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01.29.12

Links – Please sign the Avaaz petition against ACTA.

Posted in Site News at 12:48 am by Guest Editorial Team

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      It is probably worse than Bloomberg’s Microsoft friendly estimate and sales to retailers are not sales to people.

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      More than three years after a disaster at a Tennessee power plant, the Obama administration still has not issued promised protections from coal ash hazards. Environmental groups plan to sue to spur action.

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      the federal government has known for at least three years that the wood piles were contaminated with an unknown level of asbestos, even as Libby residents hauled truckload after truckload of the material away from the site and placed it in yards, in city parks, outside schools and at the local cemetery. The Environmental Protection Agency did not stop the removal of the material until the AP began investigating in early March. … The sprawling piles came from a now-defunct timber mill that took thousands of trees from a forest tainted with asbestos from a nearby mine. … the forests around Libby are tainted with asbestos at least eight miles from the mine. The barbed asbestos fibers lodge themselves in cracks and crevices in the bark until they are released when disturbed or burned. … The EPA has spent more than $370 million over the past 11 years cleaning up Libby. Contractors in moon suits carting off tainted materials have become a constant reminder of the severity of the contamination.

      Libby was the site of a now infamous W.R. Grace mine that lied to employees about what they were mining. The company kept up operations until 1990 and largely avoided responsiblity for their actions, including criminal charges [2]. The company made a few out of court settlements and lost several civil suits but most of the cost was passed onto the public. Clean up started in 2000, and another emergency was declared in 2009.

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship – ACTA

    • Europeans, please sign this petition against ACTA

      To all Members of the EU Parliament: As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and promote democracy. We urge you to show true global leadership and protect our rights.

    • How the Polish government ignored overwhelming opposition to signing ACTA.

      They told Anonymous that blackmail would not work but had ignored NGOs for three years, then ignored people protesting in the streets. NGOs recommend signing the Avaaz petition above.

    • ACTA – the latest threat to internet freedom, just signed by the EU

      The extremist position of ACTA will make the Internet fraught with danger for ordinary users. For example, if a blogger innocently links to another website, and that website, without their knowledge, infringes copyright in some way, they may well face criminal charges and prison time for “aiding and abetting” copyright infringement. … The provisions on Digital Rights Management (“DRM”) are so extreme as to be laughable. ACTA continues to demand that attempts to circumvent DRM be criminal offences, meaning that blind people could face jail time for attempting to read e-books using text-to-speech … merely renaming a file could become illegal.

      Here’s another brief list of what’s wrong with ACTA

    • Poles Protest ACTA Online and on the Streets

      Hundreds of people waged a street protest in Warsaw on Tuesday to protest the government’s plan to sign an international copyright treaty, while several popular websites also shut down for an hour over the issue. … Prime Minister Donald Tusk insisted Tuesday that his government will not give in to the protesters.

    • What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?

      the anti-SOPA/PIPA crowd seemed to have just discovered ACTA … to be in compliance with this agreement, the US needs to retain certain parts of copyright law that many reformers believe should be changed. At the very least, it ties Congress’ hands, if we want to be in compliance with our “international obligations.” … there are a few parts of ACTA that are so vague that you can definitely see how they could be interpreted to require changes to US law.

      Most of the arguments against ACTA were about how it was made by publishers in secret because no one could say anything useful about it while it was a secret and there was little time to do anything between publication and signature. It’s still so vague that people can’t say anything useful about it other than it has a lot of harmful requirements and this so called “executive agreement” is an anti-democratic and unconstitutional sham the US should never have signed and only signed by claiming that it was not binding. The EU can still and should not sign because they know that the US considers it non binding.

    • ACTA signed by EU Commission, EU ACTA Chief Resigns in Disgust

      “I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly. … a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.” …The legally binding action happens in votes in parliaments; the national parliaments across Europe, and notably the European Parliament. … If parliament says no, any parliament, then no it is.

    • UK signs ACTA as activists urge resistance

      the signatures of the EU member states and the EU itself will count for nothing unless the European Parliament gives its approval to ACTA in June, and digital activists have urged citizens to lobby their MEPs against voting yes.

    • Poland signs copyright treaty that drew protests

      Another government shows it’s contempt for it’s people.

    • Sean Sherlock an Irish TD [Congressman essentially] has decided that now is the time to sign an anti-piracy law; the Irish SOPA

      There will be no consultation with the public, and he even wants to pass this without presenting it to the Dail [House of Representatives] Sean Sherlock is attempting to pass this law which will give the keys of regulation over to private industries and lobbying groups. These groups will then be able to pressure ISP’s into shutting down any website they want.

      Here’s another description which claims the legislation is not subject to debate and will be passed by the end of the month. Context from Stop Sopa.

    • Hollywood’s twisted opinion of SOPA defeat

      This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.

      Translation: they don’t have enough cenosrship power over the internet and will have to redouble their astroturf efforts.

    • Doll ‘protesters’ present small problem for Russian police

      Activists set up the display after authorities repeatedly rejected their request to hold a sanctioned demonstration of the kind held in Moscow to protest disputed parliamentary elections results and Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the presidency in a March vote. … Police have tried to pressure them into shutting down the doll protests, organisers said. “They tried to tell us our event was illegal – they even said that to put toys in the snow, we had to rent it from the city authorities,” Alexandrova said.

  • Privacy

    • Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited

      The measure, H.B. 2288, says “Internet destination history information” and “subscriber’s information” such as name and address must be saved for two years. … In Washington, D.C., the fight over data retention requirements has been simmering since the Justice Department pushed the topic in 2005, a development that was first reported by CNET. Proposals publicly surfaced in the U.S. Congress the following year, and President Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said it’s an issue that “must be addressed.” So, eventually, did FBI director Robert Mueller.

      These people hate your freedom.

    • DARPA project creates tiny spy computer

      Every non free computer your house with a microphone and network card can be used in the same way.

  • Copyrights

    • Researchers, please sign The Cost of Knowledge and tell Elsevier you will no longer cooperate with bad publishing policies.

      For many years, academics have protested against the business practices of Elsevier. If you would like to declare publicly that you will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate, then you can do so by filling in your details in the box below.

      The list now has 312 people who have refused various cooperation such as publishing, refereeing and editorial work.

    • In UK: Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright

      This story has more details but you only have to see the two pictures to know the ruling is insane.

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