03.03.14

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News Roundup: Rights and Politics

Posted in News Roundup at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s headlines, including Ukraine analysis, the return of drone strikes, and views from Venezuela

Assassination

Ukraine

Intervention

  • Tom Hayden on the crisis in Venezuela

    The American Congress and public are becoming used to street protests overthrowing elected governments regardless of the issue of national sovereignty. “Humanitarian intervention” in the affairs of other nations means willfully ignoring sovereignty where egregious human rights abuses are at stake and no negotiations are possible. The argument is somewhat attractive up to the point where it revives the Law of the Jungle. In the case of Venezuela, not only sovereignty but representative democracy are at stake, in a region which only recently began to shed the US-supported rule of oligarchs and generals.

  • Venezuelan Open Source Software Communities Condemn Media Manipulation

    In any case, we want to remind the owners of the business known as Zello.com that Venezuela is a sovereign and independent nation, and just as they are obliged to work with law enforcement agencies in the US when their network is used by someone to commit crimes, they should work together with the Venezuelan government to block the network of terrorists issuing messages that encourage violence and endanger the lives of Venezuelan citizens.

    Why should Venezuela allow any foreign company to break our laws and promote terrorism with impunity, especially at a time that are actively destabilizing our political and economic system? What would you do if a known terrorist who lives outside the United States used the network to promote aggression against the lives of public officials and promote terrorist attacks in your country? What would the US government do, or any other country do, if a group of people used a Venezuelan company to encourage US citizens to make weapons to attack and kill others, and try to destabilize and overthrow their government?

    [...]

    We repudiate the negative mainstreaming efforts underway by international media against Venezuela, and we exhort them to better inform themselves about the facts. We exhort the free software, hardware, knowledge and culture community around the world to research what’s really happening in our country and urgently ask the end of violent attacks by Venezuelan right wing factions, pushed and promoted by the US government.

  • In the TV spy show ‘The Americans,’ the CIA has to approve the scripts

    On the FX show The Americans, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, a typical suburban couple in the 1980s. Two kids, nice house, they run a travel agency together. They’re also spies for the Soviet Union, moles sent to live among us. And their kids have no idea.

Surveillance

  • VIDEO: Bruce Schneier on the NSA

    When it comes to domestic surveillance and metadata collection, Schneier firmly believes that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is the right agency to handle that data. He noted that the FBI already has domestic security capabilities and is responsible for the national fingerprint database. “The FBI is where we have laws and we have transparency,” Schenier said.

  • Brazil, EU Take Pride In Temporarily Avoiding The NSA With New Joint Undersea Cable Run

    To pretend the NSA lacks the ability to simply tap this new cable run, nab that same data at any of a million interconnection points, or just get it handed to them by other intelligence agencies is perhaps either naive, a bit of political salesmanship for the project, or both. Still, it’s another instance of how the NSA revelations have significantly tarnished international/U.S. relations, resulting in a large number of countries making it a point of pride to avoid using U.S. technology. That’s not going to be particularly great for U.S. industry, and we’re likely only just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

  • NSA revelations may let jailed terrorists challenge their convictions
  • DOJ Still Ducking Scrutiny After Misleading Supreme Court on Surveillance

    Our recent history shows that we cannot rely solely on the government’s word, even if it is operating in good faith. The lack of transparency about this obvious misrepresentation is cause for concern. Was this alleged oversight confined to Section 702, one of many controversial surveillance authorities? Or is that merely the tip of the iceberg? Lawyers have an ethical obligation to speak with candor to tribunals, especially when representing the government. Amazingly, Verrilli has managed to remain silent throughout this controversy. It’s past time we heard from him directly.

  • Anti-NSA services on the rise: Encryption technology to leave no data trail for spying

    The National Security Agency’s snooping on email traffic and phone records has prompted a cottage industry in products meant to keep spies out of their customers’ business.

    Among the companies promoting devices at this year’s RSA technology-security conference in San Francisco, which attracts thousands of corporate executives, is Silent Circle. The company said its Blackphone, which is based on the Android operating system, will leave no unshielded records of calls, text messages or data storage for spies to obtain and mine.

  • NSA in the bluff as it tries to cover data truth

    The American security agency has claimed it’s not been collecting personal information of phone and internet users, but the Yahoo revelations have exposed the violation of individual privacy

  • Even Trade Talks Are Not Safe From Spying – OpEd

    A couple of weeks ago, it was revealed that American and Australian spy agencies had been monitoring the law firm Mayer Brown while it was representing the Indonesian government in trade talks with the United States. The revelation made it clear that those two governments, and probably many others, have not limited themselves to spying on terrorist groups and other criminal enterprises, but have extended their activities to include trade discussions.

  • An end to warrantless email searches?

    Legislation in the House that would end the warrantless searches of email records is gaining steam.

    Privacy advocates had grown frustrated in recent months as Senate legislation that would curtail the email powers of law enforcement was thrown off track amid revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.

Privacy

Civil Rights

  • ‘Trigger-happy’ Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank
  • The Challenges of a Digital World to our Security & Liberty, Yvette Cooper MP

    British Labour Party remains the party of Internet spying and censorship. They gave us RIPA, they gave us DEA, and they want to do it again.

    My Labour MP, Meg Hillier, is the architect of the plan to issue national ID cards and voted for the Digital Economy Act. She’s in a safe seat, so voting against her is a fairly meaningless act, but I plan on doing so.

    With Tories and Labour both committed to a digital agenda built on ubiquitous surveillance and unaccountable censorship, we could really do with a decent alternative.

    Once, I believed that might be the Libdems, but their party leadership whipped them to vote for (seriously) a system of secret courts.

Animal Rights

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