Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition!
I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Freedom - the biggest threat of all, 2010

WikiLeaks documents are the top news of the week. Everyone is talking about an international diplomatic scandal. Some people even think that the owner of the site  Julian Assange should be assassinated (?!?) because of the release.

I personally didn't find anything that scandalous about the documents released by WikiLeaks. True, there are some rather personal (and quite inadequate) descriptions of world leaders, but for me they are more a pathetic effort of ambassadors to make themselves useful, than anything else. After all, it's normal for every country to gather info on other countries be they friends or foes. This is not conspiracy, it's actually common sense. We all do that by following news that we're interested in and forming opinions based on what we hear. So far, I didn't find anything different than this in the WikiLeaks documents. Sure, the bad breath or narcissism statements are rather ridiculous. After all, who cares about world leaders love affairs or personal weaknesses? Even if they can be used to manipulate a leader, current world is a lot more complex than that. So I find this part of the information for useless even if somewhat intriguing. But I doubt anyone with realistic view on politics will be surprised by anything read in those documents. Or that they could be used against US security in any way.

What I find more worrying, however, is US reaction to that release in general and to the founder of the site in particular. They want him arrested on whatever charges? How about that? If you can't guard your own sensitive information, on what ground do you require the publisher to get in jail? After the first release, the founder were supposed to be arrested for rape. Then, it turned out that there aren't enough evidences for rape. Then suddenly, there were. Now, he is in UK (US ally) and still not arrested.
My first question is why should he be arrested? Did he steal the information? No. I don't think there are any doubts that he merely publishes the information. Why should he be held in charge for publishing this information if he didn't steal it? What BIG state secrets did he expose? And if he committed crime publishing secret documents, which I believe shouldn't be a crime at all, but if he did, then why he's not sued for that crime, but for "rape"?! Is this strange only to me? Isn't it humiliating for USA as a world power to sue people not for their actual crimes, but for something else?

I'm disgusted by people wanting Julian Assange to be assassinated. Why? On what grounds? Whose fault is not being able to keep secret documents secrets - of those who get billions and trillions to keep that secrecy and fail to, or of people who just used the situation? I'm equally disgusted by the easy with which people condemn someone to death, because of some virtual national security. As I see it, national security should revolve around physical security of US citizens. Not around keeping the good name of the nation!

Anyway, I think the whole situation leads to another bunch of questions.
We live in new time and new age. As always information is money, but now, there is another world power - people. And the whole issue with the so called national security is not that Iran will know what USA thinks of their nuclear program - they already do know! The real problem is that people will know it. The problem is that US government will be held accountable by US people for what they do. For all the money they spend on different projects that nobody knows and can find out. For all the money that are misspent on those projects.
The actual problem are the people. Because we live in globalized world, people can easily connect and even more easily revolt as recent events in Iran showed. If one person knows - you can keep him/her quite one way or another. If everybody knows, things get more complicated. And precisely this US authorities are trying to fight.

As you can read from the news that follow, this problem is very very serious in the eyes of the authorities. I'm not going to comment now on the desire to wiretap every Internet application. Of course, it's hard to imagine how USA will have jurisdiction over a product created in another country, that is downloaded and used in USA(but not sold) and how would USA punish a producer who denies to make that changes. But the biggest question is, why? Why is so important to hear, see and record every word. Will that prevent crime? No. Will it limit terrorism? Not at all. Then why? What are they so afraid of? Why freedom is so scary for them?

Anyway, what I got me the most worried in the news in this post is the fact that the US military looks for a way to chemically "degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities". Shouldn't there be some international convention against this? If they can do that to the enemies, what will stop them to use it against their own citizens? Or other citizens. After all, once they can do it, they will do it when they decide they need it. What's the point in living in a free society if you're not free to be yourself?
I think mankind is going in a very wrong direction. The truth is that the more you limit individuals, the less progress you'll see. And without progress, there is only degradation. And the sooner we understand that, the better. I want the Earth to progress. How about you?

Air Force Seeks Neuroweapons To Enhance US Airmen's Minds and Confuse Foes

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing just updated a call for proposals that examine “Advances in Bioscience for Airmen Performance,” according to Wired's Danger Room. The program is worth $49 million.
Essentially, the Air Force seeks technologies that can read airmen’s minds and then manipulate them: “to anticipate, find, fix, track, identify, and characterize human intent and physiological status anywhere and at anytime.”
The announcement also seeks applied biotechnology that could, for instance, develop special protein biomarkers that indicate an airman’s mission readiness, and gene expression methods that could improve that readiness. They even want technologies that can modulate an airman’s emotional state — it can include mind-altering drugs or biochemical pathway techniques. This works on the flip side, too: “Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities,” the announcement says. source

U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet - "
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skypeto be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally."
I don't get it exactly how US government would have jurisdiction over a software created somewhere else in the world but obviously they don't have a problem with this. Very very curious and scary.

F.B.I. Seeks Wider Wiretap Law for Web

WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users.
Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions. How Mr. Mueller’s proposal was received was not clear. source

WikiLeaks' 'insurance' file aimed at ensuring work goes on

An encrypted cache of uncensored documents that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has circulated across the Internet may ensure that a huge array of secrets will be revealed even if the website is shut down or Assange is arrested.
Tens of thousands of supporters have downloaded the "insurance" file, which has been available since July, and it includes files on BP and Guantanamo Bay, The Sunday Times reported.
Assange has warned that efforts to curtail his activities could trigger a deluge of national and commercial secrets.
"If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically," he said in a live chat with readers of the Guardian newspaper this week.
One reader asked if he was tempted to release the password for the encrypted file, but he did not respond to the question.
The Sunday Times said the U.S. Defense Department was unsure what was in the file, and  computer experts said it was unlikely that the U.S. could defeat its encryption.
Assange is known to possess documents on a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that killed civilians and Bank of America documents. It is not clear how WikiLeaks obtained the diplomatic documents, but the U.S. government's prime suspect is an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in custody on charges of leaking other classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Assange's website has been DDoS attack on WikiLeaks gathers strength and was forced to switch hosts after Amazon.com said WikiLeaks had violated terms of service. The site that provided WikiLeaks a domain name cut off service, saying it was being hit by sabotage attacks.
Some of the contingency plans were revealed Friday when WikiLeaks emerged with a Swiss address, WikiLeaks.ch, provided by the Swiss Pirate Party, which champions Internet freedom.
But on Sunday, the Swiss group that now supports the site said the website's main server in France had gone offline.
Denis Simonet of the Swiss Pirate Party said his group is currently redirecting the domain wikileaks.ch to another server based in Sweden.
He was unable to immediately say why the French server stopped working. And WikiLeaks lost a major source of revenue when the online payment service PayPal cut off its account used to collect donations, saying the website was engaged in illegal activity. source

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