In a letter to President Obama, 38 journalism groups criticized his administration for severely limiting access to federal agencies and a general politically-motivated suppression of information despite the president’s pledge of historic transparency.
Led by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the groups said that efforts by government officials to curb free-flow of news and information to the public has reached a peak during the Obama administration following a similarly stifling culture during prior president George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House.
“Over the past two decades, public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees,” wrote SPJ president David Cuillier. “This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government. We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear.”
Cuillier added that while agency personnel are kept mostly off limits to journalists, they are ”free [to] speak to others — lobbyists, special-interest representatives, people with money — without these controls and without public oversight.” …
In the wake of last week’s revelations that Facebook allowed researchers with direct links to the Department of Defense to conduct manipulative experiments on its users by influencing their news feeds, new reports have emerged detailing how the Pentagon is funding dozens more studies into how to influence and control social media.
Reporters with The London Guardian reveal that DARPA, the Pentagon-run Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is engaged in multiple programs targeting Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Kickstarter and other popular social media sites.
The source is DARPA’s own website, where the shadowy research arm of the military has posted a list of projects funded under its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program, with links to documents.
“The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base,” the website states.
“Through the program, DARPA seeks to develop tools to support the efforts of human operators to counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information.” …
Where’s the punch line? They forgot the punch line. Oh yeah, ok, I get it. The punch line is that they’re serious.
A former prominent member of Greenpeace told an audience at a Las Vegas, Nevada event this week that concerns regarding global warming are overblown, and that the opposite may actually soon be occurring.
“I fear a global cooling,” warned Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, who played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada before leaving the environmentalist group in 1986 and later authoring a book titled “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout.”
Speaking to a crowd while presenting a keynote address on Tuesday this week at the International Conference on Climate Chance, Moore insisted that recent statistics show the US is currently cooling, that there has been “no global warming for nearly 18 years” and that the results could have an adverse impact on the world’s agriculture.
“Let’s hope for a little warming as opposed to a little cooling. I would rather it got a little warmer,” Moore added during the event, an annual conference hosted by the Heartland Institute — “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change,” according to The Economist.
“If it warms two degrees, hopefully more in Canada in the North…maybe it would be a good thing if it did,” added Moore, according to a transcript of his keynoted posted on the website Climate Depot this week.
According to Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, Moore went on to mock the notion that “everything is due to global warming,” and questioned scientific tests that linked increases in carbon dioxide during the modern era with periods of warmth.
“There are so many [climate] variables that we can’t control and when you do an experiment you have to control all the variables except the one you are studying if you want to get a clean result. There are even variables we do not even understand that we cannot control,” said Moore. “So it is virtually impossible to think of doing an experiment where we would be able to tweeze out the impact of CO2 versus the hundreds of other variables at work. Which is why you could never make a model that would predict the climate.”
“The president seems to say it is sufficient to say the ‘science is settled.’ It is hollow statement with no content,” the ecologist continued, adding later that fundamental changes should occur to the way American school children are lectured about climate change.
“Change the way our kids are being taught about this subject because if we don’t there will be a whole generation of people who are just blindly following this climate hysteria,” Morano quoted Moore as saying. “Our children are not taught logic, they are not taught what the scientific method is, and they are taught that carbon dioxide is pollution. They are told it is carbon now as if it were soot.” …
There goes his corporate foundation funding. Obviously the “war on climate change” is falling flat, just as the “war on terror” and the “war on drugs” and the “war on communism” before that. If our great leaders were honest enough to just tell us that we need to die for the greater good (i.e. to save the world without changing the monetary system) maybe people would line up to do their civic duty.
My generation was told that the US won the war against hitler, concealing the real origins of fascism and eugenics among the secretive aristocrats of the US and UK and their critical support for the nazis before, during and after WWII up to and including the mass importation of nazi war criminals into the US. And now the new “war on terror” scam is being drilled into the heads of the next generation to prime them as cannon fodder. No wonder the fascists hate home schooling. They want their way with your kids.
New cybersecurity legislation cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday during a closed session. Critics fear it may broaden the NSA’s already formidable access to Americans’ data.
Written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), CISA – or Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act – is widely seen as a redux of last year’s CISPA bill, which was widely protested by online privacy watchdogs and ultimately defeated in Congress.
A draft of the bill circulated in June granted permission by government agencies to retain and share data for “a cybersecurity purpose,” which was defined as “the purpose of protecting an information system or information that is stored on, processed by or transiting an information system from a cybersecurity threat or security vulnerability.” According to the Guardian, that language would likely lead the NSA to stockpile weaknesses in digital security.
The legislation, which was approved by the committee by a vote of 12 to 3, would allow private firms to share information regarding cyber-attacks “in real time.” It would also shield those firms from lawsuits by individuals against those companies for sharing data with each other, and with the US government, regardless of terms of service contracts that may prevent such actions without a customer’s consent.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is joined by like-minded watchdogs such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation in panning CISA, the legislation’s “catch-all provisions” would seem to allow the collection of the content of communications, rather than just malicious code. “That’s one of the biggest concerns,” Gabriel Rottman, an attorney with the ACLU, told the Guardian.
CISA now heads to the full Senate for a vote, though it faces the hurdle of a shortened legislative calendar, as well as mounting opposition by the same groups that prevented passage of similar legislation over the past two years.
Of course they’ve been collecting content all along, but now they’re formalizing the fraud embodied in the “terms of service” that customers consent to. Retroactive impunity is how corrupt dictatorships cloak their actions in the guise of law.