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Posts tagged with ‘wikileaks’

As Twitter continues to thrive as the communications tool of choice amongst activists, dissenters and occupiers worldwide it should be no surprise that the San Francisco-based company is drawing heightened attention from US law enforcement agencies. Most recently, and likely to the surprise of even the most conspiratorial privacy advocates has been the Boston Police Department’s subpoena for data on a hashtag, #bostonPD. Yes, a supeona on a hashtag.

- Zachary Wolff, Twitter: To log or not to log: Is that the question? via the dialog

Wolff goes on to discuss the #NOLOGS policy being promoted by WikiLeaks and other groups concerned with publicy. I can’t say this is a concern for privacy since twitter messages are in general public.

MY bet is that #NOLOGS wont’ work, simply because there are so many organizations that are logging tweets through different means. It’s not just a matter of convincing the folks at Twitter to not log your tweets. If I can read them, for example, can’t I log them on my hard drive?

(via underpaidgenius)

How the US Justice Department legally hacked my Twitter account | Birgitta Jónsdóttir | Comment is free | →

Birgitta Jonsdottir via The Guardian

Many of us who use the internet – be it to write emails, work or browse its growing landscape: mining for information, connecting with others or using it to organise ourselves in various groups of the like-minded – are not aware of that our behavior online is being monitored. Profiling has become a default with companies such as Google and Facebook. These companies have huge databases recording our every move within their environment, in order to groom advertising to our interests. For them, we are only consumers to push goods at, in order to sell ads through an increasingly sophisticated business model. For them, we are not regarded as citizens with civic rights.

This notion needs to change. No one really knew where we were heading a few years ago: neither we the users, nor the companies harvesting our personal information for profit. Very few of us imagined that governments that claim to be democratic would invade our online privacy with no regard to the fundamental rights we are supposed to have in the real world. We might look to China and other stereotypical totalitarian states and expect them to violate the free flow of information and our digital privacy, but not – surely? – our very own democratically elected governments.

What I have learned about my lack of rights in the last few months is of concern for everyone who uses the internet and calls for actions to raise people’s awareness about their legal rights and ways to improve legal guidelines about digital media, be it locally or globally. The problem – and the dilemma we are facing – is that there are no proper standards, no basic laws in place that deal with the fundamental question: are we to be treated as consumers or citizens online? There is no international charter that says we should have the same civic rights as we have in the offline world.

Jonsdottir goes on to make the obvious but chilling observation: if the web is controlled only by the user agreements we have with private companies, and not by the laws of our democratic governments, we are all at risk and our freedoms are abridged.

The problem lies not just in the possible conflict of interest we might have — do have — with Facebook and Google, but the unwillingness of governments to extend the rights we have fought for in the world into the web. The problem is that our governments don’t want to find solidarity with us: they want power to control us.

You can make a case that Wikileaks poses a real danger to the US government, and it is an edge case. But I believe that the US should still have to go through the courts to obtain search warrants even in cases like these.

(Source: underpaidgenius)

Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont.

The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU).

Several cables describe “biotechnology outreach programs” in countries across the globe, including African, Asian and South American countries where Western biotech agriculture had yet to gain a foothold. In some cables (such as this 2010 cable from Morocco) US diplomats ask the State Department for funds to send US biotech experts and trade industry representatives to target countries for discussions with high-profile politicians and agricultural officials.

Truthout recently reported on front groups supported by the US government, philanthropic foundations and companies like Monsanto that are working to introduce pro-biotechnology policy initiatives and GE crops in developing African countries, and several cables released this week confirm that American diplomats have promoted biotech agriculture to countries like Tunisia, South Africa and Mozambique.

- Mike Ludwig, New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

The policies of the US government is one of the many reasons that changing the food system is incredibly hard.  Here, newly leaked cables show that US officials have been working on behalf of US-based agribusiness to promote genetically engineered foods.

I am not afraid of frankenfoods becuase they are genetically engineered, per se. What I oppose is the creation of foods that are tailored to work in combination with other chemicals, like Monsanto’s RoundUp, or where tailored strains are introduced under patent, so farmers cannot grow and retain seeds. An behind all the monoculturism is the loss of landraces: strains of plants that have adapted to local conditions over millenia, but do not offer the profits that genetically engineered ones do.

(via foodte-ch)

Twitter beta-tested a spine.

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