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October 02 2014

surveyork
18:07

the U.S. Department of Commerce dumped another set of documents as a result of our request. One particular email from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) — highlighted earlier this morning in Der Spiegel — caught our attention. It reveals how the Home Affairs department of the European Commission (DG Home) has been working alongside the U.S. administration during the early stages of the privacy reform effort.

The email is between staff working at the NTIA of the Department of Commerce. The email makes reference to the drafting of one of the lobby documents the Obama administration produced to influence the outcome of the data protection reform package (read EDRi’s analysis on the paper here). This is one of the many documents which likely contributed to a diluting of the Data Protection Regulation even before the proposal had been made public.

The email indicates that Commissioner Malmström and/or her cabinet had been sharing information with the U.S. Mission in the E.U., including appropriate times to publish the lobby document, information about internal politics within the Commission, and concerns about how the proposal for a Data Protection Directive could conflict with E.U. and U.S. Law Enforcement interests. In short, DG Home has been actively working to undermine a crucial reform for E.U. citizens’ fundamental rights to privacy and data protection.

For many who have been following the E.U. privacy reform debate closely, this trans-Atlantic cooperation was an open secret. However, until now, it has not been possible to demonstrate DG Home’s maneuvers. Beyond the implications for the Data Protection Reform, the contents of the acquired document give cause for concern about Ms. Malmström’s suitability for leading EU negotiations with the USA on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), given that she has recently been chosen E.U. Commissioner-designate for Trade.

September 19 2014

surveyork
21:01

Here is Buzbee’s list of eight ways the Obama administration is making it hard for journalists to find information and cover the news:

1) As the United States ramps up its fight against Islamic militants, the public can’t see any of it. News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off — there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the S. bombers fly from.

2) The White House once fought to get cameramen, photographers and reporters into meetings the president had with foreign leaders overseas. That access has become much rarer. Think about the message that sends other nations about how the world’s leading democracy deals with the media:  Keep them out and let them use handout photos.

3) Guantanamo: The big important 9/11 trial is finally coming up. But we aren’t allowed to see most court filings in real time — even of nonclassified material. So at hearings, we can’t follow what’s happening. We don’t know what prosecutors are asking for, or what defense attorneys are arguing.

4) Information about Guantanamo that was routinely released under President George W. Bush is now kept secret. The military won’t release the number of prisoners on hunger strike or the number of assaults on guards. Photo and video coverage is virtually nonexistent.

5) Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.

6) One of the media — and public’s — most important legal tools, the Freedom of Information Act, is under siege. Requests for information under FOIA have become slow and expensive. Many federal agencies simply don’t respond at all in a timely manner, forcing news organizations to sue each time to force action.

7) The administration uses FOIAs as a tip service to uncover what news organizations are pursuing. Requests are now routinely forwarded to political appointees. At the agency that oversees the new health care law, for example, political appointees now handle the FOIA requests.

8) The administration is trying to control the information that state and local officials can give out. The FBI has directed local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology the police departments use to sweep up cellphone data. In some cases, federal officials have formally intervened in state open records cases, arguing for secrecy.

September 15 2014

surveyork
08:56
AUCKLAND, New Zealand—The New Zealand spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), worked in 2012 and 2013 to implement a mass metadata surveillance system even as top government officials publicly insisted no such program was being planned and would not be legally permitted.

August 23 2014

surveyork
23:18

July 15 2014

surveyork
13:02
surveyork
12:45

March 14 2013

surveyork
23:05

But Cardinal Bergoglio is also a conventional choice, a theological conservative of Italian ancestry who vigorously backs Vatican positions on abortion, gay marriage, the ordination of women and other major issues — leading to heated clashes with Argentina’s left-leaning president.

He was less energetic, however, when it came to standing up to Argentina’s military dictatorship during the 1970s as the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left that became known as the Dirty War. He has been accused of knowing about abuses and failing to do enough to stop them, during a period when as many as 30,000 people were abducted, tortured or killed by the dictatorship.

January 11 2013

surveyork
11:55
Inna Shevchenko, a 22 year-old leader of the Ukrainian organization, survived 24-hours of torture by the KGB, in Belarus. On December 19, 2011, KGB agents kidnapped Shevchenko and two other Femen members in Minsk, for protesting the country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, known as “Europe’s Last Dictator.” The six agents drove the women blindfolded into a snow-covered forest, stripped them naked, doused them in oil, and threatened to burn them alive if they didn’t complete humiliating drills. The agents chopped off the women’s hair with knives, threatened rape, and videotaped them, presumably for Lukashenko. One agent allegedly said for the camera, "Look at those bitches that were traveling all over the world, protesting, look at them now.”

August 11 2012

surveyork
04:31
A number of journalists who have presumed to question the administration's austerity policy have been purged from the national RTVE radio and TV channel. And this weekend the most high-profile exit in recent months – that of Ana Pastor, the presenter of Los Desayunos de TVE, a popular breakfast news magazine programme – was announced.

July 28 2012

surveyork
02:53
ARGENTINA’S FORMER military dictator said he kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy.

July 14 2012

surveyork
13:06
On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

July 13 2012

surveyork
10:17

May 29 2012

surveyork
09:48
A senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards has admitted that Iranian forces are operating in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Syrian army being aided by Iranian forces | World news | guardian.co.uk
surveyork
03:33

They took us inside and told us to gather in the corner of the room. A man started shooting in the air so we all hid behind my mother. We were about 15 people.

Then they opened fire. After they shot us they started to step on us, and one of the men asked the other to check whether we were all dead. Then they went outside and started shooting in the air.

We were eight siblings, including myself, and my sister-in-law and her son - she was also six months pregnant. With us as well were my father, my uncle's wife and her daughter, as well as our neighbour and her three kids.

My aunt and her two daughters - one of them was only injured and she's here with me - she is one month old, the other one died. We were all in the house.

I survived with my mother and the one-month-old girl and my sister. They shot at us but we survived.

What's going to happen to us?

surveyork
03:05
In a massacre of unprecedented savagery that brings Syria close to civil war, some 32 children and 60 adults have been slaughtered in villages in the Houla area of central Syria. Anti-government militants blame pro-regime gunmen for carrying out the butchery in which children and their parents were hacked and shot to death.
Exclusive dispatch: Assad blamed for massacre of the innocents - Middle East - World - The Independent

May 05 2012

surveyork
09:35
Syrian forces are executing scores of suspected opposition sympathisers in the northern city of Idlib, often burning their bodies in piles or torching them in their homes then sending family members to find them, witnesses say.
Reposted byblackmatter blackmatter

April 13 2011

surveyork
06:29
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