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Facebook, Apple, Microsoft Partner With Privacy Groups To Call For NSA Transparency


Posted on July 18, 2013 by Akashma Online News

By

First Published at The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, which also signed the letter and has denied knowledge of the NSA surveillance program.

A coalition of major tech companies and civil liberties groups on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for more transparency around a secret government program that collects private Internet and phone records.

In the letter, the companies argued that Americans “are entitled to have an informed public debate” about surveillance requests. The coalition urged the Obama administration to allow companies to report statistics about the number of national security requests they receive from government agencies for customer data.

The letter said the government should also issue its own regular “transparency report” disclosing that information.

“Basic information about how the government uses its various law enforcement–related investigative authorities has been published for years without any apparent disruption to criminal investigations,” the letter reads. “We seek permission for the same information to be made available regarding the government’s national security–related authorities.”

“This information about how and how often the government is using these legal authorities is important to the American people, who are entitled to have an informed public debate about the appropriateness of those authorities and their use,” the letter continues.

The companies addressed their petition to President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and several members of Congress. It was signed by more than 20 tech companies and more than 30 trade associations and privacy groups — including Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Silicon Valley and privacy groups do not always agree over privacy matters, making their partnership for the letter noteworthy. Tech companies have faced widespread criticism in recent weeks over reports that they cooperated with the government’s secret Internet spying program. Many tech giants have expressed frustration that they are prohibited by law from discussing the surveillance orders.

The nation’s largest phone companies, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless, were not part of the coalition that signed the letter and have remained quiet about their participation in the NSA surveillance program, as Time.com noted.

The letter comes amid growing calls for greater disclosure about the NSA’s collection of phone and Internet records and a push from members of Congress to scale back the surveillance program, which was disclosed last month in a series of stories in The Guardian and Washington Post.

Disclosure: The Huffington Post is owned by AOL, which also signed the letter and has denied knowledge of the NSA surveillance program.

 

Snowden Censored by Craven Media


Posted on June 10, 2013 by Akashma Online News

10 June 2013

Snowden Censored by Craven Media

Mr. Snowden, please send your 41 PRISM slides and other information to less easily cowed and overly coddled commercial outlets than Washington Post and Guardian. Their arm-waving, self-aggrandizing verbosity, after conspiring to obey official demand (below) to censor your information is a pattern well-documented by unfettered disclosure sites. Their piecemealing release is hoary dramatization, diverting cover-up, of failure to deliver untampered material. Your valor is yet to be fully disclosed, do not settle for being seduced by false promises portending being kicked under the bus. Heed this under-bus-kick published today by Secrecy News:

EDWARD SNOWDEN, SOURCE OF NSA LEAKS, STEPS FORWARD… “When you are subverting the power of government– that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.”

“I’m willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity [of these disclosures]. This is the truth. This is what’s happening. You should decide whether we need to be doing this,” he said of his disclosures.

In the history of unauthorized disclosures of classified information, a voluntary admission of having committed such disclosures is the exception, not the norm. And it confers a degree of dignity on the action. Yet it stops short of a full acceptance of responsibility. That would entail surrendering to authorities and accepting the legal consequences of “subverting the power of government” and carrying out “a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.”

And two days ago this go-to-prison kick by The Atlantic:

Whistle-blowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power. What’s important here are government programs and methods, not data about individuals. I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior. Do it carefully and do it safely, but — and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs — do it.

High officers and rhetoricians convene safe at base to wargame, destined by history, to praise and send youngsters into harm’s way to protect high privilege, then crow about leadership, sacrifice, pretending remorse, gloating in amply-pensioned retirement. Bear in mind, fodder for their ambitions is how they see you imprisoned for disobedience, emblazoned in by-lined headlines, warehoused in vet hospitals, or best, flag-draped in coffins disappearing into vote-rigged databanks.


http://www.wect.com/story/22544509/snowdens-cautious-approach-to-post-reporter

To effect his plan, Snowden asked for a guarantee that The Washington Post would publish – within 72 hours – the full text of a PowerPoint presentation describing PRISM, a top-secret surveillance program that gathered intelligence from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley companies. He also asked that The Post publish online a cryptographic key that he could use to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the document’s source.

Gellman told him the Post would not make any guarantee about what the Post published or when. The Post broke the story two weeks later, on Thursday. The Post sought the views of government officials about the potential harm to national security prior to publication and decided to reproduce only four of the 41 slides, Gellman wrote in his story about their communications.


Egypt’s Facebook front: Power to the People


Posted on October 23 by Marivel Guzman
from Original Post on Haaretz by Zvi Bar’el
Blog it–Share it — Tweet it– Youtube it– Digg it Mubarak human rights abuses must to stop, the assault in free speech of every individual is sacred and should be respected, Mubarak! is over, your reign of oppression is over..POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
Could Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who this month began his 30th year in office, have imagined he would have to conduct his political battles via computer? Via the “curse of the Internet”? Against bloggers and Facebook? Could he have conceived that one day he would have to relinquish his monopoly over public discourse to young people aged 18 to 25, who send messages to millions of potential voters in Egypt with the tap of a finger?

The Kafia (Enough ) movement, which was formally established in 2004, became active online during the 2005 election campaign. In its wake a dozen movements have arisen demanding regime change. Around the time when the Kafia website was established, the Muslim Brotherhood was also working on its own site. Each of these movements was immediately joined by long lists of bloggers, who helped foment demonstrations, strikes and an entire, new national discourse in which the regime has hardly any presence.
Supporters of G Gamal Mubarack, AP

ccording to statistics published at internetworldstats.com, which tracks the distribution of Internet usage around the world, in 2000 there were only 450,000 internet users in Egypt. Now there are 18 million – approximately 22 percent of the population. This is also about the same proportion of the population that is between the ages of 18 and 27 – the segment likely to determine the outcome of the next election.

Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a Nobel Prize laureate, is now devoting most of his energies to this public. Although he has not yet declared himself a presidential candidate for next fall’s election, his slogan is “Change will come via the young.” His supporters have launched a Facebook group listing his demands for changing the constitution, and have more than 129,000 followers.

Supporters of the president’s son Gamal Mubarak, considered the front-runner at present, set up their own Facebook group attacking ElBaradei, and published photos of his daughter Laila wearing a bathing suit.

The presidential election campaign, which has started early, is closely linked to the parliamentary elections scheduled for next month, under the assumption that the latter will be an early test of the presidential race. However, it appears the regime has not yet appreciated the essence of the demographic change: It believes the main threat is not young people, but rather the Muslim Brotherhood, which until recently was torn over whether to participate in the elections or to boycott them along with other opposition movements.

As the group wavered, debates flared online between bloggers and on Facebook. “For whom should I vote when it is the government that determines who gets elected?” wrote one reader in response to the coverage in the Al-Masri Al-Youm newspaper. “Don’t make a laughingstock of yourselves – after all, you know that whether or not we vote, it’s the government that decides,” wrote another reader.

In the end the Brotherhood decided to run, and put together a list of about 160 candidates. Though it is an illegal movement and is prohibited from forming a political party, its candidates’ identities are known and they will run as independents. In the previous elections they got 88 representatives (out of 454 ) into Parliament, and are now expecting to win nearly double that number of seats and become a powerful faction.

However, the number of candidates the Brotherhood hopes to get into parliament indicates it is not aspiring to “conquer the legislature” per se. It wants to demonstrate power but not be a threat. Otherwise, it would have put together a list of at least 300 candidates.

The regime is not impressed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s “modest” approach, and considers it to be the main political threat. The regime is working against the movement both on the “traditional” level – nearly 200 activists have been arrested – and on the “electronic” level. First, the regime shut down four satellite stations that broadcast religious programming and informed them they would no longer be able to use Nilesat satellite services unless they upheld the terms of their licenses. These terms prohibit broadcasting content harmful to Christians and Shiites, limit religious content to 50 percent of all broadcasts, ban the broadcast of items “liable to disturb order and arouse civil war,” and mandate allocating specific amounts of airtime to films and music.

Now, media and official bodies are also required to apply for a permit to disseminate messages via SMS. Movements that do not enjoy official status, like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Kafia movement, the National Association for Change headed by ElBaradei and the Nasserist Al-Karama party, cannot receive permits.

However, these restrictions – which have made Egypt a focus of international criticism – cannot prevent activity on Facebook or stop bloggers from disseminating messages via their own personal sites.

When both the demography of Egypt is working against the regime and the “arsenal” is changing, perhaps Mubarak himself – like his colleague President Shimon Peres – will also have to open a Facebook group.

Middle Easter AnalystZvi Bar’el is the Middle Eastern affairs analyst for Haaretz Newspaper. He is a columnist and a member of the editorial board. Previously he has been the managing editor of the newspaper, the correspondent in Washington and has also covered the Occupied Territories.

Bar’el has been with Haaretz since 1982, and has written extensively on the Arab and Islamic world. In 2009, he was awarded the Sokolov prize for lifetime achievement in print journalism.

Bar’el has a Ph.D in the History of the Middle East. He teaches at Sapir Academic College and is a research fellow at the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as at the Center for Iranian Studies.

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Power to the people.
By Marivel Guzman

Blog it–Tweeter–Digg it– Stumpt it–Youtube it—Myspace it—Share it–
Human rights abuses must stop in Egypt and every where in the world
Free Speech is a right every citizen of the world must enjoy
No President, Prime Minister, King, or anyone can suppress our rights, support Egyptian in their struggle
POWER TO THE PEOPLE

The era of instant communications is here, regardless of the propaganda still expensive and paid by the high hierarchy, we the people have in our hands powerful tools than can change the balance to our favor.

We are not talking of war or violence, not at all, the dissemination of the truth is sufficient to educate people and make them part of the social change that is inevitable.

Mubarak,Natajahu, to Obama..I mean any “smart” leader have to take notice of the reach of the social networks.
We are not talking of something sporadic and out of place, we are talking of facebook as a social phenomenon that can not be stopped.
Facebook even if it was put in place by the spy agencies and with the idea to gather information or control us, has got out of their control. Now we control it, we move the information, we are making the News from our keyboards, we decide what to believe, because we all are thinkers, in one level or other, we all are in the process of evolving to the next level.

It is not by chance of accident that we are in this point of history, society is continuously changing, and we being in the informatics age should not be surprise that we are making history, we are writing the history of our time.
Facebook is one tool, but without YOU is of no use.

People We Do not Know

September 22, 2010 3 comments

By Marivel Guzman

Stranger and yet so close

Experimental Poet that loves to love

We come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, countries, we speak different languages and even with all these dis similarities we are closer that ever.

But who are “WE”?, people around the globe, “People We Do Not Know”, those strange faces that we encounter in every walk of life, in the coffee shop, the market and like a social disease in the social networks. We are every where, we have different skin colors, different social and economic status, but we do not notice those little almost insignificant details that in our everyday life are so important, but not in here. We can not see them as being an impediment to get together as one, as if we were part of the same family.

One of my closest friends, my new found brother Raja Mujtaba have showed me what real trust and friendship is. He owns an online newspaper

Foresight With Insight

That in short period of time have positioned itself as one of the best sources of real news in the world.

It have been the power of the social networks, the interaction with these people that we do not know, that we talk and make part of our everyday life, that have made this little newspaper to grow and positioned itself as one of the most read newspapers in the world.

For years the world was used to the NEWS, but with the coming of the instant communication corridor, we have realized that the NEWS is not what is given to us in a silver box. No…the news are being made everyday, by all of us..we are interchanging NEWS everyday. The TV stopped offering us the TRUTH. I quote a phrase from his website “His conviction is that there can be no peace without justice thus the root cause to every problem must be identified and addressed. Justice leads to peace that develops love” I m over thrilled with his vision for our world, that with closed eyes I help him in his crusade for justice and peace.
The Free Press: The New Press
The Virtual World: It is the New World Order, where the citizens of the world, are taking the world back.
We do not need to receive “News”, we are making the Real News
Every moment someone somewhere write a new Article, Upload a new picture, and they are as real as the people are.
We are the new Opinion Makers of the World, we don’t need Editors. Because the truth is Raw and should be given as it is without dressing or photoshoping as it is been for quite sometimes.
Be happy, the good news are here.

Welcome to the New World Order of life, where the world is coming together in a credo of brotherhood, raising together our voices for a better life for everyone.

Raising our complains to the leaders that “We Appointed” to represent us and work for us.
The Virtual world welcome you, we are more closer than we ever been, the walls are down, the old school of Media is obsolete now, we are the New Press, the Free Press, we are photographers, video technicians, writers, poets, opinion makers: “Where the Truth is the News, and we are the Opinion Makers”.

During my virtual travels I have had the pleasure to meet beautiful people, specially in Gaza Strip..that little piece of land besieged by Israel Madness, but their people do not give up their hopes for Freedom, for Peace, and their dream to lead a normal life.

Take for example my dear Shady Alassar, a photographer from Gaza, that despite all the instability of his land, he keeps striving for a better future.

Gaza Photography Exhibition

Shady Alassar Photography , Gaza Strip, Palestine

He won’t stop trying to leave Gaza at its will, travel out for pleasure or business. Who are those people inside Gaza that we see with different eyes because we been programmed to do so for so many years of propaganda, Gazans are people like you and me, they are people “We do not know”, but only because we do not dare to know them. It is amazing that now, we “chat” to them as our best friends, we treat them as family. Imagine what will “Bush and Company will say”, our brothers and friends live in a Land out of boundaries to the world, but not for us, the “people” of the networks.
The social networks this phenomenon that took us in a wild ride, unexpected. We live every day their economical crisis from far away, we cry with them for them.

What is our role in this drama, we are part of their drama, we were there in that part of his life, recently he was part of an exhibition of Gaza Youth photography, and he made us part of his happy moments.

Do you know him? maybe you have see him in the walls, it might seem not important, but it is important, you are proud with him. Gaza was in the news, and we were part of the news as well, sharing those moments with the world, we wonder what really happen to all of us?…we take pride in their achievement, we suffer their struggles, we are being part of this strange alliance of hope, where we are coming together as a family.

Shady Alassar is a normal guy like your neighbor , like your son or brother ,what make him special? really in this virtual world that we are being part of, we all are specials or we all are ordinary world citizen. It is your perspective of the world what it make it look beautiful or gray.

Gaza Strip

Gaza Strip

The Social Networks unleashed “POWER TO THE PEOPLE-FOR THE PEOPLE”, the invisible revolution is unstoppable, you can feel it in the air, in the wires.

The Internet came to stay. Do not allow it to be taken away. It’s our right to fight for a common cause. Peace Worth it, Love Worth it, You Worth it. I Worth it.

Why is this?. we have no specific answer but we connect with ease, we give our phone numbers our emails, we treat each other as we know for long time.

Can somebody really understand why are we doing this?… Nobody really knows, we just “DO IT”, it is as if we have broken the stereotypes, we have broken the imaginary line that kept us apart.
The religious, social, economic, and race stigmatization, and marginalization that have kept us worlds apart it gone,  now, we not do see it, we do not feel bounded by those ideas, now we want to explore all religions and cultures, we want to learn and feel their struggles as ours.

The Poet Of Love

Munir Mezyet Palestinian Poet, he is my dear friend if it was not for these walsl I would not know him, he lives exiled in Bucharest, but he is not far nor stranger, he is as close as my best friend next door.

We are free now, we feel this freedom to choose to add friends, to share our morning coffee with a complete stranger. The walls that for some people like Germany and Palestine have hold them apart, now  “The Walls” are bringing us together.

Berlin Wall, Tear Down in 1989
The “Walls” are keeping us together, they are spaces in the virtual world where we share more than ideas, passions, fashions, love experience, causes for freedom.

We are being part of the world with “People we do not Know”.

These intercontinental connections, long distance calls that few years back would have been impossible, for different reasons;  social and economical reasons. We calling to Australia, Tunisia, Gaza, Brussels, Argentina, Afghanistan…the whole world is part of our geographical area, skype and messenger broke the barriers of time and space.

We losing our sleep over “People we do not know”, odd, don’t you think?

What have it changed today? we are comfortable interchanging mobil numbers to a complete strangers, if you want to see us this way. We do not think twice before we type out our “private email”.

We interact few times in the walls, in the channels, the spaces. and we call ourselves friends, brothers, comrades. We go to extreme lengths to fight for your rights, to fight for your country, to fight for your causes.

We stand strong for a reason we do not completely understand, other than doing a social justice to peace and friendship.

What really had happen to all of us?, that suddenly we raise our voices for your flag, for the protection of your individual liberties, your civil rights. Really why is this?

What it is going on in the world? Do we find that we were missing the link to Love? Are we able now to befriend and Love a complete stranger? The connectivity of the Universe is showing us the signs that we were overlooking, love is so easy to find, to expand to hold and express, in a single line on a chat room, you can find your long long waited twin love, or your lost friend or new friend.

Do not be afraid to show your kindness, the sensitive fiber of your heart. Love is at the reach of your finger tips at the end of the keyboard. Expand your conscientiousness, open up your mind to the pureness of Love.

I have found more than friends, I found a new family…brothers, sisters, sons, and dozens of nephews and nieces….there is so much diversity in our cultures, but that is the greatness of these new encounters, that is what it make it so special. The relation is more familiar, because you start knowing their beliefs, ideas and soon..you are part of them and they are part of you. You start loving your new family as if you have always know them. The new faces become your everyday experience, your morning, your breakfast your day goes interacting with them. You miss them, you love them because they become part of you.

The social networks have opened the doors the collective conscientiousness. Love is not inclusive of your close families.
The state of the mind now, have reached the tip of the idea that Love is not a feeling but a state of the mind, balanced ripped to the age.

Welcome to the new era of Universally. The web of ideas finally is at its best. LOVE IS ONE. And we are One. Because we are Love.

Meet me at the “Walls”, I think I already know you, if you are a virtual traveler, you are an enlighten being. We all the same, we suffer from the same pains, the red blood that runs throughout my veins is warm with love, and does not see color, but feel the love that you project to the world.

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