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I, Tomato: Morning Star’s Radical Approach to Management

In Anonymous, News, USA, USA, Viral Videos, World Revolution on December 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM




The Morning Star Company, which handles 40 percent of California’s processed tomato crop, is the largest tomato processing company in the world. That’s impressive, but the most unique thing about Morning Star is that it has no managers. Instead, Morning Star embraces an approach they call “self-management.” As Paul Green, Jr. of Morning Star’s Self-Management Institute puts it: “Self-management is, at a very very high level, exactly the way you live when you go home from work. We just ask you to keep that hat on when you come to work at Morning Star.”

In our everyday lives, we don’t have bosses telling us which careers or hobbies to pursue. If we want to purchase a car or a home, we don’t have to get permission. Sure, we consult with friends and family before making important decisions, but as long as we’re prepared to take responsibility for our choices, we’re free to do what we want.

The same spirit reigns at Morning Star. Employees decide how their skill sets can best help Morning Star succeed and then develop their own lists of roles and responsibilities in collaboration with their colleagues. If Morning Star employees want to purchase new equipment, they don’t ask managers for permission. Rather, they discuss potential purchases with colleagues who will be affected by the purchase and, if others with expertise support the decision, they simply buy what they need. There is no R&D department at Morning Star. There are, however, strong incentives for every employee to innovate. Workers who successfully innovate don’t receive new titles. They earn the respect of their colleagues in addition to financial compensation.

Running a firm without managers seems like a crazy idea to many, but is it? If the most prosperous societies are organized around institutions that promote freedom and responsibility, why shouldn’t a similar approach work within a firm? If market-based societies are best able to take advantage of local and dispersed knowledge, then doesn’t it make sense to give staffers with the most local knowledge the freedom to make decisions?

More than 50 years ago, Leonard E. Read wrote “I, Pencil,” an essay that asks how we can expect central planning to succeed when nobody in the world possess all the knowledge needed to produce even a simple pencil. For more than 40 years, Morning Star has been demonstrating that you don’t need managers to run a successful company.

UK Asked to Investigate Spyware Firm Selling Surveillance Tech to Repressive Regimes

In Big Brother, News, NWO, Other Leaks, Police State, Science & Technology, WikiLeaks, World Revolution on December 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM



Privacy rights activists are calling on HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to investigate spyware firm Gamma International and its exports of surveillance software to repressive regimes, such as Bahrain, calling the transactions “criminal” and “illegal”.

WikiLeaks Spy Files on GAMMA


­The campaign group Privacy International (PI) confirmed in a press release that Gamma International is selling surveillance technology to regimes with horrific human rights records without a proper license.

The software being sold is powerful enough to intercept text messages, phone and Skype calls, remotely turn on cameras and microphones, log keystrokes and copy files, The Guardian reported.

The activist group sent a 186-page report to HMRC, saying that that technology sold is being used to spy on activists, who are later targeted by repressive regimes and “amounts to criminal conduct”.

In April 2011, Egyptian protesters found documents from Gamma International inside Egypt’s secret police office. One of the documents contained an offer dated June 29, 2010, which said to provide ‘FinSpy’ software, hardware, installation and training for 287,000 euro.

Gamma International denied supplying software to Egypt, but did confirm that it has demonstrated such products to the government.

Bahraini pro-democracy activists also were subjected to Gamma International’s surveillance products.

In spring and summer of 2012 activists received emails containing malware. After the University of Toronto’s CitizenLab investigated the case, it found evidence connecting the malware to FinSpy, which is part of the commercial FinFisher intrusion kit.

Citizen Lab managed to extract ‘digital DNA’, from the infected emails that matched that of FinFisher and published the results.

Activist and writer in Bahrain Ala’a Shehabi, 30, was one of the victims targeted by FinSpy malware emails.

She claims to have received the total of four emails from what looked like authentic email accounts.

She later forwarded them to her colleague Bill Marczak, a computer science doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, who then connected the malware in the email to an internet address in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, which triggered the rest of the investigation.

Shebani told The Guardian that situation in Bahrain at the time was “very charged”.

“I was banned from traveling and forced to stop work,” she added. “I essentially worked on the assumption that everything I did or said was being watched.”

Facebook and Twitter accounts started disappearing, forcing the opposition to go underground.

Gamma International, on the other hand, stated that it had no knowledge of this.

Bahrain’s human rights situation remains “critical in the wake of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that erupted in February 2011,” reports Human Rights Watch.

Police regularly use violence to disperse crowds of protesters, while Bahrainis, led by the country’s Shiite Muslim majority, are continuing to protest, demanding greater rights and freedoms from the ruling Sunni minority. More than 80 people have died in the unrest since the pro-democracy protests begun.

Gamma International’s spy software was also discovered being used in Ethiopia and Turkmenistan, PI reported.

PI is calling for greater restrictions on export of UK’s surveillance software, arguing that it is not guarded by the same export laws as traditional weapons.

“For years, British companies like Gamma International have had carte blanche to sell incredibly powerful surveillance technologies to any government that can afford them, even when they are subsequently used to target human rights defenders,” head of research at Privacy International, Eric King, told The Guardian.

Gamma International is a British company that offers “world-class offensive techniques for information gathering,” such as FinFisher – a spyware product that can take control of target computers and capture even encrypted data and communications.

The company markets its products in several languages including Arabic, German, English, Portuguese, French and Russian.

Gamma International has stated that it complies with export controls and denied reports of selling to oppressive regimes.

Due to PI’s efforts, the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills advised Gamma International that the FinSpy products have been controlled by EU legislation since 2000 and “require a license” in order to export outside the EU. This means that the tech firm would have to disclose the names of suppliers is exports to.

In an email revealed by The Guardian, Gamma International executive Martin Muench stated that the company will not provide any details of export licenses for confidentiality and security reasons, repeating that it only exports to legitimate governments and is cooperating with UK, US and Germany’s export controls.

The company also submitted a control list classification inquiry asking which products required a license, but has not applied for any of them.

PI is calling for more government control of surveillance technology.

Company Collects 1 Million IP Addresses of Canadians Suspected of Illegal Downloading

In News, Science & Technology on November 30, 2012 at 7:55 AM



Vancouver Sun:

If you’re watching an illegally downloaded movie, someone could be watching you.

A forensic software company has collected files on a million Canadians who it says have downloaded pirated content.

And the company, which works for the motion picture and recording industries, says a recent court decision forcing Internet providers to release subscriber names and details is only the first step in a bid to crack down on illegal downloads.

“The door is closing. People should think twice about downloading content they know isn’t proper,” said Barry Logan, managing director of Canipre, the Montreal-based forensic software company.

Logan said while last week’s court case involved only 50 IP addresses, his company is involved in another case that will see thousands of Canadians targeted in a sweep aimed at deterring Internet users from illegally downloading movies and other digital content.

Logan said his company has files on one million Canadians who are involved in peer-to-peer file sharing and have downloaded movies from BitTorrent sites, identifying them through Internet Protocol addresses collected over the past five months.

Logan said the court decision means Canadians must realize they could be held liable for illegal downloading and statutory damages of up to $5,000.

He said many people ignore the warnings from their ISPs that they are engaged in illegal downloading. Now, he said, they may receive litigation letters about possible court action.

Last week’s court decision involved a Burnaby movie production company that went to court to force Internet service providers to provide names and addresses of subscribers who had illegally downloaded one of its movies.

The Federal Court, sitting in Montreal, ordered several Internet providers to disclose to the Burnaby company the names and addresses of their subscribers whose IP addresses were linked to illegal downloads.

The court case dealt with 50 IP addresses (unique identifiers assigned to computers and other devices on a network) who allegedly illegally downloaded NGN Prima Production’s movie Recoil.

“Canada is a very significant country in terms of peer-to-peer file sharing and illegal downloading of copyright works,” Logan said. “We have quite a significant evidence collection program that has been in place in Canada for a number of months, it doesn’t discriminate between ISPs.”

If ISPs hand over the subscriber data sought through court action, Logan said the copyright holders can seek statutory damages that are capped at $5,000 for non-commercial infringement.

Mira Sundara Rajan, formerly the Canada Research chair in intellectual property law at the University of B.C., said the movie industry in Canada appears to be following the lead of the United States. There, the recording and motion picture lobby was instrumental in the recent creation of a “Six Strikes” initiative, targeting Internet users who download pirated content. The graduated system starts with a notice phase and can lead to repeated offenders being blocked from certain sites. In addition to the six strike initiative, offenders can still be sued by rights holders.

“I think the end game actually is to try and make a dent in the downloading activity,” said Sundara Rajan. “What we are doing is following in the footsteps of an American approach here which has been to try to target individual users and set them as examples of what can go wrong if your illegal downloading activity is discovered.

“I think that it is much more than an issue of trying to get fines in place. I think it is a question of creating an idea of deterrence in the mind of the public.”

Logan said his company is looking for repeat or habitual illegal downloaders. He said they will only be identified by Internet Protocol addresses initially but if a legal action is launched, names will be released in statements of claim.

“I don’t think we have to limit this to just teenagers downloading Justin Bieber’s last record,” he said. “We represent a lot of mature titles that would be of interest to the 30/40/50 crowd.”

Logan said his clients in the industry are turning to the courts for rulings on the implementation of Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, which was passed in June, and took effect earlier this month. Under the act, rights holders can send copyright infringement notices to Internet providers who in turn notify subscribers who are linked to the IP address.


Canipre’s Senior Director of Operations Barry Logan CTV Interview

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