Who We Are

Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Simon Darby, BNP leader, interviewed by pupils in their classroom

A senior official in the British National Party was invited to address a classroom on whether the hijab should be banned, The Times has learnt.
Simon Darby, the BNP’s deputy leader, was phoned by 14-year-old students in Rochdale, Lancashire. The pupils, supervised by a teacher, asked him questions over the phone about the French ban on the hijab. The BNP’s policy is to ban Islamic dress in schools.
Andy Rymer, the head of Matthew Moss High School, told The Times that the students were doing a project on news reporting and had suggested contacting the BNP. He said: “We ask kids to be critically curious. This was something they were interested in and wanted to check out. They did so in a supported way with an intelligent teacher.
“(The school) is not encouraging people to contact or spread the philosophy of the BNP. Equally we have a significant number of kids in here for whom those issues are very real.”
However, the move raised concern from some parents and Paul Rowe, the area’s Liberal Democrat MP who separately participated in the discussion.
Mr Rowe said that there were plenty of other political parties that could have been consulted and that it was “inappropriate” for students to discuss issues with the BNP. He said: “I’m concerned that anybody is giving succour to the BNP.”
Some Asian parents at the school, in the Castleton area of the town, spoke of their concern at allowing the BNP a voice in the classroom.
Jamil Khan, whose daughter wears a headscarf to school, said: “I do not feel comfortable with the presence of the BNP in the classroom. They are extremists, full stop. They can only paint the picture one way.”
However, many parents said that they were happy to leave the matter to the discretion of the teacher and the school. Its governors said that as long as the issue was handled carefully, there was no reason to exclude the BNP as the party was active in the area and students would come across it eventually.
Ted Flynn, a governor and local councillor, said: “I’ve no sympathy with the BNP at all. But the pupils are intelligent enough not to be wavered by Nick Griffin and his compatriot’s opinions.”
Mr Raymer said that a group of Asian students were undertaking a project on news reporting and had decided to investigate the British reaction to the French Government’s decision to ban the hijab from schools.

He said they were not satisfied by Mr Darby’s response on the issue as he referred to British school uniforms.
Mr Raymer said: “At the end they were angry their question hadn’t been answered properly. The discussion turned to how journalists operate to get answers.”
On his blog, Mr Darby said: “It was reassuring to think that even in 2010 politically correct Britain there are still teachers who insist on the old adage that if you don’t have access to all the information, you will never come up with the right answer.”
It comes as a government review is due on whether BNP members should be prevented from becoming teachers. Police and prison officers are already barred from joining the party.
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: “We trust head teachers as professionals to ensure appropriate visitors are invited into their school and that pupil welfare and safety issues are considered.”
The spokesman said the promotion of partisan political views was forbidden, adding that there were safeguards in law to guard against biased or unbalanced teaching.

Times Online

Homophobic Lithuanian law comes into power next week

A controversial law which bans the promotion of gay marriage in Lithuania comes into power on Monday.

The law was amended in December after international criticism. Before, it prohibited the “public dissemination” of any materials which could be seen to promote homosexuality.
Instead, lawmakers approved changes which would ban the “encouraging the sexual abuse of minors, sexual relations between minors and other sexual relations”.
“Other sexual relations” means that campaigning for gay marriage or civil partnerships will be illegal, human rights group Amnesty International has argued.
Gay Pride marches may also be banned.
The law now classifies any information which “denigrates family values” or which “encourages a concept of marriage and family other than stipulated in the Constitution” as detrimental to children and bans it from places accessible to them.
Lithuanian law defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination, said: “This law will violate the freedom of expression and will directly discriminate against people on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“It will stigmatise gay and lesbian people and exposes advocates for their rights to the risk of censorship and financial penalties.”
He added that the law was an “anachronism” in the European Union and called on Lithuanian authorities to scrap it.
The legislation also prohibits the mention of bisexuality, polygamy, images of straight sex, death and severe injury, the paranormal, foul language and bad eating habits.
It does not specify punishments for breaking the law.

Pink News

Many Poles learning of their Jewish roots (Warsaw, Poland)

When Pawel looks into the mirror, he can still sometimes see a neo-Nazi skinhead staring back, the man he once was before he covered his shaved head with a yarmulke, shed his fascist ideology for the Torah and renounced violence and hatred in favor of God.

“I still struggle every day to discard my past ideas,’’ said Pawel, a 33-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jew and former truck driver, noting with little irony that he had to stop hating Jews in order to become one.

“When I look at an old picture of myself as a skinhead, I feel ashamed. Every day I try and do teshuvah,’’ he said, using the Hebrew word for repentance. “Every minute of every day. There is a lot to make up for.’’

Pawel, who also uses his Hebrew name Pinchas, asked not to use his last name for fear that his former neo-Nazi friends could target him or his family.
Pawel is perhaps the most unlikely example of a Jewish revival under way in Poland in which hundreds of Poles, a majority of them raised as Catholics, are either converting to Judaism or discovering Jewish roots submerged for decades in the aftermath of World War II.
Before 1939, Poland was home to more than three million Jews; more than 90 percent of them were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. A majority of those who survived emigrated. Of the fewer than 50,000 who remained in Poland, many either abandoned or hid their Judaism during decades of Communist oppression in which political pogroms against Jews persisted.
But Rabbi Michael Schudrich, the chief rabbi of Poland, noted that 20 years after the fall of Communism, a historical reckoning was finally taking place.
He said Pawel’s metamorphosis illustrated just how far the country had come. “Before 1989 there was a feeling that it was not safe to say, ‘I am a Jew,’ ’’ he said. “But today, there is a growing feeling that Jews are a missing limb in Poland.’’
Five years ago, the rabbi noted, there were about 250 families in the Jewish community in Warsaw; today there are 600. During that period, the number of rabbis serving the country has grown from one to eight.
Pawel’s transformation from baptized Catholic skinhead to Jew began in a bleak neighborhood of concrete tower blocks in Warsaw in the 1980s. Pawel said he and his friends reacted to the gnawing uniformity of socialism by embracing anti-Semitism and an extreme right-wing ideology. They shaved their heads, carried knives, and greeted each other with the Nazi salute.
Even as Pawel embraced the life of a neo-Nazi, he said, he had pangs that his identity was built on a lie. His staunchly Catholic father seemed overly fond of quoting the Old Testament. His grandfather hinted about past family secrets.
“One time when I told my grandfather that Jews were bad, he exploded and screamed at me, ‘If I ever hear you say such a thing again under my roof, you will never come back!’ ’’

Pawel joined the army and married a fellow skinhead at age 18. But his sense of self changed at 22, when his wife, Paulina, suspecting she had Jewish roots, went to a genealogical institute and discovered Pawel’s maternal grandparents on a register of Warsaw Jews, along with her grandparents.
When Pawel confronted his parents, he said, they told him the truth: that his maternal grandmother was Jewish and had survived the war by being hidden in a monastery.
Shaken by the knowledge of his Jewish roots, Pawel said he decided to go see Schudrich, who gave him a copy of the Hebrew Bible. At 24, he was circumcised. Two years later, he decided to become an Orthodox Jew.
The Boston


Some 200 Gypsies and others are protesting comments by Romania's foreign minister suggesting some Gypsies, or Roma, were born criminals. Protesters gathered Wednesday in front of the government offices in Bucharest held banners that read "If we are Roma, then we are criminals." They also chanted "Down with racism," and "Resignation." Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi earlier this month suggested during a meeting with French state secretary Pierre Lellouche that criminality among Gypsies was a biological trait. He later acknowledged the comments "did not adequately convey the message the minister wanted." Romania has up to 2 million Gypsies, most of them living in poverty and facing deep discrimination.

The Associated Press

Revealed: The African queen who called York home in the 4th century (UK)

Startling new forensic research has revealed that multicultural Britain is nothing new after discovering black Africans were living in high society in Roman York.

A study of various remains and artefacts from the 4th century at the Yorkshire Museum shows North Africans were living there thousands of years ago.
The most exciting results came from analysis of the so-called 'Ivory Bangle Lady' whose remains were found in 1901 on the city's Sycamore Terrace.
Her skull was found buried with a range of jewellery including jet and elephant ivory bracelets, earrings, pendants and a glass mirror indicating she was wealthy and was of high social status.

The research used modern forensic ancestry assessment to show it was likely she was of North African descent and may have migrated to York from somewhere warmer

The fascinating study was carried out by the University of Reading's Department of Archaeology, and senior lecturer Dr Hella Eckhardt said: 'Up until now we have had to rely on evidence of such foreigners in Roman Britain from inscriptions.

'However, by analysing the facial features of the Ivory Bangle Lady and measuring her skull, analysing the chemical signature of the food and drink she consumed, and analysing evidence from the burial site we are now able to establish a clear profile of her ancestry and social status.

'We're looking at a population mix which is much closer to contemporary Britain than previous historians had suspected.
'In the case of York, the Roman population may have had more diverse origins than the city has now.
'This skull is particularly interesting, because the stone sarcophagus she was buried in, and the richness of the grave goods, means she was a very wealthy woman, absolutely from the top end of York society.

'Her case contradicts assumptions that may derive from more recent historical experience, namely that immigrants are low status and male, and that African individuals are likely to have been slaves.
'Instead, it is clear that both women and children moved across the Empire, often associated with the military.'
The research is published in the March edition of the journal Antiquity.
The 'Ivory Bangle Lady' and he possessions will be the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the Museum in August entitled 'Roman York: Meet the People Of The Empire'.
York, known as Eboracum during Roman Times, was a legendary fortress and civilian settlement which was visited by a string of emperors.
The experts believe these factors provided reasons for potential immigration to the area and for the foundation of a multi-cultural community.
Daily Mail

MLA sorry after Twitter hacking (Northern Ireland)

Hundreds of users of the popular web service Twitter may have to change their passwords after an account belonging to an MLA was hacked.

Over 700 users "following" the East Belfast representative Dawn Purvis received a message on Wednesday purporting to be from her.
However the message was sent automatically from her account by malicious software.
The Progressive Unionist MLA has apologised to those affected.
They received a message saying "Hey, is this you?" followed by a link which, when clicked, directed them to a potentially nefarious website.
Those who clicked received a message from Twitter on Friday urging them to change their passwords in case their security has been compromised.
Ms Purvis is the latest politician to be affected by the so-called "phishing" scam.
On Thursday, the Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman revealed her account had been hacked and fake messages sent in her name, including one to Tory spokesman Alan Duncan.
BBC News

Suspected Neo-Nazi Murder Trial Case Reclassified into a Political Murder (Russia)

Moscow investigaotors reclassified it into a political murder the killing of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who were gunned down by suspected neo-Nazis, a source familiar with the investigation said.
Human rights lawyer Markelov, 34, and Novaya Gazeta journalist Anastasia Baburova, 25, were shot on January 19, 2009 in downtown Moscow, just a short distance from the Christ the Savior Cathedral. Markelov died at the scene and Baburova lost her struggle for life shortly afterwards in hospital.
Last November, Nikolai Tikhonov, 29, and Yevgenia Khasis, 24, members of a radical neo-Nazi nationalist group, were charged with a "murder committed by previous concert by a group of individuals".
The case made headlines all over the world and once again highlighted the dangers faced by journalists and human rights activists in Russia, which has one of the poorest journalist safety records in the world.
"Investigators requalified Tikhonov's charge. He is charged with 'murder on grounds of political, ideological, national or religious enmity,'" the source said.
Tikhonov, who first confessed to the murder, then said he had confessed to it under pressure. In line with Russian law, he can face life in prison if found guilty.
The source said Tikhonov is also suspected of the murder of anti-fascist Alexander Rukhin in April 2007. Three people have already been sentenced to prison terms from three to 6.5 years for the murder.


Russian Nationalists Randomly Attacking Foreigners With Murderous Results (Russia)

Foreigners who aren’t Caucasian gamble with their lives if they decide to study or do business in Russia. The streets there are roaming with bands of ultraright nationalist groups randomly targeting nonwhite foreigners with murderous attacks.
A young Korean student has become the latest victim. The student, surnamed Kang, was studying in an exchange program at a university in Barnaul, a Russian border city near Kazakhstan, when he was brutally murdered by Russian youths while walking down the street.
Russian police are investigating three suspects in their late teens and early 20s.
The victim wasn’t even robbed, meaning he was likely the target of a random hate crime.
Kang is the fourth official victim of Korean origin in the spree of murderous attacks in Russia on nonwhite foreigners by extreme nationalistic groups.
In February 2005, a teenage student from Korea was stabbed to death in St. Petersburg by two Russians. In February 2007, one student died of internal bleeding in intensive care after being beaten by a mob. In January last year, a female student was terrorized by Russians who attacked her with a flammable material.
Each time, the Russian government promised it would follow up with a campaign to rein in these extremist right-wing groups and end their racist attacks.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and subsequent economic calamities led to extreme nationalism and neo-Nazism across Russia. More than 20 different types of xenophobic groups are active in Moscow alone.
A recent poll showed that about 15 percent of the young Russian population supports the extreme nationalistic movement.
Last year, 71 foreigners were killed in crimes motivated by racism and xenophobia. The Russian authorities proudly boast that the number has fallen from 110 in 2008.
It will be tough to find anyone willing to invest or study in a country where violence and murders are motivated by skin color and nationality.
Xenophobia and hate crimes should not be tolerated in a country that advocates and runs on a system of laws.
Russia must act more strongly and sternly against racist crimes by deeming them the biggest threat to its future and security.
Authorities must investigate Kang’s case thoroughly and enforce heavy punishment on the offenders.
If such incidents continue to occur, Russia will slowly find itself shunned by other civilized nations and become a pariah on the international scene.

Are The Glory Days Of You Tube Coming To An End?

The following item has appeared in the Guardian Newspaper in the UK and we believe that it does make some valid points about Google and You Tube.
God is everywhere, at least according to those who believe in Him. So is the internet: it's global, ubiquitous and has – according to its evangelists – slipped the surly bonds of nation states. The trouble is that those who use it have to reside within legal jurisdictions.

And therein lies a big problem, one aspect of which surfaced last week, in Italy, where a judge handed out prison sentences to three senior US-based Google executives for "violating privacy" by allowing a video showing a handicapped Italian schoolboy being physically and verbally abused to be posted online.
This judgment provoked astonished indignation on the net, especially among American commentators. "Why," fumed Mike Butcher on TechCrunch, an influential technology blog, "did someone not explain to this idiot judge that the video was NOT uploaded by these Google executives?"

And, he went on: "Italy needs to get its act together and fast. I'm calling on Italian entrepreneurs, many of whom I know and respect, to get involved in this issue. At a time when European countries are weighed down by regulation and stupid rulings like this one, especially during a period of huge economic upheaval, it is not enough to stand by and watch travesties like this go by. Do the young people of Italy and the rest of Europe, so many of whom are huge enthusiasts of the web and the power it gives them to drag themselves up by their bootstraps without the need for state help, deserve to have decrepit judges decide their economic future?"
One can see why Butcher is annoyed. The video in question was made in May 2006 and posted on 8 September to Google Video – the hosting service that Google closed after it bought YouTube. It reportedly showed a boy with Down's syndrome being beaten and insulted by bullies at a Turin school. On 7 November Google took it down "within hours" of being contacted by Italian police. But it had left it up for two whole months despite comments from viewers allegedly protesting about it.
Google points out that "none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video's existence until after it was removed". All of which is true, but doesn't quite get around the fact that, as senior executives, they are also responsible for what their company does, and are remunerated from the profits that it makes. YouTube may not yet be a big money-spinner for Google; but it isn't a non-for-profit venture either. And then there's that awkward matter of the two months it took to take down the video.

The company intends to appeal against the convictions, which makes sense on due-process grounds and also because the costs of doing what the judgment implies is necessary – ie previewing every uploaded track before making it public — would be huge. The Guardian's Charles Arthur has calculated that to review the 20 hours of video footage uploaded to YouTube every minute would require 3,600 people working eight-hour shifts, 365 days a year. That would blow a neat hole in even Google's astronomical profits.
Whatever the outcome, though, the legal spat is just the latest symptom of an underlying structural problem, namely the mismatch between the internet's global reach and the fact that we live in a world of sovereign states. Everywhere one looks one finds evidence of the tensions between the two systems: French judges forbidding Yahoo selling Nazi memorabilia on its auction site; German judges objecting to neo-Nazi discussions groups hosted in the US, where they are protected by the First Amendment; the Chinese government objecting to any mention of Falun Gong; British laws outlawing child porn sites; or the Iranian regime objecting to just about everything. Like climate change, the gap between what the internet can do and what local authorities will allow is a global problem requiring a global solution, which is why we're unlikely ever to solve it.

In the case of the Google Three, however, it's likely that they will be vindicated because even if the Italian appeal fails, there is always the possibility of recourse to the European Court in Strasbourg, which will take the view that European Union law, as currently drafted, appears to give hosting providers a safe harbour from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence. The downside of this, of course, is that Google will have to be much more responsive to complaints, which will make it much easier to have videos taken down because the prudent course will always be to "take down first and ask questions later".

The glory days of YouTube may be coming to an end. And Silvio Berlusconi remains at large.

Th Guardian

Saturday, 27 February 2010

West Yorkshire Police Target Racial Abuse. (UK)

Police in Castleford are launching an operation to combat racist abuse. Plain clothes officers from minority ethnic backgrounds will be out on foot on in all areas of Castleford.

The officers will be selected from other areas of the District and Force so that they will not be recognised locally as police. The Castleford Neighbourhood Police Team (NPT) have been working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure that the opportunities to prosecute are maximised with quality evidence.
Inspector Ian Williams of Castleford NPT said, "It is important not only that we look after the interests and welfare of minority groups in the community but are seen to do so.
"The majority of Castleford and Airedale residents are from a white background so I can understand how people from these groups can feel intimidated. We take all hate crime very seriously but it is often difficult to get victims to come forward and give evidence. This pro-active approach to dealing with such incidents protects the victims from having to do so."
"These operations will continue for as long as it takes to get the message across that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. I am hoping that by taking a direct approach, more victims will come forward to tell us about the abuse they have suffered. It is vital that people from minority groups have confidence in the ability of the police to deal with their concerns."
Gaynor Zeki, Community Prosecutor for West Yorkshire said, "Hate crime of any kind is abhorrent, whether it is based on race, disability, gender or sexual orientation. The CPS will prosecute these cases robustly and vigorously.
“If a case has hate crime elements in addition to other offences, CPS prosecutors will bring this to the Court’s attention so that it can be taken into account at sentencing. This is very likely to result in an increase in the offender’s penalty.

If you have suffered from or witnessed any type of hate crime whether it is as a result of race, disability, sexuality or religion you can get in touch with Castleford NPT on 01924 206210 or anonymously at crimestoppers on 0800 555111

UK politicians fall victim to Twitter scam

British politicians were among those caught up on Friday in the latest Twitter-based scam which hijacks users' accounts to send out sexually explicit messages to friends and followers.

The micro-blogging website has seen hit by a wave of so-called "phishing scams,'' which lure users to a bogus website where they're enticed to part with their passwords.
Those tracking the Twitter account of Ed Miliband, the British energy minister, were surprised by a message carrying an unusually direct reference to the politician's sex life. "Oh dear it seems like I've fallen victim to twitter's latest 'phishing' scam,'' Miliband posted shortly afterward.
He wasn't alone. On Thursday, House of Commons leader Harriet Harman told lawmakers her account had sent a bogus message to opposition lawmaker Alan Duncan.

'Kill whites' call sparks hate speech frenzy

A call to kill white people on the Pan Africanist Congress Facebook page has sparked a frenzy of hate speech fanned by extremists of various races, threatening violence against each other.
The demeaning and often violent comments were still on the page on Friday despite promises by the party on Thursday that the page would be removed and its administrator disciplined.
Racist invective, which in many cases amounted to hate speech, from both sides were entertained by page administrator Anwar Adams, who earlier refused to remove comments calling for whites to be killed, saying it was free speech.
PAC spokesman Andiswa Majali said this week Adams could face disciplinary steps and promised on Thursday that the party would remove its Facebook page. He said Adams was a member of the party, but did not have the party's blessing to create the page.
Cape Times

Google Video and Italy: Is there nothing we won't watch?

Following Google's conviction in Italy, Robert Colvile suggests that internet users hold the key to controlling inappropriate content.

On September 8 2006, a new item was added to Google Video in Italy. It showed an autistic schoolboy in Turin being abused, physically and verbally, by his classmates. On Wednesday, three executives from Google – who had never worked in Italy, or had any idea of the video's existence before it was deleted two months later – were found guilty (in absentia) of invading the teenager's privacy, and given six-month suspended sentences by an Italian court, after charges were brought by a local Down's syndrome charity.

The outrage was immediate. David Drummond, the company's chief legal officer, and one of those convicted, claimed the ruling "poses a grave danger to the continued freedom and operation of the many internet services that users around the world – including many Italians – have come to rely on". A coalition of supporters was quickly assembled ahead of the inevitable appeal, including Index on Censorship, Reporters Without Borders, and the US government.
Why the fuss? Everyone agrees that the video was unacceptable and disgusting. The prosecutors argued that Google had a duty to ensure that such videos complied with privacy law before they were made public, that comments beneath the video suggesting that it was inappropriate were ignored, and that it should have been spotted when it made the "most viewed" list on the site.

Google countered that it took the video down within three hours of being alerted by the authorities, that European (and Italian) law states that responsibility for such videos lies with those who post them, and that taking a random set of executives from its hierarchy to court was hardly the way to resolve the issue.
Whatever the merits of the case, there is a broader point. It is not just that this ruling implies that Google – or anyone else who operates a website – is responsible for every offensive video, photo or comment that appears there. It is that this is only the latest of a seemingly endless series of instances in which the internet has been used to spread misery.

In Canada, for example, a video of an obese child miming a lightsaber fight – the so-called "Star Wars Kid" – attracted millions of views and made his life a misery (in this case, the teenager, Ghyslain Raza, sued the classmates who put the video online, rather than the firms who hosted it). In Italy, Facebook groups have been removed for advocating the assassination of Silvio Berlusconi, or the use of children with Down's syndrome for target practice – "an easy and amusing solution" for disposing of "these foul creatures". And an inquest heard this week that Emma Jones, a British teacher in Abu Dhabi, drank cleaning fluid – either deliberately or accidentally – after becoming panicked that naked photographs of her had been posted online, which could have led to her being condemned as a prostitute.

Faced with this kind of unpleasant material, the layman might ask why it can't just be blocked before it is uploaded, as the Italian court wants. There are two objections, one philosophical and one practical. The first is whether we want internet companies to have the power to decide what is tasteful or ethical. Everyone would agree that child pornography should be removed from Google's search database and the perpetrators brought to trial. But what when Apple decides – as it recently has – that it does not want "titillating" content on its online store? Who decides what meets that vague guideline and what doesn't?
It is the practical objection, however, that is most significant. YouTube, the video service bought by Google in 2006, receives 20 hours of video every single minute – a torrent of information that no human being could reasonably pre-screen. It is not just video, either. Bill Eggers, the global director of Deloitte Research, points out that it took the Library of Congress more than 200 years to amass a collection of 29 million books and periodicals, 2.4 million audio recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps and 57 million manuscripts. The same amount of data is now being added to the internet every five minutes.

Google, of course, has built its success on making sense of this chaos. It is the firm's proudest boast that no human hand governs the placement of search results on your screen – it is all down to the "algorithm", the impossibly complex formula that runs the site. So committed is Google to this idea that it refused to remove a racist image of Michelle Obama that was ranking highly from its image search function, arguing that the image was perfectly legal and its high placement reflected the reality of what people were linking to and interested in.
This is also why the fact that the European Commission is investigating Google over its search results – as disclosed in The Daily Telegraph this week – is about far more than the threat of billions of dollars in fines. If it is true that companies Google disapproves of, or is threatened by, are pushed down its rankings then it would destroy the belief – almost an article of faith within the firm – that its algorithm is the most perfect, and
most objective, way yet found to make sense of the world's information.
However, when it comes to screening out inappropriate content, even the mighty Google falls short. After YouTube in particular was criticised for relying on content pirated from elsewhere, such as TV shows or music videos, the firm developed a system called "Google Content ID". This compares YouTube videos with copyrighted material in Google's database and lets its creators decide whether to block the pirated material or impose their own advertising on it (a far more popular option). But the system is not yet sophisticated enough to tell when a video is displaying inappropriate content, such as pornography or racist diatribes. Nor can Google rely on the "tags" people use to identify their content: a video marked "hot sex" or "Britney Spears naked" can often turn out to be footage of a cat on a piano, which has been mislabelled to drive up traffic.
The only practical solution, then, is for users to alert companies such as Google and Facebook to inappropriate material being hosted on their sites. And here is where things become even more disturbing. Think back to that video from Turin. Here was a disabled child being mocked and beaten by other pupils – a repulsive spectacle. Yet it still became one of the most viewed items on the site. And even though some of those thousands who watched it posted comments underneath suggesting it was inappropriate, Google insists that not a single one bothered to click on the button, displayed on every video, that would alert it to the existence of inappropriate content.
In other words, Google, Facebook and the like are at the mercy of human nature. They can act when there have been clear-cut breaches of laws or standards, such as pornography on YouTube, or Facebook groups that advocate the murder of the disabled, or profile pictures that display Nazi regalia (if that is illegal in the relevant country). But they can do less about people's instinctive tendency towards voyeurism or cruelty – hence the estimates that a fifth of the pupils in Britain's schools and a seventh of the teachers have become the victims of some form of "cyber-bullying".
"Wherever like-minded people gather into a mob, you can bid farewell to nuance, empathy or good manners," wrote the Sunday Telegraph columnist Jemima Lewis recently, recalling the "astonishing rudeness" with which dissenters from parenting orthodoxy are treated on the Mumsnet website. One mother who expressed dismay that her daughter's primary school had been discussing lesbianism and civil partnerships was told she was "homophobic", a "d---head" and to "Go and live with the Amish if you can't deal with the real world."

Executives at Facebook believe this kind of behaviour will dwindle as people come to use their real names online (as they must do on its network), rather than hiding behind anonymity. But Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the human rights group Liberty, thinks they should go further. "I understand that it's very difficult, if you want a quick and speedy and free internet, to say there must be massive obligations on companies to vet things before they go up. But they could go a lot further than they currently are, in terms of taking their responsibilities to educate and warn people more seriously."
Ultimately, however, it comes down to how we behave. "People can be thoughtless, people can be reckless, people can be hurtful, and the web, despite being wonderful in all sorts of ways, is a new – and in some ways more dangerous – medium for that," says Chakrabarti.

"It's fashionable to bang on about a Big Brother state, but we're all capable of being pretty nasty little brothers and sisters to each other as well."

The Telegraph

Youths Carve Cretan Teacher Arms with swastikas (Crete)

Police on Crete yesterday were seeking the two men who carved swastika symbols on the arm of a 27-year-old teacher on Wednesday night – the latest in a string of racist crimes on the island in the past two months.

The woman was attacked while getting into her car in the Halepa suburb of Hania by two masked youths who used a razor blade to carve two Nazi symbols onto the skin of her left arm and another three on her jacket sleeve. Police said they believe the perpetrators had targeted her as she had been offering Greek language lessons to the children of immigrants. Nikos Tzaras, a spokesman for the Cretan Migrant Forum condemned the attack as “barbaric and cowardly” and said he believed the assault and other racist attacks were being coordinated by “a center in Hania.” Wednesday’s attack follows a string of assaults on migrants and two attacks on a synagogue in Hania last month


Bosnian Serb ex-general Tolimir in genocide trial

A Bosnian Serb former general, Zdravko Tolimir, has gone on trial in The Hague accused of genocide and other crimes committed during the Bosnian war.
A prosecutor at the UN war crimes tribunal said Mr Tolimir had "assisted, supervised and authorised" killings of Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims).
Genocide is among the charges he faces for his alleged role in the massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys at Srebrenica.
He was a top aide to commander Ratko Mladic, who is still on the run.
Mr Tolimir, 61, is the last suspect in custody to go on trial, because the court is scheduled to close its doors by 2013. He is also charged with crimes against humanity including persecution and deportation. He was arrested in May 2007.
Gen Mladic is also accused of genocide at Srebrenica in 1995.
He is thought to be hiding in Serbia, but Belgrade's failure to track him down and send him to The Hague remains an obstacle in the path of Serbia's bid to join the European Union, the BBC's Geraldine Coughlan reports.
One other top fugitive, the former Croatian Serb leader, Goran Hadzic, is also still at large.
BBC News

Merseyside Black Police Association chief Vinny Tomlinson to resign over race allegations (Liverpool, UK)

THE head of Merseyside Black Police Association said he plans to quit his post amid alleged “race-related bullying and coercion” within the force.
Vinny Tomlinson told the ECHO he will resign as chairman at May’s annual general meeting.
The 42-year-old also blamed a newly-imposed Service Level Agreement which now governs how the Merseyside Black Police Association (BPA) and other social networks within the force must operate.
Mr Tomlinson insisted that racism still existed within Merseyside Police and said he was leaving due to what he perceived as moves to decimate the BPA by senior bosses.
One female police civilian told the ECHO she twice tried to commit suicide after suffering “overt racism”.
Two colleagues were reprimanded after she was racially abused in the Canning Place HQ control room.
One black female constable said she considered leaving her job on countless occasions after alleged persistent racist abuse.
Other black and ethnic minority staff talked about “a culture of prejudice and discrimination” where they allegedly had to work harder to gain recognition and faced bigger hurdles than white colleagues if they wanted to progress.
Today, Merseyside Police denied there was a culture of racism and bullying within the force.
They said the force supported the BPA which was “about its members, not one individual”.
Assistant Chief Constable Patricia Gallan also urged staff to report their concerns.
And she said other networks within the force, including those which support women, Christians and gay and lesbian workers, had fully accepted the new agreements designed to help them operate.


Police officers are being drafted on to Merseyside school buses to stop Muslim pupils being racially abused. The problems centre around verbal attacks on hijab- wearing girls at West Derby’s Holly Lodge Girls’ College. Last night, bus drivers who are accused of refusing to stop for the veil-wearing Muslim pupils in order to avoid trouble were also branded “racist”. The Daily Post can reveal police officers will now board the buses to protect the school girls from the “racist” taunts of other passengers. A probe was launched after concerned female members of Liverpool’s Muslim community highlighted the abuse of pupils travelling to Holly Lodge to police. Police chiefs have since held talks with travel authority Merseytravel and the Muslim community. Complaints are contained within a Merseyside Police Authority report that “young Muslim women are targeted by racists on the way to Holly Lodge School” and “often buses won’t stop” for the girls “easily identified by their veils”.
Merseyside police last night said community police officers would now board buses in the area to deter the racism and would work with city schools to remind pupils “racial abuse is a criminal offence.” But police stressed the issue of drivers failing to stop for the girls was a matter for Merseytravel. Merseytravel said it condemned “all acts of racism” and, after probing the claims, has “now drawn up an action plan to deal with and prevent any further incidents”. It was not, however, able to release details of the measures which might be implemented. Members of the Muslim community said the problem was a long-running one. Amina Ismail was approached by Holly Lodge pupils while overseeing a widening participation event for Hope University last year. Ms Ismail, now employed by Liverpool John Moores University, said: “They said people driving past were being abusive because they were wearing the hijab (head scarf) at the bus stops on Queens Drive or West Derby Road.” She said bus drivers refusing to stop were “cowardly” and that “they should not push their own personal prejudices on young people.” And with pupils now frequently travelling farther afield to the school of their choice, she urged people to “see past the scarf or skin colour and look beyond this”.

Around 10% of the 1,274 Holly Lodge pupils on roll are from ethnic minorities, and the school has won praise from Ofsted for its “promotion of equality and diversity”. Head teacher Julia Tinsley said: “There have been a small number of cases where ignorant people have directed racist comments at our pupils while they are on buses. It is completely unacceptable and very upsetting for those involved and we have provided support to those affected. “We welcome the assistance from Merseyside Police in tackling the mindless minority who think it is acceptable to make racist comments.” Merseyside Police Authority committee member and city councillor, Paul Clein, said any driver deliberately failing to stop was “guilty of racism and bullying”. But Colin Carr, regional advisor for the North West branch of giant union Unite – whose members include bus drivers – said he would be surprised if they were failing to stop. “The union would condemn this kind of action, and equality and diversity is something we promote across the spectrum,” he said. A Merseyside police spokesman said the force was committed to tackling racism and added: “We will be putting police community support officers on public buses during the periods these incidents are happening to reassure passengers and deter would-be offenders. CCTV will be routinely checked following allegations of any criminal offence.” The police are also looking at ways for people to anonymously pass on information so they could catch the culprits.


The increase of anti-Semitism in Malmö, south Sweden, has recently been highlighted by both Swedish and foreign media. Some comments by Mayor Ilmar Reepalu about the situation have been increasingly condemned. Today he met representatives from the Jewish community and admits he has not been sufficiently informed.

The police in the Skåne province have noted that hate crimes against Jews doubled last year. This has sparked an increasing number of Jews in Malmö to leave Sweden. Comments made by Malmö Mayor Ilmar Reepalu in news interviews has been interpreted as that he believes that the Jews themselves has debt in the harassment against them, because they had not clearly distanced themselves from Israel's war in Gaza. Reepalu claims that he has been misquoted and deliberately misunderstood. But when the U.K. newspaper the Daily Telegraph yesterday drew attention to Malmö's problem with anti-Semitism in a reportage, some kind of line had been passed. Reepalu was then criticised by Mona Sahlin, the party leader of his own party, the Social Democrats. “The Jews deserve to have strong support, and you should never confuse the debate about anti-Semitism and Zionism,” Sahlin said to news agency TT. “There were some unfortunate statements by Ilmar which came to be perceived that way,” Sahlin adds. “I have asked him to have a proper dialogue with the Jewish community in Malmö so that it is sorted out”. That dialogue was held today, on Reepalu's initiative.

Not informed

“We should have had this meeting a long time ago. I have not been sufficiently informed about the seriousness of the situation”, Mayor Reepalu said after the meeting with people from the city's Jewish congregation. For one and a half hours Reepalu talked with the congregation chairman Fred Kahn and Information Officer Frederick Sieradzki. “Words of seriousness have been exchanged. But we had a good discussion climate and could be very honest with each other," Fred Kahn said afterwards. The parties also willingly allowed themselves to be photographed together. Reepalu admitted that he has not known enough about the Jewish population's vulnerability in the city. Now he has received facts from both the police and the Jewish congregations own security people. He says he is ready to act. A letter will be sent to all local authorities with the call to be vigilant against signs of anti-Semitism or xenophobia. Kahn and Sieadzki welcomed the initiative with a cautious comment. “This is the beginning of a process. We'll see where it leads.”


Friday, 26 February 2010

The Battle And Legacy of Cable Street, No Pasaran! (They Shall Not Pass)

I have decided to post a brilliant animated video about “The Battle Of Cable Street” that has won many international awards but has largely been ignored by the anti-Fascist movements in the UK. And it really does need more publicity.

The video is followed by a short documentary called “the Legacy of Cable Street”.

But then I also realised that many people might know the history of the event.
The following item was originally posted on the BBC website in 2006 by Kate Reading,

Battle of Cable Street

By Kate Reading

Seventy years ago Londoners took the fight against fascism to the east end streets.
Cable Street is an unassuming, run of the mill street in the heart of Whitechapel.
Walking along it today it would be difficult to believe that anything extraordinary had ever happened there.
But On Oct 4th 1936, over 250,000 ordinary east enders, took to the streets to fight their own war against fascism. The ensuing clashes became known as "The Battle of Cable Street".
Europe was in the grip of Fascism. Both Germany and Italy were led by dictators and civil war had broken out in Spain, after a fascist uprising.

Britain had the British Union of Fascist (BUF) headed by the glamorous and charismatic Sir Oswald Mosley and his blackshirts.
The BUF had been terrorising Jews throughout the East End. On Oct 4th they planned to march through Stepney, an area with the largest Jewish population in England.
Despite petitions from local Jewish groups the Conservative government refused to ban the march.
The blackshirts assembled at Gardner’s Corner, a famous department store in Aldgate, known as the gateway to the east End.

Their way was blocked by thousands of demonstrators, made up of communists, Jews, dockers and labourers from the local community.
They flooded the narrow streets, making them impassable. They carried banners and chanted "They Shall Not Pass" a slogan adopted from the Spanish Republicans.
A lone tram driver stopped his tram in the middle of a junction blocking the blackshirts way. The driver then got out and walked off.
Barricades had been erected in the side streets to stop the march getting past. Over 10,000 police officers had been drafted in and they mounted constant baton charges to try and clear the streets.

Four thousand officers on horseback joined the charges, as the anti-fascists fought back with chair legs, marbles and stones.
In Cable Street a hasty barricade was erected, made of mattresses, furniture, planks of wood from a local builders yard and even a lorry.
Women in houses along the street contributed by hurling rotten vegetables, rubbish, bottles and the contents of chamber pots onto the police as they attempted to dismantle the barricade.
Finally, the police gave in and told Mosley to march back through the deserted City of London streets to The Embankment. There was jubilation and partying in the streets of the East End.

Once the dust had settled over 150 people had been arrested and some were sentenced to hard labour. There were reports of police brutality suffered while in custody and 100 people were injured including police officers, women and children.
In the following months the government passed The Public Order Act of 1936 forbidding the wearing of political uniforms in public. After the battle of Cable Street, BUF popularity of was never the same. A remarkable story from an unremarkable street.
Today, a red plaque and a mural on the Side of St George’s Hall are the only visible signs that anything momentous ever occurred here. But they stand as a quiet testament to the power of ordinary people.
The following video is called the Battle of Cable Street and was made by yoyosegal
Winner of best HD film at DC shorts and official selection at Chicago Int, Palm Springs, Encounters, LA Shorts Fest and many more.

Yoyosegal also made the following short documetary.
Ubby Cowan helped orchestrate the Battle of Cable Street on October 4th 1936. The event was a mass demonstration to stop Mosley and his Black-shirt fascists from marching through Stepney, East London spreading their message of rascism and hate. This film is a short doc telling Ubby's story


The French state railway network has been accused of racism after asking passengers to report Romanians to security staff following a spate of thefts. A safety information notice posted in SNCF trains in southwest France warned of “problems with Romanians” and said that “numerous thefts of luggage have been noticed”. In terms reminiscent of the Italian Government’s onslaught against alleged Romanian criminals, the message told passengers to be “doubly vigilant” and added that “all acts by Romanians must be reported”. The signs were denounced by the writer Mouloud Akkouche, who at first thought that they were a bad joke by a local prankster. He said he was stunned to discover that they were the work of the SNCF’s passengers safety unit. The revelation brought a furious reaction from Romanians living in France. Roumanophilie, a Franco-Romanian internet site, said that French railways were “turning to anti-Romanian racism”. As the controversy threatened to sour relations between Paris and Bucharest, the SNCF issued an apology, blaming the “unfortunate expression” on an individual guard and saying that the signs had been taken down as soon as executives in Paris had been alerted. “This should not have happened,” a statement said. “An internal inquiry is under way to determine how it occurred.” A spokesman said that no one had rung the security hotline to report Romanians after reading the notice.
The sign relit a debate that has never gone away in France over the wisdom of allowing Romania to enter the European Union — seen as an error by a substantial slice of French public opinion. It also unleashed a wave of anti-Romanian sentiment on French websites, with one user, for instance, saying: “Everyone knows that they send children to steal from tourists and travellers. “Police catch them every day but must release them because they are minors.” French newspapers regularly report alleged criminal acts by Romanian gangs. They said last month that eight Romanian children aged between 12 and 17 had been arrested for allegedly stealing a total of €20,000 (£18,000) from people withdrawing money from cash dispensers in the Paris region. Last year the media noted the arrest of a Romanian gang suspected of stealing from supermarkets on the French Riviera. In 2008 a French sports journalist was reprimanded by the Higher Audiovisual Council for describing Romanians as “chicken thieves” during a football match between France and Romania. Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, has been accused of stigmatising Romanians in Italy after blaming them for the country’s crime wave.
The Times Online


London Mayor Boris Johnson has been urged to ensure a landmark report into racism in the police remains independent. Questions have been raised about the final draft of a long-overdue review of racial discrimination and equality at the Metropolitan Police. The report follows a series of public meetings where senior officers, experts and advisers were quizzed about cultural change, promotion and training. It has emerged that the final draft will be written up by officials at the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which is also under scrutiny. The MPA's Jenny Jones questioned the arrangement, which she suggests may have come about in order to keep costs down. "Bringing it in-house sends out a signal that the mayor is not taking the issues of racism and equality in the police seriously enough. Questions are being raised about the mayor's commitment to use his funds to promote equality, as Africa Day funding has reportedly been dropped and the funding for Black History month greatly reduced," she said. Her comments came after one of four panellists, Bob Purkiss, charged with compiling the work stood down and asked for his name to be removed from the report. Mr Purkiss said the decision to use MPA staff "infuriated" the panel and said he doubted the ability of the report to be self-critical. He also criticised delays in publishing the report and said he has completed inquiries into "whole countries" in less time. The review was ordered by Mr Johnson when he took control of the MPA and kicked out Sir Ian Blair in October 2008 - he has since stood down from his MPA role. It came amid a row about claims of racism among the highest ranks of London police. The £100,000 inquiry held a series of public meetings last year and heard evidence from current police chief Sir Paul Stephenson and his predecessor. But it has fallen behind schedule amid consistent rumours of backstage wrangling between the panel and senior City Hall figures.

press association


The Czech Republic justice minister says football fans must behave or face being banned from attending matches for violent and race-related incidents. Speaking on Wednesday ahead of the resumption of the Czech's top league this weekend after a winter break, Daniela Kovarova said fans could be banned from stadiums for up to 10 years under a new penal code. Authorities said the measure, modeled on a similar one applied in Britain, was in place to curb violence and racism in Czech stadiums. Sparta Prague was forced to play a Champions League match against Arsenal in 2005 with a third of its stadium closed because of the racist behaviour of its fans. UEFA also fined Sparta on that occasion but Prague's Jewish representatives complained later that anti-Semitic chants had not stopped.

The Associated Press


A check focusing on extremism in the Czech military revealed a soldier who had tattoos of Nazi symbols on his body, the commercial Nova TV reported Wednesday, adding that the man has been accused. The military commanders have already recommended that the soldier be stripped of his rank and sacked from the army, Jana Ruzickova, spokeswoman for the General Staff, told Nova. The man had the motto of the SS units, Meine Ehre Heist Treue (My Honour is Loyalty), tattooed on his back. He also wore a necklace with a ring with engraved swastikas. The check focusing on extremism was ordered some two months ago after it was revealed that two Czech soldiers deployed within the Afghan mission wore helmets with Nazi symbols. Both soldiers were dismissed and their commander was punished. Last November, another Czech soldier co-founded and trained a neo-Nazi organisation that was preparing terrorist attacks on power plants and kidnappings of "Jews in high posts" and the police.



Some 200 Gypsies and others are protesting comments by Romania's foreign minister suggesting some Gypsies, or Roma, were born criminals. Protesters gathered Wednesday in front of the government offices in Bucharest held banners that read "If we are Roma, then we are criminals." They also chanted "Down with racism," and "Resignation." Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi earlier this month suggested during a meeting with French state secretary Pierre Lellouche that criminality among Gypsies was a biological trait. He later acknowledged the comments "did not adequately convey the message the minister wanted." Romania has up to 2 million Gypsies, most of them living in poverty and facing deep discrimination.

The Associated Press

Peter Hain warns of "complacency" in face of far-right threat (UK)

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has warned against "complacency" in the face of what he called "racist, fascist" organisations.

Mr Hain said all of Wales must stand together to resist the likes of the Welsh Defence League (WDL) and the British National Party (BNP).
During a Commons debate on Welsh affairs he praised communities which had opposed far-right demonstrations,
Both the BNP and the WDL have denied being racist organisations.
In October last year, about 200 people gathered to protest about a demonstration against Islamic extremism by the Welsh Defence League (WDL) in Swansea.
It led to the cancellation of another planned WDL protest in Newport later that month.
Mr Hain said: "The people of Wales have resolved that the rise of racist, fascist organisations must be stopped.
"These far-right groups first tried it on in Swansea, then abandoned their vile demonstration plans in Newport and Wrexham in the face of decent, concerted community action.
"But we must not be complacent. Whenever the so-called Welsh Defence League and the British National Party threaten our decent, tolerant communities in Wales we must all stand together to resist them."
A wide-ranging debate also found Mr Hain claiming government schemes had helped Wales weather a "very tough" recession.

He also accused the Conservatives of being "evasive and unfair" in relation to Wales and said if elected they would hold an emergency budget by which Wales would be the "biggest casualty" in terms of cuts.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan rejected that claim as "hypothetical rubbish", argued Labour had "let Wales down" by losing control of Wales' finances and claimed her party would tackle the deficit.
She said: "Labour's legacy is the loss of nearly 50,000 manufacturing jobs since 1998."
Ms Gillan said for devolution to work, politicians at Westminster and Cardiff must work together, so a Conservative Welsh Secretary and Prime Minister would make him or herself available to answer questions in the assembly on a regular basis.
Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price argued Wales needed to focus on developing manufacturing and science industries.
He added: "I'd like to see the World Expo, the World Fair come back to the UK some time soon. It hasn't been back in the UK since 1862... Why not bring it to Wales ? Why not have the Wales World Expo?"
According to Mr Price, a bid for the expo to come to Wales should be supported with central government expenditure.
Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire) called on the UK government to set a date for a referendum on further powers for the Welsh assembly before a general election.
He said: "I'm not clear... whether, if this was postponed and there was a Conservative government, whether that necessary procedure would be put in place."
Meanwhile, the Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire attacked the assembly government for failing to upgrade the main road through his constituency.
Stephen Crabb MP insisted the A40 is "woefully inadequate", especially considering that Wales needs to attract private investment.
The Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for motorways and trunk roads.
BBC News

Neo-Nazis Buy Palace In Eastern Europe to create a Nazi College?

Two prominent neo-Nazis have bought a crumbling 18th century palace in an eastern German village. The locals don't seem bothered about the prospect of far-right neighbors, but regional authorities are worried that the property will be turned into a neo-Nazi training center.

Trebnitz palace, an austere-looking manor built at the start of the 18th century, has seen better days. Weeds grow out of its gray stone facade, many of its windows are broken and the stone staircase to the main entrance is crumbling.
The former seat of the aristocratic Rauchhaupt family stands empty in the village of Trebnitz, some 20 miles southwest of the eastern German city of Leipzig. At one point it was a retirement home. Soon, young neo-Nazis might be moving in, after two leading figures in Germany's far-right scene purchased the property for just €80,000 ($108,000) at an auction a few days ago.
The new owners are Thomas Wulff and Axel Schunk. Wulff has been convicted several times for incitement to racial hatred and displaying banned Nazi symbols. He calls himself "Steiner," in honor of a former officer of Hitler's murderous Waffen SS unit, and is a member of the executive of the far-right National Democratic Party. He was a close friend of Jurgen Rieger, the prominent neo-Nazi who died last year.
Schunk was a leading member of the far-right "Wiking" youth organization, which has since been banned. Asked by Spiegel Online what they plan to do with the property, both declined to comment.

Nazi College?

There's talk that Wulff and Schunk plan to use Trebnitz Palace as some sort of far-right training center. Authorities and local political parties are worried. The interior ministry of the state of Saxony-Anhalt suspects they want to Trebnitz into a place of "national importance for right-wing extremists," not least because of its favorable location close to the A14 autobahn. The region seems to be a focal point for neo-Nazis. The NPD youth organization "Junge Nationale" recently moved its headquarters to the nearby town of Bernburg, and some leading eastern German extremists live in the area.
Neo-Nazis have tried to purchase properties in other towns around Germany in recent years, but their attempts were usually thwarted by local resistance.
The people of Trebnitz, though, don't seem overly concerned about their new neighbors. Many refused to talk to journalists. One man walking his young daughter down a street pointed out that right-wing extremists had owned the building once before.

Red Tape, Watchful Authorities Could Thwart Plans
Steffen Hupka, a local neo-Nazi, wanted to convert the palace into a far-right center in 2001 and tried to make friends with the villagers by throwing a large party. But nothing came of the plan and the building has fallen into disrepair in the last few years. Locals believe it would take hundreds of thousands of euros to make the palace usable.
Even if the new owners have the cash, Wulff and Schunk face some tough administrative hurdles before they can realize their plans, whatever those may be. The palace is under monument protection, and they will have to submit a detailed concept for its use if they are to have any hope of getting planning permission. That can take a very long time in Germany, especially if the owners are frowned upon. The Interior Ministry and Germany's domestic intelligence service have pledged to keep a very close eye on who goes in and out of the building.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel Online staff writer Florian Gathmann, reporting from Trebnitz, Germany, spiegel online

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Russian court sentences neo-Nazi "White Wolves" to up to 23 years in prison for killings

A Russian court has sentenced nine ultranationalists to up to 23 years in jail for a series of hate-motivated killings.
The Moscow City Court said in a statement Thursday that 12 mostly underage neo-Nazis who called themselves "White Wolves" have been charged with 11 murders and one assault since April 2007.
It said a jury found nine of them guilty of six murders and one assault.
The group was formed on Adolf Hitler's birthday to "exterminate" non-Russians.
Its participants fatally stabbed Central Asians and other non-Slavs with dark skin or Asian features. They often videotaped the attacks and posted them online.
Russia has experienced a surge of racist assaults, xenophobia and neo-Nazism in recent years.

Neo-Nazi cleared by Latvian court

The Supreme Court of Latvia has overturned a two-year sentence to a certain Andris Jordans, convicted in 2008 a year after he declared himself the Fuhrer of a neo-Nazi campaign for ethnic cleansing. He glorified the Nazi Holocaust and called the Jews and the Gypsies scam which he would gladly deal with by mowing them down with a machine gun.

Symptomatically, the authorities defended him as a law-abiding gent with full entitlement to the freedom of expression and did not prosecute him before being urged to do so by the United Nations.
So what now for the cleared Mr Jordans?
We hear about this from the Latvian Euro-MP Tatyana Zhdanok.
Mr Jordans and his likes are regulars at reunions and commemorations held by former Latvian members of the Nazi SS.
The rhetoric at such gatherings exposes the participants as unreformed Nazis".
Unfortunately, the scourge is not confined to Latvia. Ahead of independence anniversary celebrations in neighbouring Estonia, for example, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has awarded service medals to five wartime collaborators with the Nazis.
Sixty five years after its defeat on the battlefield, Nazism is still going strong in certain parts of Europe.

This you???? : Phishing attack hits Twitter users

(Editorial note: We don’t normally post items of this nature but there appears to be a large number of social networking users having their accounts compromised at the moment, so we thought we would post this report on one way it can happen.)

Messages asking "This you????" followed by a link are being sent via the system to unsuspecting users. If you click on the link you are taken to a fake Twitter login page, where hackers are just waiting for you to hand over your credentials. In fact, they can automatically post the phishing message from your account as soon as you hand over your details.

If you have received a message like this from one of your friends it is likely that their account has been compromised by cybercriminals.
It's bad enough if hackers gain control of your Twitter account, but if you also use that same password on other websites (and our research shows that 33% of people do that all of the time) then they could access your Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, eBay, Paypal, and so forth.

So, be cautious about the links you click on, choose a strong password, and - if you have found that you're spreading suspicious messages from your Twitter account or believe that you have been compromised - change your passwords immediately.
You should also check your Twitter account and check the Settings/Connections screen. If there are any third party applications you don't recognise listed there, revoke their permission to access your account.

Here's a video about how it works.

It's bad enough if hackers gain control of your Twitter account, but if you also use that same password on other websites (and our research shows that 33% of people do that all of the time) then they could access your Gmail, Hotmail, Facebook, eBay, Paypal, and so forth.
So, be cautious about the links you click on, choose a strong password, and - if you have found that you're spreading suspicious messages from your Twitter account or believe that you have been compromised - change your passwords immediately.
You should also check your Twitter account and check the Settings/Connections screen. If there are any third party applications you don't recognise listed there, revoke their permission to access your account.


Google Italy ruling threatens YouTube pursuit of profitability

Clear implication of Milan court's judgment against three executives is that every hosted video should be pre-screened
The judgment by a Milan court against Google's employees throws a bucketful of sand into the machinery of YouTube, the video site that the search engine company bought for $1.65bn in October 2006. The clear implication of its decision is that every video should be screened before it is put on to the site – and with more than 20 hours of video uploaded every minute worldwide (Google does not break down the figure for Italy), monitoring all that content, even for a single country, could prove enormously expensive.
That in turn would put profitability for the site – which is thought to have lost between $100m and $500m in 2009 – further away than ever. YouTube has never made an operating profit in its five-year history, and Google has been trying to sell adverts on videos to make the site profitable.
Italy recently seems to have taken a more extreme stance over internet content than many other European countries. Its tax authorities have demanded that eBay should hand over information about its customers relating to goods sold on the site between 2004 and 2007; Yahoo was fined €12,000 last year after Milan's public prosecutor demanded information about private emails sent by suspected criminals; and the Italian interior ministry has required Facebook to hand over personal information about users who created groups said to "glorify" Mafia bosses, and again last October over a group said to promote the violent death of Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister.
Today's judgment found three Google executives – David Drummond, Google's senior vice-president of corporate development and chief legal officer, Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, and George Reyes, a former chief financial officer – guilty of invasion of privacy following the uploading to Google Video in September 2006 of footage of four Italian teenagers bullying a youth with Down's syndrome. The premise is that Google is responsible for any content that appears on its site.
Google said on its blog that the ruling "attacks the very principles of freedom on which the internet is built". The company had argued that because it removed the video immediately after being notified of its content, and co-operated with the Italian authorities to identify the bullies so they could be brought to justice, it had discharged its duty. It said hosting platforms – such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter – did not create their own content and so could not be held responsible for what other people upload.
Google is already fighting a number of legal actions over content on YouTube. The largest is from the entertainment company Viacom, which has accused the site of "contributory infringement" and other offences for carrying videos uploaded by users containing Viacom's copyrighted material.
The Italian decision creates a monumental headache for Google, which is already under pressure in Europe after the announcement last night that it faces an anti-monopoly investigation into whether it penalises competing websites in its search rankings. If it has to monitor every video before it appears on YouTube, that would push its costs up substantially: people are a comparatively expensive link in any business chain, which is why Google has sought to replace them with computers where possible.
The censoring of websites has become a hot issue in Italy in recent months, following a spate of hate sites against officials, including Berlusconi. The government briefly studied plans to black-out such sites after fan pages emerged praising an attack on the premier, but the idea was dropped after executives from Facebook, Google and Microsoft agreed to a shared code of conduct rather than legislation.

The Guardian

Facebook urged to act after memorial sites defaced (Australia)

Cyber attacks on Facebook pages set up to pay tribute to two murdered Australian children has prompted calls for the social networking site to be more accountable for its users.
Social media experts say it is natural that people who use sites such as Facebook or MySpace as a major form of communication should turn to these sites with personal tragedies.
These memorial sites often attract thousands of friends and well-wishers, as in the case of the pages set up after the deaths this month of Elliott Fletcher, 12, and Trinity Bates, 8.
Students from Brisbane College in the state of Queensland flocked to a memorial site set up after Fletcher was stabbed in a schoolyard fight two weeks ago, but it was defaced with offensive comments and images including child pornography and bestiality.
The same happened to a site set up in memory of Bates who was taken from her bed in Bundaberg, Queensland, with her body found in a nearby storm drain on Monday. A teenager accused of her murder was also revealed to be a Facebook friend of her parents.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has appealed to the owners of U.S.-based Facebook to find ways to stop a recurrence of these types of "sickening incidents".
"To have these things happen to Facebook pages set up for the sole purpose of helping these communities pay tribute to young lives lost in the most horrible ways adds to the grief already being experienced," Bligh wrote in a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg which was released to the media.
"I seek your advice about whether Facebook can do anything to prevent a recurrence of these types of sickening incidents.
A spokesman for Bligh said the premier had yet to receive a response from Zuckerberg.
But Facebook spokeswoman Debbie Frost said the site had rules to check content and reviewers were quick to respond to any reports of hate or threats against an individual, pornography, or violent photos or videos, and would remove the content, and either warn or disable the accounts of those responsible.
"Facebook is highly self-regulating, and users can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive," Frost said in a statement.
She said in the tragic case of Elliott Fletcher, Facebook responded to reports of vandalism from others users and the police by removing the groups and disabling the accounts of the people responsible but that was about all the action possible.
"It is simply not possible to 'prevent' a person with a sinister agenda from undertaking offensive activity anywhere on the Internet where people can post content. Nor is it really possible in real life," Frost added.
Detective Superintendent Peter Crawford of Queensland police said people should think twice before setting up such social networking groups. As well as memorial sites, Facebook pages popped up vilifying the man accused of murdering Bates.
"I would say anybody thinking about putting these sites up in the future need to realise that they're going to attract these kinds of people," Crawford told radio station Fairfax Radio 4BC.
"The reality is once you open these sites up to open access to anyone on the Internet, you are going to attract unsavoury people and clearly that's occurred again."


Alleged Nazi Zentai appeals extradition (Australia)

An alleged Nazi war criminal living in Australia has appealed to the Human Rights Commission in a bid to avoid extradition to his native Hungary.

The lawyer for Charles (Karoly) Zentai this week asked commission President Catherine Branson to intervene, the Australian Associated Press reported Tuesday, on the grounds that there was no guarantee that Hungary could ensure a fair trial, especially in the absence of witnesses.
Zentai, 88, of Perth, is facing allegations in Hungary that he helped murder Jewish teenager Peter Balasz in Budapest in November 1944.
Zentai has vehemently denied the claim since he was first arrested by Australian Federal Police in 2005 after a Simon Wiesenthal Center investigation helped flushed out information on his whereabouts.
The Human Rights Commission cannot supersede the legal processes of Zentai’s extradition but could help Zentai pay for his legal fight against extradition.
Zentai's appeal is scheduled to begin March 31 in Perth Federal Court.