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Monday, May 26, 2014

Turkish court orders arrest of 4 Israeli commanders

A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and three other IDF commanders that Turkey holds responsible for the Israeli Navy's raid of a 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla, Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News reported on Monday.

The court has also asked for an Interpol Red Notice for the arrest of the then-top IDF brass - Ashkenazi, former Naval Forces commander Eliezer Marom, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and former Air Forces Intelligence head Avishai Levi.

The court pressed charges against the four army commanders in May 2012 for their alleged involvement in the raid of the Mavi Marmara, that left 10 Turkish citizens dead.
They are being tried in absentia at the Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes, and prosecutors have demanded life sentences for all four of them.

Turkey surprised at Israeli raid

In an interview with Hürriyet, Turkey's ambassador to Israel at the time said Ankara was surprised by the way the IDF chose to stop the flotilla from reaching the Gaza Strip.

"Obviously, we were not expecting Israel to let the humanitarian aid reach Gaza, but we thought the intervention method would be different," Oğuz Çelikkol said.

"We thought Israel would intervene in the flotilla, but we were expecting a more pacific intervention; perhaps to make the ship’s propeller malfunction, or to wait until it reached Israeli territorial waters and then issue a warning," he told Hürriyet.

Çelikkol raised the possibility Israel received bad intelligence "about the possible presence of weapons on the ship, or about the fact that there could have been armed resistance to their intervention."

He speculated an Egyptian, who was on board the Mavi Marama and decided not to fly back to Turkey with the rest of the people on board the flotilla, was an Egyptian intelligence agent.

"At that time it was a known fact that Egypt was very concerned about Turkey’s increased visibility in the region. This is a theory that comes to the fore when we investigate why Israel intervened so violently on the ship," the former ambassador told Hürriyet.

Çelikkol noted the crisis in Israel-Turkey relations was expected following Israel's 2009 Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.

"There was serious dialogue going on between Israel and Syria via Turkey. Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister at that time, came to Turkey and then the operation in Gaza took place one week later. This certainly had a negative effect on the Turkish side," he said.
When asked about reconciliation between the two countries, Çelikkol said he believed normalization was possible.

"These crises have left deep scars on both nations. They will take time to heal. Israel has apologized and there seems to be a general agreement on the final details," he said.

"Turkish–Israeli relations need to normalize, especially now that the Middle East is passing through very difficult times. But normalization of relations does not mean that Turkey will give up its support for the Palestinians, or that the military dimension of relations will continue."

Credit to Ynet News

European Voters Are Revolting; France Warns "Situation Is Grave For Europe"

Just as we had warned in the run-up to the European elections - and England's UKIP victory in local elections had suggested; Anti-European-Union parties are showing strongly in this weekend's elections. Anxiety is spreading among the status quo as Greece's anti-austerity party SYRIZA wins and perhaps even more worryingly in supposed core of the union France's Nationalist party is leading in a "political earthquake" success:
Disengaged? - or totally pissed off with promises that never materialize and wealth that only trickles down to the uber-richest and uber-elitest.
No wonder France is worried...
 Anti-establishment parties were gaining ground in other parts of the EU too (following UKIP's lead in the UK).
In France, exit polls setting the anti-immigrant, far right National Front up for its first success in a national election.

In Greece, exit polls had the far-left SYRIZA party leading with 26-30 per cent of the vote, ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy Party. SYRIZA, whose leader, Alexis Tsipras, is running for European Commission president, has campaigned vociferously against the austerity that was part of the EU's response to its economic crisis.

In Austria, the right-wing FPOe came in third with 20 per cent, while the anti-immigrant Danish People's Party was set to take the biggest share of the vote in that Nordic country, according to exit polls and initial projections.

In Finland, the anti-immigrant True Finns party was projected to win two of the country's 13 seats in the European Parliament, adding one seat to its previous tally.

In Germany, the far-right National Democratic Party - which has many overtly neo-Nazi supporters - could be on course to win its first seat in the legislature, according to projections. Germany's anti-euro Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) is also set to make its debut in the parliament after capturing 6.5 per cent of the German vote, a public television exit poll showed.

But it's not just France, Anti-EU parties are winning across Europe...
h/t @WikiGuido

Who coulda seen that coming?
And so the propoganda begins...
Umm - yeah it did... but when it gets serious - you have to lie!!!

Charts: Bloomberg
Credit to Zero Hedge

Jim Rogers: Giants ditching dollar over US foreign policies

BLOOD ON THE ALTAR part Number 3

PART 3 - What Scary University & Military Experiments Prove About Obedience To Authority Figures

Similar to the findings of the Stanford Prison Experiment but in many ways more disturbing was the 1961 “Milgram Experiment” that has since been repeated on numerous occasions with consistent results.
The Milgram test measured the willingness of participants to obey authority figures who ordered them to go against expected restrictions of human conscience in performing acts of cruelty against other study participants.
The original tests began at Yale University in the early 1960s under psychologist Stanley Milgram. At the time, it was just three months into the trial of Nazi war criminal Otto Adolf Eichmann, a German Nazi colonel deemed highly responsible for organizing the Holocaust, and Milgram had designed his test to try to answer the burning question on people’s minds then: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders?”[i] Milgram came to believe that much of that sentiment was true, and that “the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s wishes, and he therefore no longer regards himself as responsible for his actions.”[ii] Milgram first described his research in 1963 in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, then later in greater detail in his 1974 book,Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. Milgram explained how participants were taken into a laboratory and, in the context of a learning experiment, were told to give increasingly severe electrical shocks to another person (who was actually an actor). The purpose of the assessment was to see how far a subject would proceed before refusing to comply with the experimenter’s instructions.
The test used three individuals: #1 was THE EXPERIMENTER—the authority figure running the trial; #2 was THE LEARNER—an actor pretending to be a test subject; and #3 was THE TEACHER—a volunteer who believed he or she was actually to administer voltage to THE LEARNER whenever he or she failed to answer a question correctly. The wiki on the way this test proceeded says the TEACHER and the LEARNER (actor) both drew slips of paper to determine their roles, but unknown to the TEACHER, both slips said “teacher.” The actor would always claim to have drawn the slip that read “learner,” thus guaranteeing that the unwitting volunteer would always be the “teacher.”
At this point, the “teacher” and “learner” were separated into different rooms where they could communicate but not see each other. In one version of the experiment, the confederate was sure to mention to the participant that he had a heart condition.
The “teacher” was given an electric shock from the electro-shock generator as a sample of the shock that the “learner” would supposedly receive during the experiment. The “teacher” was then given a list of word pairs which he was to teach the learner. The teacher began by reading the list of word pairs to the learner. The teacher would then read the first word of each pair and read four possible answers. The learner would press a button to indicate his response. If the answer was incorrect, the teacher would administer a shock to the learner, with the voltage increasing in 15-volt increments for each wrong answer. If correct, the teacher would read the next word pair.
The subjects believed that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual shocks. In reality, there were no shocks. After the confederate was separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level. After a number of voltage level increases, the actor started to bang on the wall that separated him from the subject. After several times banging on the wall and complaining about his heart condition, all responses by the learner would cease.
At this point, many people indicated their desire to stop the experiment and check on the learner. Some test subjects paused at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment. Most continued after being assured that they would not be held responsible. A few subjects began to laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain coming from the learner.
If at any time the subject indicated his desire to halt the experiment, he was given a succession of verbal prods by the experimenter, in this order:
Please continue.
The experiment requires that you continue.
It is absolutely essential that you continue.
You have no other choice, you must go on.
If the subject still wished to stop after all four successive verbal prods, the experiment was halted. Otherwise, it was halted after the subject had given the maximum 450-volt shock three times in succession.
The experimenter also gave special prods if the teacher made specific comments. If the teacher asked whether the learner might suffer permanent physical harm, the experimenter replied, “Although the shocks may be painful, there is no permanent tissue damage, so please go on.” If the teacher said that the learner clearly wants to stop, the experimenter replied, “Whether the learner likes it or not, you must go on until he has learned all the word pairs correctly, so please go on.”[iii]
The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level.[iv]
The amazing findings from this experiment tallied 65 percent of the volunteers (including women) administering the final, massive, 450-volt shock even though they exhibited signs that they were uncomfortable doing so (pausing, questioning, sweating, trembling, biting their lips, digging their fingernails into their skin, and/or laughing nervously), but in the end they did it anyway on the advice of the authority figure (the experimenter). When some ethical criticisms were made in opposition to Milgram following his original study and conclusions (which have since been repeated around the world in different social settings with similar results), he said he believed the arguments developed because his research revealedsomething disturbing and unwelcome about human nature. He then summarized his findings and warned in his 1974 article, “The Perils of Obedience”:
The legal and philosophic aspects of obedience are of enormous importance, but they say very little about how most people behave in concrete situations. I set up a simple experiment at Yale University to test how much pain an ordinary citizen would inflict on another person simply because he was ordered to by an experimental scientist. Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ [participants’] strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ [participants’] ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not.The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.
Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.[v]
Besides similarities between the Milgram and Stanford experiments, Philip Zimbardo reveals that none of the few participants who refused to administer the final shocks in the Milgram test insisted that the experiment itself be shut down. And when they were finished with their participation, none bothered to check the health of the victim they believed was potentially severely traumatized and/or physically harmed.[vi] Years later, when researchers Charles Sheridan and Richard King speculated that some of the Milgram Experiment volunteers in the role of TEACHER may have suspected their victims were faking the trauma, they set up a similar trial using a “cute, fluffy puppy,” which obviously would not know how to “fake it.” In this case, the electrical shocks were real—albeit, unknown to the participants, harmless. Their findings—published as “Obedience to Authority with an Authentic Victim”—were reported during the proceedings of the eightieth annual convention of the American Psychological Association and surprisingly verified Milgram’s conclusion. As in the Yale University experimentation, most subjects in the Sheridan-King research illustrated high levels of distress during the ordeal, yet 50 percent of the male subjects and 100 percent of the females obeyed the authority figure and continued to “electrocute” the puppy until the end.[vii]
Not to be redundant, but again, what could this research suggest the majority of people might be willing to do when the utmost fearsome “authority figure” ever to walk planet earth arrives (a time when Jesus said people’s hearts will fail them for fear [see Luke 21:26]) and begins ordering his followers to kill all who will not accept his leadership?

Credit to Raidersnewsupdate.com

Video: Gunfire, airstrikes on Donetsk Intl airport after local militia take building

Catastrophic Outcomes May Come Faster Than Expected-James Rickards

Christians With Biblical Values Blocked From Running For Office In Canada

Justin Trudeau, the leader of Canada's Liberal Party, recently announced that the Liberal Party will not allow anyone to run in any provincial or national election who does not pledge to vote "pro-choice" without exception.

The Liberal Party, which has been relegated to a mere thirty-five seats in the national parliament and opposition status, has been trying to shore up support since its disastrous outing in the most recent elections.

Although the Liberal Party has traditionally been open to different opinions on abortion, fiscal matters, and other political issues, Trudeau made it clear that there would be a unified front on the issue of murder of unborn children. Claiming that 80% of his party's supporters agree with a "woman's choice" on this issue, he stated plainly that candidates who elect to run on the Liberal ticket "will be expected to voice pro-choice on any bills."

In the same press conference, Trudeau acknowledged with some sense of pride that his party has traditionally been more ideologically diverse, pointing out that there are those he considers "far right" on fiscal matters, and others who are more left of center on these issues.

His argument seems to be based on a belief that abortion is a settled issue in Canada. It is currently legal to murder an unborn child in Canada, although there is some variance between different provinces on legal aspects of abortion.

The timing of his statement is rather suspect, coming as it did so close to the March for Life on Parliament Hill. This widely-attended event has traditionally been a place for supporters of rights for the unborn to speak on the issue. In fact, Liberals have spoken at these events with regularity in the past.

LifeCanada's Lisa Smith (listed as the group's secretary on their website), reacted with surprise at Trudeau's bluntness in addressing this issue. However, she also pointed out that Trudeau actually did Canadians a favor by making his position clear on the issue. In this way, voters can have a clear direction on whether or not they want to support the position that Trudeau has taken for his party.

LifeCanada was founded in 2000 and has a mission "to establish the value of human life in the hearts and minds of Canadians and their institutions", commissioned a poll that showed a majority of Canadians (60%) supported legal restrictions on abortion. The group is also concerned with euthanasia and other pro-life concerns.

The Liberal Party is ideologically seeking a position similar to that taken by the New Democratic Party, perhaps due to recent losses at the ballot. The NDP has always been strictly pro-abortion, a position that they wrote into their party platform. Tom Mulcair, the leader of the NDP, stated that no one in his party will "vote against a woman's right to chose".

Although Trudeau made it clear that new candidates, who do not pledge to vote in favor of abortion on all bills, will not be allowed to run under the Liberal Party banner, he was less clear regarding those who already hold office. The party used to be home to a number of pro-life representatives, although that number has dwindled along with the party's overall presence in Parliament. However, two notable representatives remain: John McKay and Judy Sgro, both of whom represent Toronto. McKay anticipates "awkward moments" in the future, but has made no plans to endorse the party's new position on abortion.

McKay pointed out that his counterparts in the Conservative Party fare little better than he does in his own party. His point certainly has merit.

The Conservative Party has not made a blanket statement banning pro-life candidates, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper and de facto leader of the Conservative Party has made it clear that he will not fight the abortion issue in the Parliament. In fact, he has used his power to prevent pro-life candidates from introducing bills limiting abortion in Parliament.

Harper has managed to squelch any discussion on the abortion issue within his party without a mandate like his counterpart in the Liberal Party. However, the Conservative Party, which controls 160 seats in Parliament, has a large and vocal section of its caucus that are adamantly pro-life.

Trudeau also hinted that the party may make a similar stance on other "social" issues. He made it clear that there will be a litmus test for new candidates on a host of issues, stating that he will ask new people seeking to become candidates "how they feel about same-sex marriage", as well as abortion.

In his statement concerning his party's new prohibition on pro-life candidates, and his allusion to a future similar position on homosexual "marriage", he referenced that his party's potential candidates must also support the Charter of Rights and Freedom. It is interesting that he makes this statement, because the Charter of Rights and Freedom recognize two rights that seem to be at issue with his position: religious freedom and freedom of association. So, although Trudeau professes support of these principles in theory, his actions show something wholly different.

Trudeau believes abortion is a settled issue, basing this primarily on the majority support his pro-abortion policy has within his party (claiming eighty per cent), and his belief that the majority of Canadians also support abortion "rights". Of course, LifeCanada's polls suggest otherwise.

In Canada, supporters of the rights of the unborn have little to cheer about. The Conservative Party has expressed little interest in taking up their cause, even with a significant portion of their caucus in agreement with their position. The Liberal Party has now come out with a prohibition against pro-life candidates, and the New Democratic Party has always held a position in favor of support for abortion.

Regardless of where the issue of abortion is ultimately settled in Canada, Trudeau's action represent a first in Canadian politics, where the leader of a party has made it clear that they will tolerate no diversity of opinion on the issue of abortion. The future of the Liberal Party is unclear, having suffered devastating losses in the last election. They have doubled down on their position regarding abortion and have made it clear that there will be no tolerance for opposing viewpoints on this issue. It's just a matter of time before this undemocratic position spreads to other issues as well-something which should concern all Canadians.
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2014/May26/261.html#SUBwvjvIr126Q93k.99

Pope Francis openly endorsing “the State of Palestine.”

Pope Francis took a dramatic plunge Sunday into Mideast politics while on his Holy Land pilgrimage, receiving an acceptance from the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to visit him at the Vatican next month to discuss embattled peace efforts.

Francis also buoyed Palestinian hopes by openly endorsing “the State of Palestine.” At his Regina Coeli address in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, he said, “All of us – especially those placed at the service of their respective peoples – have the duty to become instruments and artisans of peace, especially by our prayers.”

In an extraordinarily powerful moment, the Pope referred to Bethlehem as “the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.”

The summit was an important moral victory for the pope, who is named after the peace-loving Francis of Assisi. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in late April, and there have been no public high-level meetings for a year.

Francis landed in Bethlehem, the cradle of Christianity, in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state. He called the stalemate in peace talks "unacceptable" and stopped briefly to pray at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding this biblical West Bank town.

At the end of an open air Mass in Bethlehem's Manger Square, the pope invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to pray with him for peace.
"I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer," he said.

The offices of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents quickly confirmed that they had accepted the invitation.

"We welcome Pope Francis' invitation to the Vatican. President Peres has supported and will continue to support all avenues to bring about peace," Peres' office said in a statement.

Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said the summit would take place sometime in June.
Peres, a 90-year-old Nobel Peace laureate, is set to step down over the summer, and the meeting would take place shortly before he leaves office.

Peres has been a fervent support of Mideast peace efforts, and the independent-minded Israeli president, whose job is largely ceremonial, risks upsetting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the move.

Netanyahu has expressed anger with politicians that have reached out to Abbas at a time when the Palestinian leader is reconciling with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group.

Francis also made his way Sunday to preside over a Mass in the West Bank, he made a surprise stop at the wall separating it from Israel.

Photographers and onlookers rushed over to watch the pontiff close his eyes and pray against the separation barrier. Only a few bodyguards stood around Francis as he put his right hand against the gray-painted barrier, directly under a manned watchtower.

Francis stood with his eyes closed in concentration. He pressed his forehead against the wall as well for a few moments, surrounded by graffiti including a "FREE PALESTINE" scrawled in red spray paint.

When he finished, Pope Francis slowly crossed himself, then walked away.

Israel says the massive concrete wall is necessary for its security and the Palestinians say has stifled life in Bethlehem and engulfed land across the West Bank. Francis' stop, coming immediately after U.S.-brokered peace talks between the two sides broke down, carries a symbolic importance.

Credit to Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Pope-Mideast-vatican-invitation/2014/05/25/id/573257#ixzz32mgXQkDD

¨US Imposes Sanctions Against Russia to Gain Business Advantage in Europe¨ Putin

ST. PETERSBURG, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested on Friday that the United States planned to receive competitive advantages in trade and economic ties with Europe by insisting on sanctions against Russia.

“Insisting on imposing sanctions against Russia, I have the suspicion that maybe our American friends, and they’re pretty sophisticated guys, they, perhaps, even want to get certain competitive advantages in their trade and economic ties in Europe? I simply just don’t see, don’t understand any other incentive motives that are that serious or deep, but I hope that common sense prevails,” Putin said.

The US and EU have imposed sanctions against Russia in connection to its policy in Ukraine and the reunification of Crimea. The sanctions have so far remained targeted and consist of government-approved lists of individuals and companies facing visa bans and asset freezes.

Amid the worsening economic and political relations between Russia and the West, several Western companies withdrew from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual gathering of political and business leaders currently taking place in Russia's northern capital.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that the language of sanctions is "inappropriate and counterproductive" in the modern world, where economic issues tie countries together, and warned its Western partners about the "boomerang effect" that sanctions would have.

Russia has been especially baffled by the Western threat to impose sanctions should the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine be disrupted, because Russia has no relation to the voting, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said Tuesday.

Credit to RIA Novosti

Visa, MasterCard renew push for chip cards

Visa and MasterCard are renewing a push to speed the adoption of microchips into U.S. credit and debit cards in the wake of recent high-profile data breaches, including this week's revelation that hackers stole consumer data from eBay's computer systems.

Card processing companies argue that a move away from the black magnetic strips on the backs of credit cards would eliminate a substantial amount of U.S. credit card fraud. They say it's time to offer U.S. consumers the greater protections microchips provide by joining Canada, Mexico and most of Western Europe in using cards with the more advanced technology.

Chips aren't perfect, says Carolyn Balfany, MasterCard's group head for U.S. product delivery, but the extra barrier they present is one of the reasons criminals often choose to target U.S.-issued cards, whose magnetic strips are easy to replicate.

"Typically, fraudsters are going to go to the path of least resistance," Balfany says.

(AP) In this Nov. 18, 2009 file photo, a Mastercard chip-based credit card is...

The chip technology hasn't been adopted in the U.S. because of costs and disputes over how the network would operate. Retailers have long balked at paying for new cash registers and back office systems to handle the new cards. There have been clashes between retailers, card issuers and processors over which processing networks will get access to the new system and whether to stick with a signature-based system or move to one that requires a personal identification number instead. These technical decisions impact how much retailers and customers have to pay — and how much credit card issuers make — each time a card is used.

The disputes have now largely been resolved. And the epic breach of Target's computer systems in December, which involved the theft of 40 million debit and credit card numbers, along with smaller breaches at companies such as Neiman Marcus and Michaels, helped garner support for chip-based cards among retailers who were previously put off by the costs.

Chip cards are safer, argue supporters, because unlike magnetic strip cards that transfer a credit card number when they are swiped at a point-of-sale terminal, chip cards use a one-time code that moves between the chip and the retailer's register. The result is a transfer of data that is useless to anyone except the parties involved. Chip cards, say experts, are also nearly impossible to copy.

For its part, Target is accelerating its $100 million plan to roll out chip-based credit card technology in its nearly 1,800 stores. New payment terminals will appear in stores by September, six months ahead of schedule. Last month, the retailer announced that it will team up with MasterCard to issue branded Target payment cards equipped with chip technology early in 2015. The move will make Target the first major U.S. retailer with its own branded chip-based cards.

Even so, the protections chips provide only go so far, according to opponents who note that chips don't prevent fraud in online transactions, where consumers often enter credit card numbers into online forms. Some opponents also point to other technologies, such as point-to-point encryption, as better long-term solutions.

Ken Stasiak, founder and CEO of SecureState, a Cleveland-based information security firm that investigates data breaches, says that while chips would be a big security improvement, they wouldn't have stopped the hackers from breaching Target's computer systems where they also stole the personal information, including names and addresses, of as many as 70 million people, putting them at risk of identity theft.

"Chip and pin is just another security component," Stasiak says. "What matters is how companies like Target use consumer information, how they protect it."

Banks generally pick up the tab for credit card-related losses, but companies such as Visa and MasterCard stand to lose too, if data breaches continue to occur with increasing frequency. After all, if consumers don't feel safe using cards, they may choose other ways to pay for purchases.

"It's not just about fraud and losses, it's about the trust involved in electronic payments that's destroyed," says Ellen Ritchey, Visa's chief enterprise risk officer.

In March, Visa and MasterCard announced plans to bring together banks, credit unions, retailers, makers of card processing equipment and industry trade groups in a group that aims to strengthen the U.S. payment system for credit and debit cards. The initial focus of the new group will be on banks' adoption of chip cards.

That comes ahead of a liability shift set to occur in October 2015, when the costs resulting from the theft of debit and credit card numbers will largely fall to the party involved with the least advanced —and most vulnerable— technology. For example, if a bank has updated to chip technology, but the retailer involved hasn't, the retailer will be liable for the costs.

Stasiak says many of the retailers he works with already have the technology in place. Once the banks start issuing chip cards, the retailers will activate their new systems, he says.

Banks say that despite the jump in high-profile data breaches, fraud still accounts for a small fraction of total transactions processed, while the cost related to issuing chip cards to all of their customers and switching out all of their ATMs is substantial. Banks have urged lawmakers to make retailers more accountable for their own security in hopes of recouping more of the losses from cybercrime.

Richard Hunt, CEO of Consumer Bankers Association, says that in cases of major fraud, banks have generally been able to collect only pennies on the dollar from the retailers involved.

Hunt says even if banks put chips in cards, it won't do any good if retailers don't upgrade their systems.

"We have to improve fraud prevention across the board," he says. "There are people who get up every day across the world with one mission and that's to break credit card technology. But there's no magic pill out there. The solution involves everyone."

Credit to My Way News