The bad cops who lead them astray and "get a head" in their careers by their tendency for 'greasing the palm'. You should feel sorry for his political backers as an "assembly man" which is a ludicrously weak position in politics. The sick reality of political fixers is they will literally put in political positions weak candidates who say really stupid things just so they can get their opposing candidates tenable ground.
This may mean we have to waste our time with "moral outrage" which is quite righteous, but the reality is that cynicism does not just work for the guilty. Of course, however, I do understand your context, as we should understand Cooper's. Your context is probably only a bad "cop" would read your comment, and so feel outraged, because of their guilt.
Likewise, however, Cooper was hoping that maybe there was enough of a political base in Sacramento and - laugh - California - to gain traction with his bill. But he was just a strawman, a paid object of mockery, a professional clown not in on the joke Unbenowst to Cooper, he went to Clown College in Sacramento.
He graduated with full honors. And now, he is before the world, demonstrating his mastery of the concept of shame. We should all view him as the paradoxical zoo creature which he is. This, like you, is also human. Only cursed, and terribly ugly. To be honest, Cooper has never had any manner of privacy. He sells his intimacy to maintain his job position. That is what he does for a living. This is clearly what he has always done for a living.
Because no professional would ever get up on stage and make themselves out to be such a a naked fool unless they had no concept of shame. Somewhat related I guess: When I first heard about London having lots of surveillance cameras years ago I didn't think much of it, but now, I can't help but wonder if there are too many of them, as if this was some kind of mass surveillance. These functions include Active Managment Technology, with the ability for remote administration, provisioning, and repair, as well as functioning as a KVM.
The System Defense function is the lowest-level firewall available on an Intel machine. Curious The usual excuse with the notion of backdoor for most vendors is remote management, emergency accounts or a forgotten access account by the developers. I wonder which one they will use this time? I read the article a while ago and one obvious implication is that they were doing "mass surveillance". The Met Police are known to be running their own equivalent of a Homeland Secret Service think focus MI5 with agent provocateurs, spys and "black bag jobs" they might even do "wet work" for all we know.
They have certainly done an incredible amount of harm including illegitimately fathering children whilst doing under cover work. The thing is that although they can get "phone records" they may not be of any use in identifing potential targets. Whist this may sound like the long and hard way to do this it has the advantage that involves few if any third parties outside of "the read in" group.
That is ordinary law abiding people expressing their political rights through legitimate protest This of course leads on to the question of "coruption" in the Met Police at high levels In some cases with the very people they were involved with the investigation of Duck N. A security device company that didn't know it's security devices have back doors, twice? Not inspiring, is it? The question becomes, is this due to incompetence, design or both? Makes you wonder how much American security software and hardware has similar undiscovered code and secret administrative user access?
Wired Magazine mentions "16 states The legislative proposals point out long lasting problems though. One, it is established fact the federal government is totally useless when it comes to electronic privacy and civil rights. If anything, Congress, the President and Supreme Court absolutely oppose a right to be 'let alone'. Another problem, technology develops faster than law making. For example, stingrays may become obsolete when the new generation of self driving and "connected" automobiles roll out with multiple, inescapable mass surveillance baked into every inch of the vehicle.
It would be helpful if more coders came forward with information exposing secret surveillance code, however. Lets Encrypt! Actions, not words, ye defenders of the realm Transparent: All certificates issued or revoked will be publicly recorded and available for anyone to inspect.
Open: The automatic issuance and renewal protocol will be published as an open standard that others can adopt. Re: Mass surveillance with cameras, the only question I have is how far along are they regarding automatic detection of the hoi polloi with their Big Brutha camera network? The end goal is obvious - tracking the plebs from sunrise to sundown every time they leave their house. It is only a matter of time, so don't be shocked when the whistleblower comes forth in the coming years. Cooper, poster child for law-enforcement IQ caps. Cooper is the classic law enforcement stooge - he's going to stop child abuse at all costs to your rights.
Yeah right. Watch what happens when they've got real live child abusers right in front of their noses, like at the Presidio. Cooper gonna sneak away like a little coward bitch, like they all do. Here's how Comey gets his private stock:. I have nothing to hide!
Forgive me my impure thoughts. Assemblyman Dudley DoNothing proposes a piece of legislation that will restrict, regulate, or adversely affect a particular industry or manufacturer. He knows it doesn't have a snowflakes chance in Hell of making it out of Committee, much less becoming law, but that's not the point. He gives a rousing speech on the chamber floor Think of the Children! The now alarmed target of the bill is forced to hire a couple of prominent and highly paid lobbying firms in the Assemblyman's district.
The lobbyists know the drill, and extort as much money as possible from their new client. They take Dudley out, wine him and dine him, and who knows, there may be an all expense paid golfing trip to Scotland thrown in. Legalized extortion, American style. They all do it. Everyone involved knows the game. The only ones in the dark are Dudley's constituents, who naively believe that Dudley is working hard, for them.
There are of course sensors light and other on most smartphones, but Alien Jerky also mentioned getting a glimpse of text mentioning "facial recognition. I get a message remotely similar about my face bring too close or covering the 'proximity' sensor, until he gets a better look at that message its going to be up in the air.
I am totally for Let's Encrypt free and transparent. But, I need something that's comprehensible, too. The Achilles heel of encryption for the masses has always been complexity. Complexity breeds glazed eyes, drool and non-participation. If I am not mistaken, based on going over the site, to install a free certificate on a website requires the web developer to be a Kung Fu Master of multiple versions of Linux. Sorry, I am not there yet. They all tippy toe around any discussion of the absolute certainty for abuse of these systems of surveillance while completely ignoring why such practices were made illegal in the first place.
It would all be hilarious if it weren't so dire. Correction: Ain't nothin' you can hide . In their efforts to reduce users' friction , so to speak, you won't have to be 'somewhere in public'! A SmartTrone is coming to a toilet near you in the not too distant future. I don't understand this, but supposedly Microsoft Windows products are somehow vulnerable to privilege escalation:. Nobody, Notice I didn't say Cooper was a bad cop. How would I know? Yes, there are plenty of good cops. The police, like any other citizen, -will- mirror the society they live in.
Even good cops don't understand the implications of the surveillance state. Maybe I should have said 'ignorant' instead. Then again, 'idiot' is defined as 'foolish and senseless' It would be hard to believe that Fortinet developers don't have a source code control system like git or subversion, which tracks who has been making what changes when to their source. So I assume they do, and they should know what account made the change and when. It would be interesting to Fortinet, at least to talk to the account owner to find out why the change occurred. I bet they did, and the poor sap denied making the change or had already quit, or died.
If the NSA were to use this capability, it most certainly be on companies like Fortinet, for precisely this purpose. How to fix at-risk companies like Fortinet? I'd be interested in other's ideas.
As I see it, virtually no amount of good practices and op-sec can prevent this from happening in the future. However, I do think that their product source code reviews should be occurring much more frequently than they are. More generally, developers of products with baked-in RNG seed should be changing these regularly. Regarding the concept if you have nothing to hide I have much to hide. I design stuff. At times the spooks do not even try to be covert following me. To see how how ridiculous FBI's anti-encryption hysteria is, just look at how a competent, independent judicial system busts a criminal conspiracy.
Italian prosecutors caught a couple dozen co-conspirators in the crime against humanity of CIA's worldwide torture death camps.
Catching super-stealthy CIA ninjas is like taking candy from a baby - when you do real police work, instead of trying to sit on your fat fed ass and peek out from behind a computer. So now CIA's torture piccioti are franticly running and hiding from Italian courts. As their luck runs out and it will - these are crimes with no statute of limitations Italy will reel them in and make them sing. As soon as they bagged soldato Sabrina De Sousa, she was threatening to rat out the whole chain of command. The Italians know how to destroy a mafia. And CIA is just another mafia, with their drug rackets and their pedo rackets and their money-laundering rackets.
Fortinet and all these guys may just not be bound by some specificity of an NSL. It may be like how Google, Facebook and Yahoo gained the right to disclose how many times they had received government requests for data Just do a partial swipe to open the phone and let it sit a moment. Went through all the settings and can find no reference to it. Android 5. AlienJerky I just had a strange little bug on my Android phone today. Whenever my finger would get close to the camera, the screen would turn off and then come back on once I pulled it away.
It has since gone away. It had to be the camera because my phone doesn't have a light sensor it's a cheaper smartphone. The consequences of cell-phone trackers' false positives:. You didn't misspell the capital T there, did you? I noticed that if I start to swipe to open the phone, but do not finish, or it just sits there, after a moment a message pops up saying facial recognition something. Wael, yes. It could be a background process of which a user would be unawar, until he just happens to swipe to open the phone and not finish thereby triggering the message.
It's not normal to swipe like that, so the user ordinarily would not know about it. Little Grasshopper I guess if you are talking about Linux or FOSS for most part, you have to kind of expect the worst case scenario which command line or terminal entry is still quite OK.
At least they don't dump a library and ask you to code with no help or comments which can be the case for some good amount of projects. I would really recommend that you learn some basic terminal handling :. Just passin' thru Another possibility is the NSA might have gotten them a deal to put that backdoor in :. I checked the box and literally within five minutes my site doing ssl!!! Little Grasshopper That's cool. If you are using someone else webhosting servers and you are buying a shared domain, I am not sure if the purchase package comes with a terminal or SSH access but it really depends on the hosting plans you purchased.
If you have a plan that includes SSH access and allows you to install stuff on your Linux machine, you could just use the SSH or terminal and get the Let's Encrypt installed but with some hassle with apt-get or yum repo and stuff. The more convenient thing of what Let's Encrypt could do is to take into consideration shared domain hosting support by having their domain authentication process less friendly to people who have a domain but don't have low level terminal access.
Who knows? Seriously, I have no idea if the specific allegations are correct but the general point is sound. The NSA isn't going to sit around and do nothing while they burn though billion dollar budgets. If they are not worried about encryption it is because they have other ways to get that data. You can bet your life on that. It would be grossly irresponsible for them to behave otherwise. The enemy combatants being held in detention as prisoners of war if there is an end to hostilities are under the direct supervision of the Executive.
Congress cannot constrain the Executive in matters of war unless their is a breach of Executive fidelity and only one action is available to congress, impeachment. Law in statute that specifies specific actions of the executive cannot bind the Executive to any directed action, period. All the executive has to do is issue an order under the Law of War directing the DoD to release the prisoners, shutdown the base, and leave Guantanamo. Case closed By common primes I mean those that have been selected badly often in embedded systems by poorly implemented Random Number Generators RNG.
I've been pointing out on this blog for years now that we do not pay any where near enough attention to how we generate "random" and collect entropy. There are lots of problems with not just the RNGs but how you use their output as well, and these are not well understood by system builders. Which is just one of the many sets of reasons why there are very many ways the likes of the NSA, GCHQ et al can find ways to by pass the crypto algorithms in working systems.
As I likewise often explain you need to seperate your encryption process from your transmission process. Using two seperate computers means two uncorrelated RNGs which breaks quite a large number of the available attack vectors The license is 3 Clause BSD and is it proved as is. They can say that mostly because they already have their methods and resources to do whatever they want.
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I think they mean it. The vast amount of hacks in the last years and the years to come show -again and again- that the economics speak for strong encryption. And the article mentioned they still have the meta data, which for surveillance is much more important than the actual data. Gerard van Vooren That is true until someone manages to come out with methods to confuse the trails of metadata they are after.
Confusing trails turns out to be harder than it looks. Remember silkroad and that large kiddyporn site? I think that that someone who you refer to could better stop using electronics in the first place. Wael, Thank god. Wouldn't want to be the one sleeping with an RPG in my hands. Most of the time the American press does a poor job reporting on the current state of privacy laws.
However reporter Sara Peters is the exception and provides remarkable insight:. You don't have to give your threat indicators to anyone, if you don't want. Some businesses will certainly take that route. So there is a great likelihood for a huge number of people to access the data that is shared from the privacy sector," she says. Organizations concerned that data they share with the feds could be breached likely won't share it, she says. It could be a PR nightmare, even if they're not liable: "Just consider all that bad press that many tech companies have gotten when the public found out they had been sharing personal data with feds," she says.
Snowden effect. Eliminate All Personal Information From Data You Share If you do wish to share data, you can sanitize it of personally identifiable information before you hand it over. Even though the regulation doesn't require you to do so, it doesn't prohibit it -- not unless the Attorney General's guidelines change that The way to attack asymmetric crypto is via common primes or mass use of the same primes.
Should it not be possible to break encryption through a system that stores a large amount of precomputed values from primes, with each value linking to the prime number that was used? This sort of system could be queried with an encrypted value some protocol value that is the same at the start of every encrypted session to quickly obtain the prime s without further calculations. The BBC news has said the weather in DC is a not good with the metro closed and both airports badly disrupted and a meter of snow fall in a day,.
With eleven states declaring states of emergency, it sounds like it's not at all pleasent or safe. I hope any of this blogs readers in the effected areas are safe and well, and things get back to normal quickly. Tech Giants' does not even mention the recently passed CISA, a draconian anti-privacy law that Facebook, Google and Microsoft require to monetize citizens non-tangible assets Personal Health Info, DNA sequencing, prescriptions, tax returns, bank and credit card transactions, school records.
Examples of America's data protection 'seriousness': The nations top security officer lied under oath to Congress, the CIA lied about illegal eavesdropping on their Congressional oversight committee and the Secretary of State had beyond Top-Secret emails read by China, Russia and Iran. She seriously claims ignorance as her excuse. Seriously the incompetent grandmother of OPM allowed the Chinese to take the complete life history of 22 million Americans with security clearances.
Perversely the USA government allows Google and now Microsoft to build secret, daily, unregulated dossiers of grade school children under the guise of 'school officials'. They don't even notify the child's parents! Because of the lies and deception, American citizens are unable to trust its leaders.
Why should the Europeans? Those who follow cyber rights issues know that Mr. Bruce' statement, with very slight variations is standard house lawyer double-speak. It's what you say when you are cornered and need a catch all lie to escape. Well, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Bush administration shows that very clear. The EC doesn't have that power yet , so it's up to the countries to deal with most of the issues and you can see that each country has its own policies which are usually a result of the history and culture of that country.
The original intention of the EU was to have a better economical system between the former enemies of WW2 to avoid WW3. The intention wasn't to have a powerful Federal EU. It appears we always need a tribal "them or us" for politics, religion and as a consequence society. The EU turned a collection of compeating tribes in Western Europe into a larger tribe.
Where the fighting is seen more as squabbling. But we forgot that whilst it stopped wars in Western Europe, it did not stop "them or us" in other tribes that form Eastern Europe or further abroad. They view Europe as in effect a Super Power.
What has stopped World Wars for now is Super Powers with sufficient weapons power to cause almost unimaginable destruction to civilisations. But things are changing proxy wars do not achive much accept localised devistation, and to prevent that small nations are either aligning themselves to nations with MAD weapons or are building their own MAD weapons and intercontinental delivery systems. Even abundant energy is not going to solve the scarce resources issue, there is only so far science can go to maximise their use.
Von Rundstedt answered after D-Day the question of a German officer about what to do next with "End the war, obviously! The only answer is to stop overpopulation and that is obvious. I only don't hear both that question and answer from "our leaders". How about that? PS: effectively the USA have become what the founders of the nation were effectively running away from: The nightmare of the rest of the world Gerard: "I think they mean it.
I think they mean "stop verbally attacking encryption, the more we talk, the more they walk and act against our interests". The whole crypto debate hurts them and they dont want consciousness and will to act to spread more and more. That could be true but if you look at the economics, the US tech industry has been hurt and is going to be hurt a lot more.
In the end it's all about economics. You need security and crypto is a key element of that. I've said it before, they still have the metadata, and plenty of it. FBI shits on the law, making up their own law so they can start running the clock whenever they decide which of us they're after. Senile hick judge Beam in make-believe independent court says that's Okey-dokey, clarifies that the Fourth Amendment is not a real right like ICCPR Article 14 which he never heard of anyway.
I'd not trust them without asking experts in that field, as I just did. I ask for help when I know it is outside of my field of expertise. After a first test shoot they bought Altera How long until Kaspersky files a lawsuite for discrimination free access to these devices? Any static tools are going to be insufficient to test RNG output for cryptographic purposes.
I can easily write a TRNG that passes any fixed test you want whose state can be recovered with only a few bytes of output. These releases will be made available on 28th January between approx. They will fix two security defects, one of "high" severity affecting 1. On the other hand, there's no actual need for this huge pile of random numbers. If you've somehow managed to generate one secure bit key then from that key you can derive all the "random" numbers you'll ever need for every cryptographic protocol—and you can do this derivation in a completely deterministic, auditable, testable way, as illustrated by EdDSA.
If you haven't managed to generate one secure bit key then you have much bigger problems. Even with the lattice and mcelise stuff being hash based and quantum resistant? Be Ready for Anything Beijing Sufferings Beijing Of the Yearnings of the Caged Spirit London Cyclops Washington, D. The Engines of Illusion Beijing The Temptation of the Sirens Beijing Truth or Consequences London Lazarus Laughed Beijing Penelope London The Everlasting Yea London Paradise Regained Little Gidding In a Glass Darkly London Nemesis Armageddon London The Fever Breaks Ecce Homo Jerusalem For Every Action….
But despite his age, he was by no means looking backwards at the time of his death. Accordingly, the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly should be a central plank of the Foreign Policy Platform of all Progressive presidential candidates in the election year, including Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and all candidates claiming to represent the interests of the people nationally and globally.
He, because of his leadership and prominence, was able to take the premiere position in giving the campaign energy and credibility, despite his advancing age and health problems. He was an essentially private man, workaholic, controlling, out of the mould of a European tradition perhaps fading, but which I had an appreciation for, despite being American, having studied, worked and traveled in Germany and Europe, as well as amoung Europeans, diplomats and multinational businessmen in China over two decades.
His early life prepared him well for his later life. He then served in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, rising to head the ministry when Anwar Sadat made his dramatic move to sign a peace treaty with Israel under Begin, a course of action resulting in peace, the Nobel Prize and assassination. He finally rose to Secretary-General of the United Nations from to His career, though successful, was not without its ups and downs, however.
Having taken the reins he was confronted with successive crises in the former Yugoslavia, including the wars in Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo, the genocide in Rwanda, the Somalia-Mogadishu affair, and ongoing African conflicts in Angola, Mozambique, Congo and elsewhere. Along with Pres. Clinton he drew criticism for failure to control the genocide in Rwanda.
At the end of his term he found President Bill Clinton had decided he had become a political liability and had conspired to replace him, ultimately with Kofi Anan, over the objections of the European allies. After he spearheaded efforts towards the creation of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly UNPA for the first time would give citizen representatives, not only states, a direct and influential role in global policy. The assembly would not replace existing UN bodies but would be an additional means to integrate parliamentarians more effectively into the shaping of globalization.
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It would effectively extend the proven model of a an elective consultative body modeled on the European Parliament to the global scale of the United Nations. As a transitional step until direct elections become practical if necessary, the UN Parliamentary Assembly could consist of delegates from national and possibly regional parliaments, reflecting their political diversity as well as ensuring gender equality.
The UNPA would therefore include members of minority parties whose opinions are often not represented in the United Nations. These parliamentarians would be free to ask probing questions, raise sensitive issues, and table innovative proposals for consideration by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Bretton Woods financial institutions and other UN bodies. The great problems of our times — such as war, disease, poverty and climate change — cannot be solved by individual nations acting alone.
Direct citizen representation could help the world develop a greater understanding of itself as a global community. At the highest levels of the United Nations, a UNPA could function as a world conscience and watchdog, and a catalyst for further reforms. Over time, the UNPA could evolve from a consultative body to a world parliament with genuine rights of information, participation and control. The historical record demonstrates, as with the Land Mines Treaty and the International Criminal Court, that if a few countries urged on by civil society take the lead, significant transformation at the international level is indeed possible.
The central mission of the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is to make the United Nations and the entire system of global governance and international relations less dominated by the narrow concerns of nation-state power gamesmanship and service to multinational economic elites and more focused on and accountable to the interests of the people and peoples of the world. Mogherini said in Rome. But I think that a UNPA would help the UN to be more effective and help the system of global governance to create connections with an active and responsible citizenship.
Indeed, a UN Parliamentary Assembly could strengthen the link between a system of global governance, which is remote by definition, and a citizenship that includes a global dimension. In a joint motion of the governing coalition parties the German parliament urged the government under Chancellor Angela Merkel to support efforts to reform the United Nations that aim at making the world organization more efficient and more transparent. The democratic legitimacy of the UN needs to be guaranteed through modernization, the motion says.
CIVICUS, a global non-governmental organization that identifies itself as world alliance for citizen participation, has released a new assessment of national and international government organizations. CIVICUS highlighted how global governance organizations, due to their lack of accountability to the global populace, are instead influenced by the whims of wealthy nations and powerful multinational corporations. In turn, this causes these institutions to de-emphasize issues that matter to the average citizen, and further fuels the notion that global governance is too disconnected from the needs of common people.
The report states that a stronger mandate for democratic participation in world governing bodies would alleviate the influence of the wealthy in these institutions, and would also allow citizens a chance to bring some of their most pressing concerns to the forefront. The report includes guest contributions on civil society perspectives on the state of global governance. Website of the State of Civil Society Report The great problems of our times — such as the World Economic Crisis, war and peace, Global Warming and climate change, international terrorism, epidemic diseases such as AIDS -— cannot be solved by individual nations acting alone.
It is more and more obvious in our Era of Globalization that the most fundamental problems affecting the lives of individuals can only be addressed by global action on a worldwide basis, and that the mechanisms of the past for doing so, such as informal intergovernmental cooperation as in the G and such treaty conventions as the glacially-paced failed Climate Change conferences of Copenhagen, South Africa and Warsaw are ineffective, slow, unwieldly and so divorced from the people as to suffer fatal democratic deficits. At the same time our international institutions have been slowly evolving more effective models for international and global governance, most successfully in the case of the European Parliament of the European Uniion EU , which brings together the elected representatives of 27 European Union member states in a permanent parliamentary assembly representing not simply the member states and their governments, but the independent elected representatives of all segments of European public opinion, whether in government or in opposition.
Now that the concept of an international parliamentary assembly has been proven on the ground passing the test of time and reality, the time is now ripe for the creation of such an institution on a global scale as a new organ of the United Nations beside the existing General Assembly and Security Council to enable the United Nations and our system of global governance to be strengthened to an extent necessary to solve our globalized problems in a globalized world, and to bring the United Nations and its related international institutions into closer communication, responsiveness and accountability to the peoples of the world, not just governments in power, and by so doing address the democratic deficit in our system of global governance.
An energetic coalition under the leadership of former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is now working hard and effectively to bring about the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, spearheaded by the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly whose website is accessible at:. The European Parliament has endorsed the creation of such a UN Parliamentary Assembly and it is supported by hundreds of Members of European Parliament and similar support groups across the world.
The fact that it is supported by the former UN Secretary-General and the European Parliament and Pan-African Parliament proves both that it is a highly practical, tested and workable idea whose time has come. In tabling this initiative it is also important to clarify what a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would not be. It would not be a world government. It would not in any way attempt to make law on a global scale or in any way limit the sovereignty of existing national governments.
The existing United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council would continue to exist side-by-side with the new UNPA and would continue their existing work, just as the national governments of the EU along with the European Council continue to function alongside the European Parliament. The creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, at least initially would not increase or decrease the sovereignty of UN member states nor alter the powers of the existing UN organs, the Generally Assembly and Security Council. Instead, it would add the voice of the peoples of the world to the existing institutions and increase their accountability to those peoples, from whom they derive all their existing powers.
As a transitional step until global direct elections become practical, the UN Parliamentary Assembly could consist of delegates from national and possibly regional parliaments, reflecting their political diversity. Unlike current UN ambassadors, UNPA representatives would not be subject to the authority, direction or control of national governments. These parliamentarians would be free to ask probing questions, raise sensitive issues, and table innovative proposals for consideration by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Bretton Woods financial institutions and other UN bodies, just as the European Parliament successfully functions within the European Union.
Contrary to popular belief, creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would be procedurally quite easy as all that is required is a majority vote of the UN General Assembly, and its creation is not subject to any veto power under the United Nations Charter. One reason is that the proposal has often been misunderstood when raised, both from those who have hoped or feared too much from the proposal and those who have expected too little. The United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would not reduce the sovereignty or freedom of action of any national governemnt and is neither utopian nor a threat.
Its work would be essentially similar and of restricted scope to that of the European Parliament within the EU, which no one sees as a threat. A second reason for resistance to the idea is the natural disinclination of existing governments, regimes and powerholders to any limitation of their personal powers. But the idea of democracy on the national or international level is precisely that power holders MUST be made accountable to their peoples and that applies to the international arena as well as the national arena.
That is what democracy, national and international, is all about. Leadership in its creation would be the crowning achievement of this outgoing administration and and merit the awarding of a further edition of the Nobel Peace Prize for all concerned. The novel Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard is the first novel in World Literature to expressly illustrate and urge the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly for global democracy.
The novel may also be accessed at:. You can browse and sample both online for free now, then purchase immediatly by clicking on the following Amazon sites:. Following the principle of subsidiarity, government should be brought as near to the people as possible and people should enjoy maximum freedom within the law to run their.
What makes you think this would really work?
Why draw upon national parliaments? What would a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly do? Would delegations of the UNPA have the right to participate in international governmental conferences? Examples of existing parliamentary assemblies include: The. A Parliamentary Assembly may also be constituted by direct international elections, as in the case of the European Parliament of the European Union, to date the most highly evolved example and model of a Parliamentary Assembly. Existing models may evolve into the future to assume the greater powers of a true constitutional Parliament.
However, as yet no parliamentary assembly exists on the global level. For a fuller discussion of the concept of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly see:. Currently, the governance of the international system is a process exclusively between governments. An international representation of citizens or parliamentary control of international governmental action and international organizations as such, does not exist.
The membership of the assembly would reflect the composition of national parliaments and thus would also include members of opposition parties who are not participating in government. Furthermore, in contrast to government diplomats, members of the UNPA would be free from instructions, free to take a global perspective and to represent the world community as such.
In addition, a UNPA would be an important link between the citizens and the United Nations who step by step could be vested with information, participation and control rights and therefore would act as body for international parliamentary oversight. It could serve as a parliamentary umbrella for international cooperation. By addressing issues concerning global governance and United Nations reform, it could become a political catalyst for the further development of the international system and eventually could be transformed into a principal organ of a reformed United Nations.
Furthermore a Parliamentary Assembly is increasingly necessary as a matter of efficiency to provide a permanent and continuous forum in international treaty negotiations such as the Climate Change conferences in Bali, Copenhagen and Durban, and to make them more democratic. The experience of the Climate Change, WTO and other specialized international conferences is that it is simply not workable to merely convene a treaty Conference every two, five or eight years for two weeks to deal with these subjects.
There needs to be a permanent assembly with specialized committees working continuously on debate, consensus building and treaty drafting on these matters with continuous dialogue and feedback between governments and civil society to avoid the too sporadic, short and demonstration disrupted plenary conferences which are now far too slow and obsolete. The discussion on the recommendations included in the paper is an open ended process.
At some point, the Committee will publish a follow up paper reviewing its strategy and considering enhancements and changes. Important aspects which came up with regard to the basic concept are the inclusion of a delegation of the European Parliament into a UNPA being a directly elected parliament , the possible inclusion of representatives of indigenous peoples, means to guarantee gender equality in the UNPA and the question whether and how local decision makers may be included as well. The Global Marshall. Firstly, the dual aims of enhancing economic and political opportunities for the people are deeply interwoven.
Democracy embraces both fair economic and fair political participation in a given society. They are two sides of the same coin which cannot do without each other in the long run. This could be provided by an international parliamentary body such as the UNPA. While there certainly are opportunities for more efficiency and streamlining, one has to keep in mind that the UN system is designed to take care of the wellbeing of 7 billion people on the international level.
Given the growing tasks transferred to the UN by its member states, the UN Secretariat as the core of the system, for example, is very modest in size and budget. In fact, it cannot fulfill its functions properly because it is not financed and staffed well enough. It has a total staff of about 7, and a budget of about 1. The combined expenditures of the complete UN system, including, for example, peacekeeping operations, was at The City of New York, in comparison, currently has an annual budget of Instead it advocates a first, but limited step in that direction, creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly of an advisory nature based on already proven models such as the European Parliament of the European Union.
Starting from a broad notion of democracy, encompassing both political and social participation, the concept of international democracy cannot be reduced to merely establishing a new body. This approach could even corrupt the actual intention. The concept rather includes comprehensive questions of human development as well, such as how to create fair economic opportunities for everyone, thus taking on the challenge to reduce extreme poverty and to bridge the wealth divide, or GINI Coeffecient, within as well as between countries.
The basic precondition for a world parliament therefore is a minimum of common economic and social welfare in the world which does not yet exist. On the side of political participation, there are similar problems. The direct, democratic election of delegates to a world parliament in undemocratic states, for example, is simply not possible. Thus, the creation of a fully democratic world parliament, in addition, depends on the development of stable democratic systems at the level of nation states as well.
These issues in mind, however, the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly believes that first steps are possible and urgently needed. This is why it advocates the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Following the principle of subsidiarity, government should be brought as near to the people as possible and people should enjoy maximum freedom within the law to run their own lives. Would a global assembly really help to advance such freedom in any significant way? By bringing the voice of the people into the UN system and international relations, a UNPA would contribute to a better understanding and awareness of such global problems.
Creating fair economic and social opportunities for the people, for example, is not only a matter of national, regional or local concern. It is also a matter of economic and financial relations in the world. A UNPA therefore is very much in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity since its aim is to enhance the possibility for the citizens to influence the international environment which has an impact on their day to day lives.
Subsidiarity means that problems should be dealt with on the level as near to the citizens as possible capable of managing such problems. In case of global problems no such lower level is available. Thus, citizens need an international body to represent them more directly. Before we can elect an assembly for the world, the world should be willing to become a governable entity.
Instead of moving in that direction, it is becoming more fragmented and polarized. On the contrary, we believe that a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would contribute to bridging national differences. Since a UNPA would be composed of a membership which roughly reflects the political composition of the respective national parliaments and of delegates who in principle are not answerable to or controlled by their home governments but rather more directly to their peoples, these would tend to group according to political orientation rather than divide according to national origin.
In this way, delegates would recognize political agreement with fellow parliamentarians from other countries and the need for international solutions would become more apparent. A similar development on the regional level has taken place, for example, in the European Parliament. The Inter Parliamentary Union IPU is a fraternity of members of existing parliaments meeting only on a sporadic and intermittent basis.
It does not directly represent the people at the United Nations. It is an umbrella organization and fraternity of a few members of existing parliaments with no connection or input into the United Nations principal organs. Its members are fully absorbed in their work at the national parliament level and have only a small amount of time and effort left over for international efforts.
Moreover, its interest is not to democratically control the UN and its decision making by serving as a direct channel for communicating the desires and interests of the underlying peoples, which is the natural role of a genuine parliament. Nor is the IPU at the moment prepared to take on the role of an international legislative organ, which participates in making international laws and regulations through the treaty-making process and otherwise. When imagining the possible development of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly one can draw first upon the very strong leading example of the European Parliament EP as the principal international parliamentary organ of the European Union.
Developing out of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, founded in , the consultative function of the early European Parliament, set up in , was widened to include the right to be heard in legislative processes. Since , the EP has been allowed to co-decide with regard to the budget. At the beginning, the EP consisted of representatives of national parliaments. Politically strengthened in that way, the EP rejected the draft budget of the Commission for the first time. Today, the European Parliament has the same rights as the European Council with regard to three quarters of all legislative projects in the European Union.
The idea of a world parliament was introduced initially before the First World War. However, at that time, no international or regional organization existed. The paramount thrust of many proponents of an international organization was to introduce some institution which would control national state behaviour at the international level.
Thus, they saw as an international organization first the League of Nations, after the Second World War the UN by itself as a kind of parliament which would control states behaviour.
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That this would not work as long as there was no democratic control within the organization was for a long time not recognized, especially during the time of the Cold War where the UN also took on the role of a mediator. Therefore, the legitimacy deficit of the UN was only widely criticized after the end of the Iron Curtain era, i.
Moreover, there was another, even more important reason why a UN Parliament was never realized. For governments, it was already a huge concession to set up an international organization after the First World War. They were not prepared to give up their sovereignty to an organization which the idea of a parliament would entail when it is implemented, i. However, Germany could not impose itself since it had lost the war and bargained from a position of weakness. Major decision makers at that time, especially the US President Wilson, the instigator of the League of Nations, were against the idea.
This was also the case after the Second World War and continues until today. However, meanwhile, the UN comes under more and more pressure because it demands national democratization, but is not democratically organized itself. Yes and no. On the one hand, it is true that a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations would be another player in the diplomatic scenery which governments and their executives in international organizations would have to take into account to a certain degree, just as the EU Parliament has become.
On the other hand, being composed of elected parliamentarians, the assembly would be closer to the citizens and as such it would lend more credibility and legitimacy to international decisions in which it is involved. In this way, the parliamentary assembly actually would contribute to an increased efficiency and efficacy of international actions.
The United Nations was set up after the Second World War in order to avoid wars in the future and to reduce narrow nationalist thinking through cooperation of states. In pursuing these goals, the UN has achieved a lot throughout the years, be it with regard to the whole system of human rights, the decolonization process, development, etc. Of course, not all UN politics may be to the good of all affected by them. The reason for this is that particular political decisions beyond the framework just described are left to the states which have to decide about them in the UN organs. Thus states within the United Nations may be fixated upon the narrow advantage of the governing elites of those states rather than the underlying interests of even their own peoples, let alone the underlying international and global interests of the people of the world as a whole.
States are represented by governments not by direct representatives of the people and in addition often have pure national interests and not the common good of the world as their highest priority, for example in the prioritizing of immediate national political concerns over the long-term avoidance of global climate change. Moreover, the UN is made up of thousands of bureaucrats and people in complex organizations and structures always in need some leadership and control in order to be reminded of public goals and not only to cling to their personal interests.
Thus, what the UN needs is an enhanced control and guidance mechanism and not its abolition. The UN has achieved many good things for humanity. More to the point, however, is the simple fact that there is no viable alternative to the United Nations—-it is the only organization capable of acting effectively on a global scale in respect to the global problems which urgently need solving.
Without it, the world would be poorer, colonized, crueler, and less supervised. Thus, it is better to maintain and improve the UN and to rectify its deficiencies and wrongdoings. Besides, a UNPA could also be established by a standalone international treaty and a cooperation agreement with the UN. A reform of the UN Charter, however, would be necessary should the UNPA once be transformed into a more fully functioning principle organ of the world organization at a later step.
It is too early to determine the eventual seat of a UNPA administration. The Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly does not make recommendations in this respect at this time. To save costs and take advantage of existing infrastructure, however, plenary sessions could be held free of charge in the hall of the UN General Assembly in New York, for example, or at other venues all over the world. A rotation system whereby the assembly would shift its location in successive meetings to the various continents or regions, perhaps in coordination with regional parliamentary assemblies such as the Pan-African Parliament or Parlatino, would involve the opportunity to impart the work of the UNPA to a larger public in the respective regions.
Perhaps a system of alternating meetings between New York and on a revolving circuit of each successive continent might be desirable. Politically, the most important step is to secure considerable support by national parliaments and governments, by the concerted efforts of their underlying peoples. Eventually, the proposal needs to be scrutinized and debated in detail by like-minded governments, ideally in cooperation with parliaments and civil society. Depending on the results, these deliberations then would lead to the introduction of an a Proposal into the respective committee of the United Nations General Assembly or, in the alternative, to a special-purpose treaty negotiation process.
First calculations of the Committee for a Democratic UN as to how much the setting up of a UNPA would cost resulted in a first rough total estimate of to million Euro per year. This would include the establishment and maintaining of a permanent UNPA Secretariat, the administration, logistics and the carrying out of parliamentary work in a first, still limited step, during an initial contemplated annual session of two to six weeks per year. The figure was calculated based on the budget of the InterParliamentary Union IPU for the administration of its Secretariat and on the budget of the European Parliament for travelling, accommodation during sessions as well as for extra costs, costs for special travels in execution of the mandate and general reimbursements.
It is based on the assumption that all UN member states which participate possess a constitutionally elected parliament. The actual financial need for the first step can only be quantified if it is clear how the UNPA is to be designed, for example composition, voting procedure, participating states and legal basis. Alternatively in such a context it is sometimes suggested that voluntary contributions for a direct financing of the UNPA from governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities could be made possible, analogous to Article of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
This could relieve the regular contributors. A necessary precondition in this respect would be that these contributions are in accordance with relevant criteria defined for this purpose which especially would have to guarantee the independence of the UNPA from donors influence. Furthermore, the UNPA could be recipient of means raised by innovative financial sources such as global taxation of airline travel, and taxation of international financial instruments and flows as reflected in the Tobin Tax proposal, should they once emerge from the process of longer-term historical evolution to be established.
Certainly, civil society could organize its own global conferences to discuss issues of global concern. In fact, it is doing so. The World Social Forum, for example, is a successful implementation of this approach. Another example was the civil society components of the Millennium Forum which took place in or the efforts to create a regular NGO Global Conference synchronized to meet yearly just ahead of the annual United Nations General Assembly sessions.
A parliament, however, is something different. The term describes a type of representative deliberative assembly vested with a varying degree of political powers under a respective express or implied constitution which holds the executive branch of government accountable and participates in action, lawmaking or policymaking. Since civil society organizations and their representatives are not popularly elected, they lack a central precondition which characterizes parliaments and their membership, namely to speak with accepted authority for their peoples.
However, it is possible to draw upon national parliaments because these are regularly elected by the populace. The basis of the negotiations should be a commitment to a graduated division oriented primarily according to population size but including other modulating factors, corresponding, in principle, to existing parliamentary assemblies. Besides purely population size, other criteria could play a role, such as the equality principle one member one vote or the financial contributions to the UN system.
However, the calculation should and can be made in such a way that huge countries, such as China or India, are not overrepresented or overdominant and small countries have guarantees of some minimal weight and influence. If such a planetary assembly would be popularly elected, a third of the seats would go to China and India. What voice would people from smaller countries have? Not necessarily. A third of the seats would only go to China and India if such an assembly would only take the population size into account and if it would be directly mirrored in the distribution of seats.
However, the composition of none of the existing regional parliamentary assemblies purely mirrors the population size of their member states. The Committee for United Nations Parliamentary Assembly also does not recommend such a pure, one-factor only approach. See also question 3. How can one have free elections for the UNPA in countries that do not allow free elections for their citizens at all?
In undemocratic countries which do not allow for free, equal and secret elections at all, realistically speaking, it will not be possible to have pure democratically legitimate delegates for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in the short term. Pseudo-parliamentarians coming from such undemocratic states actually would probably be subject to the clandestine control and instructions of their home government or monopoly party.
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