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Status 2011

Theme of the 2011 Bilderberg gathering was: Social Networks: Connectivity and Security Issues.

Charlie Skelton:

" here's the irony. In secret, with no public oversight, a group of politicians, billionaires and corporate CEOs are discussing (we're told): Social Networks: Connectivity and Security Issues.

The global policy concerning the transparency of our social life is being thrashed out in an untransparent forum by people whose "social network" includes people like Henry Kissinger and the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. It also includes people we don't even know are there (this happens every year, names emerge that were never admitted to). It's not wrong to want to know more

Thomas Jefferson said: "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." And: "If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves."

Without the people's attention to government, government grows fangs; but: "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

And then we have Bilderberg. A massive great, sniper-armed, window-tinted, helicoptering slap in the face to any concept of enlightened democracy. Shrouded, misty and removed. A place where "Congress and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors" sit about in secret and do business with bank bosses and the chairmen of corporations, and policemen stand guard lest the citizenry become too informed.

Bilderberg is a backwards step, heading in wholly the wrong direction when "transparency of government" is something we're all clawing towards. It's a dinosaur. A childish, irritating dinosaur. It's Godzuki.

Bilderberg is the very opposite of a bulwark of a democracy, whatever the opposite of a bulwark is. (A siege engine?)

Anyone who wants to be a good Jeffersonian and be part of an enlightened populace must become attentive to public affairs, and should pay particular attention to their public officials when they're skulking about in the mist with big business. And if the press won't pay attention to it, then the citizenry must.

Fortunately for all of us, that's exactly what the citizenry are doing. Enjoy a free internet while you can

Speaking of personality disorders – when Peter Mandelson, who pushed through the digital economy bill, sits down with Keith Alexander – the director of the NSA and head of United States Cyber Command to discuss "Social Networks: Connectivity and Security Issues" you can be pretty sure they aren't hammering out how best to preserve the freedom of the internet.

Add a liberal sprinkling of cyber power in the form of Mark Hughes (Facebook), Eric Schmidt (Google) and Craig Mundie (Microsoft) and you have the perfect formula for a lock-down. Let's hope Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for digital agenda, got to push her "No Disconnect Strategy". I'd pay good money to have heard the head of the NSA's views on that one." (