Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian

Internal US law enforcement documents describe a highly controversial community initiative aimed at identifying potential terrorists before they “radicalize” as being intimately related to intelligence gathering.Despite years of official denials, American Muslim civil rights groups have claimed that Barack Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative was a euphemistic approach that targeted Muslims for surveillance.

Fuente: Documents support fears of Muslim surveillance by Obama-era program | World news | The Guardian


Empresas tecnológicas denuncian decreto antiinmigración de Trump ante la justicia

Varias decenas de empresas tecnológicas, incluidas Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft y Twitter, presentaron la noche del domingo un documento legal ante la justicia de Estados Unidos contra el decreto antiinmigración del presidente Donald Trump.

Fuente: Empresas tecnológicas denuncian decreto antiinmigración de Trump ante la justicia


Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.

November 18 2016, 3:35 p.m.President Obama indicated on Friday that he won’t pardon NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even as President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick to run the CIA: Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, who has called for “the traitor Edward Snowden” to be executed.

Fuente: Obama Refuses to Pardon Edward Snowden. Trump’s New CIA Pick Wants Him Dead.


Deputados da bancada evangélica tentam criar cadastro obrigatório para internet

Tramita na Câmara dos Deputados um projeto de lei que propõe o Cadastro Nacional de Acesso à Internet com informações pessoais dos usuários e relação de sites com conteúdos inadequados para acesso por crianças e adolescentes.

Fuente: Deputados da bancada evangélica tentam criar cadastro obrigatório para internet


El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador

Según afirmaciones de Younger publicadas por The Times el mundo digital “representa una amenaza porque los que se oponen a nosotros pueden utilizar esta capacidad para tener acceso a nuestras actividades, lo que significa que tenemos que cambiar completamente la forma en que hacemos las cosas”.

Fuente: El MI6 contratará casi mil espías para combatir el terrorismo – El Mostrador


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


Search engines’ role in radicalisation must be challenged, finds study | Technology | The Guardian

Although the UK government’s Prevent strategy claims the internet must not be ungoverned space for Islamist extremism and British diplomats have taken the lead in the global communications fight against Islamic State on the net, the study suggests government agencies are only at the beginning of a “labyrinthine challenge”. So-called counter-narrative initiatives led by governments and civil society groups are “under-resourced and not achieving sufficient natural interest”, suggesting the battle of ideas is not even being engaged, let alone won.

Fuente: Search engines’ role in radicalisation must be challenged, finds study | 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


French media groups to hold emergency meeting after Isis cyber-attack | World news | The Guardian

French media groups to hold emergency meeting after Isis cyber-attack | World news | The Guardian.

Yves Bigot, the director-general of French TV network TV5Monde, says the company’s firewalls were breached by people with a deep knowledge of security and possible links to Islamic State

France’s culture minister is to call an urgent meeting of French media groups to assess their vulnerability to hacking after the public service television network TV5Monde was taken over by individuals claiming to belong to Islamic State, blacking out broadcasts as well as hacking its websites and Facebook page.

All TV5Monde broadcasts were brought down in a blackout between 10pm and 1am local time on Wednesday to Thursday by hackers claiming allegiance to Isis. They were able to seize control of the television network founded by the French government in 1984, simultaneously hacking 11 channels as well as its website and social media accounts.

Experts say the cyber-attack represented a new level of sophistication for the Islamist group, which has claimed complex hacking before, but nothing as big as this. The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened a terrorism investigation into the attack.


Cadena francófona TV5Monde pirateada por individuos que dicen ser del Estado Islámico – BioBioChile

Cadena francófona TV5Monde pirateada por individuos que dicen ser del Estado Islámico – BioBioChile.


ARCHIVO | Tauseef Mustafa | AFP

ARCHIVO | Tauseef Mustafa | AFP

Publicado por Claudia Miño | La Información es de Agencia AFP

La cadena francófona TV5Monde está siendo pirateada desde las 21:00 horas del miércoles por individuos que se reclaman del grupo Estado Islámico (EI) y que impiden la emisión de los programas y controlan sus páginas web, informó a la AFP el director general Bigot.

“No podemos emitir en ninguna de nuestras cadenas. Nuestras webs y nuestras redes sociales no están bajo nuestro control y presentan todos reivindicaciones del Estado Islámico”, anunció.

Los piratas han colgado en la cuenta Facebook de TV5Monde documentos de identidad y currículos de allegados de los militares implicados en las operaciones contra el EI.

TV5Monde parecía que había recuperado el control de su página Facebook hacia media noche, pero la cadena seguía mostrando una pantalla negra.

“¡Soldados en Francia, aléjense del Estado Islámico! Tienen la posibilidad de salvar a sus familias, aprovéchenlo!”, se podía leer en un mensaje en Facebook.

“En nombre de Alá, el clemente, misericordioso, el cyberCalifato sigue realizando su ciberyihad contra los enemigos del Estado Islámico”, agrega el texto.

El mensaje acusa al presidente francés, François Hollande, de haber cometido una “falta imperdonable” al realizar una “guerra que no sirve para nada”, y afirma que el cibercalifato está “buscando a las familias de los militares que se han vendido a los estadounidenses”.

Francia forma parte de la coalición militar internacional antiyihadista liderada por Estados Unidos, que realiza bombardeos aéreos desde hace varios meses en Irak y en Siria, donde el EI ha conquistado enormes territorios y ha proclamado un “califato”.


What's Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name? – The Intercept

What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name? – The Intercept.

Featured photo - What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?

The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

When the block functions properly, visitors to those banned sites, rather than accessing the content of the sites they chose to visit, will be automatically redirected to the Interior Ministry website. There, they will be greeted by a graphic of a large red hand, and text informing them that they were attempting to access a site that causes or promotes terrorism: “you are being redirected to this official website since your computer was about to connect with a page that provokes terrorist acts or condones terrorism publicly.”

No judge reviews the Interior Ministry’s decisions. The minister first requests that the website owner voluntarily remove the content he deems transgressive; upon disobedience, the minister unilaterally issues the order to Internet service providers for the sites to be blocked. This censorship power is vested pursuant to a law recently enacted in France empowering the interior minister to block websites.

Forcibly taking down websites deemed to be supportive of terrorism, or criminalizing speech deemed to “advocate” terrorism, is a major trend in both Europe and the West generally. Last month in Brussels, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator issued a memo proclaiming that “Europe is facing an unprecedented, diverse and serious terrorist threat,” and argued that increased state control over the Internet is crucial to combating it.

The memo noted that “the EU and its Member States have developed several initiatives related to countering radicalisation and terrorism on the Internet,” yet argued that more must be done. It argued that the focus should be on “working with the main players in the Internet industry [a]s the best way to limit the circulation of terrorist material online.” It specifically hailed the tactics of the U.K. Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which has succeeded in causing the removal of large amounts of material it deems “extremist”:

In addition to recommending the dissemination of “counter-narratives” by governments, the memo also urged EU member states to “examine the legal and technical possibilities to remove illegal content.”


Francia bloquea cinco páginas web por apología del terrorismo yihadista | Internacional | EL PAÍS

Francia bloquea cinco páginas web por apología del terrorismo yihadista | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Primera vez que se toma esta medida a través de un decreto que no exige decisión judicial

 

 

 

Así sale el mensaje de censura emitido por el Ministerio del Interior francés. / Captura de imagen

El Gobierno francés ha aplicado este fin de semana por vez primera el decreto aprobado el 4 de febrero pasado y que le permite bloquear páginas web que hagan apología del terrorismo. Se trata de una decisión administrativa que no requiere decisión previa de un juez y que, a demanda del Ministerio del Interior, los proveedores de Internet deben aplicar en el plazo de 24 horas. En total, son cinco las páginas de presunta propaganda yihadista las que han quedado bloqueadas este lunes, según ha confirmado Interior.

La alerta la dio por la mañana el corresponsal en Túnez y Libia de la RFI, David Thomson, en su cuenta de Twitter. “¡Una página de información islámica censurada en Francia sin decisión judicial!”, anunció a primera hora de la mañana el periodista. Se trataba de una página web en la que se defendían las acciones yihadistas en Siria e Irak, según el mismo Thomson, autor del libro Los franceses yihadistas. La página cerrada era www.islamic-news.info. Tras la intervención gubernamental, al acceder a ella aparecen el logo del Ministerio del Interior y una leyenda en letras rojas que advierte de que dicha página provocaba acciones terroristas. Este ministerio informó unas horas más tarde la censura de un total de cinco páginas entre las que está también una de al-Hayat Media Center, que se encarga de la comunicación del Estado Islámico. El sitio web seguía por la tarde activo.


Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of Raef Badawi for third week | World news | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia postpones flogging of Raef Badawi for third week | World news | The Guardian.

Raef Badawi

 Raef Badawi’s case has prompted worldwide criticism from human rights groups. Photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty

Saudi Arabia has postponed for a third week in a row the flogging of a blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, his wife said.

Raef Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, added that the reason why he was not flogged was unclear.

The 30-year-old received the first 50 lashes of his sentence outside a mosque in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on 9 January.

The next round of the punishment was postponed for two weeks on medical grounds.

Badawi’s case has prompted worldwide outrage and criticism from the UN, US, the EU and others.


Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept

Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD AND ANDREW FISHMAN 

Featured photo - Latest FBI Claim of Disrupted Terror Plot Deserves Much Scrutiny and Skepticism

The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a press release trumpeting its latest success in disrupting a domestic terrorism plot, announcing that “the Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested a Cincinnati-area man for a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials.” The alleged would-be terrorist is 20-year-old Christopher Cornell (above), who is unemployed, lives at home, spends most of his time playing video games in his bedroom, still addresses his mother as “Mommy” and regards his cat as his best friend; he was described as “a typical student” and “quiet but not overly reserved” by the principal of the local high school he graduated in 2012.

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had “posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts.” The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, “began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case.” Acting under the FBI’s direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by “immigrants from West Africa,” many of whom “speak little or no English.”

The DOJ’s press release predictably generated an avalanche of scary media headlines hailing the FBI. CNN: “FBI says plot to attack U.S. Capitol was ready to go.” MSNBC: “US terror plot foiled by FBI arrest of Ohio man.” Wall St. Journal: “Ohio Man Charged With Plotting ISIS-Inspired Attack on U.S. Capitol.”

Just as predictably, political officials instantly exploited the news to justify their powers of domestic surveillance. House Speaker John Boehner claimed yesterday that “the National Security Agency’s snooping powers helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol and that his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.” He warned: “We live in a dangerous country, and we get reminded every week of the dangers that are out there.” 


Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger Raif Badawi’s case referred to supreme court, says his wife | World news | The Guardian.


King said to have stepped in amid flogging clamour as second round of 50 lashes delayed on health grounds

Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands
Protesters call for the release of Raif Badawi outside the Saudi embassy in The Hague, Netherlands. Photograph: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Rex

The wife of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticising leading clerics, says King Abdullah has referred his case to the supreme court amid an international clamour over his flogging.

Ensaf Haidar, who lives in Canada with the couple’s three children, told the BBC the decision had raised hopes that the authorities wanted to end her husband’s punishment. But there has been no official statement from the Saudi government.

The authorities had already postponed Badawi’s flogging on medical grounds after a doctor said wounds from a previous lashing had not healed. Campaigners said the move exposed the “outrageous inhumanity” of his punishment.


“Zuckerberg no es Charlie”, denuncia escritora tibetana censurada en Facebook – El Mostrador

“Zuckerberg no es Charlie”, denuncia escritora tibetana censurada en Facebook – El Mostrador.


Tsering Woeserdifundió este jueves una carta en la que critica el doble estándar del fundador de la red social al defender públicamente la libertad de expresión después de censurar publicaciones de activistas chinos, específicamente el video de la inmolación de un tibetano que ella misma subió al sistema.

Zuckerberg-charlie-hebdo

“Yo también soy Charlie”, afirmó el fundador de la popular red social Facebook, Marck Zuckerberg, en apoyo a la libertad de expresión y a las víctimas de los ataques del semanario satírico francés Charlie Hebdo, si bien en China su compromiso con las libertades ha sido puesto en entredicho.

“¿Ha olvidado algo Zuckerberg?”, se pregunta de forma retórica la reconocida escritora tibetana Tsering Woeser, quien difundió este jueves una carta en la red social en la que critica el doble rasero del fundador de Facebook al defender públicamente la libertad de expresión después de censurar publicaciones de activistas chinos.

La autora, una de las activistas tibetanas más conocidas, explica que la red social censuró un video que ella publicó en el que se veía una inmolación de un tibetano en China.

Al mismo tiempo, añade, la cuenta del escritor chino exiliado Liao Yiwu, que ha publicado numerosos libros sobre los problemas sociales en China y que están censurados en el país asiático, fue suspendida temporalmente por publicar fotografías de la protesta de un artista desnudo en Estocolmo en la que se pedía la liberación del premio Nobel de la Paz encarcelado Liu Xiaobo.

Woeser

Tsering Woeser cree las palabras de Zuckerberg son “oportunistas” e instó al joven empresario a no tener miedo del Partido Comunista de China (PCCh).

“Zuckerberg no puede describirse como un héroe que moriría para defender la libertad de expresión”, opina la escritora tibetana, quien cree que la censura aplicada por Facebook responde al interés de la empresa por agradar al Gobierno chino y poder finalmente ser desbloqueado en China, país con el mayor número de internautas del mundo.


Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian

Saudi blogger faces next 50 lashes as government ignores global protests | World news | The Guardian.

 

Wife of Raif Badawi says he may not be able to withstand more punishment as second installment of 1,000-lash sentence nears

 

Raif Badawi with his children
Saudi blogger Raif Badawi with his children. Photograph: Handout

Raif Badawi, the Saudi liberal convicted of publishing a blog, has been told he will again be flogged 50 times on Friday – the second part of his 1,000-lash sentence which also includes a 10-year jail term.

The US, Britain and other western governments had all called for the punishment to be dropped but there has been no sign of any diplomatic action against Riyadh. Amnesty International on Wednesday urged the UK government to challenge Saudi Arabia, which has ignored all protests over the case.

Badawi will be given 50 more lashes outside a mosque in his home city of Jeddah unless a Saudi prison doctor determines he is not yet fit to face the punishment owing to injuries sustained last Friday. If nothing changes, he will be flogged every Friday for the next 19 weeks.


‘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.


Cuentas en redes de Comando Central de EE.UU. hackeadas por “simpatizantes” de EI – El Mostrador

Cuentas en redes de Comando Central de EE.UU. hackeadas por “simpatizantes” de EI – El Mostrador.

Centcom es el comando estadounidense que maneja las operaciones en Medio Oriente, Asia Central y Africa del Norte, y por tanto es donde se coordina la ofensiva contra EI en Irak y Siria.

EI

Algunas cuentas de redes sociales del Comando Central del Ejército de Estados Unidos (CentCom) fueron hackeadas este lunes por un grupo que se declaró simpatizante de Estado Islámico.

Centcom es el comando estadounidense que maneja las operaciones en Medio Oriente, Asia Central y Africa del Norte, y por tanto es donde se coordina la ofensiva contra EI en Irak y Siria.

En la cuenta de Twitter se pudo observar como los piratas informáticos cambiaron las imágenes de la cuenta y ubicaron la de un hombre encapuchado y el siguiente mensaje: “El cibercalifato continúa su ciber yihad. Ya está aquí. Estamos en sus PCs. En cada base militar”.

También fue publicada una lista de generales y una lista de direcciones aparentemente asociadas a ellos.

Además se colocó una serie de lo que parece ser documentos militares vinculados a China y Corea del Norte.

En el sitio de YouTube fueron colocados videos de propaganda del grupo mostrando operaciones militares.


Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian

Global outrage at Saudi Arabia as jailed blogger receives public flogging | World news | The Guardian.

Kingdom stays silent as protesters contrast its opposition to Paris attacks on free speech with its own attacks on free speech
US Secratery of State John Kerry (2L) an
US secretary of state John Kerry attends a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally of the US and UK. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is remaining silent in the face of global outrage at the public flogging of the jailed blogger Raif Badawi, who received the first 50 of 1,000 lashes on Friday, part of his punishment for running a liberal website devoted to freedom of speech in the conservative kingdom.

Anger at the flogging – carried out as the world watched the bloody denouement of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket jihadi killings in Paris – focused on a country that is a strategic ally, oil supplier and lucrative market for the US, Britain and other western countries but does not tolerate criticism at home.

Badawi was shown on a YouTube video being beaten in a square outside a mosque in Jeddah, watched by a crowd of several hundred who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and clapped and whistled after the flogging ended. Badawi made no sound during the flogging and was able to walk back unaided afterwards.

“Raif was escorted from a bus and placed in the middle of the crowd, guarded by eight or nine officers,” a witness told Amnesty International.

“He was handcuffed and shackled but his face was not covered. A security officer approached him from behind with a huge cane and started beating him.

“Raif raised his head towards the sky, closing his eyes and arching his back. He was silent, but you could tell from his face and his body that he was in real pain.”

Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told the Guardian from Montreal on Sunday: “Many governments around the world have protested about my husband’s case. I was optimistic until the last minute before the flogging. But the Saudi government is behaving like Daesh [a derogatory Arabic name for Islamic State or Isis].”

Saudi Arabia joined other Arab and Muslim countries in condemning the murder of 12 people at the Paris satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo but angry comments highlighted its double standard in meting out a cruel punishment to a man who was accused of insulting Islam.


US Central Command Twitter account hacked to read 'I love Isis' | US news | theguardian.com

US Central Command Twitter account hacked to read ‘I love Isis’ | US news | theguardian.com.

Twitter avatar used by @CENTCOM was replaced with an image of a masked militant and the legends ‘CyberCaliphate’ and ‘I love Isis’

US Central Command
Central Command said it was aware of the apparent hack.

The Twitter account for US military forces in the Middle East and South Asia was hacked on Monday.

@CENTCOM, the account used by the US Central Command, tweetedout “messages from Islamic State (Isis) sympathizers threatening attacks on US military personnel”. Other tweets contained contact details for current and retired senior officers, though they did not appear to disseminate classified material.

The Twitter avatar used by the command was replaced with an image of a masked militant and the legends “CyberCaliphate” and “I love Isis”.

Documents and images tweeted out by the hackers did not appear to be classified, despite their boast that Isis had deeply penetrated the cyber defenses of the US military. Other military websites, including Central Command’s, appeared unaffected, and did not show any mark of cybervandalism, let alone any more hostile acts.

A similar avatar appeared on Central Command’s YouTube channel as well, as did at least two pro-Isis videos. Its Facebook account appeared unaffected.

“American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back!” read one tweet.Another claimed: “Isis is already here, we are in your PCs, in each military base.”

Within minutes of the hijacked tweets, the Twitter account switched to a neutral, egg-like avatar as the unauthorized tweets paused. Twitter appeared to have suspended the account shortly after 1pm ET.

The hack happened nearly the same time President Obama was unveiling a plan to require companies to inform customers when their data has been hacked.


With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech – The Intercept

With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech – The Intercept.

BY GLENN GREENWALD 

Featured photo - With Power of Social Media Growing, Police Now Monitoring and Criminalizing Online Speech

On March 6, 2012, six British soldiers were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside explosive device, and a national ritual of mourning and rage ensued. Prime Minister David Cameron called it a “desperately sad day for our country.” A British teenager, Azhar Ahmed, observed the reaction for two days and then went to Facebook to angrily object that the innocent Afghans killed by British soldiers receive almost no attention from British media. He opined that the UK’s soldiers in Afghanistan are guilty, their deaths deserved, and are therefore going to hell:

The following day, Ahmed was arrested and “charged with a racially aggravated public order offense.” The police spokesman explained that “he didn’t make his point very well and that is why he has landed himself in bother.” The state proceeded to prosecute him, and in October of that year, he was convicted “of sending a grossly offensive communication,” fined and sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

As demonstrators demanded he be imprisoned, the judge who sentenced Ahmed pronounced his opinions “beyond the pale of what’s tolerable in our society,” ruling: “I’m satisfied that the message was grossly offensive.” The Independent‘s Jerome Taylor noted that he “escaped jail partially because he quickly took down his unpleasant posting and tried to apologize to those he offended.” Apparently, heretics may be partially redeemed if theypublicly renounce their heresies.


Isis in duel with Twitter and YouTube to spread extremist propaganda | World news | The Guardian

Isis in duel with Twitter and YouTube to spread extremist propaganda | World news | The Guardian.

Guardian investigation reveals subterfuge used by social media arm of Islamic State to hijack topics to spread jihadi views
An Isis propaganda video
An Isis propaganda video. The group’s media arm is using slick and fast techniques to spread its content online, Photograph: Screengrab/YouTube

Propaganda operatives from Islamic State (Isis) are piggybacking on popular internet hashtags and forums to secure the widest distribution of their videos, in an increasingly devious game of cat and mouse with police and internet companies, the Guardian can reveal.

An analysis of one of the most recent Isis video distributions shows the variety of techniques being used – including latching on to the huge interest in the Scottish independence referendum – to boost distribution of their extremist material on Twitter and YouTube.

The sophisticated strategies have prompted law enforcement agencies to work closer than ever with the world’s largest tech and social media companies to try to win the propaganda war. A specialist British police squad is working with companies including Twitter and YouTube to block and delete about 1,100 pieces of gruesome content a week, which they say contravene UK terror laws. The vast majority of the material – 800 items a week – relates to Syria and Iraq.

Officers from the UK’s counter-terrorism internet referral unit (CTIRU) acknowledge they are up against a slick and fast-moving dissemination of propaganda and much of the material being targeted involves suspending Twitter accounts or taking down videos of murder, torture, combat scenes, sniper attacks and suicide missions.


Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept

Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On – The InterceptThe Intercept.

By  and 

The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.

According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country.

The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called “FISA recap”—short for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also “are or may be” engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.

The spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses listed as monitored between 2002 and 2008. Many of the email addresses on the list appear to belong to foreigners whom the government believes are linked to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Among the Americans on the list are individuals long accused of terrorist activity, including Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.

But a three-month investigation by The Intercept—including interviews with more than a dozen current and former federal law enforcement officials involved in the FISA process—reveals that in practice, the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.

The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.


White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material 'unacceptable' | World news | theguardian.com

White House: racial slurs in NSA intelligence material ‘unacceptable’ | World news | theguardian.com.

FBI and NSA to review policy after leaked documents suggest training materials referred to targets using offensive language

 

 

NSA HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland
It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

 

The White House has instructed US security agencies to review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed training material for the intelligence agencies referring to “Mohammed Raghead”.

After an extensive investigation by the Intercept on Wednesday reported that the NSA and the FBI spied on the emails of five prominent US activists and attorneys with Muslim backgrounds, White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that the administration took accusations of the slurs “extremely seriously.”

“Upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of national intelligence undertake an assessment of intelligence community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms,” Hayden said.

It is at least the second time the White House has ordered a review of agency training materials said to include offensive language.

The Intercept cited the “Mohammed Raghead” epithet as a placeholder for a target in a surveillance training document from 2005.

Vanee Vines, a spokeswoman for the NSA, said that she would not comment on “the authenticity of any leaked material,” but said the NSA “has not, and would not, approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language. Any use of racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs, or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with NSA policy and core values.”

Hayden declined to provide additional detail on the scope or duration of the investigation. But it is reminiscent of an earlier incident in which the White House ordered the government’s vast counter-terrorism apparatus to find and purge inflammatory training material, particularly that which singled out Muslims for particular scrutiny.

In 2011, this reporter published FBI training material instructing newer counter-terrorism agents that Islam itself was a threat to US national security and compared the prophet Muhammad to a cult leader. Initial FBI pushback gave way to an inquiry, at the instruction of the White House, that removed significant quantities of offensive or imprecise training material.


Saudi digital generation takes on Twitter, YouTube … and authorities | World news | theguardian.com

Saudi digital generation takes on Twitter, YouTube … and authorities | World news | theguardian.com.

Conservative country boasts world’s highest use of sites per capita, but criticising Islam remains a clear red line
A Saudi woman films an Islamic ceremony on her phone

A Saudi woman films an Islamic ceremony on her phone. Photograph: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Turki al-Hamad paid a heavy price for a tweet. Last year the novelist told his followers that Islam as practised in Saudi Arabia was not the “message of love” preached by the Prophet Muhammad. The outcome was six months in prison without trial.

Conditions were immeasurably better than when he was detained in the 1970s, but the hazards of speaking out in the digital age were still painfully clear.

Hamad’s case was unusual though not unique. Like Hamza Kashgari, a journalist from Jeddah, he had provoked conservative religious zealots who oppose change in the kingdom – or provide the government with a handy excuse to do so. But Twitter is immensely popular and largely tolerated. According to recent research, Saudi Arabia has the world’s highest Twitter and YouTube use per capita – a staggering 90m views of the latter a day. It also has the highest Facebook use in the Gulf.

On the face of it, it may seem surprising that an absolute monarchy with no parliament or political parties, tame newspapers and TV channels, enforced gender segregation and an official morality police should have such a flourishing social media world. But Saudis tweet in their millions to swap jokes, whinge about salaries, government waste and inefficiency – and corruption.

“Twitter has raised the ceiling of our freedoms,” said Hamad. For Hatoon al-Fassi, an Islamic feminist who campaigns for womens’ right to drive, social media has created a “virtual space” that compensates for Saudi Arabians’ lack of legal freedom of assembly or association.

“Twitter helps us breathe,” said the columnist Ahmed al-Najjar. Digital media have also blurred the boundaries between what is permissible and what is not – though criticising religion remains a clear red line.