Johari window - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An empty Johari window, with the "Rooms" arranged clockwise, starting with Room 1 at the top left

A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.

When performing the exercise, the subject is given a list of 56 adjectives and picks five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.[1]

Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 is the aspect that others see but we are not aware of. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 4 is our private space, which we know but keep from others.

The concept is clearly related to the ideas propounded in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator programme, which in turn derive from theories about the personality first explored by the pioneering psychologist Carl Jung.


[edit] Quadrants

Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the participant of which both they and their peers are aware.

Adjectives selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware. It is then up to the participant whether or not to disclose this information.

Adjectives that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots".

Adjectives which were not selected by either the participant or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives which were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of said trait.

Johari adjectives: A Johari Window consists of the following 56 adjectives used as possible descriptions of the participant. In alphabetical order they are:

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • smart
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise
  • witty

[edit] Motivational equivalent

The concept of meta-emotions categorized by basic emotions offers the possibility of a meta-emotional window as a motivational counterpart to the meta-cognitive Johari window.

[edit] Appropriation of name

  • Since December 2001, singer/songwriter Andrew E. Ullman has performed under the pseudonym Johari, and cites the Johari Window as one of his primary methods of inspiration.
  • In September 2008, New York indie band Carlon released an LP titled Johari Window on Rope-a-Dope Records.
  • A second season episode of the TV show Fringe was titled "Johari Window", airing on January 14, 2010.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Luft, Joseph (1969). Of Human Interaction. Palo Alto, CA: National Press. pp. 177. 
  • The original written publication appears to be:
    Luft, J.; Ingham, H. (1955). "The Johari window, a graphic model of interpersonal awareness". Proceedings of the western training laboratory in group development (Los Angeles: UCLA). 
  • Luft, Joseph (1972). Einfuhrung in die Gruppendynamik. Klett. 
  • Hase, Steward; Alan Davies, Bob Dick (1999). The Johari Window and the Dark Side of Organisations. Southern Cross University. 
  • Handy, Charles (2000). 21 Ideas for Managers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

[edit] External links

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Egalitarianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The United States Declaration of Independence subverted the dominant social doctrine of the time, the Divine Right of Kings, by saying "All men are created equal"

Egalitarianism (derived from the French word égal, meaning "equal"), is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort. Its general premise is that people should be treated as equals on certain dimensions such as religiously, politically, economically, socially, or culturally. Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.[1] In large part, it is a response to the abuses of statist development and has two distinct definitions in modern English.[2] It is defined either as a political doctrine that holds that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights[3] or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people or the decentralization of power.

It is considered by some to be the natural state of society.[4][5][6]

Studies have shown that social inequality is the cause of many social problems. A comprehensive study of major world economies revealed a correlation between social inequality and problems such as homicide, infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancies, emotional depression and prison population.[7] Egalitarianism is a subject of concern politically, philosophically, and religiously.


[edit] Forms

Some specifically focused egalitarian concerns include economic egalitarianism, legal egalitarianism, luck egalitarianism, political egalitarianism, gender egalitarianism, racial equality, asset-based egalitarianism, and Christian egalitarianism. Common forms of egalitarianism include political, philosophical, and religious.

[edit] Political

The framers of various modern governments made references to the Enlightenment principles of egalitarianism, "inalienable rights endowed by their Creator," in the moral principles by which they lived, and which formed the basis for their legacy.

[edit] Philosophical

At a cultural level, egalitarian theories have developed in sophistication and acceptance during the past two hundred years. Among the notable broadly egalitarian philosophies are socialism, communism, anarchism, left-libertarianism, and progressivism, all of which propound economic, political, and legal egalitarianism, respectively. Several egalitarian ideas enjoy wide support among intellectuals and in the general populations of many countries. Whether any of these ideas have been significantly implemented in practice, however, remains a controversial question.

One argument is that liberalism provides democracy with the experience of civic reformism. Without it, democracy loses any tie─argumentative or practical─to a coherent design of public policy endeavoring to provide the resources for the realization of democratic citizenship. For instance, some argue that modern representative democracy is a realization of political egalitarianism, while others believe that, in reality, most political power still resides in the hands of a ruling class, rather than in the hands of the people.[8]

[edit] Religious

[edit] In Christianity

The Christian egalitarian view holds that the Bible teaches the fundamental equality of women and men of all racial and ethnic mixes, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and the overarching principles of scripture.[9] However, within Christianity, there are dissenting views from opposing groups known as Complementarians and Patriarchalists.

[edit] In Islam

Please help improve this article by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page. (April 2010)
Question book-new.svg

This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Please help improve this article by introducing appropriate citations to additional sources. (April 2010)

Islam is cited[where?] as being as an egalitarian religion in that it repudiates forms of nationalism that artificially aggrandize one's own people over others on no moral basis[citation needed]. Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq says that "Various demarcations of people based on groups, tribes, ethnicities or nationalities are quite alright, as it is natural for the humanity as a social entity. However, that is primarily to know each other in terms of our lineage, not to aggrandize oneself. Islam further reinforces this universality on the basis of not a man (Adam), but a man and a woman (Adam and Eve) and educates us that there is no virtue based on race, color, language, geographical location, wealth, or gender." [10]

Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have argued that Islam is not misogynistic.[11] Muhammad's introduction of Islam in the seventh century is seen by some[who?] as a step forward for women.

[edit] Studies

A study published in 2009 took into account data sets from major world economies and correlated them with inequality indices. The study found that the absolute wealth within a country had little effect on the citizens' wellbeing or social cohesion, and that inequality correlated strongly with social problems such as homicide, infant mortality, obesity, teenage pregnancies, emotional depression and prison population. For example, countries such as Japan, South Korea, Finland and Norway scored highly in social well-being and equality indices, while countries such as the United States and United Kingdom scored low in both.[7]

A study of American college students published in Nature showed that people are willing to pay to reduce inequality.[12] When subjects were placed into groups and given random amounts of income, they spent their own money to reduce the incomes of the highest earners and increase the incomes of the lowest earners.[13][14] Critics argued that no experiments have been made on working adults whereupon they might not be generous with redistribution of their income.

In a follow-up study, Swiss children showed a significant increase in sharing between the ages of 3 and 8. It has not been determined whether the results of either of these experiments are due to an innate instinct, or exposure to and adoption of the customs of other people.[15]

[edit] Support and criticism

A society that meets the meritocratic goal of equal opportunity might still be a harsh environment for those who lack the physical, mental or social capabilities to compete. The extent to which a genuine meritocratic society is possible in the real world is debatable.[16]

An essay by Gary Hull of Capitalism Magazine stated: "Egalitarianism, which claims only to want an 'equality' in end results, hates the exceptional man who, through his own mental effort, achieves that which others cannot... In an attempt to 'dumb down' all students to the lowest common denominator, today's educators no longer promote excellence and students of superior ability... Imagine the following Academy Award ceremony. There are no awards for best picture or best actor. Instead, every picture gets a certificate and every actor receives a prize. That is not an awards ceremony, you say? So it isn't. But it is an egalitarian's dream -- and an achiever's torment. Talent and ability create inequality... To rectify this supposed injustice, we are told to sacrifice the able to the unable. Egalitarianism demands the punishment and envy of anyone who is better than someone else at anything. We must tear down the competent and the strong -- raze them to the level of the incompetent and the weak... What would happen to a Thomas Edison today? If he survived school with his mind intact, he would be shackled by government regulators. His wealth would be confiscated by the IRS. He would be accused of 'unfair competition' for inventing so many more products than his competitors."[17]

On ther other hand, Alexander Berkman contended that: "equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity... Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse in fact... Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality... Far from levelling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse." [18]

Winston Churchill wrote, "Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty."[19]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Arneson Richard, "Egalitarianism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002.) Web: <http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/egalitarianism.>
  2. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/egalitarianism
  3. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary (2003). "egalitarianism". http://www.thefreedictionary.com/egalitarianism. 
  4. ^ John Gowdy (1998). Limited Wants, Unlimited Means: A reader on Hunter-Gatherer Economics and the Environment. St Louis: Island Press. pp. 342. ISBN 155963555X. 
  5. ^ Dahlberg, Frances. (1975). Woman the Gatherer. London: Yale university press. ISBN 0-30-02989-6. http://books.google.com/?id=eTPULzP1MZAC&pg=PA120&dq=Gathering+and+Hominid+Adaptation. 
  6. ^ Erdal, D. & Whiten, A. (1996) "Egalitarianism and Machiavellian Intelligence in Human Evolution" in Mellars, P. & Gibson, K. (eds) Modeling the Early Human Mind. Cambridge MacDonald Monograph Series
  7. ^ a b "Inequality: The Mother of All Evils?". London: The Guardian. http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2009/03/13/inequality.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  8. ^ Rosales, José María. "Liberalism, Civic Reformism and Democracy." 20th World Contress on Philosophy: Political Philosophy. Web: 12 March 2010. Liberalism, Civic Reformism and Democracy
  9. ^ Stagg, Evelyn and Frank. Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1978. ISBN 0-664-24195-6
  10. ^ "Islam and Egalitarian : Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you". Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq, Islamicity. http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/writings/islamic/egalitarian.html. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  11. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. and Sheryl WuDunn.Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Knopf, 2009. ISBN 978-0307267146
  12. ^ Dawes, Christopher T., James H. Fowler, Tim Johnson, Richard McElreath, Oleg Smirnov (12 April 2007). "Egalitarian Motives in Humans". Nature 446 (7137): 794–796. doi:10.1038/nature05651. PMID 17429399. 
  13. ^ Highfield, Roger (12 April 2007). "The Robin Hood impulse". London: The Daily Telegraph. p. 8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2007/04/12/echood12.xml. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  14. ^ "Making the Paper: James Fowler". Nature (446,): xiii. 12 April 2007. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v446/n7137/full/7137xiiia.html. 
  15. ^ As Kids Grow Older, Egalitarianism Honed by Jon Hamilton. All Things Considered, NPR. 27 August 2008.
  16. ^ John Schar (1967) "Equality of Opportunity—and Beyond"
  17. ^ Egalitarianism: The New Torture Rack, by Gary Hull, Ayn Rand Institute, January 11, 2004
  18. ^ Alexander Berkman What is Anarchism? pp. 164-5
  19. ^ Business Quotes, www.dartmouth.org

[edit] External links

Look up egalitarian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Look up egalitarianism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

General principles

Article 1: Freedom, Egalitarianism, Dignity and Brotherhood
Article 2: Universality of rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 1 and 2: Right to freedom from discrimination · Article 3: Right to life, liberty and security of person · Article 4: Freedom from slavery · Article 5: Freedom from torture and cruel and unusual punishment · Article 6: Right to personhood · Article 7: Equality before the law · Article 8: Right to effective remedy from the law · Article 9: Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and exile · Article 10: Right to a fair trial · Article 11.1: Presumption of innocence · Article 11.2: Prohibition of retrospective law · Article 12: Right to privacy · Article 13: Freedom of movement · Article 14: Right of asylum · Article 15: Right to a nationality · Article 16: Right to marriage and family life · Article 17: Right to property · Article 18: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion · Article 19: Freedom of opinion and expression · Article 20.1: Freedom of assembly · Article 20.2: Freedom of association · Article 21.1: Right to participation in government · Article 21.2: Right of equal access to public office · Article 21.3: Right to universal suffrage

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Article 1 and 2: Right to freedom from discrimination · Article 22: Right to social security · Article 23.1: Right to work · Article 23.2: Right to equal pay for equal work · Article 23.3: Right to just remuneration · Article 23.4: Right to join a trade union · Article 24: Right to rest and leisure · Article 25.1: Right to an adequate standard of living · Article 25.2: Right to special care and assistance for mothers and children · Article 26.1: Right to education · Article 26.2: Human rights education · Article 26.3: Right to choice of education · Article 27.1: Right to participate in culture · Article 27.2: Right to intellectual property

Context, limitations and duties

Article 28: Social order · Article 29.1: Social responsibility  · Article 29.2: Limitations of human rights · Article 29.3: The supremacy of the purposes and principles of the United Nations
Article 30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Category:Human rights · Human rights portal

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USA charges 60 people as part of international ZBot investigation | Graham Cluley&#39;s blog

USA charges 60 people as part of international ZBot investigation

The US Department of Justice has charged more than 60 people in connection with a criminal scheme involving the ZBot Trojan horse.

ZBot, also known as Zeus, is a family of malware that can hijack your computer, making it part of a criminal botnet. Over the past few years cybercriminals have used different versions of ZBot to steal money from online bank accounts, login details for social networking sites and email/FTP information.

It's not uncommon for "money mules" to be used to transfer money from accounts, once they have been compromised through use of malware.

Details of the precise charges are expected to be released by the US Attorney and Manhattan District attorney at 1 pm EST today.

According to media reports, the action is related to the arrest of 19 people in London which occurred earlier this week.

New Scotland Yard has annnounced that 11 people have been charged in relation to the UK arrests. All eleven live in Essex, although they originally hail from the Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia and Georgia.

They face charges of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and passport offences, and were scheduled to appear in Westminster Magistrate's court today.

Reading between the lines, it's possible that the authorities believe that those arrested in the UK are ringleaders of the gang, and the US arrests are mostly the "money mules" who were used to actually convert stolen details into cash.

Using "money mules" who are in the same country as the victims of identity theft is a way to reduce the chances of the banks’ internal fraud detection mechanisms from firing. If a US citizen suddenly withdraws money from an ATM in Latvia the bank will get suspicious but if they withdraw from an ATM in New York it will raise fewer questions.

It's good to see the US and UK authorities working closely to fight the growing problem of cybercrime. Those involved in the internet's criminal underworld may be becoming more organised and international in nature, but they are in danger of learning the hard way that the good guys are also co-operating more closely than ever before.

But anyone who believes that this is the end of criminal gangs using ZBot to infect computers to steal money is sadly mistaken. The kit is still available for download from underground websites by anyone with an interest in cybercrime.

* Image source: Ocularinvasion's Flickr photostream (Creative Commons)

Posted on September 30th, 2010 by Graham Cluley, Sophos
Filed under: Banking, Botnet, Identity Theft, Law and Order, Malware

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Michael Franti

September 30, 2010
Tagged: 11/27, 7th Annual Harvest Ball, Denver, michael franti, News, November


The harvest season is approaching and, in true tradition, Michael Franti, KBCO and AEG are set to present the 7th Annual Michael Franti & Spearhead Harvest Ball at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield (Denver), CO on Saturday, November 27th, 2010. Combining music, art and action, Michael Franti & Spearhead will perform two live shows in the spirit of sharing abundance and inspiring sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyles. Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 2nd at 10am and can be purchased by visting www.tickethorse.com. KBCO will hold a presale for interactive members on Friday, October 1st from 10am to 10pm. Please visit www.kbco.com for details.

The early afternoon show will be a Family Matinee with kids activities including local kids bands, puppet shows, organic food samples, a kids recycled costume show, contest and parade, eco-friendly painting and much more. The fun and games will be followed by a Michael Franti & Spearhead kids concert. The evening show will be a harvest celebration like no other with Michael and the band performing songs from their new album The Sound of Sunshine and some surprises for the big kids, too! The Harvest Ball will also include a food drive and all attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods to the shows.

The series of Harvest Balls first began as a tour up the coast of California in celebration of the North Coast 'harvest' and served to acknowledge what it truly means to be abundant in life. With the world feeling the effects of massive consumption of natural resources, the Harvest Ball’s goal is to share the message of environmental consciousness by inspiring communities to wake up and plug into simple ways of saving the environment.

For more information, official Michael Franti news and to check out the latest v-blogs on FrantiV, go to www.michaelfranti.com.

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Mechai Viravaidya: How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place

Pensioners in poverty | News | Daybreak ITV.com

Check out this website I found at itv.com

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CBBC - Newsround - Dad finds dead mouse in bread as he makes kids' sarnies

The mouse found in the loaf of bread

Mouse found dead in sandwich loaf

It's the stuff of nightmares - you open the bread bag to make some sandwiches, only to find a dead mouse squidged in the end of some slices - eurgh!

That's what happened to a dad in Oxfordshire when he was making lunch for his kids and some of their friends.

To make matters worse, some slices of the bread had been used before the grim discovery. Oh, and did we mention the mouse's tail was missing?

The company that made the bread has been fined £16,821.24 for the mistake.

Premier Foods pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court, to not maintaining acceptable standards at its bakery in Ellis Road, London.

The man who found the mouse said: "I noticed a dark-coloured object embedded in the corner of three or four slices.

"Initially I thought it was where the dough had not mixed properly prior to baking. As I looked closer I saw that the object had fur on it!"

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BBC News - BT embroiled in ACS:Law porn list breach

29 September 2010 Last updated at 08:53 ET

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BT embroiled in ACS:Law porn list breach

By Daniel Emery Technology reporter, BBC News
PlusNet Excel doc The spreadsheet of PlusNet users was sent in an unsecure format by a BT lawyer

BT has admitted it sent the personal details of more than 500 customers as an unsecured document to legal firm ACS:Law, following a court order.

The news could put BT in breach of the Data Protection Act, which requires firms to keep customers' data secure at all times.

The e-mails emerged following a security lapse at ACS:Law.

A BT official admitted "unencrypted" personal data was sent, adding it "would not happen again".

The unsecured Excel documents were sent in late August by Prakash Mistry, a lawyer working for British Telecom, to Andrew Crossley - who runs ACS:Law.

"In accordance with the Court's Order of 17 February 2010 ("the Order"), please find enclosed the data in accordance with paragraph 1 of the Order," wrote Mr Mistry in the e-mail.

"Please acknowledge safe receipt and that the data will be held securely and shall be used only in accordance with the provisions of the Order," he added.

Keep it safe

However, while BT requested that the personal information be held securely, the data was sent in a unencrypted document that could be read by anyone accessing the e-mail.

Two separate documents were sent out by BT. One with a list of 413 users which ACS:Law thought were sharing a music track called Evacuate The Dancefloor and a second document with more than 130 PlusNet users alleged to be sharing pornographic material.

"In answer to the question above about whether we sent out customer details in unencrypted files, I can confirm that this did happen," wrote a BT community moderator called Nigel on the firm's PlusNet forums.

"We are investigating how this occurred as we have robust systems for managing data.

"We have already ensured that this will not happen again.

"In this circumstance our legal department sent data to a firm of solicitors (ACS:Law) which reached them safely and we trusted that they would keep the data safe," he added.

A spokesperson for BT-owned PlusNet told BBC News that it had contacted all of its affected customers and were "working with them closely to protect them as much as possible from further exposure" and would be providing them with "an identity protection service including internet security software free of charge for the next 12 months".

PlusNet said it would now take a more rigorous stance against requests for user data.

"Due to serious concerns about the integrity of the process that is being used by rights holders, we will resist efforts to share more customer details with rights holders and those acting on their behalf until we can be sure that alleged copyright infringements have some basis and customers are treated fairly," the spokesperson told BBC News.

PlusNet said it was running an internal enquiry to ensure "that this type of incident will not happen again" and had alerted the Information Commissioner's Office.

Simon Davies, from the watchdog Privacy International, told BBC News that BT had "comprehensively breached" the Data Protection Act.

"More significantly, they appear to be in contempt of a high court order," he added.

The order, he said, was made in the High Court of Justice before Chief Master Winegarten on 7 July 2010.

The ruling, ordering internet service providers to hand over data to ACS:Law, states that it should be provided in an "electronic text format by way of Microsoft Excel file saved in an encrypted form to a compact disk, or any other digital media".

Mr Davies said he was going to write to the High Court and to the Attorney General and press for proceedings for contempt of court to be brought against BT.

Sky Broadband were also required to hand over lists of users suspected of illegally sharing files, but said they only ever send it in a safe format.

"Like other broadband providers, Sky can be required to disclose information about customers whose accounts are alleged to have been used for illegal downloading," the spokesperson told BBC News.

"Because the security of customer information is also a high priority, we only ever disclose such data in encrypted form," they added.

The news is the latest twist in an ongoing saga after legal firm ACS:Law was targeted by online activists from notorious messageboard 4chan.

ACS:Law has made a business out of sending thousands of letters to alleged net pirates, asking them to pay compensation of about £500 per infringement or face court.

Revenge attack

Users from 4chan, who have a long track record of internet activism, targeted ACS:Law during what it called Operation Payback.

ACS:Law's website was taken down for a few hours and after it was restored, it emerged that the company's e-mail database had been leaked online.

Many of the e-mails contained unsecured documents containing the personal details of thousands of UK broadband subscribers.

Christopher Graham,

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UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham on ACS:Law

Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer of security firm Imperva, told BBC News that the documents emerged not as the result of a hack, but due to a security lapse on the part of ACS:Law.

"Hackers had one point in mind - to cripple the services of the law firm, to disrupt business services and cause humiliation," he said.

"Since ACS:Law's site was corrupted, they've reconstructed it from a back-up location which also included archive files with sensitive information.

"In the reconstruction process - which was probably done in haste - the archives with the sensitive data were copied to publicly accessible locations in the reconstructed website.

"Attackers immediately took advantage of that and downloaded them. They are now going through the stuff in those archives and are making public the 'interesting' data that they find.

"The more time they have to review the files the more public stuff we should expect to find," he added.

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) told BBC News that the BT e-mail would be part of its ongoing investigation into ACS:Law, but they would also check to see if they had any specific complaints from PlusNet users.

The UK's Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, told the BBC that firms who breach the Data Protection Act could face fines of up to half a million pounds.

Are you a Sky broadband customer? Have you received a letter from ACS: Law? Send us your comments using the form below.

I received a letter from ACS Law a couple of weeks ago and was distraught to read that my details had been passed on because of a court order and I was accused of downloading porn illegally. I contacted the company and told them that I had been falsely accused and expressed my concerns. By this stage I was at my wit's end because of the stigma and the threat of being taken to court if I did not pay £500 to ACS. The response did not help me. I was told that a court order had forced them to provide my information and what ACS did with the information was up to them. All of this has made me extremely ill and unable to sleep at night due to worry and stress. Having looked on the internet and found innocent people in the same situation as myself, I am in the process of writing to ACS and refusing to pay. I'm appalled that companies can get away with this kind of behaviour. It's scandalous! I'll continue to worry until the matter is resolved, which I believe may take months, but I take some comfort meanwhile that ACS have quite rightly been exposed.

Simone, South Yorkshire

After reading the article I am both shocked and disgusted that 'confidential' details are so freely available. Any computer hacker could have stolen these details and caused chaos - who knows what else has gone missing? Being suspected of a crime and being proven guilty are two different things, but the people who've been accused could always have a black mark against them. As for IP addresses, in most cases they are shared by several people each month - where do you think the term 'dynamic address' comes from? And anyone in range of a wireless network with the correct tools can hijack any internet connection for any purpose at all.


I work in IT with a big focus on security. This could have happened to lots of firms. The people in charge of most companies assume their IT staff have dealt with security and fail to understand the potential impact if their data was released onto the net. As people go through the leaked emails in more detail additional data will be released, I've been through some of the emails myself and within five minutes found a scanned copy of someone's passport. Scary stuff.

Paul, London

I received a letter about four months ago stating that I had downloaded a piece of music, it was written in a way that was intended to scare me into paying the fine. It almost worked but I decided that as I hadn't done anything, why should I pay? After logging on to certain forums to get advice I found a template letter and sent it, saying that I was not responsible for the download. A couple of months later I received another letter saying that my response was not good enough and that I must pay the fine or else be taken to court. Again very scary letters - older members of the public may be frightened into paying the money even though they have not done anything wrong. After sending another letter about a month ago I have not received any response. I think the company needs to be closed down to stop them from sending these threatening letters to innocent members of the public.

Stephen, Northumberland

I don't understand why it is not articulated more clearly, that the IP address used in some file sharing network applications is configurable, i.e. you can set it to anything you like before you start it up. This is called IP spoofing. Consequently many people say that they are wrongfully accused.

Nicholas, London

Surely the questions to be asked are not about security precautions, but why ACS are holding personal data without consent in the first place? Is that not the main point of the Data Protection Act?

Zach, London

It's a shame the UK doesn't have the equivalent to the USA's "Class action" - ACS:Law should be sued by all who have suffered at their hands. I have been wrongly accused of downloading a pornographic movie and as if this wasn't bad enough the information is now probably in the public domain. This data leak could lead to some people being blackmailed.

Henry, Glasgow, Scotland

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Omega Is Already Using Apple's Liquid Metal

Omega Is Already Using Apple's Liquid Metal

Omega Is Already Using Apple's Liquid MetalWhen we shared with you Apple's acquisition of Liquid Technologies' supermaterial, we noted that liquid metal is already in use across a variety of industries, from sports to aerospace. Or, you might find it on the wristwatch you have now.

Omega Is Already Using Apple's Liquid Metal

An interesting guided video through Omega's manufacturing process illustrates how the company fuses Apple's new material into the bezel and face of its new watches, creating a gorgeous, durable result. Speculation remains as to whether Apple will use its liquid metal for similarly aesthetic ends, or something more functional. [CrunchGear]

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