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10.13.14

Microsoft’s Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women’s Event

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 2:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satya Ballmer
Satya Ballmer

Summary: Steve Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given –through subversive means — a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company

Several days ago we warned that Microsoft was hijacking the Grace Hopper conference and thankfully enough Microsoft just continues to show its hatred towards women, not the opposite. Still, Microsoft became the news. Everything else received little or no coverage. This in itself derailed the event.

Microsoft totally stole the show last week. The show was not about Microsoft, but a publicity stunt and some bribes typically distort events in Microsoft’s favour.

“Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage…”Microsoft booster Stephen Withers reminds us how companies bribe journalists, for example, as he ends his article with this: “Disclosure: The writer traveled to the Progress Exchange conference as the guest of the company.”

This is how Microsoft bribes journalists, giving them flights and other perks in exchange for event coverage and Microsoft propaganda in the international media. It is fake journalism that is actually PR, not journalism. See how this abusive company where managers don’t get along (high tensions between Gates and Ballmer) is characterised in the press as one big happy family. Total lie. Unchallenged.

Now let’s get back to the point. Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage as seen here. “First,” says The Register, “we discovered that things had gotten so bad between former Microsoft bosses Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that they don’t even speak to each other anymore.” Then comes lots of Microsoft woman-washing (trying to associate Microsoft with women).

“Microsoft was able to hijack media coverage of yet another conference,” told us a reader. “Microsoft participation is toxic.” Here are some more examples of how Microsoft hijacked coverage of this event. There remains a stigma that women cannot succeed in FOSS and that one cannot enter into the community unless “a white male” (this is from a Microsoft-friendly site).

Nadella — let’s face it — is not a real Microsoft CEO, for reasons that we covered before. He is a Microsoft front end. The company is still controlled and run by serial criminals. Ballmer and Gates put a Ramji in charge of that mole strategy against FOSS for similar reasons; these people are a PR facet that hides their employer’s insidious activities (bribes, racketeering, et cetera).

Nadella has not done well in his speech. He actually offended women, even though it was not his intention. Nadella is not yet a good liar like Ballmer and Gates, but he did make the headlines (unlike Grace Hopper) , ending up in the middle a PR gaffe. Now he’s in a rush to apologise.

“What Bill and Satya did not want covered,” says our reader, is the angle that is so embarrassing and Sarah Gray explained to a lot of readers at Salon (Microsoft has already tired to change her article).

SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the ‘Copyrights on APIs’ Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

Posted in Google, Oracle, Patents at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas

“Google makes a series of compelling points in its petition,” writes Simon Phipps in relation to Google’s defence against Oracle (SCOracle, continuing the tradition of SCO’s copyrights misrepresentation). Google has found some material errors in interpretation of laws/cases, citing the corrupt CAFC with its utterly ridiculous ruling that we covered at the time. “These points alone seem strong to me,” says Phipps, “[b]ut Google also says CAFC has made a serious error that ignores the precedent of earlier SCOTUS decisions and violates the distinction between copyright and patent as monopolies.

“On the first point, Google refers back to the SCOTUS Lotus v Borland case in 1996. Google points out that “methods of operation embodied in computer programs are not entitled to copyright protection,” then asserts that the Java class APIs are a method of operating the Java class implementations. Since Android’s implementations of the Java APIs are Google’s original work, the company claims copyright does not apply.”

Oracle in the mean time is grabbing some talent from Google and it is not yet clear if there will be a SCOTUS case (the request for appeal may be denied). It is clear that CAFC does not understand software APIs or maybe it is just too corrupt (which becomes an accepted view these day), so this appeal has merit. As Pogson explained: “Copyright should not apply to other’s works. If you write software to work with some API, no other authour should be able to forbid that or to tax that. Yet, that’s what Oracle wants to do and they found a lower court that agreed with that despite that being an illegal extension of copyright to others’ work. Stranger still, Java is FLOSS…”

Here is some of the earliest coverage:

The legal fracas started when Google copied certain elements—names, declaration, and header lines—of the Java APIs in Android, and Oracle sued. A San Francisco federal judge largely sided with Google in 2012, saying that the code in question could not be copyrighted. But the federal appeals court reversed, and ruled that the “declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.

This goes beyond patents and into copyrights on ideas/words. Oracle should not be allowed to win this as the is not just about Android but about software development in general.

Do remember that Oracle is in a pact with Microsoft and Apple when it comes to patents. They share control over CPTN, which is made out of Novell’s patents. There is a similar arrangement around Rockstar, which also involves Apple and Microsoft (Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, RIM and Sony is the complete list). Joe Mullin says that Rockstar too is still harassing Google (Android) and Google has just managed to take the lawsuit of of the capital of trolls, East Texas:

It’s been nearly one year since Rockstar Consortium, a patent holding company owned in part by Microsoft and Apple, launched a major patent assault against Google. Now, the issue of where the case will be heard has finally been resolved—in Google’s favor.

Google took the case to the nation’s top patent court to get it out of East Texas and back to its home state, California. The matter of venue isn’t a mere sideline skirmish. East Texas courts are generally considered tough on patent defendants, with few cases resolving on summary judgment, stringent discovery rules, and last-minute scheduling decisions. Google’s Texas case was scheduled to be heard in front of US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who hears far more patent cases than any other district court judge in the nation.

The war against Android is a big deal for those of us who care about Free software and GNU/Linux. Let’s not lose sight of the fight against this kind of abuse. Public apathy helps crooked judges and abusive companies like Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple.

Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on ‘Abstract’ Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 1:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The “genius” behind the infamous “one-click shopping” software patent

Bezos gives lecture

Summary: The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina

While some software patents survive the SCOTUS ruling in the Alice v. CLS Bank case (notably in banking), many software patents are being invalidated and applications fail (not many software patents are being granted, despite 92% of all patent applications ending up being granted as rubber-stamped patents). Existing holders of software patents may be reluctant to sue, knowing that any lawsuit may deem these patents invalid and hence incapable of imposing the signing of patent deals or serve as deterrents. As Timothy B. Lee put it the other day:

The patent office is rejecting a lot more software patents

A June Supreme Court decision on the legality of software patents has been sending shockwaves through the legal system. The case, called Alice v. CLS Bank, has led to a bunch of lower court decisions invalidating software patents. It may also have been responsible for September’s sharp decline in patent lawsuits.

The decision appears to be having another effect that could be even more important in the long run: it’s causing the patent office to reject a lot more patents on “business methods,” a category of software patent that is notorious for its high litigation rate. While that might be bad news for the people seeking these types of patents, it means that there could be a lot fewer patent troll lawsuits over the next two decades.

Here are some new figures that indicate massive decline in patent lawsuits after the Alice case:

Plaintiffs filed 329 new federal patent cases in September 2014, a 40% decrease from the 549 cases filed in September 2013.

After reaching a record high of 675 new cases filed in April 2014, filings over the last five months have tailed off significantly (see Figure 1).

Month-over-month comparisons of 2014 and 2013 reveals lower 2014 monthly totals since May (see Figure 2).

Here is the former author, Timothy B. Lee, addressing this matter:

In a June decision called CLS Bank v. Alice, the Supreme Court called into question the validity of many software patents. Since then, there have been over a dozen lower-court decisions invalidating software patents.

New data from the legal analytics firm Lex Machina suggests that the newfound judicial hostility toward software patents is making plaintiffs gunshy:

Patent lawsuits in September were down 40% from last year

Here is the trolls expert writing about it.

“Months after Alice v. CLS Bank, patent litigation has hit a near-record low,” explains Joe Mullin. “The drop comes shortly after new patent rules came down from the Supreme Court. Most notably, the Alice v. CLS Bank decision made it clear that courts shouldn’t accept “do it on a computer”-type patents as valid. That’s resulted in nearly a dozen patents being tossed out in a short period of time, and some patent trolls with dubious patents aren’t bothering to fight it out anymore.”

One other site, a front group for corporations, focuses on patent quality when slamming an Apple patent that was used against Android (and Linux by extension). Levy asks, “remember that “pinch to zoom” patent that Apple tried using against Samsung? That was filed on January 7, 2007.”

He shows a video about it and he adds: “The Jeff Han video clearly discloses pinch to zoom, nearly a year before Apple filed its patent application. While it’s true that the patent was eventually invalidated, it should never have issued. (And I’m sure there are many more “gesture” patents that are disclosed in this video, too.)”

Finally, Levy says: “If we’re serious about patent quality, examiners need to be able to find everything that’s out there. There are software tools to screenshot videos, and people could be hired to transcribe them. But examiners don’t have that help, and, in fact, many patent examiners are using outdated, inefficient equipment and software. It’s no wonder patents like “pinch to zoom” get issued.”

It sure looks like things are changing when it comes to patent bar (not barristers but bar for quality), though apparently only in the area of software.

Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

Posted in News Roundup at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ChromeOS Drops Support For EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 File-Systems

      For the past year Google developers have been looking at dropping support for EXT* file-systems from ChromeOS while only today it’s making the rounds on the Internet and of course Linux fans are enraged.

      While ChromeOS is based on Linux and EXT4 continues to be the most widely used Linux file-system and still is used by default on most Linux distributions, Google developers are dropping support for EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 file-systems from their ChromeOS user-interface.

    • Rebellion sees Chromium reverse plans to dump EXT filesystem

      The Chromium project decided that the EXT family of filesystems are surplus to requirements, but has bowed to pressure and signalled it is willing to reverse the decision.

    • Google Tries To Kill EXT* File-systems For ChromeOS

      Does Google want to give a fair segment of users a reason not to use ChromeOS? What were they thinking?

  • Server

    • IBM Expects Linux Integration To Work For i Shops

      It’s been said before, but maybe the time for Linux and i integration is finally drawing near.

      “We have a fundamental belief that you can’t survive in this new world of mobile, social, big data, and cloud without being able to integrate and interface into the system of record in a secure and scalable manner,” says Stephen Leonard, general manager of IBM Systems and Technology Group sales.

      IBM, with its major investment in Linux, thinks Power Systems are the best answer for making that integration and interface not only more effective, but also more cost efficient based on the existing systems of record and the data crunching performance that is being built into its hardware and software.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.18 Has PCI Support For 64-bit ARM

      Going back two years with the Linux 3.7 kernel was the initial 64-bit ARM support and now eleven kernel releases later the initial enablement is still being battened up. With Linux 3.18 there’s finally PCI support for ARM64.

    • Mailbox Framework Comes With Linux 3.18

      In the 3.18 mailbox pull request Jassi Brar explains, “A framework for Mailbox controllers and clients have been cooking for more than a year now. Everybody in the CC list had been copied on patchset revisions and most of them have made sounds of approval, though just one concrete Reviewed-by. The patchset has also been in linux-next for a couple of weeks now and no conflict has been reported. The framework has the backing of at least 5 platforms, though I can’t say if/when they upstream their drivers (some businesses have ‘changed’).”

    • Debian leader says users can continue with SysVinit

      Users of Debian GNU/Linux will be able to continue using SysVinit as their init system, despite the project having switched to systemd as the default, according to the leader of the Debian project.

    • Reiser4 Updated For Linux 3.16 With SSD Discard Support

      Over the weekend the Reiser4 file-system patches were updated for Linux 3.16.1/3.16.2 kernel support and additionally for presenting SSD discard support for the long-in-development Linux FS. This latest Reiser4 file-system work was done by Ivan Shapovalov and Edward Shishkin.

    • Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Issues Call for Grant Proposals

      The Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that enables technology companies, industry stakeholders and esteemed developers to collaboratively identify and fund critical open source projects that are in need of assistance, today issued a call for new grant proposals for open source projects seeking industry support.

    • The cruel crucible of open source development

      It was with great interest that I read Lennart Poettering’s missive on open source software development and his experiences in the field last week. There is some truth to his claims that discussions can get heated and things can be said that are perhaps uncouth and salty. Still, I can’t agree with his wholesale characterization of open source development as “sick” or “full of a**holes.”

      I think, perhaps, that Lennart has been exposed to more troublesome technical discussions and descriptions than many in this field, but not because he is an innocent target. Rather, he conducts himself in such a way that it evokes this kind of reaction. To paraphrase an old saying, “If you run into a jerk in the morning, you ran into a jerk in the morning. If you run into jerks all day long, then maybe you’re the jerk.” I think it may in part apply here.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Broadwell OpenCL Support Comes To Beignet

        Intel OpenCL Linux compute support has landed for the forthcoming Broadwell processors.

        Pushed this week by Yang Rong and other Intel OTC China staff was the initial Broadwell hardware enablement in Beignet, the Intel OpenCL Linux implementation. Beignet has been building up since the Ivy Bridge days and now in time for the debut of the first ultrabooks with Broadwell designs is the necessary GPGPU compute support.

      • Mesa 10.3.1 Point Release Now Available

        For users of Mesa stable releases rather than the exciting Git activity, there’s some new releases worth upgrading to.

      • Mesa 10.3.1

        Mesa 10.3.1 has been released. Mesa 10.3.1 is a bug fix release fixing bugs since the 10.3 release, (see below for a list of changes).

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kate’s Mascot: Kate the Woodpecker

        After the first KF 5 release, I contacted the creator of the Krita mascot Kiki and the KF 5 dragons artwork, Tyson Tan, if he would be interested in design a Kate mascot, too. He immediately agreed to help out and after some months of roundtrips, here we go!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • The GNOME Infrastructure’s FreeIPA move behind the scenes

        A few days ago I wrote about the GNOME Infrastructure moving to FreeIPA, the post was mainly an announcement to the relevant involved parties with many informative details for contributors to properly migrate their account details off from the old authentication system to the new one. Today’s post is a follow-up to that announcement but it’s going to take into account the reasons about our choice to migrate to FreeIPA, what we found interesting and compelling about the software and why we think more projects (them being either smaller or bigger) should migrate to it. Additionally I’ll provide some details about how I performed the migration from our previous OpenLDAP setup with a step-by-step guide that will hopefully help more people to migrate the infrastructure they managed themselves.

      • GNOME Summit update

        Around 20 people got together Saturday morning and, after bagels and coffee got together in a room and collected topics that everybody was interested in working on. With Christian in attendance, gnome-builder was high on the list, but OSTree and gnome-continuous also showed up several times on the list.

  • Distributions

    • Black Lab Linux Finally Decides on GNOME, App Grid Replaces Ubuntu Software Center

      Black Lab Linux started its life as a Windows XP alternative and the developers actually made a big deal about it. Even the interface was designed in such as way that it resembled the Windows XP desktop layout, at least to some degree. They since parted ways with that kind of desktop and statement, but they are still looking for their identity.

    • SEANux – a version of Linux from the Syrian Electronic Army

      For now, consider me skeptical of SEANux. After all, back in early 2012 the so-called AnonymousOS was released, a purported new operating system from the Anonymous collective – only to reportedly be found ridden with trojan horses.

    • New Releases

    • Ballnux/SUSE

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Release notes for siduction cinnamon dev release

          We are very happy to present to you today the first integration of the cinnamon desktop environment into siduction. Cinnamon is a modern desktop based on GTK 3 with a classic look. It has been developed and published by the popular Linux Mint distribution since 2011. Recently Cinnamon version 2.2 has made it into Jessie, Debians upcoming release. A team of several Debian developers has worked on the packaging for about three months and has matured the whole set of packages. We can expect it to be functional.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Unity Turns 4, Happy Birthday!

            Canonical devs and the Ubuntu community have a good reason to celebrate these days because the Unity desktop environment is now four years old.
            Unity is the default desktop environment in Ubuntu and it’s been around for four years now, although not for the desktop version of the distribution. It was first used in Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which was a flavor dedicated for Netbook use. In fact, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.10 Maverick Meerkat was the first to adopt the new Unity desktop.

          • VirtualBox 4.3.18 Has Fixes for Unity and GNOME Shell
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source “Dronecode” UAV platform project launches

      The Linux Foundation launched a collaborative “Dronecode Project” aimed at creating a shared open source platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

      The not-for-profit Linux Foundation announced the Dronecode Project at its Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Düsseldorf today. Among the collaborative project’s first members is 3D Robotics, which is contributing technology from its widely used APM platform for UAV autopilots (formerly called “Ardupilot”). The Dronecode project will also incorporate technology from the PX4 project, led by Lorenz Meier of ETH, the Technical University of Zurich. Most APM projects either use Arduino circuitry or PX4′s open source Pixhawk hardware foundation.

    • Drone developers get big open source boost from Linux Foundation, vendors like 3D Robotics and Box

      The new “Dronecode Project” will make it easier for developers that want to build systems or tools for unmanned aircraft system to have access to a common platform.

    • Linux Foundation Does Open Source Drones

      As I’ve noted many times, one of the exciting things about open source is the way it is expanding to completely new areas. A good example of that is drones. People have a rather complicated view of drones: like most tools, they can be used for good or bad. But there’s no doubt that making the software that controls them open source is a step in the right direction, since it means that drones don’t remain the exclusive domain of big companies – or the military.

    • Announcing Dronecode: Expanding the Architecture of Participation for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

      A few months ago, I met Chris Anderson and Andy Jensen, CEO and COO of 3D Robotics, one of the leading manufacturers of commercial drones. They were interested in creating a software foundation for their open source drone projects and wanted to pattern it after the Linux Foundation. We quickly realized we could provide the collaborative and participatory infrastructure needed to advance the ecosystem, and Dronecode was born.

    • Linux Foundation plans open-source drone hit
    • Intel, SkyWard and others back open source software for aerial drones
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 L Update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10: Release Date Reports

          The launch of the Android 5.0 L update for Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 is right around the corner. Or at least that’s what the latest reports are indicating. Google failed to reveal when the new Android version will be released for the public, but several sources are confirming that we might get the Android 5.0 L update sooner than expected.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s in a name in open source?

    Decide what kind of community you like, because there are different ones. Again MySQL had a total of maybe 100 contributors over its lifespan of code, and we hired many of them into the company. That part of the community was relatively small. The community of users was enormous and still is. And the community of those who build an add-on to MySQL was enormous. You have different ways of doing them.

    Then finally, and this is perhaps the most remarkable insight I’ve made about open source licensing models and governance, it’s very much about branding. This has to do with the fact that an open source license stipulates nothing about the name. If they do that, it means the name isn’t free, it is protected by copyright.

  • Front and back-end developers should make friends

    Natalie Kozlowski is a front-end web developer at CodeGuard. She’s a self-taught coder who embraces open source and will be giving a talk about how to interact with your front-end developers at this year’s All Things Open conference in Raleigh.

  • Alfresco sends SharePoint integration open source

    Alfresco Software is contributing to the Apache Software Foundation an open source integration, named Chemistry Parts. The integration connects Microsoft SharePoint to virtually any enterprise content management (ECM) system, including Alfresco, using the open standard CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) from OASIS. The integration is contributed by Alfresco to the Apache Chemistry project, which is an open source implementation of CMIS.

  • Events/XDC

    • Recapping All The Interesting Talks Of XDC2014

      The XDC2014 conference officially ended on Friday and was followed on Saturday by X.Org developers drinking wine and cycling around Bordeaux, France. For those not in attendance that haven’t been keeping up with all of the Phoronix articles, here’s a summary.

    • FreeRDS Talked Up For X & Wayland

      The FreeRDS project was talked about at this past week’s XDC2014 conference in Bordeaux, France. FreeRDS is an open-source RDP server derived from FreeRDP.

    • XDC 2014

      KWin/Wayland 5.1 gained support for the fullscreen shell interface. My idea when adding this was to not have to implement DRM support in KWin, but (for the time being) leverage Weston. This simplifies development and allows us to move forward on a higher speed. Jason Ekstrand’s talk showed that the fullscreen shell provides more interesting aspects than our use case. The shell can also be used for use cases such as screen sharing: a compositor renders in addition to a fullscreen shell provided by a different compositor which can use it to e.g. capture a video stream or forward an rdp session. Very interesting and quite useful that we already support it and won’t have to add additional support for rdp into each compositor.

  • Databases

    • OpenStack Juno Cloud Features Trove Database-as-a-Service Updates

      The upcoming open-source OpenStack Juno cloud platform will now support more databases and database features.

      When the open-source OpenStack Icehouse platform was released in April, the Trove database-as-a-service project was one of its key new features. Fast forward six months, and the OpenStack Juno release is set to debut on Oct. 16, complete with a long list of updates and improvements to Trove.

  • Funding

    • Free Software & Money

      In fact, it is not really that money and Free Software are strange bedfellows. Not only is there nothing prohibiiting anyone to generate revenues with Free Software, it is even encouraged. We have adopted a (sane) practice for years, which is to provide binaries and source code of entire Free Software stacks for free. Reading the GPL you may notice that this is not at all something to be expected; if anything, you may sell your binaries tomorrow, and only give away your source code. The unhealthy part comes when the expectation that not only all this should be free, but that your time, expertise and your entire work should always remain free.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Tennis legend reveals new details about ‘party boy’ George W. Bush’s 1976 drunken driving arrest
  • Tennis star John Newcombe tells of George W. Bush’s drink-driving arrest

    Australian tennis star John Newcombe has lifted the lid on “party boy” George W. Bush and the drink-driving revelation that clouded his 2000 US presidential election campaign.

    Bush, who served as president from 2001 to 2009, admitted to the drink-driving arrest that he kept secret for nearly 25 years just days ahead of the poll after the story broke on US networks.

    The incident occurred in 1976 near his family’s Kennebunkport summer home in Maine, and followed a night’s drinking with Wimbledon champion Newcombe, who was also in the car.

  • Details About ‘Party Boy’ George W. Bush’s Drunken Driving Incident Revealed
  • Health and Drugs

    • Abstinence costs $18 USD per month in small African country

      In the small African country of Swaziland, the government is taking actions to impose sexual abstinence, trying to keep the nation’s women virgin as long as possible.

    • Chuck Todd Calls Out Media For Helping GOP Irresponsibly Push Ebola Fears To Win Votes
    • Ebola Is Not a Weapon

      First, the virus isn’t a viable bioweapon candidate. It doesn’t spread quickly—its R0, a measure of how infectious a virus is, is about 2. That means that, in a population where everyone is at risk, each infected person will, on average, infect two more people. But because someone with Ebola is infectious only when she shows symptoms, we’ve got plenty of chances to clamp down on an outbreak in a country with a developed public health system.

    • Polio spreads in Pakistan

      While most media attention is on Ebola, polio has been spreading in Pakistan, where 200 Pakistanis have been diagnosed so far. This is greatest number of infections in more than a decade.

    • Brutal novel centers on Bob Marley, U.S. role in Jamaican crime

      But readers who can get beyond its excessive violence will find a compelling story of the Jamaican underworld and its uneasy relationship with the United States in the last quarter of the 20th century.

    • A Brief History of Seven Killings
    • Resurrecting a disgraced scribe

      If someone told you today that there was strong evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency once turned a blind eye to accusations of drug dealing by operatives it worked with, it might ring some distant, skeptical bell.

      Did that really happen? That really happened. As part of their insurgency against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, some of the CIA-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report.

    • ‘Messenger’ fails to tell entire tale of skullduggery

      It’s hard to know what to think about “Kill the Messenger,” and this makes it frustrating to watch. It tells the real-life story of Gary Webb, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reporter whose series on a “dark alliance” between the CIA and drug dealers made him seem on track to win a Pulitzer Prize. Then he came under attack by other papers for supposedly sloppy reporting, and his own newspaper refused to support him.

      The movie has a point of view, which is that Webb was a great reporter, that the big newspapers went after him only because he scooped them, and that his own bosses were spineless individuals, with no right to call themselves journalists. Perhaps some of this is true. Perhaps all of this is true. Who knows? Still, one gets the sense, while watching, that there had to be another side to this story.

      Here’s a case of a film that could have been better and more satisfying as a documentary. As a narrative feature, “Kill the Messenger” has no choice but to live up to the demands of drama. But what do you do with a story that must be told, that deserves to be told, but that’s not very good as a story? Alas, true stories are confined to the facts, and the facts here make for the death of drama — a movie that begins as “All the President’s Men Revisited” then shifts into the tale of a besieged fellow and his relationship with his family.

      At first things look promising, for Webb and for the movie. As a reporter in the Sacramento bureau, Webb is put on to the story of CIA involvement in drug trafficking by a mystery woman (Paz Vega) and soon finds that everyone he asks about it becomes terrified, clams up, practically runs for the hills. So he knows he is on to something.

    • Former kingpin Rick Ross talks Gary Webb’s death, C.I.A. complicity, and new doc ‘Freeway: Crack in the System’
    • Decades-old CIA crack-cocaine scandal gains new momentum

      ​Nearly two decades after a US reporter was humiliated for connecting the CIA to a drug-trafficking trade that funded the Nicaraguan Contras, important players in the scandal – which led to the journalist’s suicide – are coming forward to back his claims.

    • This Is the Real Story Behind Kill The Messenger

      In a scene from the new movie Kill the Messenger, investigative reporter Gary Webb (played by Jeremy Renner) says that he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories. He does, however, believe in real conspiracies: “If I believe it, there’s nothing ‘theory’ about it.” The true story on which the movie is based, however, makes it clear that it’s not always obvious what’s a theory and what’s the truth.

    • Review: ‘Kill the Messenger’ revisits Gary Webb’s CIA, Contras and crack cocaine

      In a scene from the new movie Kill the Messenger, investigative reporter Gary Webb (played by Jeremy Renner) says that he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories. He does, however, believe in real conspiracies: “If I believe it, there’s nothing ‘theory’ about it.” The true story on which the movie is based, however, makes it clear that it’s not always obvious what’s a theory and what’s the truth.

    • ‘Kill the Messenger’ tells tale of reporter’s clash with CIA

      By all appearances the 2004 death of the messenger, investigative reporter Garry Webb, from two gunshots to the head was a suicide. But before that his stories in the San Jose Mercury News linking the CIA to drug smuggling by rebels in Nicaragua and connecting it with the crack epidemic in cities here caused his professional demise.

    • Renner: Scene cuts hurt
    • ‘The New York Times’ Wants Gary Webb to Stay Dead

      New York Times, The Washington Post and, especially, the Los Angeles Times went after Webb…

    • Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward

      With the public in the U.S. and Latin America becoming increasingly skeptical of the war on drugs, key figures in a scandal that once rocked the Central Intelligence Agency are coming forward to tell their stories in a new documentary and in a series of interviews with The Huffington Post.

    • Bully Banksters and Biotech Move into Ukraine to Install GMO Business
  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Former FBI and CIA officers at odds over Lockerbie/Pan Am 103 bombing

      An FBI agent who led the US investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 has denied claims made by a former CIA officer who told Aurora News that FBI investigators did not read vital US intelligence material related to the attack.

      Robert Baer, a retired CIA Officer who was based in the Middle East, had said, “I’ve been having exchanges with the FBI Investigators and they came right out and said they didn’t read the intelligence.

      “I just find that extraordinary and then later for them to comment on the intelligence and say it’s no good; it’s amazing,” Baer said.

    • Analysis: How The CIA Got Away With Murdering Revolutionary Che Guevara

      Che Guevara’s body was uncovered from beneath a Bolivian landing strip 10 years after his death, but the truth behind how his body ended up in that secret burial location wouldn’t surface for several decades.

    • Photos capture a candid Che Guevara, who was executed in Bolivia on Oct. 9, 1967
    • Muzzled press turns cannibal in ‘Kill the Messenger’

      It’s no coincidence that one month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Washington Post published a commentary by former President Harry Truman asserting that the Central Intelligence Agency was dangerously out of control. Instead of merely collecting data, as Truman had intended when he created the agency in 1947, the CIA was implementing its own rogue policies, which included overthrowing elected governments around the world…

    • Leon Panetta, Head of Pentagon and C.I.A. Under Obama, Says Brace for 30 Year War with ISIS

      “I vividly recall how, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing, Obama partisans triumphantly declared that this would finally usher in the winding down of the War on Terror. On one superficial level, that view was understandable: it made sense if one assumes that the U.S. has been waging this war for its stated reasons and that it hopes to vanquish The Enemy and end the war.

    • Former head of CIA predicts 30-year war against ISIL
    • Suspected US drone strike kills two near Afghanistan-Pakistan border

      The CIA typically carries out such strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region and does not comment on the attacks, which have stirred anger in Pakistan over civilian casualties.

    • Billions from Iraq possibly stashed in Lebanon

      Not long after American forces defeated the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein in 2003, caravans of trucks began to arrive at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington on a regular basis, unloading an unusual cargo — pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills.

      The cash, withdrawn from Iraqi government accounts held in the United States, was loaded onto Air Force C-17 transport planes bound for Baghdad, where the Bush administration hoped it would provide a quick financial infusion for Iraq’s new government and the country’s battered economy.

    • Why are the media yet again playing lapdog and not watchdog on war in Iraq?

      The media has sensationalized the supposed threat from Isis even as intelligence agencies insisted that the group poses no immediate threat to the United States.

    • Why didn’t the feds stop John McCain from entering Syria? Mulshine

      I picked up my New York Times the other day and came upon an article about how federal officials are detaining Americans who are trying to fly to Syria to join the rebels there.

      Great idea. But where were they when John McCain was flying to visit with the rebels inside Syria?

      Much of the controversy over McCain’s visit there centers on whether the rebels he met were allied with the Islamic State. That’s an interesting debate and it looks like there were no direct ties. But I think a more important question is why a U.S. Senator saw fit to violate the territorial integrity of a sovereign nation to support those fighting to overthrow the government.

      Or in other words, to support terrorists. That’s certainly the way the Syrian government sees the fighters, often from foreign nations, who are fighting to overthrow the regime.

    • Turkey to Help Train and Equip Moderate Syrian Rebels

      Turkey has agreed to support a new U.S.-led effort to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels, American officials say, as Ankara backs part of the work of an international coalition, while disagreeing on goals of the military effort in Syria.

    • Media Scoundrels Wage War

      Selling war takes precedence. It’s glorified in the name of peace. It rages against one country after another. It’s official US policy.

      Media scoundrels march in lockstep. Doing so enlists public support. Famed US journalist Walter Lippmann coined the phrase “manufacture of consent.”

      It’s a euphemism for mind control. In 1917, George Creel first used it successfully to turn pacifist Americans into raging German-haters.

    • THE COLD WAR HOAX

      The event known as the Cuban missile crisis, to many people the greatest of all Cold War crises, is a milestone in the history of the Cold War. “Generations to come,” praised Time magazine, “may well count John Kennedy’s resolve as one of the decisive moments of the 20th Century.” Yet there is perhaps no single event in recent history as contradictory and puzzling as this one.

    • Op-Ed: Kurdish ‘terrorists’ defending Kobane inspired by US anarchist

      You would never know from most mainstream news reports that the Kurds defending the Syrian border city of Kobane from the Islamic Front advance are part of the Kurdistan Worker’s party or PKK widely regarded as a terrorist organization.

    • Confronting the consequences of aerial savagery

      According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

      The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

      A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”. What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

    • Biden tells truth, apologizes

      Vice President Joe Biden opened his mouth last week, let out some facts, and almost immediately had to apologize. In a speech at Harvard, Biden called out Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates for supplying unconditional aid and logistical support to Washington’s current Enemy No. 1: the organization now calling itself the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, as part of their attempt to overturn Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

    • Rand Paul vs current assaults on monstrous ISIS

      Early in his remarks, he explains his concerns with the methods used thus far in this particular intervention: “ISIS has grabbed up U.S., Saudi, Qatari weapons by the truckload, and we are now forced to fight against our own weapons … Reports show that the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have supplied roughly 600 tons of weapons to the militants in Syria in 2013 alone.”

    • Jonathan Greenhill of CIA For Sheikh Suleiman & Goldin Solutions For Russia

      According to Linkedin, Jonathan Greenhill is a former “Senior Operations Officer, National Clandestine Service at Central Intelligence Agency” – sounds pretty serious, huh? New FARA filings indicate that Greenhill has now been hired to lobby for Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleirman.

      Suleirman has been quoted by the Huffington Post as saying “The United States has empowered a bunch of crooks here in Iraq, people who used to live abroad in five-star hotels, while we were here suffering under Saddam. It was the United States that toppled Saddam, but these politicians took advantage of the confusion, they came aboard American tanks and claimed that they were the ones who defeated Saddam.”

    • How Muslims can halt extremism

      Very little was done in the organized Muslim community in northern Illinois after the FBI arrested Adel Daoud in September 2012. As his criminal case returns to the headlines because of his trial being postponed from next month until next summer, more local Muslim youth continue to make headlines for their thwarted efforts to join terrorist operations abroad. One local newspaper ran a frightening front-page headline “ISIS in Chicago.”

    • Harvard Students See US Bigger Threat than ISIL

      Students at Harvard University have put America as a bigger threat to world peace than the so-called Islamic State (or ISIL) militant group, asserting the US actions in the Middle East are the main factors leading to the growth of such groups.

    • Obama allies getting harder to find these days

      President Barack Obama is finding himself with few friends in Washington.

      His former Pentagon chief is criticizing his foreign policy. Longtime political advisers are questioning his campaign strategy. And Democrats locked in tough midterm campaigns don’t want Obama anywhere near them between now and Election Day next month.

    • Rise of the Reapers: A brief history of drones

      While at the time of writing only the US, the UK and Israel are known to have used armed drones in military operations, this is likely to change soon. Italy and France for example, began operating unarmed Reaper drones in 2011 and 2013 and are likely to begin armed operations in the near future. Many other countries are now using large and small drones for military reconnaissance and intelligence purposes and are likely to acquire or develop armed capability in the near future. While having only a relatively short history, armed drones it seems have a big future.

    • Pakistanis burn US flag in rally against drone hits

      Pakistani protesters have burned the American flag in a rally against the persisting US assassination drone strikes on Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Lawyer’s Bid for JFK Records Still on Hold

      An attorney’s bid for CIA records on the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy remains stalled, after a federal judge said Thursday that she can’t tell whether the government looked hard enough for the records.

  • Finance

    • The Obama administration’s shameful defense of Amazon’s low pay

      The president has been adamant about helping American workers, so why is he throwing his support behind Jeff Bezos?

    • Venezuela: Behind murder of revolutionary deputy

      On the morning of Oct. 2, the Bolivarian people of Venezuela awoke to the terrible news of a murder during the previous night of a young revolutionary couple. Robert Serra, 27, the youngest deputy to the National Assembly elected from the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and his life partner Maria Herrera were stabbed to death at their home in the parish of La Pastora, a working-class neighborhood of Caracas.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Wikipedia founder to float mobile phone company

      If the rumors about Kim Jong Un being ill health – or worse – prove true, the CIA wouldn’t be the first to know about it. No spy agency in the world would.

    • Former NSA spy talks about privacy concerns online

      The former spy said people who care anything at all about their privacy should as a rule, stay away from popular consumer Internet services like Facebook, and Google and Dropbox.

    • Fake Snowden Is Russia’s Newest TV Star

      The planned Oliver Stone film about National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden—played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt—and his quest for asylum in Russia, is still being shopped around to Hollywood studios and won’t start shooting for another three months. In the meantime, however, a thinly fictionalized version of the Snowden story just premiered on Russian television as part of an eight-episode spy drama, Where the Motherland Begins. And it has a peculiar twist, which implies that since he was a child, the former NSA contractor was, in a sense, groomed by a Russian intelligence agent.

    • The Most Important US Spy Agency Is One You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

      As far as intelligence agencies go, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has remained relatively low profile—attracting neither the intrigue of, say, the CIA nor the umbrage directed toward the National Security Agency.

    • FBI Screens Interns On Their Piracy Habits

      Applicants to the FBI’s internship program will have to answer potentially tricky questions if they want to be accepted by the investigative and intelligence agency. In addition to questions relating to drug use, potential interns are required to reveal their historic downloading habits.

    • Adobe’s Half-Assed Response To Spying On All Your eBooks

      Yesterday, we mentioned the reports kicked off by Nate Hoffelder’s research that Adobe was spying on your ebook reading efforts and (even worse) sending the details as unencrypted plaintext. Adobe took its sweet time, but finally responded late last night (obnoxiously, Adobe refused to respond directly to Hoffelder at all, despite the fact that he broke the story).

    • Goldman Sachs Turns to Digital Surveillance to Catch Rogue Bankers

      Between allegations that they manipulated benchmark interest rates or wrote faulty mortgages, banks have racked up more than $170 billion in litigation costs since 2008, according to an estimate by the Macquarie Group (MQG:AU). So some financial institutions are investing in technology that can sift through millions of e-mails, instant messages, and transcripts of telephone calls to spot suspicious behavior before it explodes into a mess of lawsuits and fines.

    • Judge Rejects Defense That FBI Illegally Hacked Silk Road—On a Technicality

      Lawyers for Ross Ulbricht have spent the last two months shifting the focus from their client, charged with creating the billion-dollar drug market the Silk Road, and putting it onto the potential illegality of the FBI’s investigation. Now the judge in that case has spoken, and it’s clear she intends to put Ulbricht on trial, not the FBI.

    • NSA Has Had Agents on the Ground In China, Germany and South Korea, According to Newly Released Snowden Docs

      The National Security Agency relies on agents on the ground in China, Germany and South Korea to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices through what’s called “physical subversion,” according to documents released Friday by The Intercept.

    • Snowden: NSA carrying out ‘human intel’ ops in China

      America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has implemented programs in China using secret agents to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices through “physical subversion,” reports The Intercept, a publication of independent journalism organization First Look Media.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Government War Against Reporter James Risen

      Ever since New York Times reporter James Risen received his first subpoena from the Justice Department more than six years ago, occasional news reports have skimmed the surface of a complex story. The usual gloss depicts a conflict between top officials who want to protect classified information and a journalist who wants to protect confidential sources. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sterling—a former undercover CIA officer now facing charges under the Espionage Act, whom the feds want Risen to identify as his source—is cast as a disgruntled ex-employee in trouble for allegedly spilling the classified beans.

    • Gen. Hayden: ‘Conflicted’ in James Risen Case

      Gen. Mike Hayden, the former National Security Agency chief, isn’t convinced that charges should be brought against a New York Times reporter who uncovered a covert military operation against Iran.

    • Feds may subpoena reporter in CIA case

      Federal prosecutors hinted Friday they still intend to subpoena a New York Times reporter to testify in a case against a former CIA agent — a move that could put them in the position of advocating for penalties against a journalist for doing his job.

    • Prosecutors reconsider Risen subpoena
    • James Risen subpoena faces new review

      The Justice Department is using new guidelines to reconsider whether to demand testimony from New York Times reporter James Risen in connection with a leak case against a former CIA officer, a federal prosecutor said Friday.

    • What Former CIA Head Leon Panetta Says Now About Torture

      More than a decade after CIA interrogators began using “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Al-Qaeda operatives, expert opinion remains sharply divided over the efficacy—and moral justification—for using torture on terrorists. Over the years, the facts have been clouded by movies and TV shows in which torture always works and by the justifications of officials who have a stake in defending it.

    • CIA didn’t know it had Senate ‘torture’ report

      It’s a report that’s been the talk of Washington’s intelligence community for months, yet lawyers for the nation’s premier intelligence agency — the CIA — improbably maintained it didn’t have a copy.

    • CIA Director: Bin Laden body dropped into sea with 300 pounds of iron

      In a book released this week, a former CIA director and defense secretary said that the body of international terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was sent to the deep with the aid of some 300 pounds of chains.

    • Proof: CIA Uses Hollywood to Feed You Its Propaganda

      Moreover, the CIA and Disney have had a cozy relationship for a number of years. Robert Carey Broughton, Disney’s effects wizard, worked for the OSS in WWII. Disney makeup specialist John Chambers worked for the agency in the 60’s and the CIA is proud to say so. (2) (3)

    • A Murder Mystery at Guantanamo Bay

      America’s plunge into the “dark side” last decade created a hidden history of shocking brutality, including torture and homicides, that the U.S. government would prefer to keep secret, even though many of the perpetrators are out of office, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

    • Do You Appreciate Ray McGovern?

      Consortiumnews was there for you, since 1995, challenging Official Washington’s misguided “group think”…

    • Freedom and Human Rights in the UK

      Apparently, Britain has been overcome with a racist frenzy as UKIP secure their first by-election seat in Southend on Sea. Well, Southend on Sea is hardly Britain and I cannot say I am totally surprised. This is Southend we’re talking about. Besides that, the UKIP guy who got in was already a well known Tory guy before he changed sides. They’ve obviously got a lot of media coverage and this seems a bit like a fluke. Maybe I should be more worried about this. It’s hard to tell.

    • Ex-Florida Corrections Officer Convicted In Child Porn Case

      A former Florida corrections officer is facing multiple years in prison after he was convicted on several counts of possessing child porn.

    • Where’s the accountability?

      More recently, we learned that the C.I.A. spied on a Senate investigations committee. Although one senator described this espionage as “illegal” and a grave violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers, C.I.A. Director John Brennan — who indignantly denied that the C.I.A. would ever do such a thing before admitting that it did — retains his job, too.

      In the 21st century United States, accountability is for little people. Citizens who commit crimes — and many who don’t — get arrested, charged, and prosecuted (and in Baltimore, they sometimes get beaten). Government and corporate officials who commit crimes, meanwhile, rarely face consequences.

      The same is true of the nation’s financial elite. After the 2008 financial collapse, the Treasury Department rushed in to buttress the country’s financial institutions, funneling billions of dollars to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America among others. At only one company were executives forced out and shareholders punished; and the former executive of that rescued company, A.I.G., is now suing the government for the insult.

      During the housing bubble, financial institutions committed, among other known acts: fraudulent robo-signing of mortgage documents, foreclosure fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. No executive has been criminally prosecuted. Indeed, the settlements between banks and the Justice Department specifically granted releases for the banks’ illegal evictions and fraudulent robo-signing — in exchange for a fine, of course — thus precluding any further investigations. Shareholders pay the fines; bank executives keep their bonuses and their jobs.

    • Seat Belt Violation Greeted With Spike Strip, Smashed Window And Tasering

      Apparently afraid Jones has a gun (because why else would another gun be out), the officer approaches the vehicle with an ax and smashes the window, sending glass flying into the back seat where Mahone’s two children are sitting. Almost immediately, Jamal Jones is tasered and dragged from the vehicle.

      The seven-year-old begins crying. The fourteen-year-old continues to record with his cellphone.

      Now, it’s a lawsuit.

    • Why Hong Kong police are “celebrating” the attacks on protesters

      Thousands of protesters are enraged at the police for allegedly allowing them to be attacked last night by a mob in the commercial district of Mong Kok.

      And though they won’t say it publicly, Hong Kong’s police are furious with the protesters in turn.

      A police officer with years of experience tells GlobalPost that when the news came in that student protesters were being attacked Friday by disgruntled citizens — some of the them with gang ties — police officers were “cheering.”

    • PunditFact: Fact-checking the fallout from Bill Maher’s Muslim monologue

      Daily Beast columnist and comedian Dean Obeidallah zeroed in on Maher’s quote that we referenced in our introduction, the part where Maher said women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive.

      “You can criticize Muslims,” Obeidallah said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show on Oct. 6. “It’s about doing it responsibly. Don’t pick and choose and cherry-pick facts to define us by our worst examples. … Like Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive. That’s outrageous.”

    • The last real mavericks of the Senate

      Mark Udall and Ron Wyden are taking their party to task on CIA torture — and the former might pay the price

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Cable Astroturfing Effort Comes Off Like When Your Dad Tries To Sound Like A Teenager

      In the past, we’ve covered attempts by big broadband to astroturf their way into the debate on net neutrality, and it just comes off as so obviously fake that it appears rather pitiful. The latest attempt may be even worse. While consumer advocacy groups have been able to do a great job getting people to speak up and raise their concerns about keeping the internet open, often appealing to younger folks who have always grown up with the internet, it appears that the big broadband lobbyists are now trying to fake their way into getting the same folks on their side — and it comes off about as well as when your dad tries to act like a teenager, using new slang and trying to dress accordingly, but just making a total fool of himself. ProPublica has the details of a new effort by NCTA, the big broadband lobbying trade group run by former FCC chair Michael Powell (who is a big part of the reason we’re in this mess today), called “Onward Internet.” (ProPublica calls it a telco lobbying group, but NCTA is much more about cable interests).

    • President Obama Makes Vague Meaningless Statements About Net Neutrality, Patent Reform And Copyright Reform

      President Obama was apparently in California on a campaign swing for the fall election (trying to help out some candidates and raise money) yesterday and chose to discuss the various issues that are important to folks around here… by giving generally vague and empty statements that might be important if they were actually backed up by anything.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trans-Pacific Partnership Taking on Water, May Sink

      President Obama, no doubt fixated on his legacy, would love to win ratification of a major multi-lateral trade agreement now under negotiation with 11 other Pacific Rim countries.

      [...]

      As for the first problem, Obama doesn’t have trade promotion authority, or TPA, in his pocket and it’s far from certain that he’ll get it. TPA gives the president the power to submit finished free trade agreements to Congress for a simple up or down vote. Congress can’t alter the agreements in any way.

    • Free trade agreement protest march gathers hundreds in Helsinki

      Hundreds gathered to participate in a protest march against worldwide free trade agreements on Saturday in Helsinki. As of the afternoon, the demonstration had proceeded peacefully with no incidents of violence.

    • Copyrights

      • ISPs Agree Voluntary Pirate Site Blocks

        Danish ISPs have reached a ground-breaking agreement with the country’s leading anti-piracy group. In future, Rights Alliance will only need to obtain a single pirate site blocking order against one ISP and all the rest will voluntarily block the same domains.

      • Gottfrid Svartholm Hacking Trial Nears Conclusion

        The hacking trial of Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm has concluded in Denmark. The prosecution insists that by finding crumbs all over the Swede, it must have been him with his hands in the cookie jar. The defense, on the other hand, maintain that Gottfrid is being blamed for the actions of others.

      • UK IP Chief Wants Schools to Teach Copyright Ethics and Morals

        The UK’s top IP advisor has published recommendations on how today’s youth should learn to respect copyright. The document envisions a mandatory copyright curriculum for all ages, online awareness campaigns, and a copyright education program run by the BBC.

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