The crisis volatilizes the wealth accumulated by families in a decade

Families have lost almost half of the money they had invested in the stock market at the beginning of the crisis, 181,079 million euros

Image result for lost moneyThe crisis has volatilized the wealth accumulated by families in the last decade. Only in the last five years have they lost 180,788 million euros. This situation has aggravated the so-called ” poverty effect ” that is weighing like a slab on consumption. Only in the first quarter the income obtained by VAT has fallen by 9.1%. This situation is what explains that the Government has foreseen that the national demand as a whole will decrease by 4.4% throughout the year, a scenario typical of a double recession in which for the first time the Spanish economy has submerged. The Stability Plan foresees a change of situation in 2013, which would allow the economy to grow again.


The net financial wealth of the families, that is, the difference between the savings they accumulate and the loans they have granted, was reduced by 4% in 2011 and stood at 786,359 million, according to the financial balance data of the corresponding families to the third quarter of 2011 that includes the Bank of Spain. This means that it has been at the same level it had in 2003 and assumes that 180,788 million have been lost since the crisis began in 2007.

The financial assets accumulated as a whole by the families have been reduced by 181,079 million, since they stood at 1,718 billion in 2011. This means that, due to the losses, all of their investments in the stock market, investment funds and pensions are at the level they had in 2005.

But where families have lost even the shirt has been in the bag . They have almost half of the money they had in stocks at the beginning of the crisis in 2007. Their 799,253 million shares (excluding funds) and other participations such as shares issued by investment funds and shares managed by investment companies have been reduced to 463,977 million. Only listed shares have lost 63,571 million, since their investment has been reduced to 85,860 million. To have an idea of ​​the volume of money they have lost, this is an amount similar to the one they had invested in the year 2000. This represents a spectacular reduction of 43% since the highs of 2007. A fall that obeys more to the loss of value of the shares in that time than to the exit of money itself.

Far less profitable has been the investment in the shares issued by investment funds , which have been reduced by 86,277 million in these five years of crisis and have remained at 109,287 million.

These losses seem to have been better managed by pension funds , since losses have been limited to 4,886 million. The savings they had accumulated to complete the pension they will receive from Social Security has been reduced to 106,471 million, the level they had before the beginning of the crisis, exactly in 2006.

Cash preferred by families

Image result for cash preferredThe continuous swings of the stock market have been changing the habits of families, who have chosen to have their money in cash. The deposits have reached a record figure of 857,070 million euros. High yield deposits remain close to 458,000 million. The figure has not stopped growing in the last seven years. Since before the crisis, family deposits have increased by 25%. Many families have opted to invest in fixed income , assets that have increased by 13,500 million since the crisis began. The total volume already rises to 62,686 million. Data from the Bank of Spain indicate that the process of debt reduction of families is very slow. The total volume of its debt stood at 932,357 million at the end of 2011, barely 291 million less than at the beginning of the crisis. The figures indicate that more short-term loans have been canceled (they have been reduced by 9,330 million) than in the long term (they are reduced by 7,809 million).

Canarias, second Community with the lowest university fees

Canarias, second Community with the lowest university fees

Image result for low university fee

  • The Government Council of the Canary Islands has approved on Monday the Decree that sets the public prices to be met for the provision of academic services of a university nature for the 2018-2019 academic year, for the public universities of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, in which has included, for the second year in a row, a reduction in the cost of studies supported by families.


The Government Council of the Canary Islands has approved on Monday the Decree that sets the public prices to be met for the provision of academic services of a university nature for the 2018-2019 academic year, for the public universities of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, in which has included, for the second year in a row, a reduction in the cost of studies supported by families.

In a press conference, the Minister of Education, Soledad Monzón, has indicated that for the next academic year 2018/2019, the reduction of public prices will be 10 percent for undergraduate studies and 17.5 percent, for the Masters.

In this way, and taking into account the current prices of public universities in the rest of the State, “Canary Islands is the second Autonomous Community, behind Galicia, with the lowest university fees”.

Although it depends on the level of experimentality of the different studies, the cheapest price of a university credit will be fixed at 10.18 euros, so that in the Canary Islands you can study a full academic year of university degree studies, starting at 611 euros In the case of the qualifying master’s degrees, the minimum price per credit is 17.26 euros and, in the non-qualifying ones, 19.92.

These public prices are reached in the second of three years of price reduction in public universities, of the three planned by the Government to place them as the most economic of the State for families.

So that the reduction of 8 percent in the enrollment of the undergraduate studies and of 15 percent in the masters made last year did not affect the quality they can offer to the students, the Government compensated the universities with 3, 5 million additional euros.

With this new reduction in the part of the cost of tuition that falls on families, the Government’s forecast is to increase its funding by around four million euros more.

The purpose of this measure is to encourage enrollment in Canarian universities and, above all, “to ensure that no person with talent, skills and desire to pursue higher education have to give up for economic reasons,” he said.

The Decree also regulates the free or discount of studies for having obtained permission, such as honorary enrollments, extraordinary Baccalaureate or end-of-career awards and others, but also grants the application of these economic reductions to specific groups.

For example, people who have recognized a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33 percent will be exempt from paying the public prices established in the Decree, as well as persons who have been victims of armed gangs or acts of terrorism, as well as their spouses and descendants in the first degree.

For reasons of gender violence, women, their minor children and minors subject to their guardianship, or guardianship and custody, who have the status of victims of the violence referred to in Organic Law 1/2004, will be exempt. December 28, Measures of Comprehensive Protection against Gender Violence.

Persons suffering invalidating injuries within the scope of application of Royal Decree-Law 8/2004, of November 5, on compensation to participants in international peace and security operations, as well as to their first-degree descendants and spouses of the deceased persons, in their case, will be exempt from the payment of the public prices established in the Decree.

In addition, exemption is established for members of large families classified in the special category and a 50% bonus for those of a general category.


Image result for aidThis important reduction in the cost of higher education for Canarian families goes a step further in the equity policy undertaken by the Government of the Canary Islands, so that the family economy is less and less a barrier to the formation of people, up to the maximum level of their capabilities.

Thus, from the 2017/2018 academic year, it was agreed with the public universities of the Canary Islands to facilitate the access of families to university studies, giving them more than the usual four terms for the payment of tuition fees. The extension up to six terms, which will be maintained next year, greatly facilitates families to face the costs of the studies.

The Canary Islands university scholarships are also maintained, with more than 12 million euros. All people who want to study at university and their family have a lower income of 38,831 euros per year (for families of 4 members), have paid the university enrollment the first year and, from the second, if they approve 70% of the subjects, 65% in Sciences or 50% in engineering and architecture.

In addition, the scholarships also include grants of up to 1,500 euros for rental reasons, another 1,500 for residence, help with transport costs according to the distance to the university center, and so on.

And if they have to move because on their island there is no chosen higher education or there is no place to take them, the Government will return next year to call for payment of four transfers from their island to the place of study and vice versa, explained Monsoon.


the useless fashion slimming supplement

Garcinia cambogia: the useless fashion slimming supplement

More than any other slimming supplement products based or containing (or claim to contain) Garcinia cambogia are the most of what this overpopulated world is concerned . Forget the artichoke , the green tea , the coffee of the same color , the phaseolamine or any other chupi-product that crosses your mind. The truth is that they offer the same guarantees as the rest of slimming supplements, that is, none, but if you take G. Cambogia you will be up to date . In fact, it is one of the fetish supplements of the illustrious Dr. Oz and it is, without a doubt, the complement for which I was most recently asked. But before continuing we throw a little light on what is that of G. Cambogia.

The plant and the most illusory theories

In fact Garcinia cambogia is the scientific name in disuse for which the Malabar tamarind is popularly known, today truly referred to as Garcinia gummi-gutta . It is a tree or shrub that grows mainly in India and offers a fruit that looks relatively similar to a pumpkin, but smaller. Of its content in active compounds emphasizes the hydroxycitric acid , substance to which is attributed the property to inhibit an enzyme called citrate lyase and thereby decrease the synthesis of fatty acids and increase the glycogen; this effect in theory, would influence a lower sense of hunger and hence, its usefulness to lose weight.

Other sources , in my opinion little documented although very popular, also include in the composition of G. gummi-gutta a certain amount of L-carnitine. It is an element associated with alternative weight loss put into value in those more enthusiastic forums of miracle products. On the role of L-carnitine in the metabolism of fats I spoke to you in this post as it has been attributed “fat-burning” properties. To summarize, I will tell you that it is true that L-carnitine is an element that effectively involved in obtaining energy from fatty acids … but you need the amount you need and to provide more through any fool- supplements will not cause more fatty acids to be used . Let’s see with an example: one of the elements that your car needs to work is the battery, but once you have one … do you think that putting more batteries will make it work better? Well with the same L-carnitine, it is necessary but “put” more in circulation (with the taking of supplements) will not cause fats to burn faster .

Science, legislation and reality

There are numerous publications, but among the most serious studies about the usefulness of this plant or its extracts in weight loss we have this review and meta-analysis of clinical trials The Use of Garcinia Extract (Hydroxycitric Acid) as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials . His conclusion, after analyzing the results of 12 clinical trials that met the minimum quality required and that included the results of more than 700 participants was:

The plant and the most illusory theories

The evidence suggests that Garcinia / hydroxycitric acid extracts favor weight loss in the short term. However, the magnitude of this effect is small and tends to disappear when the most rigorous trials are considered; besides, the clinical relevance [its general importance] seems to be questionable.

More recent but similar conclusions is this other study Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of hydroxycitric acid Garcinia cambogia or extracts in humans which states that:

There is little evidence to support the efficacy and possible long-term benefits of G. cambogia extracts. With respect to toxicity and safety, […] except in exceptional cases, studies conducted in experimental animals have not reported a significant increase in mortality or toxicity. […] In studies with humans, no differences have been described in terms of negative side effects between individuals treated with G. cambogia and controls.

And is that, however much it is more or less fashionable, the role of using phyto-supplements with extracts of this plant is not exactly recent. I have already commented that the reputation of absurd dietary approaches and miracle products responds to cycles in which the exaltation and forgetting of them are used in a commercially convenient way and by virtue of (scarce) popular memory . This being so, and as might be expected in such circumstances, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has long been consulted on the matter of being able to attribute in G. Cambogia’s commercial preparations some kind of allegation that made reference to its alleged slimming properties. . However, despite the fact that the consultation appears to have taken place in 2008 (page 55), EFSA has not yet made a statement. We will continue to wait, although whatever your opinion, mine I have quite clear.

So, as far as a more conceptual reading is concerned about this type of “aids” to lose weight, I would like you to reflect on an event. Although some medical-sanitary treatments do not directly affect the causes of the problem but nevertheless are considered valid at the same time, in the case of possible thinning with these phytotherapeutic remedies it is not related to the causes nor is there any greater evidence linking their use with no real beneficial effect . Therefore … what the hell can they serve except to make the fat broth to those who raise us false but mellifluous and attractive solutions?


Barcelona's Diagonal will be a great park every Sunday


The government of Barcelona led by the mayor, Xavier Trias, is finalizing these days a real coup that will not only be one of the great novelties of this final stretch of municipal mandate, but also can change in the short or medium term the way that Barcelonians have to appropriate the public space of their city. In a matter of very few weeks, in all safety during the month of March, the City Council will launch an initiative inspired in part by the practices being carried out by other large cities but adapted to the new reality of the Catalan capital,

a reality in the that, in the dispute over public space, the priority of the pedestrian over the private vehicle is increasingly evident and has no reverse. The Diagonal will be the test laboratory of an experience that, shortly after it works, the Consistory will also take to other streets of the city. Every Sunday, the sides of the great avenue of Barcelona will be closed to the circulation of cars and motorcycles so that citizens can occupy them for their civic enjoyment.

The measure, which Xavier Trias and his deputy mayor of Habitat Urbano, Antoni Vives, have been maturing for a long time, will be applied every Sunday and holidays between 9 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon, in the sector of Diagonal between Plaza Francesc Macià and Plaza de las Glòries , along three and a half kilometers. Not only will Barcelona be able to walk along the conventional sidewalks -which in the stretch between Francesc Macià and Paseo de Gràcia have been generously extended-, but also to occupy the side lanes for the walk, for running or to accompany the more little ones who start cycling.

In this space snatched from the car on holidays, tables, chairs and even chairs will be installed – like those that triumph in the urbanization of Glòries Square – for citizens to rest, sunbathe, read or converse, so that boys and girls play again in the street and, in short, so that whoever wants to enjoy a day outdoors in the city. But, undoubtedly, the highlight of all is that this large portion of the Diagonal that will undergo the amazing Sunday metamorphosis will become, in fact, a large public park with recreational and cultural programming that will vary according to the demands of the citizen entities of all kinds, be it an association of neighbors or merchants, a solidarity organization, a home for the elderly, a grassroots sports club or a cultural group, to name just a few examples.

At least at the start of this initiative, the City Council will schedule leisure activities along the avenue. This is what the third deputy mayor and councilor of Habitat Urbano, Antoni Vives, calls ” programmed park “. As it happens already in some green zones of the city, it will not be strange to participate or to witness in the Diagonal a multitudinous class of yoga or taichi, the performance of groups of children’s entertainment, a fair of artisan products, a session of gymnastics for the elderly and, in short, any activity that can be imagined in a public park in the city. As the project is consolidated, the purpose of the City Council is to cede the organizational role to the authentic Barcelona civil society. including the entities of the third social sector.

In its premiere, this initiative of the municipal government will not be limited to the Diagonal.

<br /><br />In its premiere, this initiative of the municipal government will not be limited to the Diagonal.
Another emblematic street of the city, the Passeig de Gràcia , which for lack of some small detail or retouching has completed its reform, will also be submitted from March to this experiment that Antoni Vives, in contrast to the “urbanism of the stone” ( the one of the works and the great reforms), defines as “planter’s urbanism”. On the Passeig de Gràcia, the side road will also be used by pedestrians for holidays, at the same time -from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.- when this measure will be applied on the Diagonal. The affected section will be the one between the Cinc d’Oros (the confluence of the Passeig de Gràcia and the Diagonal) and the Gran Via. The lower part of the promenade, from Gran Via to Plaza Catalunya, will maintain its usual configuration and uses.

The head of Habitat Urbano has explained to La Vanguardia that, after the reforms carried out in many of the main roads of the city, such as Passeig de Gràcia, Balmes street, Passeig de Sant Joan, Ronda General Miter, Paral · Lel or Avenida Diagonal (the total completion of the works in the latter is marked around March 15), works that in all cases have represented an increase in space dedicated to pedestrians, “we thought it was not enough, we had to go a step further and that the city could take it, “says Vives. “This is the urbanism of the stone – continues the councilman – but Barcelona has enough urban quality to allow us to put a planter in a space that was not designed for people and thus transform it into a space for people.” It is the application in the field of urbanism of the motto of Mayor Trias “the city of people” and the mantra that is repeated in the department that directs Vives, which insists, among other things, on creating a city “at human speed”.

The partial closure of the Diagonal from March will have a differentiated treatment in the four consecutive sections of the avenue in which this measure will be applied. From Francesc Macià to Via Augusta, the car veto on the sides will be total, both on the sea side and on the mountain side. Between Via Augusta and Passeig de Gràcia, only the lateral sea will be affected; the circulation on the mountain side will remain open to facilitate the connection between Sarrià-Sant Gervasi and the Eixample. Between Passeig de Gràcia and Passeig de Sant Joan, the two bands will also be used as a park, as will the Sant Joan and Marina promenades. Logically, the complex crossing of roads that occurs in the area delimited by Diagonal, Marina and Aragón, will make it the exception in the application of the measure. And, finally, between Marina and Glòries (in fact, Castillejos street) the closure will be partial. The Mobility area is finishing designing the special treatment that some points of the Diagonal will receive, as well as the way to solve the entrances and exits of the parkings located in the affected areas.

A widespread trend across the planet

A widespread trend across the planetWhat Barcelona will try in a couple of months in the Diagonal or Passeig de Gràcia goes in the same line as many other experiences of pacification of the urban space carried out by cities around the world, which take advantage of the holidays to close streets that support an intense traffic throughout the week or provisionally enable spaces that were never conceived for the peaceful use of their citizens. New York, London or Paris have been offering for many years numerous examples of this trend that has become widespread in almost the entire planet, as shown by many South American cities. This is the case of Medellín, where very congested roads, in the heart of the city,

in the neighborhood of El Poblado, become weekends in the so-called bicycle paths, streets reserved for the use of the bicycle or to practice running. Antoni Vives and his manager, Albert Civit. They know what it is like to make legs on the asphalt of the Colombian city, in an area that would be comparable in a certain way to the entrance to Barcelona by the Diagonal. Also São Paulo, the largest city in South America, a megalopolis with an impossible traffic, able to put the most impassive European driver out of the nerves, has dared to close every Sunday the Minhocão, a frightening viaduct that literally skims the blocks of flats. Now, the holidays on this fast track are cyclists and pedestrians and the spontaneous initiative of a few young people has led to the appearance of a street market.

COMMUNIQUÉ: CryoLife announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire JOTEC (1)

CryoLife announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire&amp;nbsp;

 a leading tissue and medical products processing company dedicated to cardiac and vascular surgery, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire JOTEC AG (” JOTEC “). JOTEC, based in Germany, is a private developer of technologically differentiated endovascular stent grafts and cardiac and vascular surgical grafts, focused on aortic repair. The combination of CryoLife and JOTEC will lead to a company with a broad and highly competitive product portfolio focused on aortic surgery and will place CryoLife in a position where it will be able to compete from a strong position in the growing and important endovascular surgical markets.

Pat Mackin, president and CEO of CryoLife, said: “We believe that this acquisition will allow CryoLife to maintain a steady revenue growth of slightly less than 10%, while diversifying our revenues into a potentially larger market.” JOTEC has a portfolio of technologically differentiated products that meet the needs of the international market for stent grafts, valued at US $ 2000 million, which are used for endovascular and open aortic repairs.Their advanced portfolio of products has allowed them to achieve an annual growth rate of 17%. % during the last five years, which significantly exceeds the growth of the general European market, we expect the acquired portfolio to continue to grow more than 10% outside the United States, at least for the next five years. will take advantage of our i Global infrastructure, will accelerate our ability to enter directly into Europe and will foster significant cross-selling opportunities between the CryoLife and JOTEC product portfolios. The transaction will also boost gross margin expansion and accelerate our trajectory to achieve an operating margin of 20% or more. We are confident that this will place CryoLife in a position that will allow it to generate growth in GAP, outside of generally accepted accounting principles, at an annual growth rate of at least 20% over the next five years. “

Mr. Mackin added: “We also hope that JOTEC’s new product lines and R & D capabilities will drive long-term growth beyond a five-year time horizon, especially as its most innovative products enter the US market Our plan is to make use of CryoLife’s clinical and regulatory expertise for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize our products, which we believe will allow them to enter the US market. U.S.

Thomas Bogenschütz, CEO of JOTEC, said: “CryoLife is in an ideal position to accelerate the adoption of our products through its complementary and international cardiac and vascular surgery activities, and we look forward to working with the CryoLife team to promote the growth of our existing activities, expand to new territories and accelerate our R & D initiatives in key markets such as the United States.

JOTEC generated revenues of around 41 million euros in 2016, which represents an annual growth of around 17% over the last five years. It also generated revenues of about 43 million euros, about 51 million US dollars according to the current exchange rate, during the twelve months prior to June 30, 2017.

Strategic justification of the transaction

– Provide CryoLife with: – A portfolio of technologically advanced and highly competitive products that is gaining market share – A new and important product line and excellent R & D capabilities – Drivers for revenue growth short and long term until 2028; and – Access to the United States stent graft market, valued at USD 1,200 million, which is expected to increase to USD 1,500 million by 2021. – Expansion of the potential markets of CryoLife through access to the market. current international market for stent grafts, valued at US $ 2 billion, and which is expected to increase to US $ 2.5 billion by 2021. – Acceleration of CryoLife’s direct sales strategy in the main European markets – Creation of important cross-selling opportunities by taking advantage of the direct sales companies that already have CryoLife and JOTEC – Boosting expected revenue growth (slightly lower than 10%), increasing gross margin and obtaining an operating margin of 20% greater over a period of five years

Terms of agreement

Terms of agreement

In accordance with the terms of the final agreement, CryoLife will acquire JOTEC after an initial payment of US $ 225 million, subject to certain adjustments, which will consist of 75 percent in cash and 25 percent in ordinary shares of CryoLife issued in favor of the shareholders of JOTEC. CryoLife expects to finance the transaction and the related expenses, as well as refinance its loan in installments in the amount of US $ 69 million, thanks to a guaranteed loan of 255 million US dollars, which consists of an official loan in installments (loan of class B) of 225 million dollars and an unused revolving line of credit of 30 million dollars, 56.25 million in ordinary shares of CryoLife and money available in cash. The guaranteed loans are fully covered by Deutsche Bank, Capital One and Fifth Third Bank and are expected to be linked to the investors before the closing of the acquisition.

Both companies, as well as their corresponding boards of directors, have approved the final agreement. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year, subject to the usual closing conditions.

Best mortgage lending for 2016: Interest rates are still favorable

written by Bernd Lauberg Focus-Money is examining which providers have

the best mortgage lending for 2016 in a recent review. Who aspires to a real estate purchase or house construction, should now search among the test winners for the personally best mortgage lending. Because a new investigation shows that the interest on construction money will rise again in the 

In the current issue of Focus-Money (47/2015), together with the experts from ServiceValue, they are looking for the best mortgage lending for 2016. Because even if the interest rate is currently very low, it is not worth the first offer to accept. Other factors, such as good advice, financial stability of the provider and excellent service , should be respected. After all, real estate financing is a long-term endeavor. “The financing must not wobble,” according to the conclusion of the testers.

Best mortgage lending for 2016 at these fair providers

Best mortgage lending for 2016 at these fair providers


In search of the best mortgage lending for 2016, a total of 24 providers were scrutinized. In addition to the conditions such as the interest rate, the quality of the advice and the service were also the focus of the investigation. Around 1,600 customers were asked about their experience with banks and mortgage lenders . Providers with above-average scores in the various categories received the rating “good” and the rating “fair mortgage lender”. Four banks and two intermediaries even achieved the best rating “very good”:

Is it worth it to wait with the mortgage?

In times of high interest rates, it may well be worthwhile to pay longer for rent and to save more capital and to wait for lower construction interest rates. At the moment, however , the conditions for mortgage lending are cheaper than ever . According to a report by Cash Online, the interest rates for mortgage lending have even fallen again in November 2015. According to this, Interhyp charges about 0.4 percentage points less for ten-year loans in November than in the summer months.

Consumers who plan to buy a property anyway should therefore now check whether they want to tackle mortgage lending. Even if a sudden increase in construction interest rates can not be expected in the next few months, experts still expect construction loans to rise in the medium to long term . This is also dependent on the monetary policy of the US Federal Reserve. Instead of playing here on time , it is advisable for future builders with sufficient equity and regular income, to decide promptly for financing.

Guarded and sold

In that digitized and connected world, the State watches over us and Capital sells us; that is, sells our life transformed into data

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97% of the information on the planet is digitized. And most of this information is produced by us, through the Internet and wireless communication networks. When we communicate, we transform a good part of our lives into digital records. And therefore communicable and accessible through interconnection of network files. With an individual identification. A barcode The DNI. That connects with our credit cards, our health card, our bank account, our personal and professional history -including domicile-, our computers -each with their code number-, our email -required by banks and Internet companies- , our driving license, car registration, the trips we have made, our consumption habits -detected by card purchases or online-, our reading habits and music -sensitiveness of the websites we frequent-, our presence in social media -like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr or Twitter and many others-, our searches in Google or Yahoo and a long digital etcetera. And all this referred to a person; you, for example. However, it is assumed that the individual identities are legally protected and that the data of each one is private. Until they are not. And those exceptions, which in fact are the rule, refer to the relationship with the two central institutions in our society: the State and Capital.

In this digitized and connected world, the State watches over us and Capital sells us, that is, sells our lives transformed into data. They watch us for our good, to protect us from the bad. And they sell us with our agreement to accept cookies and to trust the banks that allow us to live on credit (and, therefore, they have the right to know to whom they give a card). The two processes, massive electronic surveillance and the sale of personal data as a business model, have expanded exponentially in the last decade due to the paranoia of security, the search for ways to make the Internet profitable and the technological development of the Internet. digital communication and data processing.

Massive espionage practices

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Snowden’s revelations about the massive espionage practices of the entire world (with little judicial protection or simply illegal) have exposed a society in which no one can escape the surveillance of Big Brother, or Merkel. This has not always been the case because we were not digitized and there were not enough powerful technologies to obtain, relate and process this immense mass of information. The emergence of the so-called big data, gigantic databases in communicable and accessible formats (such as the huge NSA file in Bluffdale, Utah) has resulted from the strengthening of intelligence services after the barbaric attack on New York as well as the cooperation between large technology companies and governments, in particular with the US National Security Agency. (which is part of the Ministry of Defense, but enjoys wide autonomy).

The director of the NSA, Michael Hayden, said that to identify a needle in a haystack (the terrorist in world communication), he needed to control the whole haystack, and that is what he ended up achieving, according to his criteria, with a flexible legal coverage. . Although the United States is the center of the surveillance system, the Snowden documents show active cooperation with the specialized surveillance agencies of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and any country, with the partial exception of Russia and China, except in moments of convergence. In Spain, after the scandalous revelation that the NSA had intercepted 60 million calls, Snowden pointed out that the CNI had actually done so on behalf of the NSA. Following the Aznar policy that gave Bush unlimited permission to spy in Spain in exchange for advanced surveillance material. And they watched everyone who shared information. But it was the technology companies that developed cutting-edge technologies for the Pentagon. And it was telephone and internet companies that provided data of their customers. They only got angry when they learned that the NSA was spying on them without their permission. Facebook, Google and Apple protested and encrypted part of their internal communications. Because in reality that is a possible defense of privacy: encrypted communication provided to users. However, it is not disseminated because it contradicts the business model of internet companies: the collection and sale of data for targeted advertising (which constitutes 91% of Google’s profits).

Uncotrolled Surveillance

Image result for surveillanceAlthough the uncontrolled surveillance of the State is a threat to democracy, the erosion of privacy comes essentially from the practice of communication companies to obtain data from their customers, add them and sell them. They sell us as data. Without legal problem. Read the privacy policy published by Google: the search engine is granted the right to register the user’s name, email, telephone number, credit card, search habits, search requests, identification of computers and telephones, duration of calls, location, uses and data of the applications. Apart from that, privacy is respected. That’s why Google has almost one million servers for data processing.

How to avoid being watched or sold? Cryptanarchists rely on technology. Vano pawn for normal people. The lawyers, in justice. Arduous and slow battle. Politicians, happy to know everything, except theirs. And the individual? Maybe change on your own: do not use credit cards, communicate in cybercafes, call from public telephones, go to the movies and concerts instead of downloading movies or music. And if this is too heavy, sell your data, as proposed by small companies that now proliferate in Silicon Valley.