Catalan National Assembly website “dangerous” with 45 security risks

ASSEMBLEA
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Formed in 2012, the Catalan National Assembly (Assemblea Nacional Catalana, or ANC) is a grassroots organisation promoting Catalan independence.

Boasting 80,000 members, the ANC is one of the largest pro-independence civil society organisations whose founding president, Carme Forcadell, is now the President of the Parliament of Catalonia.

However, despite a budget in excess of €5.2 million in 2015, their website has a look and feel that seems to predate their March 2012 formation. It also has no mobile-friendly alternative (have they never heard of Bootstrap?) – and any idiot with a smartphone knows how painfully frustrating it is to try to navigate a drop down menu from a mobile device.

assemblea website

The greatest concern for visitors to the ANC’s website, though, is the number of potential security risks contained within its pages. In fact, users of Norton Safe Web are blocked from accessing the site with a menacing warning that it is a “known dangerous website”.

assemblea blocked

According to Norton’s Safe Web Report, the website contains a worrying 45 computer threats, including 28 instances of viruses and 17 security risks. There is no evidence of any identity threats on the website.

The ANC’s web presence does, however, contain a number of “Fake Jquery Injections”, which are malicious scripts which can download potentially damaging elements onto visitors’ computers. The presence of this kind of threat often indicates that a website has been hacked – and is flagged by Norton as posing a serious security threat.

There are also a number of “Malicious Script Redirections”, which are just as malicious and are also scripts which can download potentially damaging content. These scripts could also be a result of a hack.

It is not clear how long the ANC’s website has been compromised. However, until the organisation’s tech gurus fix the numerous security issues, visitors without effective antivirus protection could be putting the health of their computers at risk.

#CC16: 11 Days to Christmas

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With eleven days to go, I’m introducing the first foreign-language installment early, with a quirky number celebrating the Catalan Caganer.

On Monday, I posted a photograph on Instagram of a pair of caganers ordered from caganer.com, which raised a few eyebrows (and prompted a few questions!):

És l'últim Nadal abans de la nostra boda 😉 gràcies @caganers ☺ #Caganer

A photo posted by Alan Collins (@alancollinspdb) on

Figurines of a husband and wife, on their wedding day, with their pants down and answering nature’s call may not be everyone’s idea of a festive decoration, but for the Catalans it is a very popular part of the pessebre (nativity scene). Not necessarily newly-weds, but celebrities and footballers are also very popular. This year, for instance, the above-linked company’s Donald Trump caganer sold out at their stall in the Barcelona market, although I can’t think why…

If you think I may be making this up, then let Stephen Fry quash any doubts you might have, as the caganer (literally “the crapper” in its polite translation) has featured on that great fountain of knowledge, QI:

For many, the Nativity scene is sacrosanct, and the idea of anyone featured defecating in the background may be considered blasphemous to some unaware of the tradition. But there are many reasons why this tradition has become so popular in Catalunya. According to Catalan ethnologist Joan Amades:

[The caganer] was a customary figure in nativity scenes in the 19th century, because people believed that this deposit fertilised the ground of the nativity scenes, which became fertile and ensured the nativity scene for the following year, and with it, the health of body and peace of mind required to make the nativity scene, with the joy and happiness brought by Christmas near the hearth. Placing this figurine in the nativity scene brought good luck and joy and not doing so brought adversity.

With this in mind, today’s video is the song “El Caganer”, which was performed by Albert Pla, Quimi Portet, Gerard Quintana, Estopa, Joan Miquel Oliver and Manel for Catalan TV station TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio’s 2009 Christmas celebration. The lyrics roughly translate* as follows:

In a nativity scene there has to be
a baby Jesus and a Saint Joseph
the Virgin Mary too,
a cow and a mule
and a badly-hung angel.

But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.
But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.

There has to be bark and moss
and a snowy village
and a river of silver paper,
shepherds and shepherdesses
around a reddish fire.

But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.
But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.

In a nativity scene there has to be
three hens and a blacksmith,
a flock of loose goats
and a grandmother
and a demon in hell.

But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.
But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.

Grab the cardboard
cut out an immense sky
and cut stars from it.
Those who do not have lights
can put stickers there.

But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.
But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.

There also have to be three kings
with three pages, three camels,
who come from the East,
loaded carrying presents.
We are going well!

But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.
But above all there has to be,
there has to be a caganer.

In the nativity scene there has to be,
there has to be a stool
for Saint Joseph to sit on.
And if there is no stool,
the poor man will be standing up.

Never again forget
in a nativity scene there has to be
in a nativity scene there has to be
there has to be a caganer.

Never again forget
in a nativity scene there has to be
in a nativity scene there has to be
there has to be a caganer.

Next year I will be celebrating Christmas with my (by then) Catalan wife, and I am thoroughly enjoying learning not just the Catalan language, but also the history and culture of the region. I hope you’ll enjoy the little nuggets spread through this year’s Countdown to Christmas, too!

* Roughly translated by me, so apologies for any errors!

Catalanofòbia in the wake of Paris

Català
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While the world was watching the terrible events in Paris overnight, the anti-Catalans took to social media to make some, frankly, disgusting comments.

These are just a few (with translations into English):

The attacks in Paris are devastating for the Catalan separatists, as they lose all of the attention and publicity which they need so much.

Terrible thing in Paris and despite this the Catalans will continue on Monday by…

While in Spain the Catalans boo the national anthem in France they sing it in chorus in a sign of unity after the attacks in Paris.prayforparis

Massacre in Paris. While the Catalan secessionists are welcoming thousands of Arabs as long as they wave the Estelada. Well. As God intended.

And possibly the worst of the night:

Well what a shame they weren’t Catalans #Paris

Stay classy, Spaniards…

Victory for “Yes”

Catalunya
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The two Catalan seperatist forces have won an absolute majority in the Generalitat.

Junts pel Sí (JxS), the coalition formed for these elections, and Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) have won an absolute majority of seats in the regional assembly, claiming victory and the right to negotiate seperation from Spain.

However, opponents of independence have claimed that their push lacks legitimacy, as they have failed to win a majority of votes, falling 3 points short.

JxS won 62 of the parliamentary seats, six short of a majority of 68, but will work to form a “transitional” government with CUP, who more than tripled their number of seats and now have 10 representatives. One of the biggest obstacles to an agreement will be JxS’ proposal for Artur Mas to be president, which CUP have consistently opposed due to allegations of corruption (among many other reasons).

For opponents of independence, the fact that the separatist forces only achieved 47.7% of the popular vote suggests that independence is now a dead issue. However, those opposed to independence polled 41.6% and have just 52 representatives. The remaining voters seem to be largely in favour of a legal referendum, but in the absence of such a referendum it is impossible to attribute their votes to either the pro- or anti-independence side.

Ciutadans, who are now the second largest party after increasing their number of seats from 9 to 25, are opposed to independence. Their candidate for president, Inés Arrimadas, said last night that the question had been settled, that a majority were opposed and that another vote should be called with parties focusing on what they would do for Catalunya, rather than independence.

However, to do so would be to betray the majority of people who are unhappy with the current relationship with the Spanish state, and JxS and CUP have the necessary majority in the Generalitat to push for independence or, at least, negotiate a better deal with whoever is in power in Spain after December’s elections, in which the future of Catalunya is bound to be a major theme.

Yesterday’s election is not the end of the independence story, but merely a pause in the current chapter. The story will never end until Catalunya achieves full independence and, until then, there is always time to write another page…