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08.11.14

Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

Posted in America, Europe, Patents, Site News at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EU too is besieged by corporations

EU

Summary: A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens’ interests

Some well-meaning people still focus on patent trolls, not on software patents. The world’s largest corporations engage in a coup or an occupation against policy-makers and it shows. This includes some who purport to be supporting FOSS, fair competition, etc. Melanie Chernoff, the Public Policy Manager for Red Hat, says that “North Carolina says ‘no’ to patent trolls”. To quote the article published this afternoon:

North Carolina became the latest state to take a stand against patent trolls when NC Governor Pat McCrory signed a new law last week aimed at preventing bad faith assertions of patent infringement. Patent trolls (more officially called “patent assertion entities” or “non-practicing entities”) are known for sending very vague letters, with often meritless claims, to other businesses in the hopes of extorting a settlement to avoid the nuisance of a lawsuit.

But this is not the thing to strive for. The real (core) issue is patent scope and even those who spend all their time diverting attention and/or arguing about “trolls” (front groups CCIA with its lawyers who are funded by giant corporations) increasingly — however rarely — recognise the issue of scope while still trying to shift attention to “trolls”.

The other day The Economist, widely recognised for its pro-Big Business agenda, published this article titled “Patents that kill”. To quote some of the relevant parts:

IN 1742 Benjamin Franklin invented a new type of stove, for which he was offered a patent. Franklin refused it, arguing in his autobiography that because “we enjoy[ed] great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours.”

[...]

The pharmaceutical industry makes the best case for patents (and makes the most of patents when they are approved). Medical research and development (R&D) is costly. Moreover, although a patent application must be filed straight after a drug discovery, clinical trials necessary for drug approval may take several years. This shortens the effective life of the patent. As three economists argue in a recent paper this causes problems. In order to prove the efficacy of a drug, pharmaceuticals have to match the length of a clinical trial to the expected survival time of the patients. A clinical trial for patients with metastatic prostate cancer lasts only three years compared to an 18-year-long trial for those suffering from a milder, localised prostate cancer. Since a typical patent is in force for 20 years, firms only have two years of effective patent length left to commercialise a new drug against localised prostate cancer.

Here we deal with an issue that has nothing to do with patent trolls but with patent scope.

Dealing with the issue of European approach towards software patents, Glyn Moody put the words of some British patent lawyers in a frame of mind that assures us Europe is assimilating to the US (and USPTO), not the other way around. To quote Glyn Moody: “It would be easy to assume that the European Patent Office (EPO) stands in the same relationship to the European Union as the USPTO does to the United States, but that’s actually wide of the mark.”

There is corporate control of the USPTO, which is operating against the interests of US citizens (except the top 1% perhaps). The lawyers’ blog has apparently produced “a great piece, but its gentle humor exposes a serious point about the EPO: it is literally above the law.

“That emphasizes once more that the unitary patent system has been decoupled from the normal legislative and democratic processes of the European Union, and thus will be under no obligation to take heed of the economic interests of the European citizens.”

We are soon going expose corruption at the EPO, based leaks from a source which is pursuing encryption at the moment.

Moody continues: “There is no precedent in the political history of modern democracies where important property issues affecting the economic sustainability and development of a country, and the proprietary rights and business prospects of its people, were conclusively and exclusively taken by a judicial body at supranational level. A democratic policy-making process for the determination of patents as objects of property exists, of course, in all countries of the world, including the US, whose system the UPC tries to imitate. The difference is that the US unified patent system does not escape democratic control, and the economic policies that it serves are widely debated by legislators, judges, economists, lawyers and industry players, all of whom are residents of the same country.”

Finally, says Moody: “It’s still early days for the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court, so it’s not yet clear how the new system will work, and how serious the problems will be. The danger is that Eponia might turn out to be not so much a quaint oddity in the European political landscape as a dangerous rogue state with serious negative consequences for the region’s businesses and citizens.”

The system is out of control at the moment. It gets worse as patents expand in terms of scope (especially in Europe but also in other continent) while the US merely makes baby-steps in the opposite direction, while much of the effort is being diverted towards “trolls” (small abusers), of course at the behest of large corporations, as usual in US politics as per the modus operandi.

08.08.14

Microsoft’s Android Lawsuit Against Samsung Shows That Windows is Dead Beef

Posted in Site News at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft resorts to AstroTurfing, lawsuits, vapourware, and attack ads, revealing that it is a feeble aggressor whose only remaining hope for revival is destruction of rivals

Samsung sells computers with Windows, but Microsoft is now suing Samsung. This is very revealing.

Now that Microsoft takes its Android-hostile patents to court we might finally see them defanged, or as SJVN put it, this “could be the beginning of a war over the validity of Microsoft’s Android patents.”

“The Apple vs. Samsung case recently suffered a setback after Samsung had used the SCOTUS ruling against ‘abstract’ patents.”There is no such thing as Android patents, just as there is no such thing as FOSS patents. This is the wording style of the aggressor. The Apple vs. Samsung case recently suffered a setback after Samsung had used the SCOTUS ruling against 'abstract' patents. Additionally, China told us which patents Microsoft is using against Android, so there too lies an opportunity for a final smackdown (prior art can be brought forth).

All this lawsuits talk ought to remind us that Microsoft really hates Linux and FOSS. It only pretends otherwise because it needs to (Slashdot gives some help to Microsoft’s “open” proxy/PR/charm offensive), as many businesses/people who use Windows also use GNU, Linux, Android, Firefox etc. We quite enjoyed this new analysis from Jim Lynch, who correctly said:

Microsoft has never been a…er…fan of Linux, to say the least. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even likened Linux to cancer back in 2001. Now Microsoft has an unintentionally hilarious comparison of its server products and Linux on a site called Why Microsoft.

[...]

I hadn’t heard of this site before, but I bumped into it via a Reddit thread. Talk about a one-sided comparison bathed in “marketing-speak!” I particularly enjoyed the ridiculous bit about security threats where Microsoft just says this: “Persistent threats and dedicated attackers can slow your projects and put your IT environment at risk with Linux projects.”

It was a fun read this morning while I finished my first cup of coffee. I was fortunate not to snort coffee through my nose while reading through it. Thanks for the laughs, Microsoft.

[...]

Feel free to put me in the cynic category when it comes to Microsoft and open source. I think the Why Microsoft site is a much clearer indication of where Microsoft’s thinking is at than the speculation in this Dev Ops article. In other words, I’ll believe that Microsoft is actually embracing the open source community when it actually happens.

Windows is in trouble, so Microsoft’s lawsuit against a massive partner (Samsung) is not entirely shocking. Windows is in so much trouble that releases of it get altogether cancelled and Microsoft started using vapourware tactics (talking about versions of Windows that do not even exist). To quote the British press:

Microsoft has at last revealed the date when its second major update to Windows 8.1 will ship to customers: never.

Vista 8 has been an utter disaster (worse than Vista). No wonder Microsoft goes to court in a desperate attempt/attack to tax the Android leader. No wonder Microsoft uses vapourware tactics as well (all links to examples are omitted as we don’t wish to feed fiction, fantasy, and marketing).

Microsoft will mostly likely continue its attack ads against Google, even though Microsoft reads your mail [1] while repeatedly accusing Google of doing that.

Windows is a passing fad. We don’t expect it to be widely used 5 years from now. Other Microsoft products heavily rely on Windows’ inertia, so they too will gradually perish and be shut down (while more staff gets laid off by the tens of thousands).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft tip leads to child porn arrest in Pennsylvania

07.20.14

Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

Posted in Site News at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Levy works for CCIA (occasionally a Microsoft proxy) now

Matthew Levy

Summary: Matthew (‘Matt’) Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)

WE ARE excited to see that after the USPTO had begun rejecting software patents and CAFC had ruled against 'abstract' software patents (owing to SCOTUS) there was impact by extrapolation. As TechDirt puts it, “Latest CAFC Ruling Suggests A Whole Lot Of Software Patents Are Likely Invalid”. Another patents expert (especially expert in patent trolls) puts it like this: “The most litigious “patent troll” in the US has lost a major case after the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found its patent was too abstract.”

We continue to be disappointed by the site Patent Progress (notice which controversial entities its writers are affiliated with). The name is misleading and it’s a dot-org too, despite corporate connections. We wrote about this in the past, before we knew that Matt Levy, its main writer, “joined the CCIA in 2013″ (see our Wiki page about CCIA).

Levy continues to favour the IBM-style OIN-esque aggregation of patents. From his latest post: “A coalition of tech companies (Google, Canon, SAP, Newegg, Dropbox and Asana) recently announced a new private initiative to disarm patent trolls: the License on Transfer Network (LOT). This is essentially an extension of Google’s Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN) that I wrote about in my very first Patent Progress post last year.”

We recently saw several links (e.g. in Twitter) pointing at our older (and sceptical) analysis of Patent Progress. It seems that not only us have noticed the change of agenda, or lack of coherent agenda. Not a word has been said in Patent Progress about the above news, which is massive! Is Patent Progress becoming as credible as ‘Consumer’ Watchdog’? To ‘Consumer’ Watchdog’, only Google is a problem (it seems like an extension of Microsoft’s “Scroogled” PR) and to Patent Progress, the only problem is patent trolls, not patent scope.

07.15.14

Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

Posted in Site News at 2:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Building

Summary: Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux

About nine months ago my wife and I decided that we had what it takes to keep Tux Machines going and growing. The site had been my favourite source of news for over half a decade (the editorial picks were simply better than the competition’s) and I was saddened to see it slowing down, due to positive developments in its founder’s life (a wedding).

News sites about GNU/Linux seems to be growing fewer, with some widening scope beyond GNU/Linux and FOSS and some not keeping up a regular stream of news. No need to name them, as that might only offend them (Phoronix actually does a great job keeping up the flow of news). Paradoxically, interest in Free software seems to be growing, especially now that large nations adopt it. They probably favour news in Mandarin, Russian, Korean and so on, but still, one would expect them to read some news in English too.

Tux Machines recently reached high levels of traffic that resemble the traffic of this site (stressing and sometimes overstressing even four cores with Varnish and CMS cache). This tells us that interest in Free software is not necessarily declining, even if the amount of coverage definitely declined in recent years.

07.07.14

Microsoft’s Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Site News at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor

THE KARMA (or blowback) that Microsoft is meeting right now is a result of it sucking up (for government subsidies) to the NSA et al. for a decade and a half. Putting back doors in one’s software is not a safe bet for a business.

As longtime Internet saboteur (most recently Microsoft broke No-IP and offered no real apology, knowing perhaps it would fuel lawsuits by admission) Microsoft should never be trusted for anything Web-based. This is perhaps why China has put Microsoft’s latest Office push on the blacklist. “Yesterday,” said one article “Microsoft convinced a judge to let it take over No-IP’s DNS service, shutting down name service for many websites, in order to stop a malware attack. Today, the company fake-pologized.”

Never mind the fact that, as we explained before, the malware was partly Microsoft’s fault, for making a piece of software that’s insecure by design (and with back doors). “Microsoft’s PR mailout says that “some customers” experienced “temporary” loss of service but that everything was fine now; shortly after, the company’s PR emailed journalists again to say that things were still massively screwed up. It blamed the whole mess on a “technical error,” but when you look at what the judge believed about No-IP when the order came down, it’s clear that the “technical error” was a gross overstatement of both No-IP’s involvement in Microsoft’s woes, and the best way to sort them out.”

Notice how Microsoft is rallying so-called journalists. It is a company of liars and cover-ups. Why would anyone believe a single word?

The very fact that Microsoft was able to shut down millions of legitimate services shows just how much Microsoft corrupted its government. It used the Court for powers like hijacking a whole network. The No-IP story turned out to be far more outrageous than most people realised, as the press had been deceiving them at Microsoft’s behest. People should be fuming and Microsoft sued out of existence, but we just don’t know if this is actually going to happen. If Tux Machines was still on No-IP (as it had been for year, until recently), then it would have been one among millions of victims, potentially down for days.

Now, watch the audacity of Microsoft. With help from Gates’ fan press it pretends to be “against the NSA” and “transparent”. A lie bigger than that is hard to imagine, but this is marketing. This is part of a propaganda campaign which is going on at the moment (in many countries) and would have the gullible believe that Microsoft ‘fights back’ against the NSA, or something along those lines. One piece of propaganda was titled “Microsoft mocks NSA” and another doubts that it is “NSA-proof” (it is not, as with PRISM Microsoft can provide direct access, never mind NSLs).

Corporate media is meanwhile trying hard to push FOSS as “insecure” back into the debate. Gates’ fan press recently did this (citing familiar FOSS-hostile firms) and ‘Information’ Age conflates “proprietary” with “enterprise”, insinuating that FOSS is inherently not for enterprises (this is another type of FUD). Apparently, in addition to all that, a few lines of code (one bug) are the beginning of a new world. It’s that “Heartbleed” nonsense — a word coined by a Microsoft-linked firm for greater impact in an already-FOSS-hostile media (here is Adrian Bridgwater’s cheeky attacks on FOSS, using/exploiting news from 3 months ago, and here is another example). What corporate press rarely tells reader about “Heartbleed” is the insidious connection to Microsoft. There are those who look for bugs in old versions of Android which can leak location data because of the Wi-Fi stack, but these are not critical. “Android phones running 3.1 and newer versions of Google’s mobile operating system are leaking Wi-Fi connection histories, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has discovered,” says one source. Furthermore, says The Mukt, “Android seems to be the center of attention when it comes to mobile security concerns. In the latest, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has made claims that if you are an Android smartphones user, there is a high risk that your location history is being broadcasted to those within your Wi-Fi range.”

So basically, when it comes to FOSS there is nothing to really complain about except privacy bugs and some security bug from three months ago. As Ryan pointed out some days ago in IRC (citing IDG): “UPDATE: IBM on Monday corrected its report to say that the problem is not as widespread as originally thought. “The vulnerability affects Android 4.3 only. Thanks for the Android Security Team for correcting our advisory,” IBM said. About 10.3 percent of Android devices run Android 4.3.”

“That’s some sloppy reporting,” Ryan wrote. “First they reported that 86% of Android devices were affected by a critical security hole. Then they issued a correction, that it was only one version of Android that represents 10% of devices, and not even the latest version. We also don’t know that all Android 4.3 devices are affected, because OEMs can backport patches to their current firmware even when they don’t want to do a major Android upgrade at the moment. Archos kept backporting patches to Android 4.0 for a long time.

The original report, as far as we can tell, came from Android and Linux basher Dan Goodin. He led the way for writers, including in his former employer, to hide up an Android vulnerability. “It’s hard to exploit,” said his former employer, but in Condé Nasty it is called “serious”. This, in our view, is part of the hype which seeks to paint FOSS as ” insecure”, never mind the many back doors we now know of in proprietary software like Microsoft’s.

Just remember that Condé Nasty, and especially its writer Dan Goodin, has been on some kind of villainous Jihad against GNU/Linux for months now, distorting facts to make it seem as thought FOSS cannot be trusted.

To us it seems clear why all this FUD is being disseminated. Citing security concerns, large governments are moving away from pricey proprietary software with back doors, notably Microsoft’s. Watch Microsoft lying to governments of the world:

No backdoors in our code: Microsoft bid to convince governments

[...]

In yet another sign that the revelations about blanket NSA spying are biting into business revenue, Microsoft is offering to open up its source code to governments so they can satisfy themselves that there are no backdoors implanted.

[...]

There appears to be a fear among technology companies that if Microsoft is forced to do the government’s bidding, then American cloud businesses which operate in other countries could stand to lose a lot of business.

Snowden’s revelations have led to a drop in overseas business for at least two technology firms – Cisco and IBM. Additionally, the Boeing company lost an order from Brazil, which opted to go with Sweden’s Saab for $US4.5 billion worth of aircraft.

These are lies and Snowden’s revelations provided enough hard evidence to prove this. Expect many more attacks on FOSS from a security angle. Microsoft will try to save its cash cows, using a new ‘flavour’ of disinformation, as usual.

06.21.14

Links 21/6/2014: Russia Dumps x86/Wintel, Steam Summer Sale is On

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Tool Aimed At Propelling Honeypots Into the Mainstream

    Researchers have built a free open-source honeypot software program aimed at propelling the hacker decoys into security weapons for everyday organizations.

  • Google investing $50 million to get girls to code

    Google conducted research to determine why girls are opting out of learning how to code? As a result Google found that most girls decide before they even enter college whether they want to learn to code—so the Tech-world must win them over them at a young age. They also found that there were four major factors that determined whether girls opted into computer science: social encouragement, self-perception, academic exposure and career perception. According to recent studies less than 1 percent of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla working on a WordPress, Disqus competitor?
      • ​How to Try Firefox OS Apps on Android

        Android: Mozilla is best known for its web browser, but the company also produces Firefox OS for a limited number of handsets. With a little sideways thinking, though, you can try some of its apps in Android.

        Much like Google Chrome, Firefox supports webapps—the OS and apps are built with the same technology—and this is how you can bring Firefox OS to Android. Apps work like browser extensions, so they take up very little room making them ideal for older devices or those with limited storage. Download a copy of Firefox for Android from the Google Play Store, or update your existing copy to 29 or above.

        Fire up Firefox and visit the Firefox Marketplace, the Firefox version of Google Play or the Chrome Web Store. Take a browse through the Marketplace and tap an app that takes your fancy. Just as with regular Android apps, Firefox OS apps let you know about the permissions they need, and you have to accept this before you install anything.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • It’s time to stop the open-on-open violence in cloud computing

      A Structure conference panel discussing the state of open source cloud computing agreed that open source clouds need to get easier to use, but not on much else.

    • LeaseWeb Offers CloudStack-based Flat-Fee Private Cloud Service
    • Why I Built OwnCloud and Made It Open Source

      There I was, 4 years ago (this past January) at CampKDE in San Diego, giving a talk on data privacy, warning the audience about the risks to their privacy from cloud vendors – in particular, Dropbox. So, build it yourself they said. Sure, I’ve built things in the past, so sure, I’ll do it. And there is where I started my odyssey, first, to protect myself, my friends and my colleagues from the snooping of governments, and other bad guys, and later – as I saw the worldwide interest grow – to build a real and successful project.

      I had to decide a few things before I got started of course, including what it is I wanted ownCloud to do, what development platform to use, how I wanted to structure ownCloud, and of course, to name it ownCloud.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 RC1 Get Multiple DOCX Improvements
    • LibreOffice 4.2.5 Released with Fixes from 800 Contributors

      The Document Foundation has announced that the final version for LibreOffice 4.2.5 has been released for all the available platforms, including Linux.

      This is just a maintenance release for the 4.2.x branch, but users of this particular version should consider upgrading nonetheless. The developers have squashed numerous bugs for this release and that can be easily observed from the changelog,

      LibreOffice 4.2.5 is now the most advanced build available from The Document Foundation, but the developers maintain a number of other branches as well. Users will be able to find the 4.1.6, 4.2.3, and 4.2.4 downloads on the official website…

  • BSD

Leftovers

  • After Forty-Seven Years, Computerworld, Tech Publishing’s Elder Statesman, is a Print Publication No More

    The news comes three months after the passing of Pat McGovern, who started IDG in 1964 as a research firm and put out Computerworld with a tiny staff in its earliest days. It’s sad to think of IDG losing its founder and flagship print publication so close together, but in a way, it’s also fitting.

  • Maybe it’s time to consider a Gross Domestic Happiness Index

    Just for fun, I checked to see which countries are the wealthiest in the world, based on a ranking of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) World Factbook, the crown goes to energy-rich Qatar, where GDP per capita last year stood at more than $102,000 US.

    Rounding out the list of top-10 richest nations are Liechenstein, Macau, Bermuda, Monaco, Luxembourg, Singapore, Jersey, Norway, and the Falkland Islands.

    Paraguay ranked a lowly 143rd, with a GDP per capita of just $6,800 per person in 2013. In fact, most of the happiest countries according to the Gallup poll results failed to crack the top-100 list of the world’s wealthiest nations, based on the CIA’s data.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Reflections on Fascism

      Iraq is back, as in blowback: this replaces Ukraine for the moment, America always on the lookout for a situation which can be turned, because of US policy in the first place, into a source of provocation. Iraq, our intervention guaranteed internal civil war, here, with the gains of ISIS, a chance to return in some form, concentrated drone attacks, rather than so-called “boots on the ground,” possibly to inflame the entire region, itself destabilized for obvious reasons (protection of Israel and the continued plight of the Palestinians). As Spinney and Polk wrote in CounterPunch, contradiction plagues American policy, in this case, turning to Iran for help against ISIS while threatening Iran for some time with severe military and economic punishment. How Obama and Kerry can keep straight faces is one for the annals of war.

    • The Redrawing of the Map of the Middle East Begins with the Destruction of Iraq

      The US is playing all sides of this exploding conflict, towards larger US/NATO objectives.

      The invading force, ISIS, is a creation of the US CIA and oil-soaked US allies Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.It is an Al-Qaeda front. Al-Qaeda has been the military-intelligence arm of the CIA since the Cold War. ISIS is the Anglo-American empire’s leading military-intelligence army in its ongoing war against Syria.

    • Amerika’s “Third Crusade” In Iraq Is Having Trouble …

      Back in the early 2004, comedian Dave Chappelle produced a masterpiece entitled “Black Bush” – a comedic mockumentary of the events leading up to (and immediately following) the United States’ “second crusade” in Iraq, led by former president George W. Bush.

      [...]

      Now they’re our allies or something … sort of like al-Qaeda (who we were supporting in Syria) is now our enemy in Iraq.

    • Is Obama’s new Iraq strategy just a cover for expanding his secret war?

      At the White House on Thursday afternoon, the American president outlined an everything-but-the-war strategy that was classic Barack Obama: his press briefing offered perhaps a telling signal about his own expansive version of the Global War on Terror, while still managing to be subtly evasive about what he might actually do in Iraq.

      The US military will be increasing surveillance, Obama said, preparing to send military “advisers” to Iraq and urging, not so subtly, for a political shift away from Nouri al-Maliki’s government. He did not, of course, answer the question on everyone’s minds about how America plans to deal with the Iraq crisis: Will Obama engage in fighting to stabilize the country?

    • Pakistan condemns drone strike in North Waziristan

      Six suspected militants were killed in a drone strike in Miranshah Tehsil in North Waziristan, Pakistan, local tribesmen and Pakistani intelligence sources not authorized to speak to media told CNN on Wednesday.

      The drone struck a house and a pickup truck in the Daraga Mandi area of Miranshah, they said.

    • More than 400 US military drones lost in crashes: report
    • Dick Cheney Should be Rotting in The Hague, Not Writing Editorials

      This should be obvious to pretty everyone by now, but apparently the Wall Street Journal didn’t get the message. Today, the paper published an editorial by Cheney and his daughter Liz in which the former Vice President blasts the “collapsing Obama doctrine” of foreign policy.”

    • The U.N. Says 257 civilians Have Been Killed in East Ukraine but Refuses to Condemn the Ongoing Bombardment

      According to a recent report by the U.N. 356 people have been killed in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Of these 257 were civilians, 86 were Ukrainian military. If these numbers are accurate it would mean that only 13 separatists have been killed so far (I find that hard to believe). The real death toll is likely higher than this.

    • CNN Brings Back Those Who Were Wrong on Iraq

      TV coverage of the current Iraq crisis looks a lot like 2003, when pro-war pundits, former generals and hawkish politicians dominated the debate. CNN’s Situation Room, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, illustrates how TV has returned to that narrow, pro-government discussion of Iraq.

    • Bertrand Russell Society Calls for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Supports Lawsuit

      The Bertrand Russell Society held its 41st annual conference at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario on June 13-15, 2014. Dozens of academics, students, and Russell admirers from five countries and eight US states attended the conference, which featured presentations on various aspects of Russell’s diverse interests and works, including his work in logic and philosophy, and his political writing and activism. Bertrand Russell was one of the twentieth century’s most important and influential philosophers and public intellectuals. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, and he was a founder and early leader of the nuclear disarmament movement.

    • Obama Prepares for Drone War in Iraq

      President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that he will send 300 Green Beret Army special operations soldiers to Iraq. They will be detailed to Iraqi National Army Headquarters and brigade HQs and their primary task will apparently be intelligence-gathering and helping with the Iraqi National Army response to the advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL). Likely the intelligence-gathering in turn is intended to allow the deployment in Iraq of American drones. At the moment, the US has no good intelligence on the basis of which to fly the drones.

    • Iraq strategy: Obama, Congress leaders meeting

      Obama has ruled out returning combat troops to Iraq in order to quell the insurgency. However, he has notified Congress that up to 275 armed U.S. forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. interests.

    • Best Case Against Attacking Iraq? The Last Attack On Iraq

      As the latest reporting from both Baghdad and Washington, D.C. reveal diplomatic machinations paving the way for possible U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, increasing numbers of people are asking President Obama—and the American people—to look at the repeated and failed policy of military intervention in the region as the best argument against making the same mistake yet again.

    • Local Christians unite to protest for peace

      Critics claim these drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including children.

    • Pentagon crashed more than 400 military drones
    • 400 drones crashed since 2001, six in Pakistan

      More than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

    • Military drones fall from the sky

      The unmanned military planes have slammed into homes, farms, runways and a transport plane in midair.

    • Drones crash with alarming frequency

      Commercial drone flights are set to become a widespread reality in the United States, starting next year, under a 2012 law passed by Congress. Drone flights by law enforcement agencies and the military, which occur on a limited basis, are projected to surge.

    • Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Criminal Justice Media’s ‘Twisted’ Coverage

      Khan strayed from most media coverage around New York’s “biggest gang raid ever” by writing about the people living in the housing projects at the heart of the early-morning 400+ officer raid (complete with helicopters and riot gear), and by including voices of residents critical of it. The initial New York Times story (6/4/14) included only official accounts. The Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post (6/4/14) printed Facebook quotes of some of the teenagers indicted (an apparent attempt to prove their guilt in the court of public opinion–a guilt assumed by the headline’s flat assertion about “Rival Gangs Arrested”), as well as quotes from the Manhattan district attorney and residents offering comments supportive of the end to alleged violence–if not the raid itself.

      [...]

      It’s of course this type of media objectivity that allows for authorities to dominate public discourse through the virtual invisibility of criticism. Their heightened voice, made possible by the media’s willingness to become echo chambers for them, point to a relationship where the line between media and the state is blurred.

  • Censorship

    • Laziness Is Censoring the Internet

      Every time a government attempts to censor the Internet and block access to websites, advocates of Web freedom ritually respond that the effort is useless: Technology will beat police action every time. It’s true — but only to the extent that people are interested in resisting. Most aren’t, which is why governments have not stopped messing with site blockages and other Web restrictions.

      A few days ago, Iraq blocked the social networks, as beleaguered governments sometimes do, believing it would cut off activists from each other and stop them from organizing. Immediately, traffic to Tor, the anonymous network supported by volunteers throughout the world, rocketed…

    • Twitter ends censorship of ‘blasphemous’ tweets after #TwitterTheocracy campaign
    • Government of [CENSORED] censors cyberbullying docs

      The Star has obtained documents related to the Conservatives’ controversial Internet surveillance bill that have been heavily censored — even blocking out the “Canada” in “Government of Canada.”

  • Privacy

    • Don’t panic about Facebook outages, the NSA has your back

      Yet they don’t seem to think about what they lose when Facebook hands that personal data over to the NSA, or to any other security or intelligence authorities, such as GCHQ in the UK.

    • EU judgement on Facebook to take over a year

      Any EU-level judgement on a case filed against Facebook for its alleged involvement in helping the Americans snoop on millions of people is likely to take over a year.

    • The case that might cripple FacebookThe case that might cripple Facebook
    • Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

      Facebook currently limits the number of your “friends” who can see your posts to about 7 or 8%. What? You thought that “friends” list was yours? It’s not. It’s theirs. And think about it, if you had a thousand friends, and 25 of them, that’s 2.5% posted 3 or 4 times a day, another 25 posted once a day, and a hundred posted once a week, that would be at least 150 daily posts for you to comb through, leaving little room for Facebook to insert ads and promoted content which customers have paid for into your news feed.

    • The German Government has reportedly tightened tender rules for sensitive public IT contracts

      The German Government has reportedly tightened the rules for awarding sensitive public IT contracts, following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding the US National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) mass surveillance activities.

    • Opinion: Where is Europe’s outrage?

      One year ago, Europeans were livid when Edward Snowden revealed NSA mass surveillance of European citizens. Now that new documents show most EU countries are in cahoots with the NSA, the public remains mostly mum.

    • House votes 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying on Americans
    • EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say
    • Danes tapped Norway data for NSA: Information

      Denmark’s Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS) is intercepting data sent through fibre cables from Norway, according to newly published documents leaked from the US’s National Security Agency (NSA)

    • NSA Working With Denmark, Germany To Access ‘Three Terabits Of Data Per Second’ From Overseas Cables

      Another set of leaked NSA documents has been posted in a team effort by The Intercept and Danish newspaper Dagbladet. This one deals with the NSA’s RAMPART-A program, a surveillance effort that depends on the cooperation of involved countries to be successful. As the NSA has always made an effort to point out, its interception of foreign communications is both completely legal and the sort of thing people would expect a national security agency to be doing.

    • NSA uses 33 countries to intercept web traffic – Snowden Files
    • UK urged to give Germany access to RAF base that ‘helped spy on Merkel’

      The UK needs to grant Germany access to RAF Croughton military base which reportedly hosts a joint CIA/NSA unit, a Labor MP told British PM David Cameron, urging him to help the German federal investigation of the phone tapping of Angela Merkel.

    • Scenes of the NSA Are Watching Over the London Underground

      Paglen’s latest work, a site-specific piece for the London Underground stop, is a huge photographic panorama that depicts the area surrounding Menwith Hill, an RAF base used by the NSA. At first glance, the landscape is idyllic and unmistakably British, with luscious green fields and a smattering of stone cottages. But lurking on the horizon are a series of white bubbles; a rare but tell-tale physical sign of the secretive surveillance conducted by the security agency.

    • ZOMG! The FBI commissioned this WTF list of netspeak
    • British gov’t reportedly intercepting conversations from Facebook, Twitter, and Google

      The British government is reportedly intercepting communications from social networks, emails and text messages even when there is no suspicion of wrongdoing. According to a report from Privacy International, British spy agencies have been monitoring the Facebook and Twitter activity of every Internet user in the country. Authorities are also said to be collecting data on people’s web searches and emails.

    • How did ‘don’t mess with the money’ become the NSA’s motto?

      So why doesn’t the NSA start watching Wall Street’s agents of financial terror? Why don’t its snoops look into every nook and cranny of our economy where investment bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity kingpins, and derivative wheeler-dealers are trading inside information and rigging markets, milking mergers and nuking jobs, all the while stuffing multiple millions (or billions) in their pockets?

    • House Votes to Defund NSA ‘Backdoor’ Searches
    • House unexpectedly votes to stop warrantless NSA searches

      In what’s being billed as a momentum boost for anti-surveillance advocates, the US House of Representative on Thursday approved an amendment that significantly reigns in warrantless searches on Americans’ communication records.

    • Here’s how the NSA snoops on India

      According to these documents, India is an “Approved SIGINT partner” with the NSA. SIGINT is a common term used in intelligence circles that stands for signals Intelligence, and refers to capturing of communication between two people. Decrypting of messages, traffic analysis etc are also part of SIGINT. The agency then taps these SIGINT partnerships for creating two major programs called RAMPART-A and WINDSTOP for collecting data in transit between the source and the servers, as opposed to collecting data from each Internet company (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) separately. Considering WINDSTOP only partners with second parties, primarily the UK, to access communications into and out of Europe and Middle East, third-party partner like India should fall under RAMPART-A.

    • Can you spy on a phone when it is turned off?

      Whether you consider Edward Snowden a traitor or a patriot, before he hit the news most people didn’t give much thought to government spying on everyday citizens. During a recent interview, he said that the NSA has the ability to spy on your smartphone, even if it’s turned off.

    • Spook Rebuke

      Keep in mind what the NSA is up to. This goes well beyond a sniffer program scanning Karachi-bound text messages for “Death to the Great Satan! Allahu Akbar!” The NSA has been intercepting laptop computers being shipped to customers in order to install software bugs in them, redirecting Web traffic to install malware on computers, installing agents in video games, and generally behaving like an implausible villain in a Robert Ludlum novel. It is using the flimsiest rationales to extend its surveillance to domestic targets. The toothless USA Freedom Bill passed by the House last month was intended to curtail some of this, but would have relatively little practical effect even if it were to become law, its enforcement protocols being remarkably loosey-goosey. The bipartisan amendment put forth by Kentucky’s Thomas Massie (R.) and California’s Zoe Lofgren (D.) passed 293 to 123, and would impose funding restrictions as well as implement a specific ban on any agency effort “to mandate or request that a person redesign its product or service to facilitate” surveillance.

    • NSA helps foreign governments conduct mass surveillance at home

      A new release of Snowden’s leaked NSA docs detail RAMPART-A, through which the NSA gives foreign governments the ability to conduct mass surveillance against their own populations in exchange for NSA access to their communications. RAMPART-A, is spread across 13 sites, accesses three terabytes/second from 70 cables and networks. It cost US taxpayers $170M between 2011 and 2013, allocated through the NSA’s “black budget.”

    • Senator Wyden Congratulates House on Bipartisan Vote to Ban Backdoor Searches
    • House backs limits on government spying
    • New leaks show Germany’s collusion with NSA

      Several new Snowden-leaked documents show how closely Germany’s intelligence agencies work with the NSA. But did the German government deliberately soften laws protecting privacy to make life easier for them?

    • Even The NSA Likes Final Fantasy

      Documents published earlier this week by German magazine Der Spiegel reveal that one of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in Germany was named “WILDCHOCOBO.”

    • WILDCHOCOBO: Evidence of Final Fantasy fans at the NSA?
    • Germany opens criminal probe into spying operations by NSA

      Germany’s lead federal prosecutor has opened a criminal probe into espionage operations by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the nation’s leadership; especially the allegation of NSA’s spying against German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    • House passes measure aimed at NSA snooping

      The House on Friday passed a defense spending bill with an amendment that would bar the National Security Agency from conducting warrantless searches of its databases for Americans’ communications records.

    • Court Approves NSA Gathering of Phone Metadata for Three More Months

      U.S. intelligence officials disclosed late Friday that the Obama administration has received approval from a special federal court to continue the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone metadata for another three months.

    • US lawmakers pass bill to curb NSA
    • House votes to expand protections against NSA
    • European Union’s Highest Court To Consider PRISM’s Impact On EU Data Protection Laws
    • Edward Snowden won’t meet with German officials in Moscow
    • Edward Snowden rejects German plans for meeting in Moscow
    • Digital Rights Activist Hails House Vote on Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance

      In an unusual show of bipartisan unity, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill Friday with an amendment, co-sponsored by San Jose Democrat Zoe Lofgren, that would limit the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency.

    • “Politically Explosive” Docs Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth
    • Fisa court grants extension of licence for bulk collection of US phone records
    • Macedonia gave permission to NSA to spy on citizens?

      The United States has made top-secret deals with more than 30 third-party countries so that the National Security Agency can tap into fiber optic cables carrying internet data in those parts of the world, new leaks reveal.

    • U.S. Government at War With Itself Over Civil Liberties

      Over the past year, the United States government has been in the news a lot for its efforts to undermine the Internet’s basic privacy and security protocols.

      There were the Edward Snowden revelations about the National Security Agency sweeping up metadata, paying contractors to embed backdoors into their security technologies, hacking various private accounts of network administrators and developing malware to infect computers.

    • Another US spying problem in Latin America: The DEA

      Rousseff summed it all up rather succinctly in a blunt speech at the United Nations last September, denouncing “a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities, and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.”

    • Canadians Don’t Trust the Harper Government’s New Cyberbullying Bill

      Canadians were largely unmoved by the Edward Snowden leaks and the disclosure of mass surveillance programs like PRISM, with few showing any serious worries about domestic government surveillance in a poll by Abacus Data in June 2013. But now a new poll by Forum Research suggests Canadians are growing suspicious of the latest Conservative cyberbullying bill C-13, with most rejecting a piece of legislation many think is more about beefing up government surveillance powers than protecting teens from bullies.

    • Cops hid use of phone tracking tech in court documents at feds’ request

      ACLU uncovers e-mails regarding Stingray devices borrowed from US Marshals Service.

    • Stingray Documents Show Law Enforcement Using ‘Terrorism’ To Obtain Equipment To Fight Regular Crime

      Scott Ainslie at MuckRock has pried loose a few more Stingray documents with a FOIA request. What was requested were contractual documents, which seem to be something law enforcement agencies feel more comfortable with releasing. Anything pertaining to the actual use of Stingray devices still remains heavily shrouded, thanks in no small part to the intercession of the federal government.

    • Lawyers, locals react to WPD’s surveillance device

      The Wilmington Police Department has surveillance equipment called Stingray. It turns your phone into a tracking device, giving law enforcement crucial information on where you are. But it might violate your rights.

    • Glenn Greenwald On Why Privacy Is Vital, Even If You ‘Have Nothing To Hide’

      Journalist Glenn Greenwald defended the value of digital privacy and slammed those who dismiss its importance during a stop on his national book tour Thursday.

      “We all need places where we can go to explore without the judgmental eyes of other people being cast upon us,” he said. “Only in a realm where we’re not being watched can we really test the limits of who we want to be. It’s really in the private realm where dissent, creativity and personal exploration lie.”

      He said that people who downplay the importance of privacy typically say, “I have nothing to hide.” But, he added, those people aren’t willing to publish their social media and email passwords.

    • US House Votes To Cut Funding For NSA Spying On American Citizens

      Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding.

    • Tell a lie, remove the gear: How the NSA covers up when cable taps are found

      On March 14, 2013, an SSO weekly briefing included a note regarding such a discovery. The unit had been informed two days earlier that “the access point for WHARPDRIVE was discovered by commercial consortium personnel. Witting partner personnel have removed the evidence and a plausible cover story was provided. All collection has ceased.”

      According to Der Spiegel, Wharpdrive was a fiber-optic cable tap (underseas fiber is often laid by consortia of companies, so it’s possible this took place at an onshore landing point for such a cable). Employees from one of the companies involved—though not the company that had a relationship with NSA and the German intelligence agency BND—apparently noticed some unusual gear and commented on it. In response, the company involved with the NSA (“witting partner personnel”) removed the tap and made up a story to explain what the gear in question had been doing.

    • The NSA in Germany: Snowden’s Documents Available for Download

      In Edward Snowden’s archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency’s operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files.

    • Interview with Ex-Stasi Agent: ‘The Scope of NSA Surveillance Surprised Me’

      During the Cold War, West Germany’s foreign intelligence service cooperated closely with the NSA. Klaus Eichner, an agent with the East German Stasi, monitored it at the time, and now he tells SPIEGEL what he knew about the collaboration.

    • Watchdog urges EU leaders to shield citizens from snooping

      European Union countries need stricter controls to protect citizens from spying, a top data protection official said on Thursday, a warning that may rekindle a debate about snooping before an EU summit next week.

    • NSA Reform Gathers Momentum In Congress After Late-Night Vote

      After a somewhat desultory year of little to no change, reform of the United States surveillance state appears to have finally found momentum.

      Recently the USA FREEDOM Act was gutted and rammed through the House, and two funding amendments that would have cut monies for forced backdoors and certain government searches failed.

      Last night, however, the House passed a single amendment to the military funding bill that did what the two failed amendments had attempted. At once, a large House majority had taken an unambiguous stand against certain parts of the government’s surveillance activities.

    • Congress wants NSA reform after all. Obama and the Senate need to pass it

      An overwhelming House vote to cut funds for back doors into your private life sets up a summer surveillance fight: will the Senate stand up before the White House shuts it down?

    • Reps. Goodlatte And Ruppersberger Admit That NSA Is Warrantlessly Spying On Americans’ Communications

      We’ve already written about the surprising, but encouraging, vote late last night to defund backdoor searches by the NSA. But it’s worth looking at some of the floor debate on the amendment last night — in particular the push against the amendment from Reps. Goodlatte and Ruppersberger, who both appear to flat out admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans’ communications, in direct contrast to earlier claims. The reasons for these two to argue against the amendment are clear. Goodlatte was the guy who negotiated the “deal” with the White House and the House Intelligence Committee to completely water down the USA Freedom Act, and he knows that this amendment puts some of the substance that he stripped out right back in. Ruppersberger, of course, represents the district where the NSA is headquartered, and is the ranking member for the House Intelligence Committee. His loyalty to the NSA over the American public has always been clear. But to have them basically admit that the NSA does warrantless spying on Americans is quite impressive.

    • 38 Civil Liberties and Public Interest Organizations Call on Congress to Pass Real NSA Reform

      A bipartisan coalition of 38 civil liberties and public interest organizations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sent a letter to Congress yesterday that draws a line in the sand on NSA reform. The coalition made it clear that it cannot support the watered-down version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed in the House of Representatives without significant changes to the legislation, and outlined clear steps that Congress can take to address problems with the bill.

    • Amash spokesman: ‘Congress is clued in’ on NSA spying programs with passage of bipartisan proposal
    • House Votes To Defund Warrantless Communications Searches

      The House voted 293 to 123 late Thursday to approve amendments to a Defense appropriations bill (HR 4670) that would defund warrantless seraches of NSA-collected communications and prevent the NSA and CIA from requiring products have “back doors” that allow them to more easily conduct searches.

    • More Than $116K Has Been Raised in 3 Days for NSA-Proof Encrypted Email

      Roughly three days ago, an Indiegogo surfaced promising “to protect people around the world from the mass surveillance that is currently being perpetrated by governments and corporations around the world.” More than $116,000 has already been raised, and that’s without the viral guidance of media attention.

    • Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

      Anyone that has to regularly pay for food, water, gas, electricity or anything else knows that inflation is too high. In fact, if inflation was calculated the same way that it was back in 1980, the inflation rate would be close to 10 percent right now.

    • The Supreme Court is about to decide what police can do with your phone

      Within the next week, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on a pair of cases that will have major implications for the over 91 percent of Americans who carry a cellphone. At issue is the question of whether police officers are legally allowed to search through the contents of someone’s phone—that is to say, much of a person’s private life—without first obtaining a warrant.

    • The NSA’s big problem, explained by the NSA

      Amongst the new trove of classified documents released by Der Speigel is a rather academic discussion, in the NSA’s own foreign affairs journal, about the differences between American signals intelligence collection and German signals intelligence collection.

      One passage in particular stands out, as it highlights how the Germans give far more weight to privacy than the NSA does.

    • How to Keep Public Support for Spying

      A poll suggests intelligence agencies could benefit from some controlled leaks.

    • Senators should take Snowden’s lead, shine light on NSA

      Former federal government contract worker Edward Snowden’s disclosures of virtually limitless surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency corroborated the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis’ wisdom that sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants.

  • Civil Rights

    • New Meme: Liberty Movement More Dangerous Than Al-Qaida

      Is the liberty movement more dangerous than al-Qaida? CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen thinks so.

    • How many Palestinians will die in the search for missing Israeli youths?

      Mustafa Aslan died on Friday afternoon after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier at Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah a few hours previously. He was 22-years-old.

      Mustafa is the third Palestinian victim of the Israeli authorities’ ‘search’ for three teenagers – two Israeli and one US-Israeli – who went missing on 12 June after leaving the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion near Hebron.

    • Japan Brought an End to Gun Violence by Doing What The U.S. Won’t

      Let’s say it all together now: The United States has a problem with guns.

      Since the horrifying Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012, there have been 74 school shootings and 17,042 gun deaths.

      To the frustration of many Americans, a stalled debate stands in the way of solving our gun violence problem, even though the solution is staring us in the face. The Onion captured this feeling perfectly with one of its headlines last month: “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.”

    • Supreme Court Sides With Whistleblower In Retaliation Case

      In a case over retaliation against a public employee who was fired after testifying about corruption, the Supreme Court says the man gave testimony as a concerned citizen and should not have been punished. The decision was unanimous, overturning lower courts.

    • Let’s have a day off from ‘joy’ of technology

      TECHNOLOGY saves stress. Except when it adds stress. Supermarket self-checkout machines may look inviting enough, but were, in fact, inspired by medieval devices of torture.

    • Flying drones, quad-copters in SA: legal or illegal?

      The issue of whether it is legal or illegal to fly radio-controlled and unmanned aircraft in South Africa is a complex one involving three different organisations.

      As things stand today, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has no regulations to govern what it calls Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s), which means it is illegal to fly unmanned drones in South Africa.

    • EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE: CIA’s Linguistic Somersault Takes to the Sky

      This past Memorial Day weekend, New Yorkers who happened to look up may have seen the words EXISTENCE OR NONEXISTENCE appear across the skyline in synchronized bursts of white smoke.

      The seemingly spontaneous event was a project of mine called Severe Clear. It was inspired by a letter the CIA sent the ACLU rejecting their Freedom of Information Act request for documents relating to the U.S. government’s classified drone program. The letter reiterates the now familiar Glomar response, stating that the agency can “neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence” of records responsive to the request.

    • G.I. Joe creator made Osama bin Laden action figure for CIA
    • CIA, G.I. Joe inventor made ‘demon’ bin Laden dolls
    • CIA Created ‘Demonic’ Osama Bin Laden Toy to Scare Afghan Children

      The CIA secretly developed a “demonic” Osama bin Laden action figure to scare Pakistani and Afghan children and undermine public support for the al-Qaida figurehead, it has emerged.

    • The State of the Fourth State in the State

      What the journalists’ body asked for from other newspapers was a form of censorship: self-censorship. George Orwell has written about the damages of self-censorship in any democratic society. The first priority of journalists is to unearth the truth and if they start exercising self censorship than truth is going to be the first casualty.

    • David Usborne: President, press and prejudice: it’s America

      At a conference in New York in March, Risen said the Obama administration has shown itself to be “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation”. By then his case had reached the Supreme Court, where the Justices declined to intervene.

    • Another View: Journalist shield law critical to democracy

      The letter was sent to Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a few days after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who has been contesting a subpoena requiring him to testify at the upcoming trial of a former CIA agent.

      The agent, Jeffrey Sterling, is accused of revealing classified information about a failed CIA plan to compromise Iran’s nuclear program, an operation described in a book by Risen.

    • Media seeks Guantanamo force-feeding videos
    • Status of CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Declassification (updated)

      In the meantime, Senator Feinstein, Chair of the SSCI, has stated that the Director of National Intelligence has assured her that the declassification of the SSCI’s executive summary and findings and conclusions will be completed by early next month, ideally before July 4. If this is still the case, it is not necessarily inconsistent with the CIA’s status reports filed today. Presumably the Executive branch will be finished with its declassification review of the SSCI’s documents before it turns to the two ancillary documents (the CIA response and the Panetta Report), and will then deliver the declassified versions of the executive summary and findings and conclusions to the SSCI, which could decide to publish them before August 29. The period between early July and August 29 would also give the SSCI and the Executive branch eight weeks or so to negotiate over any possible disagreements about the scope of the declassification.

    • Here Are Some Of The Most Bizarre Ideas From The CIA

      In the 1950s, the CIA produced a pornographic film starring an actor made up to resemble Indonesian President Sukarno. The idea was to discredit Sukarno in the eyes of his countrymen, according to the 1976 memoir of a CIA officer, Joseph Burkholder Smith, as the Indonesian leader was viewed as insufficiently pro-West at the time.

    • America Is Also “Ripe For Regime Change”

      There’s been a lot of talk coming out of Washington, D.C. lately about the need for “regime change” in Iraq – which is particularly ironic when you consider the current regime was hand-picked by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during an American military invasion that cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives.

    • Why The World Should Care About The War Against Guatemalan Women

      Biden’s visit, though, only serves to highlight the historical role the U.S. has played in prompting some of the problems seen today in Guatemala. In 1954, the C.I.A. helped organize a coup to oust a popular leader and install a right-wing dictator who plunged the country into a 36-year civil war. Effects of the war, which Amnesty International and many other groups label a genocide of the Mayan people, are still felt today and contribute greatly to Guatemala’s current problems.

    • The assassin’s guide to Western ‘democracy’

      We live in an age now where the Western media has been virtually subsumed by banking and military interests. If “our side’s” dirty deeds are kept out of the news, and the latest “bogeyman” kept in, then today’s war profiteers can get away with whatever they want. “Defensive” NATO with its proxy armies and “deniable” private military contractors sponsoring butchery across the globe has become a Napoleon with nukes, bringing the day ever closer when these wonder-weapons might again be used in anger.

    • Pentagon Funds “Cold War-Style” Science Study to Track Political Protest in America

      The controversial program called Project Camelot had been operational nearly a decade into the Vietnam war, as the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) located at American University had received millions in funding from the US Army to conduct a six country study on civil unrest. The current social science program directed by Minerva and the Department of Defense (DoD), appears to have also partnered with some of the most well-known universities in the United States by studying the behavior of peaceful activism and how political ideology shapes protest movements in the world at large.

    • Did CIA Smear a Former Operative to Cover Up a Bad Firing?

      And now a former CIA operative may get a day in court to add to that peculiar lore. On Friday a federal trial judge in Washington, D.C. could rule on a discovery motion by “Peter B.,” a former CIA officer who contends that the spy agency fired him without due process and then badmouthed him, scuttling his chances for a job with a CIA contractor.

    • Is it right to jail someone for being offensive on Facebook or Twitter?

      Jake Newsome was jailed last week for posting offensive comments online. His is the latest in a string of cases that have led to prison terms, raising concern that free speech may be under threat from over-zealous prosecutors

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Senate Is Officially Considering a CISPA Clone

        The Senate Intelligence Committee is moving forward with its Cybersecurity Information Protection Act—a problematic, potentially civil liberties-killing piece of legislation that looks just like the CISPA bill the internet fought so hard to kill last year—and the year before that.

        CIPA, written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) will be considered by the committee next week, according to Feinstein.

      • The German war against the link

        Half the major publishers in Germany have started a process of arbitration — which, no doubt, will lead to suits — to demand that Google pay them for quoting from and thus linking to their content. And now we know how much they think they deserve: 11% of Google’s revenue related to their snippets. From their government filing, they want a cut of “gross sales, including foreign sales” that come “directly and indirectly from making excerpts from online newspapers and magazines public.” [All these links are in German.]

      • That Story You’ve Read About YouTube ‘Blocking’ Indie Artists… Yeah, That’s Not Accurate

        As you may have heard, there’s been some hubbub this week about claims that YouTube is going to remove some videos from indie musicians/labels who don’t agree to the contract terms for YouTube’s upcoming music subscription service. Ellen Huet, over at Forbes, has a good article explaining how this isn’t as dire as some are making it out to be, but the more I’m digging into it, it seems even less than that. There’s no doubt that this is a royalty dispute, with some indie labels upset about the basic terms that Google is offering, but, if you haven’t noticed, the complaints seem to be coming from the same folks who complain about the royalty rates of every single online music service. There are some people who will just never be satisfied. Furthermore, the deeper you dig into this, it becomes quite clear that any artist who wants to have their videos on YouTube can continue to do that.

06.18.14

Indian FOSS Policy Still Focused on Free/Libre Software, But in Vietnam the Population Sprayed by ‘Agent Microsoft’

Posted in Site News at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Herbicide spray missions

Summary: The government of Vietnam fails to follow its own policies after heavy lobbying/bullying from Microsoft, its insidious front groups, and lobbyists/politicians that covertly work for Microsoft’s agenda (domination over foreigners using back doors and accusations of ‘piracy’) to be fulfilled

CHINA is officially moving away from Microsoft, along with other proprietary software vendors (especially those from the United States, where the NSA reigns over datacentres and engages in espionage against China). The Indian software policy is commendable [1] and it continues to impress (affecting the world’s second largest population, largest bar China and together accounting to about a third of the world’s total population), but in Vietnam the software policy continues to be tweaked by Microsoft in the same way that Monsanto tweaked government policy to avoid liabilities for potentially millions of deaths (over the decades after Agent Orange contaminations).

Thanks to a pile of leaks from Chelsea Manning, we now know and have hard evidence of we what the Vietnamese people suffered from due to Microsoft’s intervention in Vietnam along with US officials (the US government seems to be moving away from Microsoft, little by little [2] and owing to geeks). Vietnam is not in a good state right now. The country is now infamous for surveillance and an Internet crackdown which is very much facilitated by Windows. A new article sheds some light on the legacy of Microsoft lobbying [3], but it hardly provides any reference to Microsoft interference, as everything we have found in Wikileaks material. More context and background is needed for the article to be complete and paint an accurate picture.

There are many news stories these days about Asian governments moving to Free software (see our daily links), including today’s report about South Korea [4]. Vietnam has been rather unique in the way Microsoft was combating FOSS there. That’s why we covered it a lot. Wikileaks provided more leaked material to support these claims of ours.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Indian state’s agencies ordered to use open source by month’s end due to Microsoft’s XP changes

    The government of the Indian state of Kerala has ordered all of its public sector agencies using Windows XP to migrate to free and open source (FOSS) operating systems by 30 June.

  2. Will New York City Embrace Open Source Code?

    A new proposal by Council Member Benjamin Kallos would require city agencies consider open source software for projects, and establish a code-sharing portal for the city.

  3. Open source software ignored by state agencies

    Closed-source software products, mostly Microsoft’s, have been dominating Vietnam’s software market, despite the government’s encouragement to develop and use open-source software.

  4. Seoul Government developing open source, open standards cloud platform

    The cloud platform will be based on open source technologies and open standards. This will free the agencies from being dependent on just a single vendor and their technologies, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration said. External parties can improve or use the platform since it will be built on open source, the Ministry added.

06.15.14

Links 15/6/2014: News Catchup, Build-up for Another Iraq Invasion

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • p2p Video Chat
  • Open source electronics project: Oscilloscope

    A couple of years ago, I needed an oscilloscope for a fun electronics project I was working on: a 500W Tesla coil. I’d already spent quite a bit of money importing a kit of parts for the project from the United States, so the budget for the scope was pretty tight.

  • What Got You Involved in Open Source?

    If there is a “right way” to come in to open source, then surely this is it. So many people answered to say that their first brush with open source projects was that they spotted a problem somewhere in a tool they were using, and offered a fix. Open source is the combined effort of countless humans doing exactly this, and I was pleased and encouraged to find this as the biggest chunk of responders.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox risks user backlash by adding search box to new tab page

        Mozilla has pulled a “Chrome” by adding a search box to the new tab page in Firefox 31, which reached beta status yesterday and is slated to ship in final form on July 22.

      • Firefox OS Apps run on Android
      • You can run Firefox OS Apps on Android

        FireFox OS is the smartphone operating system from Mozilla. It is based on web technologies and FireFox OS apps are written in HTML5. Using WebGL FireFox apps can access the hardware elements of the smartphone and provide experience like a true native app. FireFox For Android 29 is bringing the Open Web Apps ecosystem to Android.

      • Mozilla begins repackaging Firefox OS apps for Android

        Mozilla has today extended its Open Web App repackaging to Android.

        Users of Firefox for Android are now able to install apps from the Firefox Marketplace, and have them install and behave like a regular Android app.

        “As a developer, you can now build your Open Web App for Firefox OS devices and have that app reach millions of existing Firefox for Android users without having to change a single line of code,” said the announcement blog post.

      • Mozilla and Spreadtrum get closer to $25 Firefox OS smartphone

        The Mozilla Foundation and chip maker Spreadtrum have partnered with two Indian vendors to launch ultra-low-cost smartphones in the next few months. Spreadtrum said the phones could cost just $25.

      • Firefox 30 Officially Lands in Ubuntu
      • Firefox 30 Officially Released

        Mozilla has officially released Firefox 30 for all supported operating systems. Firefox 30 is minor release as compared to 29 that came in with many new changes and complete user interface design. Some new features have been introduced in both desktop and mobile versions including the addition of new languages. Series of changes in were also implemented in the developer version of Firefox 30.

      • Firefox Runs On 64-bit ARM (AArch64)
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Is the government doing enough for computing?

      Preparations are under way for the biggest change in the UK’s approach to computing education – but Raspberry Pi’s education expert Clive Beale reveals that the government is not putting enough money where its mouth is

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3-BETA3 Now Available

      The third BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available on the FTP servers for the amd64, i386, ia64, powerpc, powerpc64 and sparc64 architectures.

      This is expected to be the final -BETA build of the 9.3-RELEASE cycle.

      The image checksums follow at the end of this email.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • International team of scientists open sources search for malaria cure

      In late November 2012, the Open Source Malaria (OSM) team gained a new member who lived and worked almost 1700 kilometers away from the synthetic chemistry hub at the University of Sydney. Of course, collaboration across continents is not unusual for scientists, but until recently, recruitment in less than 140 characters certainly was.

    • 4 ways to make open science easier

      When it comes to opening up your work there is, ironically, a bit of a secret. Here it is: being open—in open science, open source software, or any other open community—can be hard. Sometimes it can be harder than being closed. In an effort to attract more people to the cause, advocates of openness tend to tout its benefits.

    • Digital archaeology and open source

      As its base layer, DINAA adapts governmental heritage management datasets for broader open and public uses. DINAA is an exercise in open government data and community data sharing based on open source standards and ethics. DINAA (from construction, through rollout, and into future planning) is an example of how digital is simply the way we do archaeology now, and what that means for us as professionals and social scientists.

    • Science

      • What makes this journal the most open?

        F1000Research, a scientific journal with a strong focus on open access and life sciences, operates quite differently than even the average open access journal. The team there uses new approaches to publishing scientific research; a few of their most noteable characteristics are:

      • Respected journal makes transition to open science
      • Scientists manage research with open source Zotero

        References and citations are what make the scientific and academic worlds go round. Everyone has their own system for keeping track of their research, from dumping everything onto a desk, to dumping everything into a folder (I like to call this the Pensky Method), to dumping everything into folders on a computer.

      • Using OpenStack for scientific research

        As scientists and researchers develop new and better methods for collecting data, from new sensor technology to advancements in data mining techniques, the sheer volume of data to be analyzed grows accordingly. For big data, you need big clusters, and OpenStack has proven to be an important tool for many scientific institutions seeking to manage and orchestrate their machines and workloads.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: June 2014
    • Scientific Graphing in Python

      In my last few articles, I looked at several different Python modules that are useful for doing computations. But, what tools are available to help you analyze the results from those computations? Although you could do some statistical analysis, sometimes the best tool is a graphical representation of the results. The human mind is extremely good at spotting patterns and seeing trends in visual information. To this end, the standard Python module for this type of work is matplotlib. With matplotlib, you can create complex graphics of your data to help you discover relations.

    • CMake 3.0 Released

Leftovers

  • IRS tells Congress it has lost trove of emails by central figure in tea party investigation

    This May 22, 2013 file photo shows Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner on Capitol Hill in Washington. The IRS says it has lost a trove of emails to and from a central figure in the agency’s tea party controversy. The IRS told congressional investigators Friday it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner’s emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed that year. Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by tea party and other conservative groups. The IRS was able to generate 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009 to 2011 because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. But an untold number are gone. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Masters of Love

    Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

  • Cameron: ‘Stop being bashful about Britishness’

    People in the UK should stop being “bashful” about being British, the prime minister has urged.

    Writing in the Mail on Sunday, David Cameron said the country should be “far more muscular” in promoting its values and institutions.

    He repeated Education Secretary Michael Gove’s call to promote “British values” in the classroom following the Trojan Horse claims in Birmingham schools.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Exclusive: UK to step up collaboration with US over nuclear warheads

      Documents released under FoI reveal ‘enhanced collaboration’ plans, raising questions over independence of UK deterrent

    • Scottish independence: nuclear free promise for constitution

      The removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil should be part of a post-independence constitution, according to Scotland’s deputy first minister.

    • Tony Blair: west must intervene in Iraq

      Tony Blair has urged western governments to recognise that they need to take an active role in the Middle East, saying the west should consider military options short of sending ground troops.

      The former prime minister said there was a huge range of options available, including air strikes and drones as used in Libya.

      Blair was speaking on UK morning TV shows after writing a lengthy essay setting out how to respond to the Iraq crisis, including his belief that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not the cause of the country’s implosion.

    • Tony Blair: ‘We didn’t cause Iraq crisis’
    • Iran sends troops into Iraq to aid fight against Isis militants

      Tehran hints at cooperation with US to aid Nouri al-Maliki as jihadist group threatens to take Baghdad

    • Convicted Soldier Warns Of ‘Lies’ About Iraq
    • Chelsea Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says U.S. public lied to about Iraq from the start
    • Manning says US lied about Iraq
    • Analysts: Misguided US invasion spawned crisis in Iraq
    • NATO’s Terror Hordes in Iraq a Pretext for Syria Invasion

      All roads lead to Baghdad and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is following them all, north from Syria and Turkey to south. Reading Western headlines, two fact-deficient narratives have begun gaining traction. The first is that this constitutes a “failure” of US policy in the Middle East, an alibi as to how the US and its NATO partners should in no way be seen as complicit in the current coordinated, massive, immensely funded and heavily armed terror blitzkrieg toward Baghdad. The second is how ISIS appears to have “sprung” from the sand dunes and date trees as a nearly professional military traveling in convoys of matching Toyota trucks without explanation.

    • US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Obama considers air strikes in Iraq
    • The new left-right alliance in the US

      Political convergence between Republicans and Democrats has successfully passed popular legislation.

    • Mikdad: West’s Policies Uncovered During Crisis in Syria

      He affirmed that after the 9/11 attacks, the US has ordered its tools in the Persian Gulf to close windows of terrorism, but after the outbreak of the crisis in Syria, it sent billions of Dollars through the Persian Gulf Arab states to the terrorist groups to kill the Syrians.

    • ‘Pattern of Life,’ a tale of modern warfare

      Rahmat, meanwhile, hates and fears the drones, which deal death and destruction from above in a land where there’s already too much of both. Directly and indirectly, they cut him off from a better future, and even fuel support for the Taliban.

      “For me the research was about figuring out what that world is like,” said Nacer. “There’s a great website, Living Under Drones, that’s exactly what it is, what life under drones is like. It’s terror, all the time, because drones are up there 24/7.”

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities
    • Choice between parties is already quite clear

      One party chooses to concentrate on the destruction of a State Department/CIA outpost in Africa…

    • The Milk Carton GuyThe Milk Carton Guy

      Bergdahl Critics Didn’t Howl When Bush Freed Prisoners

    • US does more harm than good with military intervention on foreign soil
    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      These developments include the June 5 Islamabad High Court order to lodge a murder case against ex-CIA station chief, Jonathan Banks, the June 6 Karachi Airport attack by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of the Govt-TTP talks, the rising terrorist activities of the Haqqani network across the border in Afghanistan and the May 31 release of a US soldier who was reportedly being kept in the Waziristan tribal belt by the Haqqanis.

    • U.S. drone attacks shrouded in secrecy, possible illegalities

      What happens if China or North Korea start to undertake the same actions as the United States is taking? Japan will also face a similar problem as its Self-Defense Forces plan to introduce three UAVs in five years starting this fiscal year.

    • The Fog Machine of War

      The U.S. Military’s Campaign Against Media Freedom

    • Protesters throw stones, firecrackers, Molotov cocktail at Russian embassy in Kiev

      Footage from the scene then showed protesters upturning several diplomatic cars parked in front of the embassy. The vehicles also had their number plates ripped off and were covered by graffiti. Someone drew several swastikas in the colors of the Ukrainian flag on one of the cars.

    • Two Occupations Ending in Hopeless Disasters

      The U.S. formally ended its occupation of Japan, while maintaining a vast military presence, in 1952. The economy, largely due to U.S. military special procurements, had finally revived to the 1937 level during the Korean War, then grown to 150% of that level by 1952. There was stability; labor demonstrations and protests against U.S. bases were common and sometimes violent, but there was nothing remotely resembling civil war. It surely was a success story, from Washington’s point of view, if not necessarily from the point of view of the Japanese obliged to forego neutrality in the Cold War.

    • The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

      An additional explanation of slow growth is now receiving attention, however. It is the persistence and expectation of peace.

    • US should stay out of Iraq, that war was a lie and repeating it would be a crime

      Going to Iraq for the first time was like lighting a lighter and putting it under your hand. You get burnt badly, but the lighter company got to make money. You should have learned the lesson.

      Now Republicans want us to do it again. They want us to put our hands on the lighter again, because they probably get paid for buying the lighters or that’s how they control the mindset of misinformed Americans.

      Republican leaders are not idiots (they are smart and know a majority of Americans have below average IQ (thanks to glorification of not going to school, dropping out or making it to expensive to get any education) and they won’t be able to fully understand these issues so they hit where they know it will work. And they are doing it again with Iraq, making us all forget it it was a fraud and Bush should be serving life time sentence for murder of innocent men & women or US armed forces as well as innocent Irqis.

    • THE IRAQ MESS: PLACE BLAME WHERE IT IS DESERVED
    • Dear Tony Blair, thanks for everything, hope you enjoy the oil, Love – Iraq

      According to your website you’ve got about six jobs, Google says you own seven or eight houses and you privately jet about the world a lot visiting media moguls, their wives, their ranches and their yachts.

    • Inspector General Reveals Staggering Waste in Afghan War

      A new round of comments from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko has revealed Pentagon waste was even more staggering than previously imagined, with billions likely spent on war materiel that was not only never used, but never even sent to Afghanistan.

    • Deadly Fiasco

      The present problems of Iraq are 100% down to our murderous invasion and occupation.

    • Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Blocked in Iraq Amid Crisis

      As Iraq faces a growing insurgency in the north that is threatening to pull the country apart, the country’s Ministry of Communications has blocked access to a number of social media sites on Friday.

    • Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube blocked in Iraq
    • Drone strikes kill three suspected militants in Yemen

      Wealthy Gulf neighbours and the West fear for the stability of Yemen, which shares a long border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia.

    • Drone kill communications net illustrated

      Computer Weekly can illustrate how a UK network connection forms part of a US weapons targeting system that has slaughtered civilians in anti-terrorist attacks gone wrong.

      The illustrations add credibility to a legal challenge begun last month over a 2012 contract BT won to build the UK branch of the system – a fibre optic network line between RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire and Camp Lemonnier, a US military base in Djibouti, North Africa.

      British officials had been slow to finger the BT contract under human rights rules because they said there was no evidence to suggest the UK connection was associated with US drone strikes, let alone any that had gone wrong.

    • Issues of drone warfare get a female pilot’s human face

      Eventually, being in charge of this new kind of death-from-above exacts an emotional and even hallucinatory toll, building up to a crescendo with shattering consequences.

    • Debate: Is Human Rights Watch Too Close to US Government to Criticize Its Foreign Policy?

      Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s largest and most influential human rights organizations, is facing an unusual amount of public criticism. Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire, and a group of over 100 scholars have written an open letter criticizing what they describe as a revolving door with the U.S. government that impacts HRW’s work in certain countries, including Venezuela. The letter urges HRW to bar those who have crafted or executed U.S. foreign policy from serving as staff, advisers or board members. Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth has defended his organization’s independence, responding: “We are careful to ensure that prior affiliations do not affect the impartiality of Human Rights Watch’s work. … We routinely expose, document and denounce human rights violations by the US government, including torture, indefinite detention, illegal renditions, unchecked mass surveillance, abusive use of drones, harsh sentencing and racial disparity in criminal justice, and an unfair and ineffective immigration system.” We host a debate between HRW counsel Reed Brody and Keane Bhatt, a writer and activist who organized the open letter.

    • Bush makes birthday parachute jump

      Former US President George H W Bush celebrated his 90th birthday today by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Maine, fulfilling a promise made five years ago despite having lost the use of his legs.

    • When Johnny Comes Marching Home

      Their reality is seen in bipartisan politicians creating a deficit of trillions of dollars to fund the unlawful wars of choice against Afghanistan and Iraq, and then failing to anticipate and provide adequate care for the large number of wounded veterans returning home. The long delays and cover-ups in treating veterans at the Phoenix VA medical center and elsewhere indicate that no soldiers are left behind—until they come home. Never mind that there would be no need for such extensive medical care for “wounded warriors” if former President George W. Bush and his vice president Dick Cheney– and their neocon advisors—had not launched these unnecessary, illegal pre-emptive wars.

    • Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick want evidence their son Chris Harvard had become a jihadist in Yemen

      Queensland parents Neill and Bronwyn Dowrick are demanding federal authorities provide hard evidence to show the Islam convert and English language teacher had been “radicalised’’ and become a foot soldier in the Holy War.

    • Pakistan denies ‘express approval’ for drone hits

      Apparently in a belated but calculated reaction, Pakistan strongly condemned Thursday the two incidents of drone strikes near Miranshah in North Waziristan which reportedly killed at least 16 foreign militants amid suspicions the two countries coordinated over the attack in the aftermath of a Taliban siege of Karachi airport.

      Reports earlier quoted two unnamed government officials as saying Islamabad had given the Americans ‘express approval’ for the strikes. Underlining Pakistan’s alarm over the brazen Taliban attack on the airport, just weeks after peace talks with the militants stalled, the top officials told Reuters a ‘joint Pakistan-US operation’ had been ordered to hit the insurgents.

      Another official said Pakistan had asked the United States for help after the attack on the country’s busiest airport on Sunday, and would be intensifying air strikes on militant hideouts in coming days.

    • Drone strikes revival

      The intriguing aspect of the revival of the drone strikes is whether they have been restarted with the ‘express approval’ of Pakistan.

    • What made CIA resume drone attacks?

      At a time when the American CIA’s targeted killing programme in the tribal areas of Pakistan was winding down, some recent developments seem to have made the US resume its deadly drone strikes after an unprecedented break of six months.

    • Resumption of drone strikes raises questions

      After an unanticipated long break, the American CIA resumed its controversial drone programme in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal region raising concerns among its critics whether Islamabad has given a tacit go-ahead for fresh strikes.

    • Anonymous Pakistani Government Officials Suggest Drone Strikes to Intensify in Coming Days
    • Back to Iraq? No Troops, But Obama Ponders ‘Other Options’
    • Lack of intelligence: What CIA chief said is ‘never going to happen’ is happening in Iraq and Syria

      When CIA Director John Brennan — then the White House counterterrorism adviser — laid out the Obama administration’s new approach to fighting Islamist terrorism on June 29, 2011, he mocked conservatives who suggested that Islamist extremists were plotting to re-establish a caliphate across the Middle East.

    • Wilson explores CIA and Ukraine

      “Coming into my freshman year, I was very interested in the history of intelligence and espionage, which was something I didn’t know much about. I ended up working with two great professors – one of whom actually spent 30 years as an undercover CIA officer during the Cold War – and continued researching the CIA even after my career focus shifted to business and finance.”

    • Why the CIA presence on Twitter is a really bad idea

      The CIA doesn’t need a brand. If anything, the agency is supposed to be all about discretion and secretiveness, meaning that it should be defined solely by its conspicuous absence. In fact, if the CIA ever wanted to run a TV ad, it should consist of 30 seconds of silence and a black screen. People would be left scratching their heads, unsure about who would even pay for such a thing, let alone what the objective was. And that would be the whole idea.

    • Wikileaks Had A Great Response To The CIA Joining Twitter
    • Dr. Zhivago’s CIA Connection and the Pope

      What made Doctor Zhivago such a bitter pill for Khrushchev’s regime to swallow? Unlike Solzhenitsyn’s book, which was a head-on indictment of Soviet crimes, Pasternak’s novel was a poetic and abstract work, most of whose literary energy goes into miraculously vivid descriptions of weather and nature. Indeed, Doctor Zhivago was Pasternak’s first and only novel; before he started writing it, in 1945, he had been famous as a lyric poet and translator of Shakespeare. It was partly Pasternak’s great stature as a poet—he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times on the strength of his verse alone—that made it difficult for the Soviet leadership to deal with him. If even Stalin, in his massacre of Soviet writers, had taken care to spare Pasternak, how could Khrushchev—who was supposed to be presiding over a “thaw” in Soviet cultural life—dare to silence or jail him?

    • Why foreign-funded NGOs need to be monitored

      Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, in 2012, had accused the United States Government of funding environmental group Greenpeace via the CIA to undermine Australia’s coal mining sector. He was reportedly angry at Greenpeace’s plan to use lawyers to thwart future coal mining projects and claimed that funding is coming from an American environmental charity, the Rockefeller Foundation. He alleged it is funded by the CIA and is trying to harm Australia’s industry and help American interests.

    • Neocons Double-Down on Iraq/Syria

      America’s neocons won’t let go of their Middle East delusions, now trying to leverage the worsening crisis in Iraq into an excuse to return U.S. forces to that tragic country while also escalating military involvement in Syria, a compounding of misjudgments, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

    • US counter-terrorism abroad: Fighting terrorism or encouraging it?

      The US has a disastrous record of involvement in ‘counter-insurgency’ efforts in Central America.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • “Siggi Hacker” Charged With Multiple Fraud And Theft Counts

      Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson, also known as “Siggi Hacker”, will tomorrow arrive in Reykjanes District Court to face charges of embezzlement, fraud, and theft adding up to about 30 million ISK.

      DV reports that Sigurður faces a total of 18 counts of the charges, ranging from funneling millions into a private bank account from Wikileaks to using the accounts of companies to which he did not belong to buy everything from laptops to fast food.

    • Peru: WikiLeaks cables shed light on US massacre role

      The FTA granted greater rights to US investors. These included Colorado-based Newmont Mining, which had billions of dollars of interests in the area affected by protests.

      Newmont, the world’s second-largest gold-mining company, holds a majority stake in Yanacocha, one of the world’s largest gold mines. Newmont is now developing the Conga mine, the biggest ever foreign investment in Peru.

      Another cable, sent on June 5, provides an account of the outbreak of violence. Police sources cited by the ambassador said about 600 police moved on the blockade outside Bagua involving thousands of protesters.

      Police started firing after a group of about 60 of their own became isolated and surrounded by the Amazonian protesters. Police sources claim that protesters triggered the violence by firing on a helicopter that was shooting tear gas into the crowd in support of the isolated police.

      The police shot dead 10 protesters. Human rights groups later reported six indigenous men as missing, presumed dead.

    • “Getting Away with Murder”: Immunity of US Intelligence from Criminal Prosecution

      The very day 33-year old Michael Hastings died last year, he was busily contacting friends and associates including WikiLeaks to report that he was under an FBI investigation. He feared that his car had been tampered with, and even went so far as to ask a neighbor friend if he could borrow her car just hours before his death. Hastings also announced that he was about to release a major bombshell of a news story involving covert operations deployed by US intelligence agencies, specifically targeting current CIA Director John Brennan. The UK’s Daily Mirror published an August 15, 2013 article stating the CIA contractor Stratfor’s president claimed that Brennan was on a “witch hunt” for investigative journalists, which of course is consistent with the Obama administration.

    • Wikileaks Says Ukraine’s Poroshenko ‘Was US Informant’

      Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko handed to the US Embassy in Kiev inside information on the forging of a coalition government in 2006, according to Wikileaks data.

    • Wikileaks exposes dark sides of Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Tymoshenko
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch Brothers Unveil New Strategy at Big Donor Retreat

      In the face of expanding energy regulations, stepped-up Democratic attacks and the ongoing fight over Obamacare, the billionaire Koch brothers and scores of wealthy allies have set an initial 2014 fundraising target of $290 million which should boost GOP candidates and support dozens of conservative groups—including a new energy initiative with what looks like a deregulatory, pro-consumer spin, The Daily Beast has learned.

    • Virunga is saved but Africa’s wildlife is being encircled sliver by sliver

      Campaigners have managed to keep the Congo national park free from drilling just as protected sites elsewhere are being cravenly redrawn

  • Finance

    • Lord Lucan was ‘smuggled out of Britain by ex-MI5 agent and hidden in Greek monastery’

      Lord Lucan was smuggled out of Britain to a remote Greek monastery by a former MI5 agent after the murder of his children’s nanny.

      The sensational claim is made in a new book which tells how spook James Gurney helped to mastermind the elaborate escape.

      Gurney says he moved the fugitive from a country pub in Kent to a remote safe house in Wiltshire before they boarded a flight from Heathrow to Greece.

    • The emergence of the neoliberal containment state in Canada | Part I

      The last decade in Canada has seen the strengthening of the instruments of repression of the Canadian State such that we can now begin to describe and analyze the neoliberal containment state as a specific set of policies and institutions. These policies and institutions are aimed at containing the growing social ‘disorder’ and emerging resistance that have resulted from 30 years of the neoliberal economic order.

    • Detroit’s Sad Decline Is Shown In These Shocking Transformation Photos

      It’s no secret that the city of Detroit is not the thriving industrial city that it once was, but as things decay over time, it’s sometimes hard to notice just how drastic some of the changes have been. Redditor Scarbane has compiled a startling collection of images from Google Street View showing just how much things have deteriorated in just a few years. These pictures broke my heart a little bit…

    • Yo Walmart, Go Subsidize Yourself

      Every year taxpayers subsidize Walmart – the world’s wealthiest corporation 1 – to the tune of $7.8 BILLION!

      HUH? Walmart, America’s largest private employer, raked in $17 billion in profit last year 2; its owners, the Walton family, have more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans combined 3. But every year, Walmart’s poverty wages and extensive tax dodging cost taxpayers $7.8 BILLION in subsidies.

    • Richard Rockefeller Dies in Plane Crash

      Mr. Rockefeller, the son of David Rockefeller and an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was the only person on board the aircraft, an airport official said.

    • About $18 million worth of Bitcoins going up for auction later in June

      The auction of the 29,000 bitcoins is scheduled to take place on the 27th of June over 12 hours. Interested bidders need to register themselves by 12 p.m. EST of 23rd June. They are also required to make a deposit of $200,000 through wire from a bank within the US. In addition, the participants need to provide a government issued ID and prove that they are not affiliated or related in anyways to either Ulbricht or Silk Road. All the bitcoins will be broken up into 10 chunks with each bidder able to bid on multiple chunks.

    • US government selling nearly $18 million in bitcoin seized from Silk Road

      Looking to buy some Bitcoin? The US government has plenty to sell. It’s put up for auction the more than 29,000 bitcoins that it seized from the underground drug sales site Silk Road earlier this year, all of which are currently valued at close to $18 million. The auction will occur and close later this month, and bidders won’t be required to purchase the entire, expensive chunk. Instead, it’ll be broken up into 10 chunks, most of which are worth about $1.8 million, and interested parties can bid on as many chunks as they want.

    • 10 Photos of Amazon Chiefs’ Clash With Brazilian Police at World Cup Protests

      According to The Week, protestors said that the cup’s $1 billion budget should have been used to support the country’s poorest regions through government funded programs.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • When Is Terrorism Not Terrorism?

      ABC-VEgasWhen a husband and wife allegedly murdered two police officers and a bystander in Las Vegas, the story received a lot of coverage. But it was coverage that mostly failed to call the crimes “terrorism,” despite the alleged killers leaving behind a note that said, “The revolution is beginning,” and a Revolutionary-era “Don’t Tread on Me” flag closely associated with both the Patriot and Tea Party movements (Hatewatch, 6/9/14). The couple, both white, were also associated with far-right causes and had expressed extreme hostility toward authorities.

    • Plagiarism: Why It Matters

      When a reporter fabricates stories, or passes along government lies as truth, people can get killed.

    • How Finance Controls the White House

      Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Eagle View Books 2013) is a comprehensive expose of the wealthy corporate interests who are the real power behind the federal government. Kreig orients his book around Obama and Romney, the major presidential candidates in the 2012 elections. However in discussing Mitt Romney’s hidden ties to the financial oligarchy, he also explores the Bush family’s Wall Street connections, the history and structure of the Mormon Church (especially as it relates to corporate America) and Karl Rove’s role in orchestrating Republican dirty tricks and voting fraud. Presidential Puppetry is meticulously researched and sourced, with a 17 page bibliography and 110 pages of footnotes and references.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter Has Suspended An ISIS Account That Live-Tweeted Its Advance In Iraq

      Twitter has suspended at least six accounts affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the extremist group gaining ground in Iraq and Syria since fighting escalated this week.

    • Police block publication of human rights newsletter, accuse group of trying to oust government

      Egyptian security forces confiscated copies of a human rights group’s newsletter, saying the publication threatened the government, the head of the group said Sunday.

      Gamal Eid, the head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, said police seized 1,000 copies of the publication, entitled Wasla, or Link, from the print shop the night before, also arresting a worker at the press.

    • A Tribe Called Red Accused Of Racism Over ‘Caucasians’ T-Shirt

      A Tribe Called Red’s Ian “Deejay NDN” Campeau has become one of Canada’s most high-profile First Nations activists. As his Ottawa-based electronic music crew have surfed EDM’s wave to unprecedented heights — including a Juno Award for breakthrough group and Rolling Stone shoutout — Campeau has used his public profile to raise awareness about respecting Aboriginal culture.

    • Steve Coogan joins Index on Censorship as patron

      Steve Coogan has become a patron of Index on Censorship, the international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.

      “We are delighted that Steve has agreed to be a patron of Index,” said its newly appointed chief executive Jodie Ginsberg.

      “Comedians, writers and performers often bear the brunt of attempts to stifle free expression – in both authoritarian regimes and in democracies.”

      Coogan said: “Creative and artistic freedom of expression is something to be cherished where it exists and fought for where it doesn’t. This is what Index on Censorship does. I am pleased to lend my support and patronage to such an important cause.”

    • Global media body condemns soft censorship by governments

      A new report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN) has strongly condemned “soft censorship” by governments and regulators as a “very serious threat to media independence and the very viability of media companies”. WAN, which is the umbrella organization of newspapers representing more than 18,000 publications and 15,000 online sites in 120 countries around the world, has urgently called for rapid action to stop this blatant repression of media and press freedom.

    • Behind the Great Firewall: What it’s really like to log on from China

      Censorship in China affects many popular Internet services and websites, but there are ways to make do

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Disbelief as FBI frames up St. Petersburg Florida man

      The US government used informants and spies to coax Osmakac into making “radical YouTube videos”. The FBI eventually got him to buy fake weapons, with money the FBI gave him, and then arrested him on felony charges. Osmakac’s trial is like many others in the US, where the government prosecutes Muslims and Arab-Americans for pre-emptive crimes–crimes the FBI sets up, but that are not actually committed. Osmakac’s defense said that the FBI entrapped a mentally ill man.

    • U.S. government lies as Sami Osmakac trial begins

      The federal prosecutors are using recordings from two FBI informants who had been spying on Osmakac or months. However, he had been talking with and led on by FBI informants for much longer. Sami Osmakac’s brother Avni Osmakac, said he had “seen agents around his house every day since 2010.” Their house frequently had undercover police vehicles parked nearby. Back then Sami had worked as a grocery stocker for a local market. This is where they think he met the first government informant. From there he spent over a year being coaxed and pushed by agents into making “radical YouTube videos”. He was eventually guided into buying fake weapons with money given to him by the FBI. Government videos show FBI informants teaching and pushing Sami into committing acts of terrorism.

    • Terrorism trial in Tampa coming to a close

      Osmakac was using government money to buy government weapons, Tragos said. The FBI was on “both sides of this transaction.”

    • A Party At The Last Magazine: An Exclusive Excerpt From Michael Hastings’ New Novel

      Michael Hastings was one of our generation’s best, most driven, and fearless reporters. His work at Rolling Stone changed the course of the American war in Afghanistan. At BuzzFeed, he told the story of the 2012 election and was building a beat on the dark side of Hollywood when he was killed in a car crash at 33, one year ago.

      Michael’s obsessive observation, his drive to figure it out, extended to his own profession. In his last years, he became obsessed with the internet, seeing, more so than most of his peers, that it would be a great home for big narratives. But Michael was ready for the change because he had seen the big changes shaking his business up close, watching the death throes of a great print institution as a young reporter for Newsweek from 2003 to 2008. It turns out that he observed that experience with the same obsessiveness and the same reflection.

    • Brazilian police fire tear gas at World Cup protesters
    • Ben Dangl: Capitalism’s Bullets in Latin America

      The notorious US private militia group Academi – previously known as Blackwater – trained Brazilian security forces in North Carolina in preparation for the current World Cup in Brazil, as reported by sportswriter Dave Zirin. Zirin pointed to the 2009 diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, which revealed that Washington viewed the expected World Cup-related crises as opportunities for US involvement. Zirin wrote that for Washington, “Brazil’s misery created room for opportunism.”

      Capitalism’s bullets follow the World Cup just as they do Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed with the US. Five years ago this month, protests were raging in northern Peru where thousands of indigenous Awajun and Wambis men, women and children were blockading roads against oil, logging and gas exploitation on Amazonian land. The Peruvian government, having just signed an FTA with the US, was unsure how to deal with the protests – partly because the controversial concessions in the Amazon were granted to meet the FTA requirements. According to a diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks, on June 1st, 2009 the US State Department sent a message to the US Embassy in Lima: “Should Congress and [Peruvian] President Garcia give in to the [protesters’] pressure, there would be implications for the recently implemented Peru-US Free Trade Agreement.” Four days later, the Peruvian government responded to the protest with deadly violence, leading to a conflict which left 32 dead.

    • Activists Poured Concrete All Over Some ‘Anti-Homeless’ Spikes This Morning

      The war against London’s “anti-homeless” spikes escalated today from sign-waving to radical criminal action. In the small hours of the morning, some activists dressed as builders poured concrete over the metal spikes outside a Tesco Metro on Regent Street, before vowing to strike again.

    • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

      Social science is being militarised to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and protest movements

    • U.S. officials scrambled to nab Snowden, hoping he would take a wrong step. He didn’t.

      U.S. officials thought they saw such an opening on July 2 when Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expressed support for Snowden, left Moscow aboard his presidential aircraft. The decision to divert that plane ended in embarrassment when it was searched in Vienna and Snowden was not aboard.

    • Did US Send CIA Rendition Jet To Europe In The Hope Of Grabbing Snowden?

      The story’s credibility is greatly enhanced by virtue of who wrote it. Duncan Campbell has an unmatched track record for covering the world of spies and surveillance, which includes being the first to reveal the existence of both GCHQ and Echelon, the precursor to today’s Five Eyes surveillance system.

    • CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

      As the whistleblowing NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet – previously employed in CIA “rendition” flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible “black” imprisonment – flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to America, the Register can reveal.

    • Instagrams from Auschwitz

      Still, many take pictures. Crowds gather in front of the ARBEIT MACHT FREI gate in waves, photographing it almost synchronously, because you can’t not take a picture of it. Some people pose under it and have their companions take their pictures. A few people take selfies. It’s weird. Where does the impulse to take a picture of the entrance to a place of horror come from? Because hardly anyone took pictures when it was happening? As evidence that you have visited?

    • America is Rapidly Being Transformed into a “Controlled” State

      While many Americans don’t seem to comprehend what’s happening all around them, the U.S government is implementing more methods of surveillance over this society and many of its agencies are acquiring more powerful weaponry. And now we are also seeing state and local law enforcement agencies following this government’s initiative of establishing greater and greater control over the American people. And that most certainly does not bode well for those who still value their privacy and rights under the Constitution.

      It seems as if the U.S. government is waging two Wars on Terror; one in foreign lands against Al-Qaeda and one here within this country and society. So with that in mind let’s examine some of the distinct similarities that are present in the U.S. government’s foreign surveillance and methods of hunting down suspected terrorists around the world and those same strategies and tactics that it and various other law enforcement agencies are using here in America.

      First let’s talk about surveillance. It’s no secret that, for many decades, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have been conducting comprehensive surveillance operations on various foreign governments and specific individuals in those countries. That’s been going on for so long that few Americans even give it a second thought.

    • Gov’t must give up 5 secret surveillance docs for court to review, judge orders

      In a key transparency case, a federal judge has ordered the United States government to hand over four orders and one opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) published in secret between 2005 and 2008. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers will then review those documents in private.

    • Senate’s Latest NDAA Draft Further Tramples Americans’ Rights

      Senior legislative counsel for the ACLU estimates that if the Senate has its way, 100 U.S. citizens could immediately find themselves in Guantánamo-like indefinite detention.

    • Massachusetts Town Nullifies NDAA Indefinite Detention
    • NDAA, Barring The US From Indefinitely Detaining, Assassinating US Citizens
    • Black Man Driving Wife to Work Accused of Being Illegal Cab Driver: Lawsuit

      After dropping Palermo off, Keys was pulled over by TLC investigators and accused of operating the black Town Car as an illegal cab, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Queens Supreme Court.

    • The Tyranny of the Taxi Medallions

      The life of a taxi driver is hard. When cabbies start a shift, they owe about $100 to their company as payment just for the opportunity drive a taxi. They might not break even until halfway through their shift, or maybe not at all that day. In most American cities, they have to work very long hours to make a living.

      During a shift, taxi drivers play a strange form of roulette when they pick up anonymous customers. The customer could be a pleasant family that tips them well, a drunk college kid that vomits in their car, or a violent criminal that robs and assaults them. After the customer leaves the car, there is no record of their behavior in the taxi.

    • The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism

      Anyone who has gone through school in the United States knows that history textbooks devote a lot of attention to the so-called “Good War”: World War II. A typical textbook, Holt McDougal’s The Americans, includes 61 pages covering the buildup to World War II and the war itself. Today’s texts acknowledge “blemishes” like the internment of Japanese Americans, but the texts either ignore or gloss over the fact that for almost a decade, during the earliest fascist invasions of Asia, Africa, and Europe, the Western democracies encouraged rather than fought Hitler and Mussolini, and sometimes gave them material aid.

    • Defence officials prepare to fight the poor, activists and minorities (and commies)

      The self-defeating logic of militarised social science targets anti-capitalist ‘extremists’ in the new ‘age of uncertainty’

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • 2nd Cir. Affirms That Creation of Full-Text Searchable Database of Works Is Fair Use

        The fair use doctrine permits the unauthorized digitization of copyrighted works in order to create a full-text searchable database, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled June 10.

      • MPAA’s Chris Dodd Praises Pirate Site Blockades

        This week, MPAA chief and former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd praised pirate site blockades as an important anti-piracy measure. Speaking at the IP Summit in London, Dodd said that ISP blockades are one of the most effective tools available. Does this mean that Hollywood will try to get these blacklists in place on its home turf?

      • Copyright Troll Accuses Critic of Leading “Psychopathic” Hate Group

        Informing the masses about the activities of settlement-seeking copyright trolls is what FightCopyrightTrolls.com does best, so no surprise that its rivals are now hitting back. In a motion revealed this week, the world’s most prolific filer of lawsuits against BitTorrent users accuses the site of running an Internet hate group that is both “criminal and scary”.

      • Porn studio attacks blogger for leading a “fanatical Internet hate group”

        With the copyright lawsuit factory formerly known as Prenda Law now mired in sanctions, a California company called Malibu Media has become the most litigious copyright holder in the US.

      • Police & FACT Claim Big Successes in UK Anti-Piracy Drive

        City of London Police and Hollywood’s Federation Against Copyright Theft are claiming big results in a new government IP crime report. PIPCU say they have suspended 2,359 UK domains and cut off payment to 19 sites, with FACT claiming the closure of 117 pirate sites and the arrest of seven release group members in the past 12 months.

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