WikiLeaks revealed – in partnership with major international publications, including the two involved in the Pentagon Papers Case – videos of American troops murdering civilians and celebrating the murders (a war crime) as well as documentary proof of American complicity in torture (also a war crime).
So, mainstream American publishers – of newspapers, online sites, and even cable news producers – really ought to brush up on their Evelyn Beatrice Hall; you know her oft-quoted, but rarely practiced profession: „I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.“
Ultimately, it matters not whether one likes Assange, shares his worldview, or even approves of his tactics. The name of the civil libertarian game must instead be a press-sovereignty solidarity that transcends the person of Mr. Assange. Love him or hate him; like WikiLeaks or loathe it; the most powerful American press organizations must close ranks with Assange.
That was my introduction to the political phenomenon known as Antideutsche – anti-Germans. It started in the late 1980s as an exotic offshoot of the Maoist left, whose members denied the very legitimacy of a German nation after Nazism, under the slogan, “Germany, never again.” But for the past two decades, Antideutsche has had one primary focus: an unrestrained attack on anyone who is critical, even a bit, of Israeli policy. According to their amazingly simplistic approach, anti-Semitism is the source of all evil, Israel is the answer to anti-Semitism, and thus constitutes absolute good. Hence, at demonstrations and in Facebook posts of this left-wing group, there have even been calls to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza – that is, calls for genocide.
„Bolsonaro is attacking and threatening journalists all the time. So this is obviously a plan, a goal of this government, to bring repression back to Brazil,“ the U.S. journalist said.
In free societies, journalists play an important role in challenging and criticizing governmental officials and scrutinizing their actions and policies. It is a threat to democracy when authorities use cybercrime laws to punish their critics, as the Brazilian government has done here with Glenn Greenwald, and it discourages journalists from using technology to best serve the public.
Being a mentally sovereign human means constructing your own understanding of this weird reality based on your own investigations and your own reasoning, which means constructing it from the ground up. Even your most basic assumptions about reality itself must be rigorously cross-examined with complete skepticism. Nothing must be taken on faith.
The latest example of the Brazilian presidency’s style occurred on Friday when citizens criticized the Culture Minister Roberto Alvim, who had previously published a video with clear Nazi connotations.
A court in Turkey’s capital Ankara ruled on Wednesday to lift a ban on Wikipedia, after a decision by the country’s top court that the block breached freedom of expression.
Turkish authorities had blocked the online encyclopedia on April 29, 2017, after which its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, filed a case against the ban with the country’s Constitutional Court.
Hafeez’s family and lawyers released a statement saying the trial had been marked by a “wave of fear” and intimidation after Hafeez’s initial defense lawyer, Rashid Rehman, was shot and killed in 2014 after agreeing to take on the case. No one has been charged with that murder.
In the United States, there is a growing industry of consultants who advise organisations about how to rid themselves of their supposed ‘white-supremacy culture’. According to these zealots, some of the attitudes and behaviours associated with white-supremacy culture include ‘individualism’, ‘a sense of urgency’ and ‘perfectionism’.
In other words, those who take their work too seriously may be tainted by white supremacy. Thinking logically is basically thinking white.
“Trump’s executive order is not about keeping Jews safe. After a week in which he spewed classic antisemtiic tropes about Jews and money, this is just more anti-Semitism,” wrote Emily Mayer, the political director of the Jewish advocacy group IfNotNow, in a statement. “The order’s move to define Judaism as a ‘nationality’ promotes the classically bigoted idea that American Jews are not American.”
The established media with their allegiance to the state has been failing to inform the public about the threat to civil liberties emanating from this country. The U.S. government has been waging a war against the First Amendment. Assange has become a political prisoner of this war. In the era of “hope and change,” he and his organization became a target of Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers, which now has escalated into Trump administration’s assaults on the press freedom.
The decision was made at the request of the Palestinian prosecution, but it is widely assumed that senior PA officials were behind the move. The prosecution, in its petition to the court, argued that the sites disseminate harmful content about the PA and its officials and are likely to be used to incite lawlessness.
What’s going on is the hallmark of totalitarian rule – controlling the message, eliminating what conflicts with it, notably on major geopolitical issues.
Losing the right of free expression endangers all others. When truth-telling and dissent are considered threats to national security, free and open societies no longer exist – the slippery slope America and other Western societies are heading on.
We pause this week to celebrate our longtime friend Gene Crick, a digital rights activist and former president of EFF-Austin, who passed away August 14 in Texas at age 73. Gene was a tireless advocate for free speech, a free, open, and inclusive Internet, and digital rights for everyone in the state of Texas. He worked for many years to bring free Internet access to communities, especially rural and underserved areas, and advocated for broadband access for rural communities.
„The police had 30 tweets of mine. I asked the officer, ‘What’s the worst one you’ve got? Which one comes closest to the edge of being dangerously criminal?’ He said, ‘Well, there is this limerick’. I replied to say that I hadn’t written any limericks. He said, ‘No, but you have retweeted a limerick’. He read it to me, and I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’. It wasn’t even a limerick. It was a lyric from a feminist song. He told me I had to stop doing this. I asked again if I had done anything wrong. And that is when he said the immortal line: ‘I need to check your thinking.’ „
In a broad policy speech earlier this year, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Thomas Haldenwang, called for increased patrolling of digital communication, including social media. German law permits officials to search through data in the digital sphere in the face of certain threats, including domestic terrorism.
Partly inspired by Germany’s social media hate speech law, France’s Parliament recently started debating a similar bill.
‘What’s the matter with Portland?’ Andy Ngo asked in Spectator USA last November, after being insulted and intimidated while he tried to cover an earlier Antifa demo. ‘Why did I, a Vietnamese-American gay journalist, receive this reaction from a self-described anti-racist social justice movement?’
Masked individuals attacked Ngo at a rally in Oregon, throwing what appeared to be milkshakes at him and punching him, according to footage of the attack.
Ngo is an editor for Quillette who describes himself as “hated by [A]ntifa” on his Twitter profile. He recorded the aftermath of the day’s events on social media. The video showed Ngo with scars on his face in addition to what appeared to be swelling.
The police raid on the ABC was the first thing a group of visiting ASEAN journalists asked about when we met at Ultimo a few days ago.
The journalists — from Laos, Brunei, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia — wanted me to explain what had happened, and why.
Julian Assange: Countdown to Freedom, with Randy Credico and today’s guest, award winning filmmaker, John Pilger interviewed by Dennis J Bernstein and Randy Credico on KPFA Flashpoints
The report also expresses concern over the pressure the government is applying on the protests against the new base construction in Okinawa, and advised against infringing on the freedom to demonstrate in opposition of public policy, and suggested the government cooperate with the protests and related journalism.
The new report once again criticizes the Japanese government, stating that almost none of the previous report’s recommendations have been implemented.
It is easy, and for some convenient, to forget how much in journalism was changed by the arrival of WikiLeaks.
It’s perhaps one reason that he is rejected by so many journalists.
One journalist is being investigated for reporting that several boats filled with asylum seekers recently tried to reach Australia from Sri Lanka. Another reporter had her home raided by the authorities this week after reporting on a government plan to expand surveillance powers.
Then on Wednesday, the Australian federal police showed up at the main public broadcaster with a warrant for notes, story pitches, emails, and even the diaries for entire teams of journalists and senior editors — all in connection with a 2017 article about Australian special forces being investigated over possible war crimes in Afghanistan.
The Australian Federal Police’s raid of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation overnight is a national embarrassment.
The story supposedly linked to the AFP warrant had been published by Smethurst on April 29, 2018. More than a year had elapsed, with little in the way of public murmurings. Australians have, for the most part, fallen under the anaesthetist’s spell regarding intrusive, unnecessary and dangerous national security laws. Another set of them would hardly matter.
But since the story, titled “Let Us Spy on Aussies” broke last year, the security wallahs have been attempting to root out the source, mobilising the AFP in the process. The account detailed information on discussions between the Home Affairs and Defence departments on the possibility of granting the Australian Signals Directorate powers to monitor the emails, bank records and text messages of Australian citizens. Letters between Secretary of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo and Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty featured.
John Lyons live tweeted as AFP and ABC lawyers combed through documents to determine which documents were eligible to be handed over under the search warrant. Picture: John Lyons
Australian Federal Police officers are raiding the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over a series of 2017 stories known as The Afghan Files. ABC Head of Investigations, John Lyons was in the room during the raid, and says the warrant gives the AFP powers to see, change and delete the data they find. Mr Lyons says he’s „never seen an assault on the media as savage“ as this. The stories, by ABC investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan and were based off hundreds of pages of secret Defence documents leaked to the ABC.
Australian Federal Police officers have left the ABC’s Sydney headquarters more than eight hours after a raid began over a series of 2017 stories known as the Afghan Files.
The stories, by ABC investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan and were based off hundreds of pages of secret Defence documents leaked to the ABC
It’s understood the ABC and the AFP have been in talks about the search warrant since September, when it was first brought to the attention of the public broadcaster.
28.2.2019 A prominent Sydney lawyer who served as legal adviser to Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan has been charged with theft over war crimes investigation files that were allegedly published in the media.
Australian Federal Police officers arrested retired major David William McBride, 55, at Sydney Airport as he sought to depart Australia to return to his new home in Europe in September last year.
Within hours of the report’s release, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt took to Twitter to denounce it as “wrong.” He declared that “Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice.” Hunt demanded that the UN Special Rapporteur “allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”
Melzer directly replied to Hunt, correctly noting that “Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’” Ecuador’s London embassy, “as someone sitting on a rubberboat in a sharkpool.”
Julian Assange’s belongings from his time living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London will be handed over to US prosecutors on Monday, according to WikiLeaks.
Ecuadorian officials are travelling to London to allow US prosecutors to “help themselves” to items including legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment, it was claimed.
Inexplicably, even free speech has become a right-wing issue. When I refused to sign a ‘behavioural agreement’ form (a title invented by students who mistook George Orwell’s 1984 for an instruction manual) in order to perform comedy at the School of Oriental and African Studies just before Christmas, I was immediately called ‘alt-Right’ on national radio. When I tried to explain that I’m a Remainer with liberal and centrist views who has only voted Lib Dem or Labour, I was told ‘that’s what the alt-Right always say’.
I wonder how my Jewish great-grandfather, who died fighting Nazis in WWII, would feel about my transformation into a far-right extremist.
The “right honourable” Mr. Hunt was one of the British government officials responsible for the brutal seizure and incarceration of Assange April 11. Following the WikiLeaks publisher’s arrest, Hunt said in a statement, “What we’ve shown today is that no one is above the law. Julian Assange is no hero. He has hidden from the truth for years and years and it is right that his future should be decided in the British judicial system.”
The British establishment has some front. First it decimates our democratic rights by doing everything within its considerable power to dilute, degrade or thwart entirely the thing that 17.4million of us voted for: Brexit. Then it virtually criminalises us if we get angry about this. It treats us as speechcriminals if we fume against the undermining of our vote or describe as ‘traitors’ those MPs who have devoted their every waking hour to making sure Brexit doesn’t happen. The elite’s war on the democratic vote for Brexit is now attended by a complementary war on public anger
While utterly appalling, these reactions – vile representations of anti-Muslim hatred – did not come as much of a shock to me.
What did surprise me was the swiftness with which the regressive left weaponised Christchurch.
Two years ago, we launched our styleguide as our first step in creating a consistent visual look and feel across the entire Tor Project ecosystem. Today, we are very happy to announce the launch of our brand new website.
The group is recommending that cyber penalties focus on individuals and entities. It said the door should also be left open to making cyber-crimes also subject to “sectoral measures.”
The EU has been mulling such a cyber sanctions regime since 2015 and the group of countries is pressing the bloc’s 28 nations to formally agree on the matter at a gathering of EU leaders in Brussels next week.
Those who were active in the civil-rights movements of the ‘New Left’ in the Sixties and Seventies understood that free speech is the linchpin of all other struggles for equality. But today it is mostly well-intentioned activists on the left who are calling on the state to constrict the Overton window. Worse still, in a world in which social media have become the de facto public square, and online platforms are controlled by powerful likeminded CEOs, we are left with the paradoxical phenomenon of self-identified leftists seeking to empower huge corporations to set the parameters of acceptable thought.
If the barn door is opened with a conviction, major damage to freedom of speech and a free media will undoubtedly ensue. One can open The New York Times or Washington Post today and read a number of stories that are attributed to unidentified or confidential sources in the government. If Assange is convicted, the government would be able to exploit the precedent to operate in secret at all levels while reporters and the papers they represent seeking public interest stories would be subject to legal action by the Justice Department. If that happens a free press, even as limited as it currently is in the mainstream, would become nothing more than a memory.
French media stirs up a controversy and blames Israel for trying to enforce censorship.
Its Declaration of Independence guarantees “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex,” as well as a guarantee of freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.
Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Zeev Jabotinsky, David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir always emphasized the need to combine Jewish nationalism with universal humanism. So now, when Israel’s government appears to be tarnishing the sacred value of equality, many supporters feel it is turning its back on Jewish heritage, the Zionist ethos and the Israeli spirit.
World Jewish Congress chief and former Netanyahu confidant urges Israeli leaders to ‚rethink their destructive actions‘ in New York Times op-ed
Wenn die ACLU Free Speech nicht mehr verteidigt, ist das glaube ich bald vorbei damit in den USA. Ich habe die immer sehr respektiert für ihre knallharte Prinzipientreue. Mir fällt keine andere Organisation ein, die so berechenbar und verlässlich war wie die ACLU an der Stelle.
Wenn man relativiert, in welchen Fällen Grundrechte verteidigt werden, sind es halt keine Grundrechte mehr. Sondern eher so temporäre Leihgaben des Königs, der es sich jederzeit anders überlegen kann.
Along with intensified surveillance and monitoring operations by state military-intelligence agencies, this new regime of state-sponsored censorship constitutes a dangerous and unprecedented global threat to freedom of speech and other fundamental freedom of speech.
A new report details how local officials can create publicly owned internet programs that not only protect free speech and privacy, but also are accessible and affordable