02.11.14

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Latest News About Surveillance, Torture, and Assassination

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The steep decline to lawlessness and elimination of dissent

  • Take Action to Protect Your Privacy on The Internet

    The value of privacy is something that most people can appreciate but there are those that wish to systematically dismantle this basic human right. Today, however, in a battle to mirror and celebrate the fight against SOPA and its inspiration Aaron Swartz, the Internet will tell the NSA and their mass surveillance partners that erosion of freedoms will never be accepted.

  • The Day We Fight Back protests internet surveillance
  • The Day We Fight Against Surveillance and in Support of Privacy

    Over the last year the public across the globe was made aware of massive global surveillance conducted by the NSA and its partners or counterparts, but also by private tech companies. In response, and in celebration of the victory against SOPA, PIPA and ACTA two years ago and in memory of one of its key architects, Aaron Swartz, La Quadrature du Net joins this day of mobilisation The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance, which will mark actions by civil rights groups from all over the world. This day is a perfect occasion for all citizens to get informed, and to act to defend our privacy against private and public surveillance. Below are actions carried out by La Quadrature and its supporters today.

  • [Video] Reclaim Our Privacy

    Thanks to the generosity of supporters who helped crowd-fund it, and of Benoît Musereau who volunteered to direct it, La Quadrature du Net publishes ”Reclaim Our Privacy”, a three-minute movie that explains the threat to, the importance of protecting, and the tools to reclaim our privacy online. If you want to contribute to the funding of this movie, it is still possible to do so here. Any funds received above the target amount will be shared between Benoît Musereau and La Quadrature du Net. The movie is released under CC BY-SA, so feel free to share or remix it!

  • Join our new campaign to fight mass surveillance
  • Orwell was hailed a hero for fighting in Spain. Today he’d be guilty of terrorism

    If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. That they were fighting to defend an elected government against a fascist rebellion would have no bearing on the case. They would go down as terrorists.

  • Number of data interception requests to GCHQ ‘possibly too large’, says official

    Interception communications commissioner Sir Anthony May says requests amount to 570,000 a year

  • Five surveillance myths stalling NSA reform, debunked

    The Day We Fight Back deserves truth amidst the administration’s half-truths and trolling. From thwarted attacks (zero) to President Obama’s new rules (not good enough), this is what you need to know to make real reform happen

  • What the NSA leaks proved about surveillance

    Analysis: U.S. knows about citizens’ phone calls and emails and spies on allied foreign governments and companies

  • Maryland lawmakers want to cripple the NSA’s headquarters

    Legislators in Maryland want to turn the lights out on the NSA — literally. A bill introduced last Thursday to its House of Delegates would bar state agencies, utilities, and pretty much anything that receives state funds from providing assistance to federal agencies that collect electronic data or metadata without a specific warrant to do so. Namely, the delegates are thinking of the National Security Agency, which is headquartered just outside their state’s capital.

    [...]

    The campaign to shut off the NSA’s water and electricity actually stems from the Tenth Amendment Center, which drafted model legislation on which Maryland’s proposal is based. In particular, the Tenth Amendment Center is also hoping to see the NSA’s water supply turned off in Utah, where the agency operates another large data center. Though it’s a roundabout way of dealing with the NSA and unlikely to be a widely supported measure, Smigiel thinks it’s fitting: “I think it was Mark Twain who said, ‘Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.’”

  • Snowden and the War On Whistleblowers: An Interview With Annie Machon

    Machon talked about the Courage Foundation last December at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30C3) in Hamburg, Germany; it is one of the most important annual meetings for hackers around the globe. There, Machon won the audience’s admiration with her talk on what she calls, “the war on whistleblowers.” She believes that these wars are mainly used as a pretext to erode civil liberties worldwide and intervene in other countries’ affairs.

  • 11 Disturbing Facts About the NSA That Will Piss You Off

    International payments, banking and credit card transactions are flagged and monitored by the NSA. It has specifically targeted big credit card companies like VISA.

  • Uh Oh, NSA: People Are Protesting Online and IRL Today

    Two weeks ago, we called your attention to the forthcoming “Day We Fight Back,” an Internet movement designed to fight back against the NSA’s data collection program. Guess what? The day is finally here. Watch out, government.

    Today, as planned, dozens of participating websites like Upworthy and Piwik are posting banners on their home pages, encouraging viewers to call up and email their local legislators and complain about the NSA.

  • NSA link sparks UN to act on Hammarskjöld probe

    Hammarskjöld died during the night of September 17th, 1961 in a plane crash in what is now Zambia, where he was headed to mediate in the ongoing conflict in neighbouring The Congo in his role as then UN Secretary General.

    The diplomat’s death has been the subject of numerous rumours and conspiracy theories over the past five decades centred around whether the crash was an accident, or if Hammarskjöld was killed.

    Evidence available has left investigators puzzled, with pilot error deemed unlikely after witnesses claimed to have seen the plane going down on fire.

  • Dutch ministers in hot water over ‘NSA’ phone grabs

    Two Dutch ministers faced a grilling in Parliament Tuesday after revealing the country’s intelligence services grabbed metadata from some 1.8 million intercepted telephone calls.

    Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk and Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis are fending off calls for their resignations after revealing last week that the Dutch secret services intercepted the data — an act previously attributed to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

  • EU privacy head on EU data protection reform, its implications, and NSA/GCHQ-gate

    As the European Union and the Commission drive efforts to conclude the most ambitious overhaul of the continent’s data protection legislation since 1995 in advance of European Parliament elections this spring, Business Cloud News sat down with European Data Protection Supervisor Peter Hustinx to discuss the law’s development, its implications for cloud service providers once in place, and the revelations surrounding the NSA and GCHQ’s widespread digital surveillance activities.

  • NSA Whistleblower: USA Freedom Act Will Not Go Far Enough To Protect Civil Liberties
  • Utah senators wary of giving NSA millions in tax relief

    A bill that would exempt the National Security Agency’s data center in Bluffdale from paying taxes on its massive electric consumption met some resistance from legislators Tuesday, but remained on track.

    The bill would codify a commitment made by former Gov. Jon Huntsman not to tax the utilities for the data center in an attempt to lure the massive NSA operation to Utah.

  • Global Surveillance: The Day We Fight Back

    Last week I wrote about an inquiry being conducted by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament into the laws that govern the UK’s intelligence agencies (now closed, I’m afraid.) That’s just one sign of the tectonic shift that has taken place in this area in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about massive, global surveillance being carried out by the NSA and GCHQ.

  • Remembering Aaron Swartz: icon of the open web

    One year after the tragic death of the campaigning hacker, a global campaign against surveillance is building the Don’t Spy On Us campaign in his spirit

  • Edward Snowden revelations: GCHQ ‘using online viruses and honey traps to discredit targets’
  • Happiness Brussels Spies on the NSA

    Coming off the latest (not so surprising) revelations of the misuse of NSA data, Happiness Brussels has launched “Spy on the NSA,” a site which gives the the NSA a taste of its own medicine in support of www.thedaywefightback.org, “a massive digital protest against mass surveillance taking place across the internet today.” Among those participating today as well are Reddit, Amnesty International, Tumblr, Upworthy and Greenpeace.

  • A New iPhone App Catalogues and Maps U.S. Drone Killings

    On Monday, the new publication First Look reported that electronically obtained metadata controls who, how, and when U.S. drones kill abroad. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill write that that kind of information doesn’t only determine who is killed: Metadata on phone SIM cards determines how victims of the strikes are found.

  • Rubio: Obama Administration Leaked Drone Info to Appear ‘Deliberative’

    The administration of President Barack Obama leaked sensitive information about the possibility of using a drone to kill an American who joined al-Qaida in order to position themselves as politically “deliberative,” Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday.

  • Tweaking the Constitution to Make Extrajudicial Killing Easier

    A thought experiment to get assassination advocates back on the right side of the law

  • Anti-drone activist Kareem Khan seized by armed men in Pakistan

    For British MPs, the issue has taken on fresh significance after it emerged that intelligence operatives at GCHQ have been providing targeting information to their US counterparts.

  • Is A Policy A Law? Is Murder Murder?

    Notice those words: “legally” and “policy.” No longer does U.S. media make a distinction between the two.

  • No Left Left in the United States

    Human rights need to have a home. Presently in both the United States and much of the world it has taken a back seat to right and left. In a world that cares about people, human rights shouldn’t take a back seat to any political party. Universal human rights should drive.

  • Dick Cheney’s dark legacy: It’s his world, we’re just living in it

    Torture, secrecy, military adventurism. Dick Cheney, more than anyone else, set the course for America after 9/11

  • Criminal Investigation into CIA Prisons Drags on in Krakow

    Poland’s criminal investigation into secret CIA prisons located on its territory has been in progress since 2008. Now run from the Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow, the process has recently been extended, once again, to February 2014.

    [...]

    “It is significant that the ECHR was the first court to conduct a public hearing on al-Nashiri’s claims of torture and secret detention. The Polish authorities have failed to conduct an effective investigation, and US courts have also failed to deliver justice to date”, added Singh, who also represented al-Nashiri in Strasbourg.

  • What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis

    At a secret black site in the years after the end of WWII, CIA and US intelligence operatives tested LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies—all with the help of former Nazi doctors. An excerpt from Annie Jacobsen’s Operation Paperclip, published this week.

  • CIA’s Drones, Barely Secret, Receive Rare Public Nod

    The worst kept secret in Washington national security circles is no more. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper publicly acknowledged for the first time at a Senate hearing Tuesday that the Central Intelligence Agency has a drone program.

    The CIA’s drone program, which operates in Pakistan and Yemen, has been the subject of news reports for years. But U.S. officials have continued to steer clear of publicly acknowledging the program, glossing over CIA’s role, because it has remained officially covert. That covert status allows the CIA to operate in countries where local governments don’t support the strikes.

  • Ex-CIA Director Woolsey Makes Ass of Self

    That has got to be one of the silliest statements of the new year. If Woolsey honestly believes the U.S. government is anti-Semitic, that it is driven by anti-Jewish sentiments, he needs to explain why the U.S. has generously made Israel, the spiritual and geographical homeland of the Jewish people, a virtual client-state, having given/lent/made available billions upon billions of dollars over the years.

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DecorWhat Else is New


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