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2012 February 20 | Activist News
Disobey

The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

greed3

U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

jeff olsen

Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

freedom-of-the-press

The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Daily Archives: February 20, 2012

Hacker group Anonymous threatens Vic Toews

CTV
Feb. 20, 2012

The hacker group Anonymous is demanding Public Safety Minister Vic Toews kill the Internet surveillance bill and resign or it will release “information” during what it calls “Operation White North.”

Two videos posted to YouTube feature a masked man and voice-overs that condemn the proposed Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act (Bill C-30).

“All this legislation does is give your corrupted government more power to control its citizens,” a synthesized voice says in one of the videos still posted to the site Monday.

“We know all about you, Mr. Toews, and during Operation White North we will release what we have unless you scrap this bill,” it states.

The RCMP has been called in to investigate apparent death threats against Toews as controversy swirls around the legislation.

In an open letter to his Manitoba constituents distributed over the weekend, Toews said the threats have been “referred to the police for investigation.”

The “personal attacks, criminal acts and threats of future criminal acts against me” won’t prevent him from carrying out his parliamentary duties, the minister wrote.

“Any further criminal activity or threats of criminal activity against me or my family will also be referred to the police,” Toews said in the statement.

Although CTV reporter Mercedes Stephenson said the RCMP has yet to respond to her inquiries concerning criminal threats against Toews, she did speak with a source close to the minister about the YouTube videos.

“They told me that he’s not that concerned about the Anonymous video. He considers it to be a political video and it’s a political threat and Anonymous makes a lot of political threats against a lot of different politicians,” she told CTV News Channel Monday.

He’s far more concerned by the potential security threats, Stephenson said.

In its current form, the bill would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to allow access to private data without a warrant. It would also permit the duplication of that data without oversight or appeal.

Full Article Here – http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120220/hackers-anonymous-toews-20120220/20120220/?hub=WinnipegHome 

Data collection arms race feeds privacy fears

Reuters
Feb. 20, 2012
By Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – This week’s revelations that Google Inc, Twitter and other popular Internet companies have been taking liberties with customer data have prompted criticism from privacy advocates and lawmakers, along with apologies from the companies.
They are the latest in a long line of missteps by large Internet companies that have faced little punishment for pushing privacy boundaries, which are already more expansive than most consumers understand.
Despite all the chatter about online privacy and the regular introductions of proposed data protection laws in Congress, Silicon Valley is in the midst of a veritable arms race of personal data collection that is intensifying.

Many innovative companies, most prominently Facebook, base virtually all of their services on the ability to personalize, which requires them to know their users well. Their business models likewise depend to an increasing degree on the ability to target a banner advertisement or other marketing pitch to an individual. Millions of times each day, the right to advertise to a specific user is auctioned off in a fraction of a second by computers talking to one another.
For both the buyers and the sellers of the advertising, the business advantage goes to the participant with the most knowledge, and that race is driving companies like Google to learn as much about its users as Facebook does.

Few U.S. laws prevent those companies and others from collecting all manner of information – ranging from credit cards numbers and real names and addresses to buying patterns and Web surfing habits – then selling the data to advertisers and other third parties.
“Companies are feeling along in the dark, trying to figure out how to serve consumers with cool new toys and while protecting consumer interests,” said Jim Harper, a privacy policy specialist at the libertarian Cato Institute. “More often than not, they fall in love with their cool new toys and forget the privacy interests.”
Aside from special protections for credit report information, medical records and a few other narrow categories, virtually anything is fair game.
Companies generally face legal threats or a user backlash only after violating their own published privacy policies or being discovered subverting consumer wishes.

 
Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/data-collection-arms-race-feeds-privacy-fears-140608839.html

‘Hundreds gather’ in China after self-immolation

AFP
Feb. 19, 2012

Hundreds of Tibetans gathered in China‘s southwest to hold a vigil for a young Buddhist monk who set himself on fire, a rights group said, in the latest self-immolation to hit the country.
The 18-year-old monk, identified as Nangdrol, set himself alight Sunday in Sichuan province‘s Rangtang county, where one Tibetan was reportedly shot dead by security forces last month, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said on Monday.
Citing exiled Tibetan sources with contacts in the area, ICT said Nangdrol had died and his body was taken back to a local monastery. The information was confirmed by the London-based Free Tibet.

Monks did not comply with police orders to hand over the body and more than 1,000 people gathered to hold a vigil on Sunday evening, ICT said.
The group said the young Buddhist monk shouted “May HH (His Holiness) Dalai Lama live 10,000 years” and “Freedom for Tibet” when he set himself on fire.
An official surnamed Huang, who works for the finance department of the Rangtang government, denied the self-immolation and gathering had taken place.

“Everything is fine. The order is normal,” he told AFP, adding there was a strong security presence.

“We have police and armed police on duty 24 hours a day. All government offices have staff on duty
24 hours a day,” he said.

At least 22 people have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China over the past year — mostly in Sichuan — in what is seen as a desperate act by Tibetans protesting against perceived repressive Chinese rule.

Government spy programme will monitor every phone call, text and email… and details will be kept for up to a year

Daily Mail
Feb. 19, 2012
By Pamela Owen

Details about text messages, phone calls, emails and every website visited by members of the public will be kept on record in a bid to combat terrorism.
The Government will order broadband providers, landline and mobile phone companies to save the information for up to a year under a new security scheme.
What is said in the texts, emails or phone calls will not be kept but information on the senders, recipients and their geographical whereabouts will be saved.
Direct messages to users of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter will also be saved and so will information exchanged between players in online video games.
The information will be stored by individual companies rather than the government.
The news has sparked huge concerns about the risk of hacking and fears that the sensitive information could be used to send spam emails and texts.
Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Britain is already one of the most spied on countries off-line and this is a shameful attempt to watch everything we do online in the same way.
‘The vast quantities of data that would be collected would arguably make it harder for the security services to find threats before a crime is committed, and involve a wholesale invasion of all our privacy online that is hugely disproportionate and wholly unnecessary.

‘The data would be a honey pot for hackers and foreign governments, not to mention at huge risk of abuse by those responsible for maintaining the databases.It would be the end of privacy online.

‘The Home Secretary may have changed but it seems the Home Office’s desire to spy on every citizen’s web use and phone calls remains the same as it was under Labour.

‘At a time when the internet is empowering people across the world to embrace democracy, it is shameful for one of the world’s oldest democracies to be pursuing the kind same kind of monitoring that has a stranglehold on civil society in China and Iran.’

It is believed the Home Office started talks with communication companies a few months ago and could officially be announced in May.

The plans have been drawn up by home security service MI5, MI6 which operates abroad, and the GCHQ, the governments communication headquarters which looks after the country’s Signal Intelligence.

Thousands protest Spain’s new labor reforms

Associated Press
Feb. 19, 2012

(AP)  MADRID — Hundreds of thousands of protesters were marching throughout Spain on Sunday in the first large-scale show of anger over new labor reforms that make it easier for companies to fire workers and pull out of collective bargaining agreements.

The country’s main trade unions organized marches in 57 cities, beginning midmorning in Cordoba in the south and expected to end with evening marches in Toledo and Valencia, with a very large demonstration planned in Madrid from midday.

Union organizers said around a million people had marched by mid-afternoon, but official figures were not released.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government passed the package of reforms nine days ago in an effort to shake up a labor market seen as one of Europe most rigid and to encourage hiring in a country battling the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone, at nearly 23 percent. Rajoy was overheard saying that the reform will “cost me a general strike.”

“If we want Spain to grow and create employment, we had to do what we’ve done,” Rajoy said at his Popular Party’s annual congress in southwestern Seville on Sunday.

Full Article Here – http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57381020/thousands-protest-spains-new-labor-reforms/