The U.S. Has Ramped Up Airstrikes Against ISIS in Raqqa, and Syrian Civilians Are Paying the Price

Thanks to camera phones and social media, the deadly consequences of U.S. military operations are indeed being recorded, shared, and watched around the world on an unprecedented scale. But while civilian deaths are regularly reported in local media outlets in the Middle East, they are seldom reported in detail by international media.

Fuente: The U.S. Has Ramped Up Airstrikes Against ISIS in Raqqa, and Syrian Civilians Are Paying the Price


Campaign group to challenge UK over surrender of passwords at border control | Politics | The Guardian

The move comes after its international director, Muhammad Rabbani, a UK citizen, was arrested at Heathrow airport in November for refusing to hand over passwords. Rabbani, 35, has been detained at least 20 times over the past decade when entering the UK, under schedule 7 of terrorism legislation that provides broad search powers, but this was the first time he had been arrested.

Fuente: Campaign group to challenge UK over surrender of passwords at border control | Politics | The Guardian


Facebook is Collaborating with the Israeli Government to Determine What Should be Censored

Associated Press reports today from Jerusalem that “the Israeli government and Facebook have agreed to work together to determine how to tackle incitement on the social media network.” These meetings are taking place “as the government pushes ahead with legislative steps meant to force social networks to rein in content that Israel says incites violence.” In other words, Israel is about to legislatively force Facebook to censor content deemed by Israeli officials to be improper, and Facebook appears eager to appease those threats by working directly with the Israeli government to determine what content should be censored.

Fuente: Facebook is Collaborating with the Israeli Government to Determine What Should be Censored


Facebook backs down from ‘napalm girl’ censorship and reinstates photo | Technology | The Guardian

“After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case. An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography. In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time.”

Fuente: Facebook backs down from ‘napalm girl’ censorship and reinstates photo | Technology | The Guardian


How the U.S. Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide

As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows.

Fuente: How the U.S. Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide


Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months for promoting terrorism | Technology | The Guardian

Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts in the last six months for violation of its policies regarding the promotion of terrorism and violent threat, the company said Thursday, adding to 125,000 suspensions in the six months before that.In a blog post on Thursday, the company said that “there is no one ‘magic algorithm’ for identifying terrorist content on the Internet”.

Fuente: Twitter suspends 235,000 accounts in six months for promoting terrorism | Technology | The Guardian


German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian

Checking smartphones of those without passports among measures announced by the interior minister, Thomas de Maizière

Fuente: German proposals could see refugees’ phones searched by police | World news | The Guardian


Chelsea Manning: ‘It is terrifying to face the government alone’ | US news | The Guardian

In an interview with Amnesty International, made exclusive to the Guardian ahead of its publication in the new book Here I Stand, Chelsea Manning describes her feelings of isolation while in the hands of the most powerful government in the world.

Fuente: Chelsea Manning: ‘It is terrifying to face the government alone’ | US news | The Guardian


Turkey’s President Survives Coup Attempt, Thanks in Part to Social Media He So Despises

The plotters failed, despite following a script that might have succeeded in the 20th century, in part because Erdogan was able to rally support for democratic rule using 21st century tools: video chat and social media.

Fuente: Turkey’s President Survives Coup Attempt, Thanks in Part to Social Media He So Despises


Israel Targeting Palestinian Protesters on Facebook

Facebook represents a new battleground in the long-running Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israeli officials blame social media for inciting violence, and arrests of Palestinians for Facebook posts have dramatically increased.

Fuente: Israel Targeting Palestinian Protesters on Facebook


Karim the AI delivers psychological support to Syrian refugees | Technology | The Guardian

More than 1 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the start of the conflict and as many as one-fifth of them may be suffering from mental health disorders, according to the World Health Organisation.But Lebanon’s mental health services are mostly private and the needs of refugees – who may have lost loved ones, their home, livelihood and community – are mostly going unmet.Hoping to support the efforts of overworked psychologists in the region, the Silicon Valley startup X2AI has created an artificially intelligent chatbot called Karim that can have personalised text message conversations in Arabic to help people with their emotional problems.

Fuente: Karim the AI delivers psychological support to Syrian refugees | Technology | The Guardian


Twitter Says There’s No “Magical Algorithm” to Find Terrorists

Twitter announced on Friday that it has shut down over 125,000 user accounts for promoting violent threats or terrorist acts, mostly having to do with ISIS, in less than a year. At the same time, the company made it clear that there is no automated way of distinguishing between protected speech and what it considers violations of its rules.

Fuente: Twitter Says There’s No “Magical Algorithm” to Find Terrorists


How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis | World news | The Guardian

How a team of social media experts is able to keep track of the UK jihadis | World news | The Guardian.

A Facebook posting by Collin Gordon, one of the 700 or so western fighters for Isis in the database

Another Briton had died in Syria, and back in London investigators were busy “scraping” through his online peer network for clues about fellow Islamic State (Isis) foot soldiers.

It was little surprise that Rhonan Malik knew two Canadian brothers, Gregory and Collin Gordon. After all, Twitter rumours suggested that all three had been killed in the same December air strike. More intriguing was the prodigious Facebookpresence of Collin Gordon which indicated that, shortly before becoming a jihadist, he had been “quite the party boy”.

On a labyrinthine upper floor of King’s College London is the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR), the first global initiative of its type, whose offices are frequently contacted by counter-terrorism officers, hungry for information on the continuing flow of Britons to the ranks of Isis.

At 4.30pm on Thursday the centre’s researchers were assiduously examining social media “accounts of value”, noting the ongoing ripples of jubilation following the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks. A pseudonymous jihadist from Manchester, Abu QaQa, had said that the shootings had persuaded Isis and al-Qaida supporters to bury their differences.

“He’s saying we should be happy that jihad was made against the crusaders. It doesn’t matter that AQ and IS have been fighting each other – if it brings attacks against the west he’ll support it,” said Joseph Carter, research fellow at the ICSR.

So far the centre’s database has amassed profiles of about 700 western foreign fighters who have joined either Isis or groups such as al-Qaida’s Syrian offshoot, the al-Nusra Front. Each individual is categorised according to 72 data points, such as their birthplace or previous employment. At one point the database held the particulars of up to 90 Britons, a figure that has dwindled to around 50, largely as a consequence of coalition air strikes against Isis positions – Malik is believed to be at least the 35th Briton killed in Syria during 2014 – while a handful have simply vanished without trace from social media.


El Estado Islámico inunda las redes sociales alternativas | Diario Público

El Estado Islámico inunda las redes sociales alternativas | Diario Público.

Móvil con la bandera de ISIS en la pantalla

Móvil con la bandera de ISIS en la pantalla

DAVID BOLLERO

A finales de 2014, la ONU mostraba su preocupación por el hecho de que al menos 15.000 extranjeros procedentes de más de 80 países hubieran viajado a Siria, Irak, Somalia, Yemen y la región del Magreb y el Sahel para unirse a grupos extremistas. Se estima que una cuarta parte de los combatientes del Estado Islámico (EI) podrían ser extranjeros. Buena parte de este poder de captación se canaliza a través de las nuevas tecnologías.

El primer ministro británico, David Cameron, sugería esta misma semana la prohibición del uso de aplicaciones como Whatsapp por la dificultad de interceptar sus comunicaciones al estar cifradas y ser directamente de terminal a terminal. Si bien es verdad que el EI ha utilizado este tipo de aplicaciones no es menos cierto que desde el pasado mes de octubre el Estado Islámico desaconsejó a sus seguidores utilizarla por considerar que la NSA sí podía interceptar las comunicaciones. De esta manera, el EI encuentra recambio a Whatsapp en otros servicios de mensajería instantánea, como Kik, a través de los cuales coordina sus operaciones en el mercado negro, recluta o, incluso, organiza incursiones en primera línea de combate.

En ocasiones, las herramientas utilizadas por grupos extremistas como el EI ni siquiera se encuentran cuidadosamente ocultas; más bien al contrario, a plena luz de los internautas. El problema es que el volumen de información es tan elevado en la red que, precisamente, esa es su mejor baza para pasar inadvertidos. Es el caso de la aplicación móvil para Android que se descubrió el año pasado en Google Play: ‘The Dawn of Glad Tidings’, también conocida simplemente como ‘Dawn’.

Activa desde abril de 2014, fue descargada por miles de usuarios -se calcula que entre 5.000 y 10.000 descargas- bajo la descripción de “la aplicación que te informa sobre Siria, Irak y el mundo islámico”. Más de 600 calificaciones de la aplicación fueron de 4.9 estrellas, siendo una de las mejor posicionadas.

Una vez descargada, la aplicación tuiteaba a la cuenta del usuario –con enlaces, fotos, hashtags…- y, por ejemplo, el día que el EI se hizo con la ciudad de Mosul –la segunda ciudad de Irak- se registraron cerca de 40.000 tuits desde la aplicación.

Cuando el EI se hizo con
la ciudad de Mosul, se registraron cerca de 40.000 tuits desde la aplicación.

Una presencia en Twitter que, además, se refuerza utilizando cuentas como @ActiveHashtags que publica en árabe los trending topics (TT). Asimismo, estos grupos extremistas abren continuamente cuentas similares que únicamente publican contenido yihadista, consiguiendo cientos de retuits por tuit y, ya no sólo postear los principales TT sino, además, crearlos.

Manual ante una cuenta cerrada

Los esfuerzos por identificar estas cuentas y cancelarlas por parte de las principales redes como Facebook, Twitter e, incluso, YouTube se han intensificado, especialmente, desde la primera emisión del vídeo que mostraba la decapitación del periodista James Foley con campañas como #ISISmediablackout. Lo mismo sucede con otras redes como Tumblr, Flickr, SoundCloud o Instagram (y clones móviles como Iphoneogram).

Sin embargo, en los diversos foros yihadistas circulan recomendaciones sobre lo que hay que hacer cuando una cuenta es cancelada. Entre estos consejos, además de hackear los medios occidentales, figuran diversificar las redes, redirigiendo seguidores a canales distintos a Twitter o subiendo vídeos a canales diferentes a los de YouTube. Además, desde el EI animan a configurar servidores alternativos para dar salida a sus publicaciones, ampliando las aplicaciones más allá de la polaca Just Paste. Mixlr se perfila como otra de las bazas multimedia para el EI, brindando la oportunidad de emitir y sintonizar transmisiones en directo de audio.

Redes descentralizadas

Como alternativa a Twitter, los terroristas han dado con Quitter, donde también sufren el cierre de cuentas con son detectadas por el sistema. Del mismo modo, los yihadistas encuentras en redes como la rusa VKontakte una alternativa a Facebook. No es la única, puesto que existen otras alternativas como la árabe Gulpup o las de código abierto Friendica y especialmente Diaspora por su mayor calado, que también se han convertido en una vehículo de propagando y reclutamiento para el Estado Islámico.

Diaspora es una red sin ánimo de lucro que, a diferencia de otras redes sociales, no tiene sus servidores centralizados sino repartidos en una red de podmins, esto es, administradores de pods, como se denomina al servidor web personal de un usuario, que puede albergar múltiples cuentas. Es su responsabilidad eliminarlas o no, algo a lo que se anima desde Diaspora, pero sobre lo que no se toma acción directa por lo que el EI puede desarrollar su comunidad de adeptos más fácilmente.

Preguntas y respuestas

Otros métodos seguidos por el Estado Islámico para reclutar seguidores son las webs del tipo de la letona Ask.fm, donde los usuarios lanzan preguntas y otros las responden. El EI habría hecho uso de páginas como ésta para identificar a los reclutas más jóvenes y extender la propaganda. Informes del MEMRI (The Middle East Media Research Institute) revelan incluso cómo, dado que el portal no realiza ningún tipo de monitorización del contenido subido por los usuarios, un tal Abu Abdullah –que en Twitter llegó a operar como @Al_Brittani- habría viajado a Siria vía Turquía para unirse al Estado Islámico y habría respondido preguntas acerca de la yihad, armas, combatir o de cómo viajar a Siria, entre otras.

Estas técnicas, como sucede con las producciones ‘hollywoodienses’ de algunos de sus vídeos, persiguen aparecerse como una causa atractiva a los potenciales candidatos aliados, sin olvidar la amplificación de su mensaje. Complementando este planteamiento, el EI cuenta con su propia publicación, DABIQ, cuyos números pueden descargarse fácilmente desde diversas páginas web y están especialmente dirigidas a los musulmanes occidentales.


‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian

‘Freedom of expression’ anti-snooping campaign launched over Ripa changes | Politics | The Guardian.

Campaigners fear draft code of Ripa legislation will allow police sweeping powers to access phone and email records of journalists, lawyers and doctors
Armed police officers Houses of Parliament
Armed police officers inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

An urgent campaign has been launched for a “freedom of expression” law to protect confidential journalists’, MPs’ and lawyers’ phone and communications records being secretly snooped on by the police.

Senior editors and lawyers condemned as “wholly inadequate” safeguards put forward by Theresa May in December to meet concerns over the police use of surveillance powers in a code of practice linked to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa).

The critics of the draft code fear that the police will still have sweeping powers allowing them to authorise themselves to access the phone and email records of professionals such as journalists, lawyers, doctors, MPs and priests who handle privileged, confidential information.

More than 3,000 national and regional editors are being asked to sign a joint letter from the Society of Editors and Press Gazette, the industry’s journal, condemning the Home Office joint code for failing to recognise “the overarching importance of protecting journalists’ sources”.

The campaign comes as the prime minister, David Cameron, called for an extension of the laws that give snooping powers to security services with a plan to ban encrypted messages in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks.


13 ejemplos de que la censura a la libertad de expresión consigue justo lo contrario | Verne EL PAÍS

13 ejemplos de que la censura a la libertad de expresión consigue justo lo contrario | Verne EL PAÍS.


El atentado contra Charlie Hebdo tampoco servirá para nada

Portada de Charlie Hebdo del 2 de enero de 2011. El nuevo redactor jefe de "Sharia Hebdo" amenaza con "cien latigazos si no te mueres de risa"
Portada de Charlie Hebdo del 2 de enero de 2011. El nuevo redactor jefe de “Sharia Hebdo” amenaza con “cien latigazos si no te mueres de risa”

 

Tres hombres han entrado durante la mañana del miércoles en el semanario satírico francés Charlie Hebdo armados con Kalashnikov y han asesinado a 12 personas, dejando malheridas a otras cuatro. El semanario había sido objeto de amenazas y ataques, después publicar en 2006 caricaturas de Mahoma. De hecho, fue atacado con cócteles molotov en 2011, tras una portada en la que el profeta aparecía como redactor jefe de un número bautizado como Sharia Hebdo.

Si estos asesinatos pretendían que las caricaturas dejaran de circular, han fracasado: a los pocos minutos estos dibujos inundaban Twitter y aparecíangalerías en muchos medios de comunicación. En redes, muchos recogían ademásuna propuesta: que las portadas de los diarios del día siguiente al atentado llevaran las caricaturas de Charlie Hebdo.

Salvando las distancias, es un ejemplo (trágico) del efecto Streisand: cuando alguien intenta censurar algo en internet, se divulga aún más. Este efecto debe su nombre a la denuncia de la actriz y cantante para exigir que se retirara de una web una foto aérea de su casa. La denuncia sólo consiguió que la imagen se difundiera hasta el punto de que aparece hasta en la Wikipedia. El efecto contraproducente de la censura se potencia con internet, pero no es exclusivo de la red, como podemos ver en estos trece ejemplos que muestran que más tarde o más temprano, la libertad de expresión tiene todas las de ganar.


La UE insta a los gigantes de la Red a combatir el terrorismo ‘online’ | Internacional | EL PAÍS

La UE insta a los gigantes de la Red a combatir el terrorismo ‘online’ | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

La Unión Europea tratará hoy de persuadir a los gigantes de Internet para que colaboren contra la que considera su mayor amenaza: los yihadistas europeos. Los ministros de Interior de los 28 Estados miembros y la Comisión Europea mantendrán una cena restringida con representantes de las grandes compañías tecnológicas, que los radicales utilizan en buena medida para difundir mensajes y captar adeptos. Tras ese encuentro, los responsables del Interior acelerarán sus planes para luchar de manera más intensa contra este fenómeno. Las autoridades europeas estiman que más de 3.000 combatientes comunitarios han viajado a Oriente Próximo.

Los responsables de la lucha antiterrorista han llegado a la conclusión de que no se puede combatir eficazmente a los yihadistas en Europa sin contar con la colaboración de las grandes compañías de Internet. Por ese motivo, la comisaria europea del Interior, Cecilia Malmström, y la presidencia de turno italiana del Consejo Europeo —representa a los Estados miembros— han organizado por primera vez un encuentro con el sector, según confirma a este diario un portavoz del Ejecutivo comunitario. Altos cargos de Facebook, Twitter, Google y Microsoft participarán en la cena, aseguran esas fuentes.


The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad | World news | The Guardian

The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad | World news | The Guardian.

Isis is using techniques plundered from movies, video games and news channels to spread its message. Who is masterminding the operation – and what is the best way to counter it?

An Isis recruitment video
An Isis recruitment video with the Al Hayat logo shown in the top corner.

In 1941, Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned to make a series of propaganda films for the US war effort. He knew he had his work cut out: he had seen Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will – a staggering, state-of-the-art display of both film-making expertise and Nazi military might. “It scared the hell out of me,” Capra later said. “It fired no gun, dropped no bombs, but as a psychological weapon aimed at destroying the will to resist, it was just as lethal.” How could the Americans possibly compete? Capra’s solution was to turn the enemies’ weapons against them. His resulting seven-film documentary series, Why We Fight, repurposed footage from Triumph Of The Will and other propaganda films to show “our boys” what they were up against. He even copied Riefenstahl’s editing rhythms and rousing use of music. “Let their own films kill them,” Capra said. “Let the enemy prove to our soldiers the enormity of his cause – and the justness of ours.”

Fast forward to the present-day, and the situation seems to have been reversed. Just as Islamic State (Isis) has used captured American artillery against its enemies in Iraq, so it is using the west’s media tools and techniques against it. Isis has proved fluent in YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, internet memes (see: #catsofjihad) and other social media. Amateur videos and images are also being uploaded daily by its footsoldiers, which are then globally disseminated, both by ordinary users and mainstream news organisations hungry for images of a conflict their own cameras cannot access. A recent example was a recruitment video consisting of edited footage from Grand Theft Auto. “Your games which are producing from you, we do the same actions in the battlefields!! [sic]” proclaimed the YouTube clip, which was duly reported around the world. The current geopolitical situation in the Middle East is depressingly familiar, but Isis’s media sophistication is something new. It’s almost as if it looked at Osama bin Laden’s fuzzy, monotonous camcorder sermons of a decade ago and concluded that extremist Islam really needed a snappier marketing strategy. Isis is in competition with western news channels, Hollywood movies, reality shows, even music video, and it has adopted their vocabulary.


Los correos del jefe negociador de la paz en Colombia fueron espiados | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Los correos del jefe negociador de la paz en Colombia fueron espiados | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


Humberto de la Calle denuncia que accedieron a su computador personal y teléfono móvil

Humberto de la Cale durante una conferencia de prensa el miércoles. / AFP

Al menos en 17 oportunidades han intentado acceder al computador de Humberto de la Calle, el jefe negociador del Gobierno colombiano que está al frente de los diálogos de paz que se entablan con la guerrilla delas FARC desde noviembre de 2012. “Autoridades en Colombia me informan que hechos recientes demuestran que operaciones ilegales lograron infiltrar mis comunicaciones electrónicas”, dice una declaración de De la Calle, que se encuentra en La Habana, donde ahora se discute cómo resarcir a más de seis millones de víctimas que ha dejado el conflicto armado interno.

De la Calle denunció, sin citar a los responsables y sin dar mayores detalles de la información a la que accedieron, que con el ingreso a sus cuentas personales se tiene la capacidad “de enviar mensajes” a su nombre que “jamás” ha escrito. También dijo que las comunicaciones a través de su teléfono móvil pudieron ser infiltradas y que siguen apareciendo cuentas y perfiles falsos en redes sociales que tampoco le pertenecen.


Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories | World news | The Guardian

Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories | World news | The Guardian.

Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists

 

 

An Israeli soldier carries a computer seized in Hebron during search for three Israeli teenagers
An Israeli soldier carries a computer unit seized in Hebron during a search for three Israeli teenagers who were eventually found dead in the West Bank city. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

 

Forty-three veterans of one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units – many of them still active reservists – have signed a public letter refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents.

 

The signatories include officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country’s equivalent of America’s NSA or Britain’s GCHQ, known as Unit 8200 – or in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim.

 

They allege that the “all-encompassing” intelligence the unit gathers on Palestinians – much of it concerning innocent people – is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society.

 

The largest intelligence unit in the Israeli military, Unit 8200 intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic.

 

The signatories say, however, that a large part of their work was unrelated to Israel’s security or defence, but appeared designed to perpetuate the occupation by “infiltrating” and “controlling” all aspects of Palestinian life.

 

Written in uncompromising language the letter states: “We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.”

 

They add: “The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”


Una tormenta islamista en Twitter | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Una tormenta islamista en Twitter | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

Los yihadistas que atacan Irak manejan un fuerte aparato de propaganda en las redes

“¡¡Allahuakbar!! (Dios es el más grande)”, dice uno de los tuits delhashtag #AllEyesOnISIS —22.400 entradas en 24 horas—, “hemos logrado nuestra tormenta en Twitter”. Lo firma el internauta@Ramzi_Ashami, que aprovecha las fotos de su perfil para dejar clara su simpatía por Al Qaeda. La lluvia de apoyo en la red de microblogs al Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante (EIIL) no es precisamente fina. Hay tormenta. Y a las frases de afinidad con la causa del grupo yihadista que está atacando el noroeste de Irak se unen las fotos llegadas de todo el mundo con pancartas, papeles o banderas exhortando a los radicales a seguir con su empresa.Embedded image permalink


A Global Campaign to Monitor the "Digital Weapons" Trade | TechPresident

A Global Campaign to Monitor the “Digital Weapons” Trade | TechPresident.

BY Carola Frediani | Tuesday, April 8 2014

A map from the CAUSE website shows where surveillance technology has been sold to countries with spotty human rights records.

It might seem that there is little connection between Milan and the atrocities occurring in Syria under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad but we now know that a little known Italian tech company called Area SpA was providing Assad with technology that could virtually allow him to seize and search any e-mail that passed through the country. Unfortunately, such an example is now fairly commonplace: Vodafone in Egypt, as well as Siemens and Nokia in Iran, to name a few.

Though Area SpA later announced it was curtailing its surveillance project in Syria, in an alarming trend, surveillance technology companies, many of them in western countries with decent human rights records are selling such technology to countries with fairly sinister ones. This problem, which some activists have called the “digital arms trade” is global and complex in nature and is at the heart of a new global campaign launched on April 4 by an international group of leading NGOs. They banded together to create the Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports (CAUSE), calling for governments to take action on the international trade in communication surveillance technologies.

The group — which includes Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Privacy International, and Reporters without Borders — wants governments and private companies to tackle the proliferation and abuse of these technologies across the world, since they are more often than not used to violate their citizens’ right to privacy, free speech and a host of other human rights. World leaders are responsible for keeping such invasive surveillance systems and technologies out of the hands of dictators and oppressive regimes, said the coalition’s organizers.

“What is unique about the CAUSE coalition are the groups that are part of it,” Mike Rispoli, Communication Manager of UK-based Privacy International, says to techPresident. “You have organizations like Privacy International, as well as Open Technology Institute or Digitale Gesellschaft, that focus on technology, digital rights, etc., but you also have more traditional human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders. The reason why this is so important is that there’s a broad recognition that surveillance technologies pose significant threat to the enjoyment of rights around the world, not just the right to privacy but also freedom of expression.”

What exactly do these technologies do? There is malware that allows surreptitious data extraction from personal devices such as phone and PCs; tools that can intercept telecommunications traffic; spygear that geolocates mobile phones and can therefore track their owners; monitoring systems that allow authorities to track entire populations; and devices used to tap undersea fiber optic cables to enable NSA-style internet monitoring and filtering.


El Ejército colombiano niega haber realizado escuchas ilegales | Internacional | EL PAÍS

El Ejército colombiano niega haber realizado escuchas ilegales | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

Doce días después de haberse destapado el escándalo de las supuestas escuchas ilegales a los negociadores de paz con las FARCpor parte de miembros del Ejército, un informe presentado en la noche del viernes al presidente Juan Manuel Santos por el general Ernesto Maldonado, Inspector del Ejército, asegura que la creación de la fachada de inteligencia militar desde la que presuntamente se espiaron a los negociadores fue legal. Según Maldonado, su funcionamiento estaba “soportado” en órdenes de operaciones emitidas por un comandante de batallón de inteligencia, así como por rubros autorizados por la ley.


Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data | World news | The Guardian

Obama presents NSA reforms with plan to end government storage of call data | World news | The Guardian.

• President stops short of ending controversial bulk collection
• Obama assures allied foreign leaders on NSA surveillance
• Reforms also include added Fisa court safeguards

Obama at Justice Department
President Obama speaks about the National Security Agency and intelligence agencies surveillance techniques. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

US president Barack Obama forcefully defended the embattled National Security Agency on Friday in a speech that outlined a series of surveillance reforms but stopped well short of demanding an end to the bulk collection of American phone data.

In his widely anticipated address at the Justice Department on the future course of US surveillance policy, Obama said the government should no longer hold databases of every call record made in the United States, citing the “potential for abuse”.

But Obama did not say what should replace the databases and made it clear the intelligence agencies should still be able to access call records information in some unspecified way, signalling a new round in the battle between privacy advocates and the NSA’s allies.

Mounting a forceful defence of the NSA, Obama said: “They’re not abusing authorities in order to listen to your private phone calls, or read your emails.” He did not mention that judges on the secret surveillance court have found NSA has repeatedly and “systematically” overstepped its bounds. Instead, he counselled strongly against any steps that would undermine US national security. “We cannot unilaterally disarm our intelligence agencies,” he said.

Obama’s remarks were bound to give the beleaguered NSA a boost of confidence, while disappointing civil libertarians who wanted to hear the president defend the privacy of American citizens more emphatically.


El grupo de hackers "Anonymous" anuncia un ataque contra la "Escuela de las Américas" :: Llave en mano 3.0 :: América

El grupo de hackers “Anonymous” anuncia un ataque contra la “Escuela de las Américas” :: Llave en mano 3.0 :: América.

 

El grupo de hackers "Anonymous" anuncia un ataque contra la "Escuela de las Américas"
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En un vídeo distribuido por internet “Anonymous” indicó que “ha iniciado una operación para destruir la Escuela de las Américas y toda la agenda bárbara de política exterior de Estados Unidos de la cual es parte”. EFE/Archivo

Washington, 13 nov (EFE).- El grupo de piratas informáticos “Anonymous” anunció hoy una operación contra la academia del Ejército de Estados Unidos conocida en el pasado como “Escuela de las Américas” en la que han recibido instrucción decenas de miles de militares latinoamericanos.

La “Escuela de las Américas”, que ahora se conoce como Instituto del Hemisferio Occidental para la Cooperación en Seguridad, con sede en Fort Benning (Georgia), operó durante décadas en la Zona del Canal de Panamá y los grupos de derechos humanos han denunciado que miles de sus egresados han estado involucrados en torturas, desapariciones y golpes militares.

Cada noviembre, miles de activistas realizan protestas en Fort Benning, conmemorando el asesinato en 1989 de seis sacerdotes jesuitas y dos empleadas, asesinados por un pelotón del batallón Atlacatl de la Fuerza Armada de El Salvador.

En un vídeo distribuido por internet “Anonymous” indicó que “ha iniciado una operación para destruir la Escuela de las Américas y toda la agenda bárbara de política exterior de Estados Unidos de la cual es parte”.

El anuncio incluye un vídeo en el cual se escucha la voz de una mujer, que habla en inglés, y se ve la imagen de una persona con el rostro cubierto por la máscara que ha hecho famosa en todo el mundo la película “Vendetta”.

Los activistas sostienen que militares graduados en la Escuela de las Américas “instalaron la dictadura de (Augusto) Pinochet en Chile, operaron centros de tortura y asesinaron a militantes políticos”.

“En Honduras, los graduados están ahora involucrados en una campaña brutal de represión de los movimientos sociales que luchan contra el régimen llevado al poder por graduados de la Escuela que derrocaron en 2009 al gobierno elegido democráticamente”, afirmó el comunicado.


Anonymous #ClosetheSOA #OpSOA | SOA Watch: Close the School of the Americas

Anonymous #ClosetheSOA #OpSOA | SOA Watch: Close the School of the Americas.

Anonymous #ClosetheSOA #OpSOA PDF Print E-mail
Anonymous, the loosely associated network of hacktivists, who gained fame as digital Internet Freedom Fighters, issued a Video Call to Actionsyme against the School of the Americas. The 2 minute video, with the hashtag #OpSOA calls on the Anonymous Collective to “expose the graduates and instructors of the SOA/ WHINSEC, and others who are responsible for their atrocities.” The movement to close the School of the Americas is made up of people from many backgrounds and represents a positive alternative to the system of violence and domination, and we are grateful for the support from the hacktivist community. With the increasing secrecy by the Obama administration, and their blatant disregard for the rare Congressional and Judicial calls for transparency, whistle-blowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and hactivists like Anonymous have played an important role in uncovering the truth about government abuses that affect all of us.


Anonymous: “We are calling on the Anonymous Collective to expose the graduates and instructors of the SOA/ WHINSEC, and others who are responsible for their atrocities. Converge at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia from November 22-24, 2013. Join Us. We Are Anonymous. We Are Legion. We Do Not Forgive. We Do Not Forget. Expect Us.”