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October 10, 2006

Hain's Tough Warning to DUP Over Deadline

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 10/10/06 Hain's Tough Warning To DUP Over Deadline
BT 10/10/06 DUP Still Faces 'Litmus Test' Of Sharing Power, Warns SDLP
BT 10/10/06 Government Hopeful That SF Policing Issues Can Be Resolved
IN 10/10/06 Prepare For ‘Sequencing’ At Scotland Talks
BB 10/10/06 Alliance Party: Troubles Legacy 'Needs Addressed'
EE 10/10/06 Ferris Calls For More Support For Rossport Campaigners
BT 10/10/06 Finally, It Seems The IRA Is Preparing To Go Away
BT 10/10/06 We'll Meet Again, Say Paisley And Brady After Discussions
BT 10/10/06 Paisley-Brady: Warm Words Despite Their Differences
IN 10/10/06 McIlveen Accused Granted Bail By High Court
BT 10/10/06 Opin: MI5 And The Question Of Accountability
BT 10/10/06 Opin: We Can Work It Out
IN 10/10/06 Test Reveals Vulnerability Of Home Computers To Hackers


Hain's Tough Warning To DUP Over Deadline

By Noel McAdam
10 October 2006

The Government today sternly warned the DUP against
ignoring the devolution deadline of November 24.

On the eve of the three-day intensive talks 'summit' in
Scotland, Secretary of State Peter Hain insisted there will
be no "endless slow motion replays".

The governments will have to know by the end of the
gathering whether it is 'game on' for a devolution deal.

Writing exclusively for the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hain
said: "Anyone who bases their political strategy on the
idea that November 24 is a line in the sand that will
simply wash away will have to think again.

"We will not go on in an endless round of slow motion

Apart from accusing Mr Hain of "selling deceit" over his
interpretation of last week's positive Independent
Monitoring Commission (IMC) report on the IRA, the DUP has
made it clear it regards the November 24 cut-off point as
entirely arbitrary.

DUP leader Ian Paisley, who met the head of the Catholic
Church in Ireland for the first time yesterday, said: "It
is quite clear that (the Government) are trying to put
words into the mouths of the IMC (which) told us they never
made any claims that the whole thing was over - yet that is
what is being said by the Secretary of State."

Mr Hain, however, repeated that the IMC has shown the IRA's
campaign is over and the way is now open for a deal which
will open up a "a completely new era".

Business leaders, trades unions, the voluntary sector, as
well as those in education and tourism all wanted to see
locally accountable government return, he said.


DUP Still Faces The 'Litmus Test' Of Sharing Power, Warns SDLP

By Noel McAdam
10 October 2006

The DUP has still to face the "litmus test" of whether it
will share power with nationalists, the SDLP has warned.

Welcoming the "direction change" signalled by yesterday's
historic meeting between DUP leader Ian Paisley and
Catholic Primate Dr Sean Brady, the SDLP said the DUP still
had to rid itself of "sectarianism and backward thinking"
at local levels.

Deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell welcomed the Paisley-Brady
meeting and said the fact that it covered many social and
economic issues showed recognition that devolution needs to
return to tackle many pressing issues.

The South Belfast MP said that "many people will see the
DUP's litmus test as whether or not they will sit down with
nationalists in government. I hope the meeting is an
indicator of a genuine intent within the DUP to go into the
St Andrews negotiations seeking a positive outcome."

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said that the task
facing unionists in the days ahead is to make Northern
Ireland work.

"We must be vigilant to ensure that republicans are not
able to capture the agenda and dictate to unionism what we
can and cannot do," he added.


Government Hopeful That SF Policing Issues Can Be Resolved

By Noel McAdam
10 October 2006

Sinn Fein might be in a position to hold its planned ard
fheis to debate signing up to policing arrangements before
the Government's November 24 deadline, it emerged today.

Government sources indicated the meeting of Sinn Fein's
ruling body could prove essential to ensuring a deal on
devolution by the cut-off point is "100% and complete". As
the parties made their final preparations for travelling to
St Andrews in Scotland tomorrow, Prime Minister Tony
Blair's official spokesman said it was believed the Sinn
Fein leadership is in a much better position to resolve the
policing issue than at any time before.

Speaking after a meeting in Dublin with Taoiseach Bertie
Ahern, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said: "We're going
forward resolute in our endeavours to get these
institutions up and running by November 24."

Claiming the DUP has its own problems which it must
address, Mr Adams added: "There needs to be a relentless
focus on making this opportunity become a reality."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who also lead a delegation to meet
Mr Ahern, said afterwards that his party would be bringing
fresh ideas to St Andrews which could help fine-tune a
future power-sharing Executive.

"Changes are being conceded to the DUP and some of them are
actually dangerous," he argued.

His warning came as the Northern Ireland Office rejected
DUP leader Ian Paisley's allegation that Secretary of State
Peter Hain was "selling deceit" in his interpretation of
the Independent Monitoring Commission's positive report on
the IRA.

"There is no question of trying to deceive anyone," a
spokesman said. "The first thing that the Secretary of
State said publicly about the IMC report was to urge
everybody to read it for themselves."


Prepare For ‘Sequencing’ At Scotland Talks

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The Scotland talks start tomorrow and the word
“sequencing’’ will be often used in these negotiations as
attempts are made to sketch the outline of a deal to
restore political institutions and get Sinn Fein signed up
on policing.

The talks will also focus on a tight timeframe for
devolution of policing and justice.

At this stage DUP insiders still say that a full deal is
realistically not possible by November 24.

Yet the Irish and British governments still insist that
this is the cut-off date and represents a real deadline.

It was significant yesterday, that Prime Minister Tony
Blair’s official spokesman spoke about “sequencing’’ which
is a term often employed ahead of crucial talks on the

“I think it is difficult to over-estimate the importance of
this week,” the Downing Street spokesman said.

“Lask week, we said that the IMC report on the IRA’s
inactivity laid the basis for a final settlement.

“We are not taking anything for granted and there are still
issues which could trip us up, but the fundamentals are

“The issues are about sequencing, not fundamental

The British government believes there is a real opportunity
this week to agree the terms for a final settlement and the
spokesman urged all the parties to seize the opportunity
presented by the St Andrews talks.

DUP leader Ian Paisley, however questioned the
interpretations of the IMC report in reference to the IRA.

After a meeting with the IMC, Mr Paisley said: “It is quite
clear their interpretation of their report and their
comments on it are nothing like what the Secretary of State
Peter Hain has been selling to the people.

“In fact he has been selling to the people deceit as far as
the report was concerned.”

Mr Paisley said the IMC said “the IRA are not near

perfection with regards to doing away with criminal

And he said the IMC told him they had never said the IRA
had gone away in their report.

“The commission told us they never made any claims that the
whole thing was over – yet that is what is being said by
the secretary of state.

“It is quite clear that they [the government] are trying to
put words into the mouths of the IMC.”

In Dublin the SDLP and

Sinn Fein had separate meetings with Taoiseach Bertie

SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell said he welcomed the
meeting which had taken place between DUP leader Ian
Paisley and the Archbishop of Armagh Dr Sean Brady.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams also welcomed the meeting.

The West Belfast MP said he believes that it is now “game
on’’ for a devolution deal.


Alliance Party: Troubles Legacy 'Needs Addressed'

Northern Ireland needs an independent commission on the Troubles
and its legacy, the Alliance Party has said.

The party urged the British and Irish governments to appoint
experts to deal with outstanding issues.

Party leader David Ford disagreed with those who argue "focusing
on the past is counter-productive, keeps wounds open, and that
society should move on".

Mr Ford said addressing the legacy was fundamental to
"reconciliation and building a shared future".

"The failure to do this in a comprehensive and holistic manner is
a barrier to political progress," he added.

Mr Ford said many existing efforts to deal with the past had been
"handled on a very piecemeal basis".

Although he acknowledged there had been "some significant efforts
to improve services to victims", he said it was "time to bring
these efforts together".

"A number of particular areas relating to the victims of violence
should be seriously considered.

"These include memorials, a possible annual day of reflection and
remembrance, a forum of testimonials to enable victims to place
their memories on record, and most crucially, a mechanism to
address truth recovery.

"But there are other legacies of the past to be dealt with, such
as the fate of 'exiles' and the effect of a history of
paramiltarism and division on some communities.

"All elements of society, including the state and the
paramilitaries need to confront the legacy of past actions."

Published: 2006/10/10 06:04:02 GMT


Ferris Calls For More Support For Rossport Campaigners

10/10/2006 - 11:17:32 AM

Sinn Féin natural resources spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has
called on people to support protests against Shell facilities
across Ireland in the wake of further clashes between gardaí and
protestors at the Bellanaboy site.

In a strongly worded statement, Deputy Ferris accused Shell of
reliance on ‘dodgy polling, brute force and scab labour’ and said
the company is prepared to ‘lie, cheat and intimidate’ to get its

“The proof that Shell is running scared is laid out in today’s
Irish Examiner where the company makes the laughable claim that
70% of people back their proposals,” said the Kerry North TD.

“The reality is that the biased nature of this polling was
exposed some weeks ago when people went public about the way
pollsters treated them when they said they supported the Rossport

“It also comes a week after a TG4 poll, with a much bigger
sample, found 60% support for the campaign.

“That Shell is forced to rely on dodgy polling and brute force to
get its scab labour into the Bellanaboy site is proof of just how
little support the project has in Mayo, and further afield.

“Since the stand-offs resumed in Mayo at the start of last week
demonstrations of support have taken place in Dublin, Belfast,
Cork, Derry, Limerick, Galway and other places.

“Shell stations and offices have been blockaded and depots shut
down. Support for the campaign is clearly as strong as ever.


Finally, It Seems The IRA Is Preparing To Go Away, You Know

How close is the republican terror group to total disbandment?
Security writer Brian Rowan believes progress has been made.

10 October 2006

When you seek a second opinion, there is a confirmation of what
was set out in that Independent Monitoring Commission report last

At a level inside the security world, where the IRA is monitored
up close, the assessment supports the trends reported by the
ceasefire watchdog.

The changes inside the IRA - the disbanding of "military
structures" - go beyond its General Headquarters Staff and reach
down to the IRA at ground level - inside its "brigade" areas.

There is a combination of things coming together to bring about
an end to the IRA - a withering because of lack of activity and a
deliberate collapsing of key bits of the organisation as a result
of Army Council orders.

The assessment from a senior security source confirms the IRA has
stopped paying people and that "interest and energy" have been
reduced to where "you almost break the structure".

The IRA's "cohesiveness" is being broken in terms of its working
- or more accurately - its non-working parts.

"If they wanted to start another campaign, it would take them
months - years," the source said. "They would have to get up to
standard again. They would effectively be starting at scratch

The police do not sense any "heart" inside the IRA for another
phase of armed struggle.

This process of the IRA going away has been quickened by that
sequence of events stretched out over the past year or so; the
IRA statement ending the armed campaign, the subsequent acts of
decommissioning, and now, developments inside the organisation to
do with its structure.

No recruitment, no training, no weapons development or
procurement, no targeting, means no war.

It is the security assessment that Adams and McGuinness "still
have firm control" of this, that their political strategy is
moving the IRA in a different direction.

There has been one resignation among the top echelons of the IRA,
a development attributed to new organisational orders and a
clamping down and a stamping out of some activities.

That resignation does not threaten the stability of the IRA.

The big thing that is being watched is the policing discussion
across the republican base - a debate and a discussion that is
being supported by some of the IRA's most senior figures.

"When they go (for a vote and a decision) they won't get a 'No',
but there will be repercussions," a security source said.

"People shouldn't underestimate the difficulty in this for them,"
the source continued - suggesting that some people "will walk
away" and some will "move towards dissidents, but they will be
few and far between".

Inside the security world there is a firm belief that republicans
are being taken ever closer to a decision and an involvement in

"It is a case of timing," a security source said. "We would have
seen since the middle summer on, a bigger push in that direction.

"You can see the momentum of building people up to this," he
continued. "There's no doubt if the DUP do the deal (on power
sharing), then the Shinners will do the deal (on policing)."

The potential worth of all of this is recognised at the top of
policing and heard in the words spoken by Chief Constable Sir
Hugh Orde in a weekend BBC radio interview: "Once we achieve
that, we achieve a massive and significant shift forward in

The one grey area that is talked about by security sources is the
issue of IRA criminality - and who is still involved.

"They (the IRA leadership) have sent out clear messages," a
security source said, to those involved in criminal activity that
"you are on your own".

The big watch - with November 24 looming ever larger - will be on
the dissidents. Already there is some evidence of increased

It is the familiar pattern of these fringe organisations trying
to get themselves noticed at times of increased political
activity, particular with a key republican decision, or
compromise - this time on policing - to be made.

If the deal can be done, then dissidents can't break it. They are
not relevant. They do not pose a threat at that political level.
They do not represent an alternative to Adams and McGuinness.
This evening the Sinn Fein president will address a rally in
Belfast, before Sinn Fein negotiators move to Scotland.

No longer is the possibility of a deal being dismissed. November
24 might be too soon.

But the IRA is clearing the stage - confirmed at a senior
security level - and what is left are the big decisions on power-
sharing and policing. Anything else - everything else - is a side


We'll Meet Again, Say Paisley And Brady After Discussions

By Matthew McCreary
10 October 2006

History was made yesterday as Catholic Primate, Archbishop Sean
Brady, and the DUP leader, Ian Paisley, met face to face with one
another at Stormont.

In what is being seen as a highly important and symbolic move,
the meeting marked the first formal encounter between the DUP
leader and a Catholic primate.

It kicked off what is expected to be a historic week for Northern
Ireland, as the first inter-party talks in two years begin at St
Andrews in Scotland tomorrow.

After the meeting, Mr Paisley said there had been a "useful
exchange of views" between DUP members and a delegation from the
Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs.

He said: "During our discussions we touched on a very wide range
of subjects including the need to address issues of poverty and
social need in our province, the necessity to build a strong
local economy, the benefits that can be derived for the whole
community from achieving stable devolutionary arrangements for
Northern Ireland and developing support for law and order across
the community."

Dr Paisley said that he looked forward to further discussions
with Archbishop Brady and his colleagues in the near future.

Archbishop Brady called the meeting "helpful and constructive".

He said: "It confirmed to me that all of us have a part to play
in creating a more stable and prosperous future for Northern
Ireland. I firmly believe that such a future is within our grasp
if each one of us can find the courage to take account of the
needs of the other and not just those of our own community.

"I think that real peace will come only when we focus on the
common good of all of our society and not just on sectional

"I look forward to further meetings with (Dr Paisley) and his
colleagues. It is in such dialogue and engagement that we can
dispel fears, create understanding and build trust. A lot of
progress has been made. Hopes are now rising for further
progress. I pray that these hopes may not be dashed but

Dr Alasdair McDonnell, the SDLP MP for South Belfast also
welcomed yesterday's meeting.

"The fact that the meeting covered many social and economic
issues clearly shows people recognise the need for a return to
devolution to tackle the many pressing issues in society.

"I hope the meeting is an indicator of a genuine intent within
the DUP to go into the St Andrews negotiations seeking a positive
outcome," he said.


Paisley-Brady: Warm Words Despite Their Differences

By Alf McCreary
10 October 2006

The meeting yesterday at Stormont between the Catholic Primate,
Archbishop Sean Brady, and the DUP leader, Ian Paisley, and their
colleagues was not only historic in itself, but it also opened
the way to a more constructive relationship between
representatives of the two main communities which has been sorely
lacking in recent decades.

The warm tone of each leader's statement belied the fraught
tensions of earlier years when Mr Paisley was forging his name as
a fiery street politician who made bitter attacks on Catholicism
and on successive popes.

Even though the DUP leader had apparently mellowed in recent
years, he was still capable of holding a full-scale street
protest outside Church House in Belfast two years ago when Dr
Brady was invited to the opening night of the Presbyterian
General Assembly by the incoming moderator, Dr Ken Newell.

Clearly Dr Brady and Mr Paisley retain their profound theological
differences, and it was noteworthy that the topic of religion as
such was absent from yesterday's agenda. Significantly, however,
the subjects discussed were an important platform for continued
discussions, particularly if devolved government becomes a
reality at Stormont.

Important political issues such as economic development, poverty
and rural issues as well as the key social subjects including
marriage and the family, abortion, euthanasia and other topics
will form the basis of an ongoing and crucial dialogue between
the Catholic Church and what is at present the largest unionist
party in Northern Ireland.

Yesterday's agenda underlined that both sides were prepared to
take part in joined-up government for the benefit of all the
people, rather than in dwelling on the injustices and bitterness
of the past.

It also demonstrated that the DUP and the Catholic Church in
Ireland are political realists in recognising what is practically
possible within a Northern Ireland framework.

It almost goes without saying that yesterday's visit by Dr Brady
and his colleagues had the fullest support from Catholic bishops
and laity throughout Ireland, as well the Dublin and London

The meeting between the DUP and the Catholic Church drew a line
in the political sand of this island and was a welcome, public
and formal admission of the need for people from diverse
backgrounds to learn to live together in Northern Ireland.

Without doubt yesterday's meeting was cleverly choreographed to
take place in the same week when crucial talks about the future
of Northern Ireland take place at St Andrews.

Observers, including the SDLP, have also pointed out rightly that
the Stormont talks should also be a cue for a more enlightened
approach by the DUP in local government, where many of the
party's councillors have failed to take account of changing

Nevertheless, all credit is due for those who participated in
yesterday's talks and for those who made it possible.

History has been made, hopefully for the greater good of all, and
there can be no going back.


McIlveen Accused Granted Bail By High Court

By Staff Reporter

A BALLYMENA schoolboy accused of involvement in the murder of
Catholic teenager Michael McIlveen, has been granted bail by the
High Court – on the condition he lives outside the Co Antrim

The 15-year old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons,
is one of seven people charged with the sectarian killing.

The young victim was chased through Ballymena on the evening of
May 7 following an altercation at the town’s cinema. He and a
friend were chased to an alleyway at Garfield Place and while his
friend escaped, 15-year-old Michael was caught and beaten. Police
believe a baseball bat was used in the attack.

Michael – known as Micky-Bo to his friends – managed to stagger
to his Dunvale home but died in hospital the next day.

Police Sergeant Alan Craig told the court the PSNI would have
“concerns” about the defendant’s safety if he was released from
custody and went back home. He also revealed that evidence
against the accused was based on a witness statement claiming the
accused admitted kicking Michael during the alleyway attack.

Speaking of further eye witnesses to the actual assault, the
officer confirmed police enquiries are still on-going. He added:
“There are over 1,300 police actions arising to date, of which at
least 400 are still outstanding.”

After an address outside Ballymena where the accused will now
live was agreed by the court, Lord Justice Nicholson released the
schoolboy on his own bail of £250.

The teenager was also told to report twice a week to police,
ordered to observe an 8.30pm to 7.30am curfew and was told not to
associate with his co-accused or any Crown witnesses.


Opin: MI5 And The Question Of Accountability

10 October 2006

Ever since pictures appeared of the new MI5 headquarters near
Holywood there have been worries about the effect that any
transfer of responsibility for national security would have on
the PSNI and attempts to win support for it within the republican
community. While it is reassuring that the police have set out
their terms for co-operation, only time will tell if a secretive
body like MI5 will be as accountable as everyone would wish.

The MI5 employees are already in place, as Brian Rowan has
described in an exclusive Belfast Telegraph article, and are just
waiting to move into their new HQ. From there, they will be
looking for any sign that international or republican terrorists,
in any guise, are actively preparing attacks against this or any
other state.

Clearly they will be running their own agents, trying to get an
insight into terrorist organisations, just as the PSNI has its
own sources, and the two must have confidence in each other. That
is why Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan, whose
responsibilities include Special Branch, has set out "five non-
negotiable principles", which have not been detailed, covering
working practices and accountability.

In particular, Mr Sheridan is pressing for all handling of agents
to be within the existing PSNI practices and "the current
accountability systems" - which would mean that MI5 would have to
be accountable to the Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman. Is
this possible, when normally it answers to the Home Secretary and
ultimately the Prime Minister? Mr Sheridan says he will only
accept an enhancement of accountability and that it has to be of
benefit to the police service.

MI5's response to the PSNI's plea has not been revealed, but it
would be surprising if there was total unanimity on these
matters. Tellingly, Mr Sheridan has said that if there is to be a
genuine partnership, the security service should sign up to the
PSNI's five principles.

The unanswered question is to what degree will the operations of
MI5 encroach on the workings of the PSNI, particularly in regard
to paramilitarism by loyalists and dissident republicans. Will
they share all they know or, when there is evidence that
international terrorists are using both parts of Ireland as
staging posts - as they have in the past - will MI5 operate

One thing is sure, that the politicians meeting in St Andrews
will be watching developments with interest. Sinn Fein's refusal
to support the PSNI is the main obstacle to a devolution deal,
and they will be just as concerned as the police about MI5's
accountability. By making Northern Ireland an outpost in the war
against terror, Tony Blair has acquired another headache.


Opin: We Can Work It Out

As the province's politicians today make their way to St Andrews
for 72 hours of intensive negotiations, Secretary of State Peter
Hain writes exclusively for the Belfast Telegraph Will there be a
deal by November 24? As the parties prepare to travel to
Scotland, I am all the more convinced that it can be done. This
is not Scotch mist, wishful thinking or the triumph of hope over

10 October 2006

Will there be a deal by November 24? As the parties prepare to
travel to Scotland, I am all the more convinced that it can be
done. This is not Scotch mist, wishful thinking or the triumph of
hope over experience.

And I don't think it will happen because the DUP will cease to be
the DUP or that Sinn Fein will cease to be Sinn Fein over the
next few days.

But I do believe that the desire to move Northern Ireland to an
entirely new dimension, politically, economically, and socially
is so powerful within all the political parties, that they cannot
turn away from the enormous potential that this opportunity

Turning that desire into action and that potential into reality
can be done by November 24 and the talks in St Andrews are
absolutely crucial to that.

There are good, tangible reasons to be optimistic going into
those talks.

Since the deadline of November 24 was set by Tony Blair and
Bertie Ahern back in April, the signs that the circumstances are
right to restore stable, locally accountable devolved government
to Northern Ireland are positive.

Over the summer we have enjoyed the best parading season for

That was because people who had never spoken to each other before
saw that the time was right to enter dialogue and everyone has
seen the benefits.

Sinn Fein and the Police Service of Northern Ireland have engaged
with each other at a substantive and senior level as never

The evidence on the ground is that that was not intended to be,
or is, a 'one-off'.

Last week the Independent Monitoring Commission produced its 12th

It reaffirmed its view that the IRA leadership has committed
itself to following an exclusively political path and that it is
no longer engaged in terrorism, nor does it see a return to

On criminality, the IMC said that it is satisfied that there has
been no organisational involvement in, or planning of, robbery or
other organised crime and that the leadership has maintained a
firm stance against the involvement of members in criminality.

It remains the view of the IMC that the leadership of the IRA has
accepted the need for engagement in policing and wishes to
achieve it.

Sinn Fein has said that that is where it is going on policing and
is moving down that road.

It needs to be seen to get there.

Loyalism has a lot further to go to produce the historic, seismic
and irreversible change that the IRA has undergone, but the IMC
did acknowledge that there are those within the loyalist
community who genuinely want to free their communities from the
grip of paramilitarism and criminality.

The Government agrees and we will support those efforts.

But, above all, what the IMC has shown is that the IRA's campaign
is over.

The way is now open for a final political settlement in Northern

There is no reason why the outstanding issues that the parties
need to have resolved cannot be resolved if there is the will to
do it in the run up to November. If the deal can be done by
November 24, it will open up a completely new era for Northern

Business leaders, trades unions, the voluntary sector all want to
see a return to locally accountable government.

Those involved in education want to see a return to locally
accountable government.

Those involved in tourism want to see a return to locally
accountable government.

As direct rule ministers we will take the decisions that we
believe are in the best interests of the people of Northern

Many of those decisions are difficult.

They should be taken by locally accountable politicians.

That will be a challenge for local politicians - there is no
doubt about that - but that is why people go into politics in the
first place: to take up the challenge of dealing with the issues
that matter in every one's daily lives - education, health,
policing, planning, rates.

Politicians everywhere, particularly those who aspire to govern,
are there not just to represent and work for those who voted for
them and loaned them their mandate but also for those who did

In a society that has been as bitterly divided as Northern
Ireland, the obligation on politicians who have been entrusted
with a mandate that will give them access to power is all the
greater to do that.

Anyone with a mindset that says that every tragedy, every
misfortune, every problem is uniquely and exclusively the other
sides' fault will go nowhere.

I hope that the parties are ready for the challenge.

If they are, they can transform Northern Ireland.

If they are not, then so be it.

Anyone who bases their political strategy on the idea that
November 24 is a line in the sand that will simply wash away will
have to think again.

We will not go on in an endless round of slow motion replays.

No one is being bullied, no one is being pandered to, and no one
is being asked to concede principle or integrity.

The people you have elected have to make the decision. That is
why you elected them.

They have the chance to seize the initiative and make the
government of Northern Ireland accountable to you. They can do
it. I hope they do.


Test Reveals Vulnerability Of Home Computers To Hackers

By Staff Reporter

Home computers can come under attack from hackers more than 50
times a night, an experiment has revealed.

Every time a test PC was connected to the internet it became the
target of viruses and attempts to gain access to the information
on it.

The ‘honeypot’ computer was set up to look like a normal PC to
potential hackers but it secretly recorded every attempt to gain
access during a month-long test period.

In one of the busiest nights of malicious activity the computer
was attacked 53 times:

• it was subjected to a hijack attempt by subverting the web
server built into Microsoft Windows

• there were 11 attacks by the Blaster worm which sends copies of
itself to other PCs

• the Slammer worm made three att-empts to cripple the computer.

On the same night there were also

36 fake security announcements or adverts for fake security
software posing as warnings. Reacting to these could leave a PC
clogged with ‘spyware’ – programs which monitor what users do
with their computer and then send the information over the

Over the course of the whole experiment on average at least one
attack an hour came from a dangerous computer bug with the
ability to cripple an unprotected PC.

There was at least one serious attack a night, such as attempts
to hijack the computer entirely, which could lead to the machine
being turned into a zombie PC used to carry out criminal activity
without the owner’s knowledge.

The BBC, which designed the experiment, said it demonstrated the
vulnerability of unprotected home PCs to malicious hackers.

Experts estimate that around 200,000 malicious programs such as
viruses, worms and spyware exist.

One hacker the BBC spoke to claimed to have earned $10,000
(£5,345) a day from computer crime.

Another claimed to be able to hack into many online shops within
four hours.

In 2001 a judge ordered a 19-year-old man to undergo psychiatric
care for hacking into the details of 23,000 internet shoppers in
five countries. The hacker said he had wanted to expose security

Raphael Gray also sent Viagra to Microsoft boss Bill Gates as a
joke using a stolen credit card number and published what he
claimed were the billionaire’s bank details before being tracked
down by the FBI to his bedroom in Wales.

Growing fear of internet crime

Fear of internet crime is rising as more people shop and bank
online, a new report has found.

Criminals are increasingly targeting cyberspace as broadband

take-up rises and more services hit the internet.

Many consumers fear internet crime more than burglary, mugging
and having their

cars stolen, according to the government-sponsored Get Safe
Online report.

Cyber offences are second only to bank card fraud as the types of
crime to which survey respondents felt most exposed.

Major online threats include phishing – when a hoax email asks
the recipient to update his or her account details.

Losses from such online scams in the UK almost doubled to £23.2
million last year, the report says.

More than half of internet users bank online and nearly a third
use the web to pay utility bills.

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