Police Violence Rages in Ferguson, MO

The out-of-control police response to protests against the killing of Michael Brown in a St. Louis, MO suburb, continues.

Yesterday more journalists were arrested without charge, leaving little evidence for the wronged reporters to seek damages in a civil lawsuit.

This police riot in Ferguson is more evidence that Obama is hostile toward the free press (which includes Julian Assange trapped in London).

The police are blaming the media and the public for what’s going wrong. The blame begins and ends with their behaviour. Their member killed an unarmed kid. They refused to charge the culprit. They’ve fired teargas at children and peaceful demonstrators. They’ve arrested media. None of these things are reasonable in the United States considering the First Amendment.

The police said that anyone other than people carrying $50K cameras will be arrested tonight. That’s an illegal threat in the US of A.

It’s time for a lot of resignations.


The killing was live-tweeted

WikiLeaks: A Country’s Name To Kill

An interesting ethical debate is taking place. FirstLook Media, the controversial and adversarial media outlet owned by PayPal’s inventor, has withheld the name of the 5th country the NSA collects recordings of all phone calls from. SOMALGET and MYSTIC are Top Secret programs revealed by the Snowden leaks from the NSA. Following on the earth shaking revelations of last year starting with the “metadata” gathering in the US called PRISM, MYSTIC is again changing Americans’ views of what their spy agencies are actually working toward.

I think WikiLeaks should reveal this information, and not because it’s likely to cause deaths, but because a Top Secret American program having a country name revealed more than a year after it was known to be compromised, is not a reason to redact it any longer. WikiLeaks is right, and the citizens of the violated nation have a human right to know the United States government was able to record every phone call. It wouldn’t be the first time a Top Secret American program has led to people dying, either.

People can then place the blame where it belongs for any deaths, at the feet of the NSA, and Bush/Obama, not simplistically on the WikiLeaks scapegoat.

Defending WikiLeaks and Whistleblowers

1:08:38 SFU History grad, Sean Tucker of Business Administration, “I don’t know if we need a Whistleblower policy on campus or something”.

An academic has their priorities askew if they don’t protect whistleblowing, even while its result is not directly in the immediate favour of their organization. Protecting the right to speak and hear the truth, is an important aspect of a functioning democracy and a transparent academic institution.

1:16:16 I speak my mind. I’d rather the University offer WikiLeaks server space, if there’s any sort of policy on whistle-blowing.

Blog Action Day 2013 – Human Rights #BAD13

On Friday I was invited to talk about blogging, on Regina’s community radio station CJTR. The show was Human Rights Radio by Jim and Gord, and we spent the hour going over what a blog is, why it’s useful to have one, and how it could be used to promote human rights. You can give a listen to it!

The second half of the show is on YouTube too, if you want to look at the ceiling for most of it:

Also, if you’re in Saskatchewan, check out the “Get Active with Amnesty” 2013 conference. I was a guest speaker for it last year when it was in Regina. This time it is in Moose Jaw.

This is the conference site.
And there is also a facebook event page you can use to invite friends.

Passwords Holding the Web Together

I noticed another person with a CIBC 2-factor authentication fob on their key chain last week. It displays a seemingly random number that actually only a special server knows, so if a password is stolen, so too must the fob containing the random number code that changes every minute. Without both the password, and the fob, a thief is unable to log into a stolen account.

Passwords make the Web work, so we can have ‘our’ stuff, and keep unwanted and very unwelcome people from viewing it and changing our own information. So a title like “Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore” should be very, very concerning to people and businesses depending upon computers alike.

This Forbes headline caught my eye recently, and I have mixed feelings about it. “Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore”. Is it going to work to keep computer information secure? My scepticism is sky-high following the Snowden leaks of NSA and related world spying agencies overstepping their constitutional bounds. Could we really design a technology where it’s secure enough to trust the government to implement it for us? I’d trust it only after an intelligent group of individuals who understand encryption very well, give it a thumbs-up. Someone who has worked with WikiLeaks, and works on an anonymous Web system called Tor is Jacob Appelbaum. If Jacob gave a system the thumbs up, or a thumbs down, I’d take his word for it. Even better, he could explain why a system works, or does not.

Is another security technology on the horizon going to change the Web almost overnight in a very drastic or revolutionary way? I wish I had the answers. Maybe the NSA has the answer already? We can’t trust them, however.

WikiLeaks: Suspected Snowden Plane Grounded & Embassy Bugged

Assange blasted Obama today for lying about his government’s interest in capturing Edward Snowden, the celebrated whistle-blower who exposed Obama’s administration as spying on all Americans (and the rest of the world). The plane of the Bolivian president was denied flight into previously friendly countries and diverted to Austria for an unexpected search!

Topping off the madness of the American President, was news that a listening bug was discovered in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

BONUS:
Clapper admits to misleading Congress, but claims it was an innocent mistake. What a tool, eh?