PERMISSIONS:
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APOLOGIES
I have been over zealous with political comment lately so have now accepted the offer to assemble and write for two blogs on the WatchingUK website. The "Good News" blog is for items where we have benefited from the Brexit referendum vote and the "Bad News" blog is where others have tried to damage our chances of leaving the EU.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Signal Private Messenger is the safest text messaging system in the world


Whisper Systems developed Signal Private Messenger.

Most commercial undertakings are slowly moving their mobile communications to Signal. This article will help explain why.

Both WhatsApp and Signal have encrypted messaging but then the differences start.


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Use anything by Open Whisper Systems.
Edward Snowden, Whistleblower and privacy advocate

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WhatsApp allows you to download your messages so stores them on the cloud. Signal does not store any messages so is safer from government eyes. Both the NSA and GCHQ are suspected of not only searching for spies and terrorists, but looking for commercial secrets.

With whatsApp, you both have to be using the WhatsApp app. but with Signal you only both have to if you want encryption. So Signal also doubles up as a SMS program, reducing the need for two communications programs.

WhatsApp allow free calls and texts. As with WhatsApp, Signal allows secure messaging. The difference is, with WhatsApp, if you want to send text to someone not on WhatsApp, you have to use a texting app. However, with Signal, if both people have Signal installed, it has encrypted messaging. But if the other person hasn't Signal installed, you can still message others with unencrypted texts as you do with a standard texting app.

One major difference is, unlike WhatsApp which may store your messages on the cloud, Signal never stores messages and therefore doesn't offer a cloud service. This keeps your messages away from spying eyes.

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After reading the code, I literally discovered a line of drool running down my face. It’s really nice.
Matt Green, Cryptographer, Johns Hopkins University

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Now for the crunch, WhatsApp is a propriety app, whereas anyone can download the Signal code (it's in the public domain) and a friendly programmer can examine the code for government trap doors, then compile it for company use. So users of the former don't know whether NSA have added a trap door, whereas users of the latter know there isn't a trap door or technical people would have spread this information all over the Internet.

The following has been taken from Wikipedia which is of interest:
Reception

In October 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) included Signal in their updated surveillance self-defense guide.[84] In November 2014, Signal received a perfect score on the EFF's secure messaging scorecard;[42] it received points for having communications encrypted in transit, having communications encrypted with keys the provider doesn't have access to (end-to-end encryption), making it possible for users to independently verify their correspondents' identities, having past communications secure if the keys are stolen (forward secrecy), having the code open to independent review (open source), having the security designs well-documented, and having a recent independent security audit.[42] At the time, "ChatSecure + Orbot", Pidgin (with OTR), Silent Phone, and Telegram's optional "secret chats" also received seven out of seven points on the scorecard.[42]

On December 28, 2014, Der Spiegel published slides from an internal NSA presentation dating to June 2012 in which the NSA deemed Signal's encrypted voice calling component (RedPhone) on its own as a "major threat" to its mission, and when used in conjunction with other privacy tools such as Cspace, Tor, Tails, and TrueCrypt was ranked as "catastrophic", leading to a "near-total loss/lack of insight to target communications, presence..."[85][86]

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has endorsed Signal on multiple occasions.[34] In his keynote speech at SXSW in March 2014, he praised Signal's predecessors (TextSecure and RedPhone) for their ease-of-use.[87] During an interview with The New Yorker in October 2014, he recommended using "anything from Moxie Marlinspike and Open Whisper Systems".[88] During a remote appearance at an event hosted by Ryerson University and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression in March 2015, Snowden said that Signal is "very good" and that he knew the security model.[89] Asked about encrypted messaging apps during a Reddit AMA in May 2015, he recommended Signal.[90][91] In November 2015, Snowden tweeted that he used Signal "every day".[33][92]

In September 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union called on officials at the U.S. Capitol to ensure that lawmakers and staff members have secure communications technology.[93] One of the applications that the ACLU recommended in their letter to the Senate Sergeant at Arms and to the House Sergeant at Arms was Signal, writing:

One of the most widely respected encrypted communication apps, Signal, from Open Whisper Systems, has received significant financial support from the U.S. government, has been audited by independent security experts, and is now widely used by computer security professionals, many of the top national security journalists, and public interest advocates. Indeed, members of the ACLU’s own legal department regularly use Signal to make encrypted telephone calls.[94]

In March of 2017 Signal was approved by the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate for use by senators and their staff. [95][96]

Following the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak, Vanity Fair reported that Marc Elias, the general counsel for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, had instructed DNC staffers to exclusively use Signal when saying anything "remotely contentious or disparaging" about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.[97][98]

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I am regularly impressed with the thought and care put into both the security and the usability of this app.
It's my first choice for an encrypted conversation.Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist
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The following two paragraphs concern "WhatsApp" and the Google app "Allo".

When you first set up WhatsApp, you’re encouraged, but not required, to share your phone’s contact list with the app. This helps the WhatsApp service connect you with other users quickly and easily. A WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed to me that the company retains contact list data, which means that WhatsApp could also hand over your contact list in response to a government request.

The first thing to understand about Google’s forthcoming Allo app is that, by default, Google will be able to read all of your Allo messages. If you want end-to-end encryption via the Signal protocol, you need to switch to an “incognito mode” within the app, which will be secure but include fewer features.

And on Signal:

The first thing that sets Signal apart from WhatsApp and Allo is that it is open source. The app’s code is freely available for experts to inspect for flaws or back doors in its security. Another thing that makes Signal unique is its business model: There is none. In stark contrast to Facebook and Google, which make their money selling ads, Open Whisper Systems is entirely supported by grants and donations. With no advertising to target, the company intentionally stores as little user data as possible. If you back up your phone to your Google or iCloud account, Signal doesn’t include any of your messages in this backup. WhatsApp’s gaping backup issue simply doesn’t exist with Signal, and there’s no risk of accidentally handing over your private messages to any third-party company.

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Signal is the most scalable encryption tool we have. It is free and peer reviewed.
I encourage people to use it everyday.
Laura Poitras, Oscar winning filmmaker and journalist

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I'm not paranoid, but there is no way I want amateur chefs working at NSA or GCHQ finding out about my secret baked beans on toast recipe, But I will say I use in excess of eight ingredients!

Ampers

Monday, 12 June 2017

A pep talk to all UKIP members throughout Britain.

A good appraisal from the leader of Barnet UKIP which may be of interest to local UKIP branches throughout Great Britain.

Ampers

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Well the election is over for now but that may not be the end of the story. There may have to be another election at some point soon.

I cannot see the Tories lasting the full five years. A pact with the DUP is not likely to hold because there are fundamental differences of policy. Such as same sex marriage and abortion for example.

Anyway, during the life of a parliament there are defections, deaths and other events causing by-elections. One such event could happen in Thanet South where the MP was charged with fraud prior to the election. I don't know but this may at some point cause him to step down even though it relates to the 2015 election a fraud charge could become a fraud conviction.

In Chipping Barnet UKIP saved Theresa Villiers, by not standing, we got her elected as she only won by 353 votes. In 2015 UKIP got over 4000 in Chipping Barnet.

I believe that this means she owes us and it may be an idea to have a meeting with her at some point to put forward our opinions directly to her in person. I am sure she recognises the fact that without UKIP support she would not have won.

UKIP nationally ran a very poor campaign and our ex leader Mr Nuttal appeared to do nothing right. Locally in Barnet I feel we did make the best of a bad situation. Against the advice from our superiors we decided to stand candidates and also ordered 20,000 leaflets which were from UKIP official templates. Many of these leaflets were delivered in Hendon, Mill Hill and Colindale.

Our candidates attended several hustings and got positive reviews on their performances and we also managed to get several articles in the Barnet media again which was mainly favourable.

We as Barnet UKIP can therefore feel proud we kept the UKIP flag flying and did our best in difficult circumstances.

The party nationally is in turmoil however, we as a local branch must understand that we seek to represent the people who live and work in Barnet and we must therefore continue to communicate with, educate and also serve the local population.

Therefore our aim now is to prepare ourselves for the Local Council Elections which will take place in May 2018. UKIP Barnet is entitled to stand 63 candidates and we aim to get 63 UKIP candidates on the ballot.

This will be a mission, however, I strongy beleive that by the time May 2018 comes around people will be ready for a change and will be receptive to UKIP as a credible alternative.

Nigel Farage has said that he may return as party leader which will give the party a fighting chance again, but regardless, we must organise ourselves and become a more professional political organistation.

After the Barnet AGM which will be held during July 2017 we will seek to expand the elected committee with several new appointed positions. The aim of this will be to improve and expand the party locally. We will seek to contact all local businesses to promote UKIP as the business friendly party for Barnet.

In 2016 over 40,000 people in Barnet voted for Brexit and it is our duty to represent those electors by giving them a voice. The ony way is to get councillors elected to Barnet council. It is highly possible because we have time to plan and promote ourselves and the public mood is very much against the political establishment at the moment.

Personally i do not believe the election result nationally is a bad one. Remember, Theresa May is not a Brexiteer and never has been. She only took the party leadership to block lesser known staunch leavers such as Andrea Leadsome from becoming PM. I dont expect her to survive as PM because there are several better and more trustworthy people in the Tory party such as David Davis and Jacob Rees Mogg who would make better choices for Britain. Zac Goldsmith would also be a pro Brexit choice but he is an outsider now in the Tory party after they threw him under the bus last time.

One of the reasons Jeremy Corbyn did well despite the media smears and establishment campaign against him was because he is seen by voters as the anti candidate. He has always voted for Brexit in the past, in 2011 he voted for a referendum and was one of only 19 Labour MPs to do so. So he will not block Brexit and he has pledged not to.

The Tories ran a shocking campaign which included such clangers like the dementia tax and scrapping free school meals that it was possibly deliberate. I mean it now gives Theresa May the option to go for a fake Brexit or even a second referendum.

If Nigel Farage does return as party leader he will energise the party and the base especially as the public will be looking for Mr Brexit to save us from Theresa May.

UKIP did badly but we still got over 500,000 votes and that means we got more than the Greens. We can build on that solid bedrock of support for the 2018 council elections.

Many voters lent their votes to the other parties for this election but the cycle will change now and those 4,000,000 who supported us in 2015 will return. UKIP will come back stronger as we have done in the past.

Kal Kahn
Chairman - Banet UKIP

Sunday, 11 June 2017

An imporrtant communications for the UKIP membership.

UKIP results in GE2017

First of all, the picture of woe

We received 593,852 votes, or 1.8% of the votes cast.

At the GE2015, we received 3,881,099 votes or 12.6% of the votes cast.

This election, we lost 3,288,047 voters who lost faith in our NEC shenanigans. Or to put it another way, 89.20% of our previous voters.

It is impossible to put such an appalling loss on one man. Yes, there does seem to be weak leadership here, but the leadership is not, funnily enough, the leader. A political party is run by their NEC (National Executive Committee) and the UKIP NEC needs to resign en masse and give the membership a chance to elect a completely new committee. This will only happen if UKIP members press, and press hard for this. There is an old saying, “a foolish man does the same thing, time and time again, and expects a different result.” Dwell on this saying, it is important in politics.

If a huge amount of our membership emails mail@ukip.org, giving their membership number, saying “We are seriously considering our position in UKIP and will not be renewing unless the entire NEC resigns and there are fresh elections.”

It is time to show the NEC that we cannot be taken for granted.


If you have friends and colleagues who are UKIP members, please pass them a link. If you are on social media, please spread this far and wide. If we don't do something, UKIP will be confined to the dustbin of history.

Ampers.