NSA: What is there to be done?

Should we worry. No, we shouldn’t worry. We should be angry, because this is wrong, and it’s rude, and it should not be done. But that’s not going to really change the situation. What’s going to change the situation for the rest of the world is to try to steer away from systems built in the United States. And that’s much easier said than done. How do you do that? A single country, any single country in Europe cannot replace and build replacements for the U.S.-made operating systems and cloud services. But maybe you don’t have to do it alone. Maybe you can do it together with other countries. The solution is open source. By building together open, free, secure systems, we can go around such surveillance, and then one country doesn’t have to solve the problem by itself. It only has to solve one little problem. And to quote a fellow security researcher, Haroon Meer, one country only has to make a small wave, but those small waves together become a tide, and the tide will lift all the boats up at the same time, and the tide we will build with secure, free, open-source systems, will become the tide that will lift all of us up and above the surveillance state.

Watch the complete lecture “How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust — time to act”, given by Mikko Hypponen, dem Forschungsvorstand der finnischen IT-Sicherheitsfirma F-Secure. And Hypponen’s list for further watching – with fish.

Tallinn: Free Public Transport

reevolution_banner-600x145From the beginning of January, Tallinn is the first capital in the EU to provide free public transport to its citizens. To be entitled to freely use public transport in Tallinn, citizens of Tallinn have to purchase the so-called ‘green card’ (EUR 2) and personalise it. People from outside Tallinn can also buy the ‘green card’ which enables them to load the needed amount of money to use public transport. Since the implementation of free public transport, a significant increase of the number of registered Tallinners can be observed. Read more


Bitcoin: Bubble or Piratization of Central Bank Money?

Bitcoin-USD Exchange Rate today for the past year
Bitcoin-USD Exchange Rate today for the past year

In 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto invented a new electronic or virtual currency called Bitcoin, the design goal of which is to provide an equivalent of cash on the Internet. Rather than using banks or credit cards to buy stuff online, a Bitcoin user will install a piece of software, the Bitcoin client, on her computer and send Bitcoin directly to other users under a pseudonym. One simply enters into the software the pseudonym of the person one wishes to send Bitcoin and the amount to send and the transaction will be transmitted through a peer-to-peer network. What specifically one can get with Bitcoin is somewhat limited to the few hundred websites which accept them, but includes other currencies, web hosting, server hosting, web design, DVDs, coffee in some coffee shops, and classified adverts, as well as the ability to use online gambling sites despite being a US citizen and to donate to Wikileaks. However, what allowed Bitcoin to break into the mainstream – if only for a short period of time – is the Craigslist-style website “Silk Road” which allows anyone to trade Bitcoin for prohibited drugs. Continue Reading

New Book: Basic Income

Basic Income is a policy idea that could help us revolutionise the way we organise society. This book is the first proper guide to basic income — what it is, how we can organise it, and how it can benefit the majority in different spheres of their lives. Read more at the publishing house.

A reviewer writes:

Raventos concludes that BI can effectively confront most of the evils of poverty and equality, and provide the material conditions for freedom. The real point of any guaranteed income is to allow a true democracy. Raventos’ book is worth reading by Canadian advocates of a Citizen’s Income for that, and because we need to understand the European movement for a Basic Income, and the debates around it. Raventos gives us a good grounding, free of the over intellectualising that impairs most European writing on BI. More

What you should know about DRM

Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is a technology that affects all users of computers, media players, mobile phones and other devices. DRM affects you. You may have seen it discussed as “Digital Rights Management” (DRM) or “Technological Protection Measures” (TPM). These terms suggest what DRM proponents believe to be the use and justification of Digital Restrictions Management, but hide what the technology must do to achieve this end: Imposing third-party restrictions on the users of a computer or other device, with or without the users consent. The Campaign DRM.info tries to show how DRM affects your life. It aims to boycott DRM-based devices and to protest against DRM initiatives.

The selling off of people’s commons

In the 1980s, and especially in the 1990s, the European countries went through a phase of privatization, which radically reduced the reach of the post-WWII welfare state. The rationale for such an exercise varied, as did the forms of privatization across sectors, countries and time. … The public debt crisis has deepened this shift in favour of private sector interests, as the Greek experience amply demonstrates. … The Economic Adjustment Programme, accompanying the bail-out, contains a detailed privatization plan by type of asset, mode of sale and expected sales proceeds over the period 2010-2015, the time span of the Programme. A target of proceeds equal to €50 billion has been set. … In this sense, the current thrust is a determined attempt to sell off what remains of the Greek people’s commons. Read further in LuXemburg Magazine

New Book from FORBA

New Book from PIQUE inside FORBA:

“Public services throughout Europe have undergone dramatic restructuring processes in recent years in connection with liberalization and privatization. While evaluations of the successes of public services have focused on prices and efficiency, much less attention has been paid to the impacts of liberalization and privatization on employment, labor relations, and working conditions. This book addresses this gap by illustrating the ways in which liberalization has contributed to increasing private and foreign ownership of public services, the decentralization of labor relations has amplified pressure on wages, and decreasing employment numbers and increasing workloads have improved productivity partly at the cost of service quality.”

Read more at Routledge

Stefan Merten about “Com’on!”

Stefan Merten reported to oekonux mailinglist from “Com’on!”:

“Last Saturday I attended the workshop “COM’ ON! – Die alte Eigentumswelt dreht sich”.

The workshop has been organized by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung which
is the foundation of the party “Die Linke” in Germany. “Die Linke” is
the socialist party in Germany. As far as I understood the Keimform
people co-organized this event.

Read more | ›››

International Workshop on “Free Public and Accessible Transports” in Berlin

Free public transport, accessible to everyone, can and will help to overcome social exclusion and resolve social, ecological and global problems in a democratic and sustainable manner. Public transport must be funded fairly based on a spirit of solidarity and that it therefore must be fought for. To achieve this, violence-free radicalism in defending, democratizing and appropriating public goods is indispensable.


For the first time in Greece a documentary produced by the audience. “Debtocracy” seeks the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media. The documentary will be distributed free by the end of March without usage rights and broadcasted and subtitled in at least three languages. Read more, download the movie

Who owns the Greek islands?

The new smash hit booklet «Sell your islands, you bankrupt Greeks» deals with 20 popular fallacies concerning the debt crisis:

It’s that time again! Greece needs more loans and the governments in Europe are arguing about whether it’s really necessary and who should foot the bill. There is widespread opinion in Germany that Greece itself is to blame for the problems it now finds itself in. It first of all cheated its way into the Eurozone, then the government spent too much and the governed worked too little, many believe. Latently nationalistic patters of interpretation of this kind have been nourished by German politicians and the media, who have no end of proposals for how to «solve» the crisis. For example, the Greeks should save more, work more and sell their public property – and if all of these measures do not help, then Greece will just have to leave the Eurozone or declare itself bankrupt. The stupid thing is, neither are the causes of the crisis that have been named actually correct, nor will the proposed ways out of the crisis achieve their goal.
Read more and get the full text pdf-file