Government


Which Companies Protect Your Data? 3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation took a look at several companies and rated them based on how they fared regarding user privacy against unreasonable requests from the government. I included their criteria and results below but on a quick summary, the one company that surprised me in doing really well? Dropbox. One that I was really disappointed in? Foursquare.

The companies were evaluated based on the following criteria:

1. A public commitment to inform users when their data is sought by the government. To earn a star in this category, Internet companies must promise to tell users when their data is being sought by the government unless prohibited by law. This gives users a chance to defend themselves against overreaching government demands for their data.

2. Transparency about when and how often companies hand data to the government. This category has two parts. Companies earn a half-star in this category if they publish statistics on how often they provide user data to governments worldwide. Companies also earn a half-star if they make public any policies they have about sharing data with the government, such as guides for law enforcement. (If a company doesn’t have law enforcement guidelines at all, though, we don’t hold that against them). Companies that publish both statistics and law enforcement guidelines receive a full star.

3. Fight for users’ privacy rights in the courts. To earn recognition in this category, companies must have a public record of resisting overbroad government demands for access to user content in court. Not all companies will be put in the position of having to defend their users before a judge, but those who do deserve special recognition.

4. Fight for users’ privacy in Congress. Internet companies earn a star in this category if they support efforts to modernize electronic privacy laws to defend users in the digital age by joining the Digital Due Process coalition.

 

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation


Do You Believe in Alien Life? 1

Well this is a fantastic story coming out of The Daily Telegraph in Australia, where an astronaut by the name of Dr. Edgar Mitchell has claimed that aliens exist and on several occasions have already visited this lovely planet of ours.

Where he might sound a little loony is that he says they are quite similar to the folklore description of these alien creature with small frame, large eyes and head that would look quite strange to the humans.

What is a little nerve racking to say the least, he said that our technology is “not nearly as sophisticated” as those of our foreign visitors and “had they been hostile… we would be been gone by now”.

“I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we’ve been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real,” Dr Mitchell said. “It’s been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it’s leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it. I’ve been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes – we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it’s been happening quite a bit.”

NASA on the other hand were very quick to distance themselves from any statements he made by releasing a statement in which a spokesman said: “NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe. Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.”

I have long believed that it would be very naive for us to think that we are long in this large and very expansive universe. Certainly it would be remarkable the day that we do make contact with a specie from outside of Earth – or the day that it is made publicly known regarding the matter.

I am not certain how a majority of our population would take to such news and maybe it is for the better that the information be suppressed some what but by no means am I advocating that information be hidden from the public for nearly 60 years as has been alleged by Dr. Mitchell.

I think it is bound to cause some chaos with those who are always unafraid about things they do not know very well (whether it be other races, ideas or in this case aliens) but I think for the sake of humanity and our essential survival probably depends on maintaining contact with these creatures and ultimately leading to maybe colonizing and expanding outside of the realms of the Earth.

The original story can be found here: Moon-Walker Claims Alien Contact Cover-Up


ABG From Norway 1

Greetings from Norway!

I’ll have more updates later but I’m here until the end of the month and hopefully these next 10 days are fantastic here. Stayed tuned to find out if my sister bothered me on the airplane ride again or not, how the food was, and anything else out of the blue that might have happened between Newark and Oslo.

Anyways, here are some random pieces of information regarding the country:

Population: 4,644,457 (July 2008 est.)

Religions: (2004)
Church of Norway 85.7%,
Pentecostal 1%,
Roman Catholic 1%,
Other Christian 2.4%,
Muslim 1.8%,
Other 8.1%

Literacy:
definition:
age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy

International Disputes: Norway asserts a territorial claim in Antarctica (Queen Maud Land and its continental shelf); despite dialogue, Russia and Norway continue to dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia’s fishing rights beyond Svalbard’s territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone.

All of this information is courtesy of the very friendly CIA: The World Factbook.

– ABG From OSL