Jean Louis Battre, 2010
31 de janeiro de 2012
On Saturday, January 28, thousands of parents, families and engaged citizens gathered together to open a community center in the heart of downtown Oakland. The Police, under orders from Mayor Quan, responded to this peaceful demonstration of direct democracy and community building by arresting around 400 people. Hundreds more were injured when an army of officers marched on these unarmed families, raised their guns and fired bullets, tear gas canisters, smoke bombs, concussion grenades and other explosive devices into the crowd. Mayor Quan, on the same day as solidarity marches were organized by dozens of occupations across the nation, has called on the Occupy Movement to denounce Oakland’s show of bravery under fire and community strength. We stand with Oakland and call for the immediate resignation of Quan, who on Saturday made it clear that the state has abandoned democracy and joined the 1% in declaring war against the people.
Extreme economic injustice and true democracy can never co-exist. We have seen this violent truth before: in Pinochet’s Chile, 1990’s Russia, Suharto’s Indonesia. Four months ago, the Occupy Movement showed that this historical truth has finally come home: The economic oppression by the 1% has become so egregious that it cannot exist without destroying the spirit of the American democratic system. Across the country, people are rising up to demand a more just nation, and police brutality and state violence are the only things keeping this injustice in place. In Oakland, thousands of active community members chose to engage in true democracy by supporting the real and pressing needs of the people. The state, which supposedly represents these people, exercised extreme police brutality and violence to protect the 1%'s vacant assets. The explicit goal of the action was to build community—to open a desperately needed community center with a library, medical care, free education and emergency housing in a city that has suffered massive budget cuts, high unemployment rates and ravaged public schools. In response, the city government poured hundreds of thousands of dollars, bullets and canisters of tear gas into declaring open war on these parents, students, workers, artists, teachers, children and veterans. These people’s only offense was to believe so deeply in the American tradition of democracy, self-sufficiency, and sacrifice for the next generation that they were willing to put their bodies on the line to make this nation the empowering democracy that we know it can be.
On Saturday, Mayor Quan's actions again demonstrated that open war has been declared on the spirit of democracy and the people of Oakland and this nation. We call for the end of Mayor Quan's administration and a regime change in Oakland. We continue to stand in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and will support them as they continue peaceful protest and community building until this and all other authoritarian administrations have been ousted from their place of illegitimate power. Together, we are building a stronger world, a stronger community, a stronger promise for the next generation.
January 30, 2012 at 1:15 am.
Posted by ragtag
Categories: Front Page, GA Resolutions, Notice
The Occupy Oakland General Assembly passed the proposal today!
Occupy Oakland Call for Participation in a May 1, 2012
Global General Strike
The general strike is back, retooled for an era of deep budget cuts, extreme anti-immigrant racism, and massive predatory financial speculation. In 2011, the number of unionized workers in the US stood at 11.8%, or approximately 14.8 million people.
What these figures leave out are the growing millions of people in this country who are unemployed and underemployed. The numbers leave out the undocumented, and domestic and manual workers drawn largely from immigrant communities. The numbers leave out workers whose workplace is the home and a whole invisible economy of unwaged reproductive labor. The numbers leave out students who have taken on nearly $1 trillion dollars in debt, and typically work multiple jobs, in order to afford skyrocketing college tuition. The numbers leave out the huge percentage of black Americans that are locked up in prisons or locked out of stable or secure employment because of our racist society.
In December of 2011,Oakland’s official unemployment rate was a devastating 14.1%. As cities like Oakland are ground into the dust by austerity, every last public dollar will be fed to corrupt, militarized police departments in order to contain social unrest. On November 2 of last year, Occupy Oakland carried out the first general strike in the US since the 1946 Oakland general strike,shutting down the center of the city and blockading the Port of Oakland. We must re-imagine a general strike for an age where most workers do not belong to labor unions, and where most of us are fighting for the privilege to work rather than for marginal improvements in working conditions. We must take the struggle into the streets, schools, and offices of corrupt local city governments. A re-imagined general strike means finding immediate solutions for communities impacted by budget cuts and constant police harassment beyond changing government representatives. Occupy Oakland calls for and will participate in a new direction for the Occupy movement based on the recognition that we must not only find new ways to provide for our needs beyond thestate we must also attack the institutions that lock us into an increasingly miserable life of exploitation, debt, and deepening poverty everywhere.
IF WE CAN’T LIVE, WE WON’T WORK.
May Day is an international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police defending, as always, the interests of the 1% attacked and murdered workers participating in a general strike and demanding an 8-hour workday. In the 21st century, despite what politicians tell us, class war is alive and well against workers (rank-and-file and non-unionized), students, people of color, un- and underemployed, immigrants, homeless, women, queer/trans folks, prisoners. Instead of finding common ground with monsters, it’s time we fight them. And it’s time we make fighting back an everyday reality in the Bay Area and beyond.
On May Day 2012, Occupy Oakland will join with people from all walks of life in all parts of the world around the world in a global general strike to shut down the global circulation of capital that every day serves to enrich the ruling classes and impoverish the rest of us. There will be no victory but that which we make for ourselves, reclaiming the means of existence from which we have been and continue to be dispossessed every day.
REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING
STRIKE / BLOCKADE / OCCUPY
Police have arrested more than 400 Occupy Oakland protesters, as well as a number of journalists, in one of the largest mass arrests since the nationwide Occupy protests began last year. When protesters attempted to convert a vacant building into a community center on Saturday, witnesses say police used tear gas, bean bag projectiles and flash grenades. Several hours later, police said some of the protesters broke into City Hall. However, demonstrators claim they found the door to City Hall already ajar. We play a video report from Oakland filed by John Hamilton of KPFA. We get a response from Occupy Oakland member, Maria Lewis, to Oakland City Council Member Ignacio De La Fuente’s accusation that the Occupy movement is engaging in "domestic terrorism." "They are more interested in protecting abandoned private property than they are the people. And the idea that opening up a social center is terrorism is very telling of the narrative of the police state,"
30 de janeiro de 2012
Hum... De fato eu ainda não entendi a lista de organizações que se manifestaram anti-SOPA e anti-PIPA. Quer dizer, o que diabos o Tea Party está fazendo ali, junto com o 4chan!!??
O que retiro desse debate é que há duas maneiras de se enquadrar (frame) a mobilização pela liberdade de informação na internet: uma é subversiva, e contesta as assimetrias de poder que sustentam/são sustentadas pelos vícios no fluxo de informação; a outra é mais liberalzinha, que não contesta essas assimetrias de poder:
"what isn’t questioned in these critiques is the democratic-liberal framing of the fight against these excesses. The (explicit or implied) goal is to democratise capitalism, to extend democratic control to the economy by means of media pressure, parliamentary inquiries, harsher laws, honest police investigations and so on. But the institutional set-up of the (bourgeois) democratic state is never questioned. This remains sacrosanct even to the most radical forms of ‘ethical anti-capitalism’ (the Porto Allegre forum, the Seattle movement etc)."
29 de janeiro de 2012
O guia VICE da Libéria
The VICE guide to travel
"A VICE foi à África Ocidental explorar os restos confusos da Libéria, de um país assolado por 14 anos de guerra civil. Apesar da intervenção ocasional das Nações Unidas, a maioria da população jovem da Libéria continua a viver na miséria, cercada de sujeira, dependência química e prostituição infantil. Os antigos soldados mirins que foram forçados a servir na guerra foram abandonados para se defender sozinhos, os chefes militares assassinos que os comandaram durante os surtos de violência canibal assumiram as chamadas lideranças comunitárias e novas milícias estão na à espera duma oportunidade de recuperar seu país de um governo do qual têm muitas razões para desconfiar."
26 de janeiro de 2012
Efficiency and progress is ours once more
Now that we have the Neutron bomb
It's nice and quick and clean and gets things done
Away with excess enemy
But no less value to property
No sense in war but perfect sense at home:
The sun beams down on a brand new day
No more welfare tax to pay
Unsightly slums gone up in flashing light
Jobless millions whisked away
At last we have more room to play
All systems go to kill the poor tonight
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight
Behold the sparkle of champagne
The crime rate's gone
Feel free again
O' life's a dream with you, Miss Lily White
Jane Fonda on the screen today
Convinced the liberals it's okay
So let's get dressed and dance away the night
Kill kill kill kill Kill the poor:Tonight
Se por um lado houve uma recuada do SOPA no legislativo,
por outro o executivo estadunidense e outros vêm cozinhando um outro cerceamento da internet desde 2007. Trata-se de um acordo internacional de proteção aos direitos de propriedade intelectual na rede que foi assinado pelo Sr. Obama em outubro de 2011.
Essa pagineta aqui da gloriosa Wikipedia fala um pouco deste tal Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
E o Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil preparou o
Dossiê ACTA: para desvendar a ameaça ao conhecimento livre
já a notícia abaixo foi retirada do www.infowars.com.
Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA
White House bypasses Senate to ink agreement that could allow Chinese companies to demand ISPs remove web content in US with no legal oversight
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was signed by Obama on October 1 2011, yet is currently the subject of a White House petition demanding Senators be forced to ratify the treaty. The White House has circumvented the necessity to have the treaty confirmed by lawmakers by presenting it an as “executive agreement,” although legal scholars have highlighted the dubious nature of this characterization.
The hacktivist group Anonymous attacked and took offline the Federal Trade Commission’s website yesterday in protest against the treaty, which was also the subject of demonstrations across major cities in Poland, a country set to sign the agreement today.
Under the provisions of ACTA, copyright holders will be granted sweeping direct powers to demand ISPs remove material from the Internet on a whim. Whereas ISPs normally are only forced to remove content after a court order, all legal oversight will be abolished, a precedent that will apply globally, rendering the treaty worse in its potential scope for abuse than SOPA or PIPA.
A country known for its enforcement of harsh Internet censorship policies like China could demand under the treaty that an ISP in the United States remove content or terminate a website on its server altogether. As we have seen from the enforcement of similar copyright policies in the US, websites are sometimes targeted for no justifiable reason.
The groups pushing the treaty also want to empower copyright holders with the ability to demand that users who violate intellectual property rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated, a punishment that could only ever be properly enforced by the creation of an individual Internet ID card for every web user, a system that is already in the works.
“The same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens’ Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the “Three Strikes” /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers,” reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The treaty will also mandate that ISPs disclose personal user information to the copyright holder, while providing authorities across the globe with broader powers to search laptops and Internet-capable devices at border checkpoints.
In presenting ACTA as an “international agreement” rather than a treaty, the Obama administration managed to circumvent the legislative process and avoid having to get Senate approval, a method questioned by Senator Wyden.
“That said, even if Obama has declared ACTA an executive agreement (while those in Europe insist that it’s a binding treaty), there is a very real Constitutional question here: can it actually be an executive agreement?” asks TechDirt. “The law is clear that the only things that can be covered by executive agreements are things that involve items that are solely under the President’s mandate. That is, you can’t sign an executive agreement that impacts the things Congress has control over. But here’s the thing: intellectual property, in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, is an issue given to Congress, not the President. Thus, there’s a pretty strong argument that the president legally cannot sign any intellectual property agreements as an executive agreement and, instead, must submit them to the Senate.”.
26 European Union member states along with the EU itself are set to sign the treaty at a ceremony today in Tokyo. Other countries wishing to sign the agreement have until May 2013 to do so.
Critics are urging those concerned about Obama’s decision to sign the document with no legislative oversight to demand the Senate be forced to ratify the treaty.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
25 de janeiro de 2012
DECLARACIÓN DE INDEPENDENCIA DEL CIBERESPACIO
Por John Perry Barlow
Gobiernos del Mundo Industrial, vosotros, cansados gigantes de carne y acero, vengo del Ciberespacio, el nuevo hogar de la Mente. En nombre del futuro, os pido en el pasado que nos dejéis en paz. No sois bienvenidos entre nosotros. No ejercéis ninguna soberanía sobre el lugar donde nos reunimos.
No hemos elegido ningún gobierno, ni pretendemos tenerlo, así que me dirijo a vosotros sin más autoridad que aquélla con la que la libertad siempre habla. Declaro el espacio social global que estamos construyendo independiente por naturaleza de las tiranías que estáis buscando imponernos. No tenéis ningún derecho moral a gobernarnos ni poseéis métodos para hacernos cumplir vuestra ley que debamos temer verdaderamente.
Los gobiernos derivan sus justos poderes del consentimiento de los que son gobernados. No habéis pedido ni recibido el nuestro. No os hemos invitado. No nos conocéis, ni conocéis nuestro mundo. El Ciberespacio no se halla dentro de vuestras fronteras. No penséis que podéis construirlo, como si fuera un proyecto público de construcción. No podéis. Es un acto natural que crece de nuestras acciones colectivas.
No os habéis unido a nuestra gran conversación colectiva, ni creasteis la riqueza de nuestros mercados. No conocéis nuestra cultura, nuestra ética, o los códigos no escritos que ya proporcionan a nuestra sociedad más orden que el que podría obtenerse por cualquiera de vuestras imposiciones.
Proclamáis que hay problemas entre nosotros que necesitáis resolver. Usáis esto como una excusa para invadir nuestros límites. Muchos de estos problemas no existen. Donde haya verdaderos conflictos, donde haya errores, los identificaremos y resolvereremos por nuestros propios medios. Estamos creando nuestro propio Contrato Social. Esta autoridad se creará según las condiciones de nuestro mundo, no del vuestro. Nuestro mundo es diferente.
El Ciberespacio está formado por transacciones, relaciones, y pensamiento en sí mismo, que se extiende como una quieta ola en la telaraña de nuestras comunicaciones. Nuestro mundo está a la vez en todas partes y en ninguna parte, pero no está donde viven los cuerpos.
Estamos creando un mundo en el que todos pueden entrar, sin privilegios o prejuicios debidos a la raza, el poder económico, la fuerza militar, o el lugar de nacimiento.
Estamos creando un mundo donde cualquiera, en cualquier sitio, puede expresar sus creencias, sin importar lo singulares que sean, sin miedo a ser coaccionado al silencio o el conformismo.
Vuestros conceptos legales sobre propiedad, expresión, identidad, movimiento y contexto no se aplican a nosotros. Se basan en la materia. Aquí no hay materia.
Nuestras identidades no tienen cuerpo, así que, a diferencia de vosotros, no podemos obtener orden por coacción física. Creemos que nuestra autoridad emanará de la moral, de un progresista interés propio, y del bien común. Nuestras identidades pueden distribuirse a través de muchas jurisdicciones. La única ley que todas nuestras culturas reconocerían es la Regla Dorada. Esperamos poder construir nuestras soluciones particulares sobre esa base. Pero no podemos aceptar las soluciones que estáis tratando de imponer.
En Estados Unidos hoy habéis creado una ley, el Acta de Reforma de las Telecomunicaciones, que repudia vuestra propia Constitución e insulta los sueños de Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville y Brandeis. Estos sueños deben renacer ahora en nosotros.
Os atemorizan vuestros propios hijos, ya que ellos son nativos en un mundo donde vosotros siempre seréis inmigrantes. Como les teméis, encomendáis a vuestra burocracia las responsabilidades paternas a las que cobardemente no podéis enfrentaros. En nuestro mundo, todos los sentimientos y expresiones de humanidad, de las más viles a las más angelicales, son parte de un todo único, la conversación global de bits. No podemos separar el aire que asfixia de aquél sobre el que las alas baten.
En China, Alemania, Francia, Rusia, Singapur, Italia y los Estados Unidos estáis intentando rechazar el virus de la libertad erigiendo puestos de guardia en las fronteras del Ciberespacio. Puede que impidan el contagio durante un pequeño tiempo, pero no funcionarán en un mundo que pronto será cubierto por los medios que transmiten bits.
Vuestras cada vez más obsoletas industrias de la información se perpetuarían a sí mismas proponiendo leyes, en América y en cualquier parte, que reclamen su posesión de la palabra por todo el mundo. Estas leyes declararían que las ideas son otro producto industrial, menos noble que el hierro oxidado. En nuestro mundo, sea lo que sea lo que la mente humana pueda crear puede ser reproducido y distribuido infinitamente sin ningún coste. El trasvase global de pensamiento ya no necesita ser realizado por vuestras fábricas.
Estas medidas cada vez más hostiles y colonialistas nos colocan en la misma situación en la que estuvieron aquellos amantes de la libertad y la autodeterminación que tuvieron que luchar contra la autoridad de un poder lejano e ignorante. Debemos declarar nuestros "yos" virtuales inmunes a vuestra soberanía, aunque continuemos consintiendo vuestro poder sobre nuestros cuerpos. Nos extenderemos a través del planeta para que nadie pueda encarcelar nuestros pensamientos.
Crearemos una civilización de la Mente en el Ciberespacio. Que sea más humana y hermosa que el mundo que vuestros gobiernos han creado antes.
Davos, Suiza. 8 de febrero de 1996
24 de janeiro de 2012
Sunday 22 January 2012
An alleged al-Qaida member from London is reported to have been killed in a missile attack from a US drone while fighting alongside Islamist insurgents in Somalia.
Bilal el-Berjawi is said to have died when three missiles fired from the unmanned aircraft hit his car on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
The 27-year-old's wife is understood to have given birth to a child in a London hospital a few hours before the missile strike, prompting suspicions among relatives that his location had been pinpointed as a result of a telephone conversation between the couple.
About 12 months ago, Berjawi was stripped of the British citizenship he had held since his family moved to the UK from Lebanon when he was an infant.
He is the third Muslim from London to be killed in drone attacks in recent weeks. In November, it was confirmed that Ibrahim Adam, 24, and 38-year-old Mohammed Azmer Khan, both from Ilford, had been killed in a drone attack in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. Khan's brother, Abdul Jabbar, was killed in a drone attack in the same region a year before.
Berjawi's death was reported in a statement by the insurgent al-Kataib media foundation late on Saturday. "The martyr received what he wished for and what he went out for," the statement said. "Brother Bilal al-Berjawi was exposed to bombing in an outskirt of Mogadishu from a drone that is believed to be American. He was martyred immediately."
The Associated Press news agency reported that the strike had been confirmed by a US official in Washington.
Omar Jamal, the first secretary in the Somali mission to the UN, issued an emailed statement that said: "Good riddance, and [I] hope al-Shabaab leadership will come to their senses and cease the hostility in Somalia."
Berjawi grew up in west London, travelling to Somalia around three years ago. There were unconfirmed reports that he had been injured in a drone attack last June, after which his wife was said to have returned to the UK.
He was stripped of his British citizenship under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act using powers the Home Office has been deploying with increasing frequency since the last election.
Berjawi is understood to have sought to appeal against the order, but lawyers representing his family were unable to take instructions from him amid concerns that any telephone contact could precipitate a drone attack.
Relatives have dismissed allegations that he was a senior al-Qaida figure in the region. There had been claims that he helped oversee recruitment and training for al-Shabaab, which is fighting the weak UN-backed Somali government, and that he was a close associate of one of the masterminds of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Observers say there are several hundred foreign fighters in Somalia, mainly clustered in training camps around the insurgents' stronghold of Kismayo.
An unknown number of British-Somali dual nationals have returned to Somalia and joined the fighting on both sides.
If reports are correct, Berjawi may be the second British citizen killed in Somalia in two days. Oon Friday, an official al-Shabab Twitter feed displayed documents said to belong to Said Abdi Jaras, a Somali government official from London, as proof that he had been killed in battle by al-Shabaab.
Somalia has not had a functioning nationwide government for two decades. The government controls the capital with the support of 9,500 soldiers from Uganda, Djibouti and Burundi.
About 2,000 Brazilian police officers in riot gear have forcefully evicted 7,000 residents of a community in Sao Jose dos Campos, about 100km from the city of Sao Paulo.
The site, known as 'Pinheirinho,' had been occupied since 2004, and settlers had built homes there. The police were executing a court order to remove the residents.
Police deployed about 2,000 men, 40 dogs and 100 police on horseback as well as helicopters and armoured vehicles in Sunday's raid.
Officers used tear gas and rubber bullets, according to a preliminary report on the incident. Hundreds of residents spent the night in emergency accommodation.
The occupied site belonged to a firm that went bankrupt and whose assets are to serve to pay creditors.
Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo went to Sao Jose dos Campos to visit some of those left homeless.
December 14, 2011
As protesters in the Middle East use social media to organize and communicate, the regimes they're battling are using sophisticated technology to intercept their emails, text messages and cellphone calls.
On Wednesday's Fresh Air, journalist Ben Elgin talks about a Bloomberg News series, "Wired for Repression," which details how Western companies are selling surveillance technology to regimes including Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia.
Those regimes have then used the information obtained from those technologies to torture protesters and dissidents, Elgin tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.
"[One Iranian engineer] became caught up in the protest movements after the election of 2009 and he was arrested. He was beaten and put into prison and interrogated 14 times over 50 days," Elgin says. "During these interrogations, not only was he presented with [his] text message transcripts; he was presented with a very sophisticated diagram of who he had called, and then who those people had called. And he was interrogated on every connection within his network of contacts."
The engineer had worked for Ericsson AB, where he had helped install the systems that would later be used in his interrogations.
"The damage that can be done was suddenly very clear to him," Elgin says. "And that led him to want him to talk [to me]. [He] has since fled [Iran], which has made it easier for him."
More By Ben Elgin
U.S. Calls for NetApp Probe on Syria Spy Tech
Syria Crackdown Gets Italy Firm's Aid With U.S.-Europe Spy Gear
Iranian Police Seizing Dissidents Get Aid Of Western Companies
Torture in Bahrain Becomes Routine With Help From Nokia Siemens
Monitoring All Movement And Communication
Some of the surveillance technology installed allows governments to monitor all movements and mobile communication made by protesters, many of whom communicate by text messages and cellphone calls.
"Some of these regimes are utilizing very sophisticated text message analysis systems," Elgin says. "So basically [they can read] all text messages sent. And text messages are far more ubiquitous in places like Iran and Syria than Internet access. All text messages being sent are being archived and stored in an enormous archive system. And authorities can then come in later and search — by recipient, by sender, by content. ... And all these text messages will come back."
Elgin and his colleague Vernon Silver discovered that Western companies have supplied much of the technology used by repressive regimes.
"These are very secretive deals," he says. "Companies do not want to be known as the supplier of message filtering and monitoring software to the Assad regime in Syria or the Iran government authorities. But what we've really focused on is trying to follow this technology and figure out who exactly supplied this technology to these regimes, how did it get there, and how has it been used against these activists. And what we found are a number of European and U.S. companies have supplied very important pieces of this technology."
In Syria, government officials recently tested an Internet surveillance system to monitor email and traffic online. The system was primarily developed by an Italian firm but also had key components from an American company called NetApp Inc., based in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Somebody thinks they're downloading a piece of software off the Internet but instead they're downloading this piece of spyware and now the government has full access to everything they type [and] everything they say.
- Ben Elgin
"They provide storage and the archival system which is usually important, particularly for an Internet surveillance system," Elgin says. "Basically, this system is copying the emails — scanning across the network — and they put them in a searchable database, so authorities can then come and do searches of this at a later date."
According to the documents Elgin saw, the NetApp component in the surveillance system was priced at 2.75 million euros, which is close to $4 million.
"This was a significant deal," Elgin says. "NetApp, for their part, said, 'Look, we have no idea how that got into Syria. We just don't understand how this happened and we're willing to cooperate with government authorities.' It was a very terse and short statement that they made and they since haven't followed up and were unwilling to tell us, for instance, who the supposed customer was here, and who, in fact, is the customer on the software license or the warranty. But it's a pretty common explanation that we've heard from U.S. companies. They say, 'We just don't know. We don't know how our stuff got into Syria or Iran.' "
It's perfectly legal for American companies to sell components to Italian firms. But it's illegal for American companies to sell their components to Syria.
"So basically they're saying, 'We sold it to Point B. We have no idea how it got to Point C,' " Elgin says.
Related NPR Stories
Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad carry a giant flag with his image on it during a pro-regime protest in Damascus, Syria, in August. Pro-government forces are now taking their message to a new arena: cyberspace.
Pro-Assad 'Army' Wages Cyberwar In Syria
A shop in Cairo's Tahrir Square is spray-painted with the word "twitter" on Feb. 4, days after the Egyptian government blocked Internet access.
Through Protests, One Man Helps Define Twitter
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image from Constitution 3.0
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Job Security For Arab Leaders: A 3-Step Process
Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Natan Sharansky in 1989. Barry Thumma/AP
Spy Swaps: How They Did It In The Cold War
A Booming Industry
The surveillance industry is booming, Elgin says, with some analysts estimating that the sector brings in between $3 billion and $5 billion a year. A recent surveillance trade show — which is not open to the public — was attended by 1,300 people, with representatives from 35 U.S. federal agencies.
"Some of the sessions at these shows are just remarkable," Elgin says. "They do publish the agenda online so you can see the types of things that they talk about. In an upcoming show in Dubai in February, there's a session on government IT hacking, on how governments can essentially penetrate the computers or cellphones of would-be targets — their citizens. ... There was another panel on social network analysis. I think governments are really wary of Facebook and social networking sites. They want to be able to tape in and analyze and mine this data and figure out who the key players are, and how to make sense of this mishmash of connections."
He says authorities from around the globe are also troubled by Skype because it's an encrypted way to communicate.
"If you're sitting out on the network, it's very difficult to determine what is being said during a Skype conversation," he says. "So one way around that is to put some intrusion technology on the target's computer. So basically you're seeing all the keystrokes and hearing all the conversation before it becomes encrypted. There are some technologies that boast about their abilities to do this."
Elgin mentions a U.K. company called Gamma Group which has created a piece of software called FinFisher, which can get on computers through fake iTunes updates.
"So somebody thinks they're downloading a piece of software off the Internet but instead they're downloading this piece of spyware and now the government has full access to everything they type [and] everything they say," he says. "[And] not only is this piece of code on a computer logging every keystroke and everything being said, but they also boast about their ability to activate the webcam or activate the computer's microphone without the target knowing about it."
FinFisher, which is distributed by a German partner, was tested in Egypt.
"This type of technology is showing up in a lot of places," Elgin says. "In the case of Iran, laws are being implemented — one in 2010 would bar [U.S.] technology that is primarily used for these repressive purposes. So these laws are there, but there isn't much oversight, there isn't much going on. ... There have been no companies identified for selling this stuff, and the U.S. [Government] Accountability Office was charged with trying to research who is supplying this stuff to Iran and basically said, 'We can't identify anybody and there's no way for us to identify this.' "
Elgin says human-rights groups and online activists have increased pressure on Western governments to try to stop surveillance companies from developing relationships with oppressive regimes.
"The E.U. just adopted some new legislation earlier this month which basically prohibits the sale or export of surveillance or monitoring technology into Syria," he says. "So we're seeing the rules evolve and get a little bit stronger, inch by inch."
The interrogation of Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar followed a pattern.First, Bahraini jailers armed with stiff rubber hoses beat the 39-year-old school administrator and human rights activist in a windowless room two stories below ground in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s National Security Apparatus building. Then, they dragged him upstairs for questioning by a uniformed officer armed with another kind of weapon: transcripts of his text messages and details from personal mobile phone conversations, he says.
If he refused to sufficiently explain his communications, he was sent back for more beatings, says Al Khanjar, who was detained from August 2010 to February.
“It was amazing,” he says of the messages they obtained. “How did they know about these?”
The answer: Computers loaded with Western-made surveillance software generated the transcripts wielded in the interrogations described by Al Khanjar and scores of other detainees whose similar treatment was tracked by rights activists, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its October issue.
The spy gear in Bahrain was sold by Siemens AG (SIE), and maintained by Nokia Siemens Networks and NSN’s divested unit, Trovicor GmbH, according to two people whose positions at the companies gave them direct knowledge of the installations. Both requested anonymity because they have signed nondisclosure agreements. The sale and maintenance contracts were also confirmed by Ben Roome, a Nokia Siemens spokesman based in Farnborough, England.
The Only Way
The only way officers could have obtained messages was through the interception program, says Ahmed Aldoseri, director of information and communications technologies at Bahrain’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. While he won’t disclose details about the program, he says, “If they have a transcript of an SMS message, it’s because the security organ was monitoring the user at their monitoring center.”
The use of the system for interrogation in Bahrain illustrates how Western-produced surveillance technology sold to one authoritarian government became an investigative tool of choice to gather information about political dissidents -- and silence them.
Companies are free to sell such equipment almost anywhere. For the most part, the U.S. and European countries lack export controls to deter the use of such systems for repression.
“The technology is becoming very sophisticated, and the only thing limiting it is how deeply governments want to snoop into lives,” says Rob Faris, research director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Surveillance is typically a state secret, and we only get bits and pieces that leak out.”
Some industry insiders now say their own products have become dangerous in the hands of regimes where law enforcement crosses the line to repression.
The images of the Arab spring crackdowns earlier this year unnerved Nikhil Gyamlani, who as a consultant for Trovicor and Nokia Siemens had developed monitoring systems and sold them to some of the countries. The authorities jammed or restricted communications to stymie gatherings and knew where to send riot police before a protest could even start, according to eyewitness reports.
For that to happen, government officials had to have some means of figuring out where to go or whom to target to nip protests in the bud, Gyamlani, 34, says.
Targeting With Technology
“There’s very little chance a government is smart enough without this technology,” he says while smoking Marlboros and drinking Bavarian beer on the patio of a pasta restaurant in Munich. Gyamlani says nondisclosure agreements with his former employers prohibit him from revealing details about specific countries he worked with.
At least 30 people have been killed so far in this year’s uprising in Bahrain, a U.S. ally situated between Qatar and Saudi Arabia that is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Security forces beat paramedics, doctors and nurses who treated the wounded, and prosecutors have charged dozens of medical workers with crimes such as “incitement against the regime,” according to Human Rights Watch. In June, the U.S. put Bahrain on its list of human rights violators.
A Secretive World
Across the Middle East in recent years, sales teams at Siemens, Nokia Siemens, Munich-based Trovicor and other companies have worked their connections among spy masters, police chiefs and military officers to provide country after country with monitoring gear, industry executives say. Their story is a window into a secretive world of surveillance businesses that is transforming the political and social fabric of countries from North Africa to the Persian Gulf.
Monitoring centers, as the systems are called, are sold around the globe by these companies and their competitors, such as Israel-based Nice Systems Ltd. (NICE), and Verint Systems Inc. (VRNT), headquartered in Melville, New York. They form the heart of so- called lawful interception surveillance systems. The equipment is marketed largely to law enforcement agencies tracking terrorists and other criminals.
The toolbox allows more than the interception of phone calls, e-mails, text messages and Voice Over Internet Protocol calls such as those made using Skype. Some products can also secretly activate laptop webcams or microphones on mobile devices. They can change the contents of written communications in mid-transmission, use voice recognition to scan phone networks, and pinpoint people’s locations through their mobile phones. The monitoring systems can scan communications for key words or recognize voices and then feed the data and recordings to operators at government agencies.
‘Effective As Weapons’
Monitoring technology is among the newest artillery in an unfolding digital arms race, says Marietje Schaake, a European Parliament member who tracks abuses of information and communications technology. “We have to acknowledge that certain software products now are actually as effective as weapons,” she says.
Uprisings from Tunisia to Bahrain have drawn strength from technologies such as social-networking sites and mobile-phone videos. Yet, the flip side of the technology that played a part in this year’s “Facebook revolutions” may be far more forceful.
Rulers fought back, exploiting their citizens’ digital connections with increasingly intrusive tools.
They’ve tapped a market that’s worth more than $3 billion a year, according to Jerry Lucas, president of McLean, Virginia- based TeleStrategies Inc., organizer of the ISS World trade shows for intelligence and lawful interception businesses. He derives that estimate by applying per-employee revenue figures from publicly traded Verint’s lawful intercept business across the mostly privately held industry.
In the hands of autocrats, the surveillance gear is providing unprecedented power to monitor and crush dissent -- a phenomenon that Ben Wagner of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, calls “push-button autocracy.”
The technology has become pervasive. By the end of 2007, the Nokia Siemens Intelligence Solutions unit had more than 90 systems installed in 60 countries, according to company brochures.
Besides Bahrain, several other Middle Eastern nations that cracked down on uprisings this year -- including Egypt, Syria and Yemen -- also purchased monitoring centers from the chain of businesses now known as Trovicor. Trovicor equipment plays a surveillance role in at least 12 Middle Eastern and North African nations, according to the two people familiar with the installations.
Trovicor’s precursor, which started in 1993 as the voice- and data-recording unit of Siemens, in 2007 became part of Nokia Siemens Networks, the world’s second biggest maker of wireless communications equipment. NSN, a 50-50 joint venture with Espoo, Finland-based Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), sold the unit, known as Intelligence Solutions, in March 2009. The new owners, Guernsey-based Perusa Partners Fund 1 LP, renamed the business Trovicor, coined from the Latin and Esperanto words for find and heart, according to the company’s website.
“We are very aware that communications technology can be used for good and ill,” NSN spokesman Roome says. The elevated risk of human rights abuses was a major reason for NSN’s exiting the monitoring-center business, and the company has since established a human rights policy and due diligence program, he says.
“Ultimately people who use this technology to infringe human rights are responsible for their actions,” he says.
Asked whether Trovicor or its predecessors sold monitoring centers to Middle Eastern nations that have cracked down on uprisings this year, Roome says the company can’t talk about specific countries. NSN retained little documentation on the business after divesting it and has no data about the scope of its monitoring-center sales in the Mideast, he says.
Wolfram Trost, a spokesman for Munich-based Siemens, Europe’s largest engineering company, says he can’t comment because all documentation from the intelligence solutions unit had been transferred to Nokia Siemens.
Birgitt Fischer-Harrow, Trovicor’s head of marketing communications, said Trovicor’s contracts prevent it from disclosing its customers or the countries where it does business. She declined to comment further.
Trovicor’s owners only invest in ethical businesses, says Christian Hollenberg, a founder of Munich-based Perusa GmbH, the adviser to the Perusa investment fund. He includes in that category Trovicor, which the fund owns in its entirety.
“It’s a legal business, and it’s part of every communications network in the civilized world,” he says.
Bahrain is confronting alleged human rights violations through the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, a panel established in June by royal decree to probe the recent violence, says government spokesman Abdul-Aziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the international counselor at Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority. Since July 24, the commission has recorded 140 allegations of physical abuse and torture, according to an Aug. 10 statement on its website.
“The first things we’re hearing is there wasn’t systematic abuse or torture, but there were abuses by rogue individuals within the security apparatus,” the government spokesman says. He says he isn’t in a position to comment on surveillance equipment or a specific interrogation.
Most countries, including the U.S. and European Union member states, employ interception technology in their telecommunications and data systems. A valuable tool for law enforcement, monitoring technology typically is accompanied by strict privacy protections and meets standards established by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute and similar organizations. After 9/11, as part of the war on terror, the administration of President George W. Bush secretly -- and controversially -- authorized the National Security Agency to monitor communications to and from the U.S.
The Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi and other human rights activists have blamed Nokia Siemens for aiding government repression. In 2009, the company disclosed that it sold a monitoring center to Iran, prompting hearings in the European Parliament, proposals for tighter restrictions on U.S. trade with Iran, and an international “No to Nokia” boycott campaign.
While there have been credible reports the gear may have been used to crack down on Iranian dissidents, those claims have never been substantiated, NSN spokesman Roome says.
In Bahrain, officials routinely use surveillance in the arrest and torture of political opponents, according to Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He says he has evidence of this from former detainees, including Al Khanjar, and their lawyers and family members.
‘Even Our Children’
During the recent crackdown, Rajab says, monitoring was pervasive.
“Everyone was interrogated based on telephone calls that were checked -- and not only us, the activists,” he says. “Even our children, our wives, our sisters are being monitored.”
At Bahrain’s telecommunications regulator, Aldoseri says monitoring technology is used only by order of legal authorities such as judges and prosecutors. A former fighter pilot, Aldoseri, 33, led the drafting of Bahrain’s 2009 regulations for lawful interception.
Available online, the regulations make clear that every phone and Internet operator must provide the state with the ability to monitor communications. Phone companies also must track the location of phones within a 164-foot (50-meter) radius, the rules say.
‘Risk of Abuse’
“You have the risk of abuse, so we made it as public as possible,” Aldoseri says.
For Bahraini security agents, monitoring centers are essential for gathering and printing text messages and other transmissions, Aldoseri says.
He says it’s impossible to know which contractor’s monitoring center processed a particular text message transcript. He says he’s barred from identifying vendors.
“I can neither confirm nor deny that Trovicor is there,” he says. “It could be their monitoring center or it could be someone else.”
During the Arab spring, it was easy to spot the company’s fingerprints, says Gyamlani. Tuning in to Germany’s N24 news channel at his home in Munich, he immediately suspected that governments were abusing systems he’d installed.
Failed uprisings stood out to him because of the way the authorities quashed unrest before it spread, says Gyamlani, a native of India who moved to Germany 12 years ago to study and work.
Remote Kill Switches
Once the equipment is installed, Gyamlani says, there is no way to shut it down long distance. He’s forming a new company, GlassCube, that he says will feature remote kill switches as well as other technology and contract requirements that would enable companies to curb such abuses from afar.
“With the power comes a big responsibility; this is a business where people can get killed,” he says. “It was depressing to see there was no control mechanism.”
Visitors to Trovicor’s headquarters on the third floor of a glass office building in Munich are greeted by a life-size statue of the company’s mascot -- a stalking panther -- by the reception desk. The mascot is a carryover from the Nokia Siemens unit, as were most of the company’s roughly 170 workers, current and former employees say.
Former and current Trovicor and Nokia Siemens employees interviewed declined to be identified by name when discussing company business in specific countries. Clients contacted declined to speak on the record about specific contracts.
Al Khanjar, the Bahraini activist beaten during interrogations about his text messages, is in hiding today. He says he’s reluctant to communicate by mobile phone and takes calls using Skype on a computer with software that disguises its location. The Internet connection is his only way of communicating with his wife and 9-year-old son.
“I’m hidden somewhere,” he says. “I’m unfortunately in Bahrain. They’re going to kill me. What to do? What to do?”
Al Khanjar took up the anti-torture cause after being detained and interrogated for six days in 2000. His jailers handcuffed him, hung him from a stick “like a goat” and beat the soles of his feet, he says.
He’s now spokesman for the government-banned Bahraini National Committee for Martyrs and Victims of Torture. He and other activists have documented the security service’s human rights violations for a decade, he says. His activism includes work with the United Nations Committee Against Torture and appearances on Qatar’s Al Jazeera channel.
An Agonizing Stretch
Al Khanjar says that on Aug. 15, 2010, three days after he returned from speaking about human rights to a committee at the House of Lords in London, plainclothes police knocked on his door in Bahrain at about 2:30 a.m. It was the start of a six- month ordeal.
For his first 85 days or so in custody, Al Khanjar saw no one from the outside, he says. For one agonizing stretch, his jailers forced him to stand without sleeping for five days. At other times they beat him with hoses and their hands and threatened him with sexual abuse, he says.
Al Khanjar’s interrogators repeatedly quizzed him about his contacts with Iran, where his wife’s family originated generations ago, he says. They also focused on his activities in opposition politics and in religious gatherings with fellow Shiite Muslims, who form a majority of the kingdom’s population yet are ruled by the Sunni minority.
“They had collected their information from tracking calls,” he says, including whom he spoke with and what they said. “They told me a lot of things about our activities in the human rights field and political activities I’d participated in.”
And they showed him several pages of transcripts of his text messages. An interrogator held the papers in front of Al Khanjar, pointing out the Arabic words printed in black ink on white paper and reading aloud details such as the dates and recipients of the texts, he says.
Al Khanjar says he sent one of the messages on June 9, 2009, after a flight to Qatar to visit a friend. His trip was thwarted when Qatar refused him entry at the Bahrain government’s request. He suspected that his appearances on the satellite news channel, based in Qatar, explained the Bahraini government’s interest in his travel there. Al Khanjar fired off the text to a fellow activist. “What happened to me is because of Al Jazeera,” it read.
More than a year later, when Al Khanjar was in jail, authorities seized on a transcript of that message, asking what he meant by it, particularly the reference to Al Jazeera, he says. Suspicious of his explanation, officers threatened to put him in a solitary confinement cell with no toilet two floors down -- the same floor where they tortured prisoners.
“You cannot hear anything,” Al Khanjar says. “You don’t know the time. You don’t know if it’s day or night. No windows.”
Only after overhearing officers refer in radio chatter among themselves to their national security building as Jazeera did he conclude their interest in his innocuous text message was a misunderstanding that he had been making a reference to their facilities.
“They thought that I knew something about their code,” he says.
A prosecutor charged Al Khanjar with crimes that included establishing a group in violation of the law and inciting and participating in unauthorized meetings of more than five people for the purpose of undermining national security, according to a copy of the indictment translated by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.
An arm of the England and Wales lawyers association, the committee sent a delegation to Bahrain that observed an Oct. 28, 2010, hearing in the case against Al Khanjar and 22 others arrested at the same time.
The detainees testified about being tortured while in custody, according to the bar committee’s February 2011 report: beatings, particularly to the legs and ears; being kept in stress positions or naked for prolonged periods; hanging in a position called falaqa in which the detainee is suspended from a bar and the soles of his feet beaten; and, in some cases, sexual abuse.
The actions violated both international law and the laws of Bahrain, the report concluded. “Credible and pervasive allegations of mistreatment and torture, which are dismissed as fabrication by the Public Prosecutor, completely undermine the rule of law,” it stated.
Convicted in Absentia
In February, before Al Khanjar’s trial had reached its conclusion, protests flared and the government released all 23 detainees to relieve political tensions. Al Khanjar immediately went into hiding.
A separate military tribunal later tried him and others -- many, like him, in absentia -- and convicted them on charges that included trying to overthrow the government. Al Khanjar, who denies the charges in this and the earlier case, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Al Khanjar says the first of his communications used in the interrogations was intercepted in June 2009. At that time, the Nokia Siemens family of related companies was the only known supplier and maintainer of monitoring centers to Bahrain, the two people familiar with the installations say. The clusters of computers required constant upgrades by the companies, they say.
Company executives understood that they had the only monitoring-center computers in the country, based on conversations with Bahraini officials, one of those familiar with the situation says. The other says he knew of the arrangement from internal company communications. Neither knows whether the equipment originally installed and maintained by the companies is still in use.
NSN and Trovicor’s status as exclusive provider in Bahrain continued at least through 2009, the two people familiar with the installation say. That period of more than two years coincides with the dates of text messages used to interrogate scores of political detainees, human rights advocate Rajab says.
Based on his conversations with former detainees and their representatives, he says that authorities used messages that dated as far back as the mid-2000s, even in recent interrogations.
Schaake, 32, who represents the Netherlands in the European Parliament, says companies should be barred from exporting such equipment to countries with poor human rights records. U.S. and EU export laws and UN sanctions control just a narrow slice of technology such as weapons systems or data encryption. International embargoes that cover a broader range of equipment target only a small circle of the worst actors, such as Myanmar and North Korea.
Transparency and Accountability
“It is time for more pressure, for more transparency and accountability when it comes to these products and services,” Schaake says. As a first step, Schaake says surveillance systems involving information and communications technology should join military items such as missile parts on lists of restricted exports.
Schaake helped to sponsor a parliamentary resolution in February 2010 that called for the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, to ban exports of such technology to regimes that could abuse it. The commission hasn’t implemented the nonbinding resolution.
The U.S. Congress passed a law in 2010 barring federal contracts with any businesses that sold monitoring gear to Iran. An investigation ordered by Congress and completed in June by the Government Accountability Office was unable to identify any companies supplying the technology to Iran, partly because the business is so secretive, the agency reported.
Lack of Oversight
Al Khanjar says lightly regulated sales of lawful interception technology expose an industry lacking appropriate oversight.
“The United Nations should put pressure on those companies that supply equipment to these tyrant regimes,” he says.
Bahraini government regulator Aldoseri says the companies are all too happy to sell the equipment regardless of what happens once it’s installed.
“If you provide someone with a knife, you expect them to use it responsibly,” he says. That’s not necessarily the case with surveillance companies, he says.
“They don’t ask any of the operators or security organs what happens after. They provide equipment to filter and monitor and they don’t care about due process.”
Forças de choque da Polícia Militar atacando o interior do alojamento cedido pela própria Prefeitura de São José dos Campos para abrigar moradores desocupados do Pinheirinho. No alojamento provisório estavam famílias inteiras, crianças, idosos e pessoas portadoras de necessidades especiais. Uma criança foi levada carregada para a ambulância que estava montada em uma tenda enquanto os policiais continuavam a jogar bombas em direção aos moradores.
Shock forces of the Military Police attacking the interior of the accommodation given by the Prefecture of Sao Jose dos Campos to shelter residents Pinheirinho unoccupied.
In temporary accommodation were entire families, children, elderly and people with special needs. A child was taken to the ambulance loaded that was mounted in a tent while the police continued to throw bombs towards the residents.
23 de janeiro de 2012
Vídeo feito pela equipe do Causa Operária TV dentro do bairro do Pinheirinho em São José dos Campos, São Paulo, durante a desocupação violenta pela Polícia militar.
Although Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in February 2011, the uprisings in Egypt show little sign of retreat. While the uniting rallying cry may have been against dictatorship, the struggle in Egypt that took headlines across the world in early 2011 reflected deeper social, political, and economic problems.
The key demands of the revolution have still not been met. The continuation of military rule and the promise of more neoliberal economic policies lead many to believe it will be a long battle. Protestors in Egypt are hopeful, however, as people all over the world revolt against an economic system that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
On October 10th 2011, hundreds of people in downtown Oakland occupied Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of city hall. They built a self-organized tent city and began to meet some of the community’s most urgent needs. They renamed the plaza Oscar Grant Plaza in honor of a young African-American man who was shot and killed by BART Police in 2009. Although the action was partially inspired by Occupy Wall Street and austerity protests throughout the world, Occupy Oakland’s particular character resulted from years of struggle and repression in the Bay Area. This short documentary details the ongoing story of the Oakland Commune.
It was produced by Marianne Maeckelbergh and Brandon Jourdan with footage from Caitlin Manning, David Martinez, John Hamilton, and tons of archival footage.
NOTE: The text at the end should read January 2012.
Segue uma listinha de "populares" anti-SOPA.
Cabe destacar que algumas das empresas que defenderam uma posição anti-SOPA, não tem um histórico tão nobre no que diz respeito ao livre acesso de informações. Empresas como Yahoo, Google e Microsoft se dobraram aos rígidos controles de fluxo de informação imposto pelo governo de Pequim em troca de acesso privilegiado a suculentas parcelas do mercado chinês.
Publicado no Observatório da Imprensa
Carlos Castilho em 24/05/2011
Parece incrível mas a Microsoft tornou-se mais um grande ícone do capitalismo digital a sucumbir às pressões de um governo estrangeiro para censurar blogs criados por militantes da oposição.
Primeiro foi o Google, depois o Yahoo e agora a empresa de Bill Gates. Todos eles resolveram agradar às autoridades de Beijing deixando de hospedar weblogs de jornalistas e militantes contrários às políticas oficiais na China.
Trata-se de uma medida que causa mais dano à imagem das corporações norte-americanas do que aos ativistas chineses porque eles dispoem de milhares de outros serviços de hospedagem de blogs espalhados pelo mundo.
Mostra também como as grandes empresas norte-americanas preferem sacrificar princípios ideológicos em nome dos bons negócios, não importa se o parceiro se proclama marxista e não dá bola para o sistema representativo vigente nos Estados Unidos.
A questão da censura na internet ainda é um problema não resolvido. Teoricamente é impossível bloquear comunicações e o livre fluxo de informações através da rede de aproximadamente um bilhão de computadores conectados à internet, porque é impossível fechar todos os canais de comunicação ao mesmo tempo. Isto configuraria um black out mundial na rede, com consequências catastróficas.
Acontece que os computadores de usuários, como nós, acessam a rede através de provedores (no caso do correio eletrônico ou acesso simples à rede), muitos dos quais são também os hospedeiros de weblogs (como é o caso do IG) , páginas web e bancos de dados. São os provedores e hospedeiros que podem fazer a censura ou congelar um weblog ou endereço.
Claro que, no momento em que tomam atitudes prepotentes como estas, sua confiabilidade junto aos seu usuários vai para o ralo, porque desaparece a garantia moral de que os provedores e hospedeiros respeitarão a privacidade das informações veiculadas por seus clientes.
Até agora as únicas exceções eram a divulgação de material incentivando o ódio racial e o terrorismo, mas a cada dia que passa fica mais claro que o interesse comercial pode atropelar os princípios, principalmente quando as somas envolvidas tem mais de cinco zeros.
A alternativa para os afetados é mudar de provedor ou hospedeiro, quando se tratar de página web ou weblog. Segundo a ABRANET (Associação Brasileira de Provedores de Acesso à Internet) existiam em 2002 quase 1220 provedores de acesso à internet no país. No mundo inteiro, o número pode chegar a quase 50 mil.
Apesar de ser possível o jogo de gato e rato entre um blogueiro ativista e os provedores em matéria de censura, no quesito privacidade as fichas estão definitivamente com quem garante o acesso à internet. Tudo o que se passa na rede é potencialmente sujeito a ser descoberto.
Na verdade já estamos vivendo num Big Brother digital porque não há segredos na rede. Nossa vulnerabilidade só não é maior porque de certa forma estamos protegidos pelo fator massa. É tanta gente navegando que dificilmente despertamos a atenção, a não ser que alguém decida nos observar. Aí passamos a viver numa casa de vidro e não há jeito de escapar, a não ser saindo da rede.
No ambiente Web teremos que nos acostumar com uma nova maneira de conviver com velhos fantasmas como a censura e a privacidade.
Por Comitês Populares da Copa 22/01/2012 às 20:57
A Articulação Nacional dos Comitês Populares da Copa, reunida em Porto Alegre nos dias 21, 22 e 23 de janeiro de 2012, condena veementemente a brutal ação policial que desocupou a favela do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos, São Paulo. A notícia, que recebemos com consternação, é um choque, por sua ferocidade e covardia que, de acordo com relatos, teriam custado sete mortes. Infelizmente, contudo, não é uma surpresa. Quem está atento aos fenômenos de transformação do espaço urbano brasileiro nos últimos anos, sabe da violência que caracteriza os processos de exclusão que atingem às comunidades mais pobres, mesmo quando eles não se manifestam pela força física.
Pinheirinho é um caso trágico, mas exemplar: um terreno dedicado à especulação imobiliária, que pertence à massa falida de Naji Nahas, notório criminoso financeiro; cerca de 1.600 famílias, totalizando mais de 6.000 pessoas, vivendo no local há oito anos; descaso das autoridades em todos os níveis, mas especialmente a prefeitura, com a regularização e a infraestrutura da área; uma intervenção direta do aparelho estatal (no caso, o governo do Estado de São Paulo) contra a população mais carente e em favor de interesses privados.
Nada disso, claro, é novidade; mas essas dinâmicas têm se acelerado nos últimos anos e ganharam, mais recentemente, um impulso fortíssimo com a escolha do Brasil como sede da Copa do Mundo de 2014 e das Olimpíadas de 2016. O que temos visto são remoções criminosas, atingindo cerca de 170 mil pessoas no Brasil inteiro, e desrespeito aos direitos mais básicos, em favor de uma lógica que privatiza os lucros, enquanto socializa custos e prejuízos à população. Estes prejuízos se distribuem desproporcionalmente, e é a população mais fragilizada, em particular, que arca com o peso maior.
Megaeventos são, no mundo todo, exatamente isso: grandes desculpas para criar-se um estado de exceção que permite a uns poucos maximizar seu ganho nas costas de muitos que pagam caro, seja por meio de impostos, seja pela perda da moradia, seja pela perda de direitos trabalhistas, seja, como é o caso hoje, com a vida.
Exigimos justiça para as famílias do Pinheirinho, mas também para aqueles que terão de ser responsabilizados e punidos por este arbítrio. Em primeiro lugar, o governador Geraldo Alckmin, que hoje inscreveu seu nome no panteão dos governos do Estado de São Paulo: agora ele também tem o seu Carandiru. Têm que pagar o preço do abuso, ainda, o juiz titular da 3ª Vara Federal, Carlos Alberto Antônio Júnior, que cassou a liminar que suspendia a ação de reintegração de posse, alegando que a justiça federal não teria competência para atuar no caso, apesar da manifestação de interesse da União em comprar a área disputada; e especialmente a juíza da 6ª Vara Cível, Márcia Faria Mathey Loureiro, que planejou a ação junto com o comando da Polícia Militar; bem como os comandantes envolvidos na operação.
Mas se Pinheirinho é exemplar, também o é pela organização e empenho da comunidade em lutar pelos seus direitos. Rodaram o mundo fotos e vídeos destes homens e mulheres comuns que, jogados pelas circunstâncias numa luta desigual por seus direitos e sua dignidade, elevaram-se ao papel de fonte de inspiração e admiração para muitos. Pinheirinho pode cair, mas Pinheirinho não acabará para todos aqueles que seguirão lutando esta mesma luta. A partir de hoje, Pinheirinho somos todos nós.
|Violência do Estado||Jan 22|
|ALERTA: Polícia começa desocupação do Pinheirinho! Moradores resistem! |
Covardia! Apesar de todas as decisões judiciais contrarias a PM começou a desocupação do Pinheirinho nesta madrugada, helicópteros tropas de choque , isolaram a areá e entraram na ocupação pegando a todos de surpresa, a PM esta desfazendo as barricadas e organizando o despejo. Ha noticias de feridos.
Os moradores da região estão estão revoltados e estão quebrando as dependências de apoio da polícia. Dentro da ocupação moradores resistem, esta tendo confronto direto com a polícia que esta usando todo o aparato para repressão.
Alerta Brasil! Quem puder vir para São José dos Campos venham precisamos de solidariedade!
Pinheirinho está sendo desocupado de forma violenta e ostensiva pela PM apesar da decisão judicial em contrário! AÇÃO É ILEGAL! Helicópteros, bombas, tiros de borracha,tudo que se possa imaginar. Personalidades, direitos humanos, políticos: ajudem a parar esse massacre!
22 de janeiro de 2012
O morador ferido a bala durante a manhã de hoje, o ajudante de pedreiro David Washington Castor Furtado, 32 anos, já passou por uma cirurgia e continua internado no Hospital Municipal.
Segundo a mãe de David, a dona de casa Rejane Furtado da Silva, no momento em que foi baleado ele tinha acabado de sair do Pinheirinho e carregava seu filho de 10 meses no colo.
A bala atingiu a perna de David, quando estava próximo ao Centro de Triagem. Ele passou por cirurgia e, segundo médicos, corre o risco de ficar paraplégico.
"Até agora o meu filho não está sentindo as pernas. É muita desgraça. A esposa dele, que viu tudo, está em estado de choque", disse dona Rejane, que é categórica ao afirmar que a bala partiu da Guarda Municipal.
Embora ele tenha sido atingido com arma de fogo, a Guarda Municipal insiste em afirmar que não usou armas letais na ação. Quem será que está mentindo?
22/01/2012 - 17h25
Reintegração em SP "atropelou negociações para saída pacífica", diz ministro
O ministro Gilberto Carvalho (Secretaria-Geral da Presidência) disse neste domingo que a ação de reintegração de posse da área invadida do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos (97 km de São Paulo), "atropelou" as negociações para a desocupação pacífica do local.
Veja imagens da reintegração de posse
Carro da Globo é queimado em reintegração de posse em SP
Reintegração de posse deixa um ferido em São José dos Campos
PM diz que reintegração de área invadida em SP foi pacífica
Vídeo mostra tensão de moradores em reintegração no Pinheirinho
Responsável pela interlocução com os movimentos sociais, Carvalho afirmou que o Palácio do Planalto vinha acompanhando as conversas sobre a retirada das famílias da área e trabalhava para uma saída negociada, com a definição de uma nova região para abrigar as famílias.
Por lá, vivem cerca de 6.000 pessoas. O local é alvo de uma disputa entre os invasores e a massa falida de uma empresa, proprietária do terreno. No início da manhã, a Polícia Militar cumpriu a ordem judicial. O clima é tenso.
Por conta da ação, as famílias chegaram a bloquear a rodovia Dutra, próximo ao km 154 no sentido Rio de Janeiro, por volta das 13h30 de hoje.
Lucas Lacaz Ruiz/A13/Folhapress
Tropa de Choque da PM entrou em confronto com moradores do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos (SP)
Tropa de Choque da PM entrou em confronto com moradores do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos (SP)
Um dos assessores do ministro, inclusive, que estava no terreno, foi atingido com uma bala de borracha na perna.
Carvalho evitou fazer críticas à ação e ao governo de São Paulo, mas disse que o governo federal foi surpreendido com a desocupação ainda mais em um domingo. Ele afirmou que estranhou o fato de o prefeito de São José dos Campos, Eduardo Pedrosa Cury, ter desmarcado uma reunião sobre a invasão na última quinta-feira.
A presidente Dilma Rousseff foi avisada no início do dia dos problemas na desocupação. Ela pediu que além de Carvalho, os ministros José Eduardo Cardozo (Justiça) e Maria do Rosário (Secretaria de Direitos Humanos) acompanhassem os desdobramentos.
Cardoso teria telefonado para o governador de São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) e alertado sobre os riscos do uso da força policial. Na avaliação do governo, parte das famílias têm ligações com movimentos sociais mais radicais.
Para o governo, o uso da força era desnecessário, tendo em vista que a ocupação está consolidada há oito anos e que haviam discussões para uma solução para a retirada das famílias.
Canoas (RS) - O sociólogo português Boaventura de Sousa Santos comentou neste domingo, a violenta ação da Polícia Militar de São Paulo na desocupação da comunidade do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos, São Paulo, na manhã deste domingo. Relatos dos próprios moradores dão conta de pelo menos sete mortes, informação não confirmada pela polícia militar até o final da tarde deste domingo.
Em Canoas para uma oficina da Universidade Popular dos Movimentos Sociais, evento pré-Fórum Social Temático, Boaventura condenou duramente a ação de reintegração de posse autorizada pela justiça paulista e executada pelo governo do estado, comandado pelo governador tucano Geraldo Alckimin (PSDB).
Para o professor, a violência é um recado da direita oligárquica a todos os movimentos sociais que lutam por seus direitos. Uma tentativa de desmoralizá-los. Para ele, a direita é anti-democrática e não hesita em usar de todos os meios para garantir seus interesses, sejam meios legais ou não.
O sociólogo cobrou uma ação firme do governo federal no caso e considera que mesmo com a violência, os movimentos sociais não se deixarão desmoralizar e seguirão em suas lutas por direitos fundamentais de cada cidadão.
Vídeo: Ivan Trindade
22 de janeiro de 2012 às 17:00
por Conceição Lemes
Tropa de choque de quase 2 mil homens, caveirão, armamento pesado. Com todo esse aparato, começou neste domingo, às 6h, a desocupação do Pinheirinho, em São José dos Campos. Moradores, lideranças e parlamentares foram totalmente pegos de surpresa.
“O senador Eduardo Suplicy (PT) e o deputado federal Ivan Valente (Psol-SP) estavam dialogando com o governador Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), o prefeito Eduardo Cury (PSDB) e proprietário da área, para achar uma solução negociada”, afirma o deputado estadual Marco Aurélio Souza (PT). “O próprio dono da área havia concordado em aguardar mais 15 dias. Isso tudo foi minuciosamente relatado por Suplicy numa assembleia realizada ontem, sábado, no Pinheirinho. De modo que todo mundo estava tranqüilo.”
Para Marco Aurélio, Alckmin manobrou os parlamentares para desmobilizar os moradores e, aí, fazer a reintegração de posse sem resistência. “Covardia com os moradores, para pegá-los desprevenidos”, acusa. “Quebra de palavra com os parlamentares importantes de São Paulo. ”
O professor Paulo Búfalo, da executiva do Psol em São Paulo, está convencido também de que foi uma manobra de má-fé do governador Alckmin. De um lado, negociava, com os parlamentares. De outro, determinava a desapropriação da área, uma ação em conluio com a Justiça de São Paulo: “Todos os relatos que estamos ouvindo aqui, infelizmente, apontam para isso”.
Sobre mortos e feridos os números são desencontrados. Divulgou-me mais cedo sete óbitos. Mas isso não confirmado.
“Mesmo as lideranças estão com dificuldade de obter informação”, diz Búfalo. “A tropa de choque fechou todas as entradas e saídas do acampamento. Ninguém sabe direito o que está acontecendo lá dentro.”
O fato é quem quem chega ao Pinheirinho está sendo recebido com bombas, que estão sobrando até para a imprensa e parlamentares. “Eu guardei de ‘lembrança’ os resíduos da que a PM atirou contra mim”, observa o deputado Marco Aurélio. “Se a amanhã o governador disser que a reintegração de posse do Pinheirinho foi feita de forma pacífica, eu tenho como provar que é mentira.”
21 de janeiro de 2012
Drone Assassinations Hurt the U.S. More Than They Help Us
By John Horgan | October 3, 2011 | Comments21
Predator drone firing missile A lot of my liberal friends are bitterly disappointed with President Barack Obama’s performance in the past three years. They complain that via action and inaction, he is perpetuating many of the policies of his predecessor. In one key area related to military policy, equating Obama to President George W. Bush is unfair—to Bush. Obama has proved to be far more willing than Bush to launch drone attacks in countries with which we are not at war. Just last week, a CIA-directed drone attack killed two jihadists who happened to be American citizens—Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan—in Yemen. Obama hailed the killing as “a major blow to al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate.”
The U.S. military has deployed more than 7,000 unmanned airborne vehicles, or drones, security analyst P.W. Singer of the Brookings Institution reported in Scientific American last year. Drones such as the Predator, originally designed for reconnaissance, are increasingly used to kill as well as spy on targets. The Obama administration has carried out far more drone attacks than the Bush administration. The number of U.S. attacks in Pakistan alone in 2010 was 117, more than all such attacks in previous years combined, according to a report by Eric Schmitt in The New York Times last April.
A 2009 Brookings Institution report estimated that U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan had killed 10 civilians on average for every militant. The security analyst Daniel Bynam noted that “civilian deaths create dangerous political problems. Pakistan’s new democratic government is already unpopular for its corruption, favoritism, and poor governance. U.S. strikes that take a civilian toll are a further blow to its legitimacy—and to U.S. efforts to build goodwill there.” Drones are “a double-edged sword,” former CIA official Bruce Riedel told USA Today. “It really doesn’t matter how clean the strikes are,” Riedel explained. “It is very hard for us to persuade Yemenis or Pakistanis that only bad guys get killed.”
A 2010 United Nations report by Philip Alston, the U.N. special representative on extrajudicial executions, warned that drone attacks are “doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions.” Alston added: “It is an essential requirement of international law that States using targeted killings demonstrate that they are complying with the various rules governing their use in situations of armed conflict. The greatest challenge to this principle today comes from the program operated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency…The international community does not know when and where the CIA is authorized to kill, the criteria for individuals who may be killed, how it ensures killings are legal, and what follow-up there is when civilians are illegally killed.”
Administration officials, needless to say, have rejected these moral and legal concerns. Just last month, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. “has significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks against the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there.” The Post quoted White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan declaring that the administration “does not view our authority to use military force against al Qaeda as being restricted solely to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.” Brennan added, “We reserve the right to take unilateral action if or when other governments are unwilling or unable to take the necessary actions themselves.”
In my previous post, I argued that any benefit Americans gain by executing convicts is outweighed by the damage we do to our reputations as morally upright people. The same argument applies with even more force to remote-controlled assassinations of suspected enemies—whether or not they are American citizens—who do not even get the benefit of a trial. Our actions have practical as well as moral consequences. The Obama administration’s enthusiasm for lethal drones may accelerate a global arms race that comes back to haunt Americans. In Wired for War (Penguin Press, 2009), Singer, the Brookings analyst, estimated that at least 43 nations as well as groups such as Hezbollah have deployed or are developing drones and other robotic weapons. We would be outraged if others attacked us with these weapons. But how can we expect others to adhere to the rules of law—and of common decency—when we don’t?
Image: Photograph of Predator firing missile courtesy Wikimedia Commons
About the Author: Every week, John Horgan takes a puckish, provocative look at breaking science. A former staff writer at Scientific American, he is the author of four books, including The End of Science (Addison Wesley, 1996) and The End of War (McSweeney's Books, January 2012).