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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

22 April - Blogs I'm Following II

Crow's SunsetImage by brsun via Flickr
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 30:  Protesters ...LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 30: Protesters demonstrate with puppets of (L-R) Prime Minister David Cameron, News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch and Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt, outside the Department for Culture Media and Sport on June 30, 2011 in London, England. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come under fire from opposition ministers as he prepares to give merger clearance to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for a full takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Al-Masjid al-ḤarāmAl-Masjid al-Ḥarām (Photo credit: Najwa Marafie - Free Photographer)
Massive bin Laden bullshit

The destruction of poppy fields in Afghanistan


Attacks on RT and Assange reveal much about the critics
Let’s examine the unstated premises at work here. There is apparently a rule that says it’s perfectly OK for a journalist to work for a media outlet owned and controlled by a weapons manufacturer (GE/NBC/MSNBC), or by the U.S. and British governments (BBC/Stars & Stripes/Voice of America), or by Rupert Murdoch and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal (Wall St. Journal/Fox News), or by a banking corporation with long-standing ties to right-wing governments (Politico), or by for-profit corporations whose profits depend upon staying in the good graces of the U.S. government (Kaplan/The Washington Post), or by loyalists to one of the two major political parties (National Review/TPM/countless others), but it’s an intrinsic violation of journalistic integrity to work for a media outlet owned by the Russian government. Where did that rule come from?
When it comes to destruction brought about by uncritical media fealty to government propaganda, RT — as the Russia expert Mark Adomanis documented when American media figures began attacking RT  – is far behind virtually all of the corporate employers of its American media critics.

FBI seizes server from progressive internet service provider
The FBI has told us they are investigating bomb threats targeting the facilities and people at the University of Pittsburgh. They appear to believe that one of the servers used to transmit these threats was an anonymous e-mail server operated by ECN. Anonymous remailers have no logs or traces of who used them, so the FBI will not get any useful information from the stolen machine.

Seizing this machine serves no useful purpose in tracking down or stopping the bomb threats, but it has many serious negative implications. Anonymous e-mail is an important part of the Internet. One of the benefits of Internet technology is the ability to communicate world-wide, and this communication is fundamental to the struggles of the world's people to address many of the world's ills. In a period in which our society has seen massive losses of privacy in which just about everything we do on-line can be tracked, logged, studied and used for all kinds of purposes, anonymous Internet-based communication tools provide shade from the intrusive searchlights of ubiquitous surveillance.

Insiders who reveal government and military malfeasance, corporate whistleblowers, critics within institutions, organizers who fear police repression, and others involved in liberatory struggle can and do use anonymous e-mail. Anonymous e-mail is one of the critical tools of the democracy movement unfolding worldwide, including the Middle East. Without anonymous communications, such movements would have had even greater difficulty organizing and would face greater risks and repression. Without anonymous communications, our already-constrained knowledge of what government and corporations actually do in our name and against our interests would be even more limited. Without anonymous communications, the Internet becomes little more than a caricature of its potential as a tool for building a just global society.

When authorities forcibly remove a computer from an anonymous communications network, they weaken that network and set a precedent for attack on anonymity in general. If we lose anonymous e-mail, we effectively lose the Internet as a tool for organizing and change.

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