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 »

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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 »

anon

‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Monthly Archives: December 2012

F.B.I. Counterterrorism Agents Monitored Occupy Movement, Records Show

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New York Times
Dec. 24, 2012
By and

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning, according to newly disclosed agency records.

The F.B.I. records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan — Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance — “that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street.”

That was around the time that Occupy Wall Street activists set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, spawning a protest movement across the United States that focused the nation’s attention on issues of income inequality.

‘Extraordinary’: Three Weeks Later, Keystone Blockaders Still in Texas Jail

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Common Dreams
Dec. 21, 2012
By Beth Brogan

Nearly three weeks after they were arrested on misdemeanor charges, activists who barricaded themselves inside a portion of pipe to protest the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline remain in a Texas jail, each held on $65,000 bail.

Activists Matthew Almonte and Glen Collins. (Photo: Tar Sands Blockade) Mathew Almonte and Glen Collins were arrested Dec. 3 in Winona, Texas after chaining their arms to two 600-pound concrete barrels they had maneuvered inside a section of pipe. They hoped to block construction of the TransCanada KXL pipeline, which if completed will carry highly toxic tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries.

Also arrested was Isabel Brooks, who was filming the protest.

Part of the coalition Tar Sands Blockade, Collins said at the time that he was barricading the pipe “to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage.”

Occupy LA protesters sue city

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Los Angeles Times
Dec. 20, 2012

Protesters in the Occupy Los Angeles movement filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday against the city and high-ranking officials alleging that the group’s constitutional rights were violated during its eviction.

The lawsuit alleges that the Los Angeles Police Department used “shock and awe” military tactics on November 2011 to forcibly remove hundreds of demonstrators who were encamped on the south lawn of City Hall. The group alleges that the police raid that resulted in nearly 300 arrests was “unconstitutional and an unlawful violation of plaintiffs’ First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to assembly, association, freedom from unlawful seizure and liberty.”

Aboriginal rights movement Idle No More spreads beyond First Nations community

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The Gazette
Dec. 19, 2012
By Christopher Curtis

OTTAWA – Theresa Spence gets dizzy if she walks more than a few steps.

The Attawapiskat chief is getting weaker as her hunger strike is in its second week, but Spence says she won’t eat until Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to meet with her and other aboriginal leaders across Canada.

Since she began her protest, Spence has spent her days in isolation on the tiny aboriginal territory of Victoria Island, which sits across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill.

These days Spence barely has enough strength to leave the teepee she’s been sleeping in. She drinks a small cup of fish broth each day to fend off sickness.

“My spirits are good,” she said, warming by a wooden fire in her makeshift home. “I hear drumming every day and people singing songs for me every day … it’s encouraging.”

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

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The Star
Dec. 19, 2012
By Olivia Ward

For Canada’s international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis.

This year three UN expert committees rated the country’s performance on meeting rights commitments — and returned a failing grade.

“These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three,” said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. “It’s a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.”

An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.

Anonymous hackers’ Twitter account suspended, reinstated

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NBC News
Dec. 19, 2012
By Suzanne Choney

For the second time in a month, one of the Twitter accounts used by the hacking group known as Anonymous was suspended. But this time the account, @YourAnonNews, with more than three-quarter of a million followers, was reinstated.

“You can’t suspend an idea,” @YourAnonNews tweeted Wednesday.

Indeed, you can’t, but the Twitter account was suspended briefly Wednesday; Twitter told NBC News it doesn’t comment on “individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.” The @YourAnonNews account is one of the hacking collective’s most followed on the short messaging blog.

Hacktivists strike Westboro Baptist Church over Newtown tragedy

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RT
Dec. 17, 2012

Hacktivists with the Anonymous movement and other online groups have waged a war on the Westboro Baptist Church following news that the group plans to demonstrate on the site of the Shady Hook Elementary School massacre.

Shirley Phelps-Roper of the notorious Westboro Baptist Church announced Friday that the Topeka, Kansas-based religious group would be picketing in Newtown, Connecticut, where less than five hours earlier a shooter opened fire killing more than two dozen people, mostly children.

“Westboro will picket in CT,” Shirley Phelps-Roper, a lawyer and spokesperson for the group, confirmed Friday afternoon over Twitter. On Saturday, she added, “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”

Google boss: I’m very proud of our tax avoidance scheme

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The Independent
Dec. 13, 2012
By Nikhil Kumar, Oliver Wright

The head of the internet giant Google has defiantly defended his company’s tax avoidance strategy claiming he was “proud” of the steps it had taken to cut its tax bill which were just “capitalism”.

In an interview in New York Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chairman, confirmed the company had no intention of paying more to the UK exchequer. Documents filed last month show that Google generated around £2.5 billion in UK sales last year but paid just £6m in corporation tax.

The Californian based search giant has also been revealed to have sheltered nearly $10bn of its revenues in Bermuda allowing it to avoid some $2bn in worldwide income taxes in 2011.

Everyone is fair game: Spy agency conducts surveillance on all US citizens

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RT
Dec. 13, 2012

The Obama administration overruled recommendations from within the US Department of Homeland Security and implemented new guidelines earlier this year that allow the government to gather and analyze intelligence on every single US citizen.

Since the spring, a little-know intelligence agency outside of Washington, DC has been able to circumvent the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and conduct dragnet surveillance of the entire country, combing massive datasets using advanced algorithms to search and seize personal info on anyone this wish, reports the Wall Street Journal this week.

There’s no safeguard that says only Americans with criminal records are the ones included, and it’s not just suspected terrorists that are considered in the searches either. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has been provided with entire government databases and given nearly endless access to intelligence on everyone in the country, regardless of whether or not they’ve done anything that would have made them a person of interest. As long as data is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information,” the agency can do as they wish.

CIA ‘tortured and sodomised’ terror suspect, human rights court rules

Khaled el-Masri

Guardian
Dec. 13, 2012
By

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA “rendition team” at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.