaria is responsible for an asylum application, we will seek to transfer the application.”

    Mohammad Nadi Ismail, 32, Syrian

    Mohammad Nadi Ismail, a former Syrian navy captain, entered Europe via Bulgaria and Hungary, hoping to join his uncle and brother in Britain.

    In Bulgaria he was detained, beaten and humiliated. “They stripped us and made us stand in a row all naked. We had to bend over in a long line. Then they hit us on our private parts with truncheons.

    “They would wake us at night after they had been playing cards and drinking. Then they would come and hit us or kick us with their boots or truncheons.”

    One day he was released and took his chance to leave, walking for days to reach Hungary.

    But in Hungary he was locked up again. “They took us to a courtyard of a big building where there were five or six cages, about 8ft [2.4 metres] square. Most of the people were African. Some of them had been in there for four or five days. Luckily we Syrians were allowed out after one night and I headed for the UK.”

    In the UK Ismail met up with the family he hadn’t seen for three years and applied for asylum immediately.

    Then a letter came, saying his fingerprints had been found in Bulgaria and he would be returned. After a month in detention he now reports every two weeks, waiting and hoping that the UK will let him stay.

    “I will not go back to Bulgaria. I still have hope that I can stay here legally and rebuild my life with my family who have always supported me,” he said.

    ‘Dawoud’, 34, Iranian

    Dawoud (not his real name) was 28 when he fled Iran after his political activities had made him an enemy of the government. His brother and parents made it to the UK and were given refugee status.

    When he was told by border guards that he was in Romania he had no idea what that meant. “I had never even heard of this country,” he said. He was put in a camp where “water dripped through the electrics – we were electrocuted often. Children and families screamed. We lived in fear of the wild dogs who circled the camp, attacking and biting us. We were given no food; we had to go through bins in the town nearby for scraps.”

    He escaped once, to the Netherlands, but was sent back.

    “I experienced several beatings, on all parts of the body. There were people covered in blood and they were refused medical help. They even waterboarded me. I thought I would die.”

    Finally he managed to reach his mother, father and brother in the UK. For two years he has lived in hiding, too scared to apply for asylum for fear of being sent back to Romania. But a few months ago he finally reported to the Home Office. A letter informed him that a request had been made to Romania to take him back.

    Dawoud shakes as he talks about his fear of removal, saying: “When I hear people speak Romanian in the street it brings back my trauma. I once fell to the ground shaking just hearing someone speak. I will kill myself rather than go back.”

    Wael al-Awadi, 36, Syrian

    Wael travelled by sea to Italy and was detained on arrival in Sicily. “They hit us with their fists and sticks in order to make us give our fingerprints. Then they let us go. They gave us nothing, no accommodation, just told us: ‘Go where you like.’ So many Syrians were sleeping in the streets.”

    When he reached the UK he was detained for two months before friends helped him get bail. A year and a half later, when reporting at the Home Office, he was detained again and booked on to a plane to Italy.

    He refused to go and a solicitor got him out on bail. His appeal is due to be heard later this year. “I left Syria to avoid jail and detention and here I have been locked up twice,” he said. “I can’t understand it. Why can’t they look at me with some humanity? I am mentally so tired. My children call me from Syria but I can’t speak to them any more. It is too painful.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/12/the-refugees-uk-wants-to-send-back-to-countries-where-they-were-abused?
    #réfugiés_syriens #UK #Angleterre #Dublin #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Bulgarie #Roumanie #Hongrie #Italie #renvois #expulsions #renvois_Dublin


  • Google’s caste system is bad for workers—and bad for Google, too — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1494111/googles-caste-system-is-bad-for-workers-and-bad-for-google-too

    Google is a truly unusual place to work.

    The campus in Mountain View is dotted with giant statues of sweets representing the company’s Android versions—Eclair, Donut, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Marshmallow. Multicolored bikes, unlocked, line the racks outside the buildings, many of which have laundromats, gyms, photo booths, and other funny statues, plus offices with kitchens containing a dizzying array of snacks. There is free lunch (and breakfast, and minimal dinners, too).

    On the surface, it all seems delightful. Certainly, I was excited when I got there on a contract as a document review attorney in 2013. But deeper engagement with the company revealed a surprising and widespread disgruntlement. At first I didn’t understand why everyone was so defensive, glum, and sullen at this otherworldly workplace. But I soon learned the reason came down to deep inequality.

    Nearly half of Google workers worldwide are contractors, temps, and vendors (TVCs) and just slightly more than half are full-time employees (FTEs). An internal source, speaking anonymously to The Guardian, just revealed that of about 170,000 people who work at Google, 49.95%, are TVCs and 50.05% are FTEs. As The Guardian reported on Dec. 12, a nascent labor movement within the company led to the leak of a rather awkward document, entitled “The ABCs of TVCs,” which reveals just how seriously Google takes the employment distinctions.

    The document explains, “Working with TVCs and Googlers is different. Our policies exist because TVC working arrangements can carry significant risks.” Ostensibly, TVCs are excluded from a lot of things because letting them in on the company’s inner doings threatens security. “The risks Google appears to be most concerned about include standard insider threats, like leaks of proprietary information,” The Guardian writes based on its review of the leaked document.

    There was a two-year cap on contract extensions and a weird caste system that excluded us from meetings, certain cafeterias, the Google campus store, and much more. Most notably, contractors wore red badges that had to be visible at all times and signaled to everyone our lowly position in the system.

    But it was also oddly depressing. We were at the world’s most enviable workplace, allegedly, but were repeatedly reminded that we would not be hired full-time and were not part of the club. Technically, we were employees of a legal staffing agency whose staff we’d never met. We didn’t get sick leave or vacation and earned considerably less than colleagues with the same qualifications who were doing the same work.

    The interesting thing about this tiered system is that it also impacted full-time employees negatively. The many distinctions made it awkward for the thoughtful ones to enjoy their perks without guilt, and turned the jerks into petty tyrants. It wasn’t an inspiring environment, despite the free food and quirky furniture—standing desks and wall plants and cozy chairs suspended in the air. And ultimately, this affected the work we all did. Even full-timers complained incessantly about the tyranny of this seemingly friendly tech giant.

    Another bitter irony, then, is that regulations created to protect workers ultimately incentivize employers to not hire people, and to treat contractors unequally to ensure minimal confusion. And as explained in an anonymous letter from TVCs to CEO Sundar Pichai on Dec. 5, titled “Invisible no longer: Google’s shadow workforce speaks up,” the temporary workers tend to be from groups that have been historically excluded from opportunity in society at large and in the market. They explain:

    The exclusion of TVCs from important communications and fair treatment is part of a system of institutional racism, sexism, and discrimination. TVCs are disproportionately people from marginalized groups who are treated as less deserving of compensation, opportunities, workplace protections, and respect.

    Someday, perhaps Google will also end up paying out to those who work for less just to be at “the best” workplace in the world. For now, however, it seems that until labor laws change to reflect the current employment reality and incentivize full-time hiring, inequality will persist—even as the company appears sweet on the outside.

    #Google #Droit_travail #Inégalités #Emploi #Economie_numérique


  • Spanish academic gets €1.5m EU grant to rescue ’women’s writing’ | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/27/spanish-academic-gets-15m-eu-grant-to-rescue-womens-writing?CMP=share_b

    A Spanish academic has embarked on a five-year quest to rescue the works of female writers from the margins of European thought and give them the recognition they have been denied for centuries.

    Carme Font, a lecturer in English literature at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has been awarded a €1.5m (£1.35m) grant by the European Research Council to scour libraries, archives and private collections in search of letters, poems and reflections written by women from 1500 to 1780.

    Font’s objective is not so much to unearth unknown or invisible female authors as to recover the voices of individuals whose work has traditionally been dismissed as overly personal and anecdotal “women’s writing”.

    #femmes #écriture #pensée #histoire


  • #Mark_Boyle

    Mark Boyle, a.k.a. #The_Moneyless_Man (born 8 May 1979), is an Irish activist and writer best known for founding the online #Freeconomy_Community, and for living without money since November 2008. Boyle writes regularly for the Freeconomy Blog and British newspaper The Guardian. His first book, The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living, was published in 2010. Boyle currently lives near Loughrea, in the west of Ireland.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Boyle_(Moneyless_Man)
    #vivre_sans_argent #freeconomy

    • A few months after creating the Freeconomy Community, Boyle set out on a two-and-a-half year trek from Bristol to Porbandar in India

      Quel héro !

      However, he was forced to turn back only a month into the trip, as language barriers halted his journey shortly after he arrived in Calais.

      Quelle langue ?
      #wtf #merci « you made my day » mort de rire ;-)


  • Asylum seeker to sue UK for funding Libyan detention centres

    Ethiopian teenager says he experienced physical abuse, extortion and forced labour in centres part-funded by UK.

    A teenage asylum seeker from Ethiopia is planning to sue the government for its role in funding detention centres in Libya, where he says he experienced physical abuse, extortion and forced labour.

    The teenager, who turned 18 a few weeks ago, cannot be named. He lives in London and is waiting for the Home Office to determine his asylum claim. His legal action against the government’s Department for International Development (DfID) for its contribution to funding these overseas centres is thought to be the first of its kind.

    The Guardian previously revealed the terrible conditions in a network of 26 detention centres across Libya. The EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa provides some funding for the centres. DfID says that the funding it provides is used to improve conditions in the camps.

    Children have described being starved, beaten and abused by Libyan police and camp guards. One said the conditions were like “hell on Earth”.

    The government insists the funding is necessary as part of a humane effort to dissuade people from making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing. Arguing that migrant detention centres are the responsibility of the Libyan authorities, it is understood to have raised concerns over the treatment of detainees with the Libyan government.

    A spokeswoman previously told the Guardian: “We continue to help fund the European Union Trust Fund’s work to improve conditions for migrants in detention centres.”

    But critics see the Libyan camps as a way for European countries to prevent asylum seekers and other migrants from reaching Europe, and the UK’s involvement as another plank of the so called “hostile environment” to keep people out.

    Last year the UK government spent £10m in Libya on various initiatives, including the detention centres.

    The teenager who has begun the legal action against the government claims that officials are acting unlawfully in funding the detention centres and should stop doing so. He is also asking for compensation for the suffering he endured there.

    The boy’s legal team is calling on DfID to facilitate the relocation of the detention centres to the UK or other safe countries so that asylum claims can be safely processed. His lawyers have asked DfID to disclose the funding agreements between the UK and Libyan governments and any internal documents concerning the destination of UK funding in Libya as well as any untoward incidents in the centres.

    The teenager fled persecution in Ethiopia because of his father’s political allegiances and finally reached the UK after a dangerous journey through Libya and across the Mediterranean.

    In Libya he suffered both at the hands of traffickers and in the detention centres, some of which are controlled by local militias.

    “The period I was detained and enslaved in Libya was a living hell,” he said. An expert medical report conducted in London identified 31 different lesions, including 10 on his face, which the doctor who examined him found provided “significant corroboration” of his account of repeated ill treatment.

    Many of those in the camps are from Eritrea but there are also asylum seekers from Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Syria.

    James Elliott of Wilsons Solicitors, who is bringing the legal action on the teenager’s behalf, said: “DfID acknowledges that conditions in the camps are appalling. We are bringing this legal challenge because it is vital that UK taxpayers’ money is not used to allow places where men, women and children are subjected to torture, rape and slavery to continue to exist.”

    DfID has been approached for comment.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/20/asylum-seeker-to-sue-uk-for-funding-libyan-detention-centres?CMP=Sh
    #Libye #justice #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #poursuites_judiciaires #violence #abus #UK #Angleterre



  • Revealed : how Italy’s populists used Facebook to win power
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/17/revealed-how-italy-populists-used-facebook-win-election-matteo-salvini-

    Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio eclipsed rivals in online election battle, data shows The domination of Facebook by Italy’s two populist political leaders, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, is revealed in previously unseen data that shows how they exploited video and live broadcasts to bypass the mainstream media and foment discord during the country’s general election. The data, reviewed by the Guardian, reveals how the leaders massively expanded their reach with inflammatory and visually (...)

    #Facebook #élections #manipulation


  • Revealed : Google’s ’two-tier’ workforce training document
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/11/google-tvc-full-time-employees-training-document

    Exclusive : internal document shows how Google employees are trained to treat temps, vendors and contractors Google staff are instructed not to reward certain workers with perks like T-shirts, invite them to all-hands meetings, or allow them to engage in professional development training, an internal training document seen by the Guardian reveals. The guide instructs Google employees on the ins and outs of interacting with its tens of thousands of temps, vendors and contractors – a class (...)

    #Google #travail #journalisme #surveillance #travailleurs #discrimination


  • Ukraine-Russia tensions reach Greece’s holy Mount Athos | World news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/14/ukraine-russia-tensions-reach-greeces-holy-mount-athos

    Orthodox church’s decision to make Ukrainian branch independent of Russia causes schism and predictions of violence

    by Shaun Walker in Athos

    Fri 14 Dec 2018 06.00 GMT

    In the chilly pre-dawn gloom one recent morning, Father Makarios hurried to his chapel, one of dozens of churches and cathedrals across Mount Athos, to perform morning liturgy. A two-hour marathon of biblical recitations and sonorous chanting, it would be just one of many services that day.


  • ’Cyprus is saturated’ - burgeoning migrant crisis grips island

    Smugglers increasingly take advantage of island’s partition and proximity to Middle East.

    When Rubar and Bestoon Abass embarked on their journey to Europe they had no idea that Cyprus was the continent’s easternmost state. Like most Iraqi Kurds heading west, their destination was Germany, not an EU nation barely 100 miles from war-torn Syria.

    “I had never heard of Cyprus,” said Rubar, reaching for his pregnant wife’s hand as they sat gloomily in a migrant centre run by the Catholic charity Caritas in the heart of Nicosia. “The smugglers told us it was much cheaper to get to and was still in Europe. We paid $2,000 [£1,590] for the four of us to come.”

    Cyprus is in the midst of a burgeoning migrant crisis as smuggler networks take advantage of the Mediterranean island’s partition and proximity to the Middle East. As in Greece, when Europe’s refugee crisis erupted with Syria’s descent into civil war, support groups have rushed to deal with the social ailments that have arisen with the influx.

    “Cyprus is saturated,” its interior minister, Constantinos Petrides, said in an interview with the Guardian. “It’s no longer easy to absorb such flows, or handle the situation, no matter how much money we get.”

    The island has exceeded every other EU member state in asylum claims in 2018, recording the highest number per capita with almost 6,000 applications for a population of about 1 million.

    By August requests were 55% higher than for the same eight-month period in 2017, a figure itself 56% higher than that for 2016, according to the interior ministry. With the country’s asylum and reception systems vastly overstretched, alarmed officials have appealed to Brussels for help.

    “This is a European problem,” said Petrides, adding that closed borders elsewhere in the bloc were placing a disproportionate burden on small frontline states such as Cyprus. “It’s absolutely necessary to find a holistic solution … which means distributing asylum seekers through an automatic relocation mechanism to countries throughout the EU.”

    Rubar and Bestoon arrived with their two children in August. Like the ever-growing number of Syrians also heading here from overcrowded camps in Turkey and Lebanon, the couple landed in Northern Cyprus, the self-styled state acknowledged only by Ankara in the 44 years since Turkish troops invaded and seized over a third of the island’s territory.

    They then took the increasingly well-trodden route of sneaking across the dividing buffer zone into the internationally recognised Greek-controlled south. Stretching 112 miles across Cyprus, the UN-patrolled ceasefire line offers innumerable blind spots for those determined to evade detection.

    Geography’s stark reality hit, Rubar admits, when he was shown Cyprus on the world map adorning the migrant centre’s airy reception room. “If I had known I’d never have come,” said the farmer. “After all, being here we’re much nearer Baghdad than we are Berlin.”

    Elizabeth Kassinis, Caritas’ executive manager, said the Abbasses’ experience is not uncommon. “Many are surprised to find out where they actually are. When we tell them, they are shocked, stunned, completely speechless. Nearly all arrive expecting they’ll be within walking distance of a job in Germany.”

    Illicit crossings from the north have made Cyprus’ woes much worse. Reports have increased in recent months of irregular migrants flying into Ercan airport in the Turkish-controlled breakaway state.

    Hamstrung by politics, not least Turkey’s refusal to recognise the government in the southern part of Cyprus since its 1974 invasion of the island, authorities are unable to send them back.

    “Because of the illegal occupation in the north we’ve seen phenomena that wouldn’t happen in conditions of legality,” said Petrides. “It’s an open wound, not just for Cyprus but the entire EU.”

    With international agencies focusing almost entirely on sea arrivals, the real number of migrants on the island has been hugely underestimated, charities say. “We are a humanitarian organisation that addresses poverty, hunger and homelessness and we are seeing across-the-board increases in them all,” Kassinis said.

    A backlog of 8,000 asylum claims has amassed as authorities struggle to cope with the flows, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. “We’re talking about a process that can take up to five years and an extremely high number of people waiting for final decisions to their claims,” said Katja Saha, the agency’s representative in Nicosia.

    “It’s highly likely that the vast majority are not refugees and should not be in the asylum processing system but, that said, the lack of infrastructure and social services makes it very difficult to identify those who are vulnerable, particularly victims of trafficking and torture.”

    As numbers grow, pressure on the island’s two state-run camps has become immense and asylum seekers are expected to find private accommodation after 72 hours. For most that is nearly impossible when rent allowances are little more than €100 (£90) per person a month and employment is limited to manual work such as car washing and farm labour, Saha said.

    In Nicosia, which houses one of the camps, asylum seekers have resorted to sleeping in parks and buses and the vestibules of buildings. “For the last month I’ve been in a tent in the park with my wife and four children,” said Basin Hussain, who also fled Iraq. “The first three days were spent in the reception centre but then we were told to leave.”

    There are fears the drama being played out in the eastern Mediterranean will get a lot worse if the situation in Syria deteriorates further and war extends to Idlib, the country’s last rebel stronghold. A Turkish-Russian ceasefire deal is currently sustaining a fragile peace in the province.

    Cyprus had been spared the refugee crisis until this year as most Europe-bound asylum seekers headed for Greece and Italy instead.

    “It’s surprising, given its geographic location, that Cyprus has not been more impacted by the seven-year conflict,” said Saha. “Since the spring we’ve seen this increase in Syrians because word has spread that Lebanon and Turkey, as first asylum countries, are saturated.”

    As elsewhere in Europe the island is not immune to hostility toward the new arrivals. Far-right groups coalescing around the ultranationalist ELAM party have gained increasing popularity as the issue provides fodder for their approval ratings ahead of European parliamentary elections next year.

    “What we don’t want to do is open more and more reception centres,” said Petrides, emphasising that solidarity was now needed on Europe’s eastern edge. “It’s not the solution, either for the country or asylum seekers.”


    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/11/cyprus-the-new-entry-point-to-europe-for-refugees-and-migrants?CMP=shar
    #parcours_migratoires #routes_migratoires #Chypre #asile #migrations #réfugiés
    ping @isskein


  • The Stansted protesters saved me from wrongful deportation. They are heroes | Anonymous | Opinion | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/10/stansted-15-protesters-deportation

    I’ll never forget the moment I found out that a group of people had blocked a charter deportation flight leaving Stansted airport on 28 March 2017, because I was one of the people that had a seat on the plane and was about to be removed from Britain against my will. While most of those sitting with me were whooping with joy when they heard the news, I was angry. After months in detention, the thought of facing even just one more day in that purgatory filled me with terror. And, crucially, I had no idea then of what I know now: that the actions of those activists, who became known as the Stansted 15, would help me see justice, and save my life in Britain.


  • The achievement of Schindler’s List - World Socialist Web Site

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/07/list-d07.html

    #Steven_Spielberg’s #Schindler’s_List opened in movie theaters 25 years ago. It went on to win Best Picture, along with six other honors, at the Academy Awards in March 1994.

    The film, in a restored version, is being re-released this week and shown in selected theaters in the US. We are posting below the review that was published in the International Workers Bulletin, a forerunner of the World Socialist Web Site, on January 10, 1994.

    In a recent interview with NBC News, Spielberg expressed his deep concern about the current rise not only of anti-Semitism, but of “xenophobia” and “racism.” He suggested that “this may be the most important time to re-release this film, possibly now is even a more important time to re-release Schindler’s List than 1993, 1994, when it was initially released. I think there’s more at stake today than even back then.”

    –------

    Schindler’s List at 25: looking back on Spielberg’s defining Holocaust drama | Film | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/dec/06/schindlers-list-25th-anniversary-steven-spielberg-holocaust

    A big-screen rerelease leads to a re-examination of the 1993 Oscar winner which had a profound effect on critics and audiences

    Pamela Hutchinson
    @pamhutch

    Thu 6 Dec 2018 08.00 GMT
    Last modified on Thu 6 Dec 2018 16.25 GMT

    Shares
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    ‘For Spielberg, telling Schindler’s story was a tool to combat ignorance, but it is work that continues.’
    ‘For Spielberg, telling Schindler’s story was a tool to combat ignorance, but it is work that continues.’ Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Universal

    Twenty-five years ago, Steven Spielberg brought out two of his best movies, in a matter of months. The films were poles apart in style and subject matter, and the process of completing one while shooting the other left the director exhausted and emotionally ragged. In spring 1993, Spielberg was in Poland, recreating the terror of the Kraków ghetto and the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp for Schindler’s List by day, and each night he was calling Industrial Light & Magic in California to oversee the special effects for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Spielberg’s friend Robin Williams would call him up once a week to tell him jokes for 15 minutes at a time and release the tension.

    #shoah

    • In a recent interview with NBC News, Spielberg expressed his deep concern about the current rise not only of anti-Semitism, but of “xenophobia” and “racism.” He suggested that “this may be the most important time to re-release this film, possibly now is even a more important time to re-release Schindler’s List than 1993, 1994, when it was initially released. I think there’s more at stake today than even back then.”

      Donc selon Spielberg la meilleure parade contre la montée de l’antisémitisme et de la xénophobie c’est de ressortir sa grosse merde révisionniste. On peut penser différemment. Mais j’ai bien compris que cela sera de peu de poids.


  • Media Lens - Limits Of Dissent - Glenn Greenwald And The Guardian
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2018/888-limits-of-dissent-glenn-greenwald-and-the-guardian.html

    On November 29, we tweeted Greenwald:

    Hi @ggreenwald, you have consistently soft-pedalled your criticism of your former colleagues at the Guardian, most recently describing the paper as “solid and reliable’” Will you respond to @Jonathan_K_Cook’s astute and rational criticism of your position?

    At time of writing the tweet has received 57 retweets and 82 likes. Greenwald has been tweeting and must have seen some of these responses and yet has chosen not to reply. We would guess that he finds himself in a pickle: if he attempts to defend his false claim that the Guardian is ’solid and reliable’, he will be shot down in flames for the reasons described above by Cook. And if he agrees with Cook’s analysis, he risks alienating former colleagues and important allies on the paper.

    The conclusion, then, is that Greenwald is following so many Guardian and other ’mainstream’ journalists before him in simply blanking reasonable, rational questions.

    #ce_peu_est_encore_trop