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Julian Assange

Evolving Anti – Surveillance Awareness

Recently, Americans have witnessed a barrage of scandals regarding the federal government’s extension of their surveillance powers. Following whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations—which of course point to the National Security Agency’s spy programs and the FISA Court’s endorsement of broad domestic-surveillance policies—the American citizenry’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy has taken center stage. The truth of these invasive and unconstitutional policies is giving rise to further argument, and laying ground for a practical forum to engage elected officials to more clearly define citizens’ rights in the digital era.

Yet, while Americans are engrossed in the debate over whether or not their government should be allowed to collect and examine the online data of citizens en masse, particularly without suspicion of criminal activity, the vehicle by which these revelations came to light—journalism—is now also under attack.

Journalists are realizing that they are also on the front line in the ‘ war on privacy ‘ with whistleblowers, activists and hacktivist groups like Anonymous. Recently, the FBI declared victory over Anonymous in a series of statements claiming the hacker collective is no longer able to carry out large, successful operations because most of its “largest players” have been arrested or detained by US law enforcement authorities.

The FBI’s claims about dismantling Anonymous may be only instigating the collective further. OpLastResort, an Anonymous-affiliated Twitter account, released on Friday what’s alleged to be the personal information pertaining to roughly 23,000 employees of the US Federal Reserve.

Full details of every single employee at Federal Reserve Bank of America http://www.elbigbad.com/swag.csv  How’s that, FBI? Game. Set. Match. and LULZ.

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An eloquent and enlightened speech by Stanley Cohen, who defended Anonymous in the PayPal 14 case, at benefit for Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown.

In the last few years, the online collective Anonymous has become the ubiquitous face of cyber-activism. With their well-known V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes masks, this loosely tied and decentralized network acts whenever and wherever its radar catches a classic abuse of power. Beneath the mask there is an idea. Anonymous hacktivists are united by their shared sense of justice and their conviction that ideas are bulletproof. Repeatedly, the collective has shown to be a champion of the downtrodden and those who challenge the powerful — whether they be arrogant government contractors like Aaron Barr, religious organizations like Scientology, immoral governments like those of Syria or the US, or corporations like PayPal and Mastercard.

Digital Dissenters: Speaking Truth to Power

Computer scientist Nadia Heninger has argued that leaking information is now becoming the “civil disobedience of our age”. The late historian and activist Howard Zinn described the act of civil disobedience as “the deliberate, discriminate, violation of law for a vital social purpose”. He advocated it saying that such an act “becomes not only justifiable but necessary when a fundamental human right is at stake and when legal channels are inadequate for securing that right”. Snowden’s act was clearly one of civil disobedience. John Lewis, US Representative and veteran civil rights leader recently noted that Snowden was “continuing the tradition of civil disobedience by revealing details of classified US surveillance programs”.

Snowden is not alone. In recent years, there have been waves of dissent that revealed the depth of corruption and abuse of power endemic in this global corporate system. Before Snowden, there were Bradley Manning and Jeremy Hammond who shook up the trend of criminal overreach within the US government and its transnational corporate and government allies. Private Bradley Manning blew the whistle on US war crimes and activist Jeremy Hammond exposed the inner workings of the pervasive surveillance state. They took risks to alert the world about the systemic failure of representative government and the trend toward a dangerous corporate authoritarianism.

Snowden, Manning and Assange are all part of an Internet generation that holds that transparency of governments and corporations is a critical check on power. They believe in the power of information and in the public’s right to know. In an interview with Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, Snowden described how his motive was “to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” He has advocated for the participation of ordinary people in decision-making processes, which he considers to be a a vital part of democratic society, indicating that the policies of national security agencies that he exposed should be up to the public to decide.

Declaring ‘War’ on the Surveillance State: Taking Back our Privacy

Law enforcement used to be harder. If a law enforcement agency wanted to track someone, it required physically assigning a law enforcement agent to follow that person around. Tracking everybody would be inconceivable, because it would require having as many law enforcement agents as people.

Today things are very different. Almost everyone carries a tracking device (their mobile phone) at all times, which reports their location to a handful of telecoms, which are required by law to provide that information to the government. Tracking everyone is no longer inconceivable, and is in fact happening all the time. We know that Sprint alone responded to eight million pings for real time customer location just in 2008. They got so many requests that they built an automated system to handle them.

Combined with ballooning law enforcement budgets, this trend towards automation, which includes things like license plate scanners and domestically deployed drones, represents a significant shift in the way that law enforcement operates.

Police already abuse the immense power they have, but if everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective. Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose, as if there were no rules at all.

Knowledge is power and society evolving toward an ‘ anti-surveillance awareness ‘ is crucial to overcoming the abuse of civil liberties and violation of our basic right to privacy by the encroaching ‘ Surveillance State ‘.

Related Links:

Encryption Works: How to Protect Your Privacy in the Age of NSA Surveillance

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets

Cyberpunk: Encryption

David Miranda and the Preclusion of Privacy

kstangelo | août 24, 2013 à 12:07   | Catégories: News | URL: http://wp.me/p1jpRz-4fZ

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Al Jazeera’s The Listening Post on Ed Snowden and intelligence leaking

FOR  REPORT CLICK HERE    

The importance of leaking to ensure transparency in a democracy is something we should never forget.

The great Al Jazeera media program The Listening Post this week tackles Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. They asked me to comment on the ways in which the Snowden story unfolded in the press. My clip is at 10:28. Previous contributions here:

Confirmed: Assange Will Run for Australian Senate in 2013

 January 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM

01/30/2013WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to run for a seat in the Australian Senate in 2013, it has been confirmed on Wednesday. It is not yet clear how he will escape from London’s Ecuadorean embassy.

WikiLeaks representative Kristinn Hrafnsson confirmed to RT that Julian Assange will run for a seat in the Australian Senate.

A native of Australia’s Queensland state, Assange said in March last year that he wanted to “bring liberty back to the center of Australian politics.” His Senate candidacy will help him defend free speech and the “right of citizens… to live their lives free from state interference,” he explained.

After taking political asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London in June, Assange expressed interest in the senate seat in December, when he said that he would run as a candidate as part of a yet-to-be-formed WikiLeaks party. He also called on to his supporters to stand with him.

Assange is expected to run on a WikiLeaks party ticket; If he cannot physically make it to the Senate, his seat will be taken by his running mate, the WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Assange’s mother Christine has confirmed her son’s senate candidacy: “He will be awesome,” she told AAP News. She added that currently, Australians can only choose between the two major parties in the country’s legislature, which she called “US lackey party number one and US lackey party number two.”

“It will be great to ‘Assange’ the senate for some Aussie oversight,” Christine Assange said.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced earlier in the day that the country’s national elections will be held on September 14.

Assange may not be able to be physically present at the Australian senate as he remains holed up in London’s Ecuadorean embassy in order to avoid extradition to Sweden. Stockholm has called for Assange to be questioned in the presence of those who made the sex crime allegations. This has raised concerns from Assange’s lawyers that the WikiLeaks found could then be extradited again to the US upon arriving in Sweden.

If extradited to the US, Assange will likely face trial for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables. It was revealed in September last year that US authorities had declared Assange and WikiLeaks to be enemies of the state.

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