Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Didn’t

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:06 am

Hromada (secret society)
by Wikipedia
February 25, 2017



This article is about the 19th century network of organizations in the Russian Empire. For a general meaning or etymology, see Hromada.

Hromada was a network of secret societies of Ukrainian intelligentsia that appeared soon after the Crimean War. The societies laid a groundwork for appearance of the Ukrainian political elite and national political movement. The Ukrainian national and anti-oppressive movement intensified with the January Uprising and issuing of the Valuev Circular. Many former members of the disbanded Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Parallel to hromoda network in the Russian Empire, in the Austria-Hungary sprang out Prosvita (Enlightenment) societies.

Important hromadas existed in Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Poltava, Chernihiv, Odessa, Ternopil, Lviv, Chernivtsi, Stryi.

The first hromada was established in Saint Petersburg when the first members of the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius returned from their exile. Important publication of the Petersburg hromada was magazine Osnova (Basis) that was published for a short time in 1860s.

Due to student unrest and other revolutionary activity the Russian minister of internal affairs Pyotr Valuev had arrested several hromada leaders (Pavlo Chubynsky, Petro Yefymenko and others) and exiled them to Siberia.[1] After the publication of the Pylyp Morachevsky's New Testament in Ukrainian, Valuev banned most of publications and issued his secret Valuev circular as an instruction to the minister of education.

The same year most of the western regions of the Russian Empire rebelled in the January Uprising.

The most important hromada was created in Kiev and became better known as the Old Hromada. It was created sometimes in 1870s based on a secret club of chlopomans (commoners).

As reaction to the hromada movement, the Russian government issued the well known Ems Ukaz in 1876 prohibiting the use of Ukrainian language.

In 1897 on initiative of Volodymyr Antonovych and Oleksandr Konysky in Kiev took place a congress of Hromada members where was established the General Ukrainian Non-partisan Democratic Organization.[2] To the new organization entered all members of Hromada that existed in 20 cities of the Russian Ukraine.[2] Hromada however continued to exist until the February Revolution in 1917.[2]

See also

• Hromada (disambiguation)
• Bratstvo: Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, political and cultural organizations
• Mykhailo Drahomanov


1. Peter Valuev at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine
2. Hromadas. "Handbook on the History of Ukraine".

External links

Hromadas at the Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Hamm, M.F. Kiev: A Portrait, 1800-1917. Princeton University Press. 1993. ISBN 0691025851
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:06 am

President: People of Culture, Art Bulgaria's Sole Ambassadors Abroad
May 24, 2011



Bulgaria: President: People of Culture, Art Bulgaria's Sole Ambassadors Abroad Bulgaria's Socialist President Georgi Parvanov mixed politics and culture as he paid tribute to the deed of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet on May 24. Photo by BGNES

Socialist President Georgi Parvanov did not miss the chance to take a dig at the government as he marked May 24 by awarding prominent Bulgarians for their contribution in the fields of culture, science and education.

"Hardly would anyone disagree if I say that today these are our best diplomats. By the way they are the only ones we have been left with, but this is another story," Georgi Parvanov said, apparently referring to the government's proposal to recall diplomats, who have been exposed to be collaborators of the former State Security Service.

"The Bulgarian culture has not only an ancient history, but a significant present too," he added in tune with the festive mood of the ceremony.

Bulgarians from around the country and the world are paying tribute Tuesday, May 24, to the deed of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet.

During the ceremony Parvanov awarded in recognition of their "exceptional contributions" to Bulgaria Professor Nadezdha Seikova with Order of Stara Planina - first degree and Peter Karaangov with Order of Stara Planina - second degree.

Parvanov conferred the Order of Cyril and Methodius to Vassil Naidenov, Ivo Papazov, Georgi Trifonov and Iskra Radeva, Ivan Ivanov, Zdenka Doicheva, Dimitar Simeonov, Margarita Gradechlieva and Professor Milena Kurteva.

At the end of 2010, the so-called Files Commission, the special panel examining the Communist era documentation, revealed that almost half of Bulgaria's diplomats abroad had been collaborators of the former State Security Service.

In this example the original cable contained 5,226 words. The redacted version published by the Guardian had only 1,406 words.

for the original cable see cable reference ID05SOFIA1207, WikiLeaks:

For the Guardian redacted version see, "US embassy cables: Organised crime in Bulgaria." December 1, 2010: ... ents/36013.

For the Guardian news story based on the cable see, "WikiLeaks cables: Russian government "using mafia for its dirty work", Guardian, December 1, 2010: ... sian-mafia.

The extent of the redaction can be seen visually on the Cablegatesearch website which shows the revision history, with the redactions shaded in pink: ... 1291757400.

This Bulgarian example is discussed by WikiLeaks' Bulgarian media partner Bivol in, "Unedited cable from Sofia shows the total invasion of the state by organized crime (Update: Cable Comparison)," WI. Central, March 18, 2011: In addition see, "The Guardian: Redacting, censoring of lying?" WL Central, March 19, 2012: Also of note below both WL Central stories is the comment from Guardian journalist David Leigh and the responses (all links accessed October 22, 2012).

-- Freedom and the Future of the Internet, by Julian Assange, with Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Muller-Maguhn, and Jeremie Zimmermann

Upon learning this, both Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov insisted that the discredited diplomats should be brought back to Bulgaria.

However, according to the Constitution, Bulgaria's Ambassadors can only be recalled by the President. President Georgi Parvanov refused to sign the decrees for the diplomats' dismissal.

At the beginning of this month, 13 out of 35 Ambassadors were recalled to Bulgaria for an indefinite consultation period, with the remaining ones due to be brought back in June. Their positions are to be occupied by temporary replacements.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:30 am

Pope thanks Bulgarian president, people for recent closeness to Holy See
by Catholic News Agency
May 23, 2005



Vatican City, May 23, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA).- Earlier today, Pope Benedict welcomed Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, to the Vatican, thanking Divine Providence for the “rediscovered capacity of friendly and constructive dialogue after the long and difficult period of the communist regime."

President Parvanov traveled with his wife and a delegation to Rome to pay traditional homage to the tomb of St. Cyril who, with his brother Methodius, are significant Apostles to the Slavic people.

Along with St. Benedict, John Paul II proclaimed them co-patrons of Europe on December 31, 1980.

Pope Benedict said that Cyril and Methodius "forged in a Christian perspective the human and cultural values of the Bulgarians and other Slav nations.”

“One could also say”, he pointed out, “that, through their evangelizing action, it is Europe that was shaped, this Europe of which Bulgaria feels itself to be a convincing partner. Bulgaria even realizes that it has a special duty towards other peoples, knowing it is one of the bridges between West and East."

While in prison, [Hitler] spent his time poring over eugenic textbooks, which extensively quoted Davenport, Popenoe and other American raceological stalwarts. Moreover, he closely followed the writings of Leon Whitney, president of the American Eugenics Society, and Madison Grant, who extolled the Nordic race and bemoaned its corruption by Jews, Negroes, Slavs and others who did not possess blond hair and blue eyes. The young German corporal even wrote one of them fan mail.

-- War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black

The Holy Father noted "the good relations that exist between the Holy See and [Bulgaria]” and asked, "How can we not thank Divine Providence for this rediscovered capacity of friendly and constructive dialogue after the long and difficult period of the communist regime?"

In closing, Pope Benedict thanked Bulgaria and its people for the "closeness shown to the Holy See in these last two months.”

“You, the government, the parliament, and so many citizens wished to show the Catholic Church their sincere sentiments on the occasion of the death of John Paul II and of my election as his successor," he said.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:33 am

Pope to Offer Bulgaria St. Cyril's Relics
by Alexandra Zlatinova
May 24, 2005



"This will be an exceptional gesture," said President Parvanov

It is possible that the relics of St. Cyril will be donated to Bulgaria and taken back to this country. President Georgi Parvanov held a one-to-one talk with Pope Benedict XVI yesterday. During the audience with His Holiness, the Head of State has declared that the Bulgarian people would be truly grateful if our country is presented with such a precious gift as a particle of St. Cyril's relics. "This will be an exceptional gesture, which our people will appreciate," President Parvanov declared. St. Cyril's relics are kept at the Roman basilica of St. Clement. The Pontiff has favored the idea. The President and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI discussed the possibility to open a Cyril-and-Methodius center in Bulgaria for the relics to be laid there. This idea dates back to 2002, when the departed Pontiff John Paul II visited Bulgaria. The President has invited His Holiness Benedict XVI to visit our country, too. "The meeting shows the millennium-old spiritual closeness between the Rome popes and your noble people," the Pontiff told the Bulgarian delegation. President Parvanov is the third Head of State, who has been received in audience by Pope Benedict XVI so far. The Bulgarian President presented the Holy Father with an icon of the Holy Isapostolic Brothers Cyril and Methodius and replicas of the Panagyurishte gold treasure. President Parvanov was also received by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Thereupon, the Bulgarian delegation paid homage at the grave of late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican Basilica. The agenda of the Bulgarian delegation also includes talks with His Most Eminent Highness, The Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Fra' Andrew Bertie.

A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of American Catholicism:

• William Casey – CIA Director.
• John McCone – CIA Director.
• William Colby – CIA Director.
• William Donovan – OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.
• Frank Shakespeare – Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.
• William Simon – Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major funder of right-wing think tanks.
• William F. Buckley, Jr. – CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.
• James Buckley – William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
• Clare Boothe Luce - The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular playwright and the wife of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who cofounded Time magazine.
• Francis X Stankard - CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)
• John Farrell – President, U.S. Steel
• Lee Iacocca – Chairman, General Motors
• William S. Schreyer – Chairman, Merrill Lynch.
• Richard R. Shinn – Chairman, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
• Joseph Kennedy – Founder of the Kennedy empire.
• Baron Hilton – Owner, Hilton Hotel chain.
• Patrick J. Frawley Jr. – Heir, Schick razor fortune. Frawley is a famous funder of right-wing Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.
• Ralph Abplanalp - Aerosol magnate.
• Martin F. Shea - Executive vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust.
• Joseph Brennan - Chairman of the executive committee of the Emigrant Savings Bank of New York.
• J. Peter Grace – President, W.R. Grace Company. He was a key figure in Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists and spies to the U.S. Many were war criminals whose atrocities were excused in their service to the CIA.
• Thomas Bolan – Of Saxe, Bacon and Bolan, the law firm of Senator McCarthy's deceased aide Roy Cohn.
• Bowie Kuhn – Baseball Commissioner
• Cardinal John O'Connor – Extreme right-wing leader among American Catholics, and fervent abortion opponent.
• Cardinal Francis Spellman – The "American Pope" was at one time the most powerful Catholic in America, an arch-conservative and a rabid anti-communist.
• Cardinal Bernard Law - One of the highest-ranking conservatives in the American church.
• Alexander Haig – Secretary of State under President Reagan.
• Admiral James D. Watkins – Hard-line chief of naval operations under President Reagan.
• Jeremy Denton – Senator (R–Al).
• Pete Domenici – Senator (R-New Mexico).
• Walter J. Hickel - Governor of Alaska and secretary of the interior.

When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business and politics.

-- The Origins of the Overclass, by Steve Kangas
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:42 am

The Cause for the Beatification of Fra’ Andrew Bertie Will Open on 20 February in Rome
by Order of Malta: Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta Federal Association, USA



Rome, 13/02/2015

For the first time in the modern era canonization has been proposed for a Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta

The opening session of the diocesan inquiry into the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Fra’ Andrew Bertie, 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, will take place on 20 February at 11.30 in the Rome Vicariate at St. John Lateran. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of his Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, will preside over the solemn act. The hearing will be preceded by a Holy Mass celebrated in the Basilica of St. John Lateran by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinalis Patronus of the Sovereign Order of Malta. This historic event will be attended by the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, accompanied by the Sovereign Council, the relatives of the late Grand Master and the heads of the Order of Malta’s Grand Priories and National Associations from the five continents. Some three hundred faithful are expected from Germany alone.

A man with an intense spiritual life and profoundly convinced of the need to continuously strengthen the international solidarity network, Andrew Bertie was admitted to the Order when he was only 27 and devoted his life to prayer and charitable works, honouring the task entrusted to him until his death after illness in February 2008. Fra’ Andre Bertie oversaw great changes within the Order of Malta such as the expansion of the humanitarian activities and the reform of the constitutional charter. His legacy also includes a renewed emphasis on the spiritual life of the members of the Order. Furthermore, during his magistery, the Order’s bilateral diplomatic relations rose from 49 to 100.

In office from 1988 to 2008, Grand Master Andrew Bertie’s life was always inspired by principles of faith. His profound spiritual and human virtues, and not least his commitment to practise the Order of Malta’s founding motto “witnessing the faith and assistance to the poor” (Tuitio Fidei, Obsequium Pauperum), meant that in February 2013, only five years after his death (the minimum term envisaged by canon law) the request to initiate the procedure for his Beatification and Canonization was presented. This was a significant anniversary, because in that year the Order of Malta celebrated the 900th anniversary of its official recognition by Pope Paschal II.

The work Fra’ Andrew Bertie performed during his lifetime was for many an example of moral integrity and spiritual inspiration, hence his many faithful followers both in Italy and abroad, and in particular in those countries where the Order of Malta is present with its humanitarian activities.

Fra’ Andrew Bertie

His Most Eminent Highness the 78th Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Fra’ Andrew Bertie, died in Rome on 7 February 2008. The Grand Commander of the Sovereign Order, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, was sworn in as Lieutenant ad interim of the Order, remaining acting head until the election of a new Grand Master. On 11 March the 79th Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, was elected.

Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie was the first Englishman to be elected to the post of Grand Master since 1258. Born 15 May 1929, he was educated at Ampleforth College, Christ Church Oxford and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After having served in the Scots Guards, he worked as a financial journalist in the City of London, before taking up the senior post in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at Worth School, Sussex. Admitted to the Order in 1956, he took solemn religious vows in 1981 and served on the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order) for the following seven years before being elected Grand Master on 8th April 1988.

His Highness Fra’ Andrew Bertie, who spoke five languages fluently, oversaw many changes in the Order of Malta, instituting a modern approach to the Order’s humanitarian programmes, increasing the membership and extending the possibilities of aid to the poor and the needy in far- flung regions. He augmented from 49 to 100 the number of the Order’s bilateral diplomatic missions, whose delicate task it is to offer assistance to afflicted countries in times of natural disasters or civil conflicts. During his tenure, the Order established relations with many international organisations, including the United Nations. He set up international conferences where members were invited to contribute to the Order’s humanitarian strategies and encouraged a greater commitment to the spiritual side of the Order’s stated mission to help the sick and the poor and to provide an example of living according to Christian principles. In addition, he modernised the internal structure and administration of the Order.

A man of quiet reflection and wide interests, although of a certain British reserve, Fra’ Andrew was much loved by all who worked with him on his many projects. He greatly enjoyed the company of the young, and his former students were often among his visitors to the Magistral Palace in Rome. He always much enjoyed meeting and talking with all those carrying out the good works of the Order, many of whom he met on his travels around the world to visit the Order’s charitable activities and consult with the national Associations involved.

When possible, he spent his holidays at his home in Malta, where he was very involved in organising and teaching judo courses for children as well as tending his farm, whose four different varieties of oranges were a constant source of pride in good weather and anxiety in bad.

That His Most Eminent Highness was held in high regard is evidenced by the many honours bestowed on him. He was made an honorary citizen of Rapallo (1992), of Veroli (1993), Lourdes (1999), Magione (2002), Birgu (2003) and Santa Severina (2003). In Bolivia in 2002 he was created Huesped Ilustre (La Paz, El Alto and Santa Cruz). He held several honorary doctorates: Medicine and Surgery, University of Bologna (1992); Jurisprudence, University of Malta (1993), Humanities, University of Santo Domingo (1995), Universidad Catolica Boliviana San Pablo, Bolivia (2002); Laws, St. John’s University, Minnesota (2003). His Highness was also bestowed: Collar of the Pian Order (Holy See), Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, Grand Cross of the Legion d’Honneur, France, and was holder of more than 50 decorations from other countries.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:48 am

Andrew Bertie
by Wikipedia



Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie
Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta (more)
Gianfranco-De-Meo Gran-Maestro-Fra-Andrew-Bertie g.jpg
78th Prince and Grand Master
Reign: 11 April 1988 – 7 February 2008
Predecessor: Fra' Angelo de Mojana, 77th Prince and Grand Master
Successor: Fra' Matthew Festing, 79th Prince and Grand Master
Born: 15 May 1929
London, England, United Kingdom
Died: 7 February 2008 (aged 78)
Rome, Lazio, Italy
Burial: 16 February 2008
Church of Santa Maria del Priorato, Aventine Hill, Rome, Italy
Full name: Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie
House: Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (SMOM)
Father: Lt. Cdr. Hon. James Bertie
Mother: Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart

Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie (15 May 1929 – 7 February 2008) was the 78th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, serving for nearly 20 years from 1988 until his death in 2008. Bertie was the second Englishman elected Grand Master since 1258.

He never married and had a younger brother. He was the fifth cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II.[1]

On 14 August 2012, The Times of Malta reported that "The process for the beatification of the late Grand Master and Prince Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie is to begin in the coming months".[2]

Early career

Bertie was born in London, the son of the Hon. James Bertie (son of The Earl of Abingdon) and Lady Jean Crichton-Stuart (daughter of John Crichton-Stuart, 4th Marquess of Bute). He was educated at the English Roman Catholic public school, Ampleforth College, and graduated in Modern History from Christ Church, Oxford. He also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. From 1948 to 1950 he carried out military service in the Scots Guards, becoming a commissioned officer in 1949. After a short experience in the commercial sector, he taught modern languages (particularly French and Spanish but also German, Dutch, Tibetan and Maltese) for twenty-three years at Worth School, a Benedictine public school in Sussex, England. He was a judo black belt and taught judo at Worth.

78th Grand Master, the Order of Malta

Flags flying at half-staff over Palazzo di Malta, headquarters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, after the death of the Grand Master Andrew Bertie

Bertie was admitted to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) in 1956. He became a Knight of Justice in the order by taking Perpetual Vows in 1981 (the equivalent of a monk).[3]

He also joined the government of the Order in 1981 as a member of the Sovereign Council and in April 1988 he was elected the 78th Grand Master. Subsequently, he was Hospitaller of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, which is the annual pilgrimage site of SMOM.[4] He succeeded the late Fra' Angelo de Mojana, the Milanese nobleman who had served the Order as Grand Master since 1962 and accomplished a great deal of modernization to the organization. Although it is considered sovereign, the Order of Malta is also a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, so Bertie's election needed the ratification of Pope John Paul II, which was obtained on 11 April 1988.

Bertie described the aims of the Order as “to help the poor and the sick; that is and always has been our primary aim”:

"The other military orders were there to fight the Saracens and to save Spain or the Holy Land or Prussia from the pagans. But we always had this special commitment to the poor and the sick. Our aims today are exactly the same as they were in 1099, the sanctification of our members through service to the sick."[5]

Personal life

Bertie never married or had children. He died in Rome from cancer on 7 February 2008, aged 78.

Titles, styles and honours

Titles and style

His full title was: His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ.[6]

Honours and awards


SMOM: Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Grand Master (1988)
Knight of Justice (1981)
Member (1956)
Argentina: Collar of the Order of the Liberator San Martín
Brazil: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the National Order of the Southern Cross
Chile: Collar of the Order of Merit of Chile
France: Grand Cross of the Legion d’Honneur
Germany: Grand Cross Special Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Holy See: Knight with the Collar of the Order of Pius IX
Italy: Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Lithuania: Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great[7]
Malta: Honorary Companion of Honour with Collar of the National Order of Merit
Monaco: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-Charles
Morocco: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Throne
Panama: Gold Collar of the Order of Manuel Amador Guerrero
Poland: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (10 May 2007)
Portugal: Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry
Romania: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
Slovakia : Grand Cross (or 1st Class) of the Order of the White Double Cross (1997)[8]
Venezuela: Collar of the Order of the Liberator
Venezuela: Collar of the Order of Andrés Bello
House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies: Bailiff Grand Cross with Collar of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Januarius
House of Habsburg: Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austrian Branch)
House of Karadjordjevic: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Karageorge
House of Karadjordjevic: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle
House of Romanov: Knight of the Order of St. Andrew
House of Romanov: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Anna
House of Romanov: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Vladimir
House of Romanov: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky
House of Romanov: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stanislaus
House of Savoy: Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation
House of Savoy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
House of Savoy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy


Path to Peace Award (2005)
Matteo Ricci Award (2006)

Honorary citizenships

Honorary citizen of Rapallo (1992), Veroli (1993), Lourdes (1999), Magione (2002), Birgu (2003), and Santa Severina (2003). In Bolivia in 2002 he was created Huesped Ilustre of La Paz, El Alto and Santa Cruz.

Honorary degrees

Medicine and surgery, University of Bologna (1992)
Jurisprudence, University of Malta (1993)
Humanities, University of Santo Domingo (1995)
Laws, St. John's University, Minnesota (2003)

References and notes

1. By common descent from King George III and his wife Charlotte Sophia.
2. "Process for beatification of Grand Master Andrew Bertie initiated". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
3. "Obituaries". Retrieved 1 January 2017. (subscription required)
4. [1][permanent dead link]
5. "Pope Mourns Fra Bertie, Grand Master of the Order of Malta". Radio Vaticana. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2011.[permanent dead link]
6. Ampleforth College obituary Archived 22 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
7. Lithuanian Presidency Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine., Lithuanian Orders searching form
8. Slovak republic website, State honours : 1st Class received in 1997 (click on "Holders of the Order of the 1st Class White Double Cross" to see the holders' table)

External links

Order of Malta site
The death is announced of HMEH 78th Prince and Grand Master Fra' Andrew Bertie – Website Order of Malta
Times of Malta: Grandmaster of Knights of Malta dies in Rome
The Times: Fra' Andrew Bertie obituary
The Telegraph: Fra' Andrew Bertie obituary
The Times: The Order of the Knights of Malta let in the daylight
International Herald Tribune: Knights of Malta Grand Master dies in Rome (Archived: 22 June 2008)
Njegoskij Fund Network: The Order of Malta into mourning: Fra' Andrew Bertie, in memoriam
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:39 am

by Wikipedia
February 26, 2017

If the conditions in America continue to develop along the same lines as in the last generation, if the immigration statistics and the proportion of births among all the nationalities remain the same, our imagination may picture the United States of fifty or a hundred years hence as a land inhabited only by Slavs, Negroes and Jews ...

-- The International Jew, by Henry Ford

Distribution of Slavic-speaking populations in Europe.
Official Slavic language used by the majority
Significant unofficial / co-official / historical Slavic language usage
Significant non-Slavic language usage or bilingual

Slavs are the largest Indo-European ethno-linguistic group in Europe. They are native to Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Northeastern Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. Slavs speak Slavic languages of the Balto-Slavic language group. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit most of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.[1]

States with Slavic languages comprise over 50% of the territory of Europe.[2] Present-day Slavic people are classified into West Slavs (chiefly Poles, Czechs and Slovaks), East Slavs (chiefly Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians), and South Slavs (chiefly Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Macedonians, Slovenes, and Montenegrins of the Former Yugoslavia as well as Bulgarians).[3] For a more comprehensive list, see the ethnocultural subdivisions. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are considerably diverse both genetically and culturally, and relations between them – even within the individual ethnic groups themselves – are varied, ranging from a sense of connection to mutual feelings of hostility.[4]


There are an estimated 360 million Slavs worldwide.

Nation / Nation-state / Numbers

Russians RUS 130,000,000[5][6]
Poles POL 57,393,000[7]
Ukrainians UKR 46,700,000–51,800,000[8]
Serbs SRB 12,100,000[9]–12,500,000[10]
Czechs CZE 12,000,000[11]
Bulgarians BUL 10,000,000[12][13]
Belarusians BLR 10,000,000[14]
Croats CRO 8,000,000[15][16][17]
Slovaks SVK 6,940,000[18]
Bosniaks BIH 2,800,000
Slovenes SVN 2,500,000[19]
Macedonians MKD 2,200,000[20]
Montenegrins MNE 500,000


The Slavic autonym is reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural *Slověne. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic and dating from the 9th century attest the autonym as Slověne (Словѣне). The oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek – Sklaboi (Σκλάβοι), Sklabēnoi (Σκλαβηνοί), Sklauenoi (Σκλαυηνοί), Sthlabenoi (Σθλαβηνοί), or Sklabinoi (Σκλαβῖνοι),[21] while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin.[22]

The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is usually considered a derivation from slovo ("word"), originally denoting "people who speak (the same language)," i.e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people – němci, meaning "silent, mute people" (from Slavic *němъ – "mute, mumbling"). The word slovo ("word") and the related slava ("glory, fame") and slukh ("hearing") originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew- ("be spoken of, glory"), cognate with Ancient Greek κλῆς (klês – "famous"), whence comes the name Pericles, Latin clueo ("be called"), and English loud.

Some other theories have limited support.

The English term "slave" eventually derives from the ethnonym Slav. In medieval wars many Slavs were captured and enslaved, which led to the word "slav" becoming synonym to "enslaved person".[23][24]

Early history

First mentions

The Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni make their first appearance in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under Justinian I (527–565), such as Procopius of Caesarea, Jordanes and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.

Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae actually had a single name in the remote past; for they were both called Sporoi in olden times." He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, and that they believe in one god, "the maker of lightning" (Perun), to whom they made sacrifice. They lived in scattered housing, and constantly changed settlement. Regarding warfare, they were mainly foot soldiers with small shields and battleaxes, lightly clothed, some entering battle naked with only their genitals covered. Their language is "barbarous" (that is, not Greek-speaking), and the two tribes do not differ in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither very fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline entirely to the dark type, but they are all slightly ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."[25] Jordanes described the Sclaveni having swamps and forests for their cities.[26] Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers, lakes, and marshes.[27]

Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius (577–579) that slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I. The Avars asked the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars; he however declined and is reported as saying: "Others do not conquer our land, we conquer theirs – so it shall always be for us".[28]

The relationship between the Slavs and a tribe called the Veneti east of the River Vistula in the Roman period is uncertain. The name may refer both to Balts and Slavs.


According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies of Eurasia – such as the Sarmatian, Hun and Gothic empires. The Slavs emerged from obscurity when the westward movement of Germans in the 5th and 6th centuries CE (thought to be in conjunction with the movement of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, and later Avars and Bulgars) started the great migration of the Slavs, who settled the lands abandoned by Germanic tribes fleeing the Huns and their allies: westward into the country between the Oder and the Elbe-Saale line; southward into Bohemia, Moravia, much of present-day Austria, the Pannonian plain and the Balkans; and northward along the upper Dnieper river. Perhaps some Slavs migrated with the movement of the Vandals to Iberia and north Africa.[29]

Around the 6th century, Slavs appeared on Byzantine borders in great numbers.[30][page needed] The Byzantine records note that grass would not regrow in places where the Slavs had marched through, so great were their numbers. After a military movement even the Peloponnese and Asia Minor were reported to have Slavic settlements.[31] This southern movement has traditionally been seen as an invasive expansion.[32] By the end of the 6th century, Slavs had settled the Eastern Alps regions.

Middle Ages

Early Slavic states

When their migratory movements ended, there appeared among the Slavs the first rudiments of state organizations, each headed by a prince with a treasury and a defense force. Moreover, it was the beginning of class differentiation, and nobles pledged allegiance either to the Frankish/ Holy Roman Emperors or the Byzantine Emperors.

In the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo, who supported the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe, which, however, most probably did not outlive its founder and ruler. This provided the foundation for subsequent Slavic states to arise on the former territory of this realm with Carantania being the oldest of them. Very old also are the Principality of Nitra and the Moravian principality (see under Great Moravia). In this period, there existed central Slavic groups and states such as the Balaton Principality, but the subsequent expansion of the Magyars, as well as the Germanisation of Austria, separated the northern and southern Slavs. The First Bulgarian Empire was founded in 681, and the Slavic language Old Church Slavonic became the main and official of the empire in 864. Bulgaria was instrumental in the spread of Slavic literacy and Christianity to the rest of the Slavic world.

Modern history

As of 1878, there were only three free Slavic states in the world: the Russian Empire, Serbia and Montenegro. Bulgaria was also free but was de jure vassal to the Ottoman Empire until official independence was declared in 1908. In the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire of approximately 50 million people, about 23 million were Slavs. The Slavic peoples who were, for the most part, denied a voice in the affairs of the Austria-Hungary, were calling for national self-determination. Because of the vastness and diversity of the territory occupied by Slavic people, there were several centers of Slavic consolidation. In the 19th century, Pan-Slavism developed as a movement among intellectuals, scholars, and poets, but it rarely influenced practical politics and did not find support in some Slavic nations. Pan-Slavism became compromised when the Russian Empire started to use it as an ideology justifying its territorial conquests in Central Europe as well as subjugation of other Slavic ethnic groups such as Poles and Ukrainians, and the ideology became associated with Russian imperialism.

During World War I, representatives of the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes set up organizations in the Allied countries to gain sympathy and recognition.[33] In 1918, after World War I ended, the Slavs established such independent states as Czechoslovakia, the Second Polish Republic, and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (which merged into Yugoslavia).

During World War II, Nazi Germany planned to kill, deport, or enslave the Slavic and Jewish population of occupied Eastern Europe to create Living space for German settlers,[34] and also planned the starvation of 80 million people in the Soviet Union.[35] The partial fulfilment of these plans resulted in the deaths of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war.[36]

The first half of the 20th century in Russia and the Soviet Union was marked by a succession of wars, famines and other disasters, each accompanied by large-scale population losses.[37] Stephen J. Lee estimates that, by the end of World War II in 1945, the Russian population was about 90 million fewer than it could have been otherwise.[38]

The common Slavic experience of communism combined with the repeated usage of the ideology by Soviet propaganda after World War II within the Eastern bloc (Warsaw Pact) was a forced high-level political and economic hegemony of the USSR dominated by Russians. A notable political union of the 20th century that covered most South Slavs was Yugoslavia, but it ultimately broke apart in the 1990s along with the Soviet Union.

The word "Slavs" was used in the national anthem of the Slovak Republic (1939–1945), Yugoslavia (1943–1992) and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992–2003), later Serbia and Montenegro (2003–2006).

Former Soviet states, as well as countries that used to be satellite states or territories of the Warsaw Pact, have numerous minority Slavic populations, many of whom are originally from the Russian SFSR, Ukrainian SSR and Byelorussian SSR. As of now, Kazakhstan has the largest Slavic minority population with most being Russians (Ukrainians, Belarusians and Poles are present as well but in much smaller numbers).


Pan-Slavism, a movement which came into prominence in the mid-19th century, emphasized the common heritage and unity of all the Slavic peoples. The main focus was in the Balkans where the South Slavs had been ruled for centuries by other empires: the Byzantine Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Venice. The Russian Empire used Pan-Slavism as a political tool; as did the Soviet Union, which gained political-military influence and control over most Slavic-majority nations between 1945 and 1948 and retained a hegemonic role until the period 1989–1991.


Proto-Slavic, the supposed ancestor language of all Slavic languages, is a descendant of common Proto-Indo-European, via a Balto-Slavic stage in which it developed numerous lexical and morphophonological isoglosses with the Baltic languages. In the framework of the Kurgan hypothesis, "the Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations [from the steppe] became speakers of Balto-Slavic".[39] Proto-Slavic is defined as the last stage of the language preceding the geographical split of the historical Slavic languages. That language was uniform, and on the basis of borrowings from foreign languages and Slavic borrowings into other languages, cannot be said to have any recognizable dialects – this suggests that there was, at one time, a relatively small Proto-Slavic homeland.[40]

Slavic linguistic unity was to some extent visible as late as Old Church Slavonic manuscripts which, though based on local Slavic speech of Thessaloniki, could still serve the purpose of the first common Slavic literary language.[41] Slavic studies began as an almost exclusively linguistic and philological enterprise. As early as 1833, Slavic languages were recognized as Indo-European.[42] Sometimes the West Slavic and East Slavic languages are combined into a single group known as North Slavic languages.

Standardised Slavic languages that have official status in at least one country are: Belarusian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, and Ukrainian.

The alphabets used for Slavic languages is frequently connected to the dominant religion among the respective ethnic groups. The Orthodox use the Cyrillic alphabet and the Roman Catholics use Latin alphabet; the Bosniaks who are Muslims also use the Latin. Few Greek Roman and Roman Catholics use the Cyrillic alphabet however. Serbian language and Montenegrin language use both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. There is also a Latin script to write in Belarusian, called the Lacinka alphabet.


The pagan Slavic populations were Christianized between the 7th and 12th centuries. Orthodox Christianity is predominant in the East and South Slavs, while Roman Catholicism is predominant in West Slavs and the western South Slavs. The religious borders are largely comparable to the East–West Schism which began in the 11th century.

The majority of contemporary Slavic populations who profess a religion are Orthodox, followed by Catholic, while a small minority are Protestant. There are minor Slavic Muslim groups. Religious delineations by nationality can be very sharp; usually in the Slavic ethnic groups the vast majority of religious people share the same religion. Some Slavs are atheist or agnostic: in the Czech Republic 20% were atheists according to a 2012 poll.

The main Slavic ethnic groups by religion:

Mainly Eastern Orthodoxy:

Ukrainians (incl. Rusyns)

Mainly Roman Catholicism:

Poles (incl. Silesians, Kashubians)
Czechs (incl. Moravians)
Mainly Islam:

Ethnic groups

Ethnocultural subdivisions

Slavs are customarily divided along geographical lines into three major subgroups: West Slavs, East Slavs, and South Slavs, each with a different and a diverse background based on unique history, religion and culture of particular Slavic groups within them. Apart from prehistorical archaeological cultures, the subgroups have had notable cultural contact with non-Slavic Bronze- and Iron Age civilisations.

• The West Slavs have origin in early Slavic tribes which settled in Central Europe after East Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period.[43] They are noted as having mixed with Germanics and Balts.[44] The West Slavs came under the influence of the Western Roman Empire (Latin) and of the Roman Catholic Church.
• The East Slavs have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with Finno-Ugric peoples and Balts.[45][46] Their early Slavic component, Antes, mixed or absorbed Iranians, and later received influence from the Khazars and Vikings.[47] The East Slavs trace their national origins to the tribal unions of Kievan Rus', beginning in the 10th century. They came particularly under the influence of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and of the Eastern Orthodox Church; Eastern Catholic Churches later became established in the 16th century in areas such as Ukraine.
• The South Slavs from most of the region have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with the local Proto-Balkanic tribes (Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian, Pannonian, Paeonian and Hellenic tribes), Celtic tribes (most notably the Scordisci), as well as with Romans (and the Romanized remnants of the former groups), and also with remnants of temporarily settled invading East Germanic, Asiatic or Caucasian tribes such as Gepids, Huns, Avars and Bulgars.[citation needed] The original inhabitants of present-day Slovenia and continental Croatia have origins in early Slavic tribes who mixed with Romans and romanized Celtic and Illyrian people as well as with Avars and Germanic peoples (Lombards and East Goths). The South Slavs (except the Slovenes and Croats) came under the cultural sphere of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire), of the Ottoman Empire and of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Islam, while the Slovenes and the Croats were influenced by Western Roman Empire (Latin), Holy Roman Empire and, thus by the Roman Catholic Church.

List of major ethnic groups

Ethnic group / Language family

Russians / East Slavs
Poles / West Slavs
Ukrainians / East Slavs
Serbs / South Slavs
Czechs / West Slavs
Bulgarians / South Slavs
Belarusians / East Slavs
Croats / South Slavs
Slovaks / West Slavs
Bosniaks / South Slavs
Slovenes / South Slavs
Macedonians / South Slavs
Montenegrins / South Slavs
Silesians1 / West Slavs
Moravians1 / West Slavs
Kashubians1 / West Slavs


1 The ethnic classification is disputed. See main article for further information.

Relations with non-Slavic people


Throughout their history, Slavs came into contact with non-Slavic groups. In the postulated homeland region (present-day Ukraine), they had contacts with the Iranic Sarmatians and the Germanic Goths. After their subsequent spread, the Slavs began assimilating non-Slavic peoples. For example, in the Balkans, there were Paleo-Balkan peoples, such as Romanized and Hellenized (Jireček Line) Illyrians, Thracians and Dacians, as well as Greeks and Celtic Scordisci. Over time, due to the larger number of Slavs, most descendants of the indigenous populations of the Balkans were Slavicized. The Thracians and Illyrians vanished as defined ethnic groups from the population during this period – although the modern Albanian nation claims descent from the Illyrians. Exceptions are Greece, where because Slavs were fewer than Greeks, they came to be Hellenized (aided in time by more Greeks returning to Greece in the 9th century and the role of the church and administration);[48] and Romania, where Slavic people settled en route for present-day Greece, Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and East Thrace, where the Slavic population gradually assimilated. Bulgars were also assimilated by local Slavs but their ruling status and subsequent control of land cast the nominal legacy of Bulgarian country and people onto all future generations. The Romance speakers within the fortified Dalmatian cities managed to retain their culture and language for a long time.[49] Dalmatian Romance was spoken until the high Middle Ages. But, they too were eventually assimilated into the body of Slavs.

In the Western Balkans, South Slavs and Germanic Gepids intermarried with Avar invaders, eventually producing a Slavicized population.[citation needed] In Central Europe, the Slavs intermixed with Germanic and Celtic peoples, while the eastern Slavs encountered Uralic and Scandinavian peoples. Scandinavians (Varangians) and Finnic peoples were involved in the early formation of the Rus' state but were completely Slavicized after a century. Some Finno-Ugric tribes in the north were also absorbed into the expanding Rus population.[50] At the time of the Magyar migration, the present-day Hungary was inhabited by Slavs, numbering about 200,000,[51] and by Romano-Dacians who were either assimilated or enslaved by the Magyars.[51] In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchak and the Pecheneg, caused a massive migration of East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north.[52] In the Middle Ages, groups of Saxon ore miners settled in medieval Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria, where they were Slavicized.

Polabian Slavs (Wends) settled in eastern parts of England (the Danelaw), apparently as Danish allies.[53] Polabian-Pomeranian Slavs are also known to have even settled on Norse age Iceland. Saqaliba refers to the Slavic mercenaries and slaves in the medieval Arab world in North Africa, Sicily and Al-Andalus. Saqaliba served as caliph's guards.[54][55] In the 12th century, Slavic piracy in the Baltics increased. The Wendish Crusade was started against the Polabian Slavs in 1147, as a part of the Northern Crusades. Niklot, pagan chief of the Slavic Obodrites, began his open resistance when Lothar III, Holy Roman Emperor, invaded Slavic lands. In August 1160 Niklot was killed, and German colonization (Ostsiedlung) of the Elbe-Oder region began. In Hanoverian Wendland, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Lusatia, invaders started germanization. Early forms of germanization were described by German monks: Helmold in the manuscript Chronicon Slavorum and Adam of Bremen in Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum.[56] The Polabian language survived until the beginning of the 19th century in what is now the German state of Lower Saxony.[57] In Eastern Germany, around 20% of Germans have historic Slavic paternal ancestry, as revealed in Y-DNA testing.[58] Similarly, in Germany, around 20% of the foreign surnames are of Slavic origin.[59]

Cossacks, although Slavic-speaking and practicing as Orthodox Christians, came from a mix of ethnic backgrounds, including Tatars and other Turks. Many early members of the Terek Cossacks were Ossetians.

The Gorals of southern Poland and northern Slovakia are partially descended from Romance-speaking Vlachs, who migrated into the region from the 14th to 17th centuries and were absorbed into the local population. The population of Moravian Wallachia also descend of this population.

Conversely, some Slavs were assimilated into other populations. Although the majority continued south, attracted by the riches of the territory which would become Bulgaria, a few remained in the Carpathian basin. There they were ultimately assimilated into the Magyar or Romanian peoples. Numerous river and other placenames in Romania are of Slavic origin.[60]


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• Lewis, Bernard. Race and Slavery in the Middle East. Oxford Univ. Press.
• Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou, Maria. 1992. The "Macedonian Question": A Historical Review. © Association Internationale d'Etudes du Sud-Est Europeen (AIESEE, International Association of Southeast European Studies), Comité Grec. Corfu: Ionian University. (English translation of a 1988 work written in Greek.)
• Rębała, Krzysztof, et al.. 2007. Y-STR variation among Slavs: evidence for the Slavic homeland in the middle Dnieper basin. Journal of Human Genetics, May 2007, 52(5): 408–414.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:16 am

The Internet Illuminati: Seven Hold Keys to the Digital Universe
by Cindy Perman
30 Jul 2010



It’s a story straight out of a Dan Brown novel: Seven people from across the globe have been chosen to hold the keys to the Internet.

The key holders are from the U.S., U.K., Burkina Faso, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, China and the Czech Republic, ensuring that no one person — or nation — will hold all the power.

In the event of a terrorist or other attack on the Internet, the key holders will be flown to an undisclosed location in the U.S. Each key contains a fragment. If at least five are united, they will form a master key that can restore the Internet.

(That’s a smart move: If the law of inviting people to parties holds true, you never know when two of the seven will have prior commitments and can’t make it to save the Internet — and civilization as we know it.)

Of course, the geeks who created this Domain Name Security System tapped into all of their sci-fi skillz to make the announcement dramatic:

“More has happened here today than meets the eye,”said Vinton Cerf, a former program manager with the Department of Defense who’s now with Google and goes by the galactic street name of “Father of the Internet.” “An infrastructure has been created for a hierarchical security system which can be purposed and repurposed in a number of different ways,” he said, practically writing the Hollywood script.

But, like all good secret society plots, there are more questions than answers, such as:

• Why Burkina Faso?
• Trinidad & Tobago—really?
• Would you be able to get a direct flight from either of those countries to the undisclosed US location in the event of global emergency?
• Will these people have other jobs, or is their permanent job now Holder of the Key to the Internet?
• Where do you keep a key to the Internet—in the ice box? Digitally implanted in your neck?
• Do you have to stop skydiving, showering during thunderstorms and other risky behavior after you become a Holder of the Key to the Internet?
• What happens if you lose your key to the Internet? Can you give a backup to that nice old lady next door just in case?

Each key is made in a “cryptographic box,” which sounds thrilling, but the illuminat-ous gleam starts to fade when you take a look at what one of the actual keys looks like: It’s like that flimsy cardboard emergency-contact card you get free with a new wallet. My New Jersey driver’s license is more futuristic with its wall of holographic seals that protect mini-me.

And, while you might have been expecting that the Knighting of the Key Holders as Spielberg will write it (or, Trusted Community Representatives, as they’re actually, nerdily called) would be some dramatic secret ceremony involving hooded robes and chanting, they were actually handed their keys in a plastic, tamper-proof evidence bag.

Sci-Fi boys, you disappoint me. After all the secret levers in the ancient stone wall and glitches in the space-time continuum we’ve been through, you give me an emergency-contact card in a Ziploc .

Still, some could not resist the urge to romanticize this intriguing tale of power and codes.

“I'd be honored to have that kind of Internet rock-star status!” said Alyx Kaczuwka, author of the blog “ I'd plate the key in gold and wear it around my neck on a big gold chain, and hire people from various Internet memes to be my bodyguards,” she quipped.

Of course, if you were one of the chosen ones, you’d have to give up your Facebook page, in the name of national—sorry, GLOBAL—security, points out Joshua Brown, a VP at Fusion Analytics and the author of the blog

We don’t know who all of the seven are, but the BBC reports that Paul Kane of the University of Bath’s SETsquared Innovation Centre is the delegate from western Europe.

"I'm honoured and excited to be recognised," Kane said in a way that only a British businessman can.

Brown suggests that Snooki or The Situation from the show “Jersey Shore”might also be a good choice—no one would ever suspect them. The secret location could be a bar in Seaside Heights, N.J.—and the code could be GTL (gym, tanning, laundry)!

Comedian Harrison Greenbaumagrees: “I would hide my key in something a nerdy cyberterrorist would never be able to find—like a girlfriend!"

Someone get Megan Foxon the horn, we’ve got a movie to make!

The stars are twinkling in the sky as the words start to slowly scroll up the screen and an announcer says in a deep voice:

In a world … where seven people are handed the keys to the Internet … in a Ziploc baggie …

The nation’s very security hangs in the balance ...

Will they be able to save David After Dentist, Keyboard Cat and all of the Internet Universe?

It will be the challenge of their lives for they are ... THE CHOSEN SEVEN.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:49 am

Obama, tech execs talk surveillance
by Tony Romm



President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.

The session, which Obama attended himself, followed a similar gathering earlier this week between top administration officials, tech-industry lobbyists and leading privacy hawks, the sources said. Those earlier, off-the-record discussions centered on the controversy surrounding the NSA as well as commercial privacy issues such as online tracking of consumers.

The White House has declined to provide any details about its new outreach since the beginning of the week. A spokesman didn’t comment Thursday about the high-level meeting with the president — and the companies and groups invited also kept quiet when contacted by POLITICO.

Obama has promised more public debate about the country’s counterterrorism policies and privacy safeguards amid a deluge of criticism about the NSA’s controversial surveillance programs. As the steady stream of revelations continues, however, the White House has chosen to meet quietly with tech executives and consumer groups behind closed doors.

The administration’s outreach began Tuesday, when chief of staff Denis McDonough and general counsel Kathy Ruemmler convened a privacy-focused huddle in the Roosevelt Room. Joining them were representatives from the Information Technology Industry Council, TechNet and TechAmerica, which together represent a diverse swath of the tech industry — from major defense contractors to companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center were also present, sources said.

While the White House at the time declined to comment, one administration aide, speaking to POLITICO ahead of the Tuesday session, portrayed it as part of a larger campaign.

( WATCH: Obama defends NSA surveillance)

“This is one of a number of discussions the administration is having with experts and stakeholders in response to the president’s directive to have a national dialogue about how to best protect privacy in a digital era, including how to respect privacy while defending our national security,” the official said.

The second meeting Thursday, however, was organized with greater secrecy.

Those invited were mostly senior executives, including Cook, Stephenson and Cerf, as well as representatives of groups like the Center for Democracy and Technology and Gigi Sohn, the leader of Public Knowledge, according to three sources familiar with the meeting. Each declined comment for this story.

As the White House consulted with industry, though, some members of Congress continued their push for legislation adding new checks to federal surveillance programs.

“Trust and credibility depend on the appearance of fairness and accountability. My fear is that some of those agencies and institutions are in peril of losing it,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) during a speech Thursday at Harvard Law School.

The senator is sponsoring a bill that would create a new, adversarial public-interest defender before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves government requests to companies for user data. And Blumenthal also seeks to redo the FISC judge selection process to get more diverse voices on its bench.

“The purpose of the debate is to make sure we have both liberty and security,” he said.

Michelle Quinn contributed to this report.
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Re: Shiva Ayyadurai suing TechDirt over Stories Saying He Di

Postby admin » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:12 am

Bringing New Tools to the White House: Rethinking the President’s Daily Intelligence Brief
by C. Lawrence Meador and Vinton G. Cerf
Studies in Intelligence Vol. 57, No. 4
(Extracts, December 2013)



The expanded use of [tablet-like, visualization, and other new] technologies has dramatic implications for those who create, deliver, and use the PDB, with exciting possibilities for the establishment of even more intimate and effective IC engagement with top-level leaders.”


A primary function of the Intelligence Community (IC) is to support the president, the National Security Council, and other top government leaders. The most well-known example of this support is the President’s Daily Briefing (PDB). The PDB—as reflected in actual printed products and the person-to-person interactions between PDB recipients and intelligence briefers—has evolved over the decades into an exquisitely choreographed effort. The recent limited and experimental use for this purpose of an electronic tablet and the potential to leverage advances in visualization and other powerful hardware and software applications presents a potential new chapter for the PDB. [1] The expanded use of these technologies has dramatic implications for those who create, deliver, and use the PDB, with exciting possibilities for the establishment of even more intimate and effective IC engagement with top-level leaders.

A small panel of interested professionals that we were part of explored the implications of the use of new technologies in order to inform discussion of adaptations to the PDB, both as a product and a process. Of particular interest to those of us on the panel were

•possible changes in the interaction of information providers and recipients;

•changes in the kinds of information provided and its display using the new technologies;

•specialized software capabilities to yield the highest levels of satisfaction; and

•complementarities with other media of information exchange and interaction.

Additionally, the panel was interested in other forms of visual display or information transmission and collaboration that are on the horizon, and how all these changes may affect the IC’s operating model.

We took a four-pronged approach to our task:

•We observed the current PDB process, to include how the tablet is used.

•We considered the insights of practitioners and the literature on decision support and executive information systems.

•We interviewed or received briefings from more than 90 individuals in government, private industry and in nonprofit and academic sectors.

•A panel of senior external experts also advised us and reviewed our findings and recommendations.

While we make several observations about the current PDB process, the focus of this article is on a future environment in which tablets and other platforms are the principal mechanisms for presenting and visualizing intelligence to senior leaders. And while this article mainly treats the PDB, the experience with the PDB promises to set standards and conventions for IC support to other senior leaders as well.

We will not advocate here the targeting of the PDB to a larger audience—we think it should continue to be disseminated as the president desires and that briefers continue personally to deliver the PDB to presidentially approved recipients. We will suggest that using currently available technology to improve dissemination of intelligence information to other US leaders (especially in the IC) is an idea worth discussing.

Here we will outline how the PDB, when considered as a decision-support and executive-information system, can be tailored to the relatively unstructured problem environment that top government leaders often face and expect the IC to help address.

We concluded that the PDB should evolve around five design principles. It should be

•focused squarely on policymakers’ problems;

•adaptable to a variety of needs and styles;

•capable of providing increasingly “curatorial” versus strictly editorial functions;

•able to embrace a risk-management approach to security concerns; and

•extensible to a leader’s broader information and communications ecosystem.

The visualization, data-manipulation, and data-exploitation capabilities inherent in a tablet computer and similar platforms provide opportunities to reshape the structure and dynamics of top-level support.

We recommend the inclusion of several capabilities in the following areas:


•annotation and feedback mechanisms




•the PDB as a full-featured information support device.

Advancements in these areas are technically feasible and can be delivered with effective security. Used together, improvements could form the basis for dramatic shifts in current IC processes. They could

•support greater access to amplifying sources, visuals, and multi-media;

•provide continuously updated information and analysis—accessible 24/7—instead of a single 15–30 minute briefing session;

•make possible connectivity to other communications capabilities, e.g., e-mail;

•simplify the PDB recipient’s day.

The largest challenges to implementing such shifts will be making adjustments to the PDB process and the culture that now governs the relationship between intelligence officials and senior leaders. In making these changes, the IC has the potential to move from a model of providing primarily finished analytic products—in relatively staged, controlled interactions—to a new model of engaging in dynamic relationships between policymaker and intelligence officer, a model in which sources are referred to, key insights continuously updated, and feedback provided more comprehensively. Such a transformation in the PDB would also be likely to require alteration of many processes across the Intelligence Community as a whole.

The Evolving PDB

The provision of current intelligence to presidents has a deep tradition, dating to 1946, but it has never been a static effort. The appearance, content, and delivery approaches have evolved to reflect the attitudes of presidents toward intelligence; their varied cognitive styles and preferred means of receiving information—through a national security advisor, a mid-ranking or senior intelligence officer, or from the head of the Intelligence Community; and advances in technological capabilities.

The daily face-to-face briefings of presidents, which began in the mid-1970s, revolutionized the PDB, even if not all presidents since received such briefings. In that time, the PDB has been seen as a means for the IC and its leaders to earn the confidence of presidents and their administrations and to offer a mechanism for presidents to provide feedback and tasking. As a result, the experience that the PDB creates is of central importance to the president and the IC. [2]

The president has always had the last word on how his version of the PDB is crafted in content and format and the way it is delivered. However, at least in recent years, designated principals and other presidentially approved recipients of the PDB have in many cases put their own fingerprints on content, format and delivery, thus tailoring the PDB to their own unique needs.

Enter Tablet Computing

Advances in information technology during recent years are on the cusp of radically altering the PDB both as a published product and as a personally delivered briefing. High-powered computing, advanced encryption and security, broadband, wireless and global Internet connectivity, along with the proliferation of fixed and mobile platforms, are creating new opportunities for delivering intelligence support as well as receiving feedback and tasking from recipients. The recent limited and experimental introduction of the tablet computer to convey the PDB reflects this shift.

Like all technological innovations, the tablet offers new capabilities, but it also has the potential to affect the relationships and experiences of the individuals and organizations involved in its use. When combined with other information and communications technologies, the tablet foretells a different user experience, marked by, among other things, dramatically increased demands for all sorts of information by “power users,” greater expectations for intelligence responsiveness, and the desire to reach the frontline intelligence officer directly—in some cases without the filter of a briefer or PDB production team.

The prevalence of a connected-information environment in professional and personal lives, coupled with changes the IC is making in product development, display, and access, is producing an expectation of greater insights, more compelling visualizations, and almost instant updates on the most important and critical matters. IT devices are verging on being “tethered minds” that provide continuous analytical support. A more radical future vision is thus eminently plausible: a shift in the PDB from a once-a-day production-and-brief-engagement model, to continuous, near real-time, virtual support, punctuated by periodic physical interactions, some regularly scheduled and some when called for by urgent situations.

The use of tablets also implies important shifts in process, style, and influence in the relationship between PDB recipients and intelligence officers who provide the PDB. For example, a tablet could offer more direct access to detailed information, a shift that could affect a briefer’s role as intermediary. Or, a tablet device could give intelligence officers greater access and influence because of the ubiquity of these devices in the lives of today’s and future leaders.

Tablet devices thus have the potential to create new levels of intimacy between leader and intelligence officer. In addition, the production cycle for the PDB might assume a higher tempo (and thus consume greater resources or require a fundamentally different process), with greater emphasis on providing incremental insights.

In our judgment, these challenges have kept leaders and intelligence officers who would provide the new technology from universally and immediately embracing it. “Early adopters” see wide adoption of the tablet as inevitable because of the opportunities it will afford and they will tolerate (or embrace) shifts in interaction styles as part and parcel of innovation.

A “wait-and-see” group finds the tablet appealing and potentially valuable, but its members are frustrated by limitations in the functionality of current tablets, anticipate security concerns that will limit the tablet’s effectiveness, and generally embrace incrementalism to avoid major changes in current relationships.

“Late adopters” believe the tablet may not displace the intangible dynamic of the combined book and oral briefing and find the more arm’s-length relationship useful for maintaining institutional independence. But the introduction of new technological capabilities does not have to be forced on any reluctant principals. It should be voluntary and if it is done well, the early adopters will serve as models for emulation by others. But principals who want to continue with the hard copy version of the PDB should not be prevented from having it.

The pace and form by which the tablet is incorporated into the president’s daily intelligence effort will reflect how the concerns of these three groups are addressed throughout the PDB life cycle. This paper principally deals with the PDB as a presidential document and briefing interaction. But the experience with the PDB promises to set standards and conventions for how the IC supports other policymaker sets and its own leaders.

PDB as a Decision-Support and Executive-Information System

During our inquiry, we came to think of the PDB process in terms of a decision-support and executive-information system. Such systems first emerged to assist top corporate executives carry out strategic and tactical planning, acquire competitive and market intelligence, and conduct operations and finance functions. Thinking about such systems has since come to the medical, civilian government, military, and—increasingly—intelligence professions.

These applications are sometimes referred to as “executive support systems” or “dashboards.” Their development and increased sophistication have been propelled by ever-increasing processor performance, memory capacity, high-resolution visualization, and wireless connectivity. (See table for a list of representative entities in corporate, medical, and government domains.)

Successful decision-support and executive-information systems are tailored to their problem environments; the cognitive, communications, leadership, and interaction styles of users; and the larger information ecosystem in which they operate. Problem environments facing senior leaders can be generally placed into a range of structured and unstructured environments. Structured environments typically are well known and well understood, with clear methodologies (and in some cases algorithms) for assessing data (or the absence of it). These environments generally invoke preprogrammed decision processes.

Representative Users of Decision-Support Systems

Abbott Laboratories, American Airlines, American Express, Cigna, Citibank, DuPont, IBM, Johnson Controls, Motorola, Nationwide Insurance Company, Pfizer, Sprint Nextel, Transamerica, United Airlines, Verizon, and Walmart.

Medical institutions
Aetna Health Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Geisinger Health System, Harvard Medical School, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Stanford Medical School, United Healthcare, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

US government
Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture, Department of Defense (Defense Knowledge Online), Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of State, Census Bureau, Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, National Library of Medicine, National Science Foundation, Small Business Administration, Smithsonian Institution, USAID, US General Services Administration, US Navy, US Army (Army Knowledge Online), US Air Force, US Marines, and US Coast Guard. There are many more. [5]

In contrast, unstructured environments have highly variable parameters: data can be ambiguous, misleading, or even deceptive and come in many forms and dimensions. For such environments, decision processes are nonprogrammed, i.e., subject to interpretation, debate, and ultimately individual judgment. It is in addressing these unstructured problems that senior leaders most often look to intelligence for help.

In unstructured problem environments, decisionmakers tend to generalize problems into more broadly understood categories and they seek more data. An effective decision-support and executive-information system provides an alternative, first by helping leaders identify narrower sub-problems and then by organizing, sorting, culling, utilizing, and making sense of existing data more effectively. In short, these systems provide context for officials to face complex policy and operational choices with greater understanding and confidence.
From this perspective, the tablet and other technologies provide opportunities to use the PDB to provide better and more relevant information to senior officials.

In today’s corporate world, decision-support systems reflect a few common principles:

•Sharing of corporate knowledge and data with and among other senior leaders within the enterprise is a given.

•Good decision-support systems will be constructed so that they can easily deliver information displays constructed to the specfic needs of an organization’s diverse senior leaders.

•Corporate systems acknowledging the variety of cognitive and communications styles within their leadership teams tailor their system to individuals as much as possible.

•The best decision-support and executive-information systems reflect communication and feedback within their communities.

Future PDB Design Principles

The unique characteristics of the PDB as a decision-support and executive-information system should be reflected in a number of implicit and explicit White House user requirements:

•The tablet should be problem-focused, guiding leaders toward issues and questions they can address by acquiring context and a clearer understanding of implications (the “so-whats”). Flooding PDB users with analyses of complex and inexplicable (or incomprehensible) phenomena will distract them and overwhelm their decisionmaking capacity.

•It must be adaptive and tailored to differing substantive needs and personal styles of its recipients. This adaptability includes choices in preferred platform (the tablet, or perhaps something else), periodicity of updates, affinity for certain visualization methods, and forms of interaction.

•The model should expand from an editorial function—in which intelligence officers determine which insights are most salient—to a more curatorial function—whereby recipients enter a structured interaction to generate insight and knowledge.

•The system should leverage all available data and information—continuously updated in near real-time, across security levels—assembled into usable composites through active engagement with PDB recipients.

•The system should rest on a risk-management framework to address legitimate security concerns. Rigorous identity and access-management protocols will be needed to ensure proper dissemination of intelligence.

•The support system must be extensible to multiple functions. If the system provides only for briefer-principal interactions, recipients may well lose faith (or interest) in it. We should avoid a scenario in which senior leaders are driven to carry multiple tablets.

•The PDB tablet should support ancillary communication functions. It should enable feedback and tasking back to the IC and connectivity to e-mail. It could—potentially, even should—be a platform through which other information feeds from intelligence leaders, commanding generals, diplomats, and others are delivered. The tablet could even feature an “alert” function so that critical intelligence could be rapidly disseminated when appropriate. Cloud computing concepts may provide some of this indispensable flexibility in an exceptionally high security environment.

Implications of Current and Evolving Technology Developments

IT advances offer profound opportunities to fuse, visualize, animate, and interact with information and data. Such methods were once possible only through high-end workstations after significant effort and time and technical assistance. Now, they are readily available by simply importing commercially available technology; applying a few basic Cloud-computing concepts to efficiently and securely deploy substantial computing power, large memory, and significant storage; and adopting certain World Wide Web protocols and mechanisms (e.g., HTML5, data tagging, CSS formatting language, JavaScript). The result will be superior intelligence that has greater impact and breeds more robust engagement.

At least three (not necessarily mutually exclusive) categories of visualization hold particular value for the IC to help show the existence and meaning of relationships, correlate disparate information to shed insight, and provide deeper context by referencing time and space.

The first includes charts and graphics, which show relationships among complex data and statistics. Examples include annotated trend or event lines (the classic being Charles Joseph Minard’s rendering of losses suffered by Napoleon’s army in the Russian campaign of 1812), “bubble” or “spider” charts, and social network analyses.

The second category includes tools that augment reality by layering many types of relevant information including data and unstructured text or graphics onto an organizing reference plane such as a map or a globe. Such tools enable the fusion of items such as imagery, video, sound tracks, statistics, charts, and map representations in a single view. Many use electronic maps or other geospatial representations to display geoindexed data on a singular spatio-temporal plane to highlight geographic coincidence of people, objects, and events and desired layers can be turned on or off as needed.

The third category is animation, which rolls across datasets to show change with graphic precision. These tools are particularly useful for yielding insights on time-series data (weather, people movements, etc.), where changes in quantity or location can be tracked and analyzed (GapMinder’s application is one example).

Software applications that employ these visualization techniques have proliferated. Social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, provide methods to gauge roles and strengths in relationships within people’s networks. Data and economics firms, such as Bloomberg and Hoover’s, use elaborate data displays to inform investment, business, and trading opportunities. The security, emergency management, and public health sectors use mobile applications to help identify, track, and respond to incidents of public hazard. The transportation sector monitors the movement of a significant amount of cargo and people to ensure safe and efficient passage over land and sea and through the air. Marketing firms and major retailers use social networking applications to identify customer attitudes and anticipate (or influence) future trends. The IC is using similar applications, and many would be powerful on a PDB tablet.



The maps above are taken from an integrated geospatial platform (ArcGIS) that allows user to interact with maps and investigate the underlying analytic methods and supporting data. They also permit the display of data in different time periods. In these ways, a map can serve as a powerful foundation for analysis and decisionmaking. The map of Africa (top) communicates the results of statistical clustering analysis to identify African political entities with similar vulnerability characteristics. This Web map illustrates Internet users as a share of country populations in 2001. Map symbols are dynamically derived from open-source tabular data served by the World Bank, illustrating the use of federated Web services. Users can also interrogate underlying data and retrieve thousands of other datasets. (Used with permission.)

Innovations in interactive user interfaces have greatly enhanced the impact of these visualization techniques and software applications, permitting far more direct and intimate interaction with users. These interfaces take advantage of Cloud technologies to reveal novel insights about large sets of current and historical data. For example, GapMinder software illustrates and animates up to five pieces of multidimensional, time-series information simultaneously. Tools such as Google Maps and Google Earth collate independent sources of geographically indexed information to create strong context-building environments. Interactive zoom and pan interfaces expose different levels of detail to provide the context and orientation that different users may require. Other interfaces mine and illustrate dynamics of social networks to expose otherwise unappreciated facets of relationships among key actors.

Palantir offers a suite of software applications for integrating, visualizing and analyzing many kinds of data, including structured, unstructured, relational, temporal and geospatial, in a collaborative environment. It has shown value in disparate domains, from intelligence to defense to law enforcement to financial services. TouchTable has developed a hardware and software platform for collaboration in small group environments that allows users to seamlessly share on-screen visualizations and interactions over a distributed network in a common workspace. It structures discussion geospatially and can be deployed to remote locations, including forward operating bases, command centers, and mobile field units.

The tablet is not the only device to exploit these capabilities, but for the next few years, its mobility, size, and wireless capabilities will offer more unique attributes for PDB recipients. Tablets are likely to retain value in at least two areas. One is in providing a first-order review of graphically intensive materials, leaving subsequent, more detailed review to experts using more powerful computing platforms. A second area is in readily establishing connectivity through text-messaging, e-mail, or video communications to pass along information quickly. In this way, the tablet can serve as a medium for passing along sufficient data to provide early warning.

Over the next decade, however, a tablet-sized platform may encroach on the role of larger and smaller platforms. Industry is investing billions of dollars in research and industrial solid-state manufacturing capabilities to generate a hybrid platform with a tablet’s size but with capabilities even more powerful than today’s conventional desktop computers.

Another promising area of development lies in secure communications. Commercially available, though not yet in wide use, quantum key distribution (QKD), a subset of quantum cryptography, uses quantum communications to securely exchange a key between two or more parties or devices in which there is a known risk of eavesdropping. Because quantum mechanics guarantees that measuring quantum data disturbs the data, QKD can establish a shared key between two parties without a third party surreptitiously learning anything about the key being exchanged. Therefore, if a third party attempts to learn the bits that make up the key, it will disturb the quantum data that makes up the key and be detectable, allowing the communicating parties to retry or resort to alternative means.

Findings and Recommendations

The design principles and technology developments noted above led the group to recommendations regarding the PDB tablet’s general architecture, ability to store or access materials, search features and visualization capabilities, note-taking features, and security.

The chosen architecture should enable flexibility, commonality, and reliability.

Wired and wireless devices and networks. Key elements of the PDB should be accessible and deliverable on a range of platforms (smart phones, tablets, desktops, etc.), whether connected via Ethernet cable or a secure and encrypted wireless network.

Synchronizing. PDB content should be synchronized across platforms to ensure version control, even if certain principals may see a different view as a result of their respective roles. The current version should note wherever possible how it may deviate significantly from previous reports.

Remote display. Content should display uniformly across various platforms, e.g., from a handheld to a wall-mounted display.

Paired relationship. To facilitate a shared experience, the software underlying the PDB should allow either the principal or the briefer to “drive” the interaction, maintaining one screen view for both (and any other authorized attendees as well).

Private Cloud and metadata tagging. The PDB’s primary content should be housed on a private Cloud network that allows the production staff and principals to use a single repository. All PDB items should have extensive metadata tagging to facilitate use as well as control access. This Cloud should be connected to most intelligence sources via one-way tunnels or pipes.

Government-owned software. The underlying software should be government owned but constructed with as much functionality as possible from commercial or open sources. It should allow for continuous and seamless upgrades.

24/7 Ownership. Principals should “own” and store their own PDB device where practicable, rather than have it bestowed on them by the IC for a short time.

Annotation and Feedback. The PDB device should be more than just a stuffed briefcase; it is a vehicle for engagement.

Notetaking. Briefers should be able to conveniently make electronic notes in real time, noting where principals pause, make comments, or otherwise react.

Feedback. Principals should be able to provide direct electronic feedback and receive direct responses in return.

Follow-on action. Principals should be able to make notes to themselves and share an article or piece of information (and their reactions) with authorized staff or fellow senior officials.

Tasking. Principals should be able to task the IC—or even a specific IC element—directly and immediately.

Access. The PDB device should have access to a broad range of materials to support and provide context for finished analysis.

PDF Tablet Wish List

The PDB should be loaded up with referential material including CIA’s The World Factbook, the WIRe, MEDIA highlights, NCTC Terrorism Situation Report, maps, imagery, SIGINT, GEOINT, HUMINT, OSINT, key historical Intelligence, and more.—Several current PDB recipients

The PDB needs a search capability.—Several current PDB recipients

To summarize the critical success factors for the PDB [electronic tablet]—it must be authoritative, useful, complete, and easy to use. —Senior Leader, PDB staff

Wireless access is key to our success. —Senior Leader, PDB Staff

I think we need to mesh e-mail, 24 hour updates, PDB and all other classified information electronically. —Senior White House official

Open source is often highly relevant and it should be in the PDB device for access during the briefing and for later reference but it may not be the entire picture and it is often biased one way or another (e.g., the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal). —Current PDB recipient

Why can’t the PDB device have a secure docking station at the recipient’s location so that it can be charged with intelligence each morning before the briefer arrives and then updated for later reference during the day? —Senior White House official

Access to original source Intelligence is the most frequently asked question by principals who receive the PDB. —Senior Leader, PDB staff

The interactive displays and simulations are a great way to communicate effectively and quickly. —Senior White House official

Human factors and individual differences in cognitive style and interaction style need to be considered to achieve the flexibility, adaptability and agility needed for a suitable PDB technical platform. —Senior White House official

It would be neat to have a variety of [video] news feeds on subjects you are interested in so that you could multitask in the office during the day—to include potentially the TED series, summaries, key facts, depending on the interests of the specific principal. —Current PDB recipient

Classified/sensitive sources. The PDB should allow principals to link to as much standard finished intelligence information as possible and to include biographical information on individuals cited; empirical data on organizations and states; and economic and financial data. It should tailor access to more specific resources, e.g., recent NIEs or relevant collection reports. Where a PDB piece relies on finished analysis or formal collection reports, hotlinks should be available. Providing principals and other designated leaders with access to raw collection data should be avoided in most cases as the potential hazards will often far outweigh benefits. [3] Also, there is value to giving the PDB Staff the ability to customize answers to questions that come back from principals about daily PDB issues.

Open sources. The PDB device should have robust access to open sources so that principals and briefers can share common contexts. Sources should range from major media to other open-source (and Open Source Center) products, again potentially positioning the tablet as the IT device of choice for senior officials. But the PDB should not become an alternative portal to open-source information that is easily available from other channels such as television, newspapers or magazines.

Previous PDB briefs. Briefers and principals should be able to pull up previous briefs to see what has changed or remained constant on an issue, or how it might relate to other issues.

IC experts. Briefers and principals should be able to connect with a relevant IC officer to pose more specific questions and engage more deeply, especially in time-critical circumstances.

Search. The PDB software should provide robust discovery capabilities that let users make additional connections and generate further insights.

Full-text. The PDB software should allow full-text searches on key terms or phrases to allow recipients to readily find items of interest.

Commercial algorithm-based. The PDB software should make use of commercial search algorithms on sources cited to indicate popularity, e.g., “People who consulted this item, also consulted, a, b, and c.”

Limited natural language query. PDB software should allow natural language queries typical in commercial search engines so that relevant data are discoverable.

Security. The PDB system must adopt a more robust security apparatus that can work in a portable, wireless, multi-security-level environment.

Biometrics. Access to a PDB device should be granted through biometric signatures or mobile device tokens, not just physical handling and passwords (if feasible among this challenging user community).

Access control and authorization. PDB users accessing online content should have rigorous authentication procedures to verify their credentials. This is especially important when the tablet is used to share or engage on tablet content with others.

Encryption. All communication via a PDB platform should be encrypted to TOP SECRET standards but without unnecessary user distraction or inconvenience.

Multilevel access. The PDB network should be able to readily and securely “stare down” into networks of lower classification and securely bring content up to networks of higher classification. It should also be cognizant of compartmented programs—even if security may prevent accessing the information on the tablet—so that recipients can see that content of interest exists and may be available using other means.

Discretionary access control. PDB items should have the equivalent of “tear-lines” so that principals can benefit from certain content, even if classification constraints do not permit access to further details or sources.

Kill/self-destruct feature. PDB devices should have software that allows certain information to be wiped from the device upon principal or briefer direction or have a device to self-destruct if it is thought to be compromised or in danger of capture. If extreme acceleration is detected by the tablet or platform’s accelerometers, for instance in the event of a car crash, the self-destruct feature should automatically activate.

Updating Securely. The PDB must be in a highly secure location whenever PDB contents are being displayed or updated. Further it must be connected to the PDB updating network (or Cloud) through a special hardwired, photonic, or RF mechanism to assure secure operations for the update.

PDB Tablet as a Full Featured Information Support Device. The device should evolve from a single-purposed platform usable only for a short window of the day (as it is for the current PDB experiment) to an information-support device that principals incorporate into the range of their daily routines.

E-mail. The PDB tablet should have government e-mail functionality (potentially unclassified as well as classified) so that principals can send messages based on insights from the intelligence support they receive. But outgoing PDB content should not be allowed unless there is a guarantee that the recipient has authorized PDB information access (as in a principal to principal communication).

Calendar. Principals should have access to their calendars and to those of others, along with reminder and note-taking functions.

Web. Principals should be able to access Internet services (potentially unclassified as well as classified). Access to Intelink would be of tremendous value.

Live Connection. Principals should be able to achieve secure connection with peers by video or live-chat.

Impact on Process and Culture

The combination of the tablet, visualization techniques, robust and accessible knowledge bases, and sophisticated applications makes possible dramatic change in the relationships between PDB recipients and the intelligence officers who produce and deliver intelligence. Such a shift would lead to major changes in IC processes and culture.

A major shift would be movement from the provision of “finished” analytic products in relatively staged, controlled interactions to the creation of more dynamic relationships between producer and recipient of intelligence. With fully capable tablets, PDB recipients could have access to numerous amplifying sources, visuals, and multimedia; receive continuous updates; provide feedback more readily and comprehensively; and extend their reach via other communication capabilities almost immediately.

The impact on process would also be palpable. The daily rhythm of intelligence analysis and production would no longer resemble old-fashioned newsrooms that surge before “print” time. Instead, there would be a continuous drumbeat of activity around creating material in various media: hard copy, mp3, video, web, etc. The 24/7-level of required staffing for such an operation would certainly increase demand for resources.

Using a visually intensive technology requires significant changes to the analytic process. The technology would place a premium on the creation of substantive visualizations, especially in the early development of analytic products, and multimedia manipulation. The IT infrastructure will have to support queries for both analytic products and collection reports. Quality control methods must morph to allow continuous, 24/7 improvement to reflect ongoing streams of reporting.

In the course of our research, we observed that the PDB process and content vary considerably from one recipient to another (we interviewed 15 of the current 30 or so PDB recipients—principals and other senior leaders), and the amount of time principals spend on the PDB on a given day will vary based on the interest in the topics of the day, and how busy they feel.

CEOs who use decision-support capabilities in the private sector typically want all or most of their senior leadership (direct reports and sometimes the next layer) to be well informed on issues the CEOs care about so that the next level or two can actively participate in an informed way if the CEO invites a discussion or debate. We have never seen a situation where the CEO is the only user of their corporate decision-support capability. It seems to us that the same logic should very well apply to the president and to his or her senior leadership team as well as to the PDB.

The cultural transformation is equally significant. The PDB is among the most tightly controlled processes in the US national security establishment. The tablet and other related visualization technologies challenge this premise by allowing PDB recipients and IC officers to engage more directly and more frequently in more interactive and dynamic partnerships. An important task for the IC will be to keep the content lively and fresh.

Regardless, the DNI and the briefers should retain regular face-to-face interaction with PDB recipients to ensure the IC is duly supporting senior leaders and to avoid the loss of the valuable and critical human element provided by the interaction of briefers and principals.

The Future of the Briefer

A panel of past and present PDB briefers was asked to discuss the future of briefers in the decision-support environment. In general, panelists were confident that fears of radical changes in the personal interaction between PDB recipients were unfounded and that the relationship would endure. They also felt there would be no change in the core features of today’s PDB briefer. Mutual trust, knowledge of subjects, ability to anticipate needs and questions, and ability to quickly get answers to questions would remain bedrocks of the relationship.

The panelists also dismissed concerns that failed past efforts to introduce similar technological shifts would be a factor today. Indeed, most panelists felt the recipients of the today’s PDB are ready for radical changes. They also dismissed concerns that briefers would become obsolete because of technological developments.

Finally, the panelists did concede that briefers would have to develop some new skills to work in the environment. These are mainly in the area of learning to work more effectively with visualizations and other graphics and multimedia products. (See table below for a selection of comments.)

Next Steps

To follow up on these findings, we recommend the IC leadership consider six actions.

Establish a point of contact, supported by a small IC-wide working group, to mine emergent visualization capabilities and their utility for PDB and other IC applications.

Mobile Production Facilities for Biological Agents

The reason I went to the U.N. is because we needed now to put the case before the entire international community in a powerful way, and that’s what I did that day.

Of course walking into that room is always a daunting experience, but I had been there before. And we had projectors and all sorts of technology to help us make the case. And that’s what I did. I made the case with the director of central intelligence sitting behind me. He and his team had vouched for everything in it. We didn’t make up anything. We threw out a lot of stuff that was not double- and triple-sourced, because I knew the importance of this.

When I was through, I felt pretty good about it. I thought we had made the case, and there was pretty good reaction to it for a few weeks. And then suddenly, the CIA started to let us know that the case was falling apart — parts of the case were falling apart. It was deeply disturbing to me and to the president, to all of us, and to the Congress, because they had voted on the basis of that information. And 16 intelligence agencies had agreed to it, with footnotes. None of the footnotes took away their agreement.

So it was deeply troubling, and I think that it was a great intelligence failure on our part, because the problems that existed in that NIE should have been recognized and caught earlier by the intelligence community.

-- Colin Powell: U.N. Speech “Was a Great Intelligence Failure”, by Jason M. Breslow

External experts such as those interviewed for this project would be ideal sources of insights about current practices, hardware and software developments, and cutting-edge R&D initiatives. This working group should also assess the impact of visualization techniques on the production process in each IC element and the IC as a whole. This POC would be responsible for the next three actions.

PDB Briefers: Success Factors Unique to Tablet Environment

Skills Likely to be Needed

• The ability to think in words and pictures and explain issues using graphics and visualization tools
• Ability to recognize and plan effective visualizations for upcoming briefings
• Storyboarding skills using words, pictures, video and other multi-media tools
• Ability to locate and store reference and source material of potential interest
• Ability to work with technical experts in producing and displaying multi-media
• Ability to think of self as curator of vast quantities of relevant intelligence knowledge and information
• Skill in helping principals become more proficient in their use of the tablet

Downside Fears:

• Principals will make flawed decisions based on non-authoritative or inadequately vetted information available on a tablet.
• Principals will become frustrated, overloaded or overwhelmed by too much data.
• The tablet would negatively affect the quality of the briefer/principal relationship.
• Previous attempts to introduce similar technologies portend another failure.
• Briefers will become obsolete.

Develop a high-level strategic roadmap and implementation plan. These recommended changes in the PDB are complex and interdependent. They require an integrated approach and leadership commitment to ensure technologies are inserted and accompanied by appropriate changes in processes. (In contrast, the operational planning, control, and rollout process is expected to be an evolutionary learning and prototyping approach that would exploit insights from the experimentation and working group activities and over time from the R&D program mentioned below).

Conduct a series of experiments to test emergent capabilities and their implications for the user experience, the production model, and IC culture.

The experiments should be conducted in the context of a rapid evolutionary prototyping lab using the best available commercial-quality software and hardware test beds so that capabilities can be properly tested, evaluated, and red-teamed. IARPA, CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, and/or NSA’s Technology and Research Directorates may be well suited to assist in these experiments.

Develop technology insertion tactical plans for each major phase or cycle of new capability development. These plans should be vetted by the IC working group described above. They should describe in detail how to accomplish needed improvements and estimated implementation costs. These project-level plans will be derived in part from ongoing learning processes.

Establish and develop an R&D program of record. Given the dynamic nature of computing, communication, analytic, and visualization technologies, the DNI should create an IC-wide R&D effort that continuously plumbs emergent ideas that would benefit the PDB and perhaps many other potential user sets in IC leadership positions. This need not be a large effort, but it should draw from across the IC.

Consider extending the findings of the above efforts to other senior users of intelligence. The ideas generated in this paper have applicability beyond the PDB and deserve attention for how they can enhance intelligence support to other officials across the US government.


Implementing these recommendations will not be easy or free and should not be underestimated, but in our judgment conversion of the current PDB system into one that more closely resembles an advanced decision-support and executive-information system will provide opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the production process itself, opportunities that should not be passed up.

The ethos of the PDB rests in its heritage as a compilation of largely finished analysis for a dedicated senior reader, delivered on a schedule, by a skilled intelligence briefer, who serves as the gateway to the rest of the IC. An elaborate production process and supporting analytic cadre have institutionalized that model and the culture in which it is produced. It has fostered a highly regulated production scheme for producing serial, fixed outputs controlled by the IC.

The use of electronic tablet technologies used to their fullest capabilities portends a process of shared discovery between the principal and the broader IC, a model that is nothing short of a paradigm shift, a shift likely to meet considerable resistance.

To reduce potential resistance, it is critical that new capabilities not invade the “personal space” of PDB recipients and that the option to retain a paper product remains. In addition past efforts to introduce new technology to the process of informing policymakers should be examined to draw applicable lessons from those experiences.

If the PDB is to evolve in this direction, it must be done systematically and deliberately, with fierce intent and courageous patience to overcome challenges from those unsettled by the changes and the complexity of the technology and the service it is intended to perform.

A strategic plan will be necessary to identify how desired functions will be introduced and how challenges will be met. The changes, however, do not have to be implemented all at once and can be phased in over time, and there is time to adapt approaches to many potential PDB users.

Failure to begin the journey outlined in this paper in a timely way—with some noticeable degree of urgency and focus—may jeopardize the progress made so far with the current PDB tablet experiment, which we judge to be successfully providing insights into what will be needed in the future. PDB recipients (especially principals) appear to want more than they are currently getting, and they may revolt against the tablet and other forms of new technology if they perceive that they are not reaping the technology’s potential benefits. The lost momentum could cause the PDB to retreat to the “business as usual” status of the last 40 years. Such a development would represent a significant missed opportunity.



1. Nothing in this paper should be interpreted to suggest that we believe a tablet is the only relevant computer-based device that has a role to play in providing access to and use of intelligence information for the PDB or any other purpose.

2. For detailed discussion of the approaches presidents up to 2004 have had toward the PDB, see John L. Helgerson, Getting to Know the President: Intelligence Briefings of Presidentitial Candidates, 1952–2004 (CIA, Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2012). An free audio version is available at ... ePresident

3. Hazards include principals lacking the context to properly interpret the data; principals getting consumed or frustrated in perusing voluminous traffic; principals not understanding how to request the right data; and the ever present risks of security and handling violations.

All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed in this article are those of the authors. Nothing in the article should be construed as asserting or implying US government endorsement of its factual statements and interpretations.
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