PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority. […] 
The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted traffic of substantial intelligence interest during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war. […] 
“PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government. Here’s how Palantir describes themselves:

“We build software that allows organizations to make sense of massive amounts of disparate data. We solve the technical problems, so they can solve the human ones. Combating terrorism. Prosecuting crimes. Fighting fraud. Eliminating waste. From Silicon Valley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion platforms against the hardest problems we can find, wherever we are needed most.”

A Tenth Fiery Flying Roule
The Washington Post
Talking Points Memo 
Submitted by: http://afieryflyingroule.tumblr.com/

PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority. […] 

The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted traffic of substantial intelligence interest during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war. […] 

“PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government. Here’s how Palantir describes themselves:

“We build software that allows organizations to make sense of massive amounts of disparate data. We solve the technical problems, so they can solve the human ones. Combating terrorism. Prosecuting crimes. Fighting fraud. Eliminating waste. From Silicon Valley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion platforms against the hardest problems we can find, wherever we are needed most.”

A Tenth Fiery Flying Roule

The Washington Post

Talking Points Memo 

Submitted by: http://afieryflyingroule.tumblr.com/

anarcho-queer
anarcho-queer:

Syria Cuts Off Internet As Civil War Continues
Internet connections between Syria and the outside world were cut off on Tuesday, according to data from Google Inc and other global Internet companies. Google’s Transparency Report pages showed traffic to Google services pages from the country, embroiled in a civil war that has lasted more than two years, suddenly stopping shortly before 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). Google traffic reports continued to show no activity there about four hours after the drop-off. “We’ve seen this twice before,” said Christine Chen, Google’s senior manager for free expression. “This happened in Syria last November and in Egypt during the Arab Spring.” It is virtually impossible to definitely determine the cause of such disruptions unless a party claims responsibility, experts said. In the past, Syria’s government and the rebels fighting to topple it have traded blame. Google’s data showed traffic disruptions limited to Syria and spanning the entire country. Shutting an entire nation from the Internet is possible because IP addresses, individual connections established by each device, are geographically specific and the government has control over the country’s Internet service providers.

From Anonymous: #OpSyria DialUp Access: User: telecomix | Password: telecomix +46850009990 +492317299993 +4953160941030 OR: +33172890150 | login: toto | password: toto

anarcho-queer:

Syria Cuts Off Internet As Civil War Continues

Internet connections between Syria and the outside world were cut off on Tuesday, according to data from Google Inc and other global Internet companies.

Google’s Transparency Report pages showed traffic to Google services pages from the country, embroiled in a civil war that has lasted more than two years, suddenly stopping shortly before 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT). Google traffic reports continued to show no activity there about four hours after the drop-off.

We’ve seen this twice before,” said Christine Chen, Google’s senior manager for free expression. “This happened in Syria last November and in Egypt during the Arab Spring.

It is virtually impossible to definitely determine the cause of such disruptions unless a party claims responsibility, experts said. In the past, Syria’s government and the rebels fighting to topple it have traded blame.

Google’s data showed traffic disruptions limited to Syria and spanning the entire country. Shutting an entire nation from the Internet is possible because IP addresses, individual connections established by each device, are geographically specific and the government has control over the country’s Internet service providers.

From Anonymous: #OpSyria DialUp Access: User: telecomix | Password: telecomix +46850009990 +492317299993 +4953160941030 

OR: +33172890150 | login: toto | password: toto

No slack for Manning: Prosecutors to press for life
March 3, 2013

Military prosecutors intend to pursue more serious charges against Pfc. B. Manning despite their having plead guilty to lesser charges. The whistleblower faces life imprisonment if they are found guilty of aiding the enemy.

Manning, 25, admitted on Thursday to handing over a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks. They voluntary plead guilty to 10 relevant charges, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The move was a ‘naked plea’ – unlike a plea bargain, there is no arrangement with the prosecution to drop other charges. It did, however, give prosecutors the option to only purse the charges to which Manning confessed, and proceed straight to sentencing.

But after the judge accepted the plea, military prosecutors announced they would pursue the 12 other charges, including the rarely used indictment of aiding the enemy. The crime is punishable by the death sentence, but the prosecution earlier ruled that out, saying they would seek life in prison without parole.

“Given the scope of the alleged misconduct, the seriousness of the charged offenses, and the evidence and testimony available, the United States intends to proceed with the court-martial to prove Manning committed the charged offenses beyond the lesser charges to which he has already pled guilty,” a statement from the Washington Military District said.

The court martial will begin on June 3, with 141 prosecution witnesses scheduled to testify. The prosecutors reportedly plan to reveal that some of the documents leaked by Manning were found by the Navy SEAL team that raided Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in May 2011.

Manning’s plea appears to give them little advantage in the trial, apart from probably winning some points from the judge, Col. Denise Lind, for not forcing the government to prove their role in the leak and their breaking the law in the process.

But there may be more strategic consideration, explained Michael Navarre, a former Navy judge advocate and military justice analyst.

"He’s laying the groundwork for a more lenient sentence and laying the groundwork for a potential defense to the aiding the enemy and the espionage charges," Navarre told AP. "You end up with a more reasonable starting position — ‘I admit I did it, but I didn’t think it was going to harm anyone.’"

Manning has many supporters, who see them as a hero for putting their well-being on the line to expose morally questionable secrets of the US government. The Bradley Manning Support Network has raised more than $900,000 for their defense. A vigil in their honor was held in front of the US embassy in London on Friday.

The case could set a worrisome precedent for free speech: Manning’s alleged crime of aiding the enemy constitutes publishing classified documents on the Internet, allowing enemies of the US to read them. A guilty sentence would mean that any leak of government secrets that ends up on the Internet, event through traditional media, could be subjected to similar charges.

Source

The People’s Record News Update: This week in cyber-activism
February 27, 2013

Bahrain bans ‘Anonymous’ Guy Fawkes mask

The Guy Fawkes mask – which has come to represent a universal symbol of protest – has been banned in Bahrain. The move is the latest in a series of measures implemented by the Gulf state to quell a two-year pro-democracy uprising.

A ban on orders of the mask – which was popularized by the 2005 Hollywood adaption of the comic book ‘V for Vendetta’ – has been ordered by the Gulf kingdom’s Industry and Commerce Minister, Hassan Fakhro.

Source

DOJ ‘admits’ to targeting Aaron Swartz over his activism

Aaron Swartz’s past activism and ‘Guerilla Open Access Manifesto’ played a part in his prosecution, sources told US media. Prosecutors pursued him even though he had not yet leaked anything, as his manifesto ‘proved his alleged malicious intent’ in downloading documents on a massive scale says Justice Department representatives.

“Some congressional staffers left the briefing with the impression that prosecutors needed to convict Swartz of a felony that would put him in jail for a short sentence in order to justify bringing the charges in the first place,” Huffington Post reported, citing two aides with knowledge of the briefing.

Swartz’s actions were criminalized by the government just because he was an “effective advocate of policies contrary to their views,” human rights lawyer Scott Horton told Mashable.

“Apparently, the DOJ thought it was a reason to throw the book at Swartz, even if he hadn’t actually made any such works available,” Masnick wrote.

The digital library itself has earlier stated it received confirmation from Swartz “that the content was not and would not be used, copied, transferred, or distributed.”

Amid wide public concern over Swartz’s case, the White House issued a directive expanding access to publicly funded scientific research. Last week’s directive was hailed by Open Access supporters as a major victory in a fight in which Swartz took an active part.

Source

US Internet providers start spy program to stop file-sharing

Starting this week, Internet Service Providers will start throttling connection speeds for customers alleged to be pirating copyright-protected materials.

Months after a controversial “six-strike” program was slated to be rolled out by the biggest ISPs in the United States, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) confirmed on Monday that the initiative has gone live.

Source

Google accused of privacy violations yet again

Google is in hot water once again after application developers have discovered that the Silicon Valley giant is sharing its users’ personal information without obtaining their consent.

Non-profit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to the United States Federal Trade Commission that implores for the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to intervene in the latest goof-up courtesy of Google.

Source

The FBI is inside Anonymous: Hacker Sabu has sentencing delayed again for helping the feds

The former LulzSec hacker that turned in his colleagues to the FBI will forego sentencing for another six months while he continues to assist the government in catching supposed computer criminals.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, the man behind the hacker alias “Sabu,” was absent from federal court on Friday despite previously being scheduled to appear for sentencing that morning in regards to the 12 criminal charges he pleaded guilty to in mid-2011.

On Monday, the leaking website Cryptome published a copy [.pdf] of a request from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s in which the court is asked to adjourn Monsegur’s sentencing date until August 23, 2013 “in light of the defendant’s ongoing cooperation with the Government.”

Source

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www.facebook.com/ThePeoplesRecord

http://www.twitter.com/ThePeoplesRec

President Obama’s recent signing of cyber security executive order seems to be a response to Anonymous, not China
February 25, 2013

Last Tuesday, President Obama signed a new executive order seeking to give the executive branch more power over curbing cyber-security threats, calling it a move to protect against “America’s enemies.”

Although many news outlets are running with stories claiming the new plan was a response to hacking from China, it would appear, at least, that it was also a response to recent hacks to government websites by hacktivist group Anonymous.

At the time of this publication, two government sites, ussc.gov and miep.uscourts.gov, are met with “502 Bad Gateway” errors and cannot be accessed.

Anonymous also successfully hacked the Federal Reserve website.

The hacks are part of “Operation Last Resort,” a response to the death of “Internet freedom” activist Aaron Swartz and a demand for judicial reform. Swartz’s family and friends believe his suicide came as a result of legal pressure that did not fit his crime of downloading academic articles he had legal access to.

It appears Anonymous has not been fazed by Pres. Obama’s new cyber-security executive order.

Shortly after signing, Anonymous successfully hacked Goldman Sachs, leaking sensitive information such as names, addresses and bank account information.

Then, again, last week, the State Department’s website was successfully taken offline. In a Tweet, Anonymous asserted the attack was part of the ongoing Operation Last Resort.

The president is urging Congress to take legislative steps to put restrictions on the Internet, something Aaron Swartz was a champion at preventing.

His organization Demand Progress significantly aided in stopping last year’s SOPA, PIPA and CISPA bills many felt would spell the end to online privacy and Internet freedom. It seems that Anonymous is continuing the fight through the operation dedicated to him.

Emilie Rensink writes about civil liberties, counter-terrorism, cyber-security and political activism. Subscribe to get her articles delivered to your inbox.

Source

I just heard a terrifying ad on Spotify recruiting people for the CIA for ‘clandestine services’…

From the CIA Clandestine Services website:

  • We are an elite corps of men and women shaped by diverse ethnic, educational and professional backgrounds.
  • We conduct our clandestine mission worldwide.
  • We collect actionable human intelligence that informs the U.S. President, senior policymakers, military, and law enforcement.

"Serving in the National Clandestine Service is more than just a career; it is a way of life.”

Clandestine services are responsible for the collection of intelligence through human sources such as “moles” or other human-enabled means and other counterintelligence activities.

Thousands of people are marching on Spain’s parliament to protest austerity measures imposed by the government.
February 23, 2013

Saturday’s protest comes on the 32nd anniversary of a failed attempt by the armed forces to overthrow the government. Several protest groups joined forces under a single slogan called “Citizens’ Tide, 23F,” referring to the Feb. 23, 1981 attack by armed forces on Spain’s parliament.

Organizers say that Spain today “is under a financial coup” and have called on people to march to parliament to protest austerity measures and what they say is government favoritism toward financial institutions at the expense of ordinary citizens.

Marchers decried “the pressure of financial markets” and corruption in government and the country’s banking system, and called on lawmakers to find alternatives that won’t “give away” the welfare state.

Source

Russia Today’s interview with John Kirakou
February 9, 2013

President Obama adopted most of President Bush’s counter-terrorism policies, argues John Kiriakou - the former CIA official who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture practices and is now set to go behind bars for it.

After 9/11 Kiriakou served as the chief of counter-terrorist operations in Pakistan. Now he is heading to prison, having been sentenced to two-and-a-half years.

Despite that, he says he is proud to have played a role in outlawing torture. Voting for Obama, Kiriakou believed that it would bring positive change – but it never came, he told RT. “I never believed I would be going to prison under a President Obama. Never.”

You were convicted of revealing the identity of an agent to a freelance reporter who, by the way, never even published it. You said you regretted sharing the name of the agent, of the officer, that you apologized for it. But you also said it was not the reason the government went after you. Why do you think the government went after you?

John Kiriakou: I’ve never believed that my case was about a leak. I’ve always believed my case is about torture. When I went on ABC News in December 2007 and I said that not only was the CIA torturing prisoners, but that the torture policy was an official US Government policy that was approved at the very top, by the President of the United States himself, the CIA filed what’s called “a crimes report” against me the next day with the Justice Department. The Justice Department never stopped investigating me from December of 2007 until I was finally arrested in January 2012. So to say that this case is a result of a name that was found in attorney’s brief at Guantanamo is just simply not true.

So they were looking for something?

JK: They were looking for something to pin on me.

What I find most outrageous about your case is that had you been actually accused of torture, of human right violations, you wouldn’t have gone to jail.

JK: No.

They would dismiss any accusation because US Government has classified everything related to its torture practices. But yet you go to prison because you talked about it. Why do you think this administration, President Obama, who signed an executive order to stop torture at the very beginning of his first term, why do you think he is protecting folks from the previous administration?

JK: Most people don’t realize this but President Obama has surrounded himself with the same Intelligence advisors who advised President Bush. Through most of the first term, the CIA had the same deputy director that Bush had, the same director of operations that Bush had. John Brennan, who is President Obama’s new designee to be the CIA director and until a week ago or so, was the deputy national security adviser, was under President Bush the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center and up to his eyeballs in torture policy. So even if we changed presidents, there was no real change of Intelligence advisors, at least not on counter-terrorism.

John Brennan. You mentioned John Brennan and I want to ask you about him – the future head of the CIA. What kind of the CIA Chief he is going to be in your opinion?

JK: I think he’s going to be somebody who is extremely aggressive. And who will probably be walking on the edge of the law.

You worked with him.

JK: I did, I worked with John Brennan for many years. I know him pretty well.

Mr. Kiriakou, you yourself supported torture before you were against it. What happened? What changed your position?

JK: Well, let me correct you on that. There is something that most Americans missed in my regional NBC interview. I was trying to draw distinction between whether torture was right or wrong, or whether it worked. I believed it was wrong and I called it torture and I said that torture was official policy – that’s on the one side. On the other side, the CIA had told us internally at the time that it was working.

When was that?

JK: That was in 2002–2003. They were telling us it was working. We now know from the Inspector General’s report that was released in the spring 2009 that that was a lie. That the CIA was lying even to those of us inside the CIA. And I think it was just to protect themselves and to protect the policy. But it never worked.

Did you have a personal experience related to torture? Were you personally involved in torture?

JK: No, thank God, I was never personally involved in torture. When I returned from Pakistan in the early summer of 2002 where I had been chief of Counter-Terrorism Operations, I was asked by a senior officer in the CIA’s Counter-Terrorist Center if I wanted to be trained in the use of these torture techniques and I said “no”, I had a moral problem with it and I didn’t want to be associated with it. There were 14 of us at the time who were made the offer. Two of us said “no” and then one of us, not me, the other guy, changed his mind. So I was the only one who was made the offer who declined.

Because at that time you already believed that it wouldn’t work?

JK: I didn’t know if it would work. They were telling us it would. But I just believed it was wrong. You know at the CIA, part of the CIA’s culture is to couch all issues in shades of gray. You have to be very comfortable working in morally nebulous situations or legally nebulous situations. But there are some things that really are black and white. And I believed that was a black-and-white issue.

There is something that I think you will find interesting and something I would like you to comment on. Polls by the American Red Cross show that the majority of Americans find torture acceptable. 60 per cent of young people agree. Whereas four years ago torture was largely condemned in the US. How did this become the new norm? What happened in those four years?

JK: I think that many people who told pollsters in the early or middle part of the last decade were reacting to President Bush. Little by little President Obama adopted most of President Bush’s counter-terrorism policies. And just because he happens to be Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama, most Americans who haven’t paid much attention have just bought in. I think it’s a question of education, here domestically. People need to be informed.

Did Hollywood have a role to play?

JK: I think Hollywood had a role to play. I think that Zero Dark Thirty, for example, did a great disservice to counter-terrorism. Zero Dark Thirty perpetuates this grand lie that torture led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It’s just simply not true.

Myths often become history. One comedian here said, it was about Zero Dark Thirty by the way: “Movies – it’s serious. Movies is where Americans learn their history”.

JK: It’s true.

What myths, what other myths do you see being perpetuated now related to the war on terror?

JK: I think one of the great myths, and I chuckle to myself because it always seems so ridiculous to me, was President Bush’s statement that they hate us because we love freedom. I know Al-Qaeda. I’ve captured Al-Qaeda fighters. I’ve had conversations, sitting across the table like I’m with you with Al-Qaeda leaders. And I can tell you from first-hand personal experience that the reason people take up arms against us is because of a lack of education.

Yes, that I understand, but the United States can’t educate the whole world.

JK: No, we can’t. But we can help other countries develop an infrastructure so that they can educate themselves.

Tell me more about those encounters with those. What other impressions did you have?

JK: The first Al-Qaeda I’ve ever caught was a 19-year-old boy from Tunisia. And the only reason he went to Afghanistan was he had nothing else to do. He had no skills and no way of making a living and he wanted to get married. So the local imam said: “if you want to make some money, you know what you should do? You should go to Afghanistan and make Jihad against the Americans. If you do that, I know somebody who will pay your family $500 and you can use that for a dowry. And you can get a wife.” So this kid had nothing against the United States, he had never really thought about the United States.

So from your experience you saw no ideology?

JK: I saw very little. You see ideology in some of the older fighters, some of the leaders – the camp commanders, for example. Sure, there is ideology there. But in my short time in Pakistan I captured 52 Al-Qaeda fighters and I can count on one hand the number of people who were real ideologues, who really were there for jihad, who were really there to kill Americans. Three out of 52.

The perception of Guantanamo too has gone a long way since 2008 when it was a burning and highly controversial issue. Most recently, you know, the State Department has shut down the office that was working to shut down the Guantanamo prison. Is that this administration way of saying “forget about Guantanamo, let’s move on?”

JK: I think it is. I think it is. Again, where is the outrage? The American people really don’t care if Guantanamo is open or closed.

This administration, it appears, decided not to bother about interrogations, Guantanamo and prisoners and all that and just to bomb whoever seems suspicious with drones. What do you think about this administration’s “no prisoners” policy?

JK: We find ourselves murdering people and in many cases children with no evidence whatsoever that they are involved in any criminal or terrorist activity. And what this does is that it encourages other people to take up arms against us.

John Brennan, the architect of the drone program basically, and it was last year, I think, when he claimed that US drone strikes caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year which was an outright lie by so many accounts. Do you think we are going to see more transparency with regards to drones with John Brennan at the helm of the CIA?

JK: No, I don’t. With John Brennan “secrecy” is the key word. Unless of course, you know, he chooses to leak for the benefit of the administration.

What did you expect when you decided to go public, to come clean on torture at the CIA. I mean your wife worked at the CIA and she was fired because of you. You are a father of five and you are going to prison. What future did you envision for yourself five years ago?

JK: I didn’t envision prison in my future five years ago. I expected there to be a national debate on whether or not we wanted to use torture as an official US policy. Now I’m very happy, proud actually, that I played a role in that debate and now the law of the land is that torture is illegal – I’m very proud of that. I didn’t expect that the government would go after me so relentlessly. I stood in the snow for two hours to vote for President Obama. I really believed that this was positive change. I believed that he deserved that Nobel Peace prize only because I expected things to change so dramatically at the beginning of his first term. So no, I never believed I would be going to prison under a President Obama. Never. That’s been I think my biggest disappointment.

But you haven’t seen a dramatic change?

JK: I haven’t seen any change.

But he stopped torture.

JK: He stopped torture, sure, but in terms of counter-terrorism policy I think the Obama Administration is largely an extension of the Bush Administration.

Source

The People’s Record Daily News Update (it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these)
Here’s a collection of news stories for February 7, 2013 that you may not otherwise have a chance to see/learn about.

In Colorado, a six year old boy has been suspended from his school for playing with a make-believe grenade, while imagining that he is an action hero, saving the world.7-year-od Alex Evans insists the imaginary grenade he threw at an imaginary box was necessary to rid the world of evil.

"I pretended the box, there’s something shaking in it, and I go ‘pshhh, I was trying to save people and I just can’t believe I got dispended."

It could soon be illegal to create online parodies or to ‘catfish’ someone in Arizona, with the expected passage of an internet-censorship bill that would make it a crime punishable by prison to lie on the Internet. Administrators of Twitter parody accounts and other online impersonators will be forced to throw in the towel, or else face as much as one-and-a-half years in prison for violating a law expected to soon go up for debate.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta continues to invoke the potential of a ‘cyber pearl harbor’ in an effort to scare citizens into allowing less privacy, more censorship, and more military/government/police control of the internet.

“I believe that it is very possible the next Pearl Harbor could be a cyber attack,” Panetta told an audience at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, after a speech. Panetta outlined Pentagon officials’ growing fears of online attacks in a question-and-answer session following a lecture on leadership and government. “There is no question, in my mind, that part and parcel of any attack on this country in the future, by any enemy, is going to include a cyber-element,” he said. “That is something we have to worry about and protect against.”

Survivavlists in Idaho plan to build a community in the forest resembling a medieval-style fortress complete with housing, a school and a gun factory. They are calling the precious ‘dream’ community ‘The Citadel’.

But those who are proposing the establishment of the Citadel say that all of the city’s residents would have to own an AR-15 rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and enough supplies to withstand a collapse of society. And since AR-15s have become difficult to obtain and would be outlawed if Congress reinstates the 1994 ban on assault weapons, the fortress would have its own factory to produce them. Residents would also be required by law to carry a side arm – a small weapon worn in a holster – whenever visiting the town center.

“Marxists, Socialists, Liberals, and Establishment Republicans will likely find that life in our community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles,” states the proposal’s website. One would hope so.

In Maryland, the Maryland House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would allow law enforcement officials to obtain location records from mobile devices without a search warrant.

House Bill 377 lowers the standard of probable cause law enforcement officials must meet before obtaining cell phone tracking information. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. While the ruling did not impose a warrant requirement or a probable cause standard for obtaining real-time location records, both practices became commonplace in several of the state jurisdictions, including the city of Baltimore, for obtaining real-time location information records.

Students at Duke University held protests after the Kappa Sigma fraternity held a racist party to mock Asians and spoof Asian dress, speech and culture.

Asian American students organized a protest that included a “Race Is Not a Party” Facebook page and a campus rally Wednesday where students chanted, “Don’t party at our expense!” and “No more hate, make Duke great!”

"It was shocking and hurtful," one outraged student said of the party, which advertised the event via an email with the greeting "Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!"

One man has been shot dead and over 400 people injured in fresh clashes in the Egyptian city of Port Said. The death toll has risen to 48 as violence on the streets of Egypt continues for the fourth day in a row.
January 27, 2013

18-year-old Abdel Rahman Farag was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest, the city’s head of hospitals told Reuters. More than 416 people suffered from teargas inhalation, while 17 sustained gunshot wounds, he said.

Thousands of people turned out for the funerals of 35 rioters who were killed in Port Said on Saturday. The mourners shouted,”There is no God but Allah, and Morsi is God’s enemy” after praying for the dead at the city’s Mariam Mosque. Teargas was fired in the vicinity and gunfire was heard nearby. Emergency vehicle sirens were also heard, a witness told Reuters.

Thousands of demonstrators also gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday. Protesters threw petrol bombs at riot police who were firing teargas.

Rallies have been taking place in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and half a dozen other places, many of which have become violent. Protesters have taken to the streets in greater numbers following Saturday’s death sentence verdicts over a stadium stampede last February. 

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed El-Beltagy has urged Egyptian authorities to “step in with full strength!”

Protests reach back to Friday when nine people were killed in a separate demonstration against of the Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The outbreak of violence is a consequence of Saturday’s sentencing of 21 people to death for their role in the deaths of 74 people at a soccer stadium riot and stampede last year.

Spectators were trampled and eyewitnesses saw some thrown off balconies following a match between Al Ahly and local team al-Masri.  But many eye witnesses reported police of playing a role in the deaths. The sentencing was reportedly followed by the immediate deaths of two policemen.

About 18 prisoners in Suez police stations managed to escape during the violence, a security source reported. Approximately 30 police weapons were stolen. Soldiers have taken up positions at important state facilities, including the local power and water stations, administration buildings, banks and courts.

Protests have been spreading throughout Egyptian cities since Thursday, prior to the sentencing. Opponents of Morsi have been gathering to mark the second anniversary on Friday of the beginning of the revolution that led to Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.

Infuriated protesters report that Morsi has betrayed the economic and representative goals of the previous revolt.

"None of the revolution’s goals have been realized," protester Mohamed Sami told Reuters.

Bel Trew, who is on the ground in Cairo, said, “There’s a lot of anger toward the president – this started just at the end of last year when he pushed through what was seen as an unpopular constitution drafted by an Islamist dominated constituent assembly. People also say that he has not made any of the changes that were called for during the January 25 revolution two years ago, so he’s really lost quite a lot of legitimacy on the streets.”

“Right now here in the capital there are clashes raging between protesters and security forces on the…lots of tear gas in the air here in down-town Cairo. Rocks have also been exchanged.”

“Security have increased their presence around government buildings, as the focus of the anger here for protesters is very much against Morsi’s administration… the situation in Egypt really descends into a bit of a crisis”

Source

Kim Dotcom will encrypt half of the Internet to end government surveillance (FULL RT INTERVIEW)January 24, 2013 
The United States government says that Dotcom, a German millionaire formerly known as Kim Schmitz, masterminded a vast criminal conspiracy by operating the file-storage site Megaupload. Dotcom, on the other hand, begs to differ. One year after the high-profile raid of his home and the shut-down and seizure of one of the most popular sites on the Web, Dotcom hosted a launch party for his latest endeavor, simply called Mega. On the anniversary of the end of Megaupload, Dotcom discusses the year since his arrest and what the future holds in regards to both his court case and the Internet alike. Speaking with RT’s Andrew Blake from his Coatesville, New Zealand mansion, Dotcom weighs in on the US justice system, the death of Aaron Swartz, the growing surveillance state, his own cooperation with the feds and much more.
RT: You’ve blamed President Obama and the Obama administration for colluding with movie companies in order to orchestrate this giant arrest here in New Zealand. Is this kind of give-and-take relationship between Washington and Hollywood all that you say it is? Or are you just the exception? Does this really exist?
Kim Dotcom: You have to look at the players behind this case, okay? The driving force, of course, is Chris Dodd, the chairman of the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America]. And he was senator for a long time and he is — according to [US Vice President] Joe Biden — Joe Biden’s best friend. And the state attorney that is in charge of this case has been Joe Biden’s personal counsel, Neil MacBride, and [he] also worked as an anti-piracy manager for the BSA, the Business Software Association, which is basically like the MPAA but for software companies.
And also, the timing is very interesting, you know? Election time. The fundraisers in Hollywood set for February, March [and] April. There had to have some sort of Plan B, an alternative for SOPA [the Stop Online Piracy Act], because the president certainly was aware — and his team at the White House was aware — that if they don’t have anything to give at those fundraisers, to those guys in Hollywood who are eager to have more control over the Internet, they wouldn’t have probably raised too much. And Hollywood is a very important contributor to Obama’s campaign. Not just with money, but also with media support. They control a lot of media: celebrity endorsements and all that.
So I’m sure the election plays an important role. The relationships of the people that are in charge of this case play an important role and, of course, we have facts that we want to present at our extradition hearing that will show some more detail about this and that this is not just some conspiracy theory but that this actually happened.
RT: The US Justice Department wants to extradite you, a German citizen living in New Zealand operating a business in Hong Kong. They want to extradite you to the US. Is that even possible?
KD: That is a very interesting question because the extradition law, the extradition treaty in New Zealand, doesn’t really allow extradition for copyright. So what they did, they threw some extra charges on top and one of them is racketeering, where they basically say we are a mafia organization and we set up our Internet business to basically be an organized crime network that was set up and structured the way it was just to do criminal copyright infringement. And anyone who has every used Megaupload and has any idea about how that website worked knows immediately that it was total nonsense. But they needed to chop that on in order to have even a chance for extradition. But in our opinion, you see, all of that was secondary. The primary goal was to take down Megaupload and destroy it completely. That was their mission and that’s why the whole thing in Hong Kong, for example, they called it Operation Takedown. And I think everything that’s happening now, they are trying on the fly to doctor it around, and found a way to find a case. They probably came here and thought, “We will find something; that these guys have done something wrong.” In the indictment, if you actually read that, it’s more like a press release. There’s nothing in there that has any merits.
RT: When the raid happened one year ago today, it got a lot of people talking both about the Internet and about this character, Kim Dotcom. But it was a lot of talking and not so much action, because here it is one year later and this case is still happening. Back up earlier this month, and we saw Aaron Swartz — an online information activist — pass away, and only in his mid-20s. And it got a lot of people talking, so much so that members of Congress have actually asked for changes to federal computer laws so that this doesn’t happen again. What is it actually going to take to get people to stop just talking and to actually start acting?
KD: Our case is going to be the one that will have much more attention down the road because it is a crucial case for Internet freedom. And I think more and more people realize that and the government is quite exposed here because they really went in with completely prosecutorial abuse and overreach and ignoring due process, ignoring our rights, spying on us, illegal search warrants, illegal restraining orders, illegal spying. The whole picture, when you look at it, shows that this was an urgent mission, done on a rush. “Take them down, I want them to go.” And it was a political decision to do that. And the execution was extremely poor, and the case is extremely poor, because that is something they thought that they could worry about later. It was all about the takedown. “Let’s send a strong message to Hollywood that we are on their side.”
RT:And now it’s been a year and nothing has progressed. At least for them. It seems like the case is falling apart day by day.
KD: Let me give you one example of how crazy this is. We have a judge here who said, “Please show us your evidence about your racketeering allegations. Show us that these guys were setting up some sort of organized crime network,” because that’s what the extradition will focus on primarily. They are using the organized crime treaty to get us extradited. So the US appealed that and said, “We don’t want to show you what we have.” And then they appealed to the high court and the high court then said, “We want to see it.” And they just keep appealing it, all the way to the court of appeals and to the Supreme Court. And what does that tell you? If you don’t even want to show us your cards — show us what you have! If you have such a strong case and are seriously interested about getting someone extradited, why waste all this time? Just show your hand. And they don’t have anything because we haven’t done anything wrong. We were law abiding. We were a good corporate citizen. And they knew that the time they came here to do this. They just wanted to take us down.
RT: The new program, Mega, is fully encrypted, and you’re touting it as an encrypted program so that people will want to use it. Do you think this is even necessary, right now, that people need encryption on the Internet?
KD: I think it’s important for the Internet that there is more encryption. Because what I have learned since I got dragged into this case is a lot about privacy abuses, about the government spying on people. You know, the US government invests a lot of money in spy clouds: massive data centers with hundreds of thousands of hard drives storing data. And what they are storing is basically any communication that traverses through US networks. And what that means they are not spying on individuals based on a warrant anymore. They just spy on everybody, permanently, all the time. And what that means for you and for anybody is that if you are ever a target of any kind of investigation, or someone has a political agenda against you, or a prosecutor doesn’t like you, or the police wants to interpret something in a way to get you in trouble — they can use all that data, go through it with a comb and find things even though we think we have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong. They will find something that they can nail you with and that’s why it’s wrong to have these kinds of privacy abuses, and I decided to create a solution that overtime will encrypt more and more of the internet. So we start with files, we will then move to emails, and then move to Voice-Over-IP communication. And our API [Application Programming Interface] is available to any third-party developer to also create their own tools. And my goal is, within the next five years, I want to encrypt half of the Internet. Just reestablish a balance between a person — an individual — and the state. Because right now, we are living very close to this vision of George Orwell and I think it’s not the right way. It’s the wrong path that the government is on, thinking that they can spy on everybody.
RT: Long before Megaupload was ever taken down, the Justice Department was looking into Ninja Video and you actually cooperated with them. People want to know: how is Kim Dotcom, this guy who is incredibly against Washington and hates everything that they’ve done to him, how is this same guy also helping out the Justice Department?
KD: Let me explain to you how this worked, okay? I was a good corporate citizen. My company was abiding to the laws. If we get a search warrant or we get a request by the government to assist in an investigation, we will comply and we have always complied. And that is the right thing to do, because if someone uploads child pornography or someone uploads terrorist stuff or anything that is a serious crime, of course we are there to help. This is our obligation. And I am not for copyright infringement. People need to understand that. I’m against copyright infringement. But I’m also against copyright extremism. And I’m against a business model: the one from Hollywood that encourages piracy. Megaupload is not responsible for the piracy problem, you see? It’s the Hollywood studios that release a movie in the US, and then six months later in other parts of the world. And everyone knows that the movie is out there and fans of a particular actress want to have it right now, but they are not giving them any opportunity to get access to that content even though they are willing to pay. And they are looking for alternatives on the Internet, and then they find them. They are trying to make me responsible for their lack of ability to adapt to a new reality, which is the Internet, where everything happens now. It doesn’t happen three months later. Imagine you go to Wikipedia. You want to find something, research an article, and they tell you to come back in three months, ‘We’ll give it to you then.’ If you find another site where you can get it right now, that’s where you go, right? So it’s really their business model that is responsible for this issue. And if they don’t adopt, they will be left behind on this side of the road of history like many others who haven’t adopted in the past.
RT: What about your skeptics who point out this big playboy lifestyle and this giant, elaborate house and say ‘He’s not worried about Internet freedoms, he’s just worried about protecting his profits’?
KD: Let me be clear: I am a businessman, okay? I started Megaupload as a business to make money. I wanted to list the company. I am an entrepreneur, alright? I’m not Aaron Swartz. Aaron Swartz is my hero. He was selfless. He is completely the opposite of me, but I’m a businessman. I’m driven by the success of achieving something in the business world. That’s not a crime. There is nothing wrong with that. And if you create something that is popular and that people want to use, you automatically make money. And I’ve always been an innovator. I’ve always created products that people like. And that’s why I’m successful. I’m not successful because people have used Megaupload for copyright infringement. And what everyone needs to understand [is] there have been massive amounts of legitimate users on Megaupload. We don’t believe that 50 million users a day are all just transferring piracy. That’s wrong. A lot of people have used it to back up their data, to send a file quickly to a friend. Young artists have used it to get traction, to get downloads, to get known. There was a lot of legitimate use on Megaupload. It’s a dual-use technology, just like the Internet. You can go to any ISP right now, anyone who connects customers to the Internet. And if they are honest to you and you ask them the question ‘How much of your traffic is peer-to-peer piracy?’ anyone who will tell you less than 50 percent is lying to your face. This is a problem of the Internet and not Megaupload.
RT: What happens next, though? What are the chances of Mega being shut down. We already saw that radio stations were pulling ads.
KD: The content industry is still very emotional about us.We bought radio ads with one of the major networks here for eight radio stations. Very funny, very cool ads, promoting our service as a privacy service. And the labels called up the radio station, and one advertiser who is in the movie business called up the radio station, and demanded those adds to be taken down or else they will not buy ads from them anymore. And they were forced because they rely, of course, on that advertisement. My campaign was comparably small to the amount that they are sending. So they used their power to interfere in our right to have a media campaign, an ad campaign. And that just shows you that attitude. It’s against the law. They can’t do that. That’s interfering in our business and they have done that many times in the past. Calling payment processors, calling advertisers, telling them, ‘I don’t want you to work with these guys.’ That’s just wrong. If you have an issue with us, go hire a lawyer, sue us, take us to court and then see if you have anything that will give you a judgment against us. But instead, they use that power and their money to get new laws made for them, to lobby politicians, to get the White House to come here and destroy our lives. Destroy 220 jobs. Hardworking innocent people and they don’t give a damn about that. They had an agenda that is about more control over the Internet. And they made a strategic decision to say ‘Who are we going to take out to send a strong message?’ And I was the one.
RT: But what happens if Mega is shut down? You are only on day one right now. How long is it going to take before the government steps up again and what are you going to do if that happens? Are you prepared to just start all over again? It’s been one year and here you are, doing this over again, what happens when Uncle Sam puts his foot down and grinds you into the dirt again? Do you get back up?
KD: Here is the thing. This startup is probably the most scrutinized when it comes to legal advice. Every single aspect of it has been under the looking glass by our legal team. So we are confident that it’s fully compliant with the law, and if they come to attack us it’s just going to backfire. Exactly like the Megaupload case did. The shutdown of our site backfired already, massively. And it’s just going to get worse for them. If they think they can pursue this and get away with this, they are dead wrong. Because the society is not on their side. Everyone who uses the Internet knows what’s going on here. They don’t like what’s going on here. They saw it with SOPA and you will see it with our case. People will come together and fight this kind of aggression against innovation and Internet freedom.
Source
So Kim Dotcom is definitely a flashy, sexist, capitalist jerk…but encrypting half the internet to end government surveillance is an intriguing idea. Thoughts? 

Kim Dotcom will encrypt half of the Internet to end government surveillance (FULL RT INTERVIEW)
January 24, 2013 

The United States government says that Dotcom, a German millionaire formerly known as Kim Schmitz, masterminded a vast criminal conspiracy by operating the file-storage site Megaupload. Dotcom, on the other hand, begs to differ. One year after the high-profile raid of his home and the shut-down and seizure of one of the most popular sites on the Web, Dotcom hosted a launch party for his latest endeavor, simply called Mega. On the anniversary of the end of Megaupload, Dotcom discusses the year since his arrest and what the future holds in regards to both his court case and the Internet alike. Speaking with RT’s Andrew Blake from his Coatesville, New Zealand mansion, Dotcom weighs in on the US justice system, the death of Aaron Swartz, the growing surveillance state, his own cooperation with the feds and much more.

RT: You’ve blamed President Obama and the Obama administration for colluding with movie companies in order to orchestrate this giant arrest here in New Zealand. Is this kind of give-and-take relationship between Washington and Hollywood all that you say it is? Or are you just the exception? Does this really exist?

Kim Dotcom: You have to look at the players behind this case, okay? The driving force, of course, is Chris Dodd, the chairman of the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America]. And he was senator for a long time and he is — according to [US Vice President] Joe Biden — Joe Biden’s best friend. And the state attorney that is in charge of this case has been Joe Biden’s personal counsel, Neil MacBride, and [he] also worked as an anti-piracy manager for the BSA, the Business Software Association, which is basically like the MPAA but for software companies.

And also, the timing is very interesting, you know? Election time. The fundraisers in Hollywood set for February, March [and] April. There had to have some sort of Plan B, an alternative for SOPA [the Stop Online Piracy Act], because the president certainly was aware — and his team at the White House was aware — that if they don’t have anything to give at those fundraisers, to those guys in Hollywood who are eager to have more control over the Internet, they wouldn’t have probably raised too much. And Hollywood is a very important contributor to Obama’s campaign. Not just with money, but also with media support. They control a lot of media: celebrity endorsements and all that.

So I’m sure the election plays an important role. The relationships of the people that are in charge of this case play an important role and, of course, we have facts that we want to present at our extradition hearing that will show some more detail about this and that this is not just some conspiracy theory but that this actually happened.

RT: The US Justice Department wants to extradite you, a German citizen living in New Zealand operating a business in Hong Kong. They want to extradite you to the US. Is that even possible?

KD: That is a very interesting question because the extradition law, the extradition treaty in New Zealand, doesn’t really allow extradition for copyright. So what they did, they threw some extra charges on top and one of them is racketeering, where they basically say we are a mafia organization and we set up our Internet business to basically be an organized crime network that was set up and structured the way it was just to do criminal copyright infringement. And anyone who has every used Megaupload and has any idea about how that website worked knows immediately that it was total nonsense. But they needed to chop that on in order to have even a chance for extradition. But in our opinion, you see, all of that was secondary. The primary goal was to take down Megaupload and destroy it completely. That was their mission and that’s why the whole thing in Hong Kong, for example, they called it Operation Takedown. And I think everything that’s happening now, they are trying on the fly to doctor it around, and found a way to find a case. They probably came here and thought, “We will find something; that these guys have done something wrong.” In the indictment, if you actually read that, it’s more like a press release. There’s nothing in there that has any merits.

RT: When the raid happened one year ago today, it got a lot of people talking both about the Internet and about this character, Kim Dotcom. But it was a lot of talking and not so much action, because here it is one year later and this case is still happening. Back up earlier this month, and we saw Aaron Swartz — an online information activist — pass away, and only in his mid-20s. And it got a lot of people talking, so much so that members of Congress have actually asked for changes to federal computer laws so that this doesn’t happen again. What is it actually going to take to get people to stop just talking and to actually start acting?

KD: Our case is going to be the one that will have much more attention down the road because it is a crucial case for Internet freedom. And I think more and more people realize that and the government is quite exposed here because they really went in with completely prosecutorial abuse and overreach and ignoring due process, ignoring our rights, spying on us, illegal search warrants, illegal restraining orders, illegal spying. The whole picture, when you look at it, shows that this was an urgent mission, done on a rush. “Take them down, I want them to go.” And it was a political decision to do that. And the execution was extremely poor, and the case is extremely poor, because that is something they thought that they could worry about later. It was all about the takedown. “Let’s send a strong message to Hollywood that we are on their side.”

RT:And now it’s been a year and nothing has progressed. At least for them. It seems like the case is falling apart day by day.

KD: Let me give you one example of how crazy this is. We have a judge here who said, “Please show us your evidence about your racketeering allegations. Show us that these guys were setting up some sort of organized crime network,” because that’s what the extradition will focus on primarily. They are using the organized crime treaty to get us extradited. So the US appealed that and said, “We don’t want to show you what we have.” And then they appealed to the high court and the high court then said, “We want to see it.” And they just keep appealing it, all the way to the court of appeals and to the Supreme Court. And what does that tell you? If you don’t even want to show us your cards — show us what you have! If you have such a strong case and are seriously interested about getting someone extradited, why waste all this time? Just show your hand. And they don’t have anything because we haven’t done anything wrong. We were law abiding. We were a good corporate citizen. And they knew that the time they came here to do this. They just wanted to take us down.

RT: The new program, Mega, is fully encrypted, and you’re touting it as an encrypted program so that people will want to use it. Do you think this is even necessary, right now, that people need encryption on the Internet?

KD: I think it’s important for the Internet that there is more encryption. Because what I have learned since I got dragged into this case is a lot about privacy abuses, about the government spying on people. You know, the US government invests a lot of money in spy clouds: massive data centers with hundreds of thousands of hard drives storing data. And what they are storing is basically any communication that traverses through US networks. And what that means they are not spying on individuals based on a warrant anymore. They just spy on everybody, permanently, all the time. And what that means for you and for anybody is that if you are ever a target of any kind of investigation, or someone has a political agenda against you, or a prosecutor doesn’t like you, or the police wants to interpret something in a way to get you in trouble — they can use all that data, go through it with a comb and find things even though we think we have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong. They will find something that they can nail you with and that’s why it’s wrong to have these kinds of privacy abuses, and I decided to create a solution that overtime will encrypt more and more of the internet. So we start with files, we will then move to emails, and then move to Voice-Over-IP communication. And our API [Application Programming Interface] is available to any third-party developer to also create their own tools. And my goal is, within the next five years, I want to encrypt half of the Internet. Just reestablish a balance between a person — an individual — and the state. Because right now, we are living very close to this vision of George Orwell and I think it’s not the right way. It’s the wrong path that the government is on, thinking that they can spy on everybody.

RT: Long before Megaupload was ever taken down, the Justice Department was looking into Ninja Video and you actually cooperated with them. People want to know: how is Kim Dotcom, this guy who is incredibly against Washington and hates everything that they’ve done to him, how is this same guy also helping out the Justice Department?

KD: Let me explain to you how this worked, okay? I was a good corporate citizen. My company was abiding to the laws. If we get a search warrant or we get a request by the government to assist in an investigation, we will comply and we have always complied. And that is the right thing to do, because if someone uploads child pornography or someone uploads terrorist stuff or anything that is a serious crime, of course we are there to help. This is our obligation. And I am not for copyright infringement. People need to understand that. I’m against copyright infringement. But I’m also against copyright extremism. And I’m against a business model: the one from Hollywood that encourages piracy. Megaupload is not responsible for the piracy problem, you see? It’s the Hollywood studios that release a movie in the US, and then six months later in other parts of the world. And everyone knows that the movie is out there and fans of a particular actress want to have it right now, but they are not giving them any opportunity to get access to that content even though they are willing to pay. And they are looking for alternatives on the Internet, and then they find them. They are trying to make me responsible for their lack of ability to adapt to a new reality, which is the Internet, where everything happens now. It doesn’t happen three months later. Imagine you go to Wikipedia. You want to find something, research an article, and they tell you to come back in three months, ‘We’ll give it to you then.’ If you find another site where you can get it right now, that’s where you go, right? So it’s really their business model that is responsible for this issue. And if they don’t adopt, they will be left behind on this side of the road of history like many others who haven’t adopted in the past.

RT: What about your skeptics who point out this big playboy lifestyle and this giant, elaborate house and say ‘He’s not worried about Internet freedoms, he’s just worried about protecting his profits’?

KD: Let me be clear: I am a businessman, okay? I started Megaupload as a business to make money. I wanted to list the company. I am an entrepreneur, alright? I’m not Aaron Swartz. Aaron Swartz is my hero. He was selfless. He is completely the opposite of me, but I’m a businessman. I’m driven by the success of achieving something in the business world. That’s not a crime. There is nothing wrong with that. And if you create something that is popular and that people want to use, you automatically make money. And I’ve always been an innovator. I’ve always created products that people like. And that’s why I’m successful. I’m not successful because people have used Megaupload for copyright infringement. And what everyone needs to understand [is] there have been massive amounts of legitimate users on Megaupload. We don’t believe that 50 million users a day are all just transferring piracy. That’s wrong. A lot of people have used it to back up their data, to send a file quickly to a friend. Young artists have used it to get traction, to get downloads, to get known. There was a lot of legitimate use on Megaupload. It’s a dual-use technology, just like the Internet. You can go to any ISP right now, anyone who connects customers to the Internet. And if they are honest to you and you ask them the question ‘How much of your traffic is peer-to-peer piracy?’ anyone who will tell you less than 50 percent is lying to your face. This is a problem of the Internet and not Megaupload.

RT: What happens next, though? What are the chances of Mega being shut down. We already saw that radio stations were pulling ads.

KD: The content industry is still very emotional about us.We bought radio ads with one of the major networks here for eight radio stations. Very funny, very cool ads, promoting our service as a privacy service. And the labels called up the radio station, and one advertiser who is in the movie business called up the radio station, and demanded those adds to be taken down or else they will not buy ads from them anymore. And they were forced because they rely, of course, on that advertisement. My campaign was comparably small to the amount that they are sending. So they used their power to interfere in our right to have a media campaign, an ad campaign. And that just shows you that attitude. It’s against the law. They can’t do that. That’s interfering in our business and they have done that many times in the past. Calling payment processors, calling advertisers, telling them, ‘I don’t want you to work with these guys.’ That’s just wrong. If you have an issue with us, go hire a lawyer, sue us, take us to court and then see if you have anything that will give you a judgment against us. But instead, they use that power and their money to get new laws made for them, to lobby politicians, to get the White House to come here and destroy our lives. Destroy 220 jobs. Hardworking innocent people and they don’t give a damn about that. They had an agenda that is about more control over the Internet. And they made a strategic decision to say ‘Who are we going to take out to send a strong message?’ And I was the one.

RT: But what happens if Mega is shut down? You are only on day one right now. How long is it going to take before the government steps up again and what are you going to do if that happens? Are you prepared to just start all over again? It’s been one year and here you are, doing this over again, what happens when Uncle Sam puts his foot down and grinds you into the dirt again? Do you get back up?

KD: Here is the thing. This startup is probably the most scrutinized when it comes to legal advice. Every single aspect of it has been under the looking glass by our legal team. So we are confident that it’s fully compliant with the law, and if they come to attack us it’s just going to backfire. Exactly like the Megaupload case did. The shutdown of our site backfired already, massively. And it’s just going to get worse for them. If they think they can pursue this and get away with this, they are dead wrong. Because the society is not on their side. Everyone who uses the Internet knows what’s going on here. They don’t like what’s going on here. They saw it with SOPA and you will see it with our case. People will come together and fight this kind of aggression against innovation and Internet freedom.

Source

So Kim Dotcom is definitely a flashy, sexist, capitalist jerk…but encrypting half the internet to end government surveillance is an intriguing idea. Thoughts? 

One of many ways to pay tribute to the amazing life of Aaron Swartz, champion hacktivist/humanist and immensely influential guardian of internet freedomJanuary 17, 2013 
If you are a scientist, you can pay the best and most effective tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz by sharing PDFs of your published work on pdftribute.net via the hashtag #pdftribute on Twitter.
Researchers are now offering open-access versions of their work using this hashtag.
I also suggest to boycott the pay-walled journals of the science mafia and publish on arXiv, or one of the many excellent open access science journals like PLoS andeLife. Hit them in the wallet where it hurts; it is the only effective way to protest.
New Scientist | Hundreds of researchers have been sharing PDFs of their work on Twitter as a tribute to Aaron Swartz, the internet freedom activist who committed suicide on Friday.
Swartz was facing hacking charges from the U.S. government after accessing the network of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloading nearly 5 million articles from the digital library JSTOR.
In a statement following his death, Swartz’s parents criticized the Massachusetts U.S. attorney’s office for pursuing charges against their son, and MIT for failing to support him. [NOTE: see also Time | Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Prompts MIT Soul-Searching.]
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, tweeted his own tribute: “Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down. Parents all, we have lost a child. Let us weep.”
Update Jan. 15, 2013: ars technica | On Monday afternoon, a group of online archivists released the “Aaron Swartz Memorial JSTOR Liberator.” The initiative is a JavaScript-based bookmarklet that lets Internet users “liberate” an article, already in the public domain, from the online academic archive JSTOR. By running the script — which is limited to once per browser — a public domain academic article is downloaded to the user’s computer, then uploaded back to ArchiveTeam in a small act of protest against JSTOR’s restrictive policies.
Source

One of many ways to pay tribute to the amazing life of Aaron Swartz, champion hacktivist/humanist and immensely influential guardian of internet freedom
January 17, 2013 

If you are a scientist, you can pay the best and most effective tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz by sharing PDFs of your published work on pdftribute.net via the hashtag #pdftribute on Twitter.

Researchers are now offering open-access versions of their work using this hashtag.

I also suggest to boycott the pay-walled journals of the science mafia and publish on arXiv, or one of the many excellent open access science journals like PLoS andeLife. Hit them in the wallet where it hurts; it is the only effective way to protest.

New Scientist | Hundreds of researchers have been sharing PDFs of their work on Twitter as a tribute to Aaron Swartz, the internet freedom activist who committed suicide on Friday.

Swartz was facing hacking charges from the U.S. government after accessing the network of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloading nearly 5 million articles from the digital library JSTOR.

In a statement following his death, Swartz’s parents criticized the Massachusetts U.S. attorney’s office for pursuing charges against their son, and MIT for failing to support him. [NOTE: see also Time | Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Prompts MIT Soul-Searching.]

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, tweeted his own tribute: “Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down. Parents all, we have lost a child. Let us weep.”

Update Jan. 15, 2013: ars technica | On Monday afternoon, a group of online archivists released the “Aaron Swartz Memorial JSTOR Liberator.” The initiative is a JavaScript-based bookmarklet that lets Internet users “liberate” an article, already in the public domain, from the online academic archive JSTOR. By running the script — which is limited to once per browser — a public domain academic article is downloaded to the user’s computer, then uploaded back to ArchiveTeam in a small act of protest against JSTOR’s restrictive policies.

Source

Internet activists on red alert ahead of United Nations conference

November 16, 2012

Internet activists are warning that next month’s meeting of the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations body charged with overseeing global communications, may have significant and potentially disastrous consequences for everyday Internet users, Mashable reports.

Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, the meeting is intended to update some of the aging international law that governs the flow of information online. The meeting is mostly closed to the public, so the few details we do know about various proposals are largely thanks to leaks, many of which are published on WCITleaks.

What we do know is that at least some of the proposals could allow governments more power to clamp down on Internet access or tax international traffic, either of which are anathema to the idea of a free, open and international Internet. Other proposals would move some responsibility for Internet governance to the United Nations.

Fight For the Future and Access, two Internet advocacy groups, are joining forces to launch an informational campaign and petition urging citizens to oppose letting the ITU handle decisions about Internet governance.

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