Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged government

From NBC:

A three-judge U.S. District Court panel ruled that that SB 14, described as the most stringent voter ID law in the country, imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

“Texas, seeking to implement its voter ID law, bears the burden of proof and must therefore show that SB 14 lacks retrogressive effect. But as we have found, everything Texas has submitted as affirmative evidence is unpersuasive, invalid, or both,” the opinion said.

“Moreover, uncontested record evidence conclusively shows that the implicit costs of obtaining SB 14-qualifying ID will fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty. We therefore conclude that SB 14 is likely to lead to ‘retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise.’”

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Documentary Broadcast Monday 23rd July 2012. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

When Julian Assange arrived in Sweden in August 2010 he was greeted like a conquering hero. But within weeks there was a warrant out for his arrest and he was being investigated for rape and sexual molestation. Today he is taking sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, arguing he won’t receive justice if he’s taken to Sweden and that US authorities are building a case for his extradition.

Next, Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler examines in detail what happened in those crucial weeks while Julian Assange was in Sweden. What was the nature of his relationship with the two women who claim he assaulted them? And what did they tell police that led the authorities to seek his arrest?

“I will not tell any media how I am going to represent the women in court.” Lawyer for Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén

Both Assange and his supporters believe the attempt by authorities to force his return to Sweden is simply the first step in a plan to see him extradited to the United States.

“Sweden has frankly always been the United States’ lapdog and it’s not a matter we’re particularly proud of.” Assange supporter

“The US has nothing to do with the issue here, it’s simply a matter between the UK and Sweden.” Jeffrey L. Bleich, US Ambassador to Australia

Four Corners looks at claims the United States is working hard to unearth evidence that would lead to a charge of “conspiracy to commit espionage” being made against Assange – which in turn would be used in his extradition from Sweden. The program also documents the harassment experienced by Assange’s supporters across the globe – including his Australian lawyer – and the FBI’s attempts to convince some to give evidence against him.

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“Security has effectively become the State religion; you don’t question it. And if you question it, then your loyalty is questioned.” . . . “Speaking truth of power is very dangerous in today’s world.” The journalist pointed out that investigative journalists are labeled as “terrorist helpers” for trying to reveal the truth, to which Drake said the government’s take is “you go after the messenger because the last thing you want to do is deal with the message.” The NSA, the government, “They object” to anyone who dares to “air dirty laundry” or show the skeletons in the closet. “Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity.”

Drake added, “Most people don’t stand up to power because power wields a lot of power and power can do you in, or make life very difficult.”

“The NSA had entered into a secret agreement with the White House in which NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. On the front end, it was designed to deal with the threat, the terrorist threat, and that was probably understandable. But what it did is it actually, essentially, turned the United States into just a collection platform.”

“You also have the fear element. Fear in itself is control. And what people will do if they are fearful is to censor themselves.”

More at Networkworld.

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From Democracy Now:

Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor and political activist died last week at the age of seventy-eight after a prolonged battle with cancer. In his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Pinter excoriated US foreign policy. “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law,” Pinter said.

Harold Pinter gave the speech in December of 2005. He was too ill to go to Stockholm to receive the award, so it was videotaped, and this is what was broadcast around the world.

This is just a small clip:

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

You can watch the entire clip of Harold Pinter at Democracy Now!

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Source.

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