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NSA Copying Internet Activity Worldwide

NSA Copying Internet Activity Worldwide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqaqgkDjMpU

 



Verizon Terminating Copyright Infringers’ Internet Access

Verizon Terminating Copyright Infringers’ Internet Access

Wired
July 20, 2010

Verizon is terminating internet service to an unknown number of repeat copyright scofflaws, a year after suggesting it was not adopting a so-called graduated-response policy.

While it was not immediately clear whether other internet service providers were following suit, the move comes as the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are lobbying ISPs and Congress to support terminating internet access for repeat, online copyright offenders.

All the while, the United States has been privately lobbying the European Union to “encourage” so-called three strikes policies, according to leaked documents surrounding a proposed international intellectual property accord.

Verizon was not immediately prepared to comment in detail on the developments, first reported by CNET, or to detail how many of its more than 8 million broadband subscribers it has terminated — although CNET said the number was “small.” The RIAA declined comment.

“We reserve the right to do that,” Verizon spokeswoman Bobbi Henson said in a telephone interview regarding the terminations. The next day, it “disputed” the accuracy of CNET’s story.

The RIAA announced a year ago it was winding down its litigation campaign against individual file sharers, about 30,000 lawsuits in all. Instead, the music industry’s lobbying and litigation arm said it would rely on a series of accords it had reached with “leading” internet service providers, in which ISPs have agreed “on principle” to shut off internet access to customers the RIAA catches file sharing repeatedly.

At that time, in a Jan. 5, 2009 interview, Verizon spokeswoman Ellen Yu said that, in reference to the RIAA announcement: “We are not working with them on this.”

Cara Duckworth, an RIAA spokeswoman, said the same day that “We have an agreement on principle with several leading ISPs but not all, and the agreement on principle is confidential.”

Other than Verizon, none of the leading ISPs have acknowledged practicing what the content industry is calling “graduated response.” Under Verizon’s plan, the ISP notifies customers that unlawful file sharing allegedly is taking place on their accounts — file sharing discovered by the RIAA or other intellectual property holders who actively police networks and IP addresses. Internet service could be terminated perhaps after several warnings.

Italy to Require Anyone Who Uploads Video to the Internet to Obtain Government Authorization

Global treaty could ban file-sharers from Internet after ‘three strikes’

 



UN’s W.H.O. Wants Global Tax on Internet

UN’s W.H.O. Wants Global Tax on Internet

Fox News
January 15, 2010

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a plan to ask governments to impose a global consumer tax on such things as Internet activity or everyday financial transactions like paying bills online.

Such a scheme could raise “tens of billions of dollars” on behalf of the United Nations’ public health arm from a broad base of consumers, which would then be used to transfer drug-making research, development and manufacturing capabilities, among other things, to the developing world.

The multibillion-dollar “indirect consumer tax” is only one of a “suite of proposals” for financing the rapid transformation of the global medical industry that will go before WHO’s 34-member supervisory Executive Board at its biannual meeting in Geneva.

Read Full Article Here

 



Obama’s Favorite For Supreme Court Justice Wants to Ban Guns, Free Speech

Obama’s Favorite For Supreme Court Justice Wants to Ban Guns, Free Speech

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com
January 15, 2010


Obama’s Advisor Cass Sunstein is one of his top picks for a seat in the Supreme Court

Cass Sunstein, president Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the man who outlined a plan for the government to infiltrate “conspiracy groups” in order to undermine them, is in direct line for a promotion to Supreme Court Justice.

Sunstein, already in an advanced position of power in the White House as Regulatory czar, has already called for strict restrictions on gun ownership, an internet “Fairness Doctrine”, and an effective ban on free speech where dissenting opinions to those of the government are expressed.

Suntein’s name was on various shortlists to replace Justice David Souter last year following his retirement, and prior to the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor. Sunstein’s name was also touted for the Supreme Court before Obama even took office in November 2008.

His close personal relationship with Obama should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who values the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, particularly as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now aged 75, is likely to take retirement soon following illness, and with Justice John Paul Stevens now aged 90.

Sunstein and Obama go way back from their faculty days at the University of Chicago law school and are firm friends. Sunstein worked as an advisor to Obama during his presidential campaign and was drafted into the White House soon after Obama won the election.

As Obama’s “Information Czar”, Sunstein effectively interprets the law for the Executive. Sunstein operates in a similar, but much more elevated, role to that of former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo, who infamously re-interpreted the law to legally sanction torture under the Bush Administration.

As we highlighted in our article yesterday, Sunstein has outlined plans for the government to infiltrate “conspiracy groups”, including the 9/11 Truth Movement, in order to undermine them via postings on chat rooms and social networks, as well as real meetings.

Sunstein has effectively penned the blueprint for a Cointelpro “provocateur” style program to silence what have become the government’s most vociferous and influential critics.

The specifics of the plans must be read in full in order to gauge their extreme nature and the threat Sunstein poses to the freedom in America.

On page 14 of Sunstein’s January 2008 white paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” he proposed that “under imaginable conditions” the government “might ban conspiracy theorizing” and could “impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”

In effect, Obama’s information czar wants to tax or ban outright, as in make illegal, opinions and ideas that the government doesn’t approve of.

Sunstein’s definition of a “conspiracy theorist” encompasses those who question manmade global warming and, most bizarrely, anyone who believes that sunlight is healthy for their bodies.

Presumably if Sunstein had been in power in the latter middle ages he would have attempted to tax and then ban the work of Galileo Galilei for subscribing to the theory that the Earth was not the centre of the universe and that it actually revolved around the Sun.

When he’s not going after those evil sunlight lovers, Sunstein advocates Internet censorship via enforced and regulated links in news pieces to opposing opinions.

Sunstein himself later retracted that proposal, explaining that it would be “too difficult to regulate [the Internet] in a way that would respond to those concerns”, and admitting that it was “almost certainly unconstitutional.”

Sunstein has also called for the re-writing of the First Amendment, and has even proposed a mandatory celebration of tax day in America.

His views on the Second Amendment have also raised serious concerns. In his book “Radicals in Robes,” he wrote: “[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine.”

Sunstein is on record attacking the Second Amendment. Watch in the following clip as he says “The Supreme Court has never suggested that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to have guns.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flfHZgT-SeI

Given his extreme actions and stated intentions, Cass Sunstein should be forced out of office and barred from practicing law with immediate effect. If president Obama has his way, however, we may very soon see his good buddy Sunstein elevated to the highest judicial position in the country.

NY Post Covers Scumstain: “An Obama Official’s Frightening Book about Curbing Free Speech Online”

Bloggers and news organizations must declare war on Cass Sunstein

Sunstein: BAN Conspiracy Theories Against Global Warming and U.S. Government

 



China Will Soon Have Power to Shut Lights Off Britain

China Will Soon Have Power to Shut Lights Off Britain

UK Telegraph
January 4, 2010

The year is 2050, and a diplomatic dispute between China and Britain risks escalating into all-out war. But rather than launching a barrage of ballistic missiles and jet fighters to destroy key British targets, Beijing has a far simpler plan for defeating its enemy. It simply turns off the lights.

At the flick of a switch elite teams of Chinese hackers attached to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launch a hi-tech assault on Britain’s computer systems, with devastating consequences. Within minutes the country’s power stations, water companies, air traffic control, government and financial systems are totally shut down.

Britain’s attempt to respond by launching nuclear-armed Trident missiles at China has to be abandoned, as the computer systems that control the weapons system are no longer functioning.

At a time when relations between China and Britain are supposed to be improving, the prospect of Beijing launching a cyber attack against Britain and its allies might seem to be the stuff of fantasy.

After all, it is only two years since Gordon Brown made a highly successful visit to Beijing where the two countries agreed to increase trade by 50 per cent by this year, and to cooperate on a range of issues, such as global warming. As one of the world’s leading economic powers, China’s role on the world stage has transformed dramatically over the past decade, with the huge wealth that Beijing has accumulated from its impressive economic growth playing a key role in supporting the global economy.

As a consequence Western policymakers have intensified their efforts to persuade China to draw on its economic prosperity and play a constructive role in world affairs, such as persuading North Korea and Iran to give up their controversial nuclear weapons programmes.

But last week Mr Brown came up against an altogether different kind of China, one that appears to have no interest in behaving like a proper ally.

For weeks British ministers and officials tried desperately to persuade their Chinese counterparts to commute the death sentence passed on Akmal Shaikh, a mentally ill 53-year-old minicab driver from North London who was convicted of smuggling four kilos of heroin into China two years ago.

Mr Brown is said to have personally raised Shaikh’s case with the Chinese premier, Wen Jiaboa, when they met at last month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen, and David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, made similar entreaties to the Chinese embassy in London.

But for all the talk of improved bilateral ties between the two countries, the Chinese took absolutely no notice. At 10.30am on Tuesday, Shaikh was put to death by lethal injection in the remote province of Urumqi, and his body disposed of in an unmarked grave. And when Messrs Brown and Miliband sought to remonstrate with the Chinese authorities for pressing ahead with Shaikh’s execution, all they received from Beijing in response was a firm admonition not to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

At a stroke the cold reality of China’s attitude to the outside world was laid bare for all to see. Rather than being a partner that can be trusted to work with the West on issues of mutual concern, the Chinese have demonstrated that their default position is that Beijing’s only real priority it to look after its own interests, whether it is enforcing its zero tolerance policy on drug abuse or refusing to cooperate with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

China’s self-centred approach to international affairs should come as no surprise to the British government. American President Barack Obama was similarly rebuffed during his state visit to Beijing last November. Mr Obama arrived in China hoping to get Chinese cooperation on a range of issues, such as North Korea, financial stability and human rights. But despite being given a warm reception in public by Chinese officials, including a private guided tour of the Great Wall, the American president left Beijing without gaining any concessions from China on any major issue.

Much of China’s reluctance to engage constructively with the West on issues of mutual concern dates back to the psychological trauma the country suffered during the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century, when British gunboats routinely humiliated the Chinese government of the day. The deep feelings of resentment most Chinese feel for the humiliation they suffered continues to this day, and was even reflected in the official statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in London following Shaikh’s execution. It said the “strong resentment” felt by the Chinese public to drug traffickers was based “on the bitter memory of history”.

To ensure that there is no repeat of a time when foreign powers could push the Chinese people around with impunity, Beijing is today investing enormous effort into developing technology that would render the West’s superior military firepower useless.

There have already been well-documented instances in recent years where Chinese hackers have successfully launched cyber attacks against key Western targets, including the Pentagon and Whitehall. In 2006 Chinese computer hackers were accused of shutting down the House of Commons computer network by flooding it with bogus emails, and the Foreign Office and other key government departments have accused rogue Chinese computer experts of trying to hack in their systems.

In America Chinese hackers are reported to have attempted up to 100,000 attacks on government computers each year, and have successfully penetrated the computer systems of some of the American military’s elite units, such as US Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

But now Western security experts believe Beijing has authorised PLA commanders to draw up a cyber wars blueprint that would give them the capability to neutralise the West’s military firepower by 2050.

The Pentagon recently reported that two highly accomplished Chinese computer hackers had been recruited by the PLA to draft a detailed plan that would enable China to disable the United States’ entire aircraft carrier battle fleet, simply by launching a pre-emptive cyber attack.

This blueprint is now seen as being part of an aggressive push by Beijing to achieve “electronic dominance” over each of its global rivals by 2050, with the US, Britain, South Korea and Russia the main targets. To ensure they recruit the best hackers available it was recently reported that senior PLA officers were holding computer hacking competitions throughout the country, and recruiting the winners to their burgeoning cyber army.

“The Chinese realise that, if it came to a conventional military conflict with the West, they would struggle to compete with the West’s superior military firepower,” said a Western security source. “But by concentrating their efforts on cyber wars they believe they can develop a cheap and highly effective method of achieving technical supremacy over the West.”

The government is now so concerned about the threat posed by China’s cyber warriors that it has established a Cyber Security Operations Centre at the GCHQ listening centre in Cheltenham. Lord West, Mr Brown’s security adviser, said that Britain was developing the capability to strike back against Chinese hackers by recruiting former British hackers to GCHQ.

“You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff,” Lord West explained last year. “If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they enjoy stopping other naughty boys.”

And he warned that any future war between world powers was more likely to be fought over the Internet than on the battlefield. “As their ability to use the web and the net grows, there will be more opportunity for these attacks,” he said.

 



Cyber-Security Chief Resigns in Protest

Cyber-Security Chief Resigns in Protest

New Media Journal
December 29. 2009


Rod A. Beckstrom

The official in charge of coordinating the US government’s cyber-security operations has quit, saying the expanding control of the National Security Agency over the nation’s computer security efforts poses “threats to our democratic processes.”

“Even from a security standpoint, it is unwise to hand over the security of all government networks to a single organization,” said Rod A. Beckstrom, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center when speaking to United Press International.

“If our Founding Fathers were taking part in this debate [about the future organization of the government’s cyber-security activities], there is no doubt in my mind they would support a separation of security powers among different [government] organizations, in line with their commitment to checks and balances,” he said.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last week, Mr. Beckstrom said the NSA “dominates most national cyber efforts” and “effectively controls DHS cyber efforts through detailees, technology insertions and the proposed move” of the NCSC to an NSA facility at the agency’s Fort Meade, Md., headquarters.

“I believe this is a bad strategy on multiple grounds,” Mr. Beckstrom wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by UPI. “The intelligence culture is very different than a network operations or security culture. In addition, threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top-level government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization.”

 



New law could mean Internet ban, fines or jail for file-sharing

New Global Internet Treaty — as bad as everyone’s been saying, and worse. Much, much worse.

BoingBoing.com
November 20, 2009

The British government has brought down its long-awaited Digital Economy Bill, and it’s perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the “three-strikes” rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?).

So it’s bad. £50,000 fines if someone in your house is accused of filesharing. A duty on ISPs to spy on all their customers in case they find something that would help the record or film industry sue them (ISPs who refuse to cooperate can be fined £250,000).

But that’s just for starters. The real meat is in the story we broke yesterday: Peter Mandelson, the unelected Business Secretary, would have to power to make up as many new penalties and enforcement systems as he likes. And he says he’s planning to appoint private militias financed by rightsholder groups who will have the power to kick you off the internet, spy on your use of the network, demand the removal of files or the blocking of websites, and Mandelson will have the power to invent any penalty, including jail time, for any transgression he deems you are guilty of. And of course, Mandelson’s successor in the next government would also have this power.

What isn’t in there? Anything about stimulating the actual digital economy. Nothing about ensuring that broadband is cheap, fast and neutral. Nothing about getting Britain’s poorest connected to the net. Nothing about ensuring that copyright rules get out of the way of entrepreneurship and the freedom to create new things. Nothing to ensure that schoolkids get the best tools in the world to create with, and can freely use the publicly funded media — BBC, Channel 4, BFI, Arts Council grantees — to make new media and so grow up to turn Britain into a powerhouse of tech-savvy creators.

Lobby organisation The Open Rights Group is urging people to contact their MP to oppose the plans.

“This plan won’t stop copyright infringement and with a simple accusation could see you and your family disconnected from the internet – unable to engage in everyday activities like shopping and socialising,” it said.

The government will also introduce age ratings on all boxed video games aimed at children aged 12 or over.

There is, however, little detail in the bill on how the government will stimulate broadband infrastructure.

Global treaty could ban file-sharers from Internet after ‘three strikes’