Dreaming of thinking English, only Dutch came out.
Smith Mundt Act - A reminder that you are living in a Smith-Mudt Act repealed media landscape
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt Act
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.
Propaganda in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:00
Propaganda in the United States is propaganda spread by government and media entities within the United States. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to influence opinions. Propaganda is not only in advertising; it is also in radio, newspaper, posters, books, and anything else that might be sent out to the widespread public.
DomesticWorld War IThe first large-scale use of propaganda by the U.S. government came during World War I. The government enlisted the help of citizens and children to help promote war bonds and stamps to help stimulate the economy. To keep the prices of war supplies down, the U.S. government produced posters that encouraged people to reduce waste and grow their own vegetables in "victory gardens." The public skepticism that was generated by the heavy-handed tactics of the Committee on Public Information would lead the postwar government to officially abandon the use of propaganda.
World War IIDuring World War II the U.S. officially had no propaganda, but the Roosevelt government used means to circumvent this official line. One such propaganda tool was the publicly owned but government funded Writers' War Board (WWB). The activities of the WWB were so extensive that it has been called the "greatest propaganda machine in history".Why We Fight is a famous series of US government propaganda films made to justify US involvement in World War II.
In 1944 (lasting until 1948) prominent US policy makers launched a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the U.S. public to agree to a harsh peace for the German people, for example by removing the common view of the German people and the Nazi party as separate entities. The core in this campaign was the Writers' War Board which was closely associated with the Roosevelt administration.
Another means was the United States Office of War Information that Roosevelt established in June 1942, whose mandate was to promote understanding of the war policies under the director Elmer Davies. It dealt with posters, press, movies, exhibitions, and produced often slanted material conforming to US wartime purposes. Other large and influential non-governmental organizations during the war and immediate post war period were the Society for the Prevention of World War III and the Council on Books in Wartime.
Cold WarDuring the Cold War, the U.S. government produced vast amounts of propaganda against communism and the Soviet bloc. Much of this propaganda was directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover, who himself wrote the anti-communist tract Masters of Deceit. The FBI's COINTELPRO arm solicited journalists to produce fake news items discrediting communists and affiliated groups, such as H. Bruce Franklin and the Venceremos Organization.
War on DrugsThe National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, originally established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988, but now conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998, is a domestic propaganda campaign designed to "influence the attitudes of the public and the news media with respect to drug abuse" and for "reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States". The Media Campaign cooperates with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other government and non-government organizations.
Iraq WarIn early 2002, the U.S. Department of Defense launched an information operation, colloquially referred to as the Pentagon military analyst program. The goal of the operation is "to spread the administrations's talking points on Iraq by briefing ... retired commanders for network and cable television appearances," where they have been presented as independent analysts. On 22 May 2008, after this program was revealed in the New York Times, the House passed an amendment that would make permanent a domestic propaganda ban that until now has been enacted annually in the military authorization bill.
The Shared values initiative was a public relations campaign that was intended to sell a "new" America to Muslims around the world by showing that American Muslims were living happily and freely, without persecution, in post-9/11 America. Funded by the United States Department of State, the campaign created a public relations front group known as Council of American Muslims for Understanding (CAMU). The campaign was divided in phases; the first of which consisted of five mini-documentaries for television, radio, and print with shared values messages for key Muslim countries.
NDAA and Overturning of Smith-Mundt ActThe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA) allows for materials produced by the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to be released within U.S. borders and strikes down a long-time ban on the dissemination of such material in the country.
Ad CouncilThe Ad Council, an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various private and federal government agency sponsors, has been labeled as "little more than a domestic propaganda arm of the federal government" given the Ad Council's historically close collaboration with the President of the United States and the federal government.
InternationalThrough several international broadcasting operations, the US disseminates American cultural information, official positions on international affairs, and daily summaries of international news. These operations fall under the International Broadcasting Bureau, the successor of the United States Information Agency, established in 1953. IBB's operations include Voice of America, Radio Liberty, Alhurra and other programs. They broadcast mainly to countries where the United States finds that information about international events is limited, either due to poor infrastructure or government censorship. The Smith-Mundt Act prohibits the Voice of America from disseminating information to US citizens that was produced specifically for a foreign audience.
During the Cold War the US ran covert propaganda campaigns in countries that appeared likely to become Soviet satellites, such as Italy, Afghanistan, and Chile.
Recently The Pentagon announced the creation of a new unit aimed at spreading propaganda about supposedly "inaccurate" stories being spread about the Iraq War. These "inaccuracies" have been blamed on the enemy trying to decrease support for the war. Donald Rumsfeld has been quoted as saying these stories are something that keeps him up at night.
Psychological operationsThe US military defines psychological operations, or PSYOP, as:
planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
The Smith-Mundt Act, adopted in 1948, explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at the US public. Nevertheless, the current easy access to news and information from around the globe, makes it difficult to guarantee PSYOP programs do not reach the US public. Or, in the words of Army Col. James A. Treadwell, who commanded the U.S. military psyops unit in Iraq in 2003, in the Washington Post:
There's always going to be a certain amount of bleed-over with the global information environment.
Agence France Presse reported on U.S. propaganda campaigns that:
The Pentagon acknowledged in a newly declassified document that the US public is increasingly exposed to propaganda disseminated overseas in psychological operations.
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the document referred to, which is titled "Information Operations Roadmap."  The document acknowledges the Smith-Mundt Act, but fails to offer any way of limiting the effect PSYOP programs have on domestic audiences.
Several incidents in 2003 were documented by Sam Gardiner, a retired Air Force colonel, which he saw as information-warfare campaigns that were intended for "foreign populations and the American public." Truth from These Podia, as the treatise was called, reported that the way the Iraq war was fought resembled a political campaign, stressing the message instead of the truth.
See alsoReferences^ abThomas Howell, The Writers' War Board: U.S. Domestic Propaganda in World War II, Historian, Volume 59 Issue 4, Pages 795 - 813^ abSteven Casey, (2005), The Campaign to sell a harsh peace for Germany to the American public, 1944 - 1948, [online]. London: LSE Research Online. [Available online at http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/archive/00000736] Originally published in History, 90 (297). pp. 62-92 (2005) Blackwell Publishing^National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988 of the Anti''Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100''692, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, footnote 6, page 3 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 (Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999), Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Gamboa, Anthony H. (January 4, 2005), B-303495, Office of National Drug Control Policy '-- Video News Release, Government Accountability Office, pp. 9''10 ^Drug-Free Media Campaign Act of 1998 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, Pub.L. 105''277, 112 Stat. 268, enacted October 21, 1998^Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006, Pub.L. 109''469, 120 Stat. 3501, enacted December 29, 2006, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 1708^Barstow, David (2008-04-20). "Message Machine: Behind Analysts, the Pentagon's Hidden Hand". New York Times. ^Sessions, David (2008-04-20). "Onward T.V. Soldiers: The New York Times exposes a multi-armed Pentagon message machine". Slate. ^Barstow, David (2008-05-24). "2 Inquiries Set on Pentagon Publicity Effort". New York Times. ^Rampton, Sheldon (October 17, 2007). "Shared Values Revisited". Center for Media and Democracy. ^"U.S. Reaches Out to Muslim World with Shared Values Initiative". America.gov. January 16, 2003.
Je Suis Charlie
Man had dreigbrief bij zich | NOS
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:43
Foto van de brief van de gijzelnemer NOS
De man die vanavond het NOS-gebouw binnendrong, had een brief bij zich. Daarin staat dat er acht zware explosieven zijn geplaatst in het land, die radioactief materiaal bevatten.
Ook staat in de brief dat hij niet in zijn eentje handelt en zwaarbewapend is. Hij zegt dat er nog vijf plus 98 hackers zijn die klaar zijn voor een cyberaanval.
De man waarschuwt in de brief dat van buitenaf in de gaten wordt gehouden of de live-uitzending in heel Nederland bekeken kan worden. Als de uitzending verstoord wordt, dan zullen ze tot actie overgegaan, staat in de brief.
Gewapende indringer NOS-journaal overmeesterd - AD.nl
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:44
Door: Kees Graafland, Coen Brandhorst, Tom Tates29-1-15 - 22:10NOS toont beelden van arrestatie 'hacker'De gewapende indringer. (C) ANP.Het pand van de NOS in Hilversum is vanavond kort voor 20.00 uur ontruimd. Een man met een vuurwapen voorzien van geluidsdemper eiste zendtijd tijdens het achtuurjournaal. Om die reden ging het journaal 'wegens omstandigheden' niet door. De volgens getuigen 'keurig geklede man' werd enkele minuten na zijn actie door de politie in de studio overmeesterd. De NOS toonde beelden van de man die eerst een gesprek voerde met iemand van het journaal. Kort daarna werd hij door vier agenten op de knien gedwongen en in de boeien geslagen.
(C) Videostill NOS.De agenten op het moment dat ze de man overmeesteren. (C) Videostill NOS.Politie en NOS-medewerkers bij het pand van de NOS op het Mediapark in Hilversum dat werd ontruimd. (C) anp.Er zijn geen gewonden gevallen. De reguliere programmering van Nederland 1 is opgeschort en de aflevering van 'Wie Is De Mol' is in ieder geval afgelast. Het Openbaar Ministerie en de burgemeester van Hilversum gaven rond 22.30 een persconferentie over de gebeurtenissen. Daarin werd gemeld dat de dader een 19-jarige jongen is, naar verluidt Tarik Z., geboren in Zoetermeer.
De man verspreidde een brief in het gebouw waarin hij het personeel opriep kalm te blijven. Hij zou naar eigen zeggen lid zijn van een groep hackers en zou 'radioactieve bommen in het gebouw hebben geplaatst'.
PortierDe man heeft zich toegang tot het gebouw verschaft door de portier van het gebouw met het vuurwapen te bedreigen, zo meldt de hoofdredactie van de NOS. De man zou zendtijd hebben geist en werd door medewerkers van de NOS naar een lege studio gedirigeerd. De leiding van de NOS vaardigde en verbod op het gebruik van twitter aan de medewerkers die ter plaatse waren. Een anonieme NOS-medewerker meldde aan het AD dat 'er vanavond al zo'n twee uur geen e-mails meer waren binnengekomen.
,,Verschrikkelijk, bizar, en: dat verwacht je niet. Zeker niet bij het NOS-gebouw, dat heel goed beveiligd is''. Dat zei NOS-directeur Jan de Jong vanavond over de man die met een wapen de studio binnendrong.
RTL-NieuwsAlle medewerkers van de NOS moesten het pand verlaten. Buiten het gebouw staan naar schatting 70 tot 80 mensen. De politie en hulpdiensten zijn in groten getale aanwezig. RTL-Nieuws wijdde een extra uitzending aan de gebeurtenissen bij de NOS en liet ook een video zien van de arrestatie van de man. Daarin werd gesteld 'dat het best vreemd is dat een persoon zomaar op een nieuwsredactie naar binnen kan lopen, zeker in het licht van de recente aanslagen in Parijs.
JournaallezerHerman van der Zandt vanuit een NOS-wagen: ,,We stonden allemaal klaar voor het Achtuur Journaal. We hadden het gereperteerd en ik had contact met Martijn Bink, die zou via de lijnen met mij praten. Toen zag ik op beeld dat er iets gebeurde, even later hoorde ik dat er iemand in het pand met een pistool was. Toen dacht ik 'die komt hierheen'. Toen zijn we met zijn allen van de vloer gegaan. Je moet jezelf in veiligheid brengen en de uitzending vergeten. Ik had niet direct door dat het serieus was, je denkt aan een geintje. Maar Martijns gezicht zag er serieus uit. Dan moet je niet nadenken en weg.''
BevestigingBurgemeester Pieter Broertjes van Hilversum bevestigde dat er iemand in het gebouw van het Journaal was en eiste dat hij zendtijd zou krijgen. Of deze persoon gewapend is, kon de burgemeester nog niet zeggen. De politie gaat vooralsnog uit van een eenmansactie, desondanks wordt het Mediapark in Hilversum uitgekamd op mogelijke handlangers.
Het geschrokken personeel werd uit het gebouw aan het Journaalplein gehaald. Volgens Broertjes verliep dit veilig.
NPO 2 ook op zwartDe zender NPO 2 is vanavond ook zoals dat heet 'op zwart' gegaan. Het programma dat er zou worden uitgezonden is niet te zien. Eerder op de avond werd het NOS-Journaal op NPO 1 niet gestart omdat er een man met een wapen in de studio om zendtijd zou eisen. De uitzending op NPO 1 is om 20.40 nog steeds niet hervat. Onderin beeld loopt een tekst waarin staat dat er in verband met omstandigheden momenteel geen Journaal mogelijk is.
De woordvoerder van de NOS kan niets zeggen over de situatie in het gebouw van de NOS. Anders dan bevestigen dat het pand is ontruimd kan hij niet. Ook een woordvoerster van de gemeente Hilversum kan niets zeggen. De brandweer is onbereikbaar.
De brief die de man verspreidde in het NOS-gebouw. (C) ANP.SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVERENRapporteer een fout in het artikel aan onze redactie
Charlie Hebdo bombshell! Suicided officer's family denied access to autopsy | Veterans Today
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 22:04
The mother of Helric Fredou, ''suicided'' Charlie Hebdo investigator
by Hicham Hamza, translated by Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor
(1/25/2015 8:48 pm Paris time ) '' Exclusive! Panamza has contacted the mother of Helric Fredou '' the Police Commissioner charged with preparing a report on the family background of Charlie Hebdo '' who was found dead with a bullet in the head just hours after the attack.
I asked for the autopsy report and was told: ''You won't get it.''
Friday, January 16, Panamza published the disturbing testimony of the sister of police officer Helric Fredou, whose mysterious ''suicide'' continues to be ignored by the national media. Nine days later, it was the mother's turn to bring new revelations.
Contacted by the author, she said that at first she was ''enormously shocked'' that Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve had not passed her his condolences. The Interior Minister maintained, she said, an excellent relationship with his deceased son. From 2010 to 2012, the two men were brought together to work at Cherbourg, one as deputy mayor of the city, the other in his capacity as chief commissioner. ''I hope one day I cross paths with him to tell him how very disappointed I was,'' she added.
The Elysee was also (oddly) unresponsive. Helric Fredou had been responsible for '' among other localit(C)s '' Corr¨ze including Tulle, historic stronghold of Francois Hollande.
Panamza will soon return with the entirety of her testimony, collected through a telephone interview recorded Saturday, January 24. In the meantime, here are seven key points:
* 1 According to the mother of Helric Fredou, police officers with whom she spoke expressly advised that she would not have access to the autopsy report. The Code of Criminal Procedure, however, provides that in any case of legal autopsy (for suicide or suspicious death), any member of the family can make a request to the prosecutor. ''Give it up'' is the message being sent to a bereaved mother who ''wants to know the truth.''
2 * Helric Fredou's service weapon was not equipped with a silencer. Her mother has asked a basic question to his colleagues: ''Why didn't you hear anything when he was shot at about midnight?'' Laconic reply: ''His office was well insulated.''
3 * According to his mother, Helric Fredou wanted to make an important phone call after doing two things: debriefing ''three investigators'' who went out to question the immediate family of a victim of the attack on Charlie Hebdo (in this case, the relatives of Jeannette Bougrab '' Charb's self-styled girlfriend '' as was discovered and disclosed by Panamza) and then checking ''social networks.'' It is at this point that Fredou would have made such an important deduction that he ''wanted to keep working.'' Important point: the unidentified ''commander'' in the office that night wanted to take charge of debriefing investigators and writing the report, but Fredou insisted ''It's my job.'' The direct superior of Helric Fredou is Gil Friedman, director of the Regional Criminal Police, Limoges.
4 * According to police, Helric Fredou raised the barrel of his revolver to his forehead and the bullet remained inside the skull.
5 * Helric Fredou's attending physician, with whom his mother spoke Thursday, January 22, refuses to accept the picture sketched by the handful of articles about Freidou's death that cited his alleged ''depression'' and supposed ''burn-out''.
* 6 The mother wanted to know who made the last call to her son. Police reportedly retorted ''We are unable to say'' before finally claiming that no such call had been made.
7 * ''Four Directors'' of the police, specifically from Paris, met Helric Fredou's mother to offer condolences and try to convince her that her son was a ''suicide''.
Finally, another odd fact deserves to be reported here: apart from the author of these lines, NO journalist has contacted '' from January 8th onward '' the mother or sister Helric Fredou to try to shed light on the case.
Kevin BarrettDr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America's best-known critics of the War on Terror.Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.
Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.
Latest posts by Kevin Barrett (see all)Related Posts:The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners and technicians. Notices Posted by Kevin Barrett on 2:45 pm, With 0 Reads, Filed under Paris Attacks 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Producer analysis from Japan
Dear John and Adam,
I would like to add some notes as one of few native Japanese
listeners. Kenji Goto actually took his wife's last name "Jogo" for
his second marriage hence "Kenji Goto JOGO". I could find Japanese
article talking about his work in Iraq was squashed by NHK back in
2003, so he was actually a journalist at least for past 11 years. I
was not able to find linkage with him and energy company.
Now, in Japanese culture, you take your wife's family name for one of
two reasons mostly. One is when your wife's side have female children
only, so you change it to keep the lineage alive. I offered to do
that myself though it didn't happen for various reasons.
The other case is when the guy was in dept or filed bankruptcy and his
name is on a blacklist for banks and credit card companies. Japanese
system don't have slave identifier AKA SSN (though it's about to
start), so financial institutes track you with your first and last
name. You can get around the system by having different last name.
I also checked his twitter account (created back in 2011). Most of
the stuff are boring and some related to the country he worked in
(Tunisia, Syria, etc). What stood out were his comments on French
wine, because other tweet were mostly serious stuff. It turned out
that he met his current wife in France.
Naturally, my research moved onto his wife, who spoke out in public
only recently. She went to Tokyo University (Harvard equivalent in
Japan) and worked for JICA (semi-government ODA organization) and
stationed in Paris. I don't know if we have Japanese economic hitmen,
but their official business is to lend money to development nations.
Supposedly, Goto and his wife live in a super expensive apartment in
Akasaka(super expensive area). Some says they make USD 180k year, but
that could be just another rumor. She also grew up in Jordan until
she was 3 years old. I guess her parents were executive or
bureaucrats stationed there.
There is Japanese version of the video where Goto talked about why he
goes there, etc. He made it clear that he would go at his own risk
and it would be his fault should anything happen. I don't understand
why he went through all the trouble of making English version though...
Maybe, he was trying to find a gig in Europe or US after safe return?
Even a book deal?
About the other dude, everyone (including my 65 years old mother in
law) could tell that he was crazy. Japanese TV showed video of him,
and the way he talks sounds crazy to anyone who understand Japanese
language. After going through local mass media packages, it seems
they are trying to depict an image "crazy Yukawa went into Syria, and
responsible nice guy Goto went into rescue, and both are caught by
evil ISIS." That's what they are feeding us.
I even went through Yukawa's blog. It's complete right wing
delusional vomit such as "... so I was born on 1903 in my previous life,
and got killed in China" and "I hope I get to record myself fighting
on my next trip (to Syria)." Notice this URL has
"/yoshiko-kawashima/". His blog's title in direct translation is
"Yoshiko Kawashima - Beauty who is on male dressing". I guess that's
his drag name? It was too disturbing, so I stopped there.
In any case, this whole thing doesn't make sense at all... No one can
answer why Goto actually went into Syria knowing how risky that would
All propaganda repeats how Goto cared about poor refugees in Syria. A
selfless journalist who is trying to shed the light on victims of war.
But he didn't go in there to report any war crime. He went there to
save a crazy guy who wanted to start business in war zone. Just
because they met once in Iraq, he risked himself leaving his wife and
2 years old kid... Does this make sense? It would make more sense if
someone paid him to do that, and maybe some level of assurance on safe
And then... some more searches lead me to this blog. I don't agree with
most yet, but first half is logically written.
The gist of it are:
- Supposedly, Goto and Yukawa met in Iraq. However, the timeline
suggests that Goto stayed with Yukawa the whole time in Iraq and
Syria. As if Yukawa (who can't even speak English not to mention
local languages) hired Goto as his translator. This conflicts with
what media says.
- When Goto went to "rescue" Yukawa, he crossed the border on
October 23nd, and a return flight was leaving on 28th from Istanbul.
Just 5 days! That's enough for "pickup" but not for a search and
rescue. That also suggests there was a prior arrangement when he
- There is 2+ months gap between, Yukawa's capture in Aug. and
Goto's pickup trip in Oct. No report on what happened in that 2+
And then, this author moves on to her/his claim, which are:
- Yukawa (having absolutely nothing to lose) was sent by Japanese
government (by Japanese CIA?) as disposable probe to gather
information about ISIS.
- Goto might have been a "handler" of Yukawa hired by Japanese government.
- There was prior ransom negotiation with ISIS and Japan for
Yukawa (between Aug. and Oct.) and Goto was there for hostage exchange
after the deal had reached.
- Somehow, ISIS decided capture both guys.
I don't buy this claim purely because there is almost no financial
gain for Japanese government even if Yukawa would have been successful
as his "mission". Still, the author makes interesting points.
Here is my take on what happened:
-Yukawa Hired Goto (who's having cache flow problem) as translator
and went to Iraq and Syria. That way, Goto can continue his work
while Yukawa pay expenses.
-Somehow, Yukawa got captured but Goto managed to escape.
-Goto reached Japanese government (probably via his wife),
informed the cabinet that having Yukawa executed by ISIS will reflect
poorly on already insecure Abe (Let's face it. He had to resign last
time, because he got sick after experiencing so much pressure. He's
trying to project "assertive" image.).
-Japanese government negotiated 2+ months, and bent over and agree
to pay ransom.
-Due to the circumstance, Goto was asked to pick him up.
-ISIS figured out Yukawa was nuts, and surprised that Japanese
government actually agreed to pay for him just because he's Japanese
-ISIS realized that if Yukawa was worth something, Goto should
worth more money, so they captured him.
-This time, ISIS is asking Japanese government to pay more money
in public channel.
Also, look at this picture. Yukawa got the cheapest wig, and the guy
he's shaking hands with is Tabojin (an ultra right wing politician
known for stupid comments).
By the way, we had two mini noagenda meetups in Osaka, and had a great
time with B&J Osaka consulting guys. They said they will send you a
note with donation. Thank you again for hooking me up with them!
Internet of Things: A game changer for insurance - The Analytic Insurer
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:45
Amol Kokane, SAS
~ This article is co-authored by Binod Jha, Global Product Manager for Insurance Solutions at SAS, and Amol Kokane, Senior Development Manager for Insurance & Risk Management Solutions at SAS ~
How might insurance policies change if sensor data could be automatically transmitted and analyzed from your car, your home and even your clothes?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform both the business and the IT infrastructure of the insurance industry. The data captured and transmitted by multiple sensors and devices '' each attached to an associated, insured risk '' will redefine existing processes of underwriting and pricing.
Let's look at a few definitions before we get into the possible affects of IoT on the industry.
Insurance premium pricing is based on a set of rating parameters that are derived from predictive models built from historical loss data. The law of large numbers and the associated spread of risk exposures helps in arriving at the pure premium for a pool of homogenous risks. But it's very difficult to calculate loss propensity at each risk and exposure level in this pool.
Underwriting and pricing happens when a policy is sold, but the risk (both in quality and behaviors) changes over time. This fact should be (but seldom is) factored in the underwriting on a regular basis. So while the insurance industry has historically been data intensive, its ability to monitor claim propensity at each risk and exposure level during the lifetime of the policy is limited. As such, premiums are subsidized by good risks, taking the same hit by association with the bad risks.
How does IoT change the game?IoT makes it possible to capture rating parameters as well as the digital shadow (the historical data captured from devices and sensors) of insured objects and people, in real time. This huge amount of data can be analyzed for underwriting and pricing decisions at each exposure level, that is for each instance of the policy coverage period. This moves insurance to the realm of continuous calculations - thereby reducing incurred losses with proactive strategies vs. historical tactics. The IoT ecosystem has already matured enough to enable the early movers in this new IoT operating model for insurance.
What are the benefits of IoT? For insurers, the benefits of analyzing IoT data include:
Lower claim severity and frequency. Continuous monitoring of insured risks, real time prediction of loss propensity, and reliable loss control mechanisms will impact claim severity and frequency.More accurate risk assessment. Huge amount of granular data generated by sensors and devices attached to insured risks improves risk assessment accuracy and thus the underwriting process. In turn, this also reduces the suppression of material facts related to risk by customers at the time of policy acquisition.Improved claim servicing. IoT enables automated loss notification in case of an accident or hazardous situation. The details related to loss or damage are captured by sensors and devices. Claim processing cycle time and loss adjustment expenses will be reduced as a result.Higher customer satisfaction. Real time monitoring of insured risks and dynamic pricing creates transparency to both the underwriting and rating process. Educating customers on the factors that impact their specific insurance premium not only takes the required precautions needed to avoid premium loading, but also puts customers in more control of their plan. And it's expected that with policyholders in the premium driver's seat, so to speak, they'd be more satisfied, happier customers.The entire insurance value chain '' underwriting, policy servicing, claims, actuarial, reinsurance and customer service '' are all impacted, maybe even disrupted, by IoT. Let's focus how this may play out for a few lines of business.
Life and health insuranceLife and health insurance is expected to see the biggest impacts from IoT for a couple of reasons. Risk quality changes with lifestyle events (marital status) as well as with demographics (like age and occupation) impacts the baseline underwriting of the policy. With IoT, however, continuous monitoring of risk quality becomes a reality. The underwriting and pricing of insurance premiums won't be limited to the inception of the policy '' but will change during the entire coverage period. In this new world, the insurance premiums will fluctuate just as with monthly utility bills.
And the days may not be too far off when IoT wearable devices capture significant measures, like heartbeat, temperature, blood sugar, exercise duration and report them to insurers. Or when clinical diagnoses are be made from non-invasive methods, like analysis of sweat or tears. Premiums might even be calculated on a daily basis, transparent to the end customers - encouraging healthier lifestyles perhaps and reducing premiums accordingly.
Auto insuranceThe first round of business model disruption has already taken place in the automotive side of insurance with the popular adoption of usage-based insurance (UBI) over traditional pricing in countries like the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, and others. With UBI, vehicles are fitted with sensors that monitor driver behavior, to keep track of when, where and how the vehicle is in motion. The insurance premium is primarily determined on the basis of driving behavior, rather than proxy variables like vehicle make, model, and year. Enhancements to claims processing will likely be the next major improvement area for auto insurance '' with automated notifications from these same telematics sensors for accident occurrence or non-typical driver profiling, helping carriers pinpoint events like accidents or theft.
Property insuranceIt's expected that property insurance will see an increased adoption of IoT in this decade. Smart homes, offices, commercial buildings and industrial installations can be fitted with sensors and devices that generate real time data on hazards from overheating malfunctions to building material strength. Not only can any accidents or breakdowns be immediately recognized, but gradual deterioration can be monitored to avoid substantial damages - bringing insurers into proactive service for property customers.
Home, office and industrial equipment can all be remotely monitored for ongoing situational assessment. Any measured factor leading to malfunction or damage can trigger notifications to repair shops or manufacturers for prioritized service. Smarter carpets that detect falling incidents can notify medical assistance, reducing staged accidents and liability claims. The scope of pragmatic applications is just beginning to emerge.
Insurance analysis in IoT For this next generation of insurance applications to be successful, analysis of the sensors and all other streaming data will be necessary '' to understand existing conditions and to postulate future scenarios accurately. How will this work?
The stream of incoming data first should pass through an initial set of rules and algorithms devised for assessing the data, normalizing it as necessary and evaluating risk, continuously. The risk patterns are already defined to recognize when conditions are met in real-time. How? The pattern resides in the system as data is continuously streamed through '' calculating the conditions to new events. When conditions are met, a reaction is triggered, sending the appropriate person or system the instructions to take the next action. For example, if vehicle monitoring indicates speeding based on location-based limits with frequent acceleration followed by sudden breakeage, an alert can be sent to the driver to reduce speed.
The high-volume and high-velocity granular data captured and transmitted from sensors and devices and attached to insured risks needs to be cleansed, organized and stored in a multi-parallel processing (MPP) data warehouse with effective history management. The stream of incoming data first should pass through an initial set of business rules and algorithms devised for continuous monitoring of risk. Any trigger of such rules should be able to send an appropriate feedback or control to the customer through state-of-the-art event stream processing system. The incremental data needs to be extracted from the warehouse and loaded into analytical input datasets for both modeling claim frequency and claim severity. The MPP environment supports high performance advanced predictive analytics and is used to discover any new significant rating parameter(s). The newly generated algorithm is then registered in a model management system and operationalized in the dynamic pricing engine.
The flow of sensor data for analysis in the insurance industry.
Unlike the current industry adoption of analytics in limited parts of the business, this new, IoT driven, big data revolution will require mainstream adoption of analytics across the entire insurance value chain. Every part of the business will be supported by sophisticated algorithms '' assessing the current risks and calculating the differential value. Insurance organizations will be on the forefront of technology adoption to invest in scalable and robust high performance platforms.
We must make a new browser
. A browser for ourselves and a browser for our
friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in
functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is
made for you.
Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service - Boing Boing
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:22
Google is launching a new, Youtube-branded streaming music service, with the cooperation of the Big Four labels, who got to negotiate the terms of their participation -- unlike the indie musicians, who have been told that they will be exiled from Youtube altogether unless they make it their most-favored-nation distribution service, without the possibility of holding back tracks for backers on services like Kickstarter or Patreon.
Zoe Keating, who runs her own microlabel, has summarized the conversation she had with her Google rep. As JWZ says, it's "the same strategy they used with Google Plus: instead of creating a new service and letting it compete on its own merits, they're going to artificially prop it up by giving people no choice but to sign up for it."
For what it's worth, I predicted this in my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: as copyright laws have tightened, requiring new Youtube competitors to set up multi-hundred-million-dollar infrastructure like Content ID, the competition for Youtube has all but vanished, meaning that they are now essential to any indie artist's promotion strategy. And now that Youtube doesn't have to compete with other services for access to artists' materials, they have stopped offering attractive terms to indies -- instead, they've become an arm of the big labels, who get to dictate the terms on which their indie competitors will have to do business.
* Participation in the new service requires that your entire catalog be available for streaming, at high resolution.
* Participation requires that you not release your music elsewhere earlier, e.g., no early releases for fans or backers.
* You no longer get a choice of whether to do nothing, block a video, or run ads. Ads are mandatory.
* Five year contract.
* If you don't participate in the new service, then the option to obtain Content-ID ad revenue from the free version of Youtube no longer exists.
* If you had previously been getting Content-ID ad revenue and choose not to participate in the new service, your channel will be deleted and all videos using your music will be blocked.
Google's upcoming paid streaming service [JWZ]
What should I do about Youtube? [Zoe Keating]
(Image: Wood screw big, Rfc1394/Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA)
WARNING: Wi-Fi Blocking is Prohibited | FCC.gov
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:43
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
January 27, 2015
Enforcement Advisory No. 2015-01
FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY
WARNING: Wi-Fi Blocking is Prohibited
Persons or Businesses Causing Intentional Interference to Wi-Fi Hot Spots
Are Subject to Enforcement Action
In the 21st Century, Wi-Fi represents an essential on-ramp to the Internet.
networks, or ''hot spots,'' are an important way that consumers connect to the Internet. Willful
or malicious interference with Wi-Fi hot spots is illegal. Wi-Fi blocking violates Section 333 of
the Communications Act, as amended.1 The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in
which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their
own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment's premises. As a result, the
Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful
In 2014, the Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation, culminating with a Consent
Decree, into this kind of unlawful activity by the operator of a resort hotel and convention
In that case, Marriott International, Inc. deployed a Wi-Fi deauthentication protocol to
deliberately block consumers who sought to connect to the Internet using their own personal
Wi-Fi hot spots. Marriott admitted that the customers it blocked did not pose a security threat
1 47 U.S.C. § 333.
2Marriott Int'l, Inc.; Marriott Hotel Servs, Inc., Order and Consent Decree, 29 FCC Rcd 11760 (Enf. Bur.
2014). Marriott and other members of the hotel and lodging industry filed a petition requesting guidance
on this issue.SeePetition of Am. Hotel & Lodging Ass'n, Marriott Int'l, Inc., and Ryman Hospitality Props.
for a Declaratory Ruling to Interpret 47 U.S.C. § 333, or, in the Alternative, for Rulemaking, RM-11737 (filed
Aug. 25, 2014) (Petition). Comment was sought on the Petition.Consumer & Gov't Affairs Bureau
Reference Information Center Petition for Rulemaking Filed, Public Notice, RM 11737 (Nov. 19, 2014).
While the Enforcement Bureau recognizes that the Petition questions our position, the Bureau will
continue to enforce the law as it understands it unless and until the Commission determines otherwise.
Page 1 of 2
to the Marriott network and agreed to settle the investigation by paying a civil penalty of
Following the settlement, the Enforcement Bureau has received several complaints that other
commercial Wi-Fi network operators may be disrupting the legitimate operation of personal Wi-
Fi hot spots. The Bureau is investigating such complaints and will take appropriate action
What is Prohibited?No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the
network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt
personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to
purchase access to the property owner's Wi-Fi network. Such action is illegal and violations
could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.3
In addition, we reiterate that Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type
of jamming equipment, including devices that interfere with Wi-Fi, cellular, or public safety
communications. Detailed information about the prohibition against jamming is available on
the Commission's website athttp://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Wi-Fi Blocking?If you have reason to believe your
personal Wi-Fi hot spot has been blocked, you can file a complaint with the FCC. To do so, you
can visitwww.fcc.gov/complaintsor call 1-888-CALL-FCC. If you contact the FCC, you are
encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regarding the potential Wi-Fi blocking,
including the date, time, location, and possible source.
Need More Information?Media inquiries should be directed to Neil Grace at 202-418-0506 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on the FCC, you may contact the FCC at 1-888-
CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or visit our website atwww.fcc.gov.
To request materials in
accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format),
send an e-mail to email@example.com or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-
418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).
Issued by: Chief, Enforcement Bureau
3 All operators, including of a Part 15 device, must comply with the Communications Act, including Section
333, and the Commission's rules.
Page 2 of 2
Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.
FCC: Blocking Wi-Fi in hotels is prohibited | Ars Technica
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:43
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission issued an ''Enforcement Advisory'' stating that blocking W-Fi in hotels is unequivocally ''prohibited."
Further Reading"Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hotspots are subject to enforcement action,'' the FCC bluntly stated, referencing a dispute between Marriott and its customers who said the hotel chain had blocked their personal hotspots to force them to pay for Marriott's Wi-Fi services."The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment's premises,'' the FCC wrote. "As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.''
The statement is a definitive one. The FCC fined Marriott $600,000 in October for blocking customers' personal Wi-Fi hotspots at a Nashville, Tennessee, branch. Although Marriott paid the fine, it remained defiant and filed a request for rulemaking with the commission, asking that Wi-Fi blocking be permitted. Marriott's reasoning was that it could better manage the security of its own network if it blocked unauthorized Wi-Fi broadcasts. But critics like Microsoft and Google filed petitions countering that logic. In January, Marriott promised that it wouldn't block its customers' Wi-Fi, but the company also would not rescind its request for rulemaking from the FCC, perhaps hoping that a favorable decision could legitimate its practice again.
The FCC's notice today settles the issue, at least in the short term. "No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner's Wi-Fi network,'' the FCC wrote today. "Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.'' The FCC has the authority to regulate airwaves, and it has maintained that Wi-Fi goes out over an unlicensed band of spectrum that does not belong to any particular company.
FTC Issues Stealth Regulations over Internet of... - TechFreedom
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:09
WASHINGTON D.C. '-- Today, the FTC released areportrecommending ''best practices'' around privacy and data security for the ''Internet of Things'' '-- connected smart home devices, smart cars and the like. The report echoes so-called ''recommendations'' made by the FTC in other reportssince 2010. Commissioner Josh Wrightdissented, lamenting that '''security by design' and other privacy-related catchphrases '... do not appear to contain any meaningful analytical content.''Commissioner Ohlhausen concurred but objected tothe report's call for baseline privacy legislation and embrace of data minimization, which she called a ''precautionary principle.''
''At best, this is just another exercise in Workshop Theater; at worst, the FTC is trying to regulate the Internet of Things by stealth,'' said TechFreedom President Berin Szoka. ''We've been down this road before: In 1980, a heavily Democratic Congress twice tried to rein in the FTC's Naderite regulatory spree. Now, the FTC is effectively circumventing those constraints, using workshop reports asde factoregulations.''
''This report pays only lip service to meaningful cost-benefit analysis,'' said Geoffrey Manne, Executive Director of the International Center for Law & Economics. ''The Internet of Things is a nascent and fast-evolving area. To make specific recommendations on the basis of little more than staff impressions of cherry-picked commentsabout theoretical harmsfrom a one-day workshop '-- without undertaking any real analysis of any meaningful data '-- amounts to regulatory malpractice. The FTC has a wealth of economics expertise in-house, which the Bureau of Consumer Protection willfully ignores. Before recommendinganything, the FTC needs to consider not only the enormous benefits of the Internet of Things, but, more importantly, whether the consumer benefits of any 'recommendation' outweigh its costson the margin. That's regulatory economics 101.''
''Since 2010, we've seen a radical change: The purpose of FTC workshop reports is no longer to produce a better understanding of complex consumer protection issues,'' concluded Szoka. ''Instead, the Chairman and a small number of FTC staffers now seek to use workshop reports to put the agency's institutional weight behind their own agenda, which is driven more by a neo-Naderite ideology than rigorous analysis.''
In the 1970s, the FTCran amuck, trying to ban advertising to kids and micromanage everything from funeral homes to labor practices.
In 1980, a heavily Democratic Congress required the FTC to build a rigorous record before regulating, and to constrain its vast 'unfairness' authority throughcost-benefit analysis.
Since 2010, the FTC has increasingly tried to convert its 'recommendations' into regulations in two ways:
Baking them into the consent decrees the FTC extracts from companies that don't want to undergo the ordeal of fighting the agency.
Claiming that violations of recommendations made in a workshop report can trigger liability under Section 5 of the FTC Act: most notably, itscomplaintagainst LabMD rests in part on the FTC's 2005 staff report about peer-to-peer file sharing.
Until 2010, FTC reports attempted to synthesize a complex record, which helped inform everyone's understanding of evolving technologies and business practices, their benefits, and the consumer protection concerns they raise. Occasionally, an FTC report would recommend legislation '-- butneverthe kinds of sweeping 'recommendations' to private companies that have become commonplace since the FTC's 2010 staff privacy report.
For example, a 2005 staff report on peer-to-peer file-sharing made only short,high-level suggestionsto industry.
In May 2014, in a series of footnotes, Commissioner Wrightobjected tothe FTC'sData Broker Reportmaking a series of legislative recommendations without adequate basis.
Szoka and Manne are available for comment firstname.lastname@example.org,and see our other work onBig DataandFTC reform, especially:
FTC Report on Internet of Things Urges Companies to Adopt Best Practices to Address Consumer Privacy and Security Risks | Federal Trade Commission
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:07
In a detailed report on the Internet of Things, released today, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommend a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers' privacy and security, as Americans start to reap the benefits from a growing world of Internet-connected devices.
The Internet of Things is already impacting the daily lives of millions of Americans through the adoption of health and fitness monitors, home security devices, connected cars and household appliances, among other applications. Such devices offer the potential for improved health-monitoring, safer highways, and more efficient home energy use, among other potential benefits. However, the FTC report also notes that connected devices raise numerous privacy and security concerns that could undermine consumer confidence.
''The only way for the Internet of Things to reach its full potential for innovation is with the trust of American consumers,'' said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. ''We believe that by adopting the best practices we've laid out, businesses will be better able to provide consumers the protections they want and allow the benefits of the Internet of Things to be fully realized.''
The Internet of Things universe is expanding quickly, and there are now over 25 billion connected devices in use worldwide, with that number set to rise significantly as consumer goods companies, auto manufacturers, healthcare providers, and other businesses continue to invest in connected devices, according to data cited in the report.
The report is partly based on input from leading technologists and academics, industry representatives, consumer advocates and others who participated in the FTC's Internet of Things workshop held in Washington D.C. on Nov. 19, 2013, as well as those who submitted public comments to the Commission. Staff defined the Internet of Things as devices or sensors '' other than computers, smartphones, or tablets '' that connect, store or transmit information with or between each other via the Internet. The scope of the report is limited to IoT devices that are sold to or used by consumers.
Security was one of the main topics addressed at the workshop and in the comments, particularly due to the highly networked nature of the devices. The report includes the following recommendations for companies developing Internet of Things devices:
build security into devices at the outset, rather than as an afterthought in the design process;train employees about the importance of security, and ensure that security is managed at an appropriate level in the organization;ensure that when outside service providers are hired, that those providers are capable of maintaining reasonable security, and provide reasonable oversight of the providers;when a security risk is identified, consider a ''defense-in-depth'' strategy whereby multiple layers of security may be used to defend against a particular risk;consider measures to keep unauthorized users from accessing a consumer's device, data, or personal information stored on the network;monitor connected devices throughout their expected life cycle, and where feasible, provide security patches to cover known risks.Commission staff also recommend that companies consider data minimization '' that is, limiting the collection of consumer data, and retaining that information only for a set period of time, and not indefinitely. The report notes that data minimization addresses two key privacy risks: first, the risk that a company with a large store of consumer data will become a more enticing target for data thieves or hackers, and second, that consumer data will be used in ways contrary to consumers' expectations.
The report takes a flexible approach to data minimization. Under the recommendations, companies can choose to collect no data, data limited to the categories required to provide the service offered by the device, less sensitive data; or choose to de-identify the data collected.
FTC staff also recommends that companies notify consumers and give them choices about how their information will be used, particularly when the data collection is beyond consumers' reasonable expectations. It acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how that notice must be given to consumers, particularly since some Internet of Things devices may have no consumer interface. FTC staff identifies several innovative ways that companies could provide notice and choice to consumers.
Regarding legislation, staff concurs with many stakeholders that any Internet of Things-specific legislation would be premature at this point in time given the rapidly evolving nature of the technology. The report, however, reiterates the Commission's repeated call for strong data security and breach notification legislation. Staff also reiterates the Commission's call from its 2012 Privacy Report for broad-based privacy legislation that is both flexible and technology-neutral, though Commissioner Ohlhausen did not concur in this portion of the report.
The FTC has a range of tools currently available to protect American consumers' privacy related to the Internet of Things, including enforcement actions under laws such as the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act; developing consumer education and business guidance; participation in multi-stakeholder efforts; and advocacy to other agencies at the federal, state and local level.
In addition to the report, the FTC also released a new publication for businesses containing advice about how to build security into products connected to the Internet of Things. ''Careful Connections: Building Security in the Internet of Things'' encourages companies to implement a risk-based approach and take advantage of best practices developed by security experts, such as using strong encryption and proper authentication.
The Commission vote to issue the staff report was 4-1, with Commissioner Wright voting no. Commissioner Ohlhausen issued a concurring statement, and Commissioner Wright issued a dissenting statement.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
VIDEO- New Greek PM voices 'discontent' with EU stmt blaming Russia for Mariupol attack - YouTube
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 15:53
VIDEO-RT Mobile - Thousands protest nationwide over water charges
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 14:01
14 hours ago
7The Dublin rally was organised by local anti-water charge groupsThousands of people have taken part in a protest in Dublin over water charges, while other rallies have been taking place in towns and cities around Ireland.
The Dublin rally was organised by local anti-water charge groups.
Traffic restrictions have been lifted in Dublin city centre following today's protest and traffic is now moving freely.
Earlier, several hundred protesters split off from the main group and marched to Leinster House, where attempts were made by a handful of people to pull open the large iron gates.
A firecracker was thrown at garda on duty inside and one protestor mounted the gate to hang a small banner at the top.
Others present objected and began to chant 'peaceful protest' and left the area.
In separate incidents, two men were later arrested on public order offences in the Kildare St area.
An estimated 3,500 people turned out for a demonstration against water charges in Cork city.
The protest was organised by 'Cork Says No', a coalition of a dozen anti-water charge groups in the city and county.
The organisers called on people to boycott water charge bills and to resist the installation of water metres.
West Cork Right2Water group organised a protest at Clonakilty. Speakers from a number of parties, along with independents, addressed the gathering at Emmet Square.
Meanwhile, in Kerry TDs Martin Ferris of Sinn F(C)in and Independents Tom Fleming and Michael Healy-Rae addressed a protest in Tralee organised by the Tralee Right2Water group.
Organisers estimated the number of participants at around 600.
A march was also held in Listowel, organised by the Listowel Right2Water group.
Elsewhere, up to 500 people took part in a protest against water charges in Galway city organised by the group 'We Won't Pay'.
After listening to several speakers in Eyre Square, the crowd then marched down Shop St towards Dominick St and returned via Quay St and back to Eyre Square.
The speeches contained many references to the new anti-Troika government in Greece.
Around 300 people protested in Sligo with some lining up along the Garavogue River to symbolise peoples' ownership of water.
Some protesters also burned Irish Water registration packs outside the office of local Fine Gael TD John Perry.
Richard Boyd-Barrett of the People Before Profit Alliance said people will continue to take to the streets until they are heard.
In Limerick, a 13ft 'We Won't Pay' banner was unfurled from King John's Castle as part of demonstrations against water charges.
King John's Castle was one of twelve locations across the county, where protests and information leaflets were distributed.
Other areas included Corbally, Dooradoyle, Kings Island Community Centre, Watchhouse Cross and Roxboro in the city and Croom and Newcastlewest in the county.
An estimated crowd of 4,000 marched in Letterkenny against the water charges. The march was organised by the Right2Water group, and with a large Sinn F(C)in attendance marched from the Port Road to the Market Square on Main St.
Related Audio & VideoTens of thousands protest over water charges-Tens of thousands protest over water chargesRead next:837,000 households register for water charges
VIDEO-Peer: ISIS Gains ''Entirely Due'' to WhatsApp or Snapchat - Guy Fawkes' blog
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:52
In a moment of admirable honesty while scrutinising the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, former defence secretary Tom King admitted that while he's not a tweeter and he does not know about WhatsApp and Snapchat, he is certain that ''the terrorists and jihadists do'':
So certain is Lord King of the terrorists' prowess with WhatsApp and Snapchat, that he believes the reason for ISIL's advance across Iraq and Syria was entirely down to the teenage sexting apps:
''It includes the use of things that not all your Lordships'--that certainly includes me'--are masters of. I am not a tweeter. We have Facebook and Twitter. Somebody tried to explain WhatsApp to me; somebody else tried to explain Snapchat. I do not know about them, but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do. The understanding is that part of the reason for ISIL's amazing advance across Syria and into Iraq was that their communications were so good and the way they kept together was entirely due to one or other of the last two systems that I mentioned, which they handled with great intelligence.''
This message will self destruct in 10, 9, 8'....
Lord King Claims ISIS Advances Are 'Entirely Due' To WhatsApp, Snapchat
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:52
Jan. 27, 2015, 10:17 AM2,863ReutersA member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa, Syria June 29, 2014.
A senior British politician has made the extraordinary claim that Islamic State makes frequent use of Snapchat and Whatsapp, Guido Fawkes reports '-- and is even suggesting that the encrypted messaging apps have helped enable recent "gains" by the militant Jihadist group.
Encrypted messaging is being fiercely debated in the UK. Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron said if he won the next General Election, he would push to outlaw "strong" encryption that doesn't have a "backdoor" for law enforcement access.
Critics responded that some of the largest tech communications companies in the world make use of strong encryption, including WhatsApp, Snapchat and Apple. They're unlikely to agree to make any changes.
During a debate on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill today, former Defence Secretary Tom King made some eyebrow-raising comments on the subject. The Lord declared his ignorance of messaging services '-- before claiming they are vital to Islamic State's infrastructure.
"I am not a tweeter," he told the House of Lords. "We have Facebook and Twitter. Somebody tried to explain WhatsApp to me, somebody else tried to explain Snapchat. I do not know about them '-- but it is absolutely clear the terrorists and jihadists do."
"The understanding is that part of the reason for ISIL's amazing advance across Syria and into Iraq was that their communications were so good," King continued, "and the way they kept together was entirely due to one or other of the last two systems that I mentioned."
It's not clear where King gets his information from, or whether Islamic State and other Islamist groups actually use apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat or not. But they are knownto have developed their own proprietary encryption tools. As such, even if the government were to outlaw encryption '-- and were able to enforce the ban, persuading WhatsApp et al to drop it '-- terrorist organisations would likely still be unaffected.
Watch Lord King's full remarks below:
VIDEO-Spain rally: Podemos holds Madrid mass 'March for Change' - BBC News
Sun, 01 Feb 2015 13:48
Tens of thousands of people have massed in central Madrid for a rally organised by radical Spanish leftists Podemos.
The "March for Change" is one of the party's first outdoor mass rallies, as it looks to build on the recent victory of its close allies Syriza in Greece.
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told the crowd a "wind of change" was starting to blow through Europe.
Podemos has surged ahead in opinion polls, and has vowed to write off part of Spain's debt if it comes to power.
The BBC's Tom Burridge in Madrid says that there has been an impressive turnout and a carnival atmosphere at the rally.
Several of Madrid's main avenues became a sea of people and purple, the party's colour, he says, after its supporters travelled from all over Spain.
'We dream'Marching from Madrid city hall to the central Puerta del Sol square, protesters shouted "Si, Podemos!", meaning "Yes, we can".
Broadcaster TVE reported that hundreds of thousands were at the demonstration, but there was no official tally.
"The wind of change is starting to blow in Europe," Mr Iglesias said, addressing supporters in Greek and Spanish at the start of the rally.
Pablo Iglesias (C) said people with serious dreams could change things The Podemos march takes place amid public anger over spending cuts and allegations of political corruption The party is hoping to build on Syriza's recent successes in Greece "We dream but we take our dream seriously. More has been done in Greece in six days than many governments did in years."
Protesters are parading in the same streets that over the past six years have seen many other gatherings against financial crisis cutbacks imposed by successive governments.
One marcher, Jose Maria Jacobo, told Reuters news agency that people had to fight back against the political class.
"It is the only way..., to kick out all of those politicians who are taking everything from us. They even try to take our dignity away from us. But that they won't take that from us," he said.
But speaking in Barcelona, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Podemos had no chance of winning elections.
"I don't accept the gloomy Spain which some want to portray because they think that by doing so they will replace those who are governing and have had to face the most difficult crisis in decades. They will not succeed," he said.
Uncompromising messageMany Spaniards are enraged over reports of political corruption and public spending cuts implemented by Mr Rajoy's People's Party and before that by the Socialists.
The two big traditional parties have described the party - less than a year old and whose names translates as "we can" - as populist.
Our correspondent says that since Podemos stormed onto the political scene in last May's European elections, it has moved from strength to strength with its uncompromising message against austerity and corruption.
But both left-wing and right-wing media have criticised Podemos, accusing it of having ties with Venezuela's left-wing leaders and alleging financial misconduct by some of its senior members.
The party's leaders have in response promised to publish their tax returns, with Mr Iglesias remaining defiant.
"In the face of their hatred, we smile," is one of his regular pronouncements, according to the AFP news agency. After the Syriza triumph in the Greek elections he said that "hope had been born".
Spain has now officially come out of recession but nearly one in four workers remains unemployed.
Last year was the first time there has been full-year economic growth in the country since 2008, when a property bubble burst, putting millions of people out of work and pushing the country to the brink of a bail-out.
VIDEO-Islamic State Commander Claims Funding Coming From the United States | Ben Swann Truth In Media
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:51
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and The Conscious Resistance Network. Broze also hosts a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com , The Liberty Beat, the Anti-Media, Activist Post, and Ben Swann.com
VIDEO-'Add the Words' bill dies in committee
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 06:24
'Add the Words' bill dies in House committee KTVB
Katie Terhune, KTVB4:29 p.m. MST January 29, 2015
After the vote, supporters of the "Add the Words" bill lined the halls of the Idaho Capitol with their hands placed over their mouths.(Photo: Adam Worthington/KTVB)
BOISE -- Lawmakers voted Thursday to kill a bill that would extend protections from discrimination in housing and employment to gays, lesbians, and transgender people.
Members of the House State Affairs committee voted 13-4 in a party split to block the bill from reaching a full vote on the House floor.
The decision came after three days of testimony from hundreds of people who packed into the Lincoln Auditorium inside the Idaho Statehouse.
Previous:'Add the Words' hearing wraps up after 3 days
Supporters of the bid to add the words "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the Idaho Human Rights Act have been working for nearly a decade to bring the bill before lawmakers.
2015 was the first year they were granted a hearing. Last session, the push for a hearing was marked by dozen of arrests as protesters swarmed the Statehouse and blocked doors to the Senate, committee rooms and the governor's office.
Representatives who voted to kill the bill expressed concerns that the language was overly broad or would infringe on others' religious freedoms.
Previous:'Add the Words' hearing will continue for a third day
Rep. Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) called the testimony "heartbreaking" but said he was worried extending protections to the LGBT community would strip other groups of their rights.
"It's impossible to ignore that there are many whether in that community or otherwise that have an agenda in this proposed policy that is dangerous to people of faith," he said.
Last SlideNext SlideSeveral others who voted against the bill said they were touched by the personal stories they had heard during the 22 hours of testimony. Rep. Ken Andrus (R-Lava Hot Springs) said he believed the challenges faced by Idaho's gays and lesbians deserve a solution, but he could not support House Bill 2.
"I wish I could speak what is in my heart to you today," he said. "I am in favor of legislation. I don't think today this is that legislation."
Previous:'Add the Words' hearing starts Monday morning
But supporters argued that even those who disagreed with the bill should push it forward to the House floor, where all 70 members would have a chance to discuss and vote.
Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) compared the issue to discrimination black people experienced in Idaho, recalling when someone burned a cross on her parents' lawn after they moved into a Boise neighborhood in the district she now represents.
She said the LGBT community should be entitled to the same protections against being fired and evicted as minorities are under the Idaho Human Rights Act.
Add the Words failed in a committee vote 13-4 (Photo: KTVB)
"It's fair, it's just, and it's worthy of your yes vote," Buckner-Webb told the committee as she introduced the bill.
Garden City Democrat Rep. John McCrostie, who is gay, argued that adding the words would not be a blow to those who want to exercise their religious freedoms.
"This bill is about equality, and no one is asking for special rights or special treatment," he said. "Everyone deserves equal treatment under the law. Period."
Add the Words organizer Cindy Gross said she was "extremely disappointed" with the outcome of the hearing, but said the group is not going to give up.
"We have so many supporters across the state and we will be here until this bill passes," she said. "There is no compromise, there is no exception, and we will eventually pass this bill for the people of Idaho."
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VIDEO-Watch This Woman Get Her Butthole Bronzed
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 06:09
By Dariel Figueroa • 01.21.15Share This Video
We're not too far off from Valentine's Day and the obvious move is jewelry or flowers, perhaps some sort of personalized memento that will eventually gather dust. If you want to wow your mate, though, nothing says ''I love you'' more than getting your butthole bronzed and possibly turned into an edible delicacy.
''The first time I ever tried to do a cast of an anus, I tried to do my own,'' says Magnus Irvin.
Irvin is the architect of the anal sculptures in question, and what began as a way to turn one's butt-erscotch krimpet into a candy soon became a way to immortalize an anus in various metals or glass. Model Rayna Terror decided to get her butthole bronzed by Irvin, and Riot TV followed her journey.
''You keep pulling your bum apart,'' Irvin suggests as he spackles Terror's crevasse with the molding mixture.
This video is full of amazing moments, including Irvin pondering what his ''dream anus'' would be. Just the fact that the term ''dream anus'' exists makes life worth living.
VIDEO-Leaked Recording: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Goes After MSNBC for Biased Israel Coverage | TheBlaze.com
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:48
Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz went after MSNBC and others in the media for their lopsided coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict during a private breakfast earlier this month.
According to the Florida-based Shark Tank blog, which obtained audio from the event, the Florida Democratic congresswoman didn't pull any punches during the event with the Jewish Federation of Miami. She said she'd caught an MSNBC segment that morning about the situation in Gaza where ''clearly they were highlighting what Israel had done to Gaza and the plight to Palestinians.''
''My first thought was, where is the balance?'' Wasserman Schultz said on the recording. ''Where is the spotlight on what Jewish children in Israel go through, from being victims of rocket attacks in Sderot and southern Israel and the constant needing to flee into a bomb shelter?''
But Wasserman Schultz, a frequent MSNBC guest, said it's not just MSNBC.
''The media's coverage, and it's not just MSNBC, I've seen it on CNN and even the broadcast media as well,'' she said. ''We have work to do. We have work to do to educate and to make sure that people understand that there's a very simple solution to this: It's called recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Let's make sure that we can adopt a two-state solution where you have a Palestinian state and a state of Israel living side by side in peace, and let's make sure that we have in communities all around the world the adults not raising their children and teaching their children to hate us, to hate Israel and to hate Jews simply because of who we are.''
The Jan. 16 gathering happened just days after the deadly Paris attacks. Wasserman Schultz, speaking about the increasing levels of anti-Semitism around the world, referred flatly to ''Islamic fundamentalists'' fighting in the ''global war on terror'' '-- notable because of the Obama administration's reluctance sometimes to use those words.
''Unfortunately what happens, particularly with the global war on terror and the Islamic fundamentalists that are combating and leading it, we [Jews] are the crux of the reason that they are engaged in that fight,'' she said.
Hear the recording:
Neither representatives for MSNBC or Wasserman Schultz's office immediately returned requests for comment from TheBlaze.
(H/T: Shark Tank)
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter.
VIDEO-George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action - Washington Times
Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:47
There's a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it's not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It's not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.
Rather, it's liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.
Mr. Soros spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times.
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In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations.
The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre.
''Our DNA includes a belief that having people participate in government is indispensable to living in a more just, inclusive, democratic society,'' said Kenneth Zimmerman, director of Mr. Soros' Open Society Foundations' U.S. programs, in an interview with The Washington Times. ''Helping groups combine policy, research [and] data collection with community organizing feels very much the way our society becomes more accountable.''
PHOTOS: George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action
No strings attached
Mr. Zimmerman said OSF has been giving to these types of groups since its inception in the early '90s, and that, although groups involved in the protests have been recipients of Mr. Soros' grants, they were in no way directed to protest at the behest of Open Society.
''The incidents, whether in Staten Island, Cleveland or Ferguson, were spontaneous protests '-- we don't have the ability to control or dictate what others say or choose to say,'' Mr. Zimmerman said. ''But these circumstances focused people's attention '-- and it became increasingly evident to the social justice groups involved that what a particular incident like Ferguson represents is a lack of accountability and a lack of democratic participation.''
Soros-sponsored organizations helped mobilize protests in Ferguson, building grass-roots coalitions on the ground backed by a nationwide online and social media campaign.
Other Soros-funded groups made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive.
The plethora of organizations involved not only shared Mr. Soros' funding, but they also fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another's website, referencing each other's news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook ''likes'' and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds.
Buses of activists from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference in Chicago; from the Drug Policy Alliance, Make the Road New York and Equal Justice USA from New York; from Sojourners, the Advancement Project and Center for Community Change in Washington; and networks from the Gamaliel Foundation '-- all funded in part by Mr. Soros '-- descended on Ferguson starting in August and later organized protests and gatherings in the city until late last month.
Broaden issue focus
All were aimed at keeping the media's attention on the city and to widen the scope of the incident to focus on interrelated causes '-- not just the overpolicing and racial discrimination narratives that were highlighted by the news media in August.
''I went to Ferguson in a quest to be in solidarity and stand with the young organizers and affirm their leadership,'' said Kassandra Frederique, policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, which was founded by Mr. Soros, and which receives $4 million annually from his foundation. She traveled to Ferguson in October.
''We recognized this movement is similar to the work we're doing at DPA,'' said Ms. Frederique. ''The war on drugs has always been to operationalize, institutionalize and criminalize people of color. Protecting personal sovereignty is a cornerstone of the work we do and what this movement is all about.''
Ms. Frederique works with Opal Tometi, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter '-- a hashtag that was developed after the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida '-- and helped promote it on DPA's news feeds. Ms. Tometi runs the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, a group to which Mr. Soros gave $100,000 in 2011, according to the most recent of his foundation's tax filings.
''I think #BlackLivesMatter's success is because of organizing. This was created after Trayvon Martin, and there has been sustained organizing and conversations about police violence since then,'' said Ms. Frederique. ''Its explosion into the mainstream recently is because it connects all the dots at a time when everyone was lost for words. 'Black Lives Matter' is liberating, unapologetic and leaves no room for confusion.''
With the backing of national civil rights organizations and Mr. Soros' funding, ''Black Lives Matter'' grew from a hashtag into a social media phenomenon, including a #BlackLivesMatter bus tour and march in September.
''More than 500 of us have traveled from Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, Tucson, Washington, D.C., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and other cities to support the people of Ferguson and help turn a local moment into a national movement,'' wrote Akiba Solomon, a journalist at Colorlines, describing the event.
Colorlines is an online news site that focuses on race issues and is published by Race Forward, a group that received $200,000 from Mr. Soros's foundation in 2011. Colorlines has published tirelessly on the activities in Ferguson and heavily promoted the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and activities.
At the end of the #BlackLivesMatter march, organizers met with civil rights groups like the Organization for Black Struggle and Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment to strategize their operations moving forward, Ms. Solomon wrote. OBS and MORE are also funded by Mr. Soros.
Mr. Soros gave $5.4 million to Ferguson and Staten Island grass-roots efforts last year to help ''further police reform, accountability and public transparency,'' the Open Society Foundations said in a blog post in December. About half of those funds were earmarked to Ferguson, with the money primarily going to OBS and MORE, the foundation said.
OBS and MORE, along with the Dream Defenders, established the ''Hands Up Coalition'' '-- another so-called ''grass-roots'' organization in Missouri, whose name was based on now-known-to-be-false claims that Brown had his hands up before being shot. The Defenders were built to rally support and awareness for the Trayvon Martin case and were funded by the Tides Foundation, another recipient of Soros cash.
Hands Up Coalition has made it its mission to recruit and organize youth nationwide to start local events in their communities '-- trying to take Ferguson nationwide.
Years and weekends of 'resistance'
Hands Up Coalition has dubbed 2015 as ''The Year of Resistance,'' and its outreach program strongly resembles how President Obama's political action committee '-- Organizing for Action '-- rallies youth for its causes, complete with a similarly designed Web page and call to action.
Mr. Soros, who made his fortune betting against the British pound during the currency crisis in the early '90s, is a well-known supporter of progressive-liberal causes and is a political donor to Mr. Obama's campaigns. He committed $1 million to Mr. Obama's super PAC in 2012.
Mr. Soros' two largest foundations manage almost $3 billion in assets per year, according to their most recent respective tax returns. The Foundation to Promote Open Society managed $2.2 billion in assets in 2011, and his Open Society Institute managed $685.9 million in 2012.
In comparison, David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers whom liberals often call a threat to democracy '-- and worse '-- for their conservative influence, had $308 million tied up in their foundation and institute in 2011.
One of the organizations that Mr. Soros funds, and which fueled the demonstrations in Ferguson, is the Gamaliel Foundation, a network of grass-roots, interreligious and interracial organizations. Mr. Obama started his career as a community organizer at a Gamaliel affiliate in Chicago.
The Rev. Traci Blackmon of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Missouri, which is part of the Gamaliel network, said in one of the group's webinars that clergy involved with Gamaliel must be ''protectors of the narrative'' of what happened in Ferguson.
The Gamaliel affiliate in St. Louis '-- Metropolitan Congregations United '-- organized the ''Weekend of Resistance'' in October, in which clergy members from around the nation were called to come to Ferguson to protest.
Representatives of Sojourners, a national evangelical Christian organization committed ''to faith in action for social justice,'' attended the weekend. The group received $150,000 from Mr. Soros in 2011.
Clergy representatives from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference, where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright serves as a trustee, also showed up. Mr. Wright was Mr. Obama's pastor in Chicago before some of his racially charged sermons, including the phrase ''God damn America,'' forced Mr. Obama to distance himself. SDPC received $250,000 from Mr. Soros in 2011.
During Gamaliel's weekend protest event, Sunday was deemed ''Hands Up Sabbath,'' where clergy were asked to speak out about racial issues, using packets and talking points prepared for them by another religion-based community organizing group, PICO.
PICO is also supported by the Open Society Foundations, according to its website.
The weekend concluded Monday, when clergy members were asked to lead in acts of civil disobedience, prompting many of them to go to jail in the hopes of gaining media attention.
It worked, as imagery of clergy members down on their hands and knees in front of police dominated the mainstream news cycle that day '-- two months after Brown's shooting.
''After the initial shooting, we were all hit in the face with how blatant racism really is,'' said the Rev. Susan Sneed, a Gamaliel organizer who helped stage the October weekend event. ''We began quickly hearing from our other affiliates offering support.''
At the end of August, Gamaliel had a large organizational meeting to discuss its Ferguson strategy, Ms. Sneed said.
It had its affiliates in New York and California handling the St. Louis Twitter feed and Facebook page, helped in correcting any inaccurate stories in the press and promoted their events, she said.
''When we started marching down the street, saying, 'hands up, don't shoot,' those images reached all over the world,'' said Ms. Sneed, referring to the moment she realized Ferguson was going to become a movement. ''The Twitter images, Facebook posts of burning buildings '-- it's everywhere, and the imagery is powerful. And the youth '-- the youth is so engaged. They've found a voice in Ferguson.''
National activists descend
Larry Fellows III, 29, a Missouri native, did find his voice in the chaos of Ferguson with the help of outside assistance backed by Mr. Soros.
Mr. Fellows is co-founder of the Millennial Activists United, a key source of video and stories developed in Ferguson by youth activists used to inspire other groups nationally.
Mr. Fellows explained how he started his organization in an interview with the American Civil Liberties Union (another Soros-backed entity that sent national representatives to Missouri) in November.
''Initially, it would just be that we would show up for protests, and the next day we'd clean up the streets. A lot of the same people were out at the protests and going out to lunch and talking about what was happening. That became a cycle until a lot of us figured out we needed to have a strategy,'' Mr. Fellows explained to the ACLU, which posted the interview in its blog.
''Then a lot of organizers from across the country started to come in to help us do the planning and do the strategizing. That helped us start doing it on our own and planning out actions and what our narratives were going to be,'' he said.
MAU has listed on its website that it has partnered with Gamaliel network churches. They've also received training on civil disobedience from the Advancement Project '-- which was given a $500,000 grant from Mr. Soros in 2013 ''to build a fair and just, multi-racial democracy in America through litigation, community organizing support, public policy reform, and strategic communications,'' according to the Foundation's website.
The Advancement Project, based in Washington, also arranged the meeting between community organizers in Ferguson and Mr. Obama last month to brief him on the situation in Ferguson and to set up a task force that examines trust between police and minority communities.
In addition, the Advancement Project has also dedicated some of its staff to lead organizations in Ferguson, like the Don't Shoot Coalition, another grass-roots group that preaches the same message, links to the same Facebook posts and ''likes'' the same articles as DPA, ACLU, Hands Up Coalition, OBS, MORE and others.
VIDEO-LiveLeak.com - Armed man enters Dutch public newstation! Video!
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 23:18
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An armed man entered the NOS (dutch public broadcasting netwerk) demanding to get 10 minutes live airtime.The channel went on a blackout soon after (this footage was not aired).He took a guard hostage and went to a studio where the above was filmed.He was arrested ~12 minutes after the breach.
Video from police side. Credit: http://www.liveleak.com/c/Shoelace
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(filmed by a reporter)The note he had with him. Credit: http://www.liveleak.com/c/Basxt**Translated**
"When you read this, don't panic. Don't start yelling and don't warn your colleagues. Act like nothing is happening. I am heavily armed. If you work with us nothing will happen to you. Be aware that I am not on my own. There are five more, plus 98 hackers that are ready for a cyberattack. On top of that, eight heavy explosives have been placed in this country. They contain radioactive material. If you don't bring me to studio 8 to take over the broadcast we will be forced to go in action. You don't want to have that on your conscience, do you? So take me to studio 8, the NOS studio.
(some parts are repeated here, heavily armed, 98 hackers, cyberattack, 8 explosves, radioactive material)...
They want to hold a live broadcast to tell their story. If the live broadcast gets interrupted in any kind of way, we will go over into action. Their conditions are as follows:
1. This building will not be stormed2. The broadcast will not be slowed down, not interrupted for even a second, and not edited.3. For clarity: No information at the bottom of the screen, no subtitles. If the conditions are met, we will be let free. I will repeat once again..."
VIDEO-NOS-redactie ontruimd wegens binnendringer | NOS
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:12
Het NOS-gebouw is ontruimd omdat er een gewapende man op de redactievloer is binnengedrongen. De man eiste een aantal minuten zendtijd op tv.
Het personeel is het gebouw uitgevlucht en staat buiten. Politie doorzoekt het gebouw. Ook hangen er een of meerdere helikopters boven het Mediapark in Hilversum.
GeluiddemperVolgens een ooggetuige had de man een pistool met een demper bij zich waarmee hij een beveiliger bedreigde. Met die beveiliger ging hij naar de redactievloer. Hij wilde naar de Journaalstudio, maar werd door de bewaker naar de studio van de dagjournaals gebracht. De man had een lijst met eisen bij zich en eiste tien minuten zendtijd. Hij kon na enige tijd worden overmeesterd. Er is niet geschoten.
De redactie in Den Haag kon vlak na 21.00 uur de uitzending overnemen en zond een filmpje uit waarop te zien was wat zich op de redactie in Hilversum had afgespeeld.
Te zien is dat een man gekleed in een net pak met een pistool met geluiddemper in de studio rondloopt. Hij praat met de beveiliger die hij had gegijzeld. Hij zei onder anderen "het zijn hele grote wereldzaken die we naar buiten willen brengen" en "we zijn ingehuurd door inlichtingendiensten. Daar hebben wij dingen gehoord die de samenleving in twijfel trekken".
Op een gegeven moment zag hij dat de politie er aan kwam. Die kwam binnen en riep "laat je wapen vallen!" De man deed dat vrijwel meteen. Daarna moest hij op zijn buik gaan liggen en werd hij in de boeien geslagen.
ExplosievenDe man zei te handelen namens een hackerscollectief. Hij had een brief bij zich waarin sprake was van explosieven. De politie kamt het gebouw uit.
Hoofdredacteur van het Journaal Marcel Gelauff noemt de gebeurtenissen "buitengewoon schokkend voor de collega's".
De uitzending van het Journaal is niet doorgegaan. Op het beeldscherm stond tussen acht en negen uur 'even geduld A.U.B'.
Michael Hayden's Hollow Constitution - Atlantic Mobile
Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:15
Jason Reed/ReutersIn a speech at Washington and Lee University, Michael Hayden, a former head of both the CIA and NSA, opined on signals intelligence under the Constitution, arguing that what the 4th Amendment forbids changed after September 11, 2001. He noted that "unreasonable search and seizure," is prohibited under the Constitution, but cast it as a living document, with "reasonableness" determined by "the totality of circumstances in which we find ourselves in history."
He explained that as the NSA's leader, tactics he found unreasonable on September 10, 2001 struck him as reasonable the next day, after roughly 3,000 were killed. "I actually started to do different things," he said. "And I didn't need to ask 'mother, may I' from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what's reasonable and what's not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place. So if we're going to draw this line I think we have to understand that it's kind of a movable feast here."
I think I understand.
The Bill of Rights may guarantee certain limits on government today. But if there is a terrorist attack tomorrow, a bureaucrat within the national security state may decide, without asking permission from any elected official, that the people are actually owed less protections than before. The more innocent people that terrorists succeed in murdering, the less our own government is limited by the Constitution. With every attack that the government fails to prevent it gains new powers.
Who was affected by growing surveillance power? "Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are fond of accusing the NSA of suspicion-less surveillance. That's almost a nonsense comment for somebody with my background," Hayden said. "I am not a law enforcement officer. I don't suspect anybody. I am simply going out there to retrieve information that helps keep my countrymen free and safe. This is not about guilt. In fact, let me be really clear. NSA doesn't just listen to bad people. NSA listens to interesting people. People who are communicating information."
He feels that Edward Snowden has distorted the debate about gathering that information and when it constitutes an unreasonable search under the Constitution. Observers looking at his leaks are like people who began watching a murder mystery in the third act. He urged his audience to reassess the leaks in context.
For most of the life of NSA, y'all were pretty enthusiastic about our intercepting the communications of the Soviet Union. And one of our targets in the Soviet Union was SRF, Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces. The guys with the ICBMs. And they used to transmit their orders out of SRF headquarters in Moscow through microwave shots up over the Urals to Soviet ICMBM fields in the Far East. And we were all over that network. We were intercepting communications 24 hours a day, looking, I must admit, for words of interest. Like launch. There isn't a civil libertarian alive who gave a damn about that.
The 21st Century equivalent of those Soviet SRF signals on that isolated microwave network jumping over the Ural mountains are proliferator, drug trafficker, terrorist communications, pretty much existing in emails, in a global telecommunications grid, coexisting with your Gmail and you Hotmail.
And so the fundament I want to give you here is, if you want these guys to do what they did for you during the 1970s and 1980s, they gotta be on networks where your stuff is.
And that's just the way it is.
So if I understand the argument correctly, to keep apprised of a possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union, an event that could've precipitated a literal doomsday for much of humanity, the NSA spied on a few military posts in the USSR, and no one cared. Today, America's enemies use the same platforms to communicate as U.S. citizens. So the NSA must be given access to all platforms we use to let them do their jobs.
There is a grain of truth here. Terrorists have been known to use consumer phone networks and popular web tools to communicate. On the other hand, neither terrorists nor drug traffickers (which existed during the Cold War too) are comparable to an expansionist Communist empire with the ability to start a nuclear war. And while most civil libertarians remain perfectly content to let the NSA spy on the people with the capacity to launch ICBMs at America, "the guys with ICBMs still aren't communicating "words of interest" like "launch" on Hotmail.
In Hayden's view, "Privacy is the line we continuously negotiate between ourselves as unique creatures of God and ourselves as social animals. In the first category we have a right to keep things to ourselves. And in the second category we have a responsibility to reveal things about ourselves to the community for the greater good."
What goes in which category? Hayden's actions suggest that Americans have a responsibility to reveal all the telephone numbers that we dial and that dial us, aspects of our Web activity, and James Clapper only knows what else for the greater good'--and that government officials have a right to keep to themselves sweeping changes in how surveillance affects Americans, rendering the electorate too ignorant to protest via elected representatives, per our republican system.
Hayden's entire speech can be viewed here:
If you reach the part where he claims that NSA surveillance attained the "Madisonian trifecta" of approval by all three branches of government, don't be fooled.
Attentive viewers will also notice that at the beginning of the speech he treats the NSA's dragnet surveillance on millions of innocent Americans as a response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks'--whereas near the end of the speech, he characterizes such practices as a pragmatic, pre-9/11 response to technological trends. To me, the distinction hardly matters. As I see it, the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and mass surveillance always qualifies. I'd argue that this makes my Constitution more resilient to terrorism than his.
Next ArticleConor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.