How surveillance stifles dissent on the Internet

“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.
www.theatlantic.com

“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

No, America isn’t 100 percent safe from terrorism. And that’s a good thing.

“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.
www.washingtonpost.com

Nimm, was du kriegen kannst!

“Der Westen, der so stolz auf seine Werte ist, verschließt seine Grenzen für verängstige Menschen auf der Suche nach einem besseren Leben. Aber er öffnet sie für schmutziges Geld auf der Suche nach einer besseren Anlage.” Jakob Augstein identifiziert nicht die Flüchtlinge als unser Problem—sondern die Steuerflüchtlinge.
www.spiegel.de

Forget Panama: it’s easier to hide your money in the US than almost anywhere.

Die Barbaren sind wir

“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.
www.spiegel.de

IQ2 Racism Debate: Stan Grant

“…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.”
Stan Grant
www.youtube.com

Can we afford to ignore what Katie Hopkins says about migrants drowning in the Med?

“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.
www.opendemocracy.net

Britain’s criminally stupid attitudes to race and immigration are beyond parody

“We fear the arrival of immigrants that we have drawn here with the wealth we stole from them. For much of the rest of the world we must be the focus of bitter amusement, characters in a satire we don’t understand.” Frankie Boyle is not even trying to be funny.
www.theguardian.com

Kleptoremuneration

“There is an inverse relationship between utility and reward. The most lucrative, prestigious jobs tend to cause the greatest harm. The most useful workers tend to be paid least and treated worst.” While this inverse relationship doesn’t always hold, George Monbiot still maintains that our lives are damaged not by the undeserving poor but by the undeserving rich.
www.monbiot.com

David Simon on why he created The Wire¹

“Collective responsibilty without personal freedom or without personal liberty is tyranny, it’s totalitarianism. Conversely, personal freedom and personal liberty without a collective responsibility where we have a shared sense that you are part of society and that you owe it to society to participate fully and to seek utilitarian solutions to society’s problems—that’s just selfish. That’s just bad citizenship. That’s a recipe for a second rate society. [sic]” David Simon speaking at the Observer Ideas festival 2014 in London.
www.theguardian.com

1. “Despite only receiving average ratings and never winning major television awards, The Wire has been described by many critics as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time.”

Sale of the century: the privatisation scam

“But the gap where the economic rationale for privatising council houses should be becomes a window through which it becomes possible to see beyond the individual privatisations to the meta-privatisation, and its one indisputable success: that it put more money into the hands of a small number of the very wealthiest people, at the expense of the elderly, the sick, the jobless and the working poor.” In an article that should be regarded as compulsory reading for citizens everywhere, James Meek looks back at 35 years of privatising UK industries.
www.theguardian.com

The most wanted man in the world

“The question for us is not what new story will come out next. The question is, what are we going to do about it?” James Bamford interviews Edward Snowden, who regards the use of strong encryption in your everyday communication as a viable means to end mass surveillance.
www.wired.com

Also watch United States of Secrets, a two-part series detailing how the US government came to monitor and collect the communications of millions around the world.

Secrecy concerns around TTIP

“Shrouded in secrecy, our world leaders are currently negotiating a deal that will let multinational corporations wield power over national governments; lower environmental and safety standards across the EU; bring workers’ rights down to appalling US levels; and threaten the NHS as we know it.” Jim Sheridan expresses his concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its implications for the United Kingdom. Similar anxieties exist in Germany. Is Europe about to be sold down the river?
www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

Now then

“What Amazon and many other companies began to do in the late 1990s was build up a giant world of the past on their computer servers. A historical universe that is constantly mined to find new ways of giving back to you today what you liked yesterday—with variations.” Adam Curtis highlights the mechanisms that help to narrow and simplify our experiences to the point that we are in danger of getting stuck in a static, ever-narrowing version of ourselves, locked into place, “perpetually repeating the past and terrified of change and the future”.
www.bbc.co.uk

World processor

“Such are the perverse rewards we reap when we permit tech culture to become our culture. The profits and power flow to the platform owners and their political sponsors. We get the surveillance, the data mining, the soaring inequality, and the canned pep talks from bosses who have been upsold on analytics software.” Jacob Silverman critically examines today’s employment practices using past issues of Processed World as a guide to the great digital reorganization of work.
www.thebaffler.com

David McCoy on The Lancet Commission

“In contrast to the easy cross-border flow of capital, commodities and profits, the Commission notes the lack of freedom for ordinary people to migrate in pursuit of a safe and secure life, and it deplores the plight of undocumented migrants who are denied essential health care in spite of international treaties that are supposed to guarantee universal rights and entitlements.” After correctly identifying the undemocratic and unequal distribution of power as an underlying cause of health inequities, David McCoy sees The Lancet-UiO Commission on Global Governance For Health Commissioners falling disappointingly short in its recommendations.
www.medact.org

Wenn die Maschinenstürmer doch recht behalten

“Einerseits steige die Verfügbarkeit von digitalisierbaren Dingen und Diensten dramatisch, bei immer weiter sinkenden Preisen. Andererseits kämen die Erträge der neuen Produktionsweisen nur wenigen zugute, was in einer potenziell extremen Polarisierung von Einkommen und Entfaltungschancen resultiere.” Henrik Müller sieht uns einem verarmenden Produktivitätswachstum ausgeliefert.
www.spiegel.de

The secret government rulebook for labeling you a terrorist

“This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed.” Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux report on the Obama administration’s expansion of the terrorist watchlist system.
firstlook.org