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Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Vladimir Putin Jumps the Shark, Compares... Sun Nov 27, 2022 01:38 | Anti-Empire

offsite link How the US Could Have Prevented the Russ... Sat Nov 26, 2022 04:06 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Putin Talks Free Fertilizer for Hungry A... Fri Nov 25, 2022 14:04 | Anti-Empire

offsite link “Trusting the Plan” in the Russian W... Sun Nov 20, 2022 12:03 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Putin’s SMO Half-Assery Has Been an In... Sat Nov 19, 2022 03:50 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Why I Despise Douglas Murray and Other Such Propagandists (Gonzalo Lira) Sun Nov 27, 2022 20:21 | The Saker

offsite link Operation Claw-Sword: Erdogan?s big new game in Syria Sun Nov 27, 2022 18:03 | The Saker
by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author?s permission and widely cross-posted Wily Sultan is caught between his electorate, which favors a Syria invasion, and his extremely nuanced relations with Russia

offsite link Cruisin? for a Bruisin?, or, Don?t Spit in the Well Sun Nov 27, 2022 17:29 | The Saker
By Batiushka for the Saker blog ?The Ukrainian people will be liberated from their Neo-Nazi rulers, they deserve to live as friends and good neighbours and prosper alongside their Slav

offsite link Meeting with mothers of servicemen participating in the SVO (transcript) Sat Nov 26, 2022 21:33 | The Saker
Note: this is a machine translated (Yandex) translation of the full Russian text posted here: http://kremlin.ru/events/pr... It was sent to me from a reader. Vladimir Putin met with mothers of

offsite link Finis Sinarum: Why I think China Cannot Win This Sat Nov 26, 2022 21:24 | The Saker
America Has Infiltrated China By Thorsten J. Pattberg for the Saker blog In this naturally calm and composed piece of art, I will expose the global blueprint for the defeat

The Saker >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Pfizer CEO Found to Have Misled the Public Over Child Covid Vaccination by Pharmaceutical Watchdog Mon Nov 28, 2022 09:00 | Will Jones
Pfizer?s CEO Dr Albert Bourla has been rapped by the UK?s pharmaceutical watchdog for making misleading statements about vaccinating children by saying they are at risk from Covid and will benefit from vaccination.
The post Pfizer CEO Found to Have Misled the Public Over Child Covid Vaccination by Pharmaceutical Watchdog appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Retired French Ambassador Skewers the ?Rules-Based International Order? Mon Nov 28, 2022 07:00 | Noah Carl
In an unusually frank outburst, the former French Ambassador to the US stated, "When the Americans want to do whatever they want, including when it?s against international law, as they define it, they do it."
The post Retired French Ambassador Skewers the ?Rules-Based International Order? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Mon Nov 28, 2022 01:58 | 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.

offsite link School Indoctrination is Turning British Youth Woke, But the Tories Do Nothing Sun Nov 27, 2022 17:12 | Will Jones
Britain is becoming more illiberal and unpatriotic as today?s increasingly woke young people become voters, yet the Tories do nothing, says Eric Kaufmann, who has written about the worrying findings of his latest survey.
The post School Indoctrination is Turning British Youth Woke, But the Tories Do Nothing appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Chinese Police Clash With Thousands Protesting Draconian Zero-Covid Lockdowns Sun Nov 27, 2022 14:59 | Toby Young
Civil unrest has broken out in China as the population tires of the endless cycle of lockdowns in pursuit of the the moronic ?zero Covid? policy. Worth remembering this was the policy lobbied for by ?independent? SAGE.
The post Chinese Police Clash With Thousands Protesting Draconian Zero-Covid Lockdowns appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Zelensky trapped by Moscow and Washington, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Nov 22, 2022 07:02 | en

offsite link "Voltaire, International Newsletter" n°15 Sun Nov 20, 2022 14:01 | en

offsite link ?Voltaire, International Newsletter? n°14 Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:39 | en

offsite link Is the conflict in Ukraine a civil war? Tue Nov 15, 2022 17:44 | en

offsite link Who are the Ukrainian integral nationalists ?, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Nov 15, 2022 07:02 | 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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