The Brief, powered by CEPI – Global tsunami

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The protesters advocating the independence of Catalonia are using an internet platform and an app which directs them toward strategic places, to maximise the effect of their rebellion. The purpose is reportedly to test the tool in Catalonia first, and then to make it functional globally.

According to experts in cyber-security, Catalonia is indeed a testing ground for new devices, which make the use of social media during protests elsewhere look like ancient history. Similar protest movements have also sought to employ web-based applications in order to mobilise more efficiently, including pro-Democratic movements in Hong Kong.

Not everyone can join the group, the activation is done in stages and the app needs a QR code to be activated. Law enforcement experts recognise it is very difficult to infiltrate the system.

No one knows who is behind the platform, which today controls 300,000 people. One illustration of what the platform can do is, for example, 3,000 people acting as a swarm and creating a traffic jam in a few minutes using supermarket trolleys.

Masses of people are invited via Twitter or other social media, and then the activists give more precise instructions. Cyber experts say the technology resembles video games, the main difference being that here, the anonymous gamers play with masses of people in real life.

It is interesting that many of the protesters claim they are apolitical. Many of them keep repeating that they will not back down, “no matter who is in power”. OK, it’s clear they don’t trust the traditional political parties.

But why do they seem to trust an anonymous organiser whose intentions are simply mysterious, and could, quite frankly, provide inspiration for another Dan Brown novel?

Moreover, civil disobedience is obviously seeking to supersede traditional democracy. In case there is a vote, it doesn’t matter who has won, because civil disobedience will impose its agenda.

This is not a story about Catalonia – the Spanish province is only a testing ground.

It’s a story about democracy being at stake in the wider context, with technology getting out of control.  It’s a story about the crisis of the traditional political parties, resulting in people easy to be manipulated. It’s a story about a global tsunami in the making.


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The Roundup

By Alexandra Brzozowski

Russia’s Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, spoke with EURACTIV.com about gas transit talks with Ukraine, NATO and EU enlargement, nuclear arms control, Russia’s sales of the S-400 anti-aircraft system and the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Georgia demanded the release of a doctor detained by separatists after crossing into breakaway South Ossetia, which is controlled by Russia after a war between two ex-Soviet republics in 2008.

The Czech Republic’s billionaire prime minister expressed regret over his communist past while Slovakia’s liberal president hailed the sacrifices communist-era dissidents made for democracy as their nations celebrated 30 years since the Velvet Revolution toppled communism in then-Czechoslovakia.

Trump’s former campaign adviser and lobbyist ally Bryan Lanza met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy aide Andriy Yermak at a restaurant, Ukrainian media have reported.

Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kyiv, Crimea’s border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies.

Decarbonising transport is an enormous challenge and there will be a need to deploy a mix of clean technologies to accelerate the transition to a sustainable system, MEP Seán Kelly told EURACTIV.com.

Look out for…

General Affairs Council meeting dealing with MFF and rule of law as well as the European Court of Justice ruling on Poland’s Supreme Court.

Views are the author’s

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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