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Showing posts with label Guardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guardian. Show all posts

Monday, 7 October 2013

Edward Snowden Digest Of News

News 10 new results for Edward Snowden
The Name Edward Snowden Should Be Sending Shivers Up CEO ... Forbes
Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife). The name Edward Snowden should be sending shivers ...
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Edward Snowden Warns Of 'Surveillance Gone Too Far,' Accepts ... Huffington Post
It's no secret that Germany has a generally positive view of Edward Snowden, even though the country was among the many that rejected his application for ...
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Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange: our new ... The Guardian
Edward Snowden should be defended not only because his acts annoyed and embarrassed US secret services; what he revealed is something that not only the ...
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Latest Edward Snowden Leak Shows 1 In 5 CIA Applicants Have ... The Inquisitr
Latest Edward Snowden Leak Shows 1 In 5 CIA Applicants Have 'Significant' Terror Ties. CIA black budget. Many individuals with connections to terrorist groups ...
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How Laura Poitras helped Edward Snowden spill his secrets AMERICAblog (blog)
This is the profile of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras I've been linking to for the past week, a portrait of the woman whom NSA whistleblower Edward ...
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Commentary: The damage of Edward Snowden Sierra Vista Herald
Edward Snowden's defenders can no longer claim a fig-leaf's worth of protection for him by calling him a "whistle-blower" intent on protecting our Fourth ...
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UK security adviser outlines government fears for intelligence ... Washington Post
LONDON — The British government fears material seized from the partner of a Guardian journalist could compromise counter-terror operations, a senior ...
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US spied on Brazil, Mexico presidents: Report Times of India
RIO DE JANEIRO: The US National Security Agency spied on the communications of the Brazilian and Mexican presidents, accessing the Mexico leader's ...
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Judge undoes key ruling on surveillance evidence Seattle Post Intelligencer
Ex-government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the programs' existence. Prosecutors argued they won't use evidence derived directly from expanded ...
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Putin says Russia not to extradite Snowden to US Xinhua
MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin said Russia will not extradite former intelligence employee Edward Snowden back to the United States as ...
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Blogs 2 new results for Edward Snowden
How Laura Poitras helped Edward Snowden spill his secrets Gaius Publius
A profile of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, the woman whom NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden first convinced to listen to him.
AMERICAblog News
Mike Norman Economics: Slavoj Žižek — Edward Snowden ... Tom Hickey
As the NSA revelations have shown, whistleblowing is now an essential art. It is our means of keeping 'public reason' alive. The Guardian Edward Snowden ...
Mike Norman Economics
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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Right To Privacy In Europe

Giant US government Internet spying scandal revealed

The Washington Post and The Guardian have revealed a US government mass Internet surveillance program code-named "PRISM". They report that the NSA and the FBI have been tapping directly into the servers of nine US service providers, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL and Skype, and began this surveillance program at least seven years ago. (clarifying slides)
These revelations are shaking up an international debate.
Start Page has always been very outspoken when it comes to protecting people's privacy and civil liberties. So it won't surprise you that we are a strong opponent of overreaching, unaccountable spy programs like PRISM. In the past, even government surveillance programs that were begun with good intentions have become tools for abuse, for example tracking civil rights and anti-war protesters.
Programs like PRISM undermine our Privacy, disrupt faith in governments, and are a danger to the free Internet.
Start Page and its sister search engine Ixquick have in their 14-year history never provided a single byte of user data to the US government, or any other government or agency. Not under PRISM, nor under any other program in the US, nor under any program anywhere in the world. We are not like Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Apple, Skype, or the other US companies who got caught up in the web of PRISM surveillance.
Here's how we are different:
  • Start Page does not store any user data. We make this perfectly clear to everyone, including any governmental agencies. We do not record the IP addresses of our users and we don't use tracking cookies, so there is literally no data about you on our servers to access. Since we don't even know who our customers are, we can't share anything with Big Brother. In fact, we've never gotten even a single request from a governmental authority to supply user data in the fourteen years we've been in business.
  • Start Page uses encryption (HTTPS) by default. Encryption prevents snooping. Your searches are encrypted, so others can't "tap" the Internet connection to snoop what you're searching for. This combination of not storing data together with using strong encryption for the connections is key in protecting your Privacy.
  • Our company is based in The Netherlands, Europe. US jurisdiction does not apply to us, at least not directly. Any request or demand from ANY government (including the US) to deliver user data, will be thoroughly checked by our lawyers, and we will not comply unless the law which actually applies to us would undeniably require it from us. And even in that hypothetical situation, we refer to our first point; we don't even have any user data to give. We will never cooperate with voluntary spying programs like PRISM.
  • Start Page cannot be forced to start spying. Given the strong protection of the Right to Privacy in Europe , European governments cannot just start forcing service providers like us to implement a blanket spying program on their users. And if that ever changed, we would fight this to the end.

It's not just our policy - it's our business.

The posts and articles provided by our news desk are not always representative of our personal views of the story.but we always try to provide the truth behind every story! As we know the Truth is always stranger than fiction! Tweet at #AceBusinessNews or email to News and Views

Thank you, Ian [Editor]

Monday, 15 October 2012

In-Store Credit Booms As Middle Classes Turn To Never-Never

 In-Store Credit Booms As Middle Classes Turn To The Never-Never Style Of Repaying Their Debts!
Old-fashioned hire purchase-style deals have become today's socially acceptable way to buy big-ticket items
Forget contactless payment and sending money by mobile; middle-class consumers are increasingly opting to buy everything from sofas to dishwashers through a very old-fashioned form of payment: in-store credit.

Latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association show that store instalment credit – the modern version of hire purchase – rose by 25% in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, the amount borrowed through credit cards and personal loans was up only 1%. It attributes the surge to the economic downturn.

Hire purchase – once popularly called the "never-never" – is the legal term for a contract in which the goods are hired to the buyer for a specified period during which they will have to pay weekly or monthly instalments. The goods remain the property of the lender until the HP agreement has been completed in full. Hire purchase is still used but most retailers have now replaced this with store instalment credit. The finance deals are provided to retailers by banks like Barclays and Santander and non-banking groups such as the Home Retail Group and these work in a similar way to hire purchase. The crucial difference is that, unlike with HP, the finance is not secured on the goods – so once you have bought them, you own them.
This sort of credit is heavily pushed by stores specialising in expensive items, such as sofas, which are bought infrequently. More than 2.6 million households now buy furniture this way and more than 660,000 use it to finance electrical goods. Ikano, which provides the deals for major furniture retailers DFS, Harveys and Ikea, also reports a rise.

Professor Josh Banfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, says there is a trend towards middle-class consumers buying more on a "buy now, pay later" basis: "It's seen as an acceptable way to pay: they even talk about it in the same way they boast about shopping in Aldi."

Louise Brittain, a council member of R3, the trade body for insolvency professionals, agrees there has been a shift in attitude towards HP and in-store credit. She says the change in outlook started with cars: professionals began taking out lease arrangements, which has filtered down to the uptake in in-store credit on household items.

"It used to be seen as the option for poorer people who couldn't afford to buy something outright," says Brittain. "But that's changing. Most people haven't got as much money, the best deals on credit cards and personal loans are harder to get, and in-store finance deals have become more competitive."

Furniture giant DFS recently launched two new upmarket ranges – House Beautiful and Country Living – named after the very middle-class lifestyle magazines. "One thing we discussed before launch was whether it was less likely that customers who were attracted to these aspirational ranges would buy on hire purchase," says Ian Filby, chief executive. "We've seen just as many customers who buy this range take up the finance as we do with our other ranges."

HP and in-store credit tends to have less stringent credit checks than cards and loans. Although retailers claim they only offer deals to those who can afford them, they are seen as less rigid and also last longer. While the longest interest-free deals on credit cards for purchases extend to 16 months, interest-free hire purchase can last for up to five years. Filby denies this causes more problems: "We have a very, very low default rate."

The easy application process encouraged mother-of-two Carolyn Neale, 35, and her husband, James, 36, a project manager, to buy two sofas last month for £950 using an in-store finance deal.
"We've chosen to pay over three years, at around £20 a month," says Neale, who lives in Chelmsford, Essex. "I'm at home with the children, so it's hard to get credit card deals and personal loans at the best rates. Applying for the store finance was a lot less hassle."

For others, it's the fact that there is often no incentive to pay upfront: shops frequently charge the same amount whether you are paying with cash, credit card or through in-store finance.
Business owner Alex Stevens, 42, has nearly finished paying off his £960 sofa on hire purchase. "My thoughts were 'Why not let the retailer take on the debt?'" he says. "A couple of years interest-free seemed a no-brainer, even though I could have paid in cash."

Stevens, who is single and lives in London, had 12 months payment free and now pays £80 a month: "It's effectively 24 months interest-free. It feels different to card debt. With cards, you're given a spending limit for buying lots of things. With HP, it's a fixed arrangement for one product and is easier to budget for."
However, Tim Moss, head of loans at comparison site Moneysupermarket.com points out that deals do have to be paid off within the interest-free period: "Otherwise, they jump sky-high and SVRs of 23.9% and over kick in."

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service, which says that the majority of people it advises on debt problems are middle-income home owners, often working in the professions, urges those considering using HP to be cautious. Research for The Observer by the charity reveals that the average hire purchase amount owed per client in the £20,000-£29,999 salary group is £5,270.

But those earning £30,000-plus net, take an average of £7,604 out in hire purchase. These figures include everything from car finance, to interest-free deals, to the lower end of the market – the pay-weekly store deals, operated by firms such as BrightHouse.

Una Farrell, for the CCCS, says: "Hire purchase deals can sound great, and for some people they work. But if you lose your job you could end up in a situation where an interest-free deal ends before you've made a single instalment."

The message, she says, is that it's best to save up. "Even if there's an emergency and your washing machine breaks down, don't panic-buy on HP. See if there's an alternative – can you get it repaired? Can you get one for free on a local website? Don't consider whether you 'need' 36 months interest-free; consider whether you need the item in the first place."

Courtesy of guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions 

The posts l provide are my views of good recipes and also are shared from a number of contacts, news and blogging services. They are not always tried and tested by me unless it states that l have cooked any myself,whereby it will be noted on the post accordingly. Please tweet at #AceDebtNews or email News & Views

Thank you, Ian [Editor]

Free Banking Is A Myth According To Which Report

Free Banking Is A Myth According To Which Report: as Consumer Group Demands Action Now!
As Consumer group demands banks be more transparent about charges as it warns credit and debit customers both lose out.

The consumer group Which? has warned that some bank customers are paying up to £900 a year in charges while others miss out on hundreds of pounds in lost interest.

The group said it had uncovered huge variations in the cost of "free" current accounts between banks which shattered the myth that Britons enjoy "free" banking. Charges for going overdrawn for two days a month without permission range from £120 on Halifax's reward current account to £900 a year on the Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank current account plus.

Even customers with authorised overdrafts will rack up significant charges, with many banks – including RBS/Natwest and HSBC – charging an APR of 19.9%, higher than that charged by some credit card providers, Which? warned.

The findings come as banks suggest the way to avoid future industry scandals is to charge for current accounts, and a senior executive at the Financial Services Authority said regulatory intervention might be needed to instruct banks to charge for current accounts.

Earlier this month Sir David Walker, the newly appointed chairman of Barclays, indicated his support for the idea of paying for current accounts. Echoing the FSA Walker said that "in principle" he agreed customers should pay as it might prevent future mis-selling of financial products.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: "The suggestion that banks should increase charges to avoid more scandals defies logic and is a slap in the face for consumers who are being hit hard by one of the worst financial crises in recent times.

"It's a disgrace that the very people who bailed out the banks are being asked to pay more for the most basic accounts, while the industry continues to be rocked by scandals like PPI mis-selling, Libor rate-rigging and IT failures.

"Banks must be far more transparent about their fees and charges so people can clearly see what they already pay."

The research by Which? shows it is not just those in the red who are losing out. Consumers who stay in credit are also being hit through lost interest and hefty fees for withdrawing and spending cash abroad.
NatWest Select and Lloyds TSB Classic account customers who stay in credit with an average balance of £1,500, for example, lose out on £63 a year against what they would earn in a best-buy savings account.
Which? called on the banks to provide information so people can clearly see how much they pay for their accounts and are able to make easy comparisons between rival banks. It has called for the introduction of portable account numbers to make switching banks accounts as easy as changing mobile phone provider.
However, a spokesman for the British Bankers' Association said Which? was being "disingenuous" by equating the costs of certain specific services to the costs of a current account.

"Customers generally pay nothing for current accounts which allow them to access their cash 24/7 from free ATMs, online or by phone; pay bills and make payments by direct debit, standing order, electronic and telephone transfer; and to receive benefits, salaries and other payments," he said.

"The costs used by Which? in its press release are for borrowing money – a service for which everyone would expect to pay. Charges can be avoided completely simply by not going overdrawn, and most customers still enjoy free banking."

Courtesy of the guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

The posts l provide are my views of good recipes and also are shared from a number of contacts, news and blogging services. They are not always tried and tested by me unless it states that l have cooked any myself,whereby it will be noted on the post accordingly. Please tweet at #AceDebtNews or email News & Views

Thank you, Ian [Editor]