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09.06.14

Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source player-tracking project kicks off

    “Coming from a scientific background, where transparency is a key part of doing repeatable research, makes me very skeptical of anything proprietary,” he said. “How can you trust the analysis if you can’t see the raw data?”

  • Open Xchange Launches Simple Email Encryption

    German developer of open source productivity software, Open Xchange, has launched an email encryption product that can secure messages with a single click.

    Called OX Guard, the new tool is an integral part of the OX App Suite – a carrier-grade cloud platform that includes OX Text, OX Spreadsheet and OX Drive, as well as email server, calendar and social network feeds.

    Open Xchange CEO Rafael Laguna told TechWeek that one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of encryption is complexity, so OX Guard was designed to be as simple to use as possible – users just need to click the padlock icon, set the password and their messages will be protected by AES encryption.

  • Events

    • Call for organizers: 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference

      Each year, the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board seeks an organizing committee for the annual Linux Plumbers Conference. That process has now begun for the 2015 event, which will be held during the week of August 17-21 in Seattle, Washington, alongside the LinuxCon North America event. This is your chance to put your stamp on one of our community’s most important gatherings.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP offers OpenStack services offerings

      So, you think OpenStack is perfect for your company’s cloud-needs, but you just discovered that finding OpenStack-savvy architects, designers, or even just administrators is like looking for the perfect New York style pizza… in San Diego.

  • CMS

    • What’s New in September for Open Source CMS

      There are plenty of free and open source content management systems (CMS). But no platform is as big or as common as WordPress. WordPress powers more than 12.7 million websites — an astounding 47.38 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped

    Jeremy Leval, the Redditor who got this whole saga started after being sued and harrassed by Toeppen simply for sticking up for a foreign exchange student who a bus driver was mocking, is of course among those Toeppen is re-re-filing against. One begins to get the impression that Toeppen and Suburban Express are masochistic, getting some kind of perverse joy out of getting blasted in the media and online. I’m at a loss as to what other forces could be at work here. Though, judging by some of the other customers’ stories from those being attacked legally by Suburban Express, the simple answer may be that Toeppen is simply a jerk.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Three more to be charged for Victor Jara’s murder

      MARTYRED Chilean communist folk singer Victor Jara’s widow Joan Jara welcomed the announcement yesterday that three more people have been charged over his murder during the country’s 1973 CIA-backed military coup.

    • The Other 9/11

      Ten days after the Salvador Allende government was overthrown in a Sept. 11, 1973, coup in Chile, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jack Kubisch told the House Subcommittee on Inter-American Affairs: “Gentlemen, I wish to state as flatly and as categorically as I possibly can that we did not have advance knowledge of the coup.”

      [...]

      “Make the economy scream…”

      When the 1970 Chilean presidential election rolled around, Salvador Allende was still a major player and, despite another wave of U.S.-funded propaganda, he was elected president of South America’s longest functioning democracy on Sept. 4, 1970.

      However, he had a new and powerful enemy: Dr. Henry Kissinger.

      The 40 Committee was formed with Kissinger as chair. The goal was not only to save Chile from its irresponsible populace but to yet again stave off the Red Tide™.

      “Chile is a fairly big place, with a lot of natural resources,” explains Noam Chomsky, “but the United States wasn’t going to collapse if Chile became independent. Why were we so concerned about it? According to Kissinger, Chile was a ‘virus’ that would ‘infect’ the region.”

      At a Sept. 15, 1970, meeting called to halt the spread of infection, Kissinger and President Nixon told CIA Director Richard Helms it would be necessary to “make the [Chilean] economy scream.” While allocating at least $10 million to assist in sabotaging Allende’s presidency, outright assassination was also considered a serious and welcome option.

      The respect held by the Chilean military for the democratic process led Kissinger to pick as his first assassination target not Allende himself, but General Rene Schneider, head of the Chilean Armed Forces. Schneider, it seems, had long believed that politics and the military should remain discrete. Despite warnings from Helms that a coup might not be possible in such a stable democracy, Kissinger urged the plan to proceed.

      When the killing of Schneider only served to solidify Allende’s support, a CIA-sponsored media blitz similar to that of 1964 commenced. Citizens were faced with daily “reports” of Marxist atrocities and Soviet bases supposedly being built in Chile. U.S. threats to sever economic and military aid were also used to help cultivate a “coup climate” among those in the military. These two approaches represented the hard and soft lines outlined by Nixon and Kissinger.

    • Ethan Hawke’s ‘Good Kill’: A Searing Indictment of America’s Drone Warfare Obsession

      In Andrew Niccol’s devastating character study, Hawke plays a drone pilot who’s ordered by the CIA to off terrorists—as well as civilians—in a series of targeted strikes.

    • Irresponsibly Blaming Russia for US-Led Western Crimes

      Washington is public enemy No. 1. It’s the real evil empire. It’s a longstanding serial aggressor. Rogue Western partners share blame.

      On September 2, Wall Street Journal editors echoed the same narrative. They headlined “Deterring a European War.”

      They called this week’s NATO summit meeting “one of the most important in its 65-year

      Southeastern Ukraine’s conflict is Obama’s war. Behind the scenes US manipulation controls things. Kiev is infested with CIA and FBI operatives. Blackwater USA (now Academi) type mercenaries operate in Southeastern Ukraine. Perhaps alongside covert US special forces.

      Since conflict erupted in April, Russia went all-out for diplomatic resolution. It has no ongoing military campaign.

      It didn’t invade Ukraine. It’s not shelling cross-border. Or from inside Ukrainian territory.

      Its troops aren’t involved in fighting. It’s not out to seize Ukrainian territory. Western sources lie claiming otherwise.

    • CIA-linked Libyan General Haftar’s helicopters bomb Benghazi

      Several mysterious night bombings attacks were launched on Islamist positions in Libya while they were in the process of defeating Haftar allies there and driving them out of the city.

      Haftar claimed these attacks were joint operations with the international community.

    • Fox Changes Meaning Of “Stand Down” Order To Keep The Benghazi Hoax Alive

      After multiple investigations concluded that no “stand down” order was given to security personnel responding to the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Fox News alleged that the delay security personnel took to enlist support amounted to a “stand down” order.

      On the September 5 edition of Special Report, host Bret Baier once again hyped the asked-and-answered question from his Fox News special, “13 Hours at Benghazi,” based on the accounts of three CIA security personnel who alleged they were delayed in responding to the diplomatic facility under attack in Benghazi, Libya. Baier criticized the “semantics” used by deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, who during a press briefing explained that “there was no stand-down order” but there was a short delay “for very good security reasons to get additional backup and additional weapons” for the security personnel before responding to the attack.

    • Fox’s Latest Benghazi Hoax Used As Justification For Wasteful Select Committee
    • Selling Fear and Lies to Control the Public

      The media is selling fear of beheadings to the public.

    • The Imperial Rot of Armchair Warriors

      An occasional misconception of history is the contention that geo-political outcomes are the result of rational calculation. Or put differently, local rationalities don’t always, or even most of the time, aggregate to global rationalities. The Obama administration used the CIA to organize a neo-nazi putsch in Ukraine after NATO spent the last twenty years squeezing (heavily) nuclear-armed Russia and immediately involved the IMF and Western oil company executives in Ukrainian ‘government’ affairs? At about the same time part of the Syrian ‘opposition’ that the U.S. had armed and financed morphed into IS (Islamic State) and promptly marched into Iraq to confiscate and use the weapons the U.S. had supplied leading Mr. Obama to once again bomb the country while re-committing combat troops. Given that there is no conceivable ‘good’ outcome to any of this, just what local ‘rationalities’ could be driving the serial disasters of U.S. foreign policy?

    • ISIS Atrocities and US Imperialism

      The murder, following that of James Foley last month, is a further demonstration of both the reactionary character of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the terrible consequences of a half-century of intervention in the Middle East by US imperialism.

    • How to Decode the New York Times

      So what, then, is the “more nuanced picture”? Kershner writes that the legal documents “depict the plot as more of a family affair, a local initiative organized and carried out by members of a clan in Hebron.” That was what many analysts had been saying all along, offering a very different interpretation than the one being put forth by Israel–though it was the Israeli line, not the one offered by independent analysts, that made its way into US media (FAIR Blog, 7/2/14, 7/28/14). Kershner speaks to one Israeli source who, she reports, still thinks it “was fair to blame Hamas, as an organization, for the kidnappings.” The source added that “it is still possible that we will find evidence of a direct connection.”

    • When Fox News Didn’t Blame The (GOP) President For Beheadings

      After terrorists kidnapped and beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, while releasing gruesome videos of the act, Fox News focused much of its ire on President Obama, portraying him as a source of troubling weakness.

    • Have You Watched This Airstrike in Iraq?

      CENTCOM has been helpfully posting declassified footage to YouTube for the past three weeks.

    • NZ director’s attack of the drones at Venice

      Don’t be fooled. Unmanned aerial vehicles have changed the way wars are fought, turning some forms of combat into a computer game with flesh-and-blood victims.

    • Legal basis for Iraq troop deployment called into question as days wear on

      The legal basis for the recent introduction of more than 1,000 US ground troops in Iraq was called into question on Friday, after the White House confirmed that it does not consider itself bound by time limits that usually constrain such deployments.

    • First Controversial Drone Movie Strikes, Questions U.S. Policy

      The first movie examining the morality of drone warfare has arrived and it’s sure to add fuel to the debate over the growing use of the controversial technology by the Obama administration and the concern that too many innocent civilians are being killed.

      Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke as a troubled U.S. Air Force pilot grappling with the ethical consequences of attacking from afar, makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival Sept. 5 before playing at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 9.

    • Epiphanies From Teju Cole

      The Nigerian-American novelist discusses the pitfalls of hashtag activism, the destructiveness of U.S. foreign policy, and that time he dreamed about meeting Obama at a Brooklyn house party.

    • The warrior and moral injury

      -One effect of the rise of remote-controlled warfare will be that moral injury will assume an increased share of war’s psychological injuries. Remote-control warriors do not suffer life-threatening duress in combat, and they don’t vicariously experience extreme stress via the experiences of individuals they know and love (such as their witnessing a fellow platoon member being shot and killed). This means they’re immune from most forms of PTSD, as this condition is currently defined. They’re also immune from Traumatic Brain Injury (unless they spill their coffee and slip on it). They’re not immune, however, from moral injury. The potential for moral injury in combat veterans will only grow as sensors on “drones” and other remote-controlled machines improve. Soon, there will be little subjective difference between a WWI infantryman bayoneting an enemy soldier and what a drone pilot/sensor operator experiences when they kill someone.

    • The Fatal Flaw in American Foreign Policy

      The American definition of “murder” in the midst of war now seems to depend upon the technical methodology for the homicide, not the deliberate intentions of the killers. Beheading is barbaric. High-tech bombing picking off individual “bad guys” is okay. In fact, US leaders claim to be conscientiously selective, though the innocent bystanders killed by drones are dismissed as “collateral damage.”

    • All God’s Children Got Drones

      The Convention’s other goal is nonproliferation. The danger here is that a “Geneva Convention” for drones may turn drone proliferation into a distraction. Yes, drone proliferation is real. We’ve already remarked that some 80 countries now have drones. And according to Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK, 10 to 15 countries are working to produce drones that can kill. Naturally, we should be concerned about this. But shouldn’t our first concern be states which already possess killer drones? Medea Benjamin writes that there have been 350 lethal drone strikes on Pakistan since 2004 which have killed from 2,500 to 3,500 people. Those strikes weren’t launched by Burundi.

    • ‘Good Kill’ meant to start debate, director says

      Ethan Hawke stars as a drone pilot near Las Vegas who has a mental breakdown while killing targets 7,000 miles away (11,000 km) in “Good Kill,” a Venice Film Festival entry shown yesterday and meant to spark debate.

    • Open thread for night owls: Los Angeles Times reporter cleared stories about CIA with the CIA
    • Emails: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories with CIA, Promised Positive Coverage
    • CIA Emails Expose Access Journalist at Work
    • LA Times reporter Ken Dilanian worked with CIA to cover up drone program casualties

      A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

      The reporter, Ken Dilanian, appears to compromise any honest representation in the stories, even submitting revised drafts to appease the CIA.

    • Ken Dilanian sent CIA drafts of stories
    • National security reporter shared drafts with CIA press office, emails reveal
    • LA Times Says It’s ‘Disappointed’ In Former Reporter Who Shared Stories With CIA
    • L.A. Times Disowns Reporter Outed as a CIA Collaborator

      Recently released emails indicate that prominent national security reporter Ken Dilanian — formerly with the Los Angeles Times, currently with the Associated Press (and from 1997-2007 the Philadelphia Inquirer) — shared stories prior to publication with CIA press office seeking their approval, according to a story up on The Intercept. Now, it is not uncommon for national security reporters to vet facts with government functionaries, but the emails indicate Dilanian went much further than that, not only sharing stories prior to publication (a big no-no in almost every newsroom) but he also entered into discussions about how the CIA could bend public opinion of drone strikes their way.

    • Ex-Tribune reporter said to have ‘collaborative’ relationship with CIA

      A website cofounded by journalist Glenn Greenwald has published emails suggesting that a former Tribune Washington bureau national security reporter submitted some of his work to CIA officials prior to publication, a practice banned by many media outlets, including Tribune.

    • Former LA Times Reporter Submitted Drafts For Approval By CIA
    • NatSec Reporter Allegedly Had ‘Closely Collaborative Relationship’ with CIA
    • The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication

      Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.

    • Roboski Villagers Condemn US Hand, but Still Hold Turkey Responsible

      For the people of Roboski it does not matter that the deadly 2011 Turkish air attack may have been due to bad US intelligence. It still does not absolve the Turkish government, whose planes killed the 34 Kurdish villagers, they said.

      “The United States shares responsibility in the massacre, but we also hold Turkey responsible because in the end it was they who bombed us,” said Ferhat Encu, who lost his 15-year-old brother in the attack.

    • Rand Paul’s Strategic Slipperiness on Foreign Policy

      As Senior Editor Jacob Sullum notes below, there has been a lot of chatter this week about the apparent flip-floppery, or at least slipperiness, of Sen. Rand Paul’s ideas about what the United States should do to the Islamic State. (In addition to Sullum’s strong critique, see Leon H. Wolf, Steve Benen, and the indefatigable Jennifer Rubin, as well as the senator himself.)

    • Anti-Interventionism and Its Discontents

      Polls showing Rand Paul as the frontrunner in the GOP presidential sweepstakes have the neocons in a lather, with their online media phalanx frantically attacking him at every opportunity. It’s kind of funny to watch: the first fusillades were aimed at labeling him an “isolationist,” while more recently they’ve pointed out how he deviates from his father’s more angular policy positions. If you can’t smear and marginalize, then there’s always the strategy of cutting him off from his base.

    • Hamas Emerges Buoyant Despite Bloodshed and Devastation in Gaza

      Ismail Haniya, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, worked the crowd in what used to be the Boura neighborhood of this battered northern border town, kissing the cheeks of elders and the foreheads of masked fighters. He waved at the women standing in front of makeshift huts next to the homes flattened in Israeli attacks, as children watched from atop concrete piles where green Hamas flags were planted as though on conquered lands.

    • Ukraine Retracts Ceasefire Claim; U.N. Says Displaced Top 1 Million

      Ukraine has retracted an earlier claim to have reached a ceasefire with Russia. The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko initially said he agreed with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on steps toward a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. But the Kremlin then denied a ceasefire agreement, saying it is not in a position to make a deal because it’s not a party to the fighting. Ukraine has accused Russia of direct involvement in the violence amidst a recent escalation. The confusion comes as President Obama visits the former Soviet Republic of Estonia ahead of a major NATO summit in Wales. More than 2,600 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since April, the majority by Ukrainian forces. The United Nations says more than one million people have been displaced, over a quarter of them internally.

    • Inside Jobs and Israeli Stooges: Why Is the Muslim World in Thrall to Conspiracy Theories?

      Did you know that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis, was trained by Mossad and the CIA? Were you aware that his real name isn’t Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai but Simon Elliot? Or that he’s a Jewish actor who was recruited by the Israelis to play the part of the world’s most wanted terrorist?

      If the messages in my email in-box and my Twitter timeline and on my Facebook page are anything to go by, plenty of Muslims are not only willing to believe this nonsensical drivel but are super-keen to share it with their friends. The bizarre claim that NSA documents released by Edward Snowden “prove” the US and Israel are behind al-Baghdadi’s actions has gone viral.

      There’s only one problem. “It’s utter BS,” Glenn Greenwald, the investigative journalist who helped break the NSA story, told me. “Snowden never said anything like that and no [NSA] documents suggest it.” Snowden’s lawyer, Ben Wizner, has called the story a hoax.

    • US Boots in Iraq and Baltics, Authorization to Attack Syria…and US Troops in Ukraine!

      The peace president is clearly on war footing. US bombs are also going off in Africa and Pakistan. No one at home is talking about NSA spying anymore. NATO has a new mission.

  • Finance

    • How to screw tech workers and get away with it

      It wasn’t only eBay that got off scandalously light for such anticompetitive collusion. In a separate class-action suit against Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel, the four companies agreed to a collective settlement of $324 million.

      That might sound like a reasonable numbers until you do a little math. The class-action suit represented 64,000 workers, which means each would receive the munificent sum of $5,062; subtracting lawyers’ fees shrinks that amount further. Plaintiffs had sought $3 billion in damages in lost wages, which under antitrust laws could have tripled to a $9 billion reward had they won in court — $140,625 each, or about $102,780 after the lawyers’ cut.

    • Koch Operative: Raise the Wage, Totalitarianism and Terrorism Follow?

      Leaked audio from the latest Koch summit shows Charles Koch’s “intellectual sounding board,” Richard Fink, drawing a direct line between increasing the minimum wage and the rise of fascism, totalitarianism, and terrorist suicide bombers.

    • One in Four Americans With College Degrees Shouldn’t Have Bothered

      Roughly 25% of those with bachelor’s degrees in the US derive no economic benefit from their diplomas.

    • Fast food workers stage national sit-ins and walk-outs

      Fast food workers across the U.S. went on strike Thursday, staging sit-ins and walk-outs to bring attention to a years-long campaign to raise industry wages to $15 an hour and allow workers to join unions. The demonstrations spurred several arrests and the disruption of business at fast food restaurants in many major cities. Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, D.C.

    • Over 400 Arrested in National Fast-Food Workers’ Strike for Living Wage, Unionization

      More than 400 fast-food workers and their supporters have been arrested in a national day of action for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Workers staged a one-day strike in 150 cities across the country Thursday, from Las Vegas to Chicago and Detroit, to Little Rock, Arkansas, and here in New York City.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Huffington Post And The View From Bogustan: Standing Behind Blatantly False Claims Isn’t Journalism

      Ayyadurai has waged an incredibly bizarre public relations campaign, and the more you look at it, the more bizarre it becomes. However, anyone who looks over any of the primary documentation (much of which we’ve linked to in our previous posts) can only conclude that while Ayyadurai may have independently come up with some ideas, he most certainly did not invent email. It was widely in use. The key arguments in his claim are obviously false, and prey on (1) a misunderstanding or misrepresetation of copyright law and (2) an almost fraudulent misquoting of Dave Crocker, a guy who really was heavily involved in early email efforts. Again, all of that is discussed in the earlier posts.

      What I still cannot fathom is how the Huffington Post can stand behind this “reporting.” I’ve now heard from three different HuffPost reporters on the news side who all say that they’re horrified that no one at the company has done anything about this. The only official response I got stood by the stories, but actual reporters at the company recognize that their own credibility has been absolutely destroyed by this. It’s been pointed out that the five part series is on HuffPo’s “blogging” side — which gives a platform to PR folks with no editorial oversight.

    • Huffington Post Finally Responds, Stands By Its Completely Bogus, Totally Debunked ‘History Of Email’ Series
  • Censorship

    • Harrop: Stopping the ‘spiral of silence’

      The “spiral of silence” is a theory that people hesitate to say things they believe others in their group won’t agree with. It predates the Internet age.

      Let me add that the “spiral of silence” disproportionately affects the shy, the thoughtful and the female.

      Social media were supposed to free these cooped-up opinions by offering new venues for speaking one’s piece. But this high-minded promise of a vast online town hall for pensive argument has fallen flat, according to a new report by Pew Research Center and Rutgers University.

    • Automattic Rejects Series Of Bogus Janet Jackson Takedown Attempts By Using Janet Jackson Song Titles

      As you can clearly see that’s using a photo of Jackson’s famous “wardrobe malfunction” from the Superbowl many years ago, and applying the Things Tim Howard Could Save meme to it. Marginally funny. But not copyright infringement. Not only does Jackson not hold the copyright on that image, it’s obvious fair use for whoever does hold the copyright.

    • UN holds Internet Governance Forum in a country known for digital censorship
    • ‘Hypocrite’ Turkey Holds Internet Governance Forum While Twitter Users Face Trial
    • Internet Governance Forum: A missed opportunity for human rights
    • Protecting the open internet: the Internet Governance Forum in Turkey

      Let me be clear, while Turkey has made good progress in some areas of digital development and education, and done more in recent years to integrate the Kurdish community and language into the Turkish nation, there are still too many worrying steps with regard to freedom of speech. That freedom must exist equally online and offline. Not only are around 51,000 websites blocked at the moment, but dozens of journalists are in jail or on trial: one female journalist I met, Fusun Erdogan, was sentenced to 789 years in jail!

    • Forbes Praises YouTube Censoring Steven Sotloff Beheading Video

      Following the horrific actions of ISIS/ISIL, in which the group beheaded American journalist James Foley and plastered the video in online forums like Twitter and YouTube, I argued that it is important that the American Public be given the chance to repudiate the aim of the video: paralyzing us with fear. Adding to that thought, Glenn Greenwald argued that the reason one must fight against censorship in the most egregious of speech cases is that such cases are often where the limitation of speech is legitimized. While this may not be a First Amendment consideration, since those sites are not affiliated with the government, it would be a mistake to suggest that free speech is limited as a concept to that narrow legal definition. Free and open speech is an ideal, one that is codified into law in some places, and one which enjoys a more relaxed but important status within societal norms.

    • Austrian ISPs Sued For Actually Wanting A Court Order Rather Than Just Blocking Websites Based On Entertainment Industry’s Requests

      Furthermore, the industry seems to believe that everyone else has a legal responsibility to carry out its wishes once it declares a site as bad. It thinks hosts should take down sites, search engines should stop linking to them, advertisers should block ads, registrars should pull domain names and ISPs should block access. You’d think that maybe actually adapting to new technologies and giving people more of what they want might be a more compelling strategy, but the legacy entertainment industry prefers demanding that everyone else go out of their way to protect the legacy industry’s obsolete business model, without the industry itself doing anything more than pointing at sites (often incorrectly).

    • Record Labels Issue Takedown To Take Kim Dotcom’s Album Down From His Own Site

      We’ve heard some folks claim that all these bogus takedown notices we write about are just “anomalies” rather than a pattern of abuse of the law for the purpose of censorship. And yet, there are more and more examples every day. The latest one is particularly bizarre. IFPI (the international version of the RIAA) has apparently been issuing a series of bogus takedown notices to get Kim Dotcom’s album “Good Times” taken down off of his own site, Mega. That’s… quite incredible. This does not appear to be a strange attempt to hide Dotcom’s music, but it looks to just be pure sloppiness on the part of the IFPI issuing misguided takedowns. That is, the IFPI takedown notice lists a totally different song (and it turns out this is the second time this has happened to Dotcom’s album in the past month). As short-sighted as the IFPI is, it would take an other wordly level of stupidity to directly target Dotcom’s music with a bogus takedown. Even the IFPI must know that that would backfire badly. The story that it’s an “accident” makes much more sense.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Ferguson Police Department tactics will be focus of federal investigation

      The U.S. Justice Department is getting ready to launch an investigation into the practices and training of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, a Missouri official and a federal official told CNN.

    • Meeting at University of Michigan connects police violence to imperialist war

      Dozens of students, workers, and youth attended a meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor Thursday night to discuss the significance of the August 9 police killing and subsequent repression of protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

      Titled “Military-police violence in Ferguson, Missouri: The war comes home” and hosted by the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the meeting took up the interconnections between increasing police brutality and attacks on living conditions and democratic rights in the US and the escalating geopolitical tensions and military predations of American imperialism internationally.

    • The Miraculous Works Of The Criminal Justice System

      So, apparently White, with his hands cuffed behind him, shot himself in the chest.

    • Authorities claim handcuffed man shot himself in the chest, ruled ‘suicide’

      Authorities claim that a man committed suicide via gunshot while handcuffed and unattended in the back of a police cruiser. However, an autopsy report states that the man — who had his handcuffed behind his back, and was already searched for weapons — was shot in the chest.

    • Ferguson Police Chief Lied About Why He Released Alleged Michael Brown Robbery Tape: Report

      Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson lied when he said he had received “many” specific requests for the videotape that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store, according to a new report.

      “All I did — what I did was — was release the videotape to you, because I had to,” Jackson told reporters on Aug. 15 when asked why he released the robbery footage. “I’d been sitting on it, but I — too many people put in a [Freedom of Information Act] request for that thing, and I had to release that tape to you.”

      Writing for The Blot, Matthew Keys reports that the police department did not receive any specific requests for the videotape.

      “A review of open records requests sent to the Ferguson Police Department found that no news organization, reporter or individual specifically sought the release of the surveillance tape before police distributed it on Aug. 15,” Keys writes.

    • Guy Blouin ID’d as cyclist run over by Quebec City police car

      Witness says he saw cruiser run over man twice; bicycle and police car moved from scene by officers

    • This Week in Transparency: Shenanigans at the CIA, open-source FOIA reform, and more
    • CIA Redacted ‘Off The Record, No Comment’ From Released Documents

      Over at The Intercept, there’s an article claiming that the AP’s national security reporter Ken Dilanian had a too cozy relationship with the CIA while he was at the Tribune Company. It’s an interesting read, based on pages upon pages of emails between reporters and the CIA that were released under a FOIA request. However, what caught my attention, more than the full story, was something in all of those emails, spotted by Katherine Hawkins. And it’s that, on page 363, it seems clear that the CIA, when releasing these emails, redacted the line “Off the record, no comment.” It’s rather obvious, because Dilanian immediately repeats that line right back, somewhat angrily at the ridiculousness of it.

    • Militarization, Surveillance, and Profit: How Grassroots Groups are Fighting Urban Shield

      In the San Francisco Bay Area, the answer is yes. A coalition of community groups has come together to call attention to Urban Shield, a four-day long “preparedness” exercise for law enforcement and other agencies that will take place from September 4-8. They’ve organized a week of education, including a march and demonstration outside of the event on Friday, September 5. To these community groups, Urban Shield represents state violence and political repression, not public safety.

    • You Can’t Say Something Like That And Not Do Something About It

      Amnesty International also calls attention to how wrong Obama was to characterize torture as an understandable error of judgment in the immediate wake of 9/11, by people who meant well. (“He even called us patriots!” John Rizzo, former CIA acting general counsel, kvelled afterwards.)

      By contrast, the extensive paper trail that has emerged over the years is clear: The Bush/Cheney torture regime was “a chillingly detailed, planned and resourced operation incorporating systematic unlawful and criminal conduct stretching over years.”

      If Obama really wants to prevent this from happening again some other time, Amnesty says, he needs to start by releasing the full Senate intelligence committee report on torture — not just the executive summary, but the whole thing, and without the redactions the White House proposed in early August.

      As I wrote on Wednesday, Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein expects that she will be able to release the approximately 500-page executive summary of the 6,000-plus page report within two to four weeks — redacted, but not so redacted it isn’t “readable and understandable.”

    • New York’s Shield Law Protects Reporter From Subpoena

      Risen fought the subpoena all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justices declined to review a lower court’s ruling affirming the subpoena’s legality. Having exhausted his options, Risen’s day of judgment may be coming soon, forcing him either to be jailed for his convictions or to tell the government what it wants to hear.

    • Holder: No Jail for NYT Reporter

      During a press conference to announce a broadened probe of the Ferguson, Mo. police department, Holder was asked whether he stood by statements he has reportedly made in private meetings insisting that Risen is not at risk of being jailed for contempt despite prosecutors’ success in defeating his legal effort to avoid testifying against his alleged source, Jeffrey Sterling.

    • Up to 2,100 Photos of US Soldiers Abusing Prisoners May Soon Be Released

      Would the release of 10-year-old detainee abuse photographs, such as one depicting US soldiers pointing a broom handle at a hooded detainee’s rectum, incite terrorist organizations and threaten national security?

      That’s a question government attorneys will have to answer next week when they explain to a federal court judge why as many as 2,100 unclassified photos of US soldiers abusing Iraqi and Afghan captives should continue to be concealed from the public.

    • UK records undermine Government’s claims over damaged CIA rendition documents

      Last month, FCO Minister Mark Simmonds told MPs that records of flights passing through Diego Garcia had suffered “water damage” as a result of “extremely heavy weather in June 2014.”

      However, weather records for Diego Garcia obtained from the FCO under Freedom of Information have cast doubt on this explanation: official logs for the island show that the total rainfall for June 2014 was just 3.25 inches (83mm). This is a low figure, considering the average annual rainfall is 102 inches (2591mm) – or 8.5 inches (216mm) per month.

      Ministers have previously admitted that Diego Garcia, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), was used by CIA planes carrying detainees as part of the ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme, which saw prisoners flown to countries where they could be subjected to torture. However, the UK Government has so far refused to make documents relating to such flights public.

    • Diego Garcia: Heavy Rain That ‘Destroyed’ Flight Logs in CIA Rendition Row Wasn’t So Heavy
    • Compare North Korea’s Judicial System to Gitmo

      The inmates at Guantanamo are treated no differently from the way suspects are treated in North Korea. As most everyone knows, some of the prisoners at Gitmo have been there for 12 years, without charges, trials, or even the semblance of due process of law. If they were ever to be given trials, the proceedings would be kangaroo in nature, in that the outcomes of the trials would be preordained by the president and Pentagon officials. Much of the trials would be in secret and evidence acquired by torture and hearsay evidence could be used to buttress the preordained verdict, just like in North Korea. Meanwhile, prisoners at Gitmo have been brutally tortured and have no hope of ever securing justice. It’s not surprising that many of them have gone on hunger strikes in the hopes of killing themselves.

    • What the CIA is attempting to keep under wraps
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC’s Tom Wheeler Admits There Isn’t Really Broadband Competition

      The big broadband providers have all been spinning a yarn for a while now pretending that there’s widespread competition. A key partner in this has been the FCC, which for years has helped spread this myth by pushing out totally bogus broadband data. If you want a good laugh, go over to BroadbandMap.gov and type in your address — and discover a bunch of bogus claims about broadband which you really don’t have. The speeds are inflated. The services are inflated. It includes mobile data broadband, despite it being priced much, much higher and with very low caps and limits — and speeds that no one truly considers to be broadband but, that doesn’t stop the big broadband players from using that bogus data to claim there’s tons of competition.

    • The Neutered Net: Why the FCC Can’t Save the Internet

      There’s no question that Net Neutrality has been this year’s most hotly debated and passionately defended political issue regarding the internet. It has often been painted as the next no-brainer that every internet user should hop on the bandwagon in support of—the next SOPA, PIPA, or NSA scandal. Opposition to shocking revelations such to these controversies sent a shockwave through the status quo of corporate government power. It was a signpost that the millennial generation can and will rise up to resist the oppression of personal liberties—at least when the fabric of their daily lives are at risk.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Corporate Sovereignty Debate Heats Up In Australia

      As Techdirt has reported, so far corporate sovereignty has emerged as the most contentious issue in the TTIP/TAFTA negotiations. In response to the growing public concern in Europe, the European Commission held a consultation on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), although that proved largely a sham, with the desired outcome clearly signalled by the choice of questions and how they were framed. Indeed, Karel De Gucht, the EU Commissioner with overall responsibility for TTIP, even went so far as to call the unprecedented 150,000 public responses an “outright attack” — which is an interesting way to characterize democracy in action.

    • Copyrights

      • How Canada Shaped the Copyright Rules in the EU Trade Deal

        In late December 2009, Wikileaks, the website that publishes secret government information, posted a copy of the draft intellectual property chapter of the Canada – European Trade Agreement (CETA). The CETA deal was still years from completion, but the leaked document revealed that the European Union envisioned using the agreement to mandate a massive overhaul of Canadian law.

      • Leak Of Complete CETA Text Shows Canada Fought Off EU Demands For More Extreme Copyright Rules

        As we wrote back in July, it seems that the trade agreement between Canada and the EU, generally known as CETA, is finally nearing completion, after premature claims to that effect. One reason why we might believe so is that thanks to some public-spirited whistleblower(s), we now have both CETA’s main text (pdf) and the annexes (zip). This has permitted Michael Geist to perform an analysis of how the copyright provisions in CETA have evolved since the first leak of the chapter covering intellectual monopolies, posted by Wikileaks back in 2009.

      • U.S. Government Wants Kim Dotcom’s Cash and Cars

        The U.S. Government is going after Kim Dotcom’s bank accounts, cars, art and other property. In a complaint filed at a Virginia federal court the Department of Justice argues that the property of the Megaupload and its founder should be forfeited as it was obtained through criminal means.

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