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June 16, 2016

UEFA Euro 2016, day 4 and 5 match review

UEFA Euro 2016, day 4 and 5 match review

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

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Related UEFA Euro 2016 news
  • 15 June 2016: UEFA Euro 2016, day 3: Turkey-Croatia, Poland-Northern Ireland, Germany-Ukraine
  • 14 June 2016: UEFA Euro 2016, day 2: Albania-Switzerland, Wales-Slovakia, England-Russia face off
  • 13 June 2016: UEFA Euro 2016: France wins opening match 2-1 vs Romania
  • 31 May 2016: Reus to miss Euro 16 due to injury
  • 14 December 2015: UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris
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On Monday, day four of UEFA Euro 2016, Spain defeated Czech Republic 1–0; Republic of Ireland drew to Sweden 1–1 and Belgium faced a 2–0 defeat against Italy. On Tuesday, Hungary stunned Austria in a 2–0 win and Portugal and Iceland shared the spoils with 1–1.

Day four[]

Group D — Spain 1–0 Czech Republic[]

Sergio Ramos lead the defending champions as David de Gea was guarding the net. Only one player was booked in the entire match — David Limberský recieved a yellow card in the 61th minute. Though Spain had a string ball possession and 91% passing accuracy, they were unable to score till the 87th minute when defender Gerard Piqué scored from Iniesta‘s cross, and thus winning it for Spain. David Silva played his 100th match for the La Roja.

Group E — Republic of Ireland 1–1 Sweden[]

Irish midfielder Wes Hoolahan scored minutes after the second half begun, upsetting Zlatan Ibrahimović lead the Swedish team, but later, in the 71st minute, Sweden equalised when Ciaran Clark scored an own goal, resulting in a 1–1 draw.

Group E — Belgium 0–2 Italy[]

Italians had never lost to Belgium in 34 years, and in this match Emanuele Giaccherini‘s goal in the first half, and Graziano Pellè‘s goal moments before final whistle allowed this custom to follow even though the Belgian side had greater ball possession and passing accuracy.

Day five[]

Group D — Austria 0–2 Hungary[]

The Hungarians defeated tenmen Austria as Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragović picked up two yellow cards in the 33rd and the 66th minute when he was sent off. Ádám Szalai‘s goal in the 62nd minute and Zoltán Stieber‘s goal in the 87th minute earned them three points as they sit on the top of the table.

Group D — Portugal 1–1 Iceland[]

As Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal, he equalled record of Luís Figo ‘s 127 international caps for the nation. Nani‘s goal in the 31st minute gave Portuguese a 1–0 lead. But later, in the 50th minute, Birkir Bjarnason scored from a volley, and the match ended in a draw. Portugal had 925 passing accuracy and led the ball possession.


June 13, 2016
15:00 (UTC+2)
Spain 1–0 Czech Republic Stadium Municipal, Tolouse
Referee: Flag of Poland.svg Szymon Marciniak, Poland
Gerard Piqué Scored after 87 minutes 87′ 0–0 (HT) David Limberský Booked after 61 minutes 61′

June 13, 2016
18:00 (UTC+2)
Republic of Ireland 1–1 Sweden Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Referee: Flag of Serbia.svg Milorad Mažić, Serbia
Wes Hoolahan Scored after 48 minutes 48′
James McCarthy Booked after 43 minutes 43′
Glenn Whelan Booked after 77 minutes 77′
0–0 (HT) Ciaran Clark Scored after 71 minutes 71′ (o.g.)
Victor Lindelöf Booked after 61 minutes 61′

June 13, 2016
21:00 (UTC+2)
Belgium 0–2 Italy Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Referee: Flag of England.svg Mark Clattenburg, England
Jan Vertonghen Booked after 90+1 minutes 90+1′ 0–1 (HT) Emanuele Giaccherini Scored after 32 minutes 32′
Graziano PellèScored after 90+2 minutes 90+2′
Giorgio Chiellini Booked after 65 minutes 65′
Éder Booked after 75 minutes 75′
Leonardo Bonucci Booked after 78 minutes 78′
Thiago Motta Booked after 84 minutes 84′

June 14, 2016
21:00 (UTC+2)
Portugal 1–1 Iceland Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne
Referee: Flag of Turkey.svg Cüneyt Çakır, Turkey
Nani Booked after 31 minutes 31′ 1–0 (HT) Birkir Bjarnason Scored after 50 minutes 50′ Booked after 55 minutes 55′
Alfreð Finnbogason Booked after 90+4 minutes 90+4′

Related news[]

  • “UEFA Euro 2016, day 3: Turkey-Croatia, Poland-Northern Ireland, Germany-Ukraine” — Wikinews, June 15, 2016

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December 14, 2015

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris – Wikinews, the free news source

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

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Monday, December 14, 2015

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On Saturday evening, UEFA Euro 2016 draw took place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris; UEFA Euro 2016 is scheduled to be hosted in France. 24 nations were grouped in six groups, with the host nation getting Group A. The quadrennial football tournament of Europe is scheduled to start in June 2016, the matches to be played in ten French cities.

England had the first draw, and went to Group B. Interestingly, Wales also drew into Group B. World Cup winners Germany got Group C. Polish national captain Robert Lewandowski, who recently scored a brace against Croatian Dinamo Zagreb for Bayern Munich, would be facing his Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Müller in a Group C match.

Two-time defending Champions Spain got the D. Netherlands did not qualify for the first time since 1984 after a shocking exit in the qualifying match.

In full, groups drew as follows:

Group A, France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland.
Group B, England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia.
Group C, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland.
Group D, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia.
Group E, Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden.
Group F, Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary.

The opening match of the tournament is scheduled to be France versus Romania.



Sister link[]

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg UEFA Euro 2016#Final draw

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October 14, 2015

Netherlands out of Euro 16 as van Persie scores own goal against Czech Republic

Netherlands out of Euro 16 as van Persie scores own goal against Czech Republic

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Yesterday, the Netherlands football team crashed out of the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 after a 2–3 defeat against the Czech Republic in a qualifying match. Dutch player Robin van Persie scored an own goal.

The match was held in the Amsterdam ArenA in the Dutch capital. Turkey, Iceland and the Czech Republic qualified for the tournament from group A, Turkey defeating Iceland 1–0 to take third position.

The Dutch team, nicknamed Oranje, had 60% ball possession in front of the Czechs. The match saw six yellow cards and one red card. Four Dutch players were shown yellow cards. A total of 30 fouls were committed in the match, seventeen by the Dutch, and thirteen by the Czechs. Czech defender Suchý was sent off in the 43rd minute.

The first half saw two goals by the visitors, three yellow cards, and one red card. The first goal came in the 24th minute. Kaderábek, assisted by Skalák, scored. Tomáš Necid assisted for the second goal, Josef Šural scoring in the bottom left corner.

Robin van Persie, who scored the own goal, pictured from file last year.
Image: Kathi Rudminat.

In the second half, Robin van Persie scored an own goal in the 66th minute, providing the visitors a 3–0 lead. The Dutch side won a corner in the 70th minute, from which Klaas-Jan Huntelaar reduced the goal difference with a header, assisted by Wesley Sneijder.

Later, in the 83rd minute, van Persie scored in the correct net, making it 2–3 for the Netherlands, assisted by Bas Dost. In the next minute, van Persie was booked for diving.

The match ended in a 2–3 loss for the Oranje, and they failed to qualify for the Euros for the first time since 1984. In order to qualify, the Dutch had to beat the Czechs and rely on Iceland to beat Turkey. A ten-man Turkish side defeated Iceland 1–0 and qualified for the tournament.

Group A standings
Position Team P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic 10 7 1 2 19 14 5 22
2 Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland 10 6 2 2 17 6 11 20
3 Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey 10 5 3 2 14 9 5 18
4 Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Netherlands 10 4 1 5 17 14 3 13
5 Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan 10 1 2 7 7 18 -11 5
6 Flag of Latvia.svg Latvia 10 0 5 5 6 19 -13 5




The Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands.svg 2 – 3 Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
Referee: Damir Skomina, Slovenia
Huntelaar Scored after 70 minutes 70′ Booked after 20 minutes 20′
van Persie Scored after 83 minutes 83′ Booked after 84 minutes 84′
Blind Booked after 30 minutes 30′
Sneijder Booked after 88 minutes 88′
Kadeřábek Scored after 24 minutes 24′
Šural Scored after 35 minutes 35′
van Persie Scored after 66 minutes 66′ (o.g.)
Skalák Booked after 41 minutes 41′
Suchý Sent off after 43' 43′
Selassie Booked after 90+2 minutes 90+2′

Match stats[]

60%
90′
40%

The Netherlands Czech Republic


  Shots

13 12


  Shots on target

4 3


  Corners Offside icon.svg

6 5


  Fouls Whistle icon.svg

6 5

Bookings Yellow-red card.svg
4 2
0     1

Sister link[]

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group A

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March 27, 2013

Icelandic Hekla volcano shows signs of activity

Icelandic Hekla volcano shows signs of activity

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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A gated field with a snowcovered Hekla in the background
Image: Sverrir Thorolfsson.

Yesterday, at 11:00am local time in Iceland, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police declared an “uncertainty phase”, the lowest civilian volcanic alert level, for the country’s Hekla stratovolcano which is located on the southern part of island nation. The warning was intended to aid in preparations of potential evacuations.

Given the uniqueness of the earthquake activity as it applies to this particular volcano, today, the Icelandic Meteorological Office upgraded their aviation alert for the area to Yellow. At the same time, Police advised against hiking in the area but were not enforcing this. Monitoring of the area has also been stepped up.

The United States Geological Survey international earthquake map showed no earthquakes in Iceland in the week prior. The Icelandic Meteorological Office also reported no earthquake activity in the Hekla area in the past 48 hours. The significant earthquake activity resulting in the phase change had took place on March 10 on the northeast side of the volcano’s summit caldera. Dark clouds unrelated to any volcanic activity were reported at the base of the mountain. The clouds presented the potential for confusion as to whether an actual eruption had taken place.

Hekla last erupted in 2000, and has a history of exploding roughly every ten years. Icelandic volcanic activity attracted international attention as a result of an April 2010 explosion of another volcano that had shut down European airspace for several days.



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December 17, 2011

Iceland formally recognises Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders

Iceland formally recognises Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Iceland
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Riayd al-Maliki (left) and Össur Skarphéðinsson (right) at the ceremony in Reykjavík, Iceland
Image: Jabbi.

This Thursday, following a vote two weeks ago in the Icelandic parliament, the country’s government granted formal recognition to the state of Palestine. The Althingi‘s move ratifies recognition of Palestine with borders as-before the 1967 Six-Day War.

In the vote taken by the 63 members of parliament, 38 voted for and 13 abstained. In passing the resolution Iceland became the first Western European state to formally recognise the Palestinian state. In late November Cyprus similarly recognised Palestine with 1967 borders.

The move by the Icelandic government comes as European states such as France, Spain, and Ireland have upgraded their countries’ Palestinian missions to full embassies recently.



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May 15, 2011

Azerbaijan win 2011 Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan win 2011 Eurovision Song Contest

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest
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The Esprit Arena, the venue for the contest

Azerbaijan has won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, Germany. Duo Ell & Nikki, which consists of Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, won the contest with 221 points after their performence of Running Scared. This is the first time that Azerbaijan has won the contest, they first appeared in 2008. Italy took second place and Sweden finished third.

Commenting on their country’s win the pair said “the one thing we want to say is, we just love you. Thank you for your support”. Gasimov continued to say that he was “the happiest man in the world”.

Azerbaijan received the maximum of 12 points from three countries, Russia, Turkey, and Malta.

Ukraine came fourth in the contest and fifth place went to Denmark. Switzerland came in last with 19 points. Host and last year’s winner Germany finished in tenth place. Other countries that participated in the final include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Ireland, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Moldova, Slovenia, Serbia, France, Russia, Romania, Austria, Lithuania, Iceland, Finland, Hungary, Spain, and Estonia.

Two semi-final heats were held in the days before the final to determine which acts would proceed to the final. Greece and Sweden won the semi-finals with 133 and 155 points. The countries that failed to make it to the final are Malta, Armenia, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, San Marino, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Belarus, Israel, F.Y.R Macedonia, Latvia, Cyprus, and the Netherlands



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April 11, 2011

Iceland voters reject deal to repay billions to UK, Dutch

Iceland voters reject deal to repay billions to UK, Dutch

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Monday, April 11, 2011

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Iceland
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Results from Iceland’s referendum on Saturday show that Icelanders overwhelmingly voted “no” on a government-approved plan to repay Britain and the Netherlands billions of euros lost in Iceland’s 2008 bank crash.

In Sunday’s final results almost 60 percent rejected the deal, with the voting turnout high, the government reported. This is the second repayment plan rejected by the voters; the first one was rejected by 93 percent last year.

British and Dutch investors lost 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in Icesave, an Icelandic internet bank that failed in Iceland’s economic collapse of 2008. The two governments reimbursed their citizens and are now seeking repayment from Iceland. Iceland compensated its own citizens for losses but not overseas depositors.

The latest repayment plan took two years to work out between Britain, the Netherlands and Iceland and was passed by a 70 percent majority of the Icelandic parliament. It provided for a lower interest rate and a longer repayment period, conditions much more beneficial to Iceland than the previous plan. The cost would average about 12,000 euros before interest per Icelander. Those against the referendum felt that amount was a heavy burden on Iceland and the taxpayer was not legally responsible for a private bank’s losses.

In a press conference, Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said, “I think it’s very hard to interpret this in any other way than the fact that the Icelandic people are not prepared to accept payments or shoulder the burden unless there is a clear legal obligation to do so.” He said that Iceland can pay its debts and the country has the reserves to cover future payments.

But Iceland’s Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir said the referendum results were disappointing and have divided the country. She considers acceptance of the payment plan essential to Iceland’s attempts to join the European Union (EU). Under an EU directive, Britain and the Netherlands are owed compensation by Iceland. The International Monetary Fund’s 2009 loan to Iceland of $2.1 billion contained the provision that Iceland repay the British and Dutch governments. Britain and the Netherlands are in a position to block Iceland’s application for European Union membership.

The Netherlands and Britain said the opportunity to negotiate has passed and the dispute will end up before the European Free Trade Association, the court for the European Economic Area.

British Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said that the British government had fulfilled its obligation to its citizens to compensate them for their losses. “We have an obligation now to get that money back, and we will continue to pursue that until we do. … We have a difficult financial position as a country and this money would help.”

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said, “Iceland remains obliged to repay. The issue is now for the courts to decide.”

The increasingly bitter dispute must be resolved for Iceland to have access to financial markets essential to fund its recovery, experts say, and resolution is essential for Iceland’s attempts to become an EU member.



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April 7, 2011

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

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

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Logo of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Logo of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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.

Case background

2009 File photo of Bradley Manning.
Image: Daniel Joseph Barnhart Clark.

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.

The Manning connection

Gun camera footage of the airstrike of July 12, 2007 in Baghdad, showing the slaying of Namir Noor-Eldeen and a dozen other civilians by a U.S. helicopter.
Image: WikiLeaks.

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.

The United States Government versus WikiLeaks

Logo of WikiLeaks.

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 Amazon.com 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.

State-of-the-(Black)-Art, or CyberWarfare

Logo of Twitter.

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.

Seal of the Catholic University of Leuven.

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 Twitter.com, 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!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). 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.

Views of a security expert

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:

Wikinews

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.

Logo of the Tor project.

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).
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.

Liberty, and the Electronic Frontier

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:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.)

Birgitta Jonsdottir responds

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:

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?

Birgitta Jonsdottir’s Facebook profile picture.

  • 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
HAVE YOUR SAY
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Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.
Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png 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.

Ongoing U.S. Government versus WikiLeaks fallout

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.

Related news

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “US State department official resigns after Wikileaks comments” — Wikinews, March 13, 2011
  • “US military brig officials order whistle-blowing suspect to sleep naked” — Wikinews, March 7, 2011
  • UN probing allegations US is ‘torturing’ soldier over leaks” — Wikinews, December 23, 2010
  • “Australian Federal Police say Wikileaks committed no crime” — Wikinews, December 17, 2010
  • “US intelligence analyst arrested over Wikileaks video” — Wikinews, June 9, 2010

Sources

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

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May 3, 2010

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland – Wikinews, the free news source

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland

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Monday, May 3, 2010

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Aviation authorities in Ireland have said that a temporary ban on flights coming in and out of the country will be implemented tomorrow, due to potential risks from volcanic ash from an Icelandic volcano. The restrictions would apply from 07.00 to 13.00 local time (06.00 to 12.00 UTC).

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) commented: “[IAA] informed Irish-based airlines that it is concerned that Irish airports may be impacted by the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the north easterly winds”.

Later, the authority added: “The decision is based on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the northeasterly winds.” IAA noted that flights over the UK and mainland Europe wouldn’t be affected by the restrictions.

IAA Chief Executive Eamon Brennan also commented on the ban: “We are quite optimistic that it will dissipate and we are quite optimistic for Dublin and for Shannon tomorrow afternoon but we will make a reassessment for that in the morning.”

Last month, many flights to and from Europe were cancelled for almost a week, over fears that the volcano ash could cause jet engines to fail.



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April 17, 2010

Europe\’s airline chaos: in depth

Europe’s airline chaos: in depth – Wikinews, the free news source

Europe’s airline chaos: in depth

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Aviation

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Aviation experts are warning that air traffic across western Europe may continue to be affected by an Icelandic volcano, which has been billowing clouds of ash and spreading it throughout the region.

An approximate depiction of the estimated ash cloud, as of 18.00 UTC.

Experts say that the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, located in Iceland, continues to have “sporadic eruptions”; dark ash clouds have been moving south and east of the area, causing mass flight cancellations all over Europe, spanning from the UK to Russia over fears that the soot may be catastrophic to planes – such as causing engines to fail in-flight or severely reducing the pilot’s visibility.

The ash clouds are drifting between six to nine thousand meters above the ground, and are moving eastwards, over northern France and Austria and towards Russia at about 40 kilometers per hour.

Already, thousands of passengers have been left stranded around the world, unable to travel to and from various points in Europe. The continent’s air-traffic control center predicted 17,000 flights to have been cancelled on Friday alone, and indicated there would be further disruption today. The cancellations are costing airlines about US$200 million daily, the International Air Transport Association reports.

A global association of air traffic control companies commented that ash clouds would probably continue to affect flights for some time. “The knock-on effect of the volcanic ash plume over northern Europe is likely to disrupt European airspace for several days,” the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization said in a statement. “Traffic will have to be reorganized and rerouted and flights preplanned, all on a dynamic and quite unpredictable basis.”

“The skies are totally empty over northern Europe,” said Eurocontrol’s deputy head, Bryan Flynn. The agency said more than half of Europe’s average 28,000 daily flights were cancelled yesterday, twice as many as were called off on Thursday.

In a special report, Wikinews takes a look at how different countries have been affected by this event.


Germany

All of Germany’s sixteen airports with international flights have been shut down today, including the busy Frankfurt airport. A spokesman for carrier Lufthansa says all of its flights were cancelled until no sooner than 20.00 local time (18.00 UTC). He said that there were no planes from the airline in the air anywhere on the globe. “There has never been anything like this,” he said.

Iceland

Icelandic airports are open, despite being in such close proximity to the billowing volcano, as the winds are blowing ash clouds away from the vicinity.

The Icelandic Met Office’s Matthew Roberts, told the BBC that the volcano hasn’t been expending as much ash, and that the eruption was slowing down.

Icelandic officials are urging local residents with respiratory problems to refrain from going outdoors, and encourages the use of protective goggles and masks to those who do go out.

Most disruption in the country has actually been to ground, not air, traffic. Local police chief Kjartan Thorkelsson commented: “We had to close roads because of the ash yesterday [Thursday], even though it was not very thick.” He added that the ash “is particularly dangerous for animals, since it can go into water and the grass they eat, [but] [i]t is not as dangerous to humans”.

HAVE YOUR SAY
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Experts suggest that occasional disruptions are possible throughout the next half year, should Eyjafjallajokull continue to erupt. Another concern is that it may trigger an eruption from the larger Katla volcano nearby, which has occurred every time Eyjafjallajokull has erupted for the past few centuries.

Japan

Even countries as far away as Japan were affected by the ash clouds. A correspondent for the BBC, in Tokyo’s Narita Airport, says that many travellers en route to Europe had to spend the night in the departure lounge because their flights were cancelled: “Airlines have handed out sleeping bags and blankets but there have been complaints there aren’t enough to go round. The longer the airports are closed the longer the backlog of passengers builds up,” he reports.

Poland

Polish authorities have suggested that they will delay the funeral of deceased president Lech Kaczynski, who died in a plane crash in Russia last week. Many world leaders planning to attend the funeral might be prevented from doing so due to the ash clouds. Poland was one of twelve to close down most or all of its airspace.

The president’s family, however, has insisted the ceremony, to be held in Krakow, proceed as planned.

United Kingdom

Mass cancellations at Heathrow Airport; only a few flights have not been called off.
Image: KTo288.

The UK’s National Air Traffic Service (NATS), says that its restrictions on airspace in the country would remain in effect until no sooner than 13.00 UTC today. Travel bans for Northern Ireland and Scotland have been lifted, although NATS stressed that this does not necessarily mean flights to and from the area will actually resume.

Ryanair, meanwhile, cancelled all its northern Europe flights until 13.00 on Monday. British Airways called off all of its flights from London airports.

UK ferry operators saw a jump in bookings as stranded air travellers sought other ways to cross the English Channel.

A spokesman with the British Civil Aviation Authority commented that, [i]n terms of closure of airspace, this is worse than after 9/11. The disruption is probably larger than anything we’ve seen.”

A correspondent for Al Jazeera reporting from London Heathrow airport described stranded travellers’ attitude as being “increasingly frustrated”. He remarked: “Some sources I’ve been speaking to have been indicating that this will probably be extended further. There may be intermittent disruptions to flights for months to come.”

United States

The Icelandic volcano may cause the US to experience volcanic sunsets. Vulcanologist Jay Miller claims, “Once it stops erupting it will take a few days to settle out. As long as there’s ash in the atmosphere or any pollutant for that matter, you’ll see these alterations in the color we see in the sky.”

Brian Toon of University of Colorado, Boulder, says: “It’s unlikely any of this volcanic ash will get as far as the United States. But it is possible. It’s just rare. It’s likely the stuff will get washed out before it ever gets here.”

American Airlines, in the meantime, announced it had cancelled 56 of its flights to and from Europe today, and the same amount yesterday; countries to which flights were not called off were Italy and Spain. US-based airlines make 337 flights between Europe and the US daily; of those, 280 were cancelled yesterday, the Air Transport Association of America says.

Chile

The Icelandic volcano has not caused many problems in Chile. SCL reported to El Mercurio that just a flight has been cancelled. The flight was operated by Air France, that may had went at the 16:00 local time to France. “We don’t know if this suspended flight will go, yet,” SCL reported, and warranted that “Air France is not going today.” SCL also stated that has not been cancelled any other flights, but that could change as the time goes by.



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Air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption
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