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To Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

To Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011
The United States is pleased to announce that it will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from May 1 - May 3 in Washington, D.C. UNESCO is the only UN agency with the mandate to promote freedom of expression and its corollary, freedom of the press. The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. Highlighting the many events surrounding the celebration will be the awarding of the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at the National Press Club on May 3rd. The Newseum will host the first two days of events, which will engage a broad array of media professionals, students, and citizen reporters on themes that address the status of new media and internet freedom, and challenges and opportunities faced by media in our rapidly changing world.

Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett: Assange Beseiged The plot thickens as our favorite hero of the Matrix; our own “Captain Neo” Julian Assange, faces danger yet again. When we last parted company with the legendary founder of WikiLeaks, he was breathing a sigh of relief after dodging spurious double-rape charges. The complaints were dropped, and our hero was free to roam the globe once again. But soap opera plots are repetitive; the story was quickly recycled and now our brave captain is again under threat of being castrated on Stockholm’s Stora Torget, or whatever the latest craven penalty is for molesting sacred Nordic virgins in a land where Vikings once ruled. In other words, the farcical rape charges have once again been leveled against the Pentagon’s Public Enemy Number One. The Swedes have a practical reason behind their deceptively slapstick police-work. The bullet can always come later, once the victim has been successfully isolated by the smear campaign. For a smear that really sticks, you need to get it from an ex-apostle.

The irony... Note: The deadline for this Request for Proposals has passed. Department of State Public Notice Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Request for Proposals: Democracy, Human Rights, and Rule of Law in the Near East Region. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces a Request for Proposals from organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that promote democracy, human rights, and rule of law in the Near East region. PLEASE NOTE: DRL strongly urges applicants to access immediately www.grants.gov in order to obtain a username and password. DRL invites organizations to submit proposals outlining program concepts and capacity to manage projects targeting the following issues: Empowerment and Protection of Persons with Disabilities in the Near East. Please refer directly to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI), updated in November 2012, available at

Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Facebook Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism “One formula [...] can be that of the mob: gullible, fickle, herdlike, low in taste and habit. [...] If [...] our purpsoe is manipulation – the persuasion of a large number of people to act, feel, think, known in certain ways – the convenient formula will be that of the masses”. — Raymond Williams “What is true of London, is true of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, is true of all great towns. Everywhere barbarous indifference, hard egotism on one hand, and nameless misery on the other, everywhere social warfare, every man’s house in a state of siege, everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and all so shameless, so openly avowed that one shrinks before the consequences of our social state as they manifest themselves here undisguised, and can only wonder that the whole crazy fabric still hangs together”.

Pirate Parties mirror Wikileaks to support whistleblowing worldwide Pirate Party spokespeople are always ready to give a lively, informed, and often provocative view on the issues of the day. Whether it's tech politics, civil liberties, the EU, local issues or anything else we'll have something to say. For interview requests, specific statements or quotes, or to automatically receive press releases email the Press Office at press@pirateparty.org.uk or call us on 0161 987 7880. You can find more contact details on our contact page if you would like to get in touch with a specific person or team. If you would like further information about a specific person you can find biographies and images on their profile page by searching our staff and volunteer list and you can access some of the many appearances online, in print, on TV and radio on our press archive.

the sequel As Prepared for Delivery Good morning. I am delighted to be here to speak with you and through C-SPAN to the viewing audience around the United States. The daily briefings I do are on C-SPAN every day and feature snappy repartee with reporters who are a professional and talented group, who have been covering foreign policy in some cases longer than I have been in and around government. And this is my 34th year in some facet of national security policy. I came to appreciate the difference between the State Department Press Corps and journalists who cover other agencies or branches of the government. “Really,” the dean of the State Department Press Corps thundered. What I do every day is to enunciate the United States Government view on world affairs. Today we use a variety of media to communicate to governments and people around the world – formal briefings that are covered by traditional media, as well as social media to bypass governments and communicate directly with people.

Maybe you’re better off not holding hands and singing We Shall Overcome By Francesca Polletta Jennifer Earl and Katrina Kimport wade into the debate over the role of the Internet in contemporary social movements with a provocative claim: the Internet is ushering in a new repertoire of protest. In this repertoire, mobilizations are sporadic rather than deep-rooted and enduring. What makes this picture so compelling is not only that it is grounded in extensive and meticulous data on activists’ use of new digital media, but also that it builds on three decades of social movement theory and research. Earl and Kimport’s data is from 2006, and, as they point out, predates the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. How about the two most recent movements to occupy the international center stage—the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements? On the other hand, new digital media have been vital to both movements. So a collective identify forged online may be mobilizing precisely insofar is it is virtual, and therefore partial and even ambiguous. [ii] Lea, M. 2007.

Amazon Defends Position on WikiLeaks e-Book | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD UPDATE: Amazon UK is no longer selling the WikiLeaks book; a note on the site says the self-published title “has been removed by author.” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener says he doesn’t know why author Heinz Duthel pulled the book, and says Amazon has had no contact with him. UPDATE 2: And now it appears to be back. Here’s an interview with Duthel explaining why he pulled the book, and why he asked Amazon to start selling it again. ————————- EARLIER: Last week Amazon pulled the plug on WikiLeaks by refusing to host the group’s data on its server. But Amazon is now profiting from some of that data, via a Kindle e-book title now available through its U.K. outlet. Hypocrisy! Not at all! When reports about the book first surfaced today, the title on Amazon’s site sure made it look as if the e-book were simply a bundled version of WikiLeaks’ documents: “WikiLeaks documents expose US foreign policy conspiracies. So let me try to make Amazon’s case for them. You’re welcome, Amazon!

WL & Internet Freedom Here's a list of essential posts on current Wikileaks controversy, starting with coverage by techPresident's editors and including posts by the various speakers in Personal Democracy Forum's December 11 New York City symposium on Wikileaks and internet freedom, plus others we've found useful and/or provocative. Micah L. Sifry, "From Wikileaks to OpenLeaks, Via the Knight News Challenge," December 17, 2010. How a $532,000 grant the Knight Foundation decided not to award fits into a creative split in the WikiLeaks organization and the creation of a less centralized engine for safe leaking, OpenLeaks. Nick Judd, "The Art of Anonymous," December 16, 2010. Nancy Scola, "The Web's Social Contract: Does It Exist? Micah L Sifry, "After Wikileaks: The Promise of Internet Freedom, For Real," December 5, 2010. Nick Judd, "Wikileaks Has More Google Juice Than Justin Bieber, But what Will Searchers See?" Micah L. Jeff Jarvis, "Wikileaks: Power Shifts From Secrecy to Transparency," December 4, 2010.

U.S.-Funded Internet Liberation Project Finds Perfect Test Site: Occupy D.C. | Threat Level Occupy D.C. protesters preparing to livestream a solidarity march. Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Wired.com When Sascha Meinrath saw the Occupy encampment in D.C., he saw something few others would — a testbed for technology. Meinrath has been chasing a dream for more than a decade, ever since he was a liberal arts grad student in Urbana, Illinois: community wireless networks. From that small beginning, Meinrath now runs a State Department-funded initiative to create an Internet in a Suitcase — the Voice of America of the digital age. If he has his way, Meinrath’s project will lead to low-cost, easy-to-use wireless connections around the globe, all lashed together in mesh that can withstand the whims of dictators willing to pull the plug on the internet to quash dissent. “This started due to massive naiveté,” said Meinrath, whose official title is Director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative.

Julian Assange's lawyers say they are being watched | Media Lawyers representing the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, say that they have been surveilled by members of the security services and have accused the US state department of behaving "inappropriately" by failing to respect attorney-client protocol. Jennifer Robinson and Mark Stephens of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent told the Guardian they had been watched by people parked outside their houses for the past week. "I've noticed people consistently sitting outside my house in the same cars with newspapers," said Robinson. "I probably noticed certain things a week ago, but mostly it's been the last three or four days." Stephens said he, too, had had his home watched. Asked who he thought was monitoring him, he said: "The security services." Robinson said the legal team was also experiencing "other forms of pressure" from Washington. The letter, which was released to the press, begins: "Dear Ms Robinson and Mr Assange. He added: "It does seem to be a political stunt."

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