17 August 2019 — RT
Modern censorship is more dangerous than open totalitarianism, it being concealed and incorporated in our daily routine, says Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, commenting on the insider leak detailing Google’s news blacklist.
14 August 2019 — Drone Wars
The Zephyr ‘High Altitude Pseudo Satellite’ drone
The Guardian reported recently that the Pentagon’s Southern Command are testing stratospheric balloons over the US, to combat drug trafficking and support homeland security. The news has caused concern among US civil liberties advocates angry that American citizens will be being monitored in these tests. However, these balloons are just one of a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle / drone called High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellites (HAPS). This post takes a brief look at this type of drone, which is on the horizon for a number of armed forces, and examines the UK’s development of a HAPS drone called Zephyr.
Civil liberties groups are warning of a major threat to online freedoms and First Amendment rights if a leaked draft of a Trump administration edict—dubbed by critics as a “Censor the Internet” executive order that would give powerful federal agencies far-reaching powers to pick and choose which kind of Internet material is and is not acceptable—is allowed to go into effect.
Sunday, 11 August 2019 — 21st Century Wire
As British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch tended his wounds of humiliation last month, following the leak of a cache of diplomatic cables and documents, including emails describing President Trump as ‘inept’ and ‘uniquely dysfunctional,’ an outraged UK government descended into panic over how to handle such an apparently sensitive and damaging betrayal of confidential information. A police investigation was launched to find the leaker.
Is this dubious leak now being used to mount an attack on whistleblowers – with the help of Boris Johnson’s new Home Secretary, Priti Patel?
10th August 2019 — True Publica
By TruePublica: In our recent article entitled – Rise of the Techno Stasi-State we asked the question was that too strong a news headline after the High Court decided the government’s architecture of mass surveillance over the population was perfectly legal. The legal representative, Chamberlain QC, said on the High Court steps after Liberty-Human-Rights lost the challenge said: “the possibility of abuse of power necessarily exercised in secret and the generally chilling effect on individuals’ communications and expression of ideas is caused by the existence of such powers.” Slowly, Britain’s authorities are shutting down press freedom – without a murmur from the mainstream media.
5 August 2019 — Statewatch
Also available as a pdf file: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2019/aug/email-5-8-19.pdf
1. Italy-Malta “Non Paper” wants compulsory relocation mechanism rather than the voluntary one
2. EU Council Presidency proposes follow-up on extending PNR to sea and rail traffic
3. Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (6.7-25-7.19)
4 August 2019 — True Publica
The latest report about kidnappings, rendition, ‘black sites’ and torture is a remarkable piece of investigative work. It provides us with nothing less than a litany of shocking evidence and testimony and at 403 pages it makes for truly grim reading. This article is made up of a very brief set of extracts from the just-released CIA Torture Unredacted report. It presents the findings from a four-year joint investigation by The Rendition Project and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism into the use of rendition, secret detention and torture by the CIA and its partners in the ‘War on Terror’.
3 August 2019 — Grayzone
A US citizen has told The Grayzone that the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service detained them on their way home from Venezuela. Sergio Lazo Torrez, a 31 year-old Nicaraguan-American, said the CBP forced him to open his cellphone, grilled him about his political beliefs, and demanded information about his contact with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
20 July 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation
It’s not just that the United States has a higher percentage of its people in prison than does any other nation on the planet. (El Salvador — the land that was largely made what it today is, by its US trained-and-equipped death squads — is now number 2 on that measure. In another country the US controls, Honduras, protesters tried to burn down the US Embassy on 31 May 2019.)
21 July 2019 — Dissident Voice
A wonderfully written recent article on the ethics of Facebook Inc provoked me to think about my own position. It’s oft said in defence of the software that Facebook is a forum for progressive public debate, an ideal and desirable stimulus for democracy. So I was pleased the article stimulated a lively exchange of ideas on a contentious issue, the ethics of Facebook itself.