TED Censored

Here’s a TED talk that was censored.  It seems the idea that everyone does not owe their jobs to a few rich people struck quite a nerve and couldn’t be published:

http://www.ryanlouiscooper.com/2012/05/ted-and-economic-inequality.html

The above TED talk, by Richard Wilkinson, is from October 2011, and it’s all about economic inequality. There’s quite a lot of buzz today about another talk on economic inequality which was recorded, then quashed by TED officials. You can check out the full transcript here, from National Journal.

At first glance, this is quite a strange discrepancy. Both talks are on economic inequality, and they do differ a bit, but if anything the Wilkinson talk is more radical. The gist of his is that once a country has reached “developed” status, wealth doesn’t much matter for the health of that society, broadly speaking (including things like longevity, mental illness, crime, prison population, poverty, etc). Instead equality is what matters. More equal societies are better.

The censored talk, given by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, makes a fairly banal point that starting a successful business depends entirely on having a population of people with the ability to buy your product:

I have started or helped start, dozens of businesses and initially hired lots of people. But if no one could have afforded to buy what we had to sell, my businesses would all have failed and all those jobs would have evaporated.

That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is a “circle of life” like feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion this virtuous cycle of increasing demand and hiring. In this sense, an ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me.

See the rest of the story at the above link.  Note after the web storm of protest they did eventually decide to release the talk.  But why should it take a protest?

TED Censored

“Current training and intelligence reveals that protestors are becoming more proficient in the methods of assembly.”

Is this quote from:

(a) A Report from the Richmond VA police department describing how to infiltrate protest organizations

(b) A report from Gaddafi’s secret services, just before the uprising started there

(c) A dispatch from Ben Ali’s security forces, just prior to his downfall,

The answer, as always, is “A”  And the report was given to a protestor in answer to a FOIA request, by accident.  It gives insight into the new thinking on the part of the government that equates dissent with terrorism and the exercise of First Amendment rights with criminality.  After the government released it, it then tried to cover up the existence of the report, but too late–here it is.  Covered by Will Potter at the ever-excellent blog Green is the New Red:

Richmond Cops Mistakenly Hand Over Anti-Protest Guides to Anarchist
by WILL POTTER on JANUARY 5, 2011

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Richmond Police Department for police training documents, Mo Karn received much more than expected in return: homeland security and crowd control guides that show how the police target protests.

The police filed for an emergency court order yesterday to prohibit Karn from publicizing any of the documents, which should never have been released. The cops’ reasoning? “Defendant Mo Karn is a known and admitted anarchist.”

The documents, however, have already been published online. And buried in the training guides are insights into three trends in law enforcement that have been occurring not just in Virginia, but nationally: the demonization of protest, the militarization of police, and turning local cops into “terrorism” officials.

The Demonization of Protest

The Richmond Police Department’s Emergency Operations Plan
includes a section on “civil disturbances.” While this sounds innocuous, “civil disturbances” are defined so broadly as to include what the police call “dissident gatherings.”

“The City of Richmond is a target rich environment” for antiwar protesters, the document says. And it warns that police and homeland security have reason to be increasingly concerned:

“Current training and intelligence reveals that protestors are becoming more proficient in the methods of assembly.”

Militarization of Local Police

Such a depiction of “assembly” (a First Amendment right) as a “disturbance” and a threat is all the more troubling when put in the context of the other police department guides. Richmond’s Crowd Management Operating Manual is for the police unit assigned to large protests (no experience required). Among the tools that the crowd management team are issued include riot shields, chemical agents, cut tools, helmets, body armor, cameras, video cameras, batons, gas masks, and a “mass arrest kit.”

Deputizing Local Cops as Counter-terrorism Officials

This militarization of local police is accompanied by another trend in law enforcement since September 11th: deputizing local cops to becoming “homeland security” and counter-terrorism officials. According to the Homeland Security Criminal Intelligence Unit Operating Manual, “The Richmond Police Department is under contract with the FBI to provide assistance through staffing, intelligence and equipment.” And one member of the homeland security unit is assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The result? Documents like the Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment. The 2009 document was created by the Virginia Fusion Center, of which the Richmond Police Department is part. Fusion centers are ostensibly designed to gather terrorism intelligence from multiple police agencies, and make us safer. In practice, they routinely label activists as “terrorists.” Among the “terrorist threats” identified in Virginia were animal rights activists, environmental activists, and anarchists.

“Current training and intelligence reveals that protestors are becoming more proficient in the methods of assembly.”

USA vs wikileaks: Round Two

There will be a round two of the fight to suppress wikileaks: The hammer has come down on the tier one service providers, with unbelievable pressure and scare tactics being used to keep wikileaks from being mirrored. Here is the coverage at Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Keep in mind the wikileaks people are pretty resourceful, and they may have a surprise or two.  So, pressure is applied to stem the avalanche of people volunteering to host a wikileaks mirror:

Wikileaks Mirror Taken Down: Host Buckles Under Demands from Upstream Provider
Commentary by Marcia Hofmann

Wikileaks isn’t the only site struggling to stay up these days because service providers are pulling their support. It appears that at least one person who wants to provide mirror access to Wikileaks documents is having the same trouble.

Recently we heard from a user who mirrored the Cablegate documents on his website. His hosting provider SiteGround suspended his account, claiming that he “severely” violated the SiteGround Terms of Use and Acceptable Use Policy. SiteGround explained that it had gotten a complaint from an upstream provider, SoftLayer, and had taken action “in order to prevent any further issues caused by the illegal activity.”

SiteGround told the user that he would need to update his antivirus measures and get rid of the folder containing the Wikileaks cables to re-enable his account. When the user asked why it was necessary to remove the Wikileaks folder, SiteGround sent him to SoftLayer. The user asked SoftLayer about the problem, but the company refused to discuss it with him because he isn’t a SoftLayer customer. Finally, SiteGround told the user that SoftLayer wanted the mirror taken down because it was worried about the potential for distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks. When the user pointed out that no attack had actually happened, and that this rationale could let the company use hypothetical future events to take down any site, SiteGround said that it was suspending the account because a future DDOS attack might violate its terms of use.

If this sounds like a lame excuse, that’s because it is a lame excuse. It’s incredibly disappointing to see more service providers cutting off customers simply because they decide (or fear) that content is too volatile or unpopular to host. And the runaround that this user received from his host and its upstream provider demonstrates the broader problems with the lack of any real transparency or process around such important decisions.

Internet intermediaries — whether directly in contract with their users or further up the chain — need to stick up for their customers, not undermine their freedom to speak online. As we’ve said before, your speech online is only as free as the weakest intermediary.

This incident shows that censorship is a slippery slope. The first victim here was Wikileaks. Now it’s a Wikileaks mirror. Will a news organization that posts cables and provides journalistic analysis be next? Or a blogger who posts links to news articles describing the cables? If intermediaries are willing to use the potential for future DDOS attacks as a reason to cut off users, they can cut off anyone for anything.

USA vs wikileaks: Round Two

Wikileaks has a Lot of Friends

Well, from a start of just a few days ago, wikileaks facebook group has 1,192,279 likes.  That’s alot of likes.  They should stop calling everyone who supports wikileaks a terrorist.

Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is one, apparently.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has criticised the arrest of the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as “an attack on freedom of expression”.

President Lula said the internet publication of secret US cables had “exposed a diplomacy that appeared untouchable”.

He also criticised other governments for failing to condemn the arrest.

Mr Assange was detained in the UK on Tuesday over alleged sex offences in Sweden.

“They have arrested him and I don’t hear so much as a single protest for freedom of expression”, President Lula said at a public event in Brasilia.

Wikileaks has a Lot of Friends

Wikileaks, the center of a growing network, fed by the White House [was wikileaks mirrors] updated 6x

Note to readers: I am so very proud of the readers who have been clicking on the links to donate to wikileaks, found in this post.  It is an honor that my site could contribute to one of the great progressive movements of our times.  In fact, that is the number one click from this site, having 70 130 clicks just today (!), so thank you very much, please continue donating to wikileaks.

At this address, as of 2010-12-12 11:54 GMT find a list of 208, 506, 748, 1334, 1368 1,885 sites that mirror the wikileaks content.  Those who want to defeat wikileaks are losing have lost. Big Time.

If the White House wants there to be one million mirrors they can continue their ill-fated attack on wikileaks.  These will be updated and added to, as the need arises. The content is unstoppable.  The donated server space is obviously coming in faster than the wikileaks staff can coordinate.  I am sure everyone’s donated server space will be used, eventually.  Wikileaks, I am sure, is thankful.

http://wikileaks.ch/mirrors.html

This is a classic example of the 09F9 effect. This is named after after the first four digits of the once-secret encryption key (09f911029d74e35bd84156c5635688c0)  for DVD’s.    Recall when the key was published, the social network site digg originally buried the “diggs” to stories that included the key, since the DVD access control group threatened legal action.  There was an immediate and massive revolution of digg users, and eventually, under a tsunami of diggs, the management of digg stopped trying to fight the publication of the key.  They joined the revolution.

That is exactly what is happening now.  There will be a tidal wave of those desiring to donate server space to wikileaks.  If those in power are so stupid that they think they can stop this wave, and they try to suppress it, the next wave will be greater.  What those who would fight this wave need to understand is that their acts of repression actually feed the growth of the network they are fighting.  The concept of moral connectivity that Col. Boyd so well understood is evidentially lost.  Those who attack wikileaks in the method they are now doing are increasing the moral connectivity of wikileaks and decreasing their own connectivity.  Especially, they connect all those who oppose the suppression that they seek to enforce.

Or to put it in terms everyone can understand: There is a fire, and you have a fire hose that is feed with gasoline.  Is it smart to use the hose?  I think it is not.   Apparently there are those in the administration who think it is.   What do they get?

Wikileaks, the center of a growing network, fed by the White House [was wikileaks mirrors] updated 6x

wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1

As of this evening (December 4th 2010)I could still get wikileaks here: http://wikileaks.nl/

It seems there is a meme out there that wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be hunted down and killed. This noise is being spouted by US right-wing hate groups, as well as some semi-mainstream press figures (although the difference between those two groups is getting paper thin), and they seem to forget that freedom of speech is, like, in the Constitution. I won’t link to any of the pundits that are out there brazenly advocating murder, except to make the very obvious comment that they are very evil, and if anything should happen to Julian, they would obviously bear a great deal of the responsibility and should therefore also bear some punishment if Julian were to be harmed. Of course I am only advocating legal punishment, not extra-judicial killing or anything like that. That would be wrong.

But before anyone goes out and kills Julian they should take note of how very popular he is. Look at the comments from the BBC sound-off board. Pro-wikileaks comments are running about 10 to 1. And I feel quit certain that of the 10% of the population that doesn’t like what wikileaks has done, the majority would not favor his extra-judicial killing.

So, think before you sic your goons on Julian.

Don’t believe me? Just check below…

Continue reading “wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1”

wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1