“The modern world’s cherished ideas of liberty, equality and prosperity are more popular than ever before. The problem is that it is difficult for the vast majority of the human population to realise them.” Pankaj Mishra appearing on yesterday’s Newsnight programme.
“The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.” Senator Dianne Feinstein released the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program just over two years ago. Never has an awareness of its findings on the use of torture been more important than today.
“Among the many questions posed by Scandinavia’s embrace of mass surveillance is one that has lingered at the margins throughout the Snowden debate: Are advanced democracies any different than their authoritarian counterparts in seeking to gain broad access into the private lives of citizens?” Hugh Eakin shines a light on the underreported activities of Sweden’s FRA in spying on people everywhere.
With thanks to Michael August
“(Tobias) Boelter reported the backdoor vulnerability to Facebook in April 2016, but was told that Facebook was aware of the issue, that it was ‘expected behaviour’ and wasn’t being actively worked on.”
Earlier, I posted two messages for my friends on Facebook. One with my Threema address, the other with the above quote and link to the article critical of Facebook’s conduct. Within hours, the latter had mysteriously disappeared from view. I don’t routinely use Facebook and now I know why: on this evidence, nobody gets to see much of what I post there, anyway…
“Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to disrupt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light.”
Plenty of questions remain regarding the conduct of the United States of America. Still, the 44th President manages to stand out amongst the political leaders of our time. Will his words be remembered?
“Human rights introduce morality into law and offer limited legal enforcement to moral claims. But as morality is not one and the law is not a simple exercise in reasoning, moral conflict enters the legal archive and legal strictures regiment and control moral responsibility.” For Costas Douzinas, the human rights movement is an ongoing struggle to close the gap between the abstract man of the Declarations and the empirical human being.
“Contempt for Corbyn is rivalled only by disdain for the party that elected him. His critics argue that the membership is unrepresentative of the country as a whole. By definition most political memberships are, but that does not mean they represent nothing.” Gary Younge attempts a balanced analysis of the current state of the Labour party.
“We might not achieve that today, but at the very least we have to call upon our politicians and our media to drop the language of fear and be far more tolerant of one another.”
“But the problem is not the global trends in supply chains etc. Rather it is that their elected representatives have become co-opted by neo-liberal elites who fully understand that state power can be skewed to work in their favour and deprive a vast majority of citizens of the benefits of such global economic activity.” Bill Mitchell questions the sustainability of economic growth with labour productivity growth continuing to outstrip growth in real wages.
“The international efforts to reduce corruption that have developed over the past 20 years constitute a massive agenda which is being worked through in multilateral institutions, individual countries, companies and civil society campaigns. It will take years of reform to fulfil the commitments that have been made. But the prize is enormous.” Claire Short is in an optimistic mood.
“Zwar ist jede Form der organisierten Fremdenfeindlichkeit verwerflich—aber im Gegensatz zu vielen sozial abgehängten Pegida-Anhängern sind die Blankeneser wohlhabend, gebildet und gesellschaftlich einflußreich. Und daß ausgerechnet solche Menschen den allerschwächsten Mitgliedern unserer Gesellschaft ihre Unterstützung verwehren, ist schlichtweg unerträglich.” Peter Maxwill stellt fest, daß man kein Rassist sein muß, um rassistisch zu handeln.
“People who said they had ‘nothing to hide’ were in fact more likely to censor themselves.” Kaveh Waddell reports on resarch by Elizabeth Stoycheff that, given current practices of government and comercial entities around the world, rules out the Internet as a tool to promote democracy.
“This structure of surveillance will stop us doing things which are right, that we know we should be doing.”
Anthony Barnett speaking in October 2013
“Threats constantly change, yet our political discourse suggests that our vulnerabilities are simply for lack of resources, commitment or competence.” Juliette Kayyem disagrees and instead asks US Americans to minimize risks, maximize defenses and maintain spirit.
“Ziehe eine Status-Karte und schlage Deinen Lebensweg ein!”
“Empörend ist aber das kalte Schulterzucken, mit dem viele Politiker, Journalisten, Leitartikler das hinzunehmen oder, schlimmer, voranzutreiben scheinen, diese europäische Regression, dieses kontinentale und institutionelle Versagen angesichts der Flüchtlinge.” Georg Diez sieht gemeinsame europäische Werte in Gefahr und reaktionäre Eliten in der Verantwortung.
“…everytime we are lured into the light, we are mugged by the darkness of this country’s history. Of course, racism is killing the Austrailian Dream! It is self evident, that it’s killing the Australian Dream! But we are better than that.”
“Already 20 smartphones and laptops are ours. If he wanted to, Slotboom is now able to completely ruin the lives of the people connected.” Wouter Slotboom is one of the good guys, demonstrating to Maurits Martijn his effortless ability to retrieve people’s passwords, steal their identity, and plunder their bank accounts.
“Rights go hand in hand with responsibilities; you have the right to fart in [sic] public lift, it doesn’t mean you should exercise it.“ Ali Milani is proud to be representing Brunel students who respectfully showed their discontent with rightwing columnist Katie Hopkins’ views.
“So while we ought noisily to challenge her incitement to hatred and violence against the most vulnerable groups in society and to condemn the fact that major media outlets are providing her with the microphone to do this, we also need to organise for a different kind of politics in which those escaping war and poverty are welcomed and not left to drown in the seas that surround us.“ Des Freedman regards Katie Hopkins as merely a sideshow in an age of neoliberal politicians protecting uninhibited cross-border flow of capital while barring people fleeing poverty and persecution and refusing to help them when they vanish into the sea.
“It’s not an insult to the dead to wonder why France, a $2tn economy, couldn’t make a better offer to its disenfranchised youth than a bunch of sick bullies grooming them on the internet. It’s not apologism to try to understand why something happened.”