Permalink British Spy Chief Calls For Crackdown On Internet Freedom

The outgoing head of the GCHQ, the NSA’s UK equivalent, has slammed proponents of a free internet as ‘dreamers’, and defended those who spy on the communications of everyday people, saying they do “an extraordinary job.” In a farewell speech at the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, Sir Iain Lobban demanded that GCHQ needs the power to “access the Internet at scale” and “dissect it with surgical precision”. He said that the internet has become home to the “worst aspects of human nature,” and that spies need to be given unfettered power to govern the internet, to weed out “plotters, proliferators and paedophiles.”

Itar-Tass: Russian speaker against tighter rules on Internet access || The speaker of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said on Wednesday she was against tighter rules on Internet access and government control over the Internet. “We are against restrictions on access to the Internet or a total control over it, against restrictions on legitimate interests and possibilities of the citizens,” Matviyenko said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Wednesday.


Permalink Turkey assassinated Press TV reporter

A political analyst has termed the suspicious death of Press TV’s correspondent in Turkey, Serena Shim, as an act of “assassination” by the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The reality is that our sister Serena was assassinated by Erdogan’s regime,” Shabir Hassan Ali, a political analyst from London, said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday night, adding, “Serena was hounded in a fashion by Turkish intelligence.” The analyst further said that she was “assassinated” because “she gave the truth about what this regime in Turkey, that has been oppressing its people, that has been oppressing the Kurdish population and that is actively working to support…this terrorist organization known as the ISIL” is doing.

PressTV: We do not believe Serena died in car accident: Family

Permalink Ukrainian-Style Democracy

Stephen Lendman It's pure fantasy. None whatever exists. US-installed coup d'etat putschists run things. Neo-Nazis have power. Ordinary Ukrainians have no say. Elections when held are farcical. Expect scheduled October 26 parliamentary ones to reflect business as usual. Excluding democratic choices. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Washington spent around $5 billion sabotaging Ukrainian democracy over the past 20 years. She lied calling it "democracy promotion…We stand with the people of Ukraine," she hyperventilated. USAID spent about $1.8 billion assuring ordinary Ukrainians had no say. Calling it "critical development assistance in support of the Ukrainian people." Nuland was caught red-handed urging regime change on tape. Her conversation with US Ukraine ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was recorded. It circulated on You Tube earlier. It remains damning. More evidence of Washington's dark side.


Permalink Watch This Chilling Neo-Nazi Torch-lit March through Kiev on Wednesday

The neo-nazi movement in Ukraine is far more mainstream than the western media realizes. After violent riots in Kiev that involved throwing smoke grenades and violence against riot police, a massive neo-Nazi march was held in honor of Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and the establishment of his Ukrainian Insurgent Army. During this torch-lit march through the streets of Kiev, extremists from Azov and Right Sector brandished neo-Nazi flags and chanted nationalist slogans. The neo-Nazi Right Sector and Azov battalion have been empowered recently by the Kiev regime; they have been formally incorporated as military units of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior. However, the Ukrainian pro-Western regime has fallen out of favor since a fragile cease fire was signed in Eastern Ukraine between government and Donbas resistance forces.Does this haunting torch-lit march remind you of something that once happened in Nuremberg?


Permalink UN report: Mass internet surveillance is ‘corrosive of online privacy’

Mass surveillance carried by intelligence agencies is “indiscriminately corrosive of online privacy” and poses a “direct and ongoing challenge” to international law, says a new report from the UN Special Rapporteur. Bulk access technology is indiscriminately corrosive of online privacy and impinges on the very essence of the right guaranteed by [the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights],” UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights Ben Emmerson wrote in a special report to the UN General Assembly, released on Wednesday. Emmerson’s report, published in the Guardian, was a response to revelations from the world’s famous whistleblower Edward Snowden on mass surveillance of users’ data by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK.


Permalink Secret US space plane lands after spending two years in orbit

A mysterious US Air Force unmanned aircraft is landing after 22 months of orbiting the Earth amid speculations that it is sent for spying or military mission. The X-37B, which looks like a small space shuttle, took off to a clandestine mission over undisclosed nations, from Cape Canaveral in Florida on December 11, 2012. It is believed that the X-37B operates like a spying satellite but with a large fuel tank for maneuvering that lets it switch orbits and escape detection from ground. The Vandenberg Air Force Base in California released a notice to aviators on the Federal Aviation Administration's website and announced that airspace around the Southern California base would remain closed from morning to afternoon on Tuesday. "Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission," Col. Keith Baits, commander of the 30th Space Wing, said in a statement last week. "I think it is primarily an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platform for testing new sensor technologies or validating new technologies," Brian Weeden, a retired US Air Force Space Command officer.

The Daily Beast: The Pentagon’s Secret Space Drone Is Finally Coming Home.


Permalink 17 arrested in St. Louis as sit-in against police brutality proclaimed ‘unlawful’

St. Louis police have arrested at least 17 people for an “unlawful assembly” as activists staged a spontaneous sit-in outside a convenience store following a mass march, part of a four-day “Ferguson October” public event to protest police brutality. Early on Sunday morning between 100 and 200 people marched on a QT (QuikTrip) convenience store at Vandeventer and Chouteau. Protesters sat down, surrounding the convenience store. They staged a brief a sit-in at around 1 am local time, which local police spokeswoman Schron Jackson has called an “unlawful assembly”.

PressTV: Videos of NYPD police brutality go viral

Permalink “Terrorist” sword seized in Australian police raids is plastic

The Fairfax press revealed last week that the inscribed Arabic sword seized during unprecedented police raids on September 18—and portrayed by the media as the weapon that would be used in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired plot to kidnap a random person and behead them in the street—was actually a plastic ornament. Moreover, it is a plastic Shiite ornament. Its inscription pays homage to the first Imam, Ali, who is considered by the Sunni Wahhabist extremists who make up ISIS as an apostate to Islam. The revelation adds to the numerous, disturbing questions about the raids on 15 homes in five Sydney suburbs, which was the largest anti-terrorism operation ever carried out in Australia and involved some 800 state police, federal police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents. Police armed with military assault rifles and supported by armoured vehicles cordoned off entire neighbourhoods. People were ordered to lie on the ground as their homes were ransacked. Fifteen people were arrested and hauled off to police stations for interrogation. Video footage and photographs of some of the detainees were published by the police on Twitter and the official police media site and then re-published by every television and print outlet. The media went into a frenzy, recounting sensational information they received from “unnamed” sources. However, it was the photo of the sword, being carried by police officers in a transparent evidence bag, which provoked some of the most lurid assertions. The Daily Mail breathlessly headlined its report: “Was this the lethal sword terror cell planned to use to behead an innocent victim on a Sydney street?”


Permalink Texas Ebola Outbreak Results in Forced Quarantine, Blood Draws Or Arrest

Christina Sarich The United States has taken action in light of the recent Ebola outbreak in Dallas, appearing to want to keep the issue isolated. The U.S. government has forced quarantine and blood draws from the family in Dallas where a member was found to have the virus. They face arrest if they don’t comply. My question is – if the government was so keen on keeping this ‘virus’ (biowarfare) in control, why didn’t they restrict travel from countries where it is running rampant? Why have they not informed hospitals of the possible dangers? Why was this man, who sought medical attention, turned loose to possibly contaminate hundreds more people before the government then decided to use militia tactics for lock down? Government-mandated medical procedures of any kind is a very slippery slope to go sliding down. If they will do this to a family in Dallas, they will do it to anyone ‘suspected’ of having Ebola.

Permalink UK police, spy agencies have automatic access to call records

Britain’s mobile phone companies have made customers’ call records available to the country’s police and spy agencies through automated systems, media reports say. A Guardian investigation revealed on Friday that phone companies EE, Vodafone, and Three delivered customer’s data to intelligence agencies and security forces at the click of a mouse and without the involvement of any phone company staff. The British law requires mobile operators to store a year of call records of all customers. Security forces and intelligence agencies can then access this data without any warrant, using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). RIPA is the same interception law that provides the authority for much of mass spying activities by Britain’s eavesdropping agency, the GCHQ. Britain’s Home Office has repeatedly claimed that its use of RIPA was “necessary and proportionate.”

The Guardian: EE, Vodafone and Three give police mobile call records at click of a mouse

Permalink Amnesty slams US execution of mentally-ill prisoners

Amnesty International has criticized the United States for permitting execution of mentally-impaired prisoners. The human rights organization issued a report on Friday saying the US actions run contrary to international laws. Amnesty said there is so much ambiguity in US law on the right of these people to avoid “cruel and unusual punishments” despite protections for the criminally insane. According to the UK-based rights group, disabilities remain unidentified during criminal processes in numerous cases. The document provided information on several mentally-disabled inmates in the US who either have been or are scheduled to be executed in 2014. Among them are prisoners for whom there is strong evidence that they are suffering mental impairment or have a long history of intellectual disabilities. So far this year, a number of 30 inmates have been executed, while 18 more will receive capital punishment. In 2013 alone, 39 people were executed in the United States. In September, a mentally-ill inmate in the US state of North Carolina, who was held in solitary confinement for 35 days, died of dehydration. Michael Anthony Kerr, who suffered from schizophrenia, died of thirst in the back of a van on March 12 while being transported from his prison to a mental hospital. The prison population of the United States is by far the largest in the world. Just under one-quarter of the world's prisoners are held in American prisons, according to a report published in May by the National Research Council.

AI: Death Penalty: Countries continue to execute people with mental and intellectual disabilities


Permalink NYPD officer renders teen unconscious for smoking cigarette - Video

A video was released Tuesday of a New York City teen who was rendered unconscious after an NYPD officer restrained him.A screenshot from the video taken of a NYPD officer restraining Marcel Hamer, and eventually knocking him out. According to New York Magazine, the family of Marcel Hamer, 17, posted a video to YouTube showing a plainclothes officer using force on the teen. Lawyers representing Hamer say the boy was suspected of smoking marijuana, but was charged for disorderly conduct, New York Magazine adds. In the video, you can hear Hamer say, "Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir," before the officer strikes the restrained teen.


Permalink “Common People Do Not Carry This Much U.S. Currency…” – This is How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens’ Money

Police confiscating Americans’ hard earned cash, as well as a wide variety of other valuables, without an arrest or conviction is a disturbing and growing practice throughput these United States. Since cops get to keep the seized funds and use the money on pretty much anything they want, the practice is becoming endemic in certain parts of the nation. The theft is often referred to simply as civil forfeiture, or civil asset forfeiture. Incredibly, under civil forfeiture laws your property is “guilty until you prove it innocent.” The extent of the problem came to my attention last summer after reading an excellent article by Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker. The article struck such a chord with me, I penned a post highlighting it and addressing the issue, titled: Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas. That article ended up being one of my most popular posts of 2013. Fast forward a year, and many mainstream publications have also jumped on the topic. Most notably, the Washington Post published an excellent article last month titled, Stop and Seize, which I strongly suggest reading if you haven’t already. Fortunately for us all, the issue has also caught the eye of the always hilarious, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight. The following clip from his show is brilliant. Not only is it hilarious, but it will hopefully educate a wider audience about this insidious practice so that it can be stopped once and for all. As one officer admitted in an affidavit justifying his confiscation of an innocent driver’s cash: “Common people do not carry this much U.S. currency.”


Permalink Doctor Calls Guantanamo Force-Feeding Video ‘Disturbing’

Attorneys for a longtime hunger-striker at Guantanamo Bay said today that refusing food is his only means of peaceful protest and asked a federal judge to stop his jailers from punishing him by being cruel in their application of force-feeding techniques. Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s court case is being carefully watched because U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ruled on Friday that videos of Dhiab’s force-feeding – which involves the repeated insertion and removal of a rubber tube up his nose – should be publicly released. But the only showing of the videos today was behind closed doors, as the Justice Department continues to wrangle over how and when to release them. In a short closed session, Sondra Crosby, a Boston University medical professor who examined Dhiab on behalf of his legal team, was shown a few minutes of footage and asked her medical opinion. Afterwards, all she would say was that the footage was “disturbing.”

Cora Currier Judge Rebukes Government, Keeps Gitmo Force-Feeding Hearing Open || A federal judge has knocked down the government’s attempt to hold a secret hearing in a case challenging the military’s practice of force-feeding Guantanamo detainees who are on hunger strike. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler called the government’s desire to close the proceedings “deeply troubling,” and chastised the Department of Justice for appearing to “deliberately” make the request “on short notice.”


Permalink Germany's Merkel under fire over NSA scandal

The German secret service provided Internet data about German citizens to the American National Secutiry Agency, a top-secret report reveals. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under increasing fire in a data sharing scandal that broke on Saturday. A report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper revealed that Germany's secret service shared Internet data about German citizens with the American National Security Agency (NSA). The report showed that, for years, Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst had monitored a key international Internet exchange point in Frankfurt, and shared the raw data about Internet users with the NSA. While the secret service intended initially to filter and to delete sensitive raw data belonging to German citizens, the German agency confirmed in its recent report that an “absolute and error-free” practice was not maintained between the years 2004 and 2008. At least 5 percent of the data belonging to German citizens had been shared with the NSA, according to the report, which was presented to the NSA inquiry committee at the Federal Parliament.


Permalink The Jewish Takeover of Canada: The Case of Arthur Topham

Lasha Darkmoon Has Canada been taken over by Jews? It would seem so, if the relentless persecution of Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham is anything to go on. || Canadian patriot and freedom fighter Arthur Topham is to be hauled before the Canadian courts next year on trumped-up charges. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Arthur is an innocent man. His trial date has now been set. He will appear in court on 26 October, 2015, and his trial will last for two weeks until 6 November. If found guilty, this man who has said and done nothing that you and I have not said or done a thousand times, will be torn from the embrace of his wife, his family and his friends and be thrown into prison. It will be a major miscarriage of justice if this should occur. The forthcoming trial of Arthur Topham is therefore much more than the trial of one man. Canadian justice will itself be on trial. If you are concerned for Arthur Topham and would like to see him treated fairly, please sign this PETITION

If Arthur is to be condemned in a Canadian court for “hate speech”, it will only be because Canada has now fallen under the dominant influence of a powerful ethnic group who have somehow managed to turn Canada into an Israelified police state.

Richard Edmondson/Nahida Izzat The Expression of Hatred for Gentiles

Permalink The NSA and Me

James Bamford The tone of the answering machine message was routine, like a reminder for a dental appointment. But there was also an undercurrent of urgency. “Please call me back,” the voice said. “It’s important.” What worried me was who was calling: a senior attorney with the Justice Department’s secretive Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. By the time I hung up the payphone at a little coffee shop in Cambridge, Mass., and wandered back to my table, strewn with yellow legal pads and dog-eared documents, I had guessed what he was after: my copy of the Justice Department’s top-secret criminal file on the National Security Agency. Only two copies of the original were ever made. Now I had to find a way to get it out of the country—fast.


Permalink Accused of Stealing a Backpack, High School Student Jailed for Nearly Three Years Without Trial

We look at the incredible story of how a 16-year-old high school sophomore from the Bronx ended up spending nearly three years locked up at the Rikers jail in New York City after he says he was falsely accused of stealing a backpack. Kalief Browder never pleaded guilty and was never convicted. Browder maintained his innocence and requested a trial, but was only offered plea deals while the trial was repeatedly delayed. Near the end of his time in jail, the judge offered to sentence him to time served if he entered a guilty plea, and warned him he could face 15 years in prison if he was convicted. But Browder still refused to accept the deal, and was only released when the case was dismissed. During this time, Browder spent nearly 800 days in solitary confinement, a juvenile imprisonment practice that the New York Department of Corrections has now banned.


Permalink Mom Suffers Brain Injury, Forgets Tax Bill, So County Is Selling Her Home And Keeping The Profit - Video

A Michigan mother says that she is devastated because Kalamazoo County is foreclosing on her home after brain bruises from a car accident caused her to miss a single tax payment two years ago. A Michigan mother says that she is devastated because Kalamazoo County is foreclosing on her home after brain bruises from a car accident caused her to miss a single tax payment two years ago. Deborah Calley told WITI that she paid cash for her dream home in 2010. She had thought that it would make raising two children easier while she was recovering from the traumatic car accident. But that dream was shattered when she was notified that the county was foreclosing on her home over a missed property tax payment. “When I paid the taxes in 2012 right there in Richland, no one said, ‘Oh, well you still owe money for 2011,'” Calley said. “So, I didn’t really have a clue. I thought I was right on time.”

Permalink Cameron vows to scrap Human Rights Act, civil liberties groups outraged

Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to scrap the Human Rights Act if the Conservatives are re-elected in Britain’s 2015 general election. The controversial proposal has stoked the ire of civil rights groups across the nation. Speaking on the final day of the Conservative Party’s four-day conference, Cameron pledged to do away with the Act and replace it with a British “bill of rights.” However, the prime minister did not explicitly confirm that a future Conservative government would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – a move that would have far-reaching repercussions for Britain’s relationship with Europe. Legal experts and civil liberties campaigners suggest the PM’s pledge to repeal the Act could radically transform Britain’s relationship with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Kate Allen, head of Amnesty International, denounced the PM’s proposal, emphasizing the Human Rights Act has historically been a bedrock of social, legal, and economic protection. “It’s disappointing to hear the PM vowing to scrap the Human Rights Act when it has done so much good. We should be defending it,” she said.

Permalink Michelle Alexander: “A System of Racial and Social Control”

Why should we care? Why should we pay attention to this? I think most Americans have no idea of the scale and scope of mass incarceration in the United States. Unless you’re directly impacted by the system, unless you have a loved one who’s behind bars, unless you’ve done time yourself, unless you have a family member who’s been branded a criminal and felon and can’t get work, can’t find housing, denied even food stamps to survive, unless the system directly touches you, it’s hard to even imagine that something of this scope and scale could even exist. But the reality is that today there are more African Americans under correctional control in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the civil war began. More black men are disenfranchised today as a result of felony disenfranchise[ment] laws. They were denied the right to vote in 1870, the year the 15th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting the laws that denied the right to vote on the basis of race.

Frontline: Solitary Nation + Prison State (Videos)
Lance Tapley The Worst of the Worst: Supermax Torture in America
Stephen Lendman Filling Prison Beds for Profit + Torture in US Prisons

Permalink A US judge declares Detroit residents have no right to water

The cruel decision by judge Steven Rhodes is an object lesson for the entire working class. Rhodes exposed the logic of the capitalist system, the ruthlessness of the corporate and financial aristocracy that oversees it and the class character of all the institutions of the state. In a ruling on Monday, the federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Detroit declared that workers, youth and retirees have no “fundamental right” to water, as he threw out a lawsuit challenging the city’s policy of shutting off tens of thousands of residents from one of the most fundamental necessities of life. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included victims of the water shutoffs, argued that irreparable harm had been inflicted on their clients and residents of Detroit. If the policy continued, they contended, it could lead to the outbreak of disease and death. Rhodes acknowledged that such harm had occurred and that “water is a necessary ingredient for sustaining life.” Nevertheless, he insisted, a finding of irreparable harm “does not suggest that there is a fundamental enforceable right to free or affordable water. There is no such right in law. Just as there is no such affordable right to other necessities of life such as shelter, food and medical care.”


Permalink Daily life in Banderastan

Today, the Parliamentarian Nestor Shufrich was beat up by thugs of the Right Sector. The cops stood by and watched. See for yourself. In Kharkov, a man was found impaled on a church fence, his body attached with electrician's tape to the fence. Medical gloves were found on the site. According to witnesses, he was killed by Right Sector activists on suspicion of being a sympathizer of Novorussia. According to official police reports, this man impaled himself and, presumably, having done that, found the time and energy to securely attach himself to the fence with tape. While the Ukraine is rapidly progressing in its "civilizational choice", the EU is keeping up its sanctions on Russia "judging that Ukraine's peace deal is not fully effective". - The Saker

Permalink 9/11 activist hands himself in over Cameron remarks - Video

In response to Cameron’s remarks equating people, who question 9/11 and 7/7 attacks in the US and UK as well as the West’s policy towards the Middle East, with Takfiri preachers who radicalize extremists, Nick Kollerstrom handed himself in. As the evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it. And we know what this world view is, the peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or the 7/7 London attacks were staged; the idea that Muslims are persecuted all over the world as a deliberate act of Western policy,” Cameron said while addressing the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 25. Explaining his actions to the Press TV correspondent in London, Kollerstrom said, “David Cameron has redefined terrorism at the UN to include people, who believe that the London bombings involve government complicity, were to some degree arranged, which I certainly do believe, and I’ve published a book on the subject and also I believe the 9/11 was an inside job. I do think Islamic nations are being selectively targeted, it’s perfectly obvious, and if the police force are going by his directive what constitutes terrorism, it seems to me that they need to arrest me.

P. Drew Cameron: “9/11 Truthers” and “Conspiracy Theorists” are Just as Dangerous as ISIL Terrorists

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