Workplace safety is all about attitude.  If your employees have the right attitude then they will follow safety procedures and encourage others to do the same.  If they have a bad attitude, accidents will abound.

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So much of workplace safety is about attitude. You can do hours of training and certification, but if your employees don’t have the right attitude it all goes to waste. Fortunately, much of your employees attitude is affected by how you manage.

First of all, managers need to be positive. Focus on praising good safety behavior whenever you see it. Both on an individual level and on a site or group wide level. This praise should be done on in a public way way as much as possible. Conversely, if you see bad safety behavior it needs to be addressed immediately. Usually, the best way to address bad safety behavior is with a private conversation with the employee. If the behavior continues, it should progress to a notation in their file and other disciplinary steps.

Another great way to promote positive safety actions is through group wide statistics. This can be done through company wide safety contests. This puts all the employees in a team. You will find that they will start reminding each other positive safety behaviors making your job much easier. AlsoScience Articles, if an employee gets injured in an accident they will feel like they are letting the team down. Display the statistics in a public place where everyone can keep track and display posters reminding employees of the safety behaviors wherever feasible.

As a manager you can affect safety attitudes. Your positive feedback and constructive criticism combined with a safety contest system will positively affect your employees. The workplace will be safer and more productive.

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Money represents one of the crucial yet annoying things that were invented for us. It is strange that we work for money and we spend it to satisfy our daily needs like food, clothing and shelter. In fact, your lifestyle almost depends on how much cash you have to take care of the present situation. But we may not always have enough money to take care of the current expense that is why Personal Loans were invented. Personal loan can be availed for various reasons, for example – financing a wedding, for house renovation or it could be any personal reason. Especially if you are living in an expensive place like in Mumbai in India then you might need various kinds of loans such as Mumbai Home Loan, Mumbai Loan against Property, Mumbai Car Loan or Mumbai Personal Loan.

Among all types of loans, personal loan is easiest to avail. They are usually simple to apply for, which makes it convenient option for financial requirements. Additionally, personal loans are unsecured types so borrowers need not provide any collateral when availing it. But many people are not aware of step-by-step process of when getting personal loan in Mumbai, so here we make it in 5 simple steps for you to understand the process better.

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Search for best lender – Lender could be any body – a bank or any financial firm ready to offer personal loan. Search for the best lender in terms of best interest rate and other fee. Basically do a inclusive and detailed market research of various option available like interest rate they offer, late fee and pre-payment charges and don’t forget to read the terms and conditions. Remember negotiation in possible in all kind of Mumbai loans and also check if they have in present special offers.

Do your Home work – Once you settle on a lender that is offering best loan to you, do your home work by working out on interest rate that might seems cheaper initially. For example, a 7% flat interest rate will be around 13% of effective cost. So choosing a monthly reducing balance option is wise then flat-rate or half-yearly reducing option. Don’t always rely upon what the agent might say, work out all the calculations at your end.

Document Collection – An agent from the bank or finance firm will then visit you for collecting documents supporting various proofs such as identity, income and residence proof. They might ask you for copies of IT returns, pay slip, passport, account statements, driving license, pan card, and other documents containing proofs. Various lenders may have various demands when it comes to proofs.

Investigation – Once you are done with submitting required documents, a field investigator would visit your home to check the facts of documents provided like place of your residence, tenure of your working period and others. Most important thing is your presence when agent visit, or else your application might be rejected.

Approval – After the lender is satisfied with verifications your loan will be approved. You might get the loan amount via cheque, demand drafts or direct transfer to the account.

Regardless of your job title, good organisational skills are essential to remaining focused, on top of your duties, and having a high work output. While organisation is good for any work position, it is especially crucial if you are a senior member of stuff, such as a project manager. The good news is that improving your organisation skills is quite easy, and below are our top tips for how to do it.

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Create a to-do list – Whether it’s simply filing and creating databases or your job as a senior developermeans you need to lead the way in productivity, a to-do list is essential. It’s one of the oldest organisational methods and has stood the test of time. By knowing what you have to do and having it in front of you, you can’t fail. You can even go one step further by allocating a period of time to each activity, so you know when to start, how long you have, and when to stop to move on. One of the biggest reasons to fall behind is to spend so long on one thing everything else gets neglected, but by allocating time this will not happen. Modern technology has also made this easier, with cross-platform apps like Wunderlist, you can create lists at home or on the train on your smart phone, and it will sync with the desktop program on your work and/or home computer.

Take notes – This is an important but overlooked step; you should be taking notes of many things, from what people tell you about your work, deadlines, and even when you talk to others. For example if you are talking to a partner or client and they mention something personal, like an illness, next time you talk you can ask about their recovery. This shows you care and can strengthen a relationship, and ensures you never forget something important.

Use a planner – This is similar to a to-do list, but extends beyond what you need to do that day. With a planner you can schedule meetings and conference calls in the future, and this makes sure you never forget an important appointment.

Read your planner – There’s no point writing in one if you never look in it, or only open it once you’ve missed an event. With that in mind, you should read it every night before you go to bed so you know what’s coming up the next day. You can also use this time to create the to-do list on your phone so it’s all sorted when you get to the office the next day.

Get plenty of rest – It’s one of the oldest sayings, and it may not seem possible with a heavy workload, but it is essential. When you are tired you lack concentration and focus, often opting to defer today’s tasks until tomorrow or, perhaps worse, completing them today but doing a poor job. If you are well rested and refreshed, you will be able to complete all of your tasks to your best ability and be able to move on without revisiting to improve what you have already completed.

Getting organised and being an outstanding project manager is not particularly difficult and is often more about routine than anything else. Once you are used to using a planner, creating lists and going to bed by a certain time you will soon find it all becomes second nature. As a result, you will be a better worker with a higher output and better results. You never knowComputer Technology Articles, you could even impress your boss so much that you get a promotion.

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Submitted by: Andrew Michaels

As the chief executive officer of your company, you can make management-by-objectives (MBO) work for you and your business. You gain an extra advantage when you use MBO for managing your new company right from the start. If you re planning to engage in folder printing business for example, specializing in presentation folders and have targeted big time companies as customers, you need MBO. That s because you won t have to undo less effective, more traditional ways of management that have become static and obsolete, as what happened with so many companies that have operated in the old and conventional ways.

The new way is to sit down with those who report directly to you and work out with them the major objectives of your company so you can get your desired results. For example, you must present to them the direction or where you want your company to be in the future.

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When you start your own company, there may be only one or two people who will work with you. Maybe one designer of presentation folders and one cashier for your printing business. As your company grows, and you add managers to your list of personnel, you ll want to go through the same procedure with a larger group.

Then you ll work with each of your subordinates in helping them set their personal objectives. Since they know what the major objectives of the company are, they can fit their plans in with yours. You may assign an authority for carrying out one or two of the company objectives to each of the people who report to you. They will then develop the plans for the activities they will engage in to accomplish these major objectives. The result will be a network of plans aimed at achieving the overall objectives of the company.

All personnel will know how their efforts fit in with the overall effort of the company. The network of plans composes a productivity improvement program for your business, and each member will have something to say about his or her contribution to the result.

All plans will be written down informally in memos from subordinates to the boss. In essence, these memos will be a record of agreement between the two personalities. They become a confirmation of a sort of psychological contract of work. The subordinate says in essence: We ve agreed to what I m supposed to accomplish during the next six months or year; and I understand how many efforts will contribute to the productivity of the business. You ve done your part by coaching me in the discussion we have had. In one or two instances, you ve shown me that I m reaching too high; in others, I set too low a target. But now we re agreed, and I m willing to be judged by how well I do in reaching those targets. Of course we both understand that if I fail to achieve an objective because of circumstances beyond my control, you ll take that into consideration when assessing my performance.

In putting MBO to work for you, the process should result in plans and objectives that contribute to the input and output aspects of productivity improvement. Be sure that plans contain an appropriate balance between efficiency-type objectives and effectiveness-type objectives. The MBO will serve as your guide in achieving your dreams for your business. It will also be your back-up or support to become an effective and efficient manager of your own business or company.

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First of all, if you are looking for ways to boost the storage space of your van, you’ve probably already come across the different kinds of racks that you can attach to your vehicle. The most popular of these are the van racks and the truck ladder racks.

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If you are looking for ways to boost the storage space of your van, you’ve probably already come across the different kinds of racks that you can attach to your vehicle. The most popular of these are the van racks and the truck ladder racks.

A lot of vehicle owners are probably wondering what the differences are between these two types of racks and frankly, there really isn’t much. They serve the same basic purpose, which is to offer extra storage on top or along the sides of your vehicle. They can both carry much more than just ladders but also other big and bulky items that are not convenient to stuff into the inside of the vehicle.

The only difference is probably the fact that van racks are designed for cargo vans and personal vans, while truck ladder racks are designed for pickup trucks or cargo trucks, which is actually quite obvious. Other than that, van racks and truck ladder racks are essentially the same in every respect.

Now, if you are a van owner looking to increase the storage capacity of your vehicle, you will be pleased to know that there are many different rack options out there that you can choose from. First, you should decide whether you want the rack to go on top of the van or on the side.

Top-mounted racks can typically carry more items and heavier loads. Most of them are permanent structures that have to be bolted on to the top of the truck using heavy-duty screws to ensure that they are secure and safe. Aluminum and steel are the two most commonly used materials for manufacturing these trucks because of their durability and resistance to the elements.

Side-mounted racks, on the other hand, can also carry heavy loads although the weight capacity is not as large as the top-mounted varieties. They can also carry fewer items and are usually restricted to holding ladders and other objects of similar built.

Both van racks and truck ladder racks can come in either the permanent or temporary variety, and the choice would depend on how much you think you are going to use the rack. If you are a contractor who carries ladders and other equipment with you to work daily, a permanent installation would be more advisable. However, if you are only going to use the rack for recreational purposes during vacations, a temporary rack will be more suitable for your purpose.

Regardless of the type of rack that you choose, one very important element to consider is the weight capacity of the rack. Many people tend to overlook this simple but crucial factor, sometimes ending up overloading their rack. Although they may get away with it sometimes, this is not a safe practice at all and can lead to disastrous accidents not only to you but to other people on the road as well. BesidesFeature Articles, there is a legal limit as to how much you can load onto a vehicle rack so you should really be very careful.

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Some of the world’s largest open cut mines are so big that they’re visible from space. Yes, that’s about 150km above the Earth!

In this article, we’re all about BIG. We’ve scoured the globe to find mines that are the biggest in some way. Whether it’s the largest diamond or coal mine, the deepest underground or largest open cut mine, you’re guaranteed to see some spectacular views.

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Bingham Canyon Mine, United States – The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mine located southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. It is the world’s deepest man-made open pit excavation at 1.2 km deep and 4.5 km wide! While it is primarily a copper mine, it has also produced significant amounts of gold, silver, molybdenum, platinum and palladium. If the mine was a stadium, it could seat nine million people.


Mirny Mine, Russia – The Mirny Mine is the world’s largest open cut diamond mine, and the second largest excavated hole in the world. It is 525 m deep and has a diameter of 1,200 m. The airspace above the mine creates such immense downward air flow that it’s closed to helicopters.


Kalgoorlie Super Pit, Australia – It may not be the largest in the world, but the Kalgoorlie Super Pit gold mine isAustralia’s largest open cut gold mine. The pit is oblong in shape and approximately 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 570 m deep. At these dimensions, it is large enough to be seen from space. It is an incredibly important project to Australian mining.


Grasberg Mine, Indonesia – Looking beyond our shores now and the world’s largest gold mine is just across the Timor Sea in Indonesia. Opened in 1973, it now employs 19,500 workers. Besides gold, it also produces silver and copper; it is actually the third largest copper mine.


North Antelope Rochelle Mine, United States – The North Antelope Rochelle coal mine lies in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and is currently the world’s largest coal mine by reserve. The mine was estimated to contain more than 2.3 billion tonnes of recoverable coal as of December 2012.


Hull Rust Mine, United States – The world’s biggest open pit iron mine can be found near Hibbing, Minnesota. At its maximum, the area covered by the Hull Rust mine is 8 km long, 3.2 km wide and 180 m deep. It looks like a man-made Grand Canyon of over 2,000 acres. The centre of the actual pit is located where the original town of Hibbing once stood, which has since been relocated.


Garzweiler Mine, Germany – At the Garzweiler strip mine they remove the top ground layer to extract lignite. The total mining surface is a staggering 48 km² and several villages had to be moved for the mining operation. It is expected to extract 1.3 billion tonnes of lignite from the mine. This size and type of mining required the creation of the Bagger 288, a 13,500 tonne bucket-wheel excavator that can excavate 240,000 tonnes of coal or ground a day.


Ghawar Field, Saudi Arabia – Measuring 280 km x 30 km, the Ghawar Field is by far the largest conventional oil field in the world, accounting for more than half of the cumulative oil production of Saudi Arabia. Relatively little technical information is publicly available as the operator Saudi Aramco and the Saudi government closely guard field performance data and per-field production details.


El Teniente Mine, Chile – Chile’s El Teniente (“The Lieutenant”) mine is the world’s largest underground copper operation and the sixth biggest copper mine by reserve size. The mine is accessed by a 3.5 km tunnel and the ore is hauled to the surface through a railroad system. There are more than 2,400 km of underground drifts and in excess of 1,500 km of underground road developed since the mine began operations.


Sifto Salt Mine, Canada – The Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich, Ontario, is the largest underground salt mine in the world. It is a 600 m deep rock salt mine, which extends 13 km2 under Lake Huron and produces over 9 million tonnes of highway de-icing salt annually.

At National Plant & Equipment, we know a thing or two about mining, or really project that needs heavy earthmoving equipment. We stock one of Australia’s largest ranges of equipment used in mining, including mining machinery and mining plant hire.

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Used mini excavators are for sale in Oregon and they come along with many attachments intended for different works that you can find accurately what you needed to have the job done. When you are searching to dig footers for a new house or just assembling a garage in your home, you may use the bucket accessory. If you intend to break up rocks or concrete you may use the hydraulic hammer accessory to aid in jack hammering hard surfaces.

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There are two major challenges in looking for dealers of mini excavators for Oregon business: finding the exact Mini mechanical digger that you need and finding the finest dealers you can work with. Buyer Zone may help you. They may connect you dealers of mini excavators all over Oregon and other parts of the country. Their intelligent identical process will assist you compare various mini excavators in order that you may assess their products, support, pricing and professionalism.

Tips in operating mini mechanical digger:

– Mini mechanical digger are considered as digging machines, however they can be helpful in grading, lifting heavy objects and to compact a sub grade also. The longer the machine is used, the more skilled you become and the more jobs you can find.

– Be conscious that although a mini excavator is moderately small and has light weight, it can smash up surface it is driving on, including hot asphalt, grass and pavements.

Mini excavators are able to do the following tasks with ease:

– Breaking up rocks or excavating holes for pipes by connecting a hammer.

– Mini excavators do not disturb traffic while digging up in sidewalks or performing work adjacent the street.

– These excavators are used for digging up septic tanks or doing landscaping in your own yard.

– You may use them in digging up the location where you want to put the pool.

Some benefits given by mini mechanical digger include the following:

– They are able to fit in little tight spaces. Some may even fit in small yard entrances.

– They are able to spin in 360 degree round so you need not to move around when operating.

– Almost anyone can operate an excavator because it is easy to learn how to handle it.

– These excavators can be loaded on some truck trailers because of their small sizes, so hauling is easy to be done.

– They are also light and contain rubber treads, therefore, you must not worry regarding tearing up the lawn if doing improvements in your home.

So far, ou­r discussions have focused on how springs and dampers function on any given wheel. But the four wheels of a car work together in two independent systems — the two wheels connected by the front axle and the two wheels connected by the rear axle. That means that a car can and usually does have a different type of suspension on the front and back.

Suspension Types: Front

So far, ou­r discussions have focused on how springs and dampers function on any given wheel. But the four wheels of a car work together in two independent systems — the two wheels connected by the front axle and the two wheels connected by the rear axle. That means that a car can and usually does have a different type of suspension on the front and back. Much is determined by whether a rigid axle binds the wheels or if the wheels are permitted to move independently. The former arrangement is known as a dependent system, while the latter arrangement is known as an independent system. In the following sections, we’ll look at some of the common types of front and back suspensions typically used on mainstream cars.

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Dependent Front Suspensions

Dependent front suspensions have a rigid front axle that connects the front wheels. Basically, this looks like a solid bar under the front of the car, kept in place by leaf springsand shock absorbers. Common on trucks, dependent front suspensions haven’t been used in mainstream cars for years.

Independent Front Suspensions

In this setup, the front wheels are allowed to move independently. The MacPherson strut, developed by Earle S. MacPherson of General Motors in 1947, is the most widely used front suspension system, especially in cars of European origin.

The MacPherson strut combines a shock absorber and a coil spring into a single unit. This provides a more compact and lighter suspension system that can be used for front-wheel drive vehicles.

Double-wishbone suspension on Honda Accord 2005 Coupe

The double-wishbone suspension, also known as an A-arm suspension, is another common type of front independent suspension.

While there are several different possible configurations, this design typically uses two wishbone-shaped arms to locate the wheel. Each wishbone, which has two mounting positions to the frame and one at the wheel, bears a shock absorber and a coil spring to absorb vibrations. Double-wishbone suspensions allow for more control over the camber angle of the wheel, which describes the degree to which the wheels tilt in and out. They also help minimize roll or sway and provide for a more consistent steering feel. Because of these characteristicsFeature Articles, the double-wishbone suspension is common on the front wheels of larger cars.

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ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

January 7th, 2020

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw! or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
Add or view comments
((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

Canada’s Don Valley West (Ward 26) city council candidates speak

December 29th, 2019

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Don Valley West (Ward 26). Four candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Muhammad Alam, Bahar Aminvaziri, Orhan Aybars, Michele Carroll-Smith, Mohamed Dhanani, Abdul Ingar, Geoff Kettel, Debbie Lechter, Natalie Maniates, John Masterson, John Parker, David Thomas, Csaba Vegh, and Fred Williams.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.


  • 1 Geoff Kettel
  • 2 Natalie Maniates
  • 3 John Parker
  • 4 Csaba Vegh