Posts tagged International
2013 in Review: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
As the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2013 and discussing where we are in the fight for free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. Click here to read other blog posts in this series.
Negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intensified in 2013, as trade delegates from the 12 participating countries aimed for (and ultimately missed) a year-end target for completing the sprawling agreement. Although the secretive nature of the negotiations means the public can’t really know how far along it is, both leaked position documents and public statements indicate that there are still major unresolved areas of disagreement in the 29-chapter deal.
The biggest TPP story this year was the publication by WikiLeaks in November of the chapter titled “Intellectual Property.” Unfortunately, its contents confirmed many of our worst fears: from ratcheting up copyright term lengths around the world, to boxing in fair use, to mandating a draconian legal regime around DRM software, section after section contained clauses plucked from corporate wishlists and snubbed the public interest altogether.
Against that backdrop, it makes sense that opposition to the agreement is mounting around the world. In May, EFF joined activists and protesters in Peru surrounding the round of negotiations held in Lima. As has been typical, neither public interest groups nor concerned citizens were allowed time with negotiators, but we helped coordinate a major petition and rally. These joined actions happening in TPP countries around the Pacific rim, from Japan to Australia to Mexico and more.
In the U.S., opposition has focused on the Obama administrations calls for Congress to grant “fast track authority,” thus waiving its constitutional role of reviewing international agreements. If it passes fast track, Congress would instead be limited to a single yes-or-no vote. Under normal circumstances that’s dangerous. But in a case where the public (and even Congressional staffers) haven’t been allowed to read the agreement at all yet, that’s reckless behavior.
We’ve set up a tool to allow people in the U.S. to contact their legislators asking them to oppose fast track authority for TPP, and people have already used it to send tens of thousands of letters. You can use it to send a letter today. Lawmakers seem to be taking notice: in the past few months, bipartisan letters from House Republicans and Democrats have firmly rejected the lack of transparency around the agreement, casting serious doubt on the possibility of fast track authority.
The year-end deadline has passed, but negotiators—especially the U.S. Trade Representative—continue to play up an artificial urgency to push the agreement through. The secret meetings between the trade delegates will continue into the new year, with the first one set for February.
This article is part of our 2013 Year in Review series; read other articles about the fight for digital rights in 2013.
Image credit: https://www.eff.org
Submitted by goldenequity
Clare Daly REBUKES Bootlicking Irish PM on Snowden
Clare Daly speaks TRUTH to Cowardice.
Irish Times Snowden asylum request deserves latitude, says Clare Daly
Taoiseach urged to use creativity to allow US whistleblower to access Republic
Washington’s lapdogs are world wide.
Bush Administration Convicted of War Crimes – Dr. Francis Boyle
Posted by NextNewsNetwork
Published on May 29, 2013
Former U.S. President George W. Bush recently dedicated his Presidential Library in Dallas. The ceremony included speeches by President Obama, ex-President Bush, and every other living ex-president. But none of the speeches so much as mentioned to Iraq war — the undertaking that dominated George W. Bush’s presidency, and will define his historic legacy.
This omission might be due, at least in part, to the fact that Mr. Bush is now a convicted war criminal who dares not travel abroad out of fear of being arrested.
In February 2011, Bush was forced to cancel a scheduled appearance in Geneva, Switzerland after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint charging him with violating international treaties against torture.
His trouble increased dramatically a year ago when Bush — along with former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and several other top Bush administration officials — were convicted of war crimes in absentia by a special war crimes tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission was convened and conducted according to internationally recognized procedures and rules of evidence, and the week-long hearing ended with the five-member panel unanimously delivering guilty verdicts.
What is the significance of that tribunal? Is its verdict legally binding? Are there troublesome aspects to the idea that a foreign tribunal can sit in judgment of a U.S. President — whatever we may think of his actions? We will discuss these vitally important questions with Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He served as a prosecutor at the tribunal.
By Travis Holte
Now that Ron Paul has retired I think I have a new favorite pol, Belgian MP Laurent Louis. He pulls no punches in this speech, exposing the lies of the imperialist wars.
(Click on the subtitles icon for English). h/t Daily Paul.
For those not familiar with activating subtitles, please see the image below.
Video uploaded by Feuillien Geraldine
From the Youtube video description:
CLICK ON THE SUBTITLE ICON for the TRANSLATION in ENGLISH.
Belgian MP LAURENT LOUIS stands against war in Mali and exposes the international neo-colonial plot at the Belgian Parliament.
On January the 17th, 32 years old Belgiam MP Laurent Louis, the most controversial and demonized national political figure ever, explained why he voted against the belgian support to war in Mali. Meanwhile, he expressed his disgust and wrath against the criminal foreign policies of the belgian elite and its submission to foreign financial and interests groups. For the first time at the Belgiam Parliament, he evokes that 9/11 was made up and says what no one before him has never dared to speak out!
Please share this exceptional moment of truth. There were other interventions as powerful from that man regarding the necessity to re-open the DUTROUX CASE, since he has been confronted to official pictures of the pedophile’s little victims that dramatically contradicted the official version of the cause of their death.
I’ll translate his intervention on that subject within the next days because too many dark secrets are poisoning our democracies, and because it seems like in the heart of EUROPE, dark secrets have become a raw material.
Thank’s for sharing. This man needs and deserve our support.
By Daniel Howden
African mission plea for more firepower after being humiliated by rebel advance in DRC
The United Nations is considering using unmanned drones in its peacekeeping operations for the first time, as it seeks to strengthen its forces in eastern Congo.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, is pushing for the deployment of drones in a diplomatic battle in New York that could have far-reaching implications for the future of international peacekeeping.
The proposal to use the unarmed intelligence-gathering drones has the backing of council members the US, UK and France but faces opposition from China and Russia. Rwanda, which holds one of the council’s rotating seats, and is accused of meddling in its larger neighbour, is also determined to block the move.
Monusco, the UN’s mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the largest of its kind, was humiliated last year after first vowing to prevent armed rebels from taking the regional capital before standing aside and allowing them to march into Goma.
The M23 rebels routed the Congolese national army, despite its support from UN forces. Rwanda allegedly lent direct military support to the rebel offensive, according to a report by a UN group of experts.
Congo analyst Jason Stearns said drones could be a “technical fix” to one of the key problems: “monitoring meddling by neighbouring countries and gathering information about security developments in the vast interior of the country.”
The UN’s peacekeeping head, Herve Ladsous, has been pushing for the organisation’s creaking and poorly supplied missions to be modernised and has threatened to name and shame under-performing troop contingents. This week, he told the Security Council that the Congo mission needed more helicopters, night-vision equipment, river units and drones.
Rwanda has opposed the move, saying it does not want Africa to become a laboratory for foreign intelligence devices. Olivier Nduhungirehe, a Rwandan diplomat at the UN, said his country would oppose the use of drones, calling for further assessment of how they would be used: “We express reservations about the introduction of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to peacekeeping operations when the issues that go along with it are still being discussed,” he told the state-owned media in Rwanda.
The government in Kigali has repeatedly denied allegations that it commands the M23 rebels and rejected evidence from UN experts. The use of UAVs in Congo’s remote border areas would settle the argument and make it impossible for large-scale supply operations to be kept secret.
The UN, which has 17,000 troops and 1,400 police deployed in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country at an annual cost of $1.5bn, has been considering drones since 2009, when it asked the US for the technology and was refused. The cost of UAVs has fallen dramatically in the past five years and the Pentagon has lost its monopoly on the technology with countries from Belgium to Pakistan manufacturing them.
The first UN drone deployment faces significant opposition from veto-wielding China and Russia who have concerns over the security of the intelligence gathered.
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Gary Franchi interviews James Corbett connecting from Japan on Next News Network on various topics including the future of 3D printing, intellectual property, free speech, upcoming government regulations, local drone surveillance and much more.
A former TSA supervisor has been told he’s under federal investigation for blowing the whistle on security lapses at the Nashville International Airport in Tennessee.
Gerald Smith, a one-time agent with the Transportation Security Administration, told Nashville’s WSMV News in October that not only had many agents in the area airport repeatedly failed security tests, but that the TSA seemed reluctant to retrain those who weren’t up to snuff.
Smith spent seven years with the TSA before coming clean to WSMV when they interviewed him earlier this year to comment on documents involving the TSA’s Threat Image Projection, or TIP, program. The network obtained documents from 2009 through 2011 that showed that many TSA staffers that were tested using TIP failed to spot contraband being brought through airports in carry-on luggage. Should an agent fall below 75 percent in testing, they are required to be retrained within a month. Smith said that simply wasn’t the case in Nashville.
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Six years after the White House first started running amok on the computer networks of its adversaries, US President Barack Obama has signed off on a top-secret order that finally offers blueprints for the Pentagon’s cyberwars.
Pres. Obama has autographed an executive order outlining protocol and procedures for the US military to take in the name of preventing cyberattacks from foreign countries, the Washington Post reports, once and for all providing instructions from the Oval Office on how to manage the hush-hush assaults against opposing nation-states that have all been confirmed by the White House while at the same time defending America from any possible harm from abroad.
According to Post’s sources, namely “officials who have seen the classified document and are not authorized to speak on the record,” Pres. Obama signed the paperwork in mid-October. Those authorities explain to the paper that the initiative in question, Presidential Policy Directive 20, “establishes a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace.”
Confronting a threat may sound harmless, but begs to introduce a chicken-and-the-egg scenario that could have some very serious implications. The Post describes the directive as being “the most extensive White House effort to date to wrestle with what constitutes an ‘offensive’ and a ‘defensive’ action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism,” but the ambiguous order may very well allow the US to continue assaulting the networks of other nations, now with a given go-ahead from the commander-in-chief. Next in line, the Post says, will be rules of engagement straight from the Pentagon that will provide guidelines for when to carry out assaults outside the realm of what is considered ‘American’ in terms of cyberspace.
By Susanne Posel
Last week, the delegates who attended the Arms Trade Treaty Conference (ATT) reportedly did not come to a consensus to ratify the ATT, but rather will come back to the issue later this year.
Further talks will likely take place at a UN General Assembly (UNGA) meeting wherein 192 nations could achieve the 2/3rd majority vote for ratification of the ATT.
According to the British delegation: “We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms-trade treaty is coming – not today – but soon. We’ve taken a big step forward.”
Although activists in support of a convention for global gun control advocated the need to prevent illicit trade of guns into conflicted zones, such as in Syria, those same activists blamed the US and Russia for causing a stalemate during the negotiations process.
Victoria Nuland, US Ambassador to the UN released a statement on the US State Department website wherein it was admitted that “the illicit trafficking of conventional arms is an important national security concern for the United States.”