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06.09.16

Battistelli is Said to be Engineering Further Attacks on People Whom He Already Fired From the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli cannot tolerate dissent, as his actions demonstrate, not even from outside the Office (like Erdoğan in Germany)

Erdoğan for EPO

Summary: ‘Sun King’ Battistelli is losing the plot and is apparently, as recent actions serve to suggest, brewing a new set of vicious attacks of people whom he already sacked based on extremely dubious allegations and a bogus ‘trial’ (where the accuser is the jury, judge, executioner and so on)

THE EPO is worse than abusive. It’s probably, at least at the moment, Europe’s most abusive institution (unless someone can point out to us one which is worse). Mr. Battistelli staying inside the EPO means sustained damage to the Office’s (and Organisation’s) reputation; this translates into brand erosion and jeopardised demand for European Patents (EPs) in the long run, or decreased (perceived) value, even for patents granted over a decade ago. What would happen to people’s pensions, inventors’ protection, and so on? Examiners are right to be worried. Even the EPO is milking itself dry right now, with untold millions of Euros spent on things which have nothing whatsoever to do with examination (waste of money, corruption). Consider bodyguards, purchased media, secret private contracts with dubious firms for the purpose of PR, union-busting, censorship and surveillance. What on Earth has the EPO become? It’s a state within a state, even with its own police and military. Maybe Battistelli took the job title “President” way too far.

“When will Battistelli throw truth-telling staff representatives and judges into the lion’s den for his entertainment purposes?”EPO staff protests started about three hours ago in The Hague and in Munich. We wrote about these protests even yesterday. These are justified protests, even if some provocative comments at IP Kat try to discredit the protesters/examiners, portraying them as spoiled millionaires with high-end sport cars (we don’t wish to link to these smears). Is that a compromise strategy after trying to just block the whole of IP Kat (this backfired pretty badly)?

A few days ago we said that EBoA can decide whether the illegally-suspended judge will have his case heard openly. We believe he was serious defamed and the Munich State Attorney was reportedly considering criminal charges against the European Patent Office over this. “An announcement of the oral proceedings in Art. 23 1/16 can be found in the public area of the Isar building,” said this one comment in IP Kat. One response to this was: “Public? If the accused him or herself is banned from the building?”

That’s a good point actually. Medieval/Ottoman notion of 'justice' is prevalent under Battistelli; even worse — it dates back to the Roman Empire. When will Battistelli throw truth-telling staff representatives and judges into the lion’s den for his entertainment purposes? Will he pay “media partners” to broadcast such an event in some Portuguese Colosseum?

“We are entering phase two of the Battistelli strategy to “improve” the EPO,” one comment noted, explaining the current situation as follows:

Oh dear. The EPO used to be a “golden cage”, where employees were trapped by the generous salary and benefits package. Now the golden bars are apparently not enough, and require steel reinforcement.

I fear that this is a very ominous sign. We are entering phase two of the Battistelli strategy to “improve” the EPO:

1) decapitate the staff representation
2) block all the exits
3) do whatever you want to the staff, because you’ve got them exactly where you want them, and there’s b****r all they can do about it.

That’s an excellent point actually. It was further expanded on by this comment which said, “as soon as the new rules will enter into force, petty vindictive Battistelli will use them to bar the dismissed Mrs. Hardon to collaborate with SUEPO.” As a reminder (of what we covered here before), Hardon was re-elected to SUEPO leadership, even after Battistelli had fired her, wrongly believing she would be history thereafter.

“As a reminder (of what we covered here before), Hardon was re-elected to SUEPO leadership, even after Battistelli had fired her, wrongly believing she would be history thereafter.”These comments make perfect sense and every single member of the Administrative Council should be made aware of it. Here are the contact details for members of the Administrative Council. It seems rather apparent, as our previous post serves to indicate, that the EPO’s staff union (not the yellow one which increasingly acts racist) is still under extreme attacks from Battistelli and his thugs; only the strategy changed a little bit.

Dutch Media Reveals That Battistelli Continues His Vicious War on Staff Unions, Laurent Prunier the Latest Casualty (The Hague)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worse than doing none of what the Administrative Council demanded

Battistelli in Dutch media

Summary: “Last week,” says Dutch media, Laurent Prunier from SUEPO in The Hague “got delivered its final report. Conclusion: guilty of “misconduct” that undermine Battistelli’s leadership.”

THE EPO is busy distracting from today's protests which we'll expand on in our next post. But not all the media received money from the EPO (at Battistelli’s request), nor does it drink that silly EIA16 Kool-Aid.

As one person pointed out in IP Kat the other day, “the EPO is back again in the NL reputable press” (pointing to this new bit of negative publicity from the Dutch mainstream media).

Well, “translations welcome,” we said, and we believe the article was well overdue because of the latest protests (to be covered later). Only a day later SUEPO added a link to this article and Petra Kramer, a native Dutch speaker, prepared a translation for us and remarked: “Not one bit of progress has been made.”

Here is the full translation with important bits highlighted in yellow:

Private war between CEO and and the union of the patent office is not over yet

Labour conflict Again there is hassle in the European Patent Office. The ruthless nature of CEO Battistelli is a concern for Member States.

Eppo König

June 9, 2016

Earlier this year it seemed or Battistelli President of the EPO would resign.

The war between President Benoît Battistelli of the European Patent Office (EPO) and its trade union continues. While the Frenchman Thursday in Lisbon rewards the inventor of the year, his staff in The Hague holds a protest march along the embassies of EU Member States. “Our management is bullying and intimidating trade union and works council members in a manner that would be unacceptable in your country,” they wrote to the ambassadors.

The patent office (38 States, 7,000 employees) is the largest intergovernmental organization in Europe, after the European Commission. The agency reviews patent applications and grants European patents. Headquartered in Munich, inter alia, an office in Rijswijk.

Early this year, tensions at the EPO were so high that it seemed as if Battistelli (65) would resign. The highest body of the Agency, the Management Board representing the 38 Member States, forced Battistelli to hold back against union SUEPO.

The intervention followed the dismissal of two trade union leaders, the Dutch Els Hardon, union president in Munich, its German predecessor Ion Brumme. Treasurer Malika Weaver is cut in her salary. The official accusations are conspiring against Battistelli and bullying a member of the council who was pro-Battistelli.

Guilty of misconduct

But the president is not finished with the union, which represents half of the employees. The own research unit of the EPO completed the research of union secretary Laurent Prunier, who was too stressed to work and has been on unpaid leave for five months. Last week he got delivered its final report. Conclusion: guilty of “misconduct” that undermine Battistelli’s leadership.

“Either you have not understood the resolution of the Member States or you ignored it from the beginning,” Prunier’s lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld wrote in a letter to all Member States and Battistelli last week. The president was indeed summoned to suspend all pending proceedings against trade unionists. He needs the review the ‘disciplinary procedures’ to ensure that they are fair and that the are seen that way by the outside world.

The point is that the patent office as an international organization is not covered by national labour law. We are immune to our rules and can not be judged through Dutch eyes, says Battistelli. In refusing to recognize trade union SUEPO he is in defiance of the Hague Court. Employees with a labour dispute should go to the International Labour Organization, a slow UN body in Geneva. The office in Rijwijk uses a Belgian company doctor that is not registered as a doctor in the Netherlands.

Just as the agency has its own research unit – which hears employees without a lawyer present, is the criticism of the union. Even independent research confirms that the “integrity” and “ethical behavior” in this package can be improved. A “very clear” definition of misconduct must be drawn up, according to a report from May. The service should clearly explain how e-mail and computers are investigated. And above all: the unit must operate independently of the president.


“The research unit will answer without a lawyer workers there”


The case Prunier can end up as a sensitive issue this month as the management board meets again. Major countries, such as Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland, have heavily criticized by Battistelli, according to sources. The negative publicity about the conflicts harm the reputation of the agency, which has outstanding patent researchers. The incidents embarrass host countries such as the Netherlands because intervention is almost impossible.

In substantive terms critical Member States do agree with Battistelli. They support the reforms he has implemented, such as investment in IT and bonuses for performance instead of seniority. The Member States’ concern lies primarily with the ruthless, irascible character Battistelli. He seems to wage a private war against a union, which is just as war-like as the president himself. The conflict thereby is also hindering business operations, such as the reform of the pension system.

As the president of the EPO Battistelli has a lot of power, the 38 Member States can not do much. There is no impeachment procedure in the regulations, apart from the question of whether or not a majority of the Member States would support it. The more time passes, the closer Battistelli gets to the end of his term. That could mean two long years of conflict, lawsuits and bad publicity.

The patent office does not respond to individual cases, said a spokesman. The agency says that the management board is regularly informed on the reform of investigations and sanctions.

As we are going to show in our next post, it’s likely that not only Prunier is under additional attacks from Battistelli, who is truly crazy and detached from reality (perhaps he feels like he’s totally unsackable). Is Jesus, who reportedly suffered mental breakdowns due to the vicious attacks on him (and apparently his wife too came under veiled attacks), next in Battistelli’s firing line, for the alleged ‘crime’ of helping to conduct a staff survey? Based on patterns of the EPO's actions against SUEPO, The Hague is next, after all the attacks in Munich (which still exacerbate further).

Correction (10/6/2016): The “NRC Translation,” a reader told us, had a “factual error” as follows:

I spotted an important factual error from the document translated that requires clarification to best illustrate how the current regime acts:

Laurent Prunier is not on unpaid leave contrary to what is here written. The current administration cut 100% of his remuneration since January (!) although Laurent has been certified sick by his treating GP and by the GP designated as Arbiter. This is of course nothing else but a harsh disciplinary sanction, this time without even a board of discipline! That’s very different than being on unpaid leave ;)

Thanks for correcting this small but important detail!

EPO’s European Inventor Award 2016 (EIA16) is Not an Award Event, It Is a Propaganda and Lobbying Event of Battistelli, EPO Just Foots the Bill

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC ratification and other favours among the real motivations and paid-for media the means

Portugal and Battistelli

Summary: The truly terrible reality behind EIA16, which is nothing other than self-serving Battistelli propaganda which costs a lot of money and distorts European media

THE EPO (Organisation) as a whole merely embarrasses itself with the silly (and risky) EIA16 charade, which is somewhat like a beauty pageant dressed up as “science”. It mirrors what Blatter was doing at FIFA in his last days.

Just over an hour ago the EPO's PR folks retweeted the following from Carlos Moedas (with the photo at the top): “Inspiring #EIA16 opening ceremony with EPOorg President Mr. Battistelli and Prime Minister Costa” (Moedas is European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, so he too is being lobbied and was perhaps invited to be brainwashed).

“Battistelli, who had the EPO cover the costs for this charade of his, is about as crazy as Blatter (totally out of touch with reality).”Mr. Battistelli is lobbying Portugal very much as expected, as correctly predicted in our previous coverage of this. To use the words of someone from the EPO who saw that: “My stomach churns as this theater is absurd!”

The EPO shows us that not only politicians can buy the media. Mr. Battistelli does the same thing; he literally paid an estimated millions of Euros to the media (the exact number is unknown to us, but we can extrapolate based on last year).

Battistelli, who had the EPO cover the costs for this charade of his, is about as crazy as Blatter (totally out of touch with reality). He apparently said: “Our ambition is that the European Inventor Award becomes the Nobel Prize for innovation” (who does he think he is, Alfred Nobel? No wonder he wastes a fortune on six unnecessary bodyguards, demonstrating his megalomania and having the EPO cover all the costs with dubious pretexts).

“EIA2016 may not effective enough a distraction (e.g. from today’s protests), but does Battistelli care? He doesn’t pay a dime for this. He’s draining the Office dry just to cover his own behind right now.”viEUws, which is a media partner of the EPO this year (we assume it got paid by Battistelli’s EPO, but we don’t know how much), continues to to do puff pieces, having already produced some for Battistelli several months ago (as it already did a softball questions ‘interview’ with Battistelli). How much was spent on this? The EPO certainly paid a lot of money to the Financial Times (London) to play along with this charade and it still shows. More EPO-sponsored propaganda from the Financial Times can be seen today and it’s part of a broader wave of puff pieces in France, in Germany, and several other countries (the EPO paid another half a dozen media companies).

EIA2016 may not effective enough a distraction (e.g. from today’s protests), but does Battistelli care? He doesn’t pay a dime for this. He’s draining the Office dry just to cover his own behind right now.

The EPO is collapsing while spending millions of Euros hiding this collapse. Battistelli has totally destroyed the EPO and if he’s not ejected later this month, there will be serious consequences. Board 28 certainly knows this.

Links 9/6/2016: Qt 5.6.1, NetOS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 7 Open Source DevOps Products and Their Channel Impact

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the DevOps mode of software development is fast becoming one of the new big forces in the channel. Here’s a look at some of the key projects and products in the open source DevOps space, and an explanation of how each one will change the way organizations create and VARs integrate software.

  • 3 open source alternatives to MATLAB

    Fortunately, there are many great open source alternatives. Depending on exactly what your objective is, you may find one or another to more aptly fit your specific needs. Here are three to consider:

  • Open source tools enable professional photography

    I find it sad that most people don’t realize how many options there are for photography software on Linux. While most Linux users are aware of GIMP, their knowledge beyond that is sorely limited. Surprising to many is the fact that professional photography on Linux is such a serious business that there are even closed source proprietary programs that are developed and sold to run on Linux.

    The ability to work with RAW files from a camera is a must for professional and amateur photographers alike. While this initially may seem like a very specific niche where the options would be limited, the open source philosophy has helped create many options. Darktable, Lightzone, Shotwell, RawTherapee, digiKam, Photivo, UFRaw, and Fotoxx are all open source options that a Linux user can choose from.

  • Fiorano ESB Goes Open Source

    The Fiorano Open Source ESB is available at:

    http://www.fiorano.com/products/open-source-esb/fiorano-esb/

    https://github.com/FioranoSoftware/FioranoESB

  • Events

    • Tokyo – Automotive Linux Summit

      AGL.automotiveITThe Linux Foundation, which promotes the general adoption of the open-source operating system, will host the Automotive Linux Summit in Tokyo July 13-14.

      The conference will bring together a range of automotive engineers, Linux experts, business executives and open-source licensing and compliance specialists.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

    • ODPi: Test Less, Build More Applications With Hadoop

      According to Alan Gates, co-founder of Hortonworks and ODPi member, that’s the issue the Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi) is here to solve: create a single test specification that works across all Hadoop distributions so developers can get back to creating innovative applications and end users can get back to making money, or curing cancer, or sending people into space.

    • Databricks Community Edition Out for Everyone Now, Includes Spark Training

      Earlier this year, Databricks came out with the beta release of Databricks Community Edition, a free version of its cloud-based Spark platform. Since then, Spark has been commanding everyone’s attention, and now Databricks, which is the company founded by the team that created Apache Spark, has announced the General Availability of Databricks Community Edition (DCE), a free version of the just-in-time data platform built on top of Apache Spark, at Spark Summit 2016.

    • IBM and Other Tech Titans Raise Commitments to Apache Spark
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Midokura raises $20M Series B round for its network virtualization platform

      Network virtualization specialist Midokura today announced it has raised a $20 million Series B round with participation from Japanese fintech company Simplex and existing investors like Allen Miner and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. With this round, Midokura’s total funding has now hit $44 million.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Access/Content

      • Professor, publisher clash over stance on open-source education

        In a growing climate of “publish or perish” for university faculty members, forfeiting a publishing opportunity is a unique and strong stance in any discipline. Add that to the recent news of shrinking opportunities for faculty positions in liberal arts disciplines, and Jhangiani’s position seems even bolder.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • FarmBot Open Source CNC Farming Robot (video)

        If like me you are lacking green fingers but would like to be able to grow your own vegetables you may be interested in a new open source CNC farming robot that has been created using Arduino hardware and awesome programming, called FarmBot.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • AMD Zen Reportedly Delayed Until Early Next Year

      According to reports, AMD’s Zen processors have been delayed until the start of the next year and it’s also affecting Intel’s Kabylake launch.

      While we were looking for AMD’s much anticipated Zen processors were expected to launch by the end of Q3 according to information from AMD just recently, now it’s believed that Zen might not be shipping until January 2017.

  • Security

    • University gives in to $20,000 ransomware demand

      Calgary officials agreed to pay the ransom but it will take some time for the encryption keys to be used on all of the university’s infected machines, of which there are over 100. The process is time-consuming and it is not yet known if the keys will even work.

    • University of Calgary pays hackers $20,000 after ransomware attack

      A chain of hospitals in Washington, D.C., was hit in March, while a Los Angeles medical centre shelled out $17,000 earlier this year to hackers following a ransomware attack.

    • Unintended Consequences Of Slavery In IT

      Obviously many use That Other OS for valid purposes but few would do so if this incident was on their radar. There are hundreds of such malwares. How many times will the university pay up for permission to use the hardware they own? They’ve already likely paid Intel double the value for their chips, M$, even more for permission to use Intel’s chips and now a steady stream of cyber-criminals.

    • Mikko Hypponen: Real Hackers Don’t Wear Hoodies (Cybercrime is Big Business)

      I’ll be discussing these topics, and how they apply to open source systems and to service providers further in my keynote (“Complexity: The enemy of Security”) at the OPNFV Summit in Berlin on June 22-23. See you in Berlin!

    • Your mobile phone account could be hijacked by an identity thief

      A few weeks ago an unknown person walked into a mobile phone store, claimed to be me, asked to upgrade my mobile phones, and walked out with two brand new iPhones assigned to my telephone numbers. My phones immediately stopped receiving calls, and I was left with a large bill and the anxiety and fear of financial injury that spring from identity theft. This post describes my experiences as a victim of ID theft, explains the growing problem of phone account hijacking, and suggests ways consumers and mobile phone carriers can help combat these scams.

    • Password Re-user? Get Ready to Get Busy

      In the wake of megabreaches at some of the Internet’s most-recognized destinations, don’t be surprised if you receive password reset requests from numerous companies that didn’t experience a breach: Some big name companies — including Facebook and Netflix — are in the habit of combing through huge data leak troves for credentials that match those of their customers and then forcing a password reset for those users.

    • Belgium tops list of nations most vulnerable to hacking

      A new “heat map of the internet” has revealed the countries most vulnerable to hacking attacks, by scanning the entire internet for servers with their front doors wide open.

    • Australia fourth most vulnerable nation to hacking: study

      Australia ranks fourth among the countries most vulnerable to hacking attacks, according to a study by penetration testing and information security form Rapid7.

      Belgium tops the list, followed by Tajikistan and Samoa.

      The company compiled what it calls a “heat map” of the Internet, looking for servers that had exposed ports that could be compromised.

    • University pays almost $16,000 to recover crucial data held hostage

      Canada’s University of Calgary paid almost $16,000 ($20,000 Canadian, ~£10,800) to recover crucial data that has been held hostage for more than a week by crypto ransomware attackers.

      The ransom was disclosed on Wednesday morning in a statement issued by University of Calgary officials. It said university IT personnel had made progress in isolating the unnamed ransomware infection and restoring affected parts of the university network. It went on to warn that there’s no guarantee paying the controversial ransom will lead to the lost data being recovered.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Assange: Rasmussen Became NATO Chief After Secret Deal With Turkey, US

      Ex-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen became NATO secretary general in 2009 in exchange for a secret deal with Turkey and the United States to close the Kurdish Roj TV satellite broadcaster operating in Denmark, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

    • It’s Still Remarkably Easy For Criminals To Buy Guns On Facebook

      The ban, implemented in January, prohibits the private, person-to-person sales of guns, but allows gun clubs and licensed dealers to continue to operate Facebook and Instagram accounts. As Vocativ reported in February, the ban didn’t stop the online sale of guns, it just moved several online firearm marketplaces to other social media websites. Now, it appears private marketplaces on Facebook are still flourishing and in many cases do not appear to be adhering to the social network’s gun policy.

    • Netanyahu vows ‘decisive’ response to Tel Aviv attack

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed a “decisive” response to Wednesday’s deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv, and said Israel’s security services would track down any who may have aided the shooters.

      Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan visited the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv, site of Wednesday night’s shooting attack, following an emergency briefing at IDF headquarters, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

    • UK Illegally Harasses Russian Submarine Engaged in Lawful Passage of English Channel

      Contrary to Article 44 of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, to which the UK and Russia are both party, the UK has engaged in extensive illegal harassment of a Russian naval submarine engaged in fully lawful transit of the Dover Strait.

      A Russian naval vessel en route between the Baltic and Black Seas is fully and specifically entitled under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Articles 37 and 38 to the right of passage through the strait. This is in addition to the general right of passage through the territorial sea at Article 17. The Russian navy was in full compliance with the provision at Article 20 that, while in territorial waters, the submarine must be on the surface and displaying its flag, and in compliance with Articles 29 to 32 on warships.

      Not only does the Russian Navy have every right to sail through the Dover strait on passage, it has been exercising that right – along with many other navies – for over a hundred years. The decision of the British government now to employ military harassment and threat is not only illegal, it is a gross and entirely deliberate act of provocation designed to sour international relations and disturb the atmosphere of world peace.

    • Newly released records cast doubt on FBI claims about its actions in Cambridge days after marathon bombings

      Newly released Cambridge Police Department records cast doubt on FBI claims about its agents’ activities in Cambridge in the critical hours before the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly shot and killed MIT police officer Sean Collier, carjacked another man, and engaged in a spectacular firefight with police officers in a quiet suburban residential neighborhood in Watertown. The new records provide additional backdrop to rumors among local law enforcement that the FBI has greatly misrepresented the truth about its knowledge of and relationship to the elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

    • After a Deadly Attack in Tel Aviv, Police Are Urged to Execute a Captive Suspect

      The civilian’s demand for the immediate, extrajudicial killing of the suspected gunman by officers echoes a similar call heard on another Tel Aviv street in March, when a police volunteer shot a Palestinian suspected of killing an American tourist, after he had already been wounded and immobilized.

    • Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime

      Night and day, U.S. “pilots” sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime, writes Dennis J Bernstein.

    • Democrats Are Now the Aggressive War Party

      For nearly a half century – since late in the Vietnam War – the Democrats have been the less warlike of the two parties, but that has flipped with the choice of war hawk Hillary Clinton, writes Robert Parry.

    • FBI is “Cooking Up” Cases Against Muslims

      “A 2014 study, “Inventing Terrorists: the Lawfare of Preventive Prosecution” by Project Salam and the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, found that almost every domestic terrorist plot from 2001 to 2010 was in some way cooked up or assisted (and eventually ‘busted’) by the FBI. The report analyzed about 400 domestic terror cases and found only that only four cases were initiated or driven without the encouragement of the bureau.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Anti-Fracking Momentum Grows with Another People’s Victory in California

      Notching another victory for the growing national anti-fracking movement, voters in Butte County, California on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a measure that bans the controversial oil and gas drilling process in their communities.

      Measure E won with 71 percent of the vote, making Butte the fourth California county to pass such a measure, following Mendocino, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties, and adding to the growing list of states and municipalities across the nation that have come out against fracking.

      Agriculture is the top industry in Butte County, which sits just north of Sacramento. Proponents of the measure argued that threatening the aquifers with toxic fracking chemicals would destroy the “lifeblood” of the local economy.

  • Finance

    • Coalition may add clause to Japan trade deal that lets foreign companies sue Australia

      The Turnbull government is considering adding a controversial provision to the Japan-Australia free-trade agreement that would allow foreign corporations to sue the Australian government.

      It has been negotiating with Japan’s government about the plan but no conclusion has been reached.

      The provision is called an “investor state dispute settlement” (ISDS).

      ISDS provisions allow foreign corporations to sue the Australian government in an international tribunal if they think the government has introduced or changed laws that significantly hurt their interests.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • How California is being stolen from Sanders right now

      There are a mind-blowing 4.2 million voters in California registered NPP – and they share a love for sunshine and Bernie Sanders. According to the reliable Golden State poll, among NPP voters, Sen. Sanders whoops Sec. Hillary Clinton by a stunning 40 percentage points.

      [...]

      On the other team, registered Democrats prefer Clinton by a YUGE 30 points. NPP’s can vote in the Democratic primary, so, the California primary comes down to a fight between D’s and NPP’s.

      And there’s the rub. In some counties like Los Angeles, it’s not easy for an NPP to claim their right vote in the Democratic primary – and in other counties, nearly impossible.

      Example: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, if you don’t say the magic words, “I want a Democratic crossover ballot,” you are automatically given a ballot without the presidential race. And ready for this, if an NPP voter asks the poll worker, “How do I get to vote in the Democratic party primary, they are instructed to say that, “NPP voters can’t get Democratic ballots.” They are ordered not to breathe a word that the voter can get a “crossover” ballot that includes the presidential race.

      I’m not kidding. This is from the official Election Officer Training Manual page 49:

      “A No Party Preference voter will need to request a crossover ballot from the Roster Index Officer. (Do not offer them a crossover ballot if they do not ask).”

    • Sanders Campaign Prepares For Run As An Independent

      A quiet burst of activity from the Sanders campaign seems to all but guarantee that Sanders will run as an independent this election cycle. All across the country Sanders’ core infrastructure of volunteers and paid staff are mobilizing to collect signatures and perform necessary paperwork to get him on the general election ballots in the states.

      Officials highly placed within the Sanders campaign remain evasive and deny that the senator plans, at this time, to run as an independent. Bernie’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, has stated time and time again that they intend to go all the way to the convention and make the case that Sanders should be the Democratic nominee for the 2016 general election. But the Sanders campaign is actively engaging in activities, within the states, that have no other purpose besides putting Sanders in the position of being able to run as an independent candidate against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

    • J’Accuse! WikiLeaks Founder Assange Claims Google Has Deal With Clinton

      Moreover, the Internet giant Google is heavily integrated with the US establishment and is allying with the US exceptionalism campaign, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

      “Google is heavily integrated with Washington power, at personal level and at business level… Google which has increasing control over the distribution channels… is intensely allying itself US exceptionalism,” Assange added.

      Speaking about about Hillary Clinton as presumptive presidential nominee from the US Democrat party Assange said that she “seemingly” wants to start wars, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.

    • Clinton tech aide asks court to keep immunity deal secret

      A former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton is seeking to keep under wraps an immunity deal the aide reached with the Justice Department in its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

      A lawyer for Bryan Pagliano submitted a sealed motion and exhibits to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan Tuesday afternoon, less than two hours before the 5 p.m. deadline Sullivan set for the filing of Pagliano’s immunity agreement.

      A legal memorandum filed publicly Tuesday confirms for the first time that Pagliano reached such an immunity agreement, and lays out arguments for why he should still be able to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in a Freedom of Information Act suit a conservative group, Judicial Watch, is pursuing over Clinton’s email set-up.

    • Depoliticizing Anti-Trump Protests Plays Into Right-Wing Narrative

      Like all movements in the fascism family, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is based on an ethnonationalist fear that impure elements within our borders (Muslims, Mexicans, “welfare thugs” and other powerless people) will fatally corrode this great nation if they’re not purged. A roundup by the Southern Poverty Law Center indicates that white nationalists are celebrating Trump as the savior for whom they’ve waited so long. Their hopes are captured in a popular neo-Nazi edit of the movie 300, which shows Trump rambling about globalism before kicking President Obama down a well shaft. The message: Emperor Trump will save white America (the one true America) from the hordes.

    • Thank You Bernie

      Sharing the bittersweet aftermath of Clinton’s likely victory, Bernie supporters have flooded the hashtag #ThankYouBernie with heartfelt thanks for a remarkable campaign by a man who’s already spent 50 years fighting to give a voice to the voiceless. They’ve thanked him for ignoring the experts, taking on the Democratic establishment, and fighting like hell; for recognizing black and poor and Palestinian lives; for newly inspiring the young and not-so-young who’d years back gave up on being inspired, but who now vow to keep on fighting; for being humble, gracious, tireless despite the denial and condescension of most mainstream media; for “accepting misfits, radicals, rabble-rousers and rappers into the inner circle of your campaign”; for speaking the truth, doing what’s right, staying on track, giving a damn. One meme circulating: “Do no harm, but take no shit.” May he, and we, prevail.f

    • Hillary Clinton’s State Department Gave South Sudan’s Military a Pass for Its Child Soldiers

      I met a few of them in the town of Pibor last year. These battle-tested veterans had just completed two or three years of military service. They told me about the rigors of a soldier’s life, about toting AK-47s, about the circumstances that led them to take up arms. In the United States, not one of these soldiers would have met the age requirements to enlist in the Army. None were older than 16.

    • Mainstream Media Didn’t Hold Back in Headlines About Clinton and Sanders

      If you were one of millions of Americans who went to the polls Tuesday night in the hope of putting Bernie Sanders in the White House, you were probably disappointed with the outcome of the most recent round of primaries. But supporters of Hillary Clinton were likely thrilled, and it seems that much of the mainstream media joined in on the revelry.

      Amid the onslaught of news coverage surrounding Clinton’s victories, perhaps the media was simply trying to engage readers with gripping headlines. But in an election season that has already seen complaints of media bias against Sanders, several of Tuesday night’s top headlines seemed to bask in Sanders’ defeat.

    • Jill Stein to Bernie Sanders: Join the Green Party Ticket (Video)

      Stein also pushed back on the notion that introducing a viable third-party element into the presidential contest at this stage would represent another “spoiler” situation that would boost presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s chances of taking over the White House. In other words, although a ballot featuring Trump’s and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s names may induce déjà vu for many voters, this isn’t a repeat of the 2000 election, when Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was branded a fatal distraction by Democratic contender Al Gore’s supporters.

      “Let me just say that ‘spoiler’ presumes that democracy is bad and that choices are bad,” Stein said. “And actually what’s really different from 2000 is that voters are saying, ‘Screw the system. Throw it under the bus!’ And not only the system but the candidates … and people are clamoring for independent parties and independent candidates and more voices and more choices.”

    • Why Clinton Has Already Lost Wisconsin

      The desultory, divided, and demoralized state Democratic party held its annual convention over the past weekend in Green Bay, home of the Packers. Bernie Sanders had won the state handily, and the Superdelegates went right along with the Clinton team anyway. Why would they concern themselves with the popular vote, the mass rallies, and the contrast to Hillary’s appearance in small venues or (in Madison) by-invitation-only events?

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA’s Curious Goal-Post Moving on Snowden’s Complaints

      In our piece on NSA’s response to requests for records of Edward Snowden’s complaints, Jason Leopold and I reported that a senior NSA official apologized to Admiral Mike Rogers for providing insufficient context about Snowden’s contacts with oversight entities before Snowden’s email to OGC got released on May 29, 2014. (See PDF 6 for the email and response as they got publicly released.) More importantly, we reported that the apology — written after several days of fact-checking — included at least one clear error. After we pointed that out to the intelligence community and asked questions for clarification, the NSA significantly moved the goalposts on its claims about whether Snowden had raised concerns, denying that Snowden had talked to the top three NSA officials rather than lower level ones. Here’s why I think that’s significant.

    • Former CIA, NSA Director Michael Hayden to Speak at AAPEX 2016 [Ed: Automotives event to be brought you by the guy who brags about killing people based on metadata]
    • U.K. Commons Passes Controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’ Bill

      The U.K. House of Commons on Tuesday passed a controversial bill giving spy agencies the power to engage in bulk surveillance and computer hacking.

    • UK Parliament Ignores Concerns; Moves Snooper’s Charter Forward

      This isn’t necessarily a huge surprise, but the UK’s House of Commons overwhelmingly voted in support of the Snooper’s Charter, officially known as the Investigatory Powers Bill. As we’ve discussed, this is a dangerous bill that will give the UK government significantly more surveillance powers (or, in many cases, will “authorize” things that the UK government has already been doing on dubious legal authority), with little to no real oversight. And despite people being upset about it, it still was approved by a vote of 444 to 69. And, yes, the current version of the bill still asks for backdoors to encryption, but leaves a vague exemption if a company claims that it would not be feasible or would be too expensive. That’s better than the alternative, but it’s still a step in the wrong direction. The bill still needs to be considered by the House of Lords, but it’s disappointing that the House of Commons seemed so willing to cave to demands for more surveillance powers.

    • This is how the National Crime Agency thinks your internet connection records will look if the Snooper’s Charter passes into law

      The National Crime Agency gave a briefing to press yesterday about how it believed investigatory powers are necessary for the organisation to perform its role, and how it would like internet communication information to be displayed.

      Speaking to the press at a briefing yesterday, the same day the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill – or Snooper’s Charter – continued its journey into UK law, the National Crime Agency (NCA) laid out how it wants the internet connection records (ICR) of suspects it’s investigating to look, should the bill pass.

      The NCA is responsible for investigating organised crime like human, weapon and drug trafficking; cyber crime; economic crime and plays an increasingly important role in investigating terrorism.

    • The New York Times Is Preparing to Step Up Its War on Ad Blockers [iophk: "somehow the article(s) omit addressing properly the malware and trackers they were serving up via the "ads""]

      Like most online publishers, the New York Times is fighting an ongoing guerrilla war against ad blocking, a phenomenon that a recent study said could lead to more than $35 billion in losses for media companies by 2020. NYT chief executive Mark Thompson now says he is even considering what amounts to a nuclear option: Banning users with ad blockers completely.

    • Google To Deprecate SSLv3, RC4 in Gmail IMAP/POP Clients

      Google said that it will initiate on June 16 a gradual deprecation of SSLv3 and RC4 for Gmail IMAP/POP mail clients.

      Both the crypto protocols cipher are notoriously unsafe and are being phased out in big chunks of the Internet. Google, for its part, had already announced in May that it would no longer support SSLv3 and RC4 connections for Gmail SMTP.

    • The Troubling Metadata Sharing Program That Was Just Revealed in the UK

      For years, and in secret, UK law enforcement agencies have had access to metadata collected by the country’s powerful signals intelligence agency GCHQ.

      The fact this power has only been revealed now raises serious questions around government transparency, especially while Home Secretary Theresa May and others are pushing a controversial surveillance law on the premise that law enforcement need greater visibility into criminals using the internet.

      Through a program called MILKWHITE, revealed on Tuesday in Snowden documents published by The Intercept, the Metropolitan Police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and more have been able to dig through GCHQ’s intercepts for things such as IP addresses.

      According to The Intercept, MILKWHITE stretches all the way back to September 2009, and may include information on British calls, emails and browsing data. (It’s not totally clear what amount or exact type of data has been provided to law enforcement—The Intercept suggests it was collected by GCHQ’s tapping of undersea cables).

    • Snowden and the NSA Gets Curiouser and Curiouser

      However, the NSA maintained then and still maintains that it could find only one email message from Snowden that touched on the subject.

      Snowden did much more than send a single email warning, Vice found.

      He had an in-person interaction with one of the people who responded to his email, for example. The NSA, the administration and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., all made efforts to discredit him, the FOIA documents revealed.

      After releasing the documents to Vice, the NSA posted them to its website, along with a reaffirmation of its original position.

    • VICE’s Vice: Snowden Scoop Promises Fire, Doesn’t Even Muster Smoke

      Over the weekend, VICE published a story entitled “Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.” If you haven’t read it, don’t bother. By its incendiary headline, the story—the product of documents released as part of a FOIA lawsuit—would purport to be an outright validation of Edward Snowden’s claims that he repeatedly tried to raise surveillance concerns with NSA officials but was ignored. But as journalist Mike Sacks put it, the story is “thousands of words promising fire and there’s not even any smoke.”

    • Watch the Full Episode: ‘State of Surveillance’ with Edward Snowden and Shane Smith

      The full episode of VICE on HBO’s ‘State of Surveillance’ is available to stream for free on VICE News.

      When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, he ignited a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple refused an FBI court order to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino Terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents. To find out the government’s real capabilities, and whether any of us can truly protect our sensitive information, VICE founder Shane Smith heads to Moscow to meet the man who started the conversation, Edward Snowden.

    • Muhammad Ali Was a Victim of Illegal NSA Surveillance

      With the recent passing of the boxer considered by many to be “the greatest of all time,” the world has stopped to reflect upon his legacy outside of the ring. It was no secret that Ali was just as outspoken about his political and religious beliefs as he was about his opinions of his boxing opponents. At the height of his career, the man formerly known as Cassius Clay spoke out against U.S. War in Vietnam and became a conscientious objector to the draft.

      Because of his actions that he took because of his commitment to his Islamic faith, the U.S. government jailed him for draft evasion. In response to requests for explanation of his actions, the world heavyweight champ said, “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

    • Forty-One Secret Service Employees Punished For Illegally Accessing Congressman’s Private Data In Hopes Of Discrediting Him

      When Rep. Jason Chaffetz began asking the Secret Service about its string of high-profile failures, agents were quick to respond… with attempts to undermine the Congressman’s credibility. Eighteen minutes after the hearings started, Secret Service agents — dozens of them — began poring through his 2003 Secret Service application in hopes of finding a few skeletons in his previously-vetted closet.

      Even Secret Service Assistant Director Ed Lowery got in on the illegal fun, suggesting via email that “some information [Chaffetz] finds embarrassing needs to get out.” Information did get out, but it had no effect on Chaffetz’s reputation. The only people embarassed were the Secret Service and DHS head Jeh Johnson, who was forced to apologize on its behalf.

      Johnson’s press release, detailing the results of the DHS’s investigation of the incident, shows dozens were questioned about this violation of the Privacy Act. Better yet, it shows dozens were punished for their misconduct.

    • Almost three quarters don’t know powers of Bill which will ‘end online privacy and put our personal security at risk’
    • Snoopers’ Charter: ‘Independent’ reviewer worked at GCHQ

      A SUPPOSED independent reviewer for the Snoopers’ Charter worked at UK spy agency GCHQ for five years.

      MPs have already voted in favour of a third reading of the Investigatory Powers Bill, by a margin of 444 to 69, despite a huge backlash from people and pressure groups who want to see the bill shredded and never spoken of again.

      David Anderson QC, an independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has condemned the bill and has now started a new review.

      “I will be asking whether the government has established a robust operational case for the bulk powers it says it needs, and examining whether similar results could have been reached by other, less intrusive, means,” he said.

    • FBI claimed Petraeus shared ‘top secret’ info with reporters

      The investigation that led CIA Director David Petraeus to resign and ultimately plead guilty to a criminal charge of mishandling classified information also uncovered evidence that he discussed highly classified information with journalists, according to a court document obtained Tuesday by POLITICO.

      Requesting a search warrant for Petraeus’ Arlington, Virginia home in 2013, an FBI agent told a federal magistrate the agency had two audio recordings in which the retired four-star Army general spoke with reporters about matters that authorities believed were “top secret.”

    • Snowden Docs Show GCHQ, MI5 To Be All Haystack, No Needle

      “Collect it all,” they said. “You can’t find needles without haystacks,” they proclaimed. “The more you know,” they rainbowed. All well and good, except the NSA, GCHQ, et al. appear to have far more in common with the protagonists of “Hoarding: Buried Alive” than with effective, finely-tuned terrorism-fighting machines.

      [...]

      This isn’t just an MI5 problem. And it’s not just a bulk surveillance problem. GCHQ uses the same “data broker” — a program called PRESTON, run by the National Technical Assistance Center, which is supposed to act as a go-between for intelligence agencies in order to prevent the siloing of data. But it doesn’t work. It has prevented agencies from walling each other off, but the info firehose is still too much for agencies to handle — even with more-targeted surveillance.

      Targeted collections fare little better than the bulk collections, in terms of needle location. The following chart shows how much data goes unutilized in cases where suspects are known and targeted with individualized warrants.

    • ZeroNet: An Open Source, Decentralized, And Anonymous Internet-like Network

      We have already discussed BitTorrent’s new Project Maelstrom which has the potential to change the way we interact with the Internet. When BitTorrent first announced Project Maelstrom, somewhere back in December 2014, a bunch of open source developers started a project called ZeroNet — an open alternative of Project Maelstrom.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Senator Jeff Sessions Looks To Blast A Giant Hole In The 4th Amendment For ‘Emergency’ Response

      Yesterday we wrote about an already troubling attempt by Senator John Cornyn to attach a dangerous amendment to the Senate’s ECPA reform bill that would massively expand what kinds of electronic communications the FBI has access to (as we noted, the FBI already pretends it has access to this very info, so really this law would be papering over the FBI’s illegal collection of this info). But there’s another amendment, put forth by Senator Jeff Sessions, that is just as, if not more, troubling. It’s basically creating a massive loophole in the 4th Amendment, saying that any and all basic oversight can be tossed out the second the FBI declares the situation to be an “emergency.”

    • Russia Imprisoning Dozens Of Social Media Critics For ‘Hate Speech’

      We just wrote about the big social media companies agreeing to quickly take down content for “hate speech” in the EU, and warned about how problematic this was. The definition of “hate speech” matters quite a bit, and we’ve pointed out in the past how “hate speech” laws frequently morph into a tool for government censorship. So perhaps it should be no surprise at all that just around the same time that Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft agreed to start censoring “hate speech” in the EU, we get another story from the Associated Press about how Russia is using its own hate speech laws to imprison dozens of critics who mocked the government on social media.

    • The death of due process

      Suppose someone is accused of rape, or some other horrifying crime. If the accusation is true then the perpetrator should go to jail. If the accusation is false then the source of this false accusation should pay for this slander. Clearly someone has broken the law.

      A lynch mob forms to punish the alleged rapist by whatever means possible. A second lynch mob forms to punish the accuser, the alleged slanderer, again by whatever means possible. These mobs are full of angry people who want to be judges and juries and executioners. The members of the first lynch mob dismiss the possibility that the accusation is false. The members of the second lynch mob dismiss the possibility that the accusation is true.

      Evidently many of these people are wrong: accidentally or maliciously deceived. At the same time all of these people are convinced that they know who deserves punishment.

    • Jacob Appelbaum statement

      In the past few days, a calculated and targeted attack has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me. Given the way these accusations have been handled, I had little choice but to resign from my position as an advocate at the Tor Project and devote my full attention to completing my doctoral work on cryptography at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

      Vague rumors and smear campaigns against me are nothing new. As a longtime public advocate for free speech and a secure internet, there have been plenty of attempts to undermine my work over the years.

      Now, however, these unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks have become so aggressive that I feel it’s necessary to set the record straight. Not only have I been the target of a fake website in my name that has falsely accused me of serious crimes, but I have also received death threats (including a Twitter handle entitled ‘TimeToDieJake’).

      I think it’s extremely damaging to the community that these character-assassination tactics are being deployed, especially given their ugly history of being used against fellow members of the LGBT community. It pains me to watch the community to which I’ve dedicated so much of my life engage in such self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, I am prepared to use legal channels, if necessary, to defend my reputation from these libelous accusations.

    • Statement on Jacob Appelbaum

      In light of the allegations that have been made, Jacob Appelbaum is no longer a member of our outside volunteer technical advisory board. We hope that the serious accusations made against him, and his denial of them, are resolved as fairly and as expeditiously as possible.

    • Community 2.0

      The accused, Jacob Appelbaum, is a friend of mine, and I was quite surprised of the accusations.

      [...]

      As for the people being accused, we also need to understand that they could end up being innocent. We need to understand that they could also end up being guilty – but that they still have rights even if so. To a fair trial for instance. It’s important that we keep our heads cool and don’t fuel fires just because we want revenge. We should use that energy to support victims and to do what the tech community does best in other circumstances: rip up the old code and reimplement new code with the new experience you have. Let’s make a community version 2.0 – now for everyone and with exception handlers for the things we miss.

    • British police accused of helping to train Saudi ‘torturers’

      British police are teaching Saudi Arabian officers skills that could lead to the torture and execution of pro-democracy activists, a charity has warned.

      Personnel from the Arab kingdom’s interior ministry have been trained in detective work and high-tech forensics as a money-maker for the College of Policing, according to Reprieve, which has branded the programme “scandalous”.

      The anti-death penalty campaigning charity said an internal document showed the long-running partnership had continued despite a brutal crackdown by the regime following the 2011 Arab Spring that led to the torture of dozens of young protesters who were sentenced to death.

    • OHP Uses New Device To Seize Money Used During The Commission Of A Crime

      You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture.

      That’s where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.

      Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

    • Pakistani mother burns daughter to death in latest shocking ‘honour killing’ case

      A Pakistani mother has been arrested on suspicion of burning her 16-year-old daughter alive for marrying without family consent in the latest so-called “honour killing” to shock the country.

      Perveen Bibi, tied her daughter, Zeenat, to a bed, doused her with fuel and then set fire to her in Lahore, police said.

    • How Corrupt America Is

      The best reporting on the depth of America’s dictatorship is probably that being done by Atlanta Georgia’s NBC-affiliated, Gannett-owned, TV Channel “11 Alive”, WXIA television, “The Investigators” series of local investigative news reports, which show, up close and at a cellularly detailed level, the way things actually work in today’s America. Although it’s only local, it displays what meets the legal standards of the US federal government in actually any state in the union; so, it exposes the character of the US government, such that what’s shown to be true here, meets America’s standard for ‘democracy’, or else the federal government isn’t enforcing federal laws against it (which is the same thing as its meeting the federal government’s standards).

      The links to three of these local TV news reports will be provided, along with a summary of each of the videos; and then the broader context will be provided, which ties the local picture in with the national, and then the resulting international, picture. So, this will be like a zoom-lens view, starting with three selected close-ups, and then broadening the view to wide-angle, showing the context in terms of which what’s happening in that fine detail (those close-up views) makes sense.

      The central video will be the second of the three, which deals with the impact that the national organization called ALEC plays in creating the entire situation in the US, and which ties the Georgia-state reality in with the reality of the US federal government.

    • FBI Comes After the 4th Amendment

      While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are battling in their final round in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump is arguing that Clinton should be in prison for failing to safeguard state secrets while she was secretary of state, the same FBI that is diligently investigating her is quietly and perniciously seeking to cut more holes in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

    • Pushing for Humane Immigration Reform

      The treatment of America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants has been a political football…

    • Newseum Honors Slain Journalists, Then Hosts Israeli Official Who Justified Killing Some

      The Newseum — a private Washington, D.C.-based museum dedicated to exhibits and events about the free press — began the week on Monday by rededicating its Journalists Memorial, which honors reporters who died in the line of fire.

      The next day, it hosted a discussion on the use of social media in war featuring a retired Israeli military official, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, who in 2012 justified the targeted killing of Palestinian journalists whose names appear on that memorial.

      Leibovich, who now works as the director of the American Jewish Committee’s Israel office, used her time on stage to essentially reprise her role as a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), using slides and videos to show how the IDF is trying to rebut what she called a biased image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the Western media and Palestinians.

    • BuzzFeed Terminates Ad Deal With Republican Party Over Trump

      BuzzFeed has terminated a deal with the Republican National Committee to run political advertisements in the fall, the company’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, informed employees Monday morning.

      In an email, Peretti cited Donald Trump’s rhetoric and campaign promises as the reason for the decision to terminate the buy, worth $1.3 million according to a source who spoke with Politico.

      “Earlier today, BuzzFeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them,” Peretti said. “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”

    • BuzzFeed Dumps Ad Deal With Republican National Committee Over Donald Trump
    • Native American Tribe Fights To Stop Texas From Auctioning Off Its Sacred Objects

      An upcoming auction in Texas intends to sell over 100 Native American items — including ceremonial pipes that are deeply sacred to the Oglala Sioux and guns that were used in the Massacre at Wounded Knee — over the objections of tribes who say it’s disrespectful.

      Attorneys for the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions say they can legally proceed with the sale. But the Oglala Sioux tribe intends to file an affidavit to prevent the sale of the ceremonial pipes.

      “These are our items, these are our laws,” Trina Lone Hill, the historic preservation officer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, told ThinkProgress.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Jesse Jackson Likens FCC Cable Box Reform Plan To ‘Snarling Dogs, Water Hoses And Church Bombings’

      Back in February the FCC voted to open up the captive cable set top box market to competition, potentially opening the door to better, cheaper hardware, but also putting an end to the $21 billion the cable industry makes annually in set top box rental fees. Shortly thereafter the cable industry responded by pushing an absolute torrent of misleading editorials in newspapers and in websites nationwide. Some of these editorials claim set top box competition will result in privacy, security, or piracy Armageddon. Most try to claim set top box competition is some kind of nefarious plan by Google to freeload on cable’s “amazing history of innovation.”

    • World Wide Web Creator Tim Berners-Lee Wants To Reinvent The Web

      Disappointed by the current state of the web, the World Wide Web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee wishes to reinvent the web and make some amends. He feels that due to increased surveillance and barricades, the internet has deviated from its true purpose. “We don’t have a technology problem, we have a social problem,” Berners-Lee say pointing out the problem.

  • Brexit

    • Brexit: Gov’t UK voter registration site dies at worst possible moment [Updated]

      A government website used by British citizens to register to vote spectacularly failed at a key moment on Tuesday night—50,000 potential voters scrambled to log in at the same time during a major debate on the upcoming EU referendum.

      Brits had until midnight on June 7 to register to vote in the referendum. The government said that more than half a million people had added themselves to the electoral register on Tuesday. However, the number of people who attempted to access the site during the debate led to it falling over roughly an hour before the deadline for votes kicked in.

    • Nigel Farage spokesperson admits claim ’5,000 jihadi fighters have come to the EU’ isn’t true

      During last night’s EU referendum debate on ITV, Farage said: “[The boss of Europol] said that the migrant policy – and by the way these are not refugees, they are mostly economic – over the last year, sparked by Angela Merkel last year, led to up to 5,000 jihadis coming to the European Union in the space of the last 15 months.”

    • Nigel Farage destroyed by audience member in EU debate after telling woman to ‘calm down a little bit’

      Nigel Farage was blasted by a TV audience member after he told a woman to ‘calm down a little bit’ during an intense debate on the EU referendum .

      A woman grilled the UKIP leader about his views on the German sex attacks earlier this year.

      She questioned him about his comments that remaining in the EU could lead to similar attacks in the UK.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Can a foreign trade mark really trump a local one in Uganda?

        A High Court trade mark judgment suggests that a foreign trade mark registration entitles the owner to registration of that trade mark in Uganda, despite conflicting Ugandan registrations. The decision shines a spotlight on the Paris Convention, some unusual provisions of the Ugandan Trademarks Act, and the East African Community, as Chris Walters explains

    • Copyrights

      • Growing Coalition Opposes California Exerting Copyright Over Public Records

        California’s A.B. 2880 will give government agencies the power to put copyright restrictions on their work. That means state bureaucrats will be able to wrap their reports, research, e-mails, and even videos of public meetings in onerous legal restrictions, backed by federal lawsuits and six-figure penalties. The bill would change California from one of the most open state governments to one of the least open. EFF opposed the bill and explained its dangers to the State Assembly.

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