Syrian Electronic Army
The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of computer hackers which first surfaced online in 2011 to support the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Using spamming, website defacement, malware and denial-of-service attacks, it has targeted political opposition groups, western news organizations, human rights groups and websites that are neutral to the Syrian conflict, it has hacked government websites in the Middle East and Europe, as well as US defense contractors. As of 2011 the SEA has been "the first Arab country to have a public Internet Army hosted on its national networks to launch cyber attacks on its enemies"; the precise nature of SEA's relationship with the Syrian government has changed over time and is unclear. In the 1990s Syrian President Bashar al-Assad headed the Syrian Computer Society, connected to the SEA, according to research by University of Toronto and University of Cambridge, UK. There is evidence that a Syrian Malware Team goes as far back as January 1, 2011.
In February 2011, after years of internet censorship, Syrian censors lifted a ban on Facebook and YouTube. In April 2011, only days after anti-regime protests escalated in Syria, Syrian Electronic Army emerged on Facebook. In May 5, 2011 the Syrian Computer Society registered SEA’s website; because Syria's domain registration authority registered the hacker site, some security experts have written that the group was supervised by the Syrian state. SEA claimed on its webpage to be no official entity, but "a group of enthusiastic Syrian youths who could not stay passive towards the massive distortion of facts about the recent uprising in Syria"; as soon as May 27, 2011 SEA had removed text. One commentator has noted that". According to a 2014 report by security company Intelcrawler, SEA activity has shown links with "officials in Syria, Iran and Hezbollah." A February 2015 article by The New York Times stated that "American intelligence officials" suspect the SEA is "actually Iranian". However, no data has shown a link between Iran's and Syria's cyber attack patterns according to an analysis of "open-source intelligence" by cyber security firm Recorded Future.
SEA has pursued activities in three key areas: Website defacement and electronic surveillance against Syrian rebels and other opposition: The SEA has carried out surveillance to discover the identities and location of Syrian rebels, using malware and denial of service attacks. As of 2013 this electronic monitoring has extended to foreign aid workers. Defacement attacks against Western websites, that it contends spread news hostile to the Syrian government: These have included news websites such as BBC News, the Associated Press, National Public Radio, CBC News, Al Jazeera, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Washington Post, Syrian satellite broadcaster Orient TV, Dubai-based al-Arabia TV, as well as rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch. SEA targets include VoIP apps, such as Tango. Spamming popular Facebook pages with pro-regime comments: The Facebook pages of President Barack Obama and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy have been targeted by such spam campaigns. *Global cyber espionage: "technology and media companies, allied military procurement officers, US defense contractors, foreign attaches and embassies".
The SEA's tone and style vary from the serious and political to ironic statements intended as critical or pointed humor: SEA had "Exclusive: Terror is striking the #USA and #Obama is Shamelessly in Bed with Al-Qaeda" tweeted from the Twitter account of 60 Minutes, in July 2012 posted "Do you think Saudi and Qatar should keep funding armed gangs in Syria in order to topple the government? #Syria," from Al Jazeera's Twitter account before the message was removed. In another attack, members of SEA used the BBC Weather Channel Twitter account to post the headline, "Saudi weather station down due to head on-collision with camel." After Washington Post reporter Max Fisher called their jokes unfunny, one hacker associated with the group told a Vice interview'haters gonna hate.'" On 31 October 2014, the SEA released. 2011July 2011: University of California Los Angeles website defaced by SEA hacker "The Pro". September 2011: Harvard University website defaced in what was called the work of a "sophisticated group or individual".
The Harvard homepage was replaced with an image of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad with the message "Syrian Electronic Army Were Here".2012April 2012: The official blog of social media website LinkedIn was redirected to a site supporting Bashar al-Assad. August 2012: The Twitter account of the Reuters news agency sent 22 tweets with false information on the conflict in Syria; the Reuters news website was compromised, posted a false report about the conflict to a journalist's blog.201320 April 2013 The Team Gamerfood homepage was defaced. 23 April 2013: The Associated Press Twitter account falsely claimed the White House had been bombed and President Barack Obama injured. This led to a US$136.5 billion dip on the S&P 500 index the same day. May 2013: The Twitter account of The Onion was compromised by phishing Google Apps accounts of The Onion's employees. 24 May 2013: The ITV News London Twitter account was hacked. On 26 May 2013 the Android applications of British broadcaster Sky News were hacked on Google Play Store.
17 July 2013, TrueCaller servers were hacked into by the Syrian Electronic Army. The group claimed on its Twitter handle to have recovered 459 GiBs of database due to an older version of Wordpress installed on the servers; the hackers released
Bashar Hafez al-Assad is a Syrian politician, the President of Syria since 17 July 2000. He is commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces and Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party's branch in Syria, he is a son of Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria from 1971 to 2000. Born and raised in Damascus, Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988 and began to work as a doctor in the Syrian Army. Four years he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital in London, specialising in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel died in a car crash, Bashar was recalled to Syria to take over Bassel's role as heir apparent, he entered the military academy, taking charge of the Syrian military presence in Lebanon in 1998. On 10 July 2000, Assad was elected as President, succeeding his father, who died in office a month prior. In the 2000 and subsequent 2007 election, he received 99.7% and 97.6% support in uncontested referendums on his leadership.
On 16 July 2014, Assad was sworn in for another seven-year term after receiving 88.7% of votes in the first contested presidential election in Ba'athist Syria's history. The election was held only in areas controlled by the Syrian government during the country's ongoing civil war and dismissed as a "sham" by the Syrian opposition and its Western allies, while an international delegation of observers from more than 30 countries led by Syria's allies stated that the election was "free and fair"; the Assad government describes itself as secular, while some political scientists have claimed that the government exploits sectarian tensions in the country and relies upon the Alawite minority to remain in power. Seen by many states as a potential reformer, the United States, the European Union and the majority of the Arab League called for Assad's resignation from the presidency after he ordered crackdowns and military sieges on Arab Spring protesters, which led to the Syrian Civil War. During the Syrian Civil War, an inquiry by the United Nations reported finding evidence which implicated Assad in war crimes.
In June 2014, Assad was included in a list of war crimes indictments of government officials and rebels handed to the International Criminal Court. Assad has rejected allegations of war crimes and criticised the American-led intervention in Syria for attempting regime change. Bashar Hafez al-Assad was born in Damascus on 11 September 1965, the second oldest son of Anisa Makhlouf and Hafez al-Assad. Al-Assad in Arabic means "the Lion". Assad's paternal grandfather, Ali Sulayman al-Assad, had managed to change his status from peasant to minor notable and, to reflect this, in 1927 he had changed the family name from Wahsh to Al-Assad. Assad's father, was born to an impoverished rural family of Alawite background and rose through the Ba'ath Party ranks to take control of the Syrian branch of the Party in the 1970 Corrective Revolution, culminating in his rise to the Syrian presidency. Hafez promoted his supporters within the Ba'ath Party, many of whom were of Alawite background. After the revolution, Alawite strongmen were installed while Sunnis and Ismailis were removed from the army and Ba'ath party.
The younger Assad had five siblings. A sister named. Assad's youngest brother, was not a public figure and little is known about him other than he was intellectually disabled, died in 2009 after a "long illness". Unlike his brothers Bassel and Maher, second sister named Bushra, Bashar was quiet and lacked interest in politics or the military; the Assad children rarely saw their father, Bashar stated that he only entered his father's office once while he was president. He was described as "soft-spoken", according to a university friend, he was timid, avoided eye contact and speaking in a low voice. Assad received his primary and secondary education in the Arab-French al-Hurriya School in Damascus. In 1982, he graduated from high school and studied medicine at Damascus University. In 1988, Assad graduated from medical school and began working as an army doctor at the Tishrin Military Hospital on the outskirts of Damascus. Four years he settled in London to start postgraduate training in ophthalmology at the Western Eye Hospital.
He was described as a "geeky I. T. guy" during his time in London. Bashar had few political aspirations, his father had been grooming Bashar's older brother Bassel as the future president. However, Bassel died in a car accident in 1994 and Bashar was recalled to the Syrian Army shortly thereafter. Soon after the death of Bassel, Hafez al-Assad decided to make Bashar the new heir apparent. Over the next six and a half years, until his death in 2000, Hafez prepared Bashar for taking over power. Preparations for a smooth transition were made on three levels. First, support was built up for Bashar in the military and security apparatus. Second, Bashar's image was established with the public, and lastly, Bashar was familiarised with the mechanisms of running the country. To establish his credentials in the military, Bashar entered the military academy at Homs in 1994 and was propelled through the ranks to become a colonel of the elite Syrian Republican Guard in January 1999. To establish a power base for Bashar in the military, old divisional commanders were pushed into retirement, new, Alawite officers with loyalties to him took their place.
In 1998, Bashar took charge of Syria's Lebanon file, which had since the 1970s been handled by Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, who had until been a potential contende
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Royal Library of the Netherlands
The Royal Library of the Netherlands is based in The Hague and was founded in 1798. The mission of the Royal Library of the Netherlands, as presented on the library's web site, is to provide "access to the knowledge and culture of the past and the present by providing high-quality services for research and cultural experience"; the initiative to found a national library was proposed by representative Albert Jan Verbeek on August 17 1798. The collection would be based on the confiscated book collection of William V; the library was founded as the Nationale Bibliotheek on November 8 of the same year, after a committee of representatives had advised the creation of a national library on the same day. The National Library was only open to members of the Representative Body. King Louis Bonaparte gave the national library its name of the Royal Library in 1806. Napoleon Bonaparte transferred the Royal Library to The Hague as property, while allowing the Imperial Library in Paris to expropriate publications from the Royal Library.
In 1815 King William I of the Netherlands confirmed the name of'Royal Library' by royal resolution. It has been known as the National Library of the Netherlands since 1982, when it opened new quarters; the institution became independent of the state in 1996, although it is financed by the Department of Education and Science. In 2004, the National Library of the Netherlands contained 3,300,000 items, equivalent to 67 kilometers of bookshelves. Most items in the collection are books. There are pieces of "grey literature", where the author, publisher, or date may not be apparent but the document has cultural or intellectual significance; the collection contains the entire literature of the Netherlands, from medieval manuscripts to modern scientific publications. For a publication to be accepted, it must be from a registered Dutch publisher; the collection is accessible for members. Any person aged 16 years or older can become a member. One day passes are available. Requests for material take 30 minutes.
The KB hosts several open access websites, including the "Memory of the Netherlands". List of libraries in the Netherlands European Library Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus Books in the Netherlands Media related to Koninklijke Bibliotheek at Wikimedia Commons Official website
Syrian Civil War
The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict in Syria fought between the Ba'athist Syrian Arab Republic led by President Bashar al-Assad, along with domestic and foreign allies, various domestic and foreign forces opposing both the Syrian government and each other in varying combinations. The unrest in Syria, part of a wider wave of the 2011 Arab Spring protests, grew out of discontent with the Syrian government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for Assad's removal were violently suppressed; the war, which began on 15 March with major unrest in Damascus and Aleppo, is being fought by several factions: The Syrian government's Armed Forces and its international allies, a loose alliance of majorly Sunni opposition rebel groups, Salafi jihadist groups, the mixed Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with a number of countries in the region and beyond being either directly involved or providing support to one or another faction.
Iran and Hezbollah support the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian Armed Forces militarily, with Russia conducting airstrikes and other military operations since September 2015. The U. S.-led international coalition, established in 2014 with the declared purpose of countering ISIL, has conducted airstrikes against ISIL as well as some against government and pro-government targets. They have deployed special forces and artillery units to engage ISIL on the ground. Since 2015, the U. S. has supported the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria and its armed wing, the SDF, materially and logistically. Turkey, on the other hand, has become involved against the Syrian government since 2016, not only participating in airstrikes against ISIL alongside the U. S.-led coalition, but actively supporting the Syrian opposition and occupying large swaths of northwestern Syria while engaging in significant ground combat with ISIL, the SDF, the Syrian government. Between 2011 and 2017, fighting from the Syrian Civil War spilled over into Lebanon as opponents and supporters of the Syrian government traveled to Lebanon to fight and attack each other on Lebanese soil, with ISIL and Al-Nusra engaging the Lebanese Army.
Furthermore, while neutral, Israel has conducted airstrikes against Hezbollah and Iranian forces, whose presence in southwestern Syria it views as a threat. International organizations have accused all sides involved, including the Ba'athist Syrian government, ISIL, opposition rebel groups and the U. S.-led coalition of severe human rights massacres. The conflict has caused a major refugee crisis. Over the course of the war, a number of peace initiatives have been launched, including the March 2017 Geneva peace talks on Syria led by the United Nations, but fighting continues; the secular Ba'ath Syrian Regional Branch government came to power through a successful coup d'état in 1963. For several years Syria went through additional coups and changes in leadership, until in March 1971, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, declared himself President; the secular Syrian Regional Branch remained the dominant political authority in what had been a one-party state until the first multi-party election to the People's Council of Syria was held in 2012.
On 31 January 1973, Hafez al-Assad implemented a new constitution. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama; the government survived a series of armed revolts by Islamists members of the Muslim Brotherhood, from 1976 until 1982. Upon Hafez al-Assad's death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad was elected as President of Syria. Bashar and his wife Asma, a Sunni Muslim born and educated in Britain inspired hopes for democratic reforms. President Al-Assad maintained in 2017 that no'moderate opposition' to his rule exists, that all opposition forces are jihadists intent on destroying his secular leadership; the total population in July 2018 was estimated at 19,454,263 people. Socioeconomic inequality increased after free market policies were initiated by Hafez al-Assad in his years, it accelerated after Bashar al-Assad came to power. With an emphasis on the service sector, these policies benefited a minority of the nation's population people who had connections with the government, members of the Sunni merchant class of Damascus and Aleppo.
In 2010, Syria's nominal GDP per capita was only $2,834, comparable to Sub-Saharan African countries such as Nigeria and far lower than its neighbors such as Lebanon, with an annual growth rate of 3.39%, below most other developing countries. The country faced high youth unemployment rates. At the start of the war, discontent against the government was strongest in Syria's poor areas, predominantly among conservative Sunnis; these included cities with high poverty rates
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC