Thursday, June 15th, 2017 | Author:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Several mainstream news outlets have misstated and overstated a possible link between cellular phone use and decreased fertility in men. A single experiment, which has not yet been published in any peer reviewed journal or replicated by other scientists, observed an average decrease in sperm motility and an increase in free radicals among laboratory sperm samples that were exposed to radiation similar to the radiation produced by cellular phone use.

Dr. Ashok Agarwal of the Cleveland Clinic estimates the overall health impact of cellular phones as “very safe” and reassured a Cable News Network reporter that the research was too premature to advise lifestyle changes for the public. “Our study has not provided proof that you should stop putting cell phones in your pocket. There are many things that need to be proven before we get to that stage.” He noted that his own cell phone was in his trouser pocket while he was giving the interview. Dr. Agarwal is the lead researcher for the study and Director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Cell phone industry spokesman Joe Farren agreed with Dr. Agarwal’s assessment about the devices’ overall safety: “The weight of the published scientific evidence, in addition to the opinion of global health organizations, shows that there is no link between wireless usage and adverse health effects.”

The controlled experiment used sperm samples from thirty-two donors: twenty-three healthy men and nine men who had fertility problems. Sperm were then exposed to radiation for one hour at 850 megahertz, the most common frequency for cell phones in the United States. Dr. Agarwal’s study raises a possible concern that cell phones kept on belts or trouser pockets and used in conjunction with wireless bluetooth earpieces “could cause harmful effects due to the proximity of the phones and the exposure that they are causing to the gonads.” He also noted that follow-up research is needed to determine whether the body’s skin and other tissue affords protection from the potential damage.

Several news sources ran misleading reports that overstated the risk.

The Los Angeles Times asserted a fallacious causal relationship that Dr. Agarwhal had not drawn and ignored his opinions that cellular phones are safe and no change in phone use is necessary. Instead, the piece opened by ordering men to stop keeping cell phones in their pockets:

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“Attention male cellphone users of reproductive age: Take that phone out of your pocket. Information published today suggests that the radio-frequency energy released by cellphones decreases sperm quality in men.”

Ciol News ran a similar account:

“Beware men! Do you have the habit of keeping your mobile phone in the pockets of your trousers while talking on hand-free? Or do clip the mobile to your belt while talking? If so you are doing that at the cost of your fertility, warns a recent study.”

Mobile Magazine went a step further, also alluding to previous media exaggerations about cellular phone dangers:

“Oh no! It seems that mobile phones are getting even more problematic than ever. After getting linked to everything from migraines to cancer, it seems that the radiation from cell phones is now being connected to stupid sperm. Yes, I’m talking about the little swimmers that lead into a conversation about the birds and the bees.”

Mobile Magazine also ended in a misleading manner with “I wonder if it’s healthier to put your phone in your shirt pocket instead,” failing to mention that Dr. Agarwal had addressed that concern and had called it an unnecessary precaution.

Not all news sources overplayed the findings. CNN and United Press International ran balanced reports that did not suggest dangers or precautions beyond the lead researcher’s conclusions.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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Thursday, June 15th, 2017 | Author:

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Australian federal government has announced that it will be introducing an electronic system for Medicare rebates within the next twelve months. Under the new system, patients will be able to receive their Medicare rebates electronically without having to visit a Medicare office.

During an interview in Sydney today, Prime Minister John Howard, along with his human services minister Joe Hockey and health minister Tony Abbott, announced that patients who pay for the services of a doctor using their credit cards will be able to receive their rebates electronically within 24 hours. Under the current system patients must visit a Medicare office to receive their rebates.

John Howard said the 80,000 people per day who queue at Medicare offices will no longer need to spend their lunch break in line at Medicare.

According to the government, doctors who bulk-bill their patients through Medicare will benefit through faster payments and reduced paperwork. “If it’s a bulk bill transaction; all they do is hand over their Medicare card,” said Mr Hockey.

“The Medicare card is swiped in the EFTPOS device, all is done.”

“Doctors will be rebated within 24 hours.”

“Currently doctors are rebated up to 14 days for bulk bill claims.”

The government claims that electronic rebates will be less expensive to process—costing only a few cents, compared to an estimated AUD $3.50 for an over-the-counter transaction. Despite this, patients who still wish to visit a Medicare office to receive their rebates will still be able to do so.

The minister for human services was quick to assure Australians that Medicare offices would remain open saying that over the past twelve months they have taken on an “expanded role” with the Family Assistance Office’s services being provided in Medicare offices.

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Thursday, June 15th, 2017 | Author:

Friday, December 14, 2007

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic condition causing benign tumors (neurofibromas) to grow along certain types of nerves and, in addition, it can affect the development of bones or skin. There are several variants of the disease but type 1 and type 2 NF account for the vast majority of cases.

The disease manifestations can vary from very mild to severe. Major symptoms include growths on and under the skin; skin pigmentations called café au lait spots in type 1; acoustic nerve tumors and consequent hearing loss in type 2. Growths can affect nearly all parts of the body, and pressure on nearby structures can cause a wide variety of complications. There is a small risk that the tumors transform into malignant cancerous lesions.

NF is one of the most common single-gene human diseases; around 1 in 2,500-4,000 live births are affected by NF-1, whereas NF-2 occurs in about 1 in 50,000-120,000. Both type 1 and 2 are autosomal dominant conditions, meaning that only one copy of the mutated gene need be inherited to pass the disorder. A child of a parent with neurofibromatosis and an unaffected parent will have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder. The gene responsible for NF-1 and possibly NF-2 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor gene.

In most cases of neurofibromatosis 1, patients can live normal and productive lives. In about 25-40% of patients there is an associated learning disability with or without ADHD. In some cases of neurofibromatosis 2, the damage to nearby vital structures, such as the cranial nerves and the brainstem, can be life-threatening. When tumors are causing pain or disfiguration, surgery is thus far the only proven beneficial treatment option.

Reggie Bibbs is a 43-year-old-man living in Houston, Texas. Mr Bibbs was born with a genetic disease called neurofibromatosis (NF), which causes him to develop tumors on his body (see infobox on the right). NF can be a subtle disease, but in Bibbs’ case it has left him with a disfigured face and deformed leg. But he is happy with the way he looks, and doesn’t want to change his appearance to please other people. He has launched a successful campaign entitled “Just Ask”, and that’s just what Wikinews did in a video-interview.

The interview was prepared by Wikinews reporter Michaël Laurent with the help of Bertalan Meskó (who has a popular genetics and web 2.0 blog). Their questions were sent to a close friend of Mr. Bibbs, Lou Congelio, who kindly conducted the interview.

Contents

  • 1 Infobox: What is neurofibromatosis?
  • 2 The interview
    • 2.1 On neurofibromatosis
    • 2.2 Growing up
    • 2.3 A head to toe body tour
    • 2.4 The daily life of Reggie Bibbs
    • 2.5 Raising awareness and his campaign
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

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Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Author:

What you sand to benefit from shot blasting Linlithgow

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abigaylemark1

When preparing surfaces for operations like electroplating, galvanization, and welding, doing it manually can be so cumbersome. The Shot Blasting Linlithgow technique provides one of the fastest and cheapest ways of effectively preparing the surfaces. This is a technique that has become so helpful in a number of industries, including aerospace, shipbuilding, steel and forging industries. It also comes in handy in companies which specialize in blast cleaning of vehicles, which efficiently gets rid of dirt and grime. Such companies also offer superb Glass Cleaning Linlithgow services.

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Cleaning car components using this method comes with numerous benefits, and the biggest of the all is ensuring that all dirt and grime is thoroughly cleaned out without causing damage to any sensitive parts. Compared to blasting, which is normally a stronger process, the cleaning of glass normally needs a softer handling. Blasting ensures a smooth and uniformly fine surface, which is consistent and lustreless. However, this normally is dependent on the techniques and tools put into use as well as the kind of surface that is required. This technique does away with the application of processes that can be hazardous to the environment. Once the blasting is done, the surface becomes completely free from scales, dust and any chemical deposits.

When cleaning glassware, especially those on the car windows, the Glass Cleaning Linlithgow experts are aware that, it is always advisable to steer clear of solutions which contain ammonia. This is because such solutions emit toxic fumes which are likely to react with plastic, rubber and leather that is commonly used in the car interiors. When seeking these services, ensure you only use expert services, otherwise your car windows might end up taking days to totally dry up. If you use amateur services, your windows can often be left with a disgusting foggy appearance.

When using expert Shot Blasting Linlithgow services, the method used ensures that the total force of the coarse material gets rid of the dust and grime that may lodged in areas which are normally inaccessible. The method also comes in handy in smoothing any irregular surface or roughening up a polished surface. This also makes it easier to point out any faults and defects after the surface is totally cleaned and hence exposed. The use of shot blasting enhances the durability of any protective surface coats since they stick better to surfaces that have been shot blasted.

Sometimes metallic surfaces need to be properly cleaned and prepared for important operations such as welding, galvanizing and electroplating. You may also need your vehicle to be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of all dirt and grime in all the smallest unreachable gaps. For such services, a reliable Shot Blasting Linlithgow (http://aliblast.co.uk) company comes in handy. The same company will most likely be specilaised in Glass Cleaning Linlithgow (http://aliblast.co.uk) services that ensure professional and thorough cleaning of glassware without causing any breakage or damage. To get the very best specialists in these servicesa, you may need to conduct a meticulous online research and, if possible, pay the selected companies a visit to personally see what they offer.

Sometimes metallic surfaces need to be properly cleaned and prepared for important operations such as welding, galvanizing and electroplating. You may also need your vehicle to be thoroughly cleaned to get rid of all dirt and grime in all the smallest unreachable gaps. For such services, a reliable

Shot Blasting Linlithgow

company comes in handy. The same company will most likely be specilaised in

Glass Cleaning Linlithgow

services that ensure professional and thorough cleaning of glassware without causing any breakage or damage. To get the very best specialists in these servicesa, you may need to conduct a meticulous online research and, if possible, pay the selected

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A leak at an offshore oil drilling rig has caused an oil slick off Australia’s coast. According to the rig’s operator, it could take weeks to fully plug it.

Gas and oil started leaking from a hole beneath the sea floor on early Friday. It has caused an oil slick about nine miles long and thirty yards wide

Officials, however, said that there was no threat to the environment and it was improbable the slick would reach the Australian coast. Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said that “there’s no threat to the Australian coast. It is evaporating naturally and the work of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will merely assist in that evaporation.”

69 people were evacuated from the rig on Friday, amid fears that a fire could start from the condensate oil.

The rig is located approximately 150 miles off the coast of Kimberley.

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Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Author:
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Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Author:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

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Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Author:

How to convert a Company into a Brand Name

by

Brand Horizon

How to convert a Company into a Brand Name

( This article is part of Brandhorizon business talks – Leading the present, Shaping the future)

A Website or a Landing Page may create traffic but not High potential leads

High Potential Leads do not become Sales Ready Leads unless nurtured

Sales leads need to be worked on to create Revenues

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Manufacturing and Supply Chain efficiencies can lead to Profits

Leverage management and Liquidity management leads to Sustained Value generation

Sustained Value generation can create a Brand Value

Brandhorizon is an International Brand consultancy firm that offers a One Stop shop for your entire Branding needs .

What we can do for you !

Build a brand from Zero: Or

Convert your Midlevel Brand to a premium Segment ; Or

Manage an established brand to stay dynamic and sustain preferred Brand status

Brand Management Services

Branding is assuming great significance in today’s highly competitive and dynamic business environment and so is the need for very strong customer value propositions for organizations to stay afloat . If you are looking to a sustained life cycle or to scale up your business locally or internationally, our structured and holistic Growth strategy Via Brand Management approach helps you achieve desired results.

We understand that Brand creation, communication and sustained brand equity are key to stay ahead of competition . Our initial services will cover brand evaluation, competitor analysis, brand positioning, brand strategy . We then carry this a step forward to ensure customer journey mapping to internal training to leverage on brand value and achieve the target customer value proposition .

Besides, bidding for new projects can be a daunting and challenging task. We take the pressure off your internal teams by providing expert bid consulting services that include bid strategy, review and writing, and submission. We provide best practice analysis of past bids, through which substantial and sustainable improvements in success rates are quickly achieved. We support clients with build of delivery partnerships, detailed business transformation and supply chain planning, and in overall readiness to deliver bids comprehensively and without delay.

we provide customised executive leadership and management tools you need to build or leverage Company and Product brands . Our transformational and change management support helps businesses to bring about innovation at various stages, for maximizing revenues and improving profitability. We adopt a unique life cycle model that helps businesses leverage commitment of the existing human resources and talents and instills intrapreneurial spirit , processes and metrics, to achieve desired results.

Growing competition and customer expectations have made Branding and Innovation imperative. BrandHorizon’s mission is to help clients develop these disciplines and scale their businesses both in local and international markets. To achieve this, we apply several years of cross-sector and cross cultural experience in greenfield projects and mature businesses .We use proven methodologies to help companies achieve their holistic business objectives through our customised Corporate Growth and Brand Management Strategies.

Our mission is to Coach and Mentor :

– Start ups Incubate and Mature

– Mature businesses to Scale locally

– Well established businesses to become global.

You can reachus@brandhorizon.net or Contact us at http://www.brandhorizon.net/contact

Asha Sampath, Founder and Head of Growth and Brand Strategy Practice at BrandHorizon- A leading Digital Branding Solutions India, leverages over twenty years of rich experience and skills in General Management, Branding/Marketing and Finance Management. She integrates her indepth knowledge and functional expertise in international businesses , in tailoring BrandHorizon and its services to help transform businesses using innovation needed in today’s dynamic and fast paced global marketplace.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 | Author:

Monday, October 19, 2009

A report accidentally published on the Internet provides insight into a secretive European Union surveillance project designed to monitor its citizens, as reported by Wikileaks earlier this month. Project INDECT aims to mine data from television, internet traffic, cellphone conversations, p2p file sharing and a range of other sources for crime prevention and threat prediction. The €14.68 million project began in January, 2009, and is scheduled to continue for five years under its current mandate.

INDECT produced the accidentally published report as part of their “Extraction of Information for Crime Prevention by Combining Web Derived Knowledge and Unstructured Data” project, but do not enumerate all potential applications of the search and surveillance technology. Police are discussed as a prime example of users, with Polish and British forces detailed as active project participants. INDECT is funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and includes participation from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Indicated in the initial trial’s report, the scope of data collected is particularly broad; days of television news, radio, newspapers, and recorded telephone conversations are included. Several weeks of content from online sources were agglomerated, including mining Wikipedia for users’ and article subjects’ relations with others, organisations, and in-project movements.

Watermarking of published digital works such as film, audio, or other documents is discussed in the Project INDECT remit; its purpose is to integrate and track this information, its movement within the system and across the Internet. An unreleased promotional video for INDECT located on YouTube is shown to the right. The simplified example of the system in operation shows a file of documents with a visible INDECT-titled cover taken from an office and exchanged in a car park. How the police are alerted to the document theft is unclear in the video; as a “threat”, it would be the INDECT system’s job to predict it.

Throughout the video use of CCTV equipment, facial recognition, number plate reading, and aerial surveillance give friend-or-foe information with an overlaid map to authorities. The police proactively use this information to coordinate locating, pursuing, and capturing the document recipient. The file of documents is retrieved, and the recipient roughly detained.

Technology research performed as part of Project INDECT has clear use in countering industrial and international espionage, although the potential use in maintaining any security and predicting leaks is much broader. Quoted in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Liberty’s director, Shami Chakrabarti, described a possible future implementation of INDECT as a “sinister step” with “positively chilling” repercussions Europe-wide.

“It is inevitable that the project has a sensitive dimension due to the security focussed goals of the project,” Suresh Manandhar, leader of the University of York researchers involved in the “Work Package 4” INDECT component, responded to Wikinews. “However, it is important to bear in mind that the scientific methods are much more general and has wider applications. The project will most likely have lot of commercial potential. The project has an Ethics board to oversee the project activities. As a responsible scientists [sic] it is of utmost importance to us that we conform to ethical guidelines.”

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Although Wikinews attempted to contact Professor Helen Petrie of York University, the local member of Project INDECT’s Ethics board, no response was forthcoming. The professor’s area of expertise is universal access, and she has authored a variety of papers on web-accessibility for blind and disabled users. A full list of the Ethics board members is unavailable, making their suitability unassessable and distancing them from public accountability.

One potential application of Project INDECT would be implementation and enforcement of the U.K.’s “MoD Manual of Security“. The 2,389-page 2001 version passed to Wikileaks this month — commonly known as JSP-440, and marked “RESTRICTED” — goes into considerable detail on how, as a serious threat, investigative journalists should be monitored, and effectively thwarted; just the scenario the Project INDECT video could be portraying.

When approached by Wikinews about the implications of using INDECT, a representative of the U.K.’s Attorney General declined to comment on legal checks and balances such a system might require. Further U.K. enquiries were eventually referred to the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who have not yet responded.

Wikinews’ Brian McNeil contacted Eddan Katz, the International Affairs Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F.F.). Katz last spoke to Wikinews in early 2008 on copyright, not long after taking his current position with the E.F.F. He was back in Brussels to speak to EU officials, Project INDECT was on his agenda too — having learned of it only two weeks earlier. Katz linked Project INDECT with a September report, NeoConopticon — The EU Security-Industrial Complex, authored by Ben Hayes for the Transnational Institute. The report raises serious questions about the heavy involvement of defence and IT companies in “security research”.

On the record, Katz answered a few questions for Wikinews.

((WN)) Is this illegal? Is this an invasion of privacy? Spying on citizens?

Eddan Katz When the European Parliament issued the September 5, 2001 report on the American ECHELON system they knew such an infrastructure is in violation of data protection law, undermines the values of privacy and is the first step towards a totalitarian surveillance information society.

((WN)) Who is making the decisions based on this information, about what?

E.K. What’s concerning to such a large extent is the fact that the projects seem to be agnostic to that question. These are the searching systems and those people that are working on it in these research labs do search technology anyway. […] but its inclusion in a database and its availability to law enforcement and its simultaneity of application that’s so concerning, […] because the people who built it aren’t thinking about those questions, and the social questions, and the political questions, and all this kind of stuff. [… It] seems like it’s intransparent, unaccountable.

The E.U. report Katz refers to was ratified just six days before the September 11 attacks that brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. In their analysis of the never-officially-recognised U.S. Echelon spy system it states, “[i]n principle, activities and measures undertaken for the purposes of state security or law enforcement do not fall within the scope of the EC Treaty.” On privacy and data-protection legislation enacted at E.U. level it comments, “[such does] not apply to ‘the processing of data/activities concerning public security, defence, state security (including the economic well-being of the state when the activities relate to state security matters) and the activities of the state in areas of criminal law'”.

Part of the remit in their analysis of Echelon was rumours of ‘commercial abuse’ of intelligence; “[i]f a Member State were to promote the use of an interception system, which was also used for industrial espionage, by allowing its own intelligence service to operate such a system or by giving foreign intelligence services access to its territory for this purpose, it would undoubtedly constitute a breach of EC law […] activities of this kind would be fundamentally at odds with the concept of a common market underpinning the EC Treaty, as it would amount to a distortion of competition”.

Ben Hayes’ NeoConoptiocon report, in a concluding section, “Following the money“, states, “[w]hat is happening in practice is that multinational corporations are using the ESRP [European Seventh Research Programme] to promote their own profit-driven agendas, while the EU is using the programme to further its own security and defence policy objectives. As suggested from the outset of this report, the kind of security described above represents a marriage of unchecked police powers and unbridled capitalism, at the expense of the democratic system.”

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