Archive | July 23rd, 2015

Leader Of Iran’s Jewish Community Calls Naziyahu ‘Delusional’ Over Iran Deal

Iran’s Jewish community remains outspoken in its loyalty to the Islamic Republic and in its opposition to NAZI illegal occupation of Palestine and continued war crimes.
Iranian Jews are a relaxed version of Orthodox, with varying degrees of observance. Photo by author.
Iranian Jews pray in Hebrew during a gathering of Iran’s Jewish community. Hundreds of Iranians including university students and members of the country’s Jewish community rallied Tuesday in support of the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear program in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013.TEHRAN — Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, continues to campaign in favor of war with Iran despite last week’s historic nuclear deal. But a recent, important critic of his rhetoric comes from his own faith.

Haroun Yashayaei, leader of Iran’s Jewish community, took to the local media to strongly criticize the Israeli leader and voice his support for the Iran deal.

The opinion piece, titled “Your Time Is Over, Mr. Netanyahu,” was originally published in Iran’s Shargh Daily shortly after the nuclear deal was announced and appeared last Thursday in an English translation on Yashayaei, who is chairman of the board of the Tehran Jewish Committee, was blunt about his views on Netanyahu:

“[H]e rushed to Washington to take part in a session of the US Congress to prevent a deal between Iran and the P5+1 group and to propagate all his lies against the Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran to have proxies of the rich Jewish lobby in the United States clap for him and admire him. However, the US President Barack Obama did not meet with him and once more, all people in the world heard that despite all the fuss made by Netanyahu and in spite of his financial and political dealings, his time is long over. In the past few days during which negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group on the removal of sanction against the Iranian nation reached a conclusion, confusion has been the main hallmark of the current policies of the Israel.

There is no doubt that the Israeli prime minister is so narcissistic that none of these developments can deter him from following his delusional goals.”

Yashayaei also took issue with the prime minister’s July 12 statements to the Israeli cabinet, during which Netanyahu accused Iran of practicing “murderous aggression” toward America, ignoring Israel’s recent aggressive attacks on Gaza. Yashayaei responded:

“It was quite amazing that a regime that has been occupying a large part of the Palestinian lands since 1967, has never heeded any of the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly or Security Council, and has even rejected to temporarily stop building settlements on the occupied territories to start talks with representatives of the Palestinian people, allows itself to call the Iranian nation and government occupationist because they defend the rights of the Palestinian people.”

There is no doubt that the Israeli prime minister is so narcissistic that none of these developments can deter him from following his delusional goals.”

-Haroun Yashayaei, leader of Iran’s Jewish community

Israeli media reports attempted to defend the prime minister from the attack by claiming Yashayaei might have published the statement under duress. “Yashayaei’s comments against Israel have been perceived as a calculated effort to protect the Jewish community by flaunting their patriotic credentials,” wrote Ariel Ben Solomon in the Jerusalem Post on Monday.

In reality, Iran’s Jewish minority are well protected by the country’s laws and constitution, and they are active members of Iranian society, according to a historical overview on My Jewish Learning:

“Today, Jews participate in Iranian civic and political life. Many Jews join the Iranian masses in protesting the State of Israel on the annual ‘Qods Day’ (Jerusalem Day), and during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), Iranian Jews supported the war effort by donating ambulances and surplus goods as well as making hospital visits. Some Jewish youth even took part in the fighting and were wounded in combat.”

According to a 2013 article in The Washington Post, fewer than 30,000 Jews remain in Iran, down from a historic peak of 100,000 prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979. On the whole, the Post’s Jason Rezaian reported, they identify with their homeland and are proud of their country of birth. One example is found in Ciamak Morsadegh, the lone Jewish member of Iran’s parliament. He told Rezaian: “We are not tenants in this country. We are Iranians, and we have been for 30 centuries.”

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Greece’s Parliament Cannot Override the NO Vote. The Agreement with the Creditors is Illegal

Global Research

FIRA, GREECE. On Sunday July 5, the Greek people voted in a historic referendum to refuse the Troika’s draft agreement.

The Referendum was an outright ritual of democracy. The Greek people were betrayed. On Monday morning, July 6, on the day following the referendum, Prime minister Tsipras put forth a 13 page draft proposal which included most of the demands of the creditors. This proposal, which was drafted before the referendum in close consultation with the creditors was essentially intended to lead towards the acceptance of the creditors’ demands, namely to support the YES vote which was defeated in the July 5 Referendum.

This about-turn had been carefully engineered. The Greek people were misled and deceived. PM Tsipras was in bed with creditors while supporting the No Campaign. He had made a deal with the creditors, he was in favor of accepting the demands of the creditors all along. The NO mandate of the Greek people was meant to be ignored. And that decision was taken BEFORE the referendum.

The July 6 post referendum document put forth by PM Tsipras on Monday 6 July was accepted in substance by the Troika. It was then endorsed by the Greek Parliament.

The important question for the Greek people.

Does the vote of acceptance by the Greek parliament provide a legally binding green-light to the government to finalize debt negotiations AGAINST the Greek people, overriding the NO Vote in the Referendum.

What is the role of a referendum under Greece’s constitution?

While the result of a referendum is not always legally binding, it nonetheless provides an explicit political mandate to the government which has to be followed. A referendum cannot be based on a priori deception. The results cannot be ignored in a democracy.

The referendum was held while the Tsipras government had already decided to cave in to the creditors.

Neither the Parliament nor the government can rescind the VOTE of the Greek people on the July 5 2015.

Under a democracy, the government has a responsibility to implement the NO vote in the Referendum, which was sponsored by the Syriza government in the first place.

If it is not willing to respond to the demands of the Greek people it must resign.

It is important at this stage that the Greek people question the legality of the parliamentary decision. It is worth noting that the Supreme Special Court (Ανώτατο Ειδικό Δικαστήριο) endorsed the holding of the Referendum.

What must now be established is the constitutionality of the parliament’s denial of the Referendum procedure and its de facto endorsement of the YES Vote. That decision has to be challenged. And this must be done before a final binding agreement with the creditors is reached.

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Zio-Nazi Fighter Jets Join Saudi Zio-Wahhabi in War on Yemen

Israeli Fighter Jets Join Saudi Arabia in War on Yemen

Zio-Nazi fighter jets have taken part in the Thursday Zio-WahhabI-led air strikes on Yemen, sources in Sanaa disclosed on Friday.

“This is for the first time that the Zionists are conducting a joint operation in coalition with Arabs,” Secretary General of Yemen’s Al-Haq Political Party Hassan Zayd wrote on his facebook page.

He noted that Prime Minister NAZIyahu had issued direct orders for the NAZI air force to send fighter jets to the Zio-Wahhabi led air raid on Yemen.

I$raHell and Zio-Wahhabi regime with other Arab Zionist puppet regime’s  launched air strikes against Yemen and killed, at least, 25 civilians early Thursday, one day after the US-backed Yemeni president fled the country.

Also, 15 more people were killed and injured in a second round of massive attacks by the Zio-Wahhabi fighter jets in the Northwestern Yemeni city of Sa’ada on Friday.

Yemen’s al-Massira TV reported that the Zio-Wahhabi air force targeted the Yemeni’s civilians who were shopping in a market.

Five Zionist puppet Persian Gulf States — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait — backed by the US and I$raHell have declared war on Yemen in a joint statement issued earlier Thursday. 

Zionist puppet Obama authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the military operations, National Security Council Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said late Wednesday night.

She added that ”while US forces were not taking direct military action in Yemen, Washington was establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate US military and intelligence support”.

Riyadh claimed that it has bombed the positions of the Ansarullah fighters and launched attacks against the Sana’a airport and the Dulaimi airbase.

Despite Saudi Zio-Wahhabi claims that it is attacking Ansarullah positions, Zio-Wahhabi war planes have flattened a number of homes near Sana’a international airport. Based on early reports, the Zio-Wahhabi air strikes on Yemen have so far claimed the lives of 25 civilians with more deaths feared, Yemeni sources said.

Zio-Wahhabi aggression has received growing international condemnation as it is pushing the region and the world into an unprecedented fast-growing war as its ISIL mercenaries are on the brink of complete annihilation in Iraq and Syria.

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5000 Yemenis Join Ansarullah to Fight Saudi Arabia

To Fight Saudi Arabia 5,000 Yemeni Youth Join Ansarullah
To Fight Saudi Zio-Wahhabi 5,000 Yemeni Youth Join Ansarullah
To empower the revolutionary movement and to fight against Zio-Wahhabi interferences in Yemen thousands of people joined Ansarullah, Al-Alam News Network reports.

Ansarullah has already recruited over 5,000 young Yemenis in Sa’ada, Amran and Hajjah provinces to fight the Zio-Wahhabi regime aggressors, the Yemeni sources said.

The sources reiterated that several military bases have been considered for training the volunteer forces in the Eastern parts of Amran province.

On Tuesday, another source said that the Yemeni army and Ansarullah popular forces have lined up behind the borders with Saudi Zionist regime in preparation for a possible ground battle against the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime’s aggressive army.

An informed source close to Ansarullah announced that a large number of revolutionary forces and the Yemeni army’s infantry units and presidential guards have deployed behind the borders with Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime, the Arabic-language Yemen Press reported.

The source declined to further comment on the development, but the line up has caused increasing speculations about imminent heavy clashes along the Yemen-Saudi Arabia borderline.


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Saudi Opposition Movement Took Control of Police Station in Najran

The Saudi Opposition Movement Took Control of Police Station in Najran
The Saudi Opposition Movement Took Control of Police Station in Najran
Ahrar al-Najran, the Saudi opposition movement, captured a UAE officer after taking control of a police station in the Southern parts of the Kingdom near the border of Yemen, Al-Alam News Network reports.

“Ahrar al-Najran forces arrested a UAE officer and several Zio-Wahhabi militarises by attacking Al-Huriya Police Center in Najran on Tuesday,” Abu Masoud, a senior leader of Ahrar al-Najran, told Al-Alam News Network on Wednesday.

Abu Masoud noted that Ahrar al-Najran fighters, backed by al-Shabab movement of Najran, also won full control of the city of al-Akhdoud in the Southern parts of Najran near the Yemeni border after inflicting heavy casualties on the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi forces.

Ahrar al-Najran declared existence in June. Tribal forces and activists in Saudi Arabia’s Najran region formed an armed opposition movement to the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime, called “Ahrar al-Najran”, after the region declared separation from Saudi Arabia and joined Yemen in the war on Riyadh.

Activist and movement member, Abu Bakr Abi Ahmad al-Salami, told Al-Alam News Network that in June “all tribes of the region are members of the Ahrar al-Najran Movement”.

He said the youths and political activists in Najran have demanded the “Yemeni popular forces and revolutionary committees, brothers, and the neighbouring lands to provide military training for the younger generation of this region”.

Al-Salami underlined the movement tough stance against the al-Saud regime, saying, “Saudi Arabia wrongfully imagines that it is the only defender of Islam, but they should know that we are the defenders of Islam and the two holy mosques, and we will rush to defend the two mosques (in Mecca and Medina) if necessary.”

Al-Salami said the movement is worried about developments in Yemen, and declared that “the movement’s first battle will take place in those areas controlled by the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi occupation army in Southern Najran soon”.


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Australia may send asylum seeker back to danger in Afghanistan


Image result for afghanistan war photos

I’m proud to have been asked to sign the following statement (latest information here):

Prominent Australians urge Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to save the life of Nadir Sadiqi

Nadir’s life hangs in the balance. You alone in this country, Mr Dutton, have the power to decide whether Nadir lives or dies.

Nadir arrived by boat in Australia five years ago, leaving behind his much-loved family and village in Afghanistan and escaping for his life. Nadir had still been a boy when his father had been killed by the Taliban for refusing to fight for them and his two older brothers had been abducted and tortured and presumably murdered. A decade later, it was Nadir’s turn. He was savagely beaten and left for dead because he too refused to fight for the Taliban, this time against Western forces, including Australians.

Nadir has spent five years in detention in Australia, teaching himself and reaching a high level of English and all the while trying to gain permanent protection – not easy when the villagers who could have corroborated his story have been killed or have fled into hiding. Despite his best efforts, Nadir’s claims for protection have been rejected and he has been ordered to return to Kabul in August.

Nadir knows no-one in Kabul. He’s acquired a foreigner’s accent and dresses in western-style clothing and would immediately stand out as an easy target. Bumper stickers on cars in Kabul state that people who work with foreigners should be killed. Any connection or perceived sympathy for the West, makes anyone in Afghanistan a target, but particularly a member of a persecuted ethnic minority like the Hazara, to which Nadir belongs.

The threat to Nadir’s life has been further intensified as a result of the Australian immigration department’s negligent data breach early last year. This led directly to a second Taliban threat that if he ever returned to Afghanistan they would find him and kill him.

The Afghan minister for refugees and repatriation has recently requested that all countries with whom Memorandums of Understanding had been signed should revise them and not return asylum seekers to Afghanistan. Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade currently warns all Australian citizens not to travel there due to the ‘extremely dangerous security situation and the very high threat of terrorist attack’.

Sydney Morning Herald investigation into asylum seekers returned to Afghanistan from Australia under the Howard years found that twenty had been killed and dozens more had disappeared. The first Hazara asylum seeker to be refouled by the Abbott government had been abducted by the Taliban within a month and severely tortured before escaping. Soon after, another Hazara with Australian citizenship was tortured and murdered. The risk for both of these men had been their connection to Australia, an ‘infidel country’.

Renowned expert on Afghanistan, Professor William Maley has stated ‘there should be an absolute moratorium on the involuntary removal of Hazara asylum seekers to Afghanistan’. Phil Glendenning, president of the Refugee Council of Australia and regular visitor to Afghanistan for the past ten years has stated that ‘no one with any knowledge of the situation in Afghanistan could possibly come to the conclusion that conditions are conducive to safe return’.

How can Australia, in the face of such powerful evidence and advice to the contrary, decide it is safe for this man to be returned to this place? We implore you, Mr Dutton, not to return Nadir to Afghanistan.

Buddies Refugee Support Group, Sunshine Coast, Qld.

Supported by:

Phillip Adams, AO – Broadcaster, journalist, writer and film producer, Fr Rod Bower – Archdeacon of the Central Coast, Anna Burke MP – Federal Member for Chisholm, Julian Burnside, AO, QC – Barrister, writer and human rights advocate, Jane Caro – Social commentator, writer and lecturer, Mark Darin – radio presenter, Senator Richard Di Natale – Leader of the Greens, Fr Jeremy Greaves – Archdeacon of the Sunshine Coast, Bruce Haigh – Political commentator and retired diplomat, Caroline Hutchinson – Journalist and radio presenter, Mark Isaacs – Author and former recreations manager on Nauru, Thomas Keneally, AO – Author, Dr Carmen Lawrence – Director of Centre for the Study of Social Change at UWA and former state premier, Antony Loewenstein – Independent journalist, Guardian columnist and author, Hugh MacKay, AO – Psychologist, social researcher and writer, Senator Claire Moore – Labor senator, Samille Muirhead – Journalist and radio presenter,Hon Melissa Parke, MP – Federal member for Fremantle,Rod Quantock, OAM – Comedian and writer, Dr Rosie Scott – Novelist, Mark Seymour – Musician, songwriter and vocalist, Jack Smit – Activist and coordinator, Project SafeCom, Frederika Steen, AM – Human rights advocate and retired immigration officer, Senator Larissa Waters – Greens senator, Tim Winton– Novelist

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World’s Oceans Could Rise Higher, Sooner, Faster Than Most Thought Possible


New research shows that consensus estimates of sea level increases may be underestimating threat; new predictions would see major coastal cities left uninhabitable by next century

‘Roughly 10 feet of sea level rise—well beyond previous estimates—would render coastal cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai uninhabitable.’ (Image: Woodbine)

If a new scientific paper is proven accurate, the international target of limiting global temperatures to a 2°C rise this century will not be nearly enough to prevent catastrophic melting of ice sheets that would raise sea levels much higher and much faster than previously thought possible.

“Parts of [our coastal cities] would still be sticking above the water, but you couldn’t live there.”
—Dr. James HansenAccording to the new study—which has not yet been peer-reviewed, but was written by former NASA scientist James Hansen and 16 other prominent climate researchers—current predictions about the catastrophic impacts of global warming, the melting of vast ice sheets, and sea level rise do not take into account the feedback loop implications of what will occur if large sections of Greenland and the Antarctic are consumed by the world’s oceans.

A summarized draft of the full report was released to journalists on Monday, with the shocking warning that such glacial melting will “likely” occur this century and could cause as much as a ten foot sea-level rise in as little as fifty years. Such a prediction is much more severe than current estimates contained in reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the UN-sponsored body that represents the official global consensus of the scientific community.

“If the ocean continues to accumulate heat and increase melting of marine-terminating ice shelves of Antarctica and Greenland, a point will be reached at which it is impossible to avoid large scale ice sheet disintegration with sea level rise of at least several meters,” the paper states.

Separately, the researchers conclude that “continued high emissions will make multi-meter sea level rise practically unavoidable and likely to occur this century. Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating. It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.”

The Daily Beast‘s Mark Hertsgaard, who attended a press call with Dr. Hansen on Monday,reports that the work presented by the researchers is

warning that humanity could confront “sea level rise of several meters” before the end of the century unless greenhouse gas emissions are slashed much faster than currently contemplated.

This roughly 10 feet of sea level rise—well beyond previous estimates—would render coastal cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai uninhabitable.  “Parts of [our coastal cities] would still be sticking above the water,” Hansen said, “but you couldn’t live there.”

This apocalyptic scenario illustrates why the goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius is not the safe “guardrail” most politicians and media coverage imply it is, argue Hansen and 16 colleagues in a blockbuster study they are publishing this week in the peer-reviewed journal Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry. On the contrary, a 2C future would be “highly dangerous.”

If Hansen is right—and he has been right, sooner, about the big issues in climate science longer than anyone—the implications are vast and profound.

In the call with reporters, Hansen explained that time is of the essence, given the upcoming climate talks in Paris this year and the grave consequences the world faces if bold, collective action is not taken immediately. “We have a global crisis that calls for international cooperation to reduce emissions as rapidly as practical,” the paper states.

Hansen said he has long believed that many of the existing models were under-estimating the potential impacts of ice sheet melting, and told the Daily Beast: “Now we have evidence to make that statement based on much more than suspicion.”

Though he acknowledged the publication of the paper was unorthodox, Hansen told reporters that the research itself is “substantially more persuasive than anything previously published.”

For his part, Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate, said the “bombshell” findings are both credible and terrifying. Holthaus writes:

To come to their findings, the authors used a mixture of paleoclimate records, computer models, and observations of current rates of sea level rise, but “the real world is moving somewhat faster than the model,” Hansen says.

[…] The implications are mindboggling: In the study’s likely scenario, New York City—and every other coastal city on the planet—may only have a few more decades of habitability left. That dire prediction, in Hansen’s view, requires “emergency cooperation among nations.”

In response to the paper, climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton Universityaffirmed: “If we cook the planet long enough at about two degrees warming, there is likely to be a staggering amount of sea level rise. Key questions are when would greenhouse-gas emissions lock in this sea level rise and how fast would it happen? The latter point is critical to understanding whether and how we would be able to deal with such a threat.”

The new research, Oppenheimer added, “takes a stab at answering the ‘how soon?’ question but we remain largely in the dark.  Giving the state of uncertainty and the high risk, humanity better get its collective foot off the accelerator.”

And as the Daily Beast‘s Hertsgaard notes, Hansen’s track record on making climate predictions should command respect from people around the world. The larger question, however, is whether humanity has the capacity to act.

“The climate challenge has long amounted to a race between the imperatives of science and the contingencies of politics,” Hertsgaard concludes. “With Hansen’s paper, the science has gotten harsher, even as the Nature Climate Change study affirms that humanity can still choose life, if it will. The question now is how the politics will respond—now, at Paris in December, and beyond.”

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Varoufakis: Troika Forced Syriza Into Choice Between ‘Suicide or Execution’


Former finance minister blasts EU, saying: “No one government should ever be treated that way in the context of a club of democratic nations.”

Varoufakis admitted that during negotiations his government did make some mistakes, but mostly in assuming that they were holding “a rational bargaining session.” (Screenshot: CNN)

In his first international television interview since stepping down from his post as Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis told CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour on Monday that European lenders had forced his government to make a choice between “suicide or execution.”

After five months of rigorous negotiations, the outspoken Varoufakis stepped down from his post the night of the Greek referendum. And despite voting against the latest austerity package, Varoufakis said he understood why Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decided to accept the punishing new terms.

“The truth of the matter is, the very powerful Troika of creditors were not interested in coming to a sensible, honorable mutually beneficial agreement,” Varoufakis said, referring to group that represents foreign creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (eurogroup), and the European Central Bank (ECB).

Varoufakis admitted that during negotiations his government did make some mistakes, but mostly in assuming that they were holding “a rational bargaining session.”

“If you look at the way they have behaved from the very first day [the Syriza government] assumed power,” he continued, “close inspection will reveal… [that] they were far more interested in humiliating this government and overthrowing it—or at least making sure it overthrows itself in terms of its policies—then coming to an agreement that would ensure they would get most of their money back.”

“The truth of the matter is, the very powerful Troika of creditors were not interested in coming to a sensible, honorable mutually beneficial agreement.”
—Yanis Varoufakis

And echoing the recent criticisms leveled at the eurozone “bullies,” he added: “No one government should ever be treated that way in the context of a club of democratic nations.”

Varoufakis conceded that Tsipras “was faced with an incredibly hard choice when he went to the eurogroup summit: commit suicide or be executed, effectively.”

“Alexis Tsipras decided it would be best for the Greek people, for this government, to stay put and to implement a program that this very same government disagrees with,” he said. “People like me thought it would be more honorable, and in the long term more appropriate, for us to resign.”

“But,” he added, “I recognize his argument is equally powerful as mine.”

Ahead of the interview, Varoufakis published a column on Monday assailing what he called Europe’s “vindictive” privatization plan. He also laid out the “Plan B” he had devised for solving the Greek debt crisis, which essentially bundled the country’s public assets into a central holding company, which would be controlled exclusively by the Greek state and used to stimulate the economy.

A portion of the interview is included below:

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Snowden’s Plea to Top Technologists: Build an Internet for the People


‘Everybody should be safe all the time, else we let others choose who will be safe or not,’ whistleblower tells meeting of independent internet engineers

Edward Snowden spoke via webcast to a meeting of the Internet Engineers Task Force (IETF) on Monday. (Photo:CyberHades/flickr/cc)

The internet is not for businesses, governments, or spies. It’s for users—and it’s up to the independent web engineers to keep it safe for them.

That was the most recent message from National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who surprised a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in Prague, Czech Republic on Monday with a webcast Q&A.

“Who is the Internet for, who does it serve, who is the IETF’s ultimate customer?” Snowden asked of the roughly 170 engineers in the audience, referring to users. He added that current safety protocols on the web make too much private user data available to NSA and other intelligence agencies and businesses. “We need to divorce identity from persona in a lasting way,” Snowden said.

The IETF is one of the primary bodies creating voluntary standards of use, design and management of the internet, and Monday’s meeting gave Snowden a welcome platform to promote a freer and safer web.

As the Register UK reports, IETF members “have a strong independent streak, and many are still embarrassed by the fact that the NSA managed to crack a number of key internet protocols developed by the IETF and even subvert some of its working groups in their bid to develop new standards that would give the spooks easy access.”

Snowden’s 2013 revelations that the NSA was collecting bulk telephone and internet metadata prompted an ongoing global debate over the role of government surveillance and the nature of individual privacy—a phenomenon termed by media critic Jay Rosen as “the Snowden Effect.” For its part, the IETF responded to the leaks by developing a memorandum, known as a Request for Comment (RFC), entitled “Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack.”

In his Q&A with the engineers on Monday, Snowden reiterated the dangers of invasive collection of information. “People are being killed based on metadata, this is real,” he said.

The webcast came after IETF members screened the documentary Citizenfour, which chronicles Snowden’s 2013 leak of NSA files and his experience living in exile. While the session was not recorded, many attendees tweeted out some of Snowden’s key points during the address, including the need for reduced “middleboxes,” or networking devices that filter internet traffic on its way to its final destination.

“Every middlebox is an increased attack surface,” Snowden said. “The NSA will want to subvert internet security, this is what they do.”

The Register continues:

He also argued that having identifiable “long lasting” hardware addresses was “extremely dangerous,” as it connects people to, say, a MAC address when they use wireless internet connections, which can put an immediate flag on their identity and location.

Snowden connected the role of internet engineers to the fight for civil liberties and the essential right to privacy. “It is our duty to pass on the human rights we have inherited,” Snowden said. “Technologists are at the vanguard of that.”

“We need not only to think what the problems are today, but how we preserve the internet for the future,” he continued. “Everybody should be safe all the time, else we let others choose who will be safe or not.”

Snowden’s speech was met with a standing ovation. As one attendee wrote during the session, “Before, I was impressed by the courage and what Snowden did. Hearing his thoughtful detailed Q&A, I am overwhelmed [by] his intelligence.”

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Terrorism 101: Occupy and Student Groups Labeled ‘Extremist Threat’ by London Police


Conflating of liberal groups with terrorism shows that they threaten ‘the capitalist establishment of which the police are employed to protect’ says activist

London Police show images of Occupy London alongside pictures of the Irish Republican Army and the 2005 London bombing. (Photo: crusader//ky/cc/flickr)

London Police show images of Occupy London alongside pictures of the Irish Republican Army and the 2005 London bombing.

Once again demonstrating how Western governments and law enforcement are actively working to conflate environmentalists and activists with al Qaeda and other so-called “terrorists,” reports this week revealed that London police are including such domestic, liberal groups in a presentation identifying extremist threats.

The slideshow, obtained by the Guardian following a Freedom of Information request and reported on Sunday, is distributed to nursery and primary school staff to prepare them for a potential attack.

The presentation is part of the city’s Project FAWN operation, described by one internal report (pdf) as a counter terrorism “program of briefings and exercises for childcare and educational facilities…to raise security awareness and guide the efforts of these sites to protect the City’s children and young people.”

Included among the examples of “domestic extremism” are protests by students, animal rights and climate groups. One slide, titled “History in City of Terrorism and Domestic Issues,” even shows an image from the Occupy London protests alongside photographs of the Irish Republican Army and the July 2005 bombing of London by Islamic extremists.

A slide from a City of London police counter-terrorism awareness sessions for nurseries. Photograph: City of London police

A slide from a City of London police counter-terrorism awareness sessions for nurseries. Photograph: City of London police

Kevin Blowe, a coordinator with the police-monitoring watchdog coalition, the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), said the presentation highlights the dangers of “including ill-defined labels, like ‘domestic extremism,’ within the language and strategies of counter-terrorism,” which effectively allows governments to target “almost any group of political activists that the police dislike or consider an inconvenience.”

Further, as Occupy London activist Janie Mac told RT, “This labelling and categorizing of democratic protesters shows how Occupy and the anarchist principles of mutual aid and non-hierarchy used scared the capitalist establishment of which the police are employed to protect.”

Blowe added that the presentation shows “a real disdain for legitimate rights to exercise freedoms of expression and assembly in a free society, which leads to individuals having their lawful activities recorded and retained on secret police intelligence databases.”

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