(updated below) Writing in the Guardian today, Jason Farago praises France's women's rights minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, for demanding that Twitter help the French government criminalize ideas it dislikes. Decreeing that "hateful tweets are illegal", Farago excitingly explains how the French minister is going beyond mere prosecution for those who post such tweets and now "wants Twitter to take steps to help prosecute hate speech" by "reform[ing] the whole system by which Twitter operates", including her demand that the company "put in place alerts and security measures" to prevent tweets which French officials deem hateful. This, Farago argues, is fantastic, because - using the same argument employed by censors and tyrants of every age and every culture - new technology makes free speech far too dangerous to permit: "If only this were still the 18th century!
It is certain to cause controversy over civil liberties - but also raise concerns over the security of the records. Access to such information would be highly prized by hackers and could be exploited to send spam email and texts. Details of which websites people visit could also be exploited for commercial gain. The plan has been drawn up on the advice of MI5, the home security service, MI6, which operates abroad, and GCHQ, the Government’s “listening post” responsible for monitoring communications. Rather than the Government holding the information centrally, companies including BT, Sky, Virgin Media, Vodafone and O2 would have to keep the records themselves. Under the scheme the security services would be granted “real time” access to phone and internet records of people they want to put under surveillance, as well as the ability to reconstruct their movements through the information stored in the databases.
Why is a former Monsanto lobbyist currently serving as the FDA's food safety czar waging war on small dairy farms that produce fresh milk? While factory farm operators are getting away with serious food safety violations, raw milk dairy farmers and distributors across the country have been subjected to armed raids and hauled away in handcuffs. The Food and Drug Administration is running sting operations followed by "guns-drawn raids usually reserved for terrorists and drug lords" as part of a crackdown on unpasteurized milk. 1 Meanwhile, the FDA is letting the highly consolidated industrial meat and factory farm industry off the hook despite growing problems. Not surprisingly, the person responsible for prioritizing armed raids on small dairies over holding agribusiness accountable is a former Monsanto attorney and chief super lobbyist.
As technology continues to advance at an exponential rate, will we someday find ourselves living in a "scientific dictatorship" where virtually everything that we do, say and think is monitored and controlled by technology? To many of you that may sound like a wild assertion, but just keep reading. Our world is changing faster than ever before, and scientists have some absolutely wild things planned for our future. As you read this, they are feverishly developing edible microchips, cutting edge biometric identity systems, and mind reading computers.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16367042?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Computer hackers plan to take the internet beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit. The scheme was outlined at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The project's organisers said the Hackerspace Global Grid will also involve developing a grid of ground stations to track and communicate with the satellites.
Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD.
Freedom in Canada
Messages from Annonymous
I favour civil disobedience if it’s done responsibly and for good reasons. Civil disobedience was practiced by Jesus; more recently Henry David Thoreau, the 19th Century American philosopher, is seen as father of the modern art of flouting authority.
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Michael Ratner: Obama administration has reversed very little of Bush policy - September 14, 2011
David Swanson: Occupation of Freedom Plaza in DC modeled after Tahrir Square and Mass European Protests - August 28, 2011
The Arab spring of 2011 has already changed the region and the world. Ordinary people have lost their fear and shattered the perception that their rulers are invincible. Whatever happens next, the changes across the region in the first few months of 2011 will prove historic. Bottom: January 25, 2011: An anti-government protester defaces a picture of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in Alexandria, 140 miles north of Cairo. In Tunisia, the now famous “jasmine revolution” began with protests in December, triggered by the self-immolation of a 26-year-old vegetable seller, Mohammed Bouazizi. Bouazizi, remembered by his younger sister Basma as “funny and generous,” could finally take no more of the official harassment and humiliation meted out to him.
By Alec Meer on June 27th, 2011 at 4:11 pm.
Censorship, Free Speech and Digital Freedom
by JAMES CHAPMAN, Daily Mail Fear: health risks of added fluoride are not clear
Gerald Celente: Cyprus, The Canary in The Mine
What kind of place is America in 2011? Sadly, it is one giant sea of conformity.