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Privacy, Spying on Congress, Drones, Ukraine Intervention, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Careless.data

    The authorities must take the necessary time to remedy the slapdash introduction of a database containing the medical records of the entire population of England.

  • Care.data is in chaos. It breaks my heart

    Medical data has huge power to do good, but it presents risks too. When leaked, it cannot be unleaked. When lost, public trust cannot be easily regained

  • Why you should delete your Facebook account

    Facebook still gets a lot of press these days, and it supposedly has more than a billion users. But I’ve pretty much given up on it for business and personal use. Over the last couple of years I’ve found that Facebook just wasn’t worth the effort and time that I was putting into it.

    First I deleted the Facebook pages for my blogs, and then I eventually deleted my Facebook account altogether.

Illegal Surveillance on Surveillance Oversight


  • Karzai, Corruption, and CIA Bags of Cash

    You’ve got to hand it to Hamid Karzai. He is nothing if not brazen. Other world leaders might be embarrassed if caught accepting bags of cash from the CIA. Not Karzai. Instead, he is bragging to reporters that the CIA money was “an easy source of petty cash” and reassuring anyone who will listen that he will continue on the CIA payroll.

    The question is: What is the CIA getting for its (read: our) money? I am not opposed in principle to the CIA paying off the leaders of other countries; it has certainly done so before. If intelligently used, cash can be a valuable part of an influence operation; it can be a vital source of support for strong pro-American leaders such as Ramon Magsaysay, the president of the Philippines from 1953 to 1957.

  • Karan Casey Concert to Support Anti-Drone Protests

    Have you heard about the Ithacans in Dewitt court battles, sentenced to jail for peaceful demonstrations against drone warfare at Hancock Field? And wondered if there was any way you could help?

  • Civilian fatalities caused by US-drone attacks significantly higher than estimated

    Concretely, the figures did not include injured individuals that died after been transported as wounded to other localities, such as hospitals or camps. The demise occurring after, even long afterwards, and as consequence of injures received in the combats or air strikes. In other words, media reports on “war casualties”– in the context of the given combat or air-strike event which is the subject in the report – invariably refer as fatalities only to those who perished in situ and at that very occasion.

Civil Rights

  • Attorneys for Barrett Brown want case on linking to hacked material dismissed
  • Journalist Barrett Brown Wins a Victory in His Case as Government Dismisses Charges Related to Link-Sharing
  • Ed: iophk commented on this saying that “The rationale for the arrest, the hyperlink, is interesting in the context of the EU consultation which ended today. Some of the questions pertained to possible changes to copyright law disallowing hyperlinking to external objects.”
  • Feds Dismiss Charges Against Barrett Brown For Linking After Realizing They Had No Case

    Well, well, well. We were about to put up the post below, describing the arguments that Barrett Brown’s lawyers filed about why the criminal charges against him for sharing a link (which they claimed was trafficking in stolen credit card details) were completely bogus… and it appears that the DOJ itself was convinced. Just hours after Brown’s lawyers filed their comprehensive argument, the DOJ has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charges that stem from the cutting and pasting of the link. The other charges, concerning threatening acts (described below) and “obstruction of justice” (for hiding his laptop in a cabinet) remain, meaning that he is still facing significant jail time. But the core charge, concerning cutting and pasting a link, is now being dismissed. Of course, it’s still a travesty that the DOJ ever included that in the indictment in the first place.

  • A Few Surprises in the New Guantánamo Prisoner List

    This latter category, comprising 48 of the prisoners, was profoundly troubling to those of us who had looked closely at what purported to be the evidence against the prisoners, and had concluded, with good reason, that it was profoundly unreliable. This is because it consisted, to an alarming degree, of self-incriminating statements made by the prisoners themselves, often in circumstances in which coercion, or other forms of pressure were used, or of statements made by other prisoners, even though many of these prisoners had been identified as unreliable by personnel at Guantánamo, and also, in some cases, by judges reviewing the supposed evidence in the prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions.

NSA vs. Privacy

Nobel Peace Prize is a Joke



  • Nick Mutch talks journalism and Julian Assange with Chris Hedges

    Chris Hedges is among the last of a dying breed: the war correspondent that has spent his life with society’s outcasts and the faceless victims of conflcit. I ask how he came into journalism and what he thinks are the crucial attributes for a journalist. “I originally came to journalism through the priesthood actually. I was studying at Harvard Divinity school, originally intending to become a minister when I met a fantastic guy named Robert Cox. Robert had been editor of the Buenos Aires Herald during the dirty war in the late 70’s. He was a very brave man. The government at the time’s way of disposing of its enemies was ‘disappearing them’; they’d simply vanish into the night, usually never to be seen again. Bob used to print the names of those who had been disappeared the previous day above the fold in his newspaper.

    “Eventually, he himself was disappeared, although his life was saved by the intervention of the British and American governments. He really opened my eyes to the possibility of journalism, and what journalism can do.”

    He emphasises a balanced approach. “One of the most important things you can do as a journalist is have a strict sense of objectivity and wish to stick to the truth. Orwell is the absolute epitome of this aspect of our profession, particularly in books such as Homage to Catalonia. I’ll illustrate with an example from my own career. When I covered the war in Kosovo, I spent the vast majority of my time covering the atrocities of the Serbian security forces, who, if they hadn’t been stopped by a NATO intervention, would have committed murder, massacre and rape on a huge scale. But when they withdrew, their role was replaced by that of Albanian thugs who instead starting beating and murdering elderly Serb couples who had nothing whatsoever to do with Milosevic and his crimes


  • Senate rejects Obama nominee who defended cop killer

    Seven Democrats voted against moving forward with President Obama’s nomination of Adegbile, which the Fraternal Order of Police and other groups opposed because of his involvement in the defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981.

  • Video Shows Man Suffering Deliverance-Style Treatment by Small-town Texas Cops (Video)

    That’s when Electra police officers Matt Wood and Gary Ellis approached Nesin, setting off a series of actions that will leave your blood boiling. The pair engaged in unethical police behavior starting off with asking Nesin for his identification even though he had broken no laws, all the way to Electra city attorney Todd Greenwood admitting that they do not follow the Constitution in their town, with a lot of strong-armed bullying taking place in between.

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