Posts tagged censorship
Posts tagged censorship
A Johns Hopkins computer science professor blogs on the NSA and is asked to take it down. I fear for academic freedom.
A professor in the computer science department at Johns Hopkins, a leading American university, had written a post on his blog, hosted on the university’s servers, focused on his area of expertise, which is cryptography. The post was highly critical of the government, specifically the National Security Agency, whose reckless behavior in attacking online security astonished him.
Professor Matthew Green wrote on 5 September:
I was totally unprepared for today’s bombshell revelations describing the NSA’s efforts to defeat encryption. Not only does the worst possible hypothetical I discussed appear to be true, but it’s true on a scale I couldn’t even imagine.
The post was widely circulated online because it is about the sense of betrayal within a community of technical people who had often collaborated with the government. (I linked to it myself.)
On Monday, he gets a note from the acting dean of the engineering school asking him to take the post down and stop using the NSA logo as clip art in his posts. The email also informs him that if he resists he will need a lawyer. The professor runs two versions of the same site: one hosted on the university’s servers, one on Google’s blogger.com service. He tells the dean that he will take down the site mirrored on the university’s system but not the one on blogger.com. He also removes the NSA logo from the post. Then, he takes to Twitter.
I received a request from my Dean this morning asking me to remove all copies of my NSA blog post from University servers.
— Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) September 9, 2013
The professor says he was told that someone at the Applied Physics Laboratory, a research institute with longstanding ties to the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency, determined that his blog post was hosting or linking to classified material, and sounded the alarm, which led to the takedown request from the dean. He says he thought Johns Hopkins University, his employer, had come down ”on the wrong side of common sense and academic freedom”, particularly since the only classified material he had linked to was from news reports in the Guardian, the New York Times and ProPublica.org – information available to the public.
Word gets around, and by late afternoon, the press starts asking questions. Now, Johns Hopkins is worried about how it looks in the media. The univeresity bureaucracy scrambles the jets and comes up with a statement:
The university received information this morning that Matthew Green’s blog contained a link or links to classified material and also used the NSA logo. For that reason, we asked professor Green to remove the Johns Hopkins-hosted mirror site for his blog Upon further review, we note that the NSA logo has been removed and that he appears to link to material that has been published in the news media. Interim Dean Andrew Douglas has informed professor Green that the mirror site may be restored.
So the university backs down, leaving many unanswered questions. Possibly, they will be addressed today. Here are some on my list:
Who was it in the Applied Physics Laboratory, with its close ties to theNSA, that raised the alarm about what a (very effective) critic of the NSA was writing … and why?
Did that person hear first from the government and then contact the Johns Hopkins officials?
Why would an academic dean cave under pressure and send the takedown request without careful review, which would have easily discovered, for example, that the classified documents to which the blog post linked were widely available in the public domain?
Why is Johns Hopkins simultaneously saying that the event was internal to the university (that the request didn’t come from the government) andthat it doesn’t know how the whole thing began? The dean of the engineering school doesn’t know who contacted him about a professor’s blog post? Really? The press office doesn’t know how to get in touch with the dean? Seems unlikely. Johns Hopkins spokesman Dennis O’Shea told me this morning that university officials “were still trying to trace” the events back to their source. Clearly, there’s a lot more to the story.
Matthew Green said the original request to take down his post could have referred to his Blogger.com site and the site hosted on Johns Hopkins servers. Since a request to unpublish your thoughts is one of the most extreme and threatening that any university can make of a faculty member, what kind of deliberation went into it? That Johns Hopkins backtracked so quickly after the press started asking questions suggests that the reasoning was pretty thin. But the request was momentous. These things don’t fit together. What gives?
Dennis O’Shea told me the original concern was that Matthew Green’s post might be “illegally linking to classified information”. I asked him what law he was referring to. “I’m not saying that there was a great deal of legal analysis done,” he replied. Obviously. But again: given the severity of the remedy – unpublishing an expert’s post critical of the NSA – careful legal analysis was called for. Why was it missing?
In commenting critically on a subject he is expert in, and taking an independent stance that asks hard questions and puts the responsibility where it belongs, Matthew Green is doing exactly what a university faculty member is supposed to be doing. By putting his thoughts in a blog post that anyone can read and link to, he is contributing to a vital public debate, which is exactly what universities need to be doing more often. Instead of trying to get Matthew Green’s blog off their servers, the deans should be trying to get more faculty into blogging and into the public arena. Who at Johns Hopkins is speaking up for these priorities? And why isn’t the Johns Hopkins faculty roaring about this issue? (I teach at New York University, and I’m furious.)
Notice: Matthew Green didn’t get any takedown request from Google. Only from Johns Hopkins. Think about what that means for the school. He’s “their” professor, yet his work is safer on the servers of a private company than his own university. The institution failed in the clutch. That it rectified it later in the day is welcome news, but I won’t be cheering until we have answers that befit a great institution like Johns Hopkins, where graduate education was founded on these shores.
And another thing: America’s system of research universities is the best in the world. No one argues with that. It’s one of biggest advantages this nation has. If it becomes captive to government and handmaiden to the surveillance state, that would be an economic and cultural crime of monstrous proportions. What happened to Matthew Green’s blog post yesterday is no small matter.
Restricted web access to The Guardian Website is Armywide, officials say.
The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday’s Herald, but Armywide.
Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency.
Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering “some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks.”
He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information.
"Network Hygiene" _ Word choice coined by Wayne Gacy and Peter King.
Why? Cause’ Washington Dictators Do Not Want You Useless fucking robots in the military to Be a Part of America.
Aaron Swartz was an internet leader and free-speech advocate. He helped organize the worldwide movement to keep the internet free from censorship and corporate control. After Aaron downloaded a large number of scholarly articles from the JSTOR website without JSTOR’s permission, he was indicted for violating JSTOR’s terms of service. Facing long years in prison, Aaron committed suicide last month, at the age of 26. At a recent memorial service for Aaron in Washington, DC, Congressman Alan Grayson was invited to speak.
"And when no hope was left in sight,
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.”
Aaron Swartz Worked Very Hard to Make Life Better for All of Us
In the hours after the standoff, however, the police cover-up remained unchallenged thanks largely to local media complicity.
once the Cybersecurity Act passes the Senate, it will have to be merged with CISPA during conference committee negotiations. There is a real danger that in order to placate extremists in the House, the conference committee will strip out all of the provisions in the Cybersecurity Act which have strengthened privacy protections.
Click Here to Send an email to your senators, telling them to vote “no” on the Cybersecurity Act. The vote is the week of July 30.
The Reykjavík District Court has ruled that Valitor, formerly known as VISA Iceland, violated contract laws by blocking credit card donations to Wikileaks, according to a press release posted on the whistleblowers’ Twitter account.
The court also ordered that the donation gateway should be reopened within 14 days otherwise Valitor will be forced to pay a fine of $6,200 daily. Valitor CEO Vidar Thorkellsson told Bloomberg, however, that the company would appeal the ruling. He declined to comment further.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said “This is a significant victory against Washington’s attempt to silence WikiLeaks. We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong. When it’s done outside of the rule of law its doubly wrong. One by one those involved in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
The blockade stripped away over 95% of donations from supporters of WikiLeaks, costing the organization in excess of $20 million.
In June, Datacell, the Iceland-based company that processed donations for WikiLeaks, filed a case against Valitor, the company behind VISA and MasterCard, for “unlawfully suspending financial services”.
America behaves like Nazi Germany: Fascist Oppressive State Bully
The MPAA, Motion picture rating association of America, is a celebration of a fraud and greed and sexual dysfunction while horribly infecting our choices for video watching. The MPAA is a conglomeration of baseless deranged perverts with assholes and opinions. If there ever was a more faux organization pandering their own perverted tastes, established so well and so long in America as an empty American icon, then the MPAA is it.
Take for example the Movie, “Boys Don’t Cry”. In “Boys Don’t Cry”, there is a tender lesbian love scene, not porno. The MPAA told the director that the love scene merited an X rating; an X rating means no stores would sell the movie. This is a lesbian scene where two women relate in sexual way very lovingly, almost no skin and definitely no hydraulics; the scene is not porno, it is personal. According to the MPAA, the scene was so "bad" that, according to the "normal" (sexually dysfunctional) folks "judging" (condemning) this "film" (behavior) no children should see the film…. In other words the sexually dysfunctional who feel uncomfortable with women touching other women got the idea to say it is bad for…uh, yea, children).
There is another scene in “Boys Don’t Cry”: a woman is raped, sodomized, beaten and then basically executed by having her brains blown all over a wall - a very, very visual and a very horrible way to be treated. The woman killed is one of the lesbians. This scene was acceptable to the MPAA - no X rating required for the slaughter of women. That is OK by the MPAA perverts.
This MPAA rating association, by condemning consensual tender, gentle non pornographic adult lesbian love, while promoting the torture and rape and execution of a woman is a celebration of the hatred of women. That this shitty, shallow greed based organization has existed as long as it has pandering it’s soulless, spiritless, misogynistic, inhumane bosh is a condemnation of America’s treatment of women. Why do we in America believe women have it so much better here than elsewhere? They don’t. To say it is better in America than it is in hell isn’t saying much.
Chris Dodd, a former corrupt Republican Senator, now heads the MPAA. I wonder if Chris Dodd’s rape and murder would merit am X rating? I doubt his rape and murder would merit a criminal charge. Rather, I feel a community service award would be in order for sending such a insidious sham as the MPAA out on such a high note as executing its head. The MPAA deserves to go, like the plague.
Can you believe this? After the largest online protest in history, the Obama administration is still voicing support for SOPA. Just the other day, the administration sent a letter to Congress to demonstrate their support for new internet censorship legislation. Victoria Espinel, Obama’s so-called “copyright czar” just said: “We still need legislation for blocking foreign websites.” You can read the full statement here.
Obama is one of the 1% elitist who see no point in involving the people in running America. Everything he might have done is eclipsed by his support of these Internet censorship bills and treaties. Obama could not be a bigger fail as President. It is as if George Bush has been given a third term.
Rush Limbaugh is hateful crank, ranting like a wino on a corner, enabled and nurtured for years by a cancerous corporate media intent on dumbing down and dividing the people. Limbaugh is born of and is merely a footnote of our dysfunctional dumbing down media.
Obama signed ACTA, a treaty that will stifle the Internet and create more Rush Limbaughs, limit free speech, the exchange of ideas and censor more new and creative voices allowing change and progress in our country.
Please don’t be fooled. One phone call to a stalwart, intelligent young woman, Ms Fluke was a political opportunity handed to Obama by the conservatives, but in no way does it make Obama a hero. Obama is behind stifling the Freenet and Obama’s efforts in restricting the Internet will make your political battles and struggles for human rights much harder to win. Obama is in office in part to the free discourse offered by an uncensored Freenet, but Obama can have only one more term. Obama, as concerns his own Presidential aspirations can lose the Freenet like a bartering chip in a political deal; Obama does not need a protected Freenet to be elected after 2012. But can we survive without the Freenet and does Mr Obama care? Obama signed ACTA; Obama helped draw it up in secret; I would say Obama cares very little about people being able to effectively participate in their country’s affairs.
Unlike G. Bush, Obama is no dimwit and that unfortunately in some regards could make him more dangerous to the destruction of “For The People, By The People And To The People”.
Limbaugh is one of many voices, Obama will destroy all voices, we need to get our priorities straight as to who the real villains in America are.
WikiLeaks has again published a massive trove of documents, this time from a private intelligence firm known as Stratfor. In addition to painting a picture of Stratfor as a runaway, rogue private intelligence firm with close ties to government-intelligence agencies serving both corporate and U.S. military clients, the emails support the growing awareness that the Obama administration, far from diverging from the secrecy of the Bush/Cheney era, is obsessed with secrecy, and is aggressively opposed to transparency.
Already revealed by the documents are the close, and potentially illegal, connections between Stratfor employees and government-intelligence and law-enforcement officials. Stratfor also is hired by multinational corporations to glean “intelligence” about critics. Among companies using Stratfor were Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Coca-Cola.
Michael Ratner, legal adviser to Assange and WikiLeaks, told me, “The Obama administration has gone after six people under the Espionage Act. That’s more cases than happened since the Espionage Act was actually begun in 1917. … What this is about is the United States wanting to suppress the truth.”
The Obama administration is seeking authority from Congress that would compel internet service providers (ISPs) to turn over records of an individual’s internet activity for use in secretive FBI probes.
The threat to democratic rights goes far beyond anything envisioned by the Bush administration. The goal is to make all forms of electronic communication that use the Internet subject to wiretapping and interception by federal police agencies.
In another instance where Americans are urged to trust their political minders, The Washington Post reported last month that “the administration wants to add just four words—‘electronic communication transactional records’—to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval.”
“This report concludes that ACTA’s harm greatly exceeds its potential benefits. Given ACTA’s corrosive effect on transparency in international negotiations, the damage to international intellectual property institutions, the exclusion of the majority of the developing world from the ambit of the agreement, the potentially dangerous substantive provisions, and the uncertain benefits in countering counterfeiting, there are ample reasons for the public and politicians to reject the agreement in its current form. In doing so, governments would help restore confidence in the global intellectual property system and open the door to a new round of negotiations premised on transparency, inclusion, and evidence-based policy-making.”
- The POTUS personally calls the young lady being picked on by a deranged troll, how sweet. Obama is one big fail in progress, destroying the Internet, using private intelligence gathering (not responsive to FOIAs) and wearing out the espionage act. There is evidence that Obama is one more sick fuck, just like Limbaugh. We do not need people like Limbaugh policed or sanctioned. Simply choose to listen to someone else, at least as long as some ass wipe like Obama does not take the multitude of voices away. Like FUCK! Which is worse? An idiot talking crap or no transparency in government, no government whistleblowers and no freedom of speech on the Internet. By comparison Limbaugh is an old crank and Obama is consummate evil!
Before the American people were protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, the president managed to sign an international treaty which would permit foreign companies to demand that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) remove web content in the United States without any legal oversight.
The White House has done some maneuvering — characterizing the treaty as an “executive agreement” — thereby bypassing approval by members of Congress.
ACTA negotiations did not include civil society groups or developing countries, noting also that “reports suggest that trade negotiators have been required to sign non-disclosure agreements for fear of word of the treaty’s provisions leaking to the public.”
As noted on Wikipedia, opponents of ACTA also assert that it will impinge upon freedom of expression and communication privacy. A large number of the World Trade Organization’s 157 members have voiced concerns that the treaty would have a negative impact on trade. Others have pointed out that ACTA does not include provisions for legal safeguards protecting ISPs from liability for the actions of their subscribers. Without such provisions, ISPs will be forced to invade the privacy of their subscribers in order to protect themselves.
Aaron Shaw, research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, stressed that “ACTA would create unduly harsh legal standards that do not reflect contemporary principles of democratic government, free market exchange, or civil liberties.”
The technology news and information website ArsTechnica.com argues that ACTA encourages ISPs to collect and provide information about suspects by providing for those ISPs “safe harbor from certain legal threats.”
Kader Arif, European rapporteur for ACTA, resigned his position on January 26 in opposition to ACTA, declaring, “I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.”
Obama: Lord of the RIAA Copyright Trolls
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, will require IP servers and websites to monitor individual users and prosecute them if suspected of copyright infringements. A major force behind the treaty is the Motion Picture Association of America, and guess what? The United States has already signed it.
We covered the SOPA/PIPA blackout last week pretty thoroughly here at Care2. At first glance, the protest against draconian IP-copyright measures was successful. Led by Wikipedia and joined by a massive number of other creators and website owners, both large and small, the outcry was large enough to cause SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) to be shelved, and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) quickly followed.
But that’s just the United States. While the US Congress- and Senate-initiated proposals have been (temporarily) stopped, an international treaty which has the potential to be just as damaging to Internet privacy and free speech has gone comparatively unnoticed.
For whatever reason, ACTA just hasn’t received the same attention as these other bills. Now with the US already on board for months, Poland having signed just this past week (despite widespread protests across the country), and the European Union signing today, it’s starting to look like a runaway freight train.
The debate over SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) has pitted Hollywood executives and the Republican-supported Chamber of Commerce against, well, basically everyone who enjoys the free and open internet, with critics saying that the legislation could lead to widespread internet censorship.
Among those critics are major websites like Facebook, Amazon, and Google, which are considering imposing an internet “blackout” in protest of the bill. The Daily Mail reports:
The battle over the SOPA bill has seen leading web firms square off against Hollywood media companies in a trade-off between internet freedom and intellectual property rights.
Now it could burst into the open as technology giants are planning to ‘censoring’ their own homepages, according to a leading internet lobby group.
Sites such as Google, Amazon and Facebook could temporarily replace their usual homepage with a black screen and a message asking users to contact politicians and urge them to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act.
The move could come as early as January 24, when the bill is due to be debated in the House of Representatives.