Sunday, February 01, 2015

PNN - 2/1/15 Dissent and its Flowers


RWS
Jessica Winter Producer: In the Stream on PNN
Karina Veaudry Producer: The Eclectic Progressive
Prof Wendy Lynn Lee: Professor of Philosophy & Anti-Frack Activist
Prof Mickey Huff: Professor of History and Director of Project Censor

=======================================

1. McDonald's: "There are too many black people in the store" should NEVER be an acceptable reason for workers at your stores to be fired. Ensure NO ONE ELSE who works for you is racially harassed, and pay the 10 workers in South Boston, Virginia, fired on racist grounds, back pay and damages today.

2. Henry the K was nearly arrested… again  in a Senate hearing under Senator off-again on again torture fan McCain. The Senator opined that Code Pink was scum - and he knows scum personally having nominated some Alaskan scum for VP - not too very long ago

3. March - its Anti-War Rally time again in DC - maybe once year - we’ll have a spring without a WAR March 18-21st 2015

4. Jeremy Brown

In fact, the new cybersecurity legislation would further criminalize the kind of activity for which Brown is due to be sentenced in Dallas federal court on Jan. 22. Judge Sam A. Lindsay will decide whether to let Brown, 33, off with time served for the more than two years he’s already spent behind bars, or imprison him for a maximum of eight-and-a-half years. Brown struck a deal to plead guilty to, among other charges, a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) felony.

That particular element of the case against Brown demonstrated how he, as a journalist, worked with hackers to expose corporate behavior. The CFAA violation involved his effortsto shield one of his sources, Anonymous hacktivist Jeremy Hammond, from prosecution. Hammond, a self-described anarchist based in Chicago, broke into the computer systems of the private intelligence firm Stratfor hoping to expose wrongdoing and corporate malfeasance.

Brown’s prosecution fits a pattern that has seen the U.S. government treat online journalists, crusading bloggers and idealistic hacktivists as enemies more than new-style investigative reporters. Already, his sentence stands to chill those who would emulate him in conducting real-time, public research into leaked data troves. At the last hearing in Brown’s case, in December, journalist Quinn Norton testified that his prosecution was “absolutely chilling” to 21st Century journalism.

Easier Prosecutions

With President Obama’s legislation, it will become easier for prosecutors to pursue such people. The proposals would, among other things, broaden the meaning of “unauthorized access” such that the Department of Justice could more easily turn the sharing of hyperlinks into illegal “trafficking” as they see fit. Prosecutors accused Brown of that but dropped nearly that entire indictment amid sharp criticism that they were bending the law and attacking free speech.

Brown’s guilty plea allowed him to escape an indictment that construed the sharing of a hyperlink as identity theft. The opening for prosecutors was that the file was said to contain canceled credit card data and user password material hacked out of Stratfor’s servers.

One crucial difference was that Brown had no plans to profit from the sharing of the link, precisely the kind of criminal fraud the law was drafted to stop. Instead, he thought the information might aid his virtual research syndicate ProjectPM, which was investigatingshadowy cybersecurity contractors that work for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Indeed, he publicly criticized hackers who spilled the personal data of innocent bystanders.

That difference won’t matter under the new proposals. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, under which Brown will be sentenced, would be amended to define unauthorized access as something done “for a purpose that the accesser knows is not authorized by the computer owner,” a practically limitless definition. The law will also make hacking that’s now a misdemeanor a felony.

Cybercosa Nostra?

The proposed legislation will also give federal prosecutors authority to use the most powerful weapon in their arsenal against hackers: The Racketeer and Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, known commonly as RICO. The government would then have the discretion to pursue hackers and hacktivists alike with the same tools used to dismantle the mafia and drug cartels.

The government already seems to consider people like Brown a threat. Consider the effort they have poured into his case alone: the prosecution tried to take away funds donated for his defense, gagged him from speaking out about his case, fished for the names of ProjectPM members, pursued a case against his mother, and argued that he and Anonymous “secretly plotted the overthrow of the government.”

In other words, prosecutions like that pursued against Barrett Brown, may well become more common. They will certainly be easier to bring forward. And the government will have even more authority to rein in alliances between journalists and hacktivists, and other previously unheard voices exposing how governments and corporations work together in the dark corners of cyberspace.


http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/01/21/hidden-threat-free-speech-state-union/


Leading national security journalist Nick Turse details the heady pace of Special Ops missions in recent years. In the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2014, “U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to 133 countries—roughly 70% of the nations on the planet.” And “just 66 days into fiscal 2015—America’s most elite troops have already set foot in 105 nations.” That’s about 80 percent of the activity carried out in all of 2014. It’s an operational tempo that puts U.S. Special Operations Command at “its absolute zenith,” according to its new commander Gen. Joseph Votel III.


It’s Cruel. It’s Useless. It’s the C.I.A.

We learned a lot from that big Senate Intelligence Committee report on C.I.A. interrogation tactics after 9/11. It was what may be the first time in American history that the term “rectal hydration” appeared in family newspapers throughout the land.
One of the most unnerving parts involves the fact that the waterboarding, ice baths and wall-slamming were conducted under the direction of an outside contractor. It isn’t the first time the government turned to private enterprise and wound up with a human rights disaster — think Abu Ghraib. Or Blackwater. But this seems like an excellent place to demand a cease-and-desist.

The specialists’ names are James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. Like many contractors doing work for the government, they’re former government workers themselves — in this case, military psychologists. And like virtually all contractors doing work for the government, they were making a heck of a lot more than they’d have gotten as federal employees. In this case, about $80 million.
Mitchell and Jessen had acquired their expertise by teaching Air Force officers how to resist brutal Cold War-style interrogations. Think pilots who get shot down behind enemy lines and get tortured by Communists. And for all we know, they may have done a great job showing their pupils how to withstand pressure to record a statement denouncing the United States when they crash land in North Korea.
But it’s not precisely the same thing as trying to get a suspected Al Qaeda operative to tell you where Osama bin Laden is hiding. Plus, Mitchell and Jessen had no experience as actual interrogators, did not speak any of the detainees’ languages and had no particular knowledge about Islam or Al Qaeda.
They did have some theories about other psychologists’ work subjecting dogs to random electric shocks until their will to resist was completely broken. Maybe, the two men thought, you could torment human beings into the same state of “learned helplessness.” Worth a try, right? Mitchell and Jessen set about applying the theory to prisoners the C.I.A. had collected. Some of them had already been cooperating with interrogators. Others turned out later to have had no involvement with Al Qaeda whatsoever.
Others, undoubtedly, were bad people with information the C.I.A. needed, who had resisted talking under nonviolent interrogation. The question then becomes whether they cooperated better under “learned helplessness” or simply made up stories to placate their torturers and send the C.I.A. off in the wrong direction.
There’s a lot of precedent for the making-up approach. During World War II, an American pilot was shot down over Japan just after the Hiroshima attack and was tortured repeatedly for information about the atomic bomb, of which he knew nothing. Threatened with beheading, the pilot told his captors that the U.S. had 100 atomic bombs and that Tokyo was next on the target list. The bogus information was immediately shared with the war minister and the Japanese cabinet. 

The Intelligence Committee report concludes that all the torturing produced very little information that was useful and possibly quite a bit that was made-up. While we would love to believe that the human rights angle would be most effective in shocking the American people, polls show that when it comes to suspects with possible terror involvement, the public attitude toward torture is kind of meh. So, wisely, the committee’s big point was useless/counterproductive.
“It’s wrong enough that one shouldn’t do it period. But wrong and useless is a tough combination,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. He was on the Intelligence Committee when the report was being prepared and now leads a Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism.
And why the private contractors? Maybe because the actual government interrogators didn’t believe torture worked either. Some complained that, after Mitchell and Jessen arrived, reasonably cooperative prisoners were suddenly brutalized under the theory that the original approach had been too “sissified.”
What made the C.I.A. decide that these guys were a good plan? Have they not watched “Homeland” this season? (Ever since Saul left the C.I.A. to become a private consultant, he’s been a disaster.) “I do think there’s something about the culture of purchase: ‘We don’t have the answer, but we can buy it,’ ” said Baher Azmy, the legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Tim Shorrock, the author of “Spies for Hire,” believes it’s just a way to hide things: “The activities of contractors are so easy to conceal in budgets.”
Naturally, defenders of the C.I.A. are rising up to challenge the report’s findings. The Associated Press got hold of James Mitchell himself, who said that the report was “just factually, demonstrably incorrect,” then declined to say exactly what the inaccuracies were.
Citing a secrecy agreement with the C.I.A., Mitchell didn’t share much else, except that being waterboarded was still better than being killed by a drone.

=======================================


Join PNN News Director Rick Spisak as we introduce two new exciting hosts to the PNN Lineup!
Ms Jessica Winter producer and host of in the Stream and Ms Karina Veaudry producer and host of The Eclectic Progressive. Tune in to hear about the exciting new programming they will bring. New Voices and fresh perspectives - a legion of exciting new talent and ideas.
We live as the Chinese suggested in INTERESTING TIMES and PNN brings you two remarkable young women leaders, writers artists each with a wealth of talent and a perspective for the Century ahead.
Professor Wendy Lynne Lee Frack-Activist and Free Speech Advocate from Pennsylvania who brings us a very important perspective on the tactics of Environmental Activists.

Professor Mickey Huff director of Project UNCENSORED
will discuss the many ongoing CENSORSHIP ISSUES we must face or allow liberty to be shackled again.
Steve Horn of Desmog Blog will join us for an UPDATE on his latest stories

TUNE IN Live Sunday 7pm Eastern - or Anytime!

News Director Rick Spisak

http://alturl.com/apgip

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/newmercurymedia/2015/02/02/pnn--dissent-and-its-flowers


best generic link


Post a Comment