“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show BusinessRead more . . .
Nearly 60 countries signed a treaty that bans governments from holding people in secret detention, but the United States and some of its key European allies were not among them.Read more . . .
Facebook, Google, Twitter and other giant social media companies—working closely with intelligence agencies and governments—are seeking to leverage their role as mechanisms of communication to become instruments of censorship and repression. In the process, they are turning one of the most important and liberating technological advances of the 21st century, the growth and expansion of artificial intelligence, into a mechanism for police control and dictatorship.Read more . . .
Information we collect: your name, email address, telephone number or credit card to store with your account, when you watch a video on YouTube, visit a website that uses our advertising services, or view and interact with our ads and content. This information includes your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information including phone number. We collect your search queries, phone number, calling-party number, forwarding numbers, time and date of calls, duration of calls, SMS routing information and types of calls, Internet protocol address, device event information such as crashes, system activity, hardware settings, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and referral URL, cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your Google Account, your location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers. We may also store information on your device using mechanisms such as browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches.Read more . . .
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Center for Constitutional Rights described how the Constitution had been shredded based on assumptions about the 9/11 attacks. By then, it had also become clear that the government was actually giving aid and comfort to the enemy (violating Article 3) through arming and training terrorists. One might think it obvious that stopping such actions would be the goal of all Americans but to do so one Congress member has had to spell it out in legislation.Read more . . .
Mr Justice Nicol had originally ruled that the trial should take place entirely in private with the identity of both defendants withheld and a permanent prohibition on reporting the case.Read more . . .
Undated documents obtained by Reuters show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.Read more . . .
According to a survey by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press for this guide, federal courts and many state courts allow for “super-secret” cases, which never appear on the public docket or are hidden using pseudonyms, such as “Sealed v. Sealed” or “John Doe v. Jane Doe.” Courts that maintain these secret dockets will neither confirm nor deny the existence of such cases. As a result, these cases proceed through the court system undetected.Read more . . .
The EL’s profile became even more visible in the 1980s as investigative journalists delved deep into its clandestine activities to reveal more names of companies that were vetting the politics of potential employees. This information also showed that the EL worked with MI5 to blacklist more than 22,000 “subversive workers”, who ranged from trade unionists to individuals speaking up for work mates to anti-nuclear activists.Read more . . .
Over 40 of the UK’s largest contractors held a covert database of trade unionists who had complained about unpaid wages or safety on building sites through an organisation called The Consulting Association.Read more . . .
“Four senior judges have found that my rights have been violated unlawfully, whilst four others have disagreed. I cannot agree that the police in this country should be trusted with information about innocent people’s lawful political activities. In my view, without a new system of rules governing police surveillance, there is too much scope for the police to abuse their powers. I am therefore left with no option but to take this matter to the European Court of Human Rights for the sake of other innocent people whose lawful political activities are being monitored by the state.Read more . . .
The division of GCHQ known as JTRIG responded to the surge in hacktivism. In another document taken from the NSA by Snowden and obtained by NBC News, a JTRIG official said the unit’s mission included computer network attacks, disruption, “Active Covert Internet Operations,” and “Covert Technical Operations.” Among the methods listed in the document were jamming phones, computers and email accounts and masquerading as an enemy in a “false flag” operation. The same document said GCHQ was increasing its emphasis on using cyber tools to attack adversaries.Read more . . .
In an interview with the daily Berliner Zeitung, Kurnaz claimed that he was given medicine against his will several times a month throughout the four and a half years he spent in Guantanamo Bay. Kurnaz, who is of Turkish origin, was released in 2006 and then returned to Germany, where he had grown up.Read more . . .
The Dutch government has refused to reveal details of a secret pact between members of the Joint Investigation Team examining the downed Flight MH17. If the participants, including Ukraine, don’t want information to be released, it will be kept secret.Read more . . .
The book purports to offer evidence that Israeli agents in the garb of American citizens had for decades manipulated and deceived patriotic Americans, politicians, public officials, journalists and others, to act against the interests of America. In that sense, this book represents a danger both to ordinary Jews and to those who oppose U.S. imperialism.Read more . . .
The remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as ‘clinical waste’ by hospitals in Britain with some used in ‘waste to energy’ plantsRead more . . .
In place of the need to deepen democratic openness and accountability in EU the Council has entrenched a system of secrecy based on its discretion to decide whether and when to make documents public. The result is that the European legislature – the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament – meet in secret trilogues to decide over 80% of new laws going through the EURead more . . .
This article explicates and extends the analyses put forth by the author in his book, Prisons of Poverty, which argues that the generalized increase of carceral populations in advanced societies is due to the growing use of the penal system as an instrument for managing social insecurity and containing the social disorders created at the bottom of the class structure by neoliberal policies of economic deregulation and social-welfare retrenchment.Read more . . .
Governmental spending on products and services for homeland security should reach $141.6bn worldwide in 2009… The high priority given to homeland security has made that market one of the few recession-resistant sectors of the defence industry, some experts believe.Read more . . .
On Thursday, March 13, the U.N. Human Rights Committee reviewed U.S. compliance with a major human rights treaty, raising concerns of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment for the practice of criminalizing homeless people for performing necessary life functions such as sleeping and eating in public when they have no private alternatives.Read more . . .