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08.29.19

Linux Foundation Swag, Corrected Edition

Posted in Action, GNU/Linux at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As featured this morning

Linux Foundation cases

Summary: Photos from the Linux Foundation event that’s said to have been “crashed” (law-abiding dissent)

CAUGHT UP with these tweets this afternoon. They’re about a week old, but they’re still very much relevant as they explain something we’ve alluded to several times since last week.

Referring to paid tweets from Jono Bacon (whose work is endorsed by Microsoft, the company he endorses for money):

Sooner or later more people will understand what the Linux Foundation really is (it’s not what it claims to be, not anymore).

02.17.19

Techrights’ Priorities Over the Years

Posted in Action, America, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or why we’ve dropped most coverage about US patents and patent cases

Priority

Summary: An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism

THIS site is turning 13 later this year. It started by focusing on Novell, but then it increasingly focused on Microsoft and GNU/Linux (related to Novell). Around 2010 we turned almost all our attention to software patents — a natural extension of our coverage regarding Novell’s patent deal. The common theme has all along been preserving the freedom of Free software although software patents pose a great threat also to proprietary software developers. So we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not. Software development oughtn’t necessitate an army of lawyers and should not involve reading hundreds of thousands of patents. It’s beyond impractical and such patents aren’t even necessary, unlike copyright law.

“…we’re generally for the interests of programmers, no matter if their code is publicly shared or not.”Invaluable information about internal European Patent Office (EPO) affairs came through to us in 2014, perhaps based on our track record covering abuses at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and to a lesser degree the EPO (we hadn’t criticised the EPO much before that, except when it came to software patents in Europe). Seeing that António Campinos is not changing anything for the better, and moreover seeing that the SCOTUS precedence (notably Alice) secured 35 U.S.C. § 101 — something that the USPTO cannot change and CAFC as well as ITC must respect — a couple of months ago I decided to mostly drop USPTO coverage, which occupied entire weekends (all my time), turning again to GNU/Linux and Microsoft with the newly-availed time. Seeing that the UPC is rapidly dying (running out of time), several months ago we began also focusing, yet again, on software patents in Europe — a subject increasingly covered by Florian Müller as well. We used to be vocal critics of his writings, but things have changed since. He no longer takes money from Microsoft.

The EFF has, in our view, become somewhat alarmist lately. It says there's a comeback of software patents in the US and belatedly bemoans Iancu (we did so when the warning signs became apparent, based on what he had done and said in prior years). This morning we saw some articles from the patent microcosm (days-old posts) claiming that Iancu tries to pressure courts/judges/politicians to help him bring back software patents, but he lacks the authority to do this. He merely discredits the Office, that’s all. We’re still monitoring the matter and will leap back on the saddle if the danger materialises. It has not happened, at least not yet. Based on the latest figures from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the PTAB-hostile Anticipat (against inter partes reviews (IPRs)), decisions involving 35 U.S.C. § 101 still rise in number. Various tweets from patent maximalists are still obsessing over PTAB overturning examiners’ decisions, usually against software patents and only in rare cases (notable exceptions) the other way around. So there’s definitely no turnaround and the silence in many blogs speaks volumes. Some of them openly express pessimism and defeatism. Let it be so.

02.13.17

UPC Petition Launched to Halt Ratification Plans in the United Kingdom Amid Nefarious Back Room Deals

Posted in Action, Europe, Patents at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trolls UPC

Summary: The start of a campaign to end the UPC fantasy once and for all, if not only in the United Kingdom then in the whole of Europe (which depends on London)

We are hereby launching a campaign and petition to accompany this motion in the British Parliament. It is important that many people in the UK sign the petition to express their views. It’s a petition designed to stop the Unitary Patent in Europe (not just the UK), using political means for the most part. We suppose that our regular readers already know what the UPC is for/about. We got some British politicians to help us with this and FFII deserves much of the credit for setting up the petition itself.

What follows below is a summary of the latest developments. It’s an assorted collection of news to help our readers familiarise themselves with the status quo and who’s doing what exactly.

UPC Means Software Patents and Patent Trolls

“We got some British politicians to help us with this and FFII deserves much of the credit for setting up the petition itself.”Earlier this month in FOSDEM (Belgium) a talk was given about the UPC. This “omits invalidity of software patents in Europe,” told us a reader, having looked into it in greater depth. As we have repeatedly pointed out over the years, occasionally quoting luminaries in their area, UPC has a lot to do with software patents. It also helps patent trolls from other countries/continents. It’s just one among many reasons to stop the UPC.

UPC Gravy Train

“Movement in Portugal to reverse the accession to the Unitary Patent,” according to Benjamin Henrion, is being reported in Portuguese media (report published over the weekend), adding to UPC barriers in Poland, Germany, Spain, the UK, and more. Don’t believe the hype and don’t be misled by Team UPC, which keeps focusing only on the positives to give the impression that the UPC is inevitable, unstoppable, and even desirable. Here is Team UPC latching onto Italy again, then saying: “France ratified the UPC Agreement in 2014. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Finland have ratified as well. The UK is expected to ratify in March, although after the Brexit vote this remains a sensitive issue, because of the role of the CJEU in the Unitary Patent system. Yesterday a popular newspaper in the UK wrote a ‘secret plan to tie Britain to EU after Brexit is being kept ‘under the radar’’.”

A week earlier this Team UPC blog said: “Even if a way is found to keep the United Kingdom in the Unitary Patent system after the Brexit, it is hard to believe London can keep its seat of the central division of the Unified Patent Court. This is argued in an interview with Kluwer IP Law by Cesare Galli, president of the Italian law firm IP Law Galli and IP Law professor at the University of Parma. He thinks Milan as central court seat could be a fallback solution.”

“It also helps patent trolls from other countries/continents.”They’re already assuming the the UK might altogether reject the UPC and prepare for this rejection.

Yes, the wheels are in motion here. Henrion wants to “call for one day of strike of all IT workers in the UK.”

The patent microcosm in London might not be happy to see that IT workers are on the very opposite end. The patent microcosm in London has repeatedly lied to British businesses, including SMEs, about the UPC. Here is MIP, a mouthpiece for this microcosm, interjecting the obligatory UPC lobbying into a women’s event (it has tweeted some UPC promotion from there as well). If facts are on their side, what are they so afraid of?

Francisco Moreno, an opponent of the UPC, wrote that “the ECJ should not influence UK law” (No se puede fumar mientras se reza) “the UPC will not apply UK law” (Se puede rezar mientras se fuma)” after (on February 9th) Team UPC showed its cards. It wants to ratify in March, even if it’s against everything that our government stands for. This has been cooked quite covertly for a while, aided by front groups like CIPA. Now it’s the final countdown.

The Express reported on this UPC motion a few days ago.

“It wants to ratify in March, even if it’s against everything that our government stands for.”Suffice to say, the mouthpieces of Team UPC were upset by all this publicity. IAM for example moaned that “Daily Express describes UPC as secret plan to keep UK tied to the EU. Be warned anti-EU right in UK now on this.”

“Motion to do not ratify UPC in the UK is tabled,” Henrion later noted. Then MIP heckled a little with “EDM in UK Parliament “that [UPC] Protocol … should not be ratified”, tabled yesterday, currently has 1 signature…”

If they think there’s only one signature, they’re in for a surprise.

“British MP thinks #UPC has “potential to drive a huge stake into the heart of Brexit”,” another person wrote. “I said it could viewed this way in #FAZ last summer.”

“If they think there’s only one signature, they’re in for a surprise.”Now is the time to inform more people about it. And that shall happen for sure. IAM, like MIP, also arrogantly mocked Carswell. “So far,” it wrote, “Carswell is the only signatory. But the motion shows that the UPC is clearly on the Parliamentary anti-European right’s radar.”

It also wrote that “UKIP MP Douglas Carswell has proposed an early day motion in House of Commons that the UK should not ratify the UPC.”

Also from IAM: “UK government has pandered strongly to anti-EU right-wing MPs since Brexit vote. If they make enough of a UPC fuss ministers may do so again…”

Remember that IAM was supported by the EPO and funded by the EPO's PR firm to promote the UPC, even in the United States. I asked IAM, “how much did FTI Consulting pay you guys? Was it only for that pro-UPC event in Trumpland?”

“They’re not really publishers as they’re willing to take a shilling (money) from rich people and organisations in order to do their bidding. They’re now part of or an extension of Team UPC, which wants secrecy or selective coverage of what it does.”They never even responded. They knew what they had done and they would rather not talk about it. As for MIP, we already explained all those UPC lobbying events it helped organise. These are the enemies of Britain’s interests and the friends of Battistelli, a few law firms in London, and patent bullies like Microsoft. They’re not really publishers as they’re willing to take a shilling (money) from rich people and organisations in order to do their bidding. They’re now part of or an extension of Team UPC, which wants secrecy or selective coverage of what it does. It wants people to not be aware that this whole “unitary patent” nonsense is based on Big Lies and is not Constitutional either.

How do we know that they attempt to be clandestine about it? Even IAM admits it with: “Whoops – Simmons & Simmons partner Kevin Mooney quoted in Express anti-UPC piece as saying he hopes Express does not find out about the UPC!”

So there we go. They know that an informed public would never accept the UPC. Never! One person (possibly an EPO worker) asked the UPC boosters: “Do you think the problems are as serious as http://www.stjerna.de/gp-gutachten/ does?”

EPO Role

An EPO insiders told IAM: “Ignorance at it’s best! [] How about replacing the word uncertainty with unlawfully?”

“They know that an informed public would never accept the UPC.”We still haven’t heard back from IAM. They’re growingly aware that people, including some subscribers, know what they’re up to and who they really serve.

“After some “difficulties” with the terms,” said the aforementioned possible EPO worker, “Carl Josefsson has now signed his contract and will start work as pres boa on 1/3.”

Josefsson, as we noted here before, is deeply embedded in UPC stuff. Does that mean anything for the above? Which strings does the EPO pull and where from?

“Do Not Ratify UPC”

The “Do not ratify UPC” motion was tabled in the British Parliament; now we just need strength in numbers. Team UPC just has hundreds or maybe a few thousands of supporters, whereas we have millions in the UK alone (although many of them need to be properly informed to be made aware of this). With articles such as this in the British media we now see Team UPC rearing its ugly head. It even mocks the article itself. “Apparently the #UPC is a secret plan to tie Britain to EU after Brexit, kept ‘under the radar’,” one member of the patent microcosm wrote dismissively. Actually, putting the headline aside (sensationalism), the content of the article is true.

“Team UPC just has hundreds or maybe a few thousands of supporters, whereas we have millions in the UK alone (although many of them need to be properly informed to be made aware of this).”The ratification of the UPC is not compatible with Brexit. Days ago in London, Dr. Luke McDonagh — like other doctors who know the UPC (Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna for instance) — spoke about the subject. He isn’t lobbying for profit, unlike Team UPC. Someone who attended his talk wrote [1, 2, 3]: “Yesterday’s panel discussion at City, Univ of London on Brexit and the #UnitaryPatent with @DrLukeMcDonagh underlines two insights [...] decision to ratify UPC agreement as its an ‘int’l court not EU institution’ suggests ignorance of full complex implications under EU law [...] #UnitaryPatent court for the UK has more to do with protecting legal services than nurturing innovative economy”

The UPC is simply untenable in the UK (and in other countries too, but for other reasons), especially after Brexit (even before). It’s simply a sort of coup by the patent ‘industry’ (lawyers who want more patent feuds/war) and those who promote it are never technical professionals. Wonder why? Here is a person who attempts to build a career around the UPC ‘explaining’ the UPC and “chair[ing] a conference ‘Finalizing the Unitary Patent Package: Challenges and Ways Forward’ in Brussels @CiTiP_KULeuven” (it’s not hard to imagine who attended this lobbying event).

“Alternative Facts”

CIPA, according to this, is still lobbying for the UPC even though its government cannot ratify. “IPcopy recently attended two events,” it said, “that discussed updates to the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court: CIPA’s “The UPC: Where we are and Why” and the Westminster Legal Policy Forum’s “The future for the UK’s patent framework”.”

“The UPC is simply untenable in the UK (and in other countries too, but for other reasons), especially after Brexit (even before).”UPC events/conferences are ALWAYS, in our experience, just lobbying designed to breed fake news, mischief, and manipulation. Theatre of “alternative facts” is what it is. Legal ‘theatre’ one might call it. Henrion went to the Unitary Patent conference in Brussels (where he lives) to see what goes on there. He then reported some of his findings in Twitter.

Here is “CEIPI Xavier Seuba telling us,” Henrion wrote, “that technical judges don’t know civil law, don’t have a law degree, recycled patent attorneys #upc #bias”

Here is “Pierre Veron saying UPC rules of procedure are written by unelected parliaments #upc #undemocratic #illegal #germany #constitution”

“They’re just trying to work around the law.”Just look at who’s promoting the UPC. Here is Bristows working on the German front and writing: “Germany’s draft legislation authorising ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is listed on the agenda (here) for next week’s sitting (15-17 February) of the Bundestag (German parliament). As reported here, this draft legislation, submitted to the Bundesrat (Federal Council) on 9 December 2016, is identical to a previous draft.”

Aided by Battistelli’s protectors and his thugs (details in this old article about Maas), Team UPC hopes to accomplish the impossible. They’re just trying to work around the law. The whole UPC sphere was quiet last month, but only publicly. They have been greasing up Jo Johnson. Team UPC folks have not given up. They just went undercover like TPP hopefuls (trying to repackage and reframe things, e.g. with TISA).

Jo Johnson Being Lobbied

Here is IP Magazine (an extension of the patent microcosm) writing that “Jo Johnson is ‘committed to ratifying’ the #UPC says @The_IPO representative speaking @WLPFEvents…”

It didn’t quote a source, but some link to a PDF. As far as we are aware, Johnson didn’t say it like that. Lobbying with alternative facts again? Here is what we do know about the paper:

The UK Conservative government appears to be avoiding any mention of the Court of Justice of the EU’s (CJEU) role in the upcoming Unified Patent Court (UPC).

An explanatory memorandum to the protocol on privileges and immunities of the UPC was submitted by UK IP minister Jo Johnson to accompany a 20 January command paper to British Parliament ahead of ratification.

Here is a law firm writing about it: “An explanatory Memorandum on the #UPC ratification process is now available, written by new IP Minister @JoJohnsonMP”

“Lobbying with alternative facts again?”Going back to the event, the EPO was there too. A chronic liar, e.g. on UPC , was there to speak for her master, Battistelli (her master’s voice). Quoting the tweet: “Call for “transitional arrangements” for #UP and #UPC when UK leave EU by Margot Frohlinger @epo speaking @WLPFEvents”

We wrote a great deal about her and she has no credibility on this subject. Just about as delusional of Battistelli, who keeps promising the UPC, always in vain.

Admission That UPC is for “IP Legal Firms” and “Business Case for Unitary Patent and UPC Was Always Weak”

Lies are already being relayed. SMEs would suffer a lot from a UPC-like regime, probably the most. They said so, but Team UPC likes to speak ‘on their behalf’ (and against their interests)

“Main beneficiaries will be big pharma and litigation firms, not most patentees.”
      –Tufty the Cat
Here is Tufty the Cat saying that “IP Legal Firms to benefit by £200M p.a. from #UPC but UK firms *may* save £2M p.a. through reduced duplication. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/584443/EM_EU_1.2017.pdf …”

That’s what it’s all about. It’s about law firms, not firms that actually produce anything.

“Business case for unitary patent and #UPC was always weak,” Tufty admits. “Main beneficiaries will be big pharma and litigation firms, not most patentees.”

That’s an admission from an insider! Heist by the patent microcosm is what it all boils down to and at whose expense? Scientists and engineers. Britain’s backbone.

09.01.16

British Telecom (BT) is Still a Patent Bully: Next Target is Yet Another GNU/Linux Supporter

Posted in Action, America, Debian, Europe, Patents at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Valve of Steam OS (Debian GNU/Linux) fame

Summary: The latest target of BT’s patent bullying (shakedowns and lawsuits) is the company that has turned into somewhat of a Debian proponent (albeit with DRM)

BT is a patent aggressor whose activities in the court we haven't heard of in a while (it even targeted Android). BT shows no sign of relenting. This unpopular strategy carries on and the latest suggests that “British Telecommunications (BT) have filed a lawsuit against Valve claiming patent infringement. The action was brought “based on Valve’s continued willful infringement” of four patents (I’ll go into what they are in a moment) and was filed in Delaware on 28 July.”

“It resorts to patent aggression to make up for commercial issues, just like IBM (it too became a patent bully).”Notice the choice of Delaware. The British and US media wrote quite a lot about this lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]. So far we have found 22 articles about this lawsuit alone (that’s a lot for patent news) and it looks rather obvious that BT is just getting desperate. It resorts to patent aggression to make up for commercial issues, just like IBM (it too became a patent bully).

02.14.14

Boycott of Slashdot is Protesting Against Dice Policies

Posted in Action at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A Slashdot boycott is happening this week because Dice is asked to stop messing about with Slashdot

The new owner of Slashdot has been treating the Slashdot community like an enemy. People hate what’s being done to the interface and some are disgusted by the editorial choices. While I no longer read Slashdot myself, several people in our IRC channels (and our IRC bots) are following Slashdot. They say that the FOSS-hostile bias is increasing (we wrote about that yesterday) and Microsoft lobbyists regularly get placements there. A site called Slashcott says that boycotts against the site began some days ago and will last for at least a week in order to demonstrate to Slashdot’s owner that a Slashdot without community is just another Web site on the Web. Some of our readers have said that they are running out of FOSS-friendly sites that they can visit.

01.31.14

Empire Watch: Human Rights Violations, Bogus Figures, and a ‘Silent Coup’

Posted in Action at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This week’s news about torture, assassination, and endless wars of conquest

  • Amanda Knox and the Wages of American Imperialism

    By the fall of 2007, Italy was in a significant state of conflict with the US over the Bush administration’s policy of extraordinary rendition. Of specific note were Italian kidnapping charges against nearly two dozen CIA agents for the kidnapping of Muslim cleric Abu Omar, resulting in 23 convictions. The New York Times reported, “Judge Oscar Magi handed an eight-year sentence to Robert Seldon Lady, a former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, and five-year sentences to the 22 other Americans, including an Air Force colonel and 21 C.I.A. operatives.”

    [...]

    It’s not clear if Amanda Knox will foot the bill for the 23 convicted CIA agents, but what is clear is that Italy and many other countries view America’s policy of rendition as indeed extraordinary, and they have a point to make.

  • Lithuanian Court’s ruling on CIA rendition case, a breakthrough for justice

    A decision by a court in Lithuania ruling that a Saudi Arabian national has a right to an investigation into his alleged torture in a secret CIA detention centre in the country is a breakthrough for justice, said Amnesty International.

  • Lithuanian prosecutor’s refusal to reopen CIA prison investigation found ungrounded

    Vilnius Regional Court has ruled prosecutors unfoundedly refused to launch a pre-trial investigation into claims a Saudi Arabian citizen was kept in a secret CIA detention center in Lithuania in 2004-2006.

  • Lithuanian prosecutor accused in Guantanamo Bay case
  • CIA Director Grilled On Domestic Surveillance, Torture At Senate Hearing

    Three senators pummeled CIA Director John Brennan at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday, peppering him with tough questions on torture and domestic surveillance that he has refused to answer in public.

    Brennan defended the CIA against accusations that it is double-dealing with the Intelligence committee about a report on agency torture, and he also received surprisingly pointed questions about whether the CIA spies on Americans. Such public hearings offer senators critical of the intelligence agencies the chance to telegraph their private concerns about classified programs — and these questions could suggest there is something the public isn’t being told about what the CIA does at home.

  • The Pentagon’s route out of Afghanistan passes through a former CIA black site

    The Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania is a short drive from the Black Sea and the port city of Constanta, a sprawling metropolis with beach resorts, museums, and nightclubs. It’s also about to become the main transit point for the tens of thousands of U.S. troops flowing out of Afghanistan. It won’t be the first time Washington has used the base for a sensitive mission, however: If human rights groups are correct, the facility also used to house one of the CIA’s notorious “black site” detention facilities.

  • Chuck Hagel: ‘Polish-US relationship can withstand CIA prison allegations’

    US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said in Warsaw that the US-Polish partnership can “withstand testing and questioning” over allegations of a secret CIA prison in Poland.

  • Polish ex-intelligence official says time for truth on CIA jail

    Poland’s official stance of denying it hosted a secret CIA jail is harming its reputation and it needs to be frank about what really happened, a senior intelligence official at the time the alleged prison was operating told Reuters.

  • Investigators ask for CIA prison probe deadline extension

    Prosecutors leading Poland’s investigation into an alleged CIA prison where terrorist suspects were held and tortured have asked for another extension to the probe.

  • Arabian Gulf energy still vital to the US, says former CIA director

    David Petraeus, the chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former commander of the US Central Command, said that while the energy boom had extended to Canada and Mexico, the Arabian Gulf’s oil and gas still fuelled the US’s trade partners and would for the foreseeable future.

    He was speaking at a lecture on the forthcoming North American decades at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research last night.

    “According to projections, the US is set to become a leading oil producer by 2020,” he said. “Crude oil production is expected to reach 9.5 million barrels a day by only 2016, and this situation is dramatically changed since 2008-2009, when many experts said oil production had peaked and wasn’t ready to climb. They couldn’t have been more wrong.”

  • A Manufactured Nuclear Crisis

    The subtitle of Gareth Porter’s new book, “The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare,” is well-chosen. Large parts of “A Manufactured Crisis” are indeed untold till now. They amount to what the author terms an “alternative narrative”.

  • C.I.A. Drone Bases

    The Central Intelligence Agency should not be launching deadly military strikes. We would be better off if the C.I.A. returned to being an agency that collected and analyzed intelligence and stopped being a secretive paramilitary organization.

  • Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan
  • US agencies might lose drone bases in Afghanistan
  • Block, First and Hawkeness: Stop training drone pilots in Wisconsin

    Dozens of Wisconsin residents phoned or visited the district offices of our senators and representatives to call for an end to drone warfare. The visits and calls were timed for Jan. 15-21 when our nation commemorated its prophet of peace and nonviolence, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • “Dirty Wars” Filmmaker Jeremy Scahill on the “Drone President” & Obama’s Whitewashing of NSA Spying

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on the United States to “move off a permanent war footing,” citing his recent limits on the use of drones, his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and his effort to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Obama also vowed to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs to ensure that “the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.” Jeremy Scahill, whose Oscar-nominated film “Dirty Wars” tackles the U.S. drone war and targeted killings abroad, says Obama has been a “drone president” whose operations have killed large numbers of civilians. On NSA reform, Scahill says “the parameters of the debate in Washington are: Should we figure out a way to streamline this and sell it to the American people, or should we do more surveillance?”

  • “A Silent Coup”: Jeremy Scahill & Bob Herbert on Corporate, Military Interests Shaping Obama’s SOTU

    On issues from domestic inequality to foreign policy, President Obama delivered the fifth State of the Union with a vow to take action on his own should Congress stonewall progress on his agenda. But will Obama’s policies go far enough? We host a roundtable with three guests: Jeremy Scahill, producer and writer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield;” and senior investigative reporter at First Look Media, which will launch in the coming months; Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos; and Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at the United We Dream Coalition.

  • Arizona lawmaker pushing NSA data mining restrictions may also go after drones

    An Arizona lawmaker who wants to prohibit police departments, prosecutors and state courts from helping the National Security Agency with its data mining and surveillance plans on adding anti-drone language to the measure.

  • ‘Drone warfare helps sell wars to a domestic audience’

    Development of modern drone technologies will never eliminate civilian collateral damage in conflict deployment, Michael Raddie, antiwar activist told RT, arguing that investing in drones makes warfare more acceptable for general public.

  • Leaked Pakistani document contradicts US accounts of drone strikes

    It is the fullest official record of the covert campaign yet to emerge, providing the dates, precise times and exact locations of drone strikes, as well as casualty estimates. The document abruptly stops routinely recording civilian casualties after the start of 2009, but overall casualty estimates continue to be comparable to independent estimates such as those compiled by the Bureau.

  • Are GCHQ workers in danger of becoming accessories to murder?

    I am not a lawyer but I am certain that the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, needs to take very seriously a legal opinion which was handed to Parliament this week.

    It comes from Jemima Stratford QC. She has given a judgment on whether GCHQ can pass information onto the US, which is later used to facilitate drone strikes.

  • 8 Films That Reveal the Shifting American Bias Towards the Middle East

    It’s been over 10 years since the United States entered Iraq. Though the war in Iraq has officially been over since 2011, our involvement in the Middle East is stronger than ever. And from 9/11 until now, popular opinion in favor of or against the war in Afghanistan has ebbed and flowed.

  • CIA and Saudis cooperate on Chinese missile purchase

    Undoubtedly, the role of the Saudi Arabia and its influence on the Middle East has long been under the discussion. Now with Iran and the West trying to reach an agreement on the nuclear matter, the monarchy is trying to amend the situation to their favor, with the Washington’s support, according to recent reports.

  • Heads of Killing, Lying, and Spying Under Fire

    Before the hearing began, activists from CODEPINK stood up holding signs reading ‘Stop – Killing, Lying, Spying’ and called for the firing of James Clapper, Director of Central Intelligence, John Brennan, Director of the CIA, and James Comey, Director of the FBI.

01.28.14

NSA Watch: GCHQ/NSA Gang Up Against Servers, Hide Violations, Face Blowback

Posted in Action, Law at 3:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from Monday and Tuesday, covering a range of development in the NSA saga and beyond

Corporate Servers

Crimes Concealed

  • The NSA, CIA, and the Promise of Industrial Espionage

    In a weekend interview with German ARD public television network, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government uses its broad electronic surveillance capabilities to engage in industrial espionage. Snowden told ARD TV that, “I will say is there is no question that the U.S. is engaged in economic spying,” Snowden gave the example that, “If there is information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.” Snowden left hanging what exactly is done with such potentially useful economic intelligence, and he provided little additional information on this subject beyond indicated the news outlets holding copies of yet published NSA leaked documents could provide more specific information.

  • U.S. Eyes Ways to Keep NSA Snooping Hidden

    At the same time that the Obama administration publicly mulls over how to end its controversial storage of millions of Americans’ phone records swept up by the National Security Agency, the government is also reportedly exploring ways to prevent other spies from seeing what it’s spying on.

Police/FBI (Domestic Spying)

US Political Reaction

  • Issa, Five Other Congressmen Call For DNI Clapper’s Removal

    A group of six Congressmen have asked President Barack Obama to remove James Clapper as director of national intelligence as a result of his misstatements to Congress about the NSA’s dragnet data-collection programs. The group, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said that Clapper’s role as DNI “is incompatible with the goal of restoring trust in our security programs”.

  • NSA Surveillance Divides the Republican Party

    The RNC has declared domestic spying illegal. A faction led by George W. Bush-era bureaucrats is pushing back.

  • Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

    The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential — and any interference with that flow is unthinkable.

European Reaction

People’s Voice

  • Prominent cryptography and security researchers deplore NSA’s surveillance activities
  • February 11, 2014: The Day We Fight Back Against the NSA

    It only makes sense that the NSA be confronted online. After all, it’s the Internet the agency uses to spy on us. They’re not following us down dark streets or steaming open our snail mail. Instead, they’re monitoring our emails to discover who is in our circle and stalking us on Facebook and Google Plus. Especially if we use Windows, there’s no need for them to dirty their hands sifting through our garbage when they can enter through a virtual trap door on our computer to rifle through our word processor and spreadsheet files. Phone tapping? How old school in a world where every call we make, even from a land line, becomes VoIP somewhere along the line. When we use VoIP or Skype, they can easily listen. If we visit a website located in a country on their hit list, they sit-up and take notice.

Corporations’ Voice

  • Tech giants reach White House deal on NSA surveillance of customer data

    The Obama administration has reached a deal with a number of technology giants, allowing the companies to disclose more information on customer data they are compelled to share with the government.

  • Google’s Drummond calls for new NSA reforms
  • Google to acquire AI firm for $400 million

    For quite some time there have been rumours of Google wanting to take AI to the next level. Popular Android-based game, ‘Ingress‘ presents an artificial layer on top of real world landmarks and allows players to claim territories while the interact with their surroundings. Although it’s not what the public expected initially, it did represent the future that Google envisioned for gaming.

  • You Say NSA Has Hurt U.S. Tech Sector

    72% of you said that you thought the NSA’s actions would have an effect on the entire U.S. software industry, with 20% of you expressing the opinion that proprietary software developers only would be effected. Taken together, this means that 92% of you are of the opinion that the NSA’s dirty tricks will have a negative effect on the U.S. tech sector. 7% of you answered “maybe a little but not much” with only 1% choosing “not at all.”

01.23.14

Privacy Watch: Today’s Stories of Interest

Posted in Action at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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