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Leaked draft confirms TPP will censor Internet and stifle Free Expression worldwide

(from openmedia.ca)

This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.

“It is hugely disappointing to see that, yet again, Canadians – and members of the public worldwide – have to be informed about these critical issues through leaked drafts, instead of through democratic engagement on the part of governments and elected officials,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Coordinator Meghan Sali. “When will our decision-makers recognize that negotiating serious issues – especially proposals that would censor our use of the Internet – must be considered and debated democratically instead of in secret meetings with industry lobbyists?”

Sali continued, “It is now clearer than ever that we need a positive alternative to this secretive process. It is unacceptable to design and impose new laws through closed-door processes that disenfranchise individuals around the world and shut off debate on important issues that will affect all of our futures. This is what the Our Digital Future report, released just yesterday, is all about – challenging the notion that we can’t make these laws in a more democratic manner.”

(keep reading at openmedia.ca)

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Donovan – Season of the Witch

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ACLU seeks to force Kansas to allow gay marriages via federal court order

Or: Suck it, Brownback

(from ljworld.com)

The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal court to order Kansas to allow same-sex couples to wed while the group’s lawsuit against the state constitution’s gay-marriage ban is under review.

The group argued in its filing in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, that it is likely to prevail in the lawsuit. It also said denying the right to marry even for a short period will do irreparable harm to the two lesbian couples represented by the ACLU in the case. The group wants to immediately block the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban.

Kansas voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution in 2005 to preserve a longstanding policy against gay marriage — and to deny same-sex couples any “rights and incidents” associated with marriage. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear appeals from five states seeking to preserve gay marriage bans, including Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same federal appeals court circuit as Kansas.

Doug Bonney, the legal director of the ACLU’s Kansas chapter, said federal appeals court rulings against the Oklahoma and Utah gay-marriage bans are precedents that doom Kansas’ prohibition.

(keep reading at ljworld.com)

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“The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed.”
~ William Gibson, Neuromancer

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Citizens United Changed Everything

(from criticalthought.me)

We have reached a tipping point in this nation. To borrow from Francis Fukuyama, the end of history is being written right now on the proverbial wall of America. If this nation was a constantly evolving canvas, then the paint has dried, the stage is set and the lines are drawn. Our society is reaching the end of an intellectual history. When it comes to the ideology of politics for civilization, there is no middle ground.

Democracy in America is dead. In its place is a plutocratic system that is wrought with big money, and an even bigger concentration of power centralized in the hands of the few. This is not a prediction or a far-reaching hypothesis. This is reality. Right now, they are the winners, and we the people are the losers. The United States Senate recently blocked a proposal to amend the Constitution to toughen regulations on campaign finance and election spending restrictions. The debate centralized around the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. The original ruling essentially removed a multitude of barriers to corporate spending to buy elections. The Supreme Court stated that Congress has little power to limit spending money on election ads; as a result, corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Although corporations were banned from donating directly to candidates, no limits on the amount of outside spending were permissible. The amendment that was struck down several weeks ago would have placed limits on campaign fundraising for candidates and outside groups. This is essential because the current political climate is one where a very small group of people can wield their financial influence to “buy” elections. Consider in 2010, 0.26% of the population gave 68% of contributions to Congress. It is not realistic to point to this one statistic as indicative of a new political climate but it is pretty clear that the divide between the top 1% and 99% is growing. The top 1% has seen their incomes rise by over 86% since 1933, while the middle class and lower class incomes are flat or down; thus, American politics is seen as a force dominated by money from the aristocrats. The dire result is an increasingly exclusive class of the selected few calling the shots on how to run the government. The most critical part of the proposed amendment was the clause that declared corporations are not people but identities when it comes to campaign spending. Corporations as an identity would not struck down altogether but would be examined under a different light when it comes to elections.

(keep reading at criticalthought.me)

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“The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed.”
~ William Gibson, Neuromancer

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Massive Toxic Fracking Dump Finishes Off California Aquifer

(from winteractionables.com)

If anything typifies slash-and-burn, psychopathic, corporate rule in America it’s the story of 3 billion gallons of toxic fracking sludge dumped into what is left of the Central Valley aquifer in California.

Beyond effectively putting a nail in the coffin for an entire region, what is extra-sickening is the near total blackout of U.S. mainstream media coverage. In a normal society, this story would be breaking news in all of the mainstream media outlets, and the perps would go to prison for life.

If you Google sources for “California aquifer fracking” you will find some stories from the alternative media but even the larger publications (minus Pro Publica) among this group have missed it. There are stories of the State finally banning all injection fracking waste last July, obviously too late. Makes one wonder if the BP spill would be covered up if reported today.

From RT.com:

Industry illegally injected about 3 billion gallons of fracking wastewater into central California drinking-water and farm-irrigation aquifers, the state found after the US Environmental Protection Agency ordered a review of possible contamination.

According to documents obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, the California State Water Resources Board found that at least nine of the 11 hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wastewater injection sites that were shut down in July upon suspicion of contamination were in fact riddled with toxic fluids used to unleash energy reserves deep underground.”

The documents also show that the Central Valley Water Board found high levels of toxic chemicals — including arsenic, thallium and nitrates — in water-supply wells near the waste water disposal sites.

(keep reading at winteractoinables.com)

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“The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed.”
~ William Gibson, Neuromancer

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Stratfor emails reveal secret, widespread TrapWire surveillance system

(from rt.com)

Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.

The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.

Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks began releasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of TrapWire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.

(keep reading at rt.com)

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“The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed.”
~ William Gibson, Neuromancer

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JPMorgan Chase loses 76 Million Family’s personal information

(from nytimes.com)

A cyberattack this summer on JPMorgan Chase compromised the accounts of 76 million households and seven million small businesses, a tally that dwarfs previous estimates by the bank and puts the intrusion among the largest ever.

The details of the breach — disclosed in a securities filing on Thursday — emerge at a time when consumer confidence in the digital operations of corporate America has already been shaken. Target, Home Depot and a number of other retailers have sustained major data breaches. Last year, the information of 40 million cardholders and 70 million others were compromised at Target, while an attack at Home Depot in September affected 56 million cards.

But unlike retailers, JPMorgan, as the largest bank in the nation, has financial information in its computer systems that goes beyond customers’ credit card details and potentially includes more sensitive data.

(keep reading at nytimes.com)

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Fuck the banks.  Let those fucking things BURN.

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“The future is already here. It's just unevenly distributed.”
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