Shared posts

05 Sep 20:03

Open Letter to US Border Patrol (CBP)

by Travis McCrea
Wallinen

Awww

Border Patrol In Montana

Activism – Travis McCrea: Yesterday, I was held for two hours (not detained, we will get into that later) by CBP, under suspicion that my political party (Pirate Party) in Canada might be a violent extremist organization. When they gave me the keys to my car I was in such a hurry to get back home, that I forgot to get anyones names so I could send a card directly so instead I will have to just write an open letter, and hope it gets to the right people.

Dear Buffalo Border Patrol (@CBPBuffalo),

Hey guys, you may or may not remember me but as frequently as you hold me, I would be surprised if you didn’t. I am the guy who drives the car that one of your officers described as “gay”, which I assume he meant “fabulous” so I appreciate the compliment.

though after googing this image…

I am also the guy yesterday who you accused of being a terrorist.

I am getting ahead of myself though, now that you remember me I wanted to make a few apologies:

Sorry For Telling Stupid Jokes At The Initial Crossing

I come through the border a lot, and I always arrive with a smile ask how the officer is doing, and promptly hand over my keys when asked. This time, I thought I would try breaking the ice with a joke, so when handing over my keys I suggested “you guys keep searching my car and finding nothing, but have you considered that I might just be smuggling Fiats?”, to which you just stared at me.

I am not good at reading body language, so I figure you were just laughing on the inside but I was unable to see it in your eyes. Incase my joke offended you or made you think I was really smuggling Fiats – I am sorry. In hindsight the joke wasn’t all that funny, and perhaps next time I will come up with something better.

badjoke

Sorry That I Was Unable To Answer Questions

I didn’t want to be rude, I know that if you came to my house I would expect that you would answer basic questions that I would ask of you — nothing too personal or anything, just “tell me more about your political beliefs” and “is your political party a violent extremist organization”, just friendly conversation because “I am interested in the party personally, and just want to know more”. You expected me to be more forthcoming, and when I rudely didn’t answer your questions I could see you were getting upset at me.

I also should have been paying better attention to both officers who were asking me questions. When one told me he was done with me and that I should go sit back down, I should have known that by going to sit back down I would be acting suspicious to the second one who didn’t tell me to go anywhere.

I should point out that when I did answer questions, they always just lead to more questions and more questions. When I didn’t answer any questions I was able to go sit down, so I thought you were trying to subtly tell me you wanted less information. Again, I am not good at reading people so I am sorry for that.

silent

Sorry I Thought I Could Leave When You Said “You Are Not Being Detained”

When I asked you “am I being detained?” and you said “no”, I figured that I was free to leave. After all, my interpretation of the law is that I am either being detained or arrested, or that I am free to leave. This must be my own ignorance, because as I walked towards the door you told me if I took another step that I would be in handcuffs. Yikes.

underarrest

I wasn’t trying to cause a scene, though I am sure it looked that way. I just temporarily forgot that it is your belief that within border crossing, you have supreme law which supersedes all other civil liberties. My mistake.

Sorry About Offending You

When I was being questioned you asked if I was recording anything from my car and I told you that I was (because there was no sign outside anywhere which said I couldn’t).

nothingtohide

When I suggested that if you were doing nothing wrong, what did you have to hide… you got angry at me. You seemed to think that it was interfering with your search of my vehicle which is illegal. The last thing I want to do is interfere. The only reason I responded with that line, is that you have used it so frequently on me and I have heard it so often in the news… I thought it was an appropriate question to ask.

Sorry That I Started Coughing Uncontrollably

Remember that time when I was in my seat, coughing uncontrollably and you guys were just looking at me over the counter? Classic. Happens when I don’t have my inhaler. Luckily for me, I don’t have asthma just a really bad case of bronchitis, and after 5 minutes of hacking my lungs up in your detention secondary screening that I cannot leave from room, you asked if I was having a medical emergency…

coughing

You then took me out to my car to grab my inhaler, so obviously your officers deserve a big thank you for being concerned that I might die under their watch. To further this, later you asked me what narcotics I was on, and not if I was on any, so I am guessing you figured I was just smoking pot in the detention secondary screening area.

potsmoker

Sorry My Car Was A Mess

I have been searched crossing into the US every time I come through over the past 3 months, this totals over 8 inspections. I decided to leave the floorboard detaached from my trunk, since I figured you removed it last time — you might want to have easy access in the future.

Yesterday, however, my car was a mess — normally I like to keep my car super clean and sexy. Today I felt like you might be judging me. If you did judge me, I deserved it… it probably looked like a 12 year old’s room 3 days after Christmas.

dirty-room-o

Though you must have interpreted my messy car as some sort of weapon of mass destruction, because after searching it you accused me of being a terrorist. Next time, I will try to clean my car a little more.

Sorry You Mistook Me For A Terrorist

I will be honest, I have respect for what you think you are doing: protecting freedom. We might disagree on your effectiveness from time to time, but it’s the thought that counts, right? I was, however, surprised when you suggested I was a terrorist.

For starters, the fact that I and my girlfriend were the only two white people in holding for the two hours we were there makes me proud of your department for showing progressive values and applying affirmative action to your secondary searches. Even though ~75% of the population of America is white, we were equally represented (maybe even under represented) in comparison to hispanic and middle eastern / east asian people. While basically all of your officers were white males (some white females), the fact that you balance that out by detaining more minorities makes up for it.

whitepeople

I know that my car is messy, and that my political affiliation, being a prime concern of all border agents, does say “Pirate Party” and just like Al-Quida means “Terrorist Party” in arabic, you would be concerned that a criminal organization would just put their dastardly deeds right in the title of their organization. Perhaps we should be something less suspicious like “The Base Party”.

interrogation

One of your agents came up to me, and said that he didn’t want to violate my civil liberties and that if he could get a little cooperation it would be great because otherwise he has all this paperwork he has to fill out, and he has other parts of his job he enjoys way more than paperwork. Please make sure that he gets my apologies, I didn’t think to ask him what he prefers doing… I was being selfish and thinking only about myself.

Immediately after that the officer asked what my dads name is, what my moms name is, what her citizenship status was in America — and because I know he hated paperwork, I tried to be nice and cooperate. However, he then asked me again if my political party had any radical elements to it. I refused to answer the question and he got angry. I do hate making people angry and perhaps in different circumstances we could be friends, please ensure he knows he has an open invitation to have a beer with me.

I just had this strange urge to shut down every time it was suggested that I was a terrorist. It’s not you, it’s me. Clearly that is an abnormal reaction to the suggestion.

picarddrumhead

When you suggested if I don’t answer your questions that you would call the FBI, I actually got really excited. I have always thought the FBI looked really cool. As a guy who watches White Collar all the time, I was ready to have our conversation and didn’t mean to offend you when I encouraged you to call them. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to you anymore, just to live out my fantasy of an FBI interrogation.

Sorry That I Am Not A Terrorist

I was let down when after all the threats that you made about what you could do to me: lock me up, call the FBI, etc — after two hours you just gave me my keys and said I could go. I had even tucked in my shirt and gave my girlfriend her credit card that I was holding onto, just in case I was taken into custody and she wasn’t.

I will be sure to release my audio recordings, as I always do. That way everyone can see what an amazing job you are doing. Last time, I tried to show how manly your officers are by releasing an audio clip where a male officer said to a female officer that he might have to squeeze next to her, but he would “love every second of it”. If that doesn’t show just how masculine and awesome your agents are, I don’t know what will… but I will keep trying.

shrug

You keep bringing me in for secondary screening, and since you have no probable cause or legal justification for it — other than the mandate that pretty much says you can do whatever you want — I am going to guess that you just enjoy my company. So for that, I thank you. I am sorry that sometimes we have our disagreements, but clearly that doesn’t bother you too much, so I will keep being me.

<3 Thank You Border Patrol (CBP),

fantasticday

Travis McCrea

27 Jul 18:04

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod Actually Supports Heavier DSLR Cameras

by Adam Dachis

Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod Actually Supports Heavier DSLR Cameras

Manfrotto, known for their higher-quality camera stabilization gear, made a mini tripod actually worth using. Unlike the cheap options you'll find, it adjusts easily, won't break after moderate use, and still fits in your pocket.

Read more...

    


27 Jul 14:16

TV6 sänder The International Dota 2 Championship

by Johan Olander
Wallinen

Dota i Teveeen.

E-sport har växt sig så det knakar de senaste åren och det var många som jublade när SVT gav kärlek till denna del av spelens förlovade värld. Nu ger sig även TV6 in i leken och kommer sända The International, som är världens största turnering i Dota 2.
10 Apr 16:56

Nu läxar regeringen upp operatörerna

"När det gäller spektrum för mobiltelefoni så är Sverige bäst i hela Europa. Det borde också betyda att vi både kan och ska ha det bästa och mest välfungerande mobilnätet", säger Anna-Karin Hatt.

"När det gäller spektrum för mobiltelefoni så är Sverige bäst i hela Europa. Det borde också betyda att vi både kan och ska ha det bästa och mest välfungerande mobilnätet", säger Anna-Karin Hatt.

Täckningskartan måste stämma bättre med verkligheten, kräver it-ministern.

Täckningskartan måste stämma bättre med verkligheten, kräver it-ministern.

När Anna-Karin Hatt talade inför de svenska mobiloperatörerna på PTS marknadsdag tidigare i dag framförde hon krav på att mobiloperatörerna måste bli bättre på att uppfylla kundernas förväntningar på att kunna ringa och surfa utan avbrott.

– Låt mig vara riktigt uppriktig mot er. Det är inte okej att svenska mobilkonsumenter inte får det de har rätt att förvänta sig. Det måste bli ändring på det. Det måste bli slut på orealistiska löften. Det måste bli slut på täckningskartor som inte har någon koppling till det människor upplever i verkligheten, sa hon i talet.

De fysiska förutsättningarna är inget som operatörerna enligt Anna-Karin Hatt kan skylla på när det gäller bristen på kapacitet för kunderna. I stället efterlyser hon större investeringar från operatörerna för att komma till rätta med de problem som finns i näten.

– När det gäller spektrum för mobiltelefoni så är Sverige bäst i hela Europa. Inget annat europeiskt land har frigjort lika mycket spektrum för mobila tjänster som vi, sa Anna-Karin Hatt i sitt tal.

– Sådana bra förutsättningar borde också betyda att vi både kan och ska ha det bästa och mest välfungerande mobilnätet i hela Europa.

Om operatörerna inte lever upp till kraven kan det bli aktuellt med en skärpt lagstiftning, enligt Anna-Karin Hatt.

Just nu finns enligt henne ett antal förslag ute på remiss som ska stärka kundernas ställning mot operatörerna. Det gäller inte bara mobiltäckning utan även begränsade uppsägningstider och att operatörslåsta telefoner ska låsas upp automatiskt efter att bindningstiden gått ut.

Hon tycker också att operatörernas information måste bli bättre och att det ska vara enklare att förstå vad som ingår när konsumenten köper en telekomtjänst. Anna-Karin Hatt hoppas att operatörerna ska vara med på noterna och självmant arbeta för att ta bort dolda avgifter och otydligheter.

– Den som tror på det man säljer, och som tycker om att köra med öppna kort, borde också applådera de nya förslagen.

10 Apr 16:54

Se upp - routrar öppna för intrång

Wallinen

Watch out Linksys users

Om du har en Linksys-router bör du se upp. Flera versioner är öppna för intrång utifrån.

En del versioner av Linksys routrar för trådlösa nätverk är öppna för intrång, det skriver nätpublikationen Arstechnica som hänvisar till säkerhetsexperten Phil Purviance.

Phil säger att hacket börjar med en cross-site förfrågan som skickas till routern från din dator om du går in på en smittad hemsida.

Skriptet attackerar vanliga ip-adresser för standardgateway som 192.168.1.1.

Hacket kringgår lösenordsmekanismen i routern och kan ställa om lösenordet i routern. När routern väl är hackad kan den öppnas upp mot internet och hackaren kan ta sig in den vägen och få tillgång till ditt nätverk.

Enligt ett uttalande från Linksys ska sårbarheten ha fixats i routrar som skeppades från och med juni förra året.

Phil Purviance ska ha hittat fyra säkerhetsbrister i den standardfirmware som finns i EA2700.

Linksys har släppt en fix som är tillgänglig via deras hemsida.

10 Apr 09:44

Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooker

Am I right to be afraid of pressure cookers? What's the worst thing that can happen if you misuse a pressure cooker in an ordinary kitchen?

—Delphine Lourtau

The worst thing?

Pressure cookers are dangerous.

They can explode, in a sense, but not as violently as you might fear (or hope). The pressure inside a consumer cooker doesn’t go above about two atmospheres—about the pressure inside a can of soda. Those levels can be dangerous, but they’re generally not high enough to cause the metal to violently rupture.

So what makes a pressure cooker dangerous?

Imagine a world where Pepsi is scalding hot. Now imagine that someone shakes up a can of Pepsi and sets it in front of you.

That’s the real threat from a pressure cooker: If the seal fails (or the lid is opened too early), it can spray scalding stew in all directions.

But it’s not really an explosion.

The blast couldn’t even fling the lid very far. If you mounted a rifle-style barrel on a pressure cooker, even in ideal circumstances it wouldn’t be able to fire the lid much faster than you could throw it. Any potato cannon (especially this one) could do better.

Of course, the question wasn’t about whether a pressure cooker is likely to explode. It was about what the worst thing that could happen was.

If you disable the safety valve, there are plenty of ways to produce much more dangerous pressures. You could completely fill it with water and heat it, fill it with Drano and aluminum foil, or just pump in air from a compressor.

The result would depend on your pressure cooker. Chances are it would start to leak. If it didn’t, and it somehow stayed together up a few hundred atmospheres (pressures typical of scuba tank), when it finally ruptured it could easily kill you.

Even so, that’s far from the worst thing you could do with a pressure cooker.

Frankly, there are so many options it would be impossible to survey them all. But for my money, one of the most horrifying things you could do is this:

(Note: Never try this, for reasons which will become obvious in a moment.)

Fill the cooker with oxygen up to 5 PSI, then pump in fluorine until it starts escaping through the safety valve. Put the vessel over an open flame until it reaches 700°C (That’s °C, not °F. Yes, this will probably set off the smoke alarm.) Now, pump the hot gas over a liquid-oxygen-cooled stainless steel surface.

The procedure here is a little tricky, but if you do things right, the gas will condense into dioxygen difluoride (O2F2).

And that stuff is awful.

Ray Bradbury taught us that paper burns when exposed to oxygen at temperatures above 451°F. Dioxygen difluoride is so volatile that it makes almost any organic substance ignite and explode at any temperature hotter than 300°F below zero. It can literally make ice catch fire.

In an article about O2F2, Chemistry blogger Derek Lowe (of the excellent In The Pipeline) used phrases like “violently hideous”, “deeply alarming”, and “chemicals that I never hope to encounter”. Another article refers to fluorine as “the gas of Lucifer”, and lists chemists who were poisoned or blown up while attempting to work with it.

If your house is heated by natural gas, and it happens to contain hydrogen sulfide, you could pipe some of it into your container of O2F2. In addition to a massive explosion, this will also produce a cloud of hydrogen fluoride gas. Hydrogen fluoride can dissolve human tissue on contact, starting with your lungs and corneas.

As Lowe points out, the chemistry of this kind of reaction (O2F2 and sulfides) is largely unexplored.

Which gives us an answer to our question. What’s the worst thing that can happen in a pressure cooker?

Science.

10 Apr 05:28

EU President, IT Staff Don’t Understand Democracy, Maths, Truth

by Andrew "K`Tetch" Norton
email security

Activism – Andrew "K`Tetch" Norton: Last month there were revelations about the EU Parliament IT system, and the arbitrary way in which email blocks on legitimate topics can be implemented with lighting speed. Yesterday, Christian Engstrom MEP, has received a response to his complaint from EU President Martin Schulz. It states, in short, that Mr Schulz can’t do maths, and doesn’t understand technology, or the importance of being able to contact elected representatives.

The letter, dated March 28th but delivered April 8th, indicates that the President was aware, and approves of the means used. In short “we got a few hundred thousand emails on this topic, felt it might take down the system and so blocked it all. Plus it was all from less than a thousand email addresses.”

It’s not actually the case though, there’s a lot wrong with the contents of the letter. Firstly, he doesn’t get technology, but also have a big problem with maths, and participatory democracy.

But let’s break down the letter, eh?

Dear Mr Engstrom
Thank you for your e-mail and fax of 12 March in relation to blocking e-mails from citizens concerning the report on “Eliminating gender stereotypes”.
The IT department of the European Parliament noticed on 7 March an excessive number of emails towards EP e-mail boxes coming from external senders.

So here’s the first thing. The IT department gets to decide what an ‘excessive amount’ is. That amount is irrespective of major issues, but seems to be ‘big spike, kill it’. Giving some IT wonk control over whether an issue is ‘important enough’ to be able to contact your elected representatives is not a good thing.

An analysis by the IT department in relation to these external e-mails has shown the following
- The e-mails sent were in relation to the report on “Eliminating gender stereotypes”;

No, really? A filter that blocked emails sent to elected representatives on an issue was in response to emails on that issue. Never would have thought that!

- 708,683 messages were sent to the European Parliament (of which 457,325 were blocked after installing a filter and 251,358 delivered;

So, 708k emails (let’s say 709k and leave it at that round number) were sent, which is a ‘big deal’. There are 754 MEP’s. So, how does that break down? 940 emails per member. It’s not that big a flood (and it’s even smaller than that, as we’ll get to shortly). It’s a month’s worth of email for my primary account, but I also don’t hold an elected position, or have a staff to deal with it.

Also, note the cavalier attitude to blocking 64% of email sent to MEPs by constituents. As if it doesn’t really matter.

- the e-mails were received from 850 different addresses; on average this is more than 800 e-mails per address;

Well, as we’ve already noted, there’s 754 MEPs, so any email sent to all, would go to over 750. Unfortunately, the ‘average’ part is kind of ruined by the very next point.

- One single e-mail address was responsible for sending 106,771 e-mails to the European Parliament;

So, what’s 106,771 divided by the 754 MEPs? 141. 141 people used Rick’s emailer. It’s a good job it wasn’t a huge number of people then, eh?

Now, let’s take that one address out, how does the ‘over 800 average’ last then? Well, 601,912 divided by the 849 address left gives an average of… 709. Not even one to every MEP, and a good chunk from the average he made sound so important.

By the way, anyone have any guesses what that one email address was? Could the answer be found on, say, the much publicised page where the issue was brought up? Why yes it could.

In other words, it is therefore time to mail the European Parliament with our opinions.
You may remember how we did that in the anti-ACTA campaign. I have set up a mail alias that resolves to every Member of European Parliament (all some 750 of them); the mail alias is europarl-all-mar2013@falkvinge.net. Mail them right now, regardless of whether you are an EU citizen or not.

Or it could be the successor address after the blocking issue came up.

Further, you may want to use an alternative mail alias, europarl@piratenpartij.nl.

I think I’ve found the emails…

But, back to President Schulz, and his letter.

- The number of messages per minute shows that there are several levels of continuous sending of e-mails (500 e-mails per minute, 450 e-mails per minute, 400 e-mails per minute etc) which indicates an organised action using automatic means for sending mass e-mails to the European Parliament.

Yes. You are right. There was an organised action. That’s often how citizen pressure works, especially in tight timeframes. We tend to call it ‘activism’ or perhaps ‘campaigning’. You might have heard of it.

Also, all e-mail is sent using ‘automatic means’, you’re hardly logging directly in to the EP server, and typing it out directly on the server. ‘Automated means’ is also a pretty good way to describe multi-recipient emails. You don’t have to send emails out one-by-one, copying the body and putting a new recipient each time.

That’s also why you get blocks of 500, or 400 – mass mail tends to work in batches, it’s not exactly high priority traffic. If it takes 30 extra seconds to get to its destination, no-one cares. It’s not like a video stream, or a website.

I think someone in your IT department has set you up to look like an idiot, Mr Schulz (that’s BOFH’s for you)

- when analysing the servers from which the e-mails were sent, two main servers have been identified which are responsible for sending the vast majority of the e-mails to the European Parliament;

Yeah, we already mentioned them. Did you? No, because if you revealed that it was a Dutch political party, and a well-known political activist who is the founder of an entire political movement with elected members of the EP, then the perceived rational goes from ‘spam blocking’ to ‘political muzzling’.

Considering that the European Parliament receives on average 250,000 e-mails from external senders per day and that in addition 230,000 e-mails concerning the report on “Eliminating gender stereotypes” were received, this is a strong indication that the European Parliament is being targeted by mass e-mail.

First of all, the European Parliament collectively receive less than 250,000/day? That’s not a good sign. When you add in lobbying, automated lists and that there are thousands of email addresses in the EP (not just one per MEP, but all their staff etc) that’s a REALLY low number. Say 3 staff, plus the MEP, that’s 3000 email addresses, and 250k doesn’t sound a lot now. In fact the European parliament itself says there’s over 6600 people working at the European Parliament, so it works out to 37/day. I’ve had 42 emails between midnight at 2pm, and it’s been a quiet day.

Second, yes, we know it was targeted by mass email. That’s what a mass email protest looks like, when something a lot of people feel strongly about is revealed. 30 years ago, they would have written, and because of the way the postal services works, it would have been spread out over days as word took time to spread, and then people write, and the postal services delivers. Now the word can spread globally in minutes, and responses hit your inbox quicker than a pizza can be delivered. It’s the modern world, and if you can’t understand that, then you have no business being President.

In order to guarantee the functionality of the European Parliament’s e-mail system (which is one of the essential services offered to the European Parliament) it was decided to install a filter at 9:30 to reduce the number of external emails in relation to the report on “Eliminating gender stereotypes”

OOPS! Someone’s been caught out in a lie. See, we have this tweet from the European Parliament which says something a bit different.

Automatic filters were triggered on 7 March because of an enormous influx of mails sent to MEPs – nothing to do with content #mepblock

— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) March 8, 2013

Except as we now know, it wasn’t automatic. It was deliberately put in place because of people contacting MEPs, according to Mr Schulz

Seriously, don’t say it’s an automatic filter when it’s actually a response to a campaign against a topic. That’s NOT GOOD. Secondly, the European Parliament is filtering based on responses to a certain topic, RELEVENT to pending legislation. That’s COMPLETELY different from “nothing to do with content”

And sure an email storm is going to affect email servers, if they’re badly set up. The reasoning is that there’s a certain level of e-mails and beyond that is too much’. Again, doesn’t really work that way. Any properly set up email system should have no problem with this volume of mail, which can’t be said for the MEPs. This is ably demonstrated by British MEP Charles Tannock who replied to the Eu Parliament tweet saying

.@europarl_en Appreciated as MEPs overwelmed with lobbying email on farming & internet freedom-price of free & instant acces to elected reps

— Charles Tannock (@CharlesTannock) March 8, 2013

That’s not a great thing for the ECR Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Coordinator to say. Perhaps if those emailing had taken him to dinner, like a PROPER lobbyist, he’d have been more receptive. Plus it flies in the face of the Article 8 of the European Declaration of Human Rights

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Clearly there is no respect for correspondence from the President or the IT department, and there has been interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right. Indeed, blocking out communications with elected representatives on a single topic is a clear and flagrant violation of Article 8.

After the filter was installed, the European Parliament received 250,000 additional e0mails by 16:00 of the same day. At noon on 8 March there were 500,000 e-mails and on 9 March 708,683 e-mails in total were received from external sources all in relation to the report on “Eliminating Gender stereotypes.

Again, undermining your position a bit here, Martin. Rick’s original piece was published 21:30 on March 6. After 12 hours, you had 250,000 emails in on the topic, which were let through before you installed a block. So until the block (roughly 10am March 7) was installed, you had 251,358 emails.

Next you say that after the filter, you had another 250,000 emails by 16:00 that day (the 7th), for a total of 501,000 emails.

Your next line says that by noon on the 8th, you had 500,000 emails. I’m assuming that’s blocked, because you were already over that, total, 20 hours earlier. So that’s 751,000 emails. Then you close by saying by the 9th, you’d had a total of 708,683 emails.

The problem is, you’ve already accounted for more than that at noon on the 8th.

The numbers DO NOT ADD UP as presented. The only way they would, is if those that were delivered circumvented the filter, and there were very few emails sent before the filter was implemented.

That and now you’ve explained the number wasn’t 709k emails in 24 hours, but really spread out between March 6 and March 9 (3 days) it seems even less of a threat, with less than the quantity of email you admit to finding ‘average’. Hardly a tsunami of email.

Out of the 708,683 e-mails, 457,325 were blocked (after installing a filter) and 251,358 were delivered. No e-mails have been deleted or cancelled, and all e-mails which have been blocked are in the “quarantine” part of the infrastructure.

Hmm, that’s nice. Not deleted or cancelled, but just held in indefinite storage, in a folder no-one can access. If you move emails to the ‘trash’ folder, or files to the Recycle bin’, you’ve not deleted them either, but just ‘put them in quarantine’.

Sure you’ve not actually deleted them, they still exist, but as far as the recipients are concerned, they have been de-facto deleted. I asked Christian Engstrom MEP about these emails, and if he’d been sent any that had passed ‘quarantine’ His reply?

No, they have not been delivered to MEPs .The IT department may have them somewhere, but since MEPs cannot access them directly, and are probably not even aware of their existence in most cases, that is no help. For all practical purposes, the emails were discarded without any notice given either the citizen sender or the MEP recipient

Yet another lie, effectively, from President Schulz.

In conclusion, considering the high number of e-mails received in a very short period of time the limited number of different email accounts (850) used to send the e-mails, the usage of automated means for producing the e-mails and the usage of mainly two servers to send the e-mails , the IT department considered that the European Parliement was the subject of an abnormal massive e-mail flow and that the intervention of the technical services is justified to install a filter to reduce the number of messages from external sources concerning the report on “Eliminating gender stereotypes” in ordre to ensure the functioning of the European Parliament e-mail service.

There are two possible translations for this paragraph.

Translation 1:
The IT department is poorly trained and has implemented an email service that is barely capable of handling the normal everyday load, since there are too many people skimming from the budget and going to pet-vendors. As such, any influx casued by an issue of concern to may will overwhelm the creaky mess unless CYA mode is engaged and filters implemented.

Translation 2:
I am a strong supporter of the issue many people were protesting about. I support the block, because I want the legislation to pass, and with the help of people in the IT department have devised an excuse that we feel will justify blocking correspondence between the citizens of the EU and the Members of the European Parliament. If only we’d have thought of this in time to save ACTA.

Neither one is very appealing, or bodes well for democracy, or the view many have for the EU’s legislative body.

Either way though, the message this letter gives is that you shouldn’t contact MEP’s if there’s a serious issue, but if you absolutely must, don’t use email. EU citizens contacting MEP’s about issues that are important for them is not what the e-mail system is for. Use two cups and a bit of string instead, it’ll work just as well.

What are your thoughts? Translation 1, 2 or is there a 3rd?

Letter from EU President to Christian Engstrom MEP

07 Apr 16:37

We’ve got the rap game

by Mr.Madsen

Comic