Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

“To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.” At no point did Pompeo specify what steps the CIA intended to take to ensure that the “space” to publish secrets “ends now.”

Fuente: Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms

Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet | Charles Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian

Deregulation could allow the president to undermine freedom of speech in a way that was beyond even Nixon

Fuente: Forget Trump’s tweets and media bans. The real issue is his threat to the internet | Charles Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian

Edward Snowden backers beam calls for pardon on Washington news museum | US news | The Guardian

Now the most audacious display of support for Snowden is under way. Messages calling for his pardon are being beamed on to the outside wall of the Newseum, the Washington institution devoted to freedom of speech and the press that stands less than two miles from the White House.

Fuente: Edward Snowden backers beam calls for pardon on Washington news museum | US news | The Guardian

Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS

We’ve been told for years that The Terrorists “hate our freedoms,” yet we cannot seem to rid ourselves of those who think the solution is to voluntarily abolish those freedoms ourselves.

Fuente: Those Demanding Free Speech Limits to Fight ISIS Pose a Greater Threat to U.S. Than ISIS

Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance | US news | The Guardian

Barack Obama and David Cameron fail to see eye to eye on surveillance | US news | The Guardian.

British prime minister takes tougher line on internet companies than US president at White House talks on Islamist threats

In Washington, David Cameron announces the creation of a joint group between the US and the UK to counter the rise of domestic violent extremism in the two countries

Barack Obama and David Cameron struck different notes on surveillance powers after the president conceded that there is an important balance to be struck between monitoring terror suspects and protecting civil liberties.

As Cameron warned the internet giants that they must do more to ensure they do not become platforms for terrorist communications, the US president said he welcomed the way in which civil liberties groups hold them to account by tapping them on the shoulder.

Obama agreed with the prime minister that there could be no spaces on the internet for terrorists to communicate that could not be monitored by the intelligences agencies, subject to proper oversight. But, unlike Cameron, the president encouraged groups to ensure that he and other leaders do not abandon civil liberties.

The prime minister adopted a harder stance on the need for big internet companies such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to cooperate with the surveillance of terror suspects. In an interview with Channel 4 News he said they had to be careful not to act as a communications platform for terrorists.

La ofensiva de Google en Cuba para promover “una internet libre” – BioBioChile

La ofensiva de Google en Cuba para promover “una internet libre” – BioBioChile.


Kristina Alexanderson (CC)Kristina Alexanderson (CC)

Publicado por Erasmo Tauran | La Información es de Agencia AFP

El presidente ejecutivo del gigante estadounidense de internet Google, Eric Shmidt, visitó Cuba esta semana junto a otros tres directivos de la empresa para promover “una internet libre”, informó este domingo el diario digital opositor “14yMedio”, que dirige la bloguera Yoani Sánchez.

Schmidt, Jared Cohen, Brett Perlmutter y Dan Keyserling “tuvieron encuentros con el sector oficial”, dialogaron “con jóvenes de escuelas politécnicas” y visitaron el sábado “la Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas (UCI)”, en el oeste de La Habana, señaló el sitio 14ymedio, sin precisar la fecha de llegada ni de partida del grupo.

El sitio web destacó que durante la visita, que duró dos días y cuyo objetivo era “promover las virtudes de una internet libre y abierta”, los directivos también “contactaron con los redactores y periodistas de 14ymedio”, el primer medio de prensa independiente en 50 años en la isla.

La visita de los ejecutivos de Google, una empresa a la que Cuba ha acusado de “escandolosa censura” por bloquear algunos de sus servicios a la isla, no fue divulgada por la prensa cubana, toda bajo control del Estado.

El gigante de internet se ha justificado invocando las leyes del embargo que Washington aplica contra la isla desde 1962.

How WikiLeaks opened our eyes to the illusion of freedom | Slavoj Žižek | Comment is free | The Guardian

How WikiLeaks opened our eyes to the illusion of freedom | Slavoj Žižek | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Julian Assange, who went into exile in the Ecuadorean embassy two years ago, has blown apart the myth of western liberty




WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the Ecuador embassy in west London in August 2012. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters


We remember anniversaries that mark the important events of our era: September 11 (not only the 2001 Twin Towers attack, but also the 1973 military coup against Allende in Chile), D-day, etc. Maybe another date should be added to this list: 19 June.

Most of us like to take a stroll during the day to get a breath of fresh air. There must be a good reason for those who cannot do it – maybe they have a job that prevents it (miners, submariners), or a strange illness that makes exposure to sunlight a deadly danger. Even prisoners get their daily hour’s walk in fresh air.

Today, 19 June, marks two years since Julian Assange was deprived of this right: he is permanently confined to the apartment that houses the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Were he to step out of the apartment, he would be arrested immediately. What did Assange do to deserve this? In a way, one can understand the authorities: Assange and his whistleblowing colleagues are often accused of being traitors, but they are something much worse (in the eyes of the authorities).

Assange designated himself a “spy for the people”. “Spying for the people” is not a simple betrayal (which would instead mean acting as a double agent, selling our secrets to the enemy); it is something much more radical. It undermines the very principle of spying, the principle of secrecy, since its goal is to make secrets public. People who help WikiLeaks are no longer whistleblowers who denounce the illegal practices of private companies (banks, and tobacco and oil companies) to the public authorities; they denounce to the wider public these public authorities themselves.

We didn’t really learn anything from WikiLeaks we didn’t already presume to be true – but it is one thing to know it in general and another to get concrete data. It is a little bit like knowing that one’s sexual partner is playing around. One can accept the abstract knowledge of it, but pain arises when one learns the steamy details, when one gets pictures of what they were doing.

When confronted with such facts, should every decent US citizen not feel deeply ashamed? Until now, the attitude of the average citizen was hypocritical disavowal: we preferred to ignore the dirty job done by secret agencies. From now on, we can’t pretend we don’t know.

How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet – The Intercept

How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet – The Intercept.

Featured photo - How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance DragnetTop-secret documents reveal how the NSA has established secret partnerships to spy on huge flows of private data.

Huge volumes of private emails, phone calls, and internet chats are being intercepted by the National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of more foreign governments than previously known, according to newly disclosed documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The classified files, revealed today by the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information in a reporting collaboration with The Intercept, shed light on how the NSA’s surveillance of global communications has expanded under a clandestine program, known as RAMPART-A, that depends on the participation of a growing network of intelligence agencies.

It has already been widely reported that the NSA works closely with eavesdropping agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as part of the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance. But the latest Snowden documents show that a number of other countries, described by the NSA as “third-party partners,” are playing an increasingly important role – by secretly allowing the NSA to install surveillance equipment on their fiber-optic cables.

The NSA documents state that under RAMPART-A, foreign partners “provide access to cables and host U.S. equipment.” This allows the agency to covertly tap into “congestion points around the world” where it says it can intercept the content of phone calls, faxes, e-mails, internet chats, data from virtual private networks, and calls made using Voice over IP software like Skype.

The program, which the secret files show cost U.S. taxpayers about $170 million between 2011 and 2013, sweeps up a vast amount of communications at lightning speed. According to the intelligence community’s classified “Black Budget” for 2013, RAMPART-A enables the NSA to tap into three terabits of data every second as the data flows across the compromised cables – the equivalent of being able to download about 5,400 uncompressed high-definition movies every minute.

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless

US National Security Agency
The US National Security Agency threat operations centre in Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2006. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.

Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.

That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”

The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.

We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.

The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.

Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.

The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.

When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.

In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.

The internet is freest in US hands | The Acorn

The internet is freest in US hands | The Acorn.

Internationalising internet governance will abridge liberty and restrict free speech

Edward Snowden’s revelations have strengthened demands for “extricating the internet from US control.” This is not a new phenomenon. Ever since Jon Postel died in 1998, governments and non-government organisations have been engaged in a long, complex and meandering process of somehow taking control over the internet. However, while outfits like ICANN and assorted United Nations forums have gotten into the act of “internet governance”, much of the internet remains in US hands. China might well be the country that has more internet users, but it has locked its citizens behind the Great Firewall and effectively created its own national intranet.

Mr Snowden’s revelations are grave, but shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with national security issues or the communications infrastructure business. So while a lot of international reaction is properly in the Captain Renault (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”) category, there are some attempts by governments to secure greater control over internet. China, Russia and Brazil are expected to raise the pitch in the coming months.

It would be terrible thing if they succeed. Whatever the imperfections, whatever the US government’s transgressions, we are better off with as much of the internet coming under the US Constitution than the UN Charter.

¿TPP?….No, gracias

16 de Julio de 2013


Analista político y militante PS

En su última visita a EE.UU., el presidente Sebastián Piñera hizo saber a la administración norteamericana, notificando de paso y desde Washington a los propios y desprevenidos  ciudadanos chilenos,  que  “Chile  tiene un profundo y solido compromiso con el Acuerdo de Asociación Transpacífico”.  (TPP por sus siglas en inglés).

Dicho anuncio, tan aventurado como inconsulto, viene una vez más a poner de relieve la imparable  tendencia de la actual administración  para confundir, deliberadamente o no,  la política de Estado con la política del gobierno y el interés de Estado con el interés corporativo, coyuntural y hasta ideológico de determinados actores e intereses, al momento de adoptar determinaciones en la esfera de la política exterior.

Luego de conocida la noticia,  aparecía como de toda lógica que el gobierno hubiera salido a explicarle al país de que se trata exactamente el tratado multilateral  que sus funcionarios han estado negociando en nuestro nombre, aunque a nuestras espaldas y en completo sigilo en más de 15 rondas sucesivas. Pero en lugar de eso, y seguramente estimando  que las cuestiones de política exterior no conciernen a los ciudadanos de a pie, ha optado  por limitarse a convocar a una sesión informativa y  secreta del  parlamento para tratar el TPP.  Lo cual no hace otra cosa que extender las sospechas y hacernos pensar que lo que se quiere intentar es sacar adelante este compromiso con los EE.UU. sin explicarlo ni menos debatirlo. Una conducta grave y poco transparente en cualquier circunstancia y para cualquier gobierno,  pero todavía más,  cuando proviene de una administración que está a poco de finalizar su mandato.

Golpe a CISPA: la Casa Blanca indica que deberá preservar la intimidad y las libertades civiles

Tal y como ocurriera tras la aparición de SOPA, la Casa Blanca ha emitido un comunicado mostrando su preocupación sobre la propuesta de ley que se llevará a debate la próxima semana conocida como CISPA. Según el gobierno de Obama, la regulación no será vetada por la administración, aunque deberá “preservar la intimidad y las libertades civiles”. Un “detalle” que choca frontalmente con la redacción de CISPA.