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Microsoft is Dying Quickly, Desperately Trying to Turn Into Surveillance Behemoth

Posted in Microsoft at 4:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘new Microsoft’ is smaller and more malicious


Summary: Microsoft is dying a lot more quickly than most people ever imagined and there are numerous data points that demonstrate this

SEVERAL years ago, back when Android was in the process of becoming the dominant platform (based on Linux and liberally licensed), we gradually reduced the level of Microsoft coverage. Microsoft was already — quite inevitably — in a state of decline and on its way out. Losses too were being reported.

Microsoft has just pretty much given up on phones/mobile, despite it being the undisputed growth market (even desktop/laptop OEMs are reportedly reinventing themselves to cater for that). Microsoft is now trying the infamous “embrace, extend, extinguish” strategy against Android/Linux and against BSD. Swapnil Bhartiya, remarking on the OpenBSD news, says that “Microsoft’s contribution to OpenBSD comes at an interesting time because Microsoft recently announced it is planning to cut up to 7,800 jobs and the reports are rife that their own Windows Phone platform is dead.”

“Perhaps Microsoft bets on mass surveillance — not operating systems — as its future business model.”It has been dead for quite some time. They just didn’t manage to ever resurrect anything, even after they had injected billions of dollars (in losses) into it. “Windows Phone likely dead as Microsoft sacks 7,800 employees,” says the headline from The Independent. Microsoft has basically given up on the future. The Independent claims that “Microsoft might have killed its plans to make its own phone after it sacked 7,800 staff and said it would take huge charges.”

Well, Microsoft never made its own phone. It’s just a branding exercise. Google makes no phones, either, it just has hardware partners.

The core market of Microsoft Windows is declining, still (based on the Microsoft-friendly Gartner Group) and the phone business (growth market) is ever more elusive for Microsoft because “Windows Phone” (or whatever Microsoft chooses to rename it to) is basically dead.

Worry not, however, as Microsoft is trying to tell us that it reinvents itself as a ‘cloud’ company, giving yet more data (as well as proprietary software) to its big ally, the NSA. Skype is back in the news because it’s a special target of the NSA, based on additional leaks [1,2] and over at IDG we find just Skype ads by Microsoft MVP J. Peter Bruzzese. Perhaps Microsoft bets on mass surveillance — not operating systems — as its future business model. Are any fools willing to let Microsoft host services for them? Does anyone actually believe that “Microsoft loves Linux”? Not even the company’s CEO believe this lie (told publicly by himself).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. NSA’s XKeyscore may be collecting your Skype, webcam and router data

    The service utilizes more than 700 servers located in multiple nations, and apparently the US is not the only one using it.

  2. NSA’s XKeyscore collects router data, Skype conversations, webcam images

    That includes pictures, documents, voice calls, webcam photos, web searches, advertising analytics traffic, social media traffic, botnet traffic, logged keystrokes, computer network exploitation (CNE) targeting, intercepted username and password pairs, file uploads to online services, VOIP streams taken from Skype sessions, and more.

European Censorship: Tyrants of the EPO Blacklist Techrights, Web Site Not Accessible Office-Wide

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free speech? That would be too scientific for ringleader Battistelli.

Benoit Battistelli

Summary: The management of the EPO — not to be confused with scientists such as patent examiners — shows utter disregard for Free speech and chooses to forcibly silence its opposition rather than counter its message (refutation may not be possible)

THE INFAMOUS RING of Battistelli is digging itself deeper into the grave. We have already reported confirmed censorship by the EPO [1, 2]. This kind of fruitless censorship may not be news anymore; however, we have just found out that the EPO blacklisted our Web site a couple of days ago. They have begun domain-based censorship, as if they are the US Navy trying to keep troops misinformed and brainwashed. If they are willing to go as far as blocking the whole site and we also know that they put the site under very extensive surveillance, then who knows, maybe they are indirectly behind all those DDOS attacks too. The Hacking Team leaks show that a lot of very powerful institutions shamelessly engage in cracking and DDOS attacks by proxy, ‘as a service’ so to speak. We have hardly had such problems until we started covering the EPO scandals (we hadn’t had DDOS attacks against us since around 2009, so that’s about half a decade DDOS-free until around the very moment we wrote exclusively about the scandals last summer). Our EPO wiki has the timeline.

A source told us that “since yesterday” (the day before yesterday) Techrights is not all all accessible from the EPO. There is more about it in the latest comments on this article from one month ago. “By the way,” writes one person, “the website techrights.org has been blacklisted today, for access from inside the EPO” (this was said 2 days ago).

“Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn’t too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what’s being hidden).”One person responds: “Only now? Can’t imagine that anyone has dared to try recently. Self-censorship is a powerful tool. I don’t even look at ipkat from the EPO! You don’t want to be caught in possession of any anti-BB thoughts.”

Another person writes: “I can confirm that Techrights is not accessible anymore from within the Office.


Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn’t too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what’s being hidden). Some parts of the US government (e.g. US Navy) tried this against Wikileaks, but people can still access the ‘naughty’ site from home (after work). The only way to prevent access to the site universally is DDOS attacks and/or cracking.

This is basically an admission of defeat; the EPO’s management is unable to counter the facts or sue for defamation (because the statements are correct and are even supported by European courts), so they are just trying to gag the messengers. China does it with the infamous DDOS ‘cannons’ (see press reports the recent DDOS attacks against GitHub, which was used to host mirrors of stories that the Great Firewall of China cannot ever effectively suppress). The EPO is trying a desperate and counter-productive censorship strategy as well. It’s going to backfire; people cannot respect an employer who actively censors and spies on employees, especially if it’s done in order to prevent the employees from finding out the truth about the employer. To make matters worse, Battistelli et al. attack journalists, not just staff. It’s a form of shameless sabotage.

I have repeatedly asked Amazon where to serve legal papers to and Amazon refuses to even answer. They guard DDOS and have officially taken a “do not reply” approach after their machines had been attacking my site and caused a lot of damage (recent attacks on my sites caused even database corruption several times recently, with repairs taking hours, let aside disruption to service).

The EPO has been targeting Techrights in a variety of confirmed ways (censorship, surveillance, and maybe more); the only attack vector that’s hard to concretely prove is DDOS, but we are going to pursue this pretty soon. SUEPO already initiated an investigation after it had come under cyber attacks. If anyone knows anything about it and has some documents that can prove it, please make an effort to anonymously send it to us. Transmission using Tor and an empty E-mail account can do the trick. We have never let down or betrayed a source (in our decade-old history with many whistleblowers). Potential sources and also the principal target audience are sadly unable to access this site from work anymore.

Links 11/7/2015: Purism Librem 13 Reviewed, KDE Frameworks 5.12.0 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Why I code and don’t get paid for it

    An Australian high school graduate today has experience with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint, and not much else. They are ready for your Windows-centered workplace, Mr. Employer!

  • MIT Introduces Supercomputers to Accumulo

    When the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. released the Accumulo project into open source territory in 2008, there were not a lot of details about the size and capability of the hardware it was running, although it is safe to say that the NSA found ways to make it scale across some of their larger machines. However, as one might imagine, scale alone did not define a successful NSA database system—the security also had to be robust and guaranteed.

  • NSA releases network security tool — will IT admins use it?

    The NSA has released a network security tool that it claims is designed to help organizations “fortify their networks against cyber attacks”. But, after being revealed to be spying on just about anyone it wants to, from US citizens to leaders of allied governments, while undermining major tech firms in the process, IT administrators will likely be very skeptical of adopting it.

  • Wow, another NSA leak: Network security code appears on GitHub

    The NSA today revealed it has uploaded source code to GitHub to help IT admins lock down their networks of Linux machines.

    The open-source software is called the System Integrity Management Platform (SIMP). It is designed to make sure networks comply with US Department of Defense security standards, but the spy agency says it can be adapted by admins to meet individual security needs as well.

  • HashiCorp launches Atlas–a powerful suite of open source DevOps tools
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Encryption 2.0 Targets Tighter Security

      Encryption 2.0 features a brand new set of encryption capabilities. Notably, ownCloud claims the new release includes enhancements that will enable up to a 4X performance for uploads and downloads, as well as improved scalability through efficient handling of massive parallel requests, enabling support for 50 percent more users per ownCloud server instance.

    • ownCloud Chunking NG Part 2: Announcing an Upload

      Most notably the server does not know the target filename of the uploaded file upfront. Also it does not know the final size or mimetype of the target file. That is not a problem in general, but imagine the following situation: A big file should be uploaded, which would exceed the users quota. That would only become an error for the user once all uploads happened, and the final upload directory is going to be moved on the final file name.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


    • Richard Stallman ‘basically’ has no problem with the NSA using GNU/Linux

      It’s Stallman’s philosophy that ‘a program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it’ — and that includes the NSA.

    • Tin Hats Ready, RMS No Problems Linux Used for Evil

      Security and privacy seemed to be my theme this week and tonight’s news brings more. Richard Stallman, “software freedom fighter,” told Swapnil Bhartiya, “A program must not restrict what jobs its users do with it.” In related news, the same RMS was included in the Business Insider “12 most influential programmers working today” list. Back to the NSA, Michael Larabel said you should be wearing tin foil hats if you’re worried about them working on KDBUS. The NSA also uploaded code to Github for sysadmins to “lock down” their Linux machines.

    • Here are the 12 most influential programmers working today

      The apps and games you use every day don’t exist in a vacuum — someone, somewhere, wrote the code.

  • Licensing

    • Open source licensing at GitHub

      Open source licensing is important to GitHub in two ways: First, as the host of the world’s largest collection of code, we have a unique opportunity—and arguably an obligation based on that opportunity—to do what we can to support the open source community, and that obviously includes open source licensing. Second, as a company built on open source, it’s important that the open source code we depend on and the code we contribute to the open source community are both properly licensed so that others can use it. After all, that’s the point of open source.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • TurboFan: Google’s New V8 JavaScript Compiler

      Over on the Chromium Blog is a new posting about the work Google is doing on a new JavaScript compiler for V8 in Chrome, codenamed TurboFan.

      TurboFan is their new compiler that has started to be used for certain types of code since Chrome 41 but will be used for more code in future web browser updates. TurboFan is designed to be faster than their previous compiler (CrankShaft) while allowing for new features and functionality.

  • Standards/Consortia



EPO Appointments: Standards of a Third World Country

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO incest

Summary: Rather than combat perception of corruption in appointments around Battistelli, the EPO does more to reinforce this perception

SUEPO has just published [PDF] “Mr Battistelli’s Inner Circle 2.0 – “the spontaneous generation” (09/07/2015)” and as the poster puts it (evident from the graph), “Mr Battistelli’s Inner Circle has evolved since 2014.”

Remember that all of these people receive astronomical (but undisclosed) salaries, sourced from European taxpayers.

Notice not only the professional relationships (bringing one’s old mates to protect oneself) but also the incestuous relationships. It’s like the Binay family (many people of the same family promoted to positions of power through corruption and money laundering). It’s akin to dynasty or royalty/monarchy. And this is the supposedly democratic European Union we’re talking about! It’s not about what you know but about who you know and who’s in your family. That is seemingly the promotion and hiring yardstick at today’s EPO. It’s not just "Balkan standards" but the standards of a third world country.

Corporate Media Frames Microsoft Layoffs as ‘Nokia Layoffs’, Despite Contradictory Facts

Posted in Microsoft at 6:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s ‘damage control’ strategy is working, as the media helps Microsoft disguise company-wide layoffs as layoffs at another company

“So that next firing cycle came today at Microsoft,” wrote Mr. Ahonen, a renowned Nokia expert. It’s about Microsoft. These are Microsoft layoffs and the latest layoffs should be described as such.

Commenting on this subject, some Finnish media chose to focus only on the Nokia aspect. “Microsoft has announced a new round of lay-offs,” it said, “and an ‘impairment charge’ associated with its acquisition of Finnish firm Nokia’s mobile phone business. Some 7,800 jobs are to go, mainly in the devices unit bought from Nokia.”

It also showed the impact on the Finnish government:

The Finnish government will submit a supplementary budget in September to lay out its plans to deal with the fallout from Microsoft’s plans to lay off some 2,300 people in Finland.

This is a bit misleading, however, as our sources indicate that the layoffs are far more wide-reaching than the mobile unit and Nokia. Some reader from Finland claims the publication above (both articles) to be Microsoft-connected in the staff sense (at a high level), so maybe there is an attempt to misdirect and distract. Watch how the Microsoft-friendly ToryGraph frames this as a “Nokia deal” thing. It’s not. Other British media says “Microsoft writes-off Nokia purchase”, but that’s not really the news, is it? The layoffs are news. Not single department is affected and Microsoft is short on details.

“It’s quite clearly a gross propaganda pattern and it has proven effective so far”Microsoft expects (and needs) people to think that Vista 10 will be great and Windows is in good shape whilst announcing these layoffs, so the effort to blame all the layoffs on mobile failure and “Nokia” is a good distraction ahead of Vista 10′s release.

Let us state this again: Microsoft suffers cuts at many divisions other than mobile. Don’t believe the media coverage which tries to blame all of Microsoft’s problems on that. It’s quite clearly a gross propaganda pattern and it has proven effective so far.

Alice Kills Software Patents Yet Again

Posted in America at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Affinity v. Direct TV case is the latest case to show how software patents can be invalidated, citing the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

UPLOADED just now is this decision [PDF] which shows how, yet again, Alice kills software patents. [hat tip: Patent Buddy]

This case involved the capital of patent trolls, Texas, and it it a case between Affinity and Direct TV. Alice is cited in page 5. “These categories are not patent-eligible,” says the document, then citing the Mayo case as well. SCOTUS is quoted as saying that “all inventions… embody, use, reflect, rest upon, or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas.” Let’s see how many Web sites run by patents lawyers even bother to mention this outcome…

Microsoft ​Cyanogen Hires ‘Former’ Microsoft Chief Technology Officer (of Google Competitor)

Posted in BSD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Image credit: Linux Veda

Summary: ​Cyanogen continues to expose itself for what it really is and who it is serving, owing to staff background

MICROSOFT took over not only Nokia, inciting it to attack Android (Nokia now attacks Android using patents) but also Cyanogen, the company whose agenda seems to now closely align with Microsoft’s. Many of its employees are based near Microsoft, but that’s not too shocking. It puts the NSA’s leading partner (Microsoft) right at the centre of AOSP whilst smearing Google, which developed AOSP and gave it away as Free software. We previously covered this in posts such as:

Microsoft’s proxy ​Cyanogen has just hired Microsoft’s Lawler, based on this article. What a surprise? Not! To quote CBS ZDNet: “Formerly Lawler was also chief technology officer of Microsoft’s Bing Maps…”

Microsoft’s strategy against Android has become utterly ugly as it includes patent extortion. Some of the media tries to nevertheless characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free software. The latest example is Windows (proprietary) promotion by payments to OpenBSD — a move that is criticised by FOSS Force, which says: “Of course, it isn’t revealed how much, in code, Microsoft is going to contribute going forward, but as long as the money is there…I guess the money is there.”

Microsoft keeps trying to use its money to disrupt Free software projects. It did this in 2006 with Novell (a GNU/Linux actor at the time) and it is still doing that with other companies or nonprofit entities. Cyanogen is one of these and OpenBSD hopefully has the moral strength to bite the new hand that feeds.

Links 10/7/2015: Calligra 2.9.6, Krita 2.9.6, CII Census Project

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Promoting the creation of open-source software in your business

    Furthermore, the influence of a Github portfolio should not be underestimated. This may seem skin-deep, but importance lies in the fact that a high-quality Github portfolio reflects time and energy spent curating one’s projects. For instance, a good Github project is well-documented, contains a well-written README (or overview) and is well-marketed online so as to gain approval throughout the community (via stars – similar to “likes” on Facebook). The skills required to create and maintain a high-quality project speak loudly.

  • RCom, Sistema Shyam take to open source software to cut costs

    Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Sistema Shyam Teleservices, also known as MTS India, are increasingly adopting open source software as it helps them significantly cut costs.

  • Reliance Communications, Sistema Shyam Teleservices adopting open source softwares to cut costs
  • Making better decisions in tech

    Michelle Brush will talk at OSCON this year about how engineers and architects in tech can make better decisions by understanding their environment. How? Through behavioral economics, a discipline that, in her words, straddles psychology and economics.

  • 5 lessons from the Open Help doc sprints

    Sprints are one of the most effective tools for building momentum and community around an open source documentation project. For the past four years, the Open Help Conference & Sprints has hosted doc sprints for a number of prominent open source projects, and often has been the first sprint venue for a project. Open Help celebrates its fifth year in 2015 with a venue upgrade and space for six doc sprints.

  • 5 open source alternatives to Google Docs

    When you deal with a lot of documents every day, whatever you write—whitepapers, manuals, presentations, different marketing materials, contracts, etc.—at a certain point (most commonly, at the final stage) you have to interact with different people, specifying and discussing details, proofreading and approving them.

  • The truth is just a download away: Why we need open source more than ever

    This is why we need open source more than ever, particularly in the underlying data infrastructure that undergirds the modern enterprise. You don’t need to take my word for it. You can download it. You can trust the code and your own experience.

    While the cardinal virtue of open source may be that anyone is free to modify/fork the code, the reality is that few actually do. But the first virtue—free and unfettered access to code—is powerfully important, too, and it’s the right that most people associate with open source.

  • The magic at work in an open organization

    I suppose it’s rather fitting that I’m mentioned twice in the book, because that’s how many times I’ve worked at Red Hat: initially from 2005 to 2007 (my first “real” job after college) and again from 2012 to the present. In the interim, I happened to write an article for Opensource.com, which ultimately ended up quoted in the book (on page 94).

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

  • Funding

    • UC Berkeley, Cal Poly Receive $6 Million for Open Source Project

      Project Jupyter, an open-source software project led by Fernando Perez of University of California, Berkeley and Brian Granger of California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo has been granted $6 million over the next three years. The grant will help expand Project Jupyter to support scientific computing and data science applications in more than 40 programming languages.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Nonprofit Case for an Common Data Standard

      In order to shift American culture and win our campaigns for social, environmental, and racial justice, we must have the best, latest tools available, and they need to be able to sync-up. As a communications professional who often gets roped into fundraising, website design, and other various aspects of nonprofit work, I’ve been searching for over a decade for the perfect set of tools to handle communications, marketing, and fundraising. It doesn’t exist.

    • Open Data

    • Open Hardware

      • French robot company raising money for open source companion robot “BUDDY”

        Jean-Michel Mourier, CTO of Blue Frog Robotics, wrote in an email to SD Times that, “About 80% of BUDDY will be open source. Today, all of the major components are open source: the brain of the robot, which controls navigation, facial expressions, object and voice recognition, interfaces that control interactions, learning, making connections as well as domotics. In addition, elements of BUDDY’s mechanics are open so that developers can build accessories.”

      • The Next Big Thing in Open-Source May Be Housing

        The open source essence of Beveridge’s idea is not unprecedented. In 2011, London design practice ‘00’ initiated WikiHouse, an open source project for designing and building houses that offers users the opportunity to download customizable Creative Commons-licensed plans. Using a method that has drawn comparisons to Ikea furniture, the building pieces are then cut from plywood by CNC routers and snapped together with wedge and peg connections, to be assembled onsite in less than a day.


  • Security

    • Another day, another OpenSSL patch

      The latest OpenSSL security hole isn’t a bad one as these things go. It’s no Heartbleed, Freak, or Logjam. But it’s serious enough that, if you’re running alpha or beta operating systems, you shouldn’t delay patching it.

      Fortunately, the affected OpenSSL versions are not commonly used in enterprise operating systems. For example, it doesn’t impact shipping and supported versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Ubuntu. In the case of Ubuntu, it does affect the 15.10 development release, but the patch is already available.

    • Census Project
    • Linux Foundation’s CII Now Assessing Open-Source Project Risk
    • Open Sourcing the Census Project

      The results are fascinating.The Census Project is very, very good at identifying projects which are still widely popular, but which are hardly maintained. This is the sweet spot for the Core Infrastructure Initiative to look into to try to identify lurking issues and help find a way to fix them before they become problems for our core infrastructure.

    • Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Launches New Census Project
    • CII’s Census Project to identify essential open-source projects

      The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) has announced a new project to help determine which open-source projects are critical to Internet infrastructure, and in need of additional support and funding. The Census Project is an experimental tool meant to gather metrics and prioritize projects for CII review.

    • OpenSSL Patches for ‘Boring’ Certificate Risk

      The open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library project came out today with a high-severity security advisory and patched a single vulnerability, identified as CVE-2015-1793. OpenSSL is a widely used technology that helps to enable Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption for Web data transport for both servers and end-user devices.

    • High severity bug found in OpenSSL raises fears of another Heartbleed

      A ‘HIGH SEVERITY’ BUG is currently unpatched in OpenSSL, the open source software used to encrypt internet communications, and a new version is due to be released on 9 July.

    • Critical OpenSSL bug allows attackers to impersonate any trusted server

      There’s a critical vulnerability in some versions of the widely used OpenSSL code library that in some cases allows attackers to impersonate cryptographically protected websites, e-mail servers, and virtual private networks, according to an advisory issued early Thursday morning.

    • OpenSSL’s Latest High Severity Issue Exposed

      We heard another big OpenSSL vulnerability would be announced soon and today it’s been made public: OpenSSL’s latest “high” severity security vulnerability.

    • OpenSSL Security Advisory [9 Jul 2015]
    • A new OpenSSL vulnerability

      The OpenSSL project has disclosed a new certificate validation vulnerability.

    • 8 penetration testing tools that will do the job

      If the probability of your assets being prodded by attackers foreign and domestic doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you, don’t read this article. If you’re operating in the same realm of reality as the rest of us, here’s your shot at redemption via some solid preventive pen testing advice from a genuine pro.

    • Could a Presidential Election be Hacked?

      Now that’s an intriguing question, isn’t it? Just about every other computerized process has proven to be vulnerable, and as voting becomes even more technology based, it becomes increasingly vulnerable as well. Computer systems are generic processing hosts, and to a computing platform, data is simply data. The fact that certain information tallies votes rather than credit card transactions does not make it any harder to hack. Moreover, the U.S. has a long history of documented voting fraud, so there’s no reason to assume that politicians, and their backers, have suddenly become paragons of virtue. Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

      When you come down to it, the only thing that’s different today is that altering votes might be easier, and that those motivated so do so may be harder to catch. So why aren’t we hearing more about that risk?

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The US is Now Confronted by the Same Sectarian Strife in the Middle East That It Fostered

      For years now, the global jihadist movement centered in the Middle East has been split into two broad factions, represented by the al-Qaeda franchise on the one hand, and the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) on the other. The latter is rooted, in part, in the Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad group founded by the Jordanian Bedouin Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which was once a rival of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Budget 2015: Benefit changes to hit 13m families, claims IFS

      Thirteen million UK families will lose an average of £260 a year due to Budget changes to working-age benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

      Tax credit changes could hit three million families, which are likely to lose an average of £1,000, it said.

      Even taking into account higher wages, people receiving tax credits would be “significantly worse off,” said Paul Johnson, director of the IFS.

    • Greek Ex-Finance Minister: Media Is Guilty Of “Terrorism”, Elite Think Democracy Is Irrelevant

      On Sunday, as we reported here, the Greek people voted NO to more loans and increased austerity measures by the ECB and IMF. It was a historic referendum result that revived that old-fashioned idea of democracy in a Europe now controlled by shady financial institutions and faceless international creditors. Winning a NO vote was an enormous victory for Greece’s ruling party Syriza, and yet shortly after the result, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned (full story here). He had hinted that anonymous, powerful people had forced him out of his job, and in this video Varoufakis makes some more comments that should make all of us feel quite nervous about the future of our political and economic systems.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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