More Zemanta possibilities on my blog


This video is called Best Related Post Plugin For WordPress – Zemanta.

As I said before, there is Zemanta on my blog.

One option of Zemanta which I did not use until today was the Preferences option.

On the right of the Zemanta box, if one’s blog is in Visual mode, one can click on Preferences.

Then, a new window opens. There one can add either one’s own other blogs, or ‘blogs by others’ to one’s Preferences.

If you have managed to link these URL’s, next time you write a blog post in Visual mode, then you will be able to choose between Zemanta’s suggested links, and links from your own Preferences sites.

You can add URL’s either of blogs in the strict sense, or of many other Internet sites.

My first experience today was a bit complex: you can add Mongabay.com, but not Greenpeace. You can add British anarchist site Libcom.org, but not United States anarchist site Infoshop.org. A bit mysterious.

Still, I consider this an improvement to my blog possibilities.

Bahrain dictatorship spied on its own torture inquiry commission


This video is called ‘Night raids, torture, sham trials a daily reality in Bahrain‘ – human rights activist.

From Global Voices:

Evidence Suggests Bahrain’s Government Hacked its Own Fact Finding Commission

Posted 10 August 2014 21:46 GMT

Noor Mattar

While governments in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States are tracking individuals on hacking charges and proposing laws like the SOPA, David Cameron’s government seems to turn a blind eye toward the online piracy acts taken by their allies in Bahrain.

Bahrain, currently in its third year of a popular uprising, has witnessed a bloody crackdown that led to a fact finding mission called the “Bahrain Independent Commission of Investigation” (BICI) to be formed. The commission, established by a royal decree by the King of Bahrain, concluded that Bahrain has practiced systematic torture against dissidents, extrajudicial killings and other serious offenses, including the demolishing of places of worship.

Lately Bahrain Watch revealed that a malware targeting its member Dr Ala’a Shehabi has led to identifying the makers of the spyware used against activists in Bahrain. Gamma International, an Anglo-German company, is being accused of selling surveillance technology to Bahrain’s government. After a court ruling in May 2014, many NGOs have called on the UK government to take action against the export of surveillance technology to Bahrain. Now, further information came to the hands of Bahrain Watch’s activists when 40GB of Gamma International’s data was leaked on the internet. The leaks show the Bahrain government has hacked lawyers and activists with the spyware. It also shows two records of people who are presumably members of the King’s BICI commission.

BICIfin

KMA is assumed to be judge Khaled Moheyuldin Ahmed, a member of the commission and now employed by the Bahraini government, who sources confirm was using a Sony VAIO laptop during the time he worked with BICI which coincide with the dates of infection. The other target who shares the same operation code and is named Douglas is believed to be Douglas Hansen-Luke, another member of the BICI.

Activists have long been accusing Bahrain government of breaching their privacy. Ever since the 2009 order to keep a record of all emails sent and received [source in Arabic] they have been trying to fight to keep their privacy.

Lawyer Mohamed Altajer told the rights group Bahrain Watch that his computer was compromised after a CD containing private footage was sent to him. His computer became infected with the spyware after watching that CD, sent to him to blackmail him to step down from defending Bahrainis arrested and tortured for their role in the protests:

Many others have said their photographs which were confiscated during police raids have turned up on porn sites and distributed across social media.

I asked Mr Matar Matar from the opposition society Alwefaq, who is a target of the spyware, to comment on the issue and he said when I asked if he can confirm if the society or any of its members were targeted:

Yes, the application was found on one of the devices in AlWefaq.

I asked him then if Alwefaq will take further legal action against Gamma, the Bahrain government or the any other party for this violatio. He answered:

The political influence on the judiciary System in Bahrain doesn’t provide any space to protect activists from surveillance. But this is an opportunity to move in legal action in UK courts. Now Alwefaq is in a better position to call HM Revenue & Customs, UK’s tax authority, to investigate in the illegal export of a hacking software for non-free regimes with a dark record of serious human rights violations. How come such a software is licensed to a regime which is considered be the third worst and 5th most declining regime in Freedom House report.

By UK law, Gamma must apply for country-specific licences in such cases and it doesn’t it seem did and Alwefaq is harmed by this violation. UK’s High Court already slammed the UK’s tax authority for hiding details about this issue. And this is the time for all those who were harmed by this violation to sue Gamma.

I asked him how does discovering Alwefaq is spied on affect the trust in the authority in Bahrain? He said:

Karim Fakrawi, co-founder of AlWefaq, was beaten to death in custody. During martial law, I was arbitrary detained with my colleague Jawad Fayrozz. Also the government revoked the citizenship of two former MPs from AlWefaq. They both are living in exile in addition to another 3 other MPs. In addition to that, five elected members municipality council have been dismissed. And currently AlWefaq is on trial for it to be suspended and three senior leaders are awaiting trial. Under these circumstances, the struggle with the regime is much beyond the surveillance.

I also asked Bill Marckzak of Bahrain Watch if he thinks the findings based on the leaks will be admissible in court and he commented:

I doubt the leaks themselves will be admissible in court, but, we are following up with the victims mentioned in the leaks to find out how they were targeted.

BICI was established based on a royal decree and the fact that it was spied on might suggest testimonies being tailored to mislead the commission. Gamma also deals directly with the government of Bahrain indicating that the spying is done with the knowledge of officials.

Meanwhile activists, bloggers and any other Bahrainis or anyone related to the situation in Bahrain could be on the list of people being spied on as the list is beyond political players as evidences of financial espionage were found. Bloggers like Takrooz were arrested due to similar technology and many more might be in danger. Their chances now are with taking Gamma International to court in the UK.

While the UK government tracks and arrests hackers it continues to allow selling surveillance technology to Bahrain and welcomes members of their widely criticized security apparatus to get training in the UK.

Edward Snowden smeared as ‘Al Qaeda accomplice’


This video from the USA says about itself:

10 March 2014

Take Action: here.

More information: here.

Edward Snowden speaks about privacy and technology with the ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian at SXSW Interactive.

By Tom Carter in the USA:

Washington Post accuses Snowden of aiding Al Qaeda

7 August 2014

The US media campaign to smear National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden continues. On August 3, an article appeared in the Washington Post entitled, “As evidence mounts, it’s getting harder to defend Edward Snowden.” Authored by Stewart Baker,

Did Stewart Baker ever defend Edward Snowden before this supposed ‘new evidence’ came along? Eg, when, voices from the United States ‘intelligence’ establishment made dead threats?

the article claims that Snowden’s disclosures aided Al Qaeda. Specifically, Baker writes that a study by a company called Recorded Future proves that “Snowden’s revelations about NSA’s capabilities were followed quickly by a burst of new, robust encryption tools from Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” …

If there are any Al Qaeda accomplices in the USA, then they are not Edward Snowden, but the CIA, the NSA and similar secret government organisations.

In the 1980s, the Saudi and United States ‘intelligence’ establishments helped Osama Bin Laden to found Al Qaeda, to fight their war in Afghanistan.

In 2011, Al Qaeda and similar fanatical groups were allies of the United States ‘intelligence’ establishment’s war for ‘regime change’ in Libya. What a pity they later bit the hand that fed them, and murdered the US ambassador to Libya.

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda had also become CIA allies in the bloody war in Syria. In neighbouring Iraq, before George W Bush invaded in 2003, there had not been any Al Qaeda (in reality; contrary to the fantasy of Bush’s pretext for war of falsely linking Iraq to 9/11 terrorism). Now, after a decade of United States war in Iraq under the ‘war on terror‘ pretext, there is not just Al Qaeda, but also its still more violent spin-off ISIS. The establishment warmongers may try to run from their responsibility for the present bloodshed; but they can’t hide.

The article goes on to denounce at length cyber security expert Bruce Schneier, who defended Snowden against the charge that his disclosures aided Al Qaeda. On June 11, 2013, Schneier wrote in the New York Times: “The argument that exposing these documents helps the terrorists doesn’t even pass the laugh test; there’s nothing here that changes anything any potential terrorist would do or not do.”

Baker’s “mounting evidence” that Snowden’s disclosures helped Al Qaeda consists of a single “study,” released in May of this year, by Recorded Future, a start-up company that produces online data-mining software that it calls “web intelligence.” The company advertises its “capabilities” in “cyber threat intelligence,” “corporate security,” “competitive intelligence” and “defense intelligence.”

The study itself, if it is accurate, simply indicates that in the period after Snowden’s disclosures, various Islamist groups, including Al Qaeda, apparently began using three types of encryption software that had not been previously used. Before Snowden’s disclosures, these groups had already implemented two types of encryption software.

“Of course, this could be random, but it seems unlikely,” wrote Christopher Ahlberg, CEO of Recorded Future, in an email to the New York Times.

Ahlberg’s and Baker’s ‘evidence’ to link Snowden to Al Qaeda is known in logic as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Despite its flimsy factual foundations, the allegation that Snowden’s disclosures have aided Al Qaeda continues to echo throughout the establishment media.

In any event, whether or not Snowden’s revelations of government crimes against the US Constitution and the American people tipped off Al Qaeda is beside the point. The clear implication of Baker’s argument, which is echoed by virtually all intelligence officials, politicians and media pundits who attack Snowden, is that, in the interests of a supposed “war on terror,” the Bill of Rights should be scrapped and some form of dictatorship established.

In his article, Baker conceals his own background and bias from his readers. What he does not tell his readers—but what one can learn by visiting Wikipedia—is that Baker is a former general counsel of the National Security Agency (1992–1994). He has held various other positions over the years within the military-intelligence apparatus, and was appointed by George W. Bush as assistant secretary to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.

As far as his accusations that Snowden helped Al Qaeda are concerned, the word “hypocrisy” does not seem strong enough. Snowden is being denounced for aiding Al Qaeda on behalf of a political establishment that, in fact, has a long history of providing weapons, finances, and intelligence to Al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the world.

In the Syrian civil war, stoked up by Washington, the CIA has operated training camps for Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Turkey and Jordan. Through these countries, the US has funneled weapons and finances to the Islamist fighters (see: ISIS: The jihadist movement stamped “Made in America”).

Thanks to the American “war on terror,” Al Qaeda offshoot ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has established its own sectarian state purporting to be a caliphate stretching across vast swathes of western Iraq and eastern Syria.

If supporting Al Qaeda is a crime, then it is necessary to prosecute not Snowden, but tens of thousands of personnel within the American military-corporate-intelligence complex, beginning with those who helped organize Al Qaeda in the 1980s during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, all the way through to those who built up Al Qaeda and its affiliated forces in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in recent years.

The “study” itself proves nothing. There is absolutely no evidence that Snowden directly or indirectly assisted Al Qaeda in any way. The study merely purports to show that a list of groups (not limited to Al Qaeda) began using different encryption methods in the time period after Snowden’s revelations.

The accusation that Snowden “aided Al Qaeda” mirrors the “aiding the enemy” charges against Bradley Manning (see: US government charges Manning with “aiding the enemy” in court martial). Baker’s article is evidence that this bogus theory would be invoked against Snowden, should he ever find himself in the clutches of the American judicial system.

… In addition, Glenn Greenwald reported this week that over 40 percent of the 680,000 people on the US government’s “Terrorist Screening Database” have “no recognized terrorist affiliation” (see: US terror list ensnares hundreds of thousands).

The online comments on Baker’s article are overwhelmingly hostile. One commenter observes that Baker’s article “is obviously just propaganda designed to defend his criminal gang that is still running the government today.”

Documents disclosed to journalists in May of last year by Edward Snowden exposed a massive conspiracy on the part of the National Security Agency against the US Constitution and against the world’s population. Snowden lifted the lid on unrestrained and illegal mass surveillance, caught president Obama and senior officials in lies, and exposed the so-called “war on terror” as a fraud. In doing so, he performed an invaluable service to working people in the US and around the world.

While the American political establishment and media claimed that its spying activities were limited to terrorist groups seeking to harm ordinary Americans, Snowden revealed that the NSA’s own “collection procedure” is: “Collect it All,” “Process it All,” “Exploit it All,” “Partner it All,” “Sniff it All,” and “Know it All.”

Snowden exposed as a lie Obama’s claim that “nobody is listening to your phone calls.” Snowden also revealed that Director of National Security James Clapper had committed perjury while testifying under oath before Congress. Clapper was asked, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” He replied, “No, sir.”

In the upside-down world of establishment America, it is Snowden (who became trapped in Russia when the US unilaterally revoked his passport) who is being hounded and threatened with prosecution. The actual criminals that Snowden exposed remain at large.

On August 5, a watchdog computer program that monitors the activity of the Internet addresses on Capitol Hill caught someone with an anonymous address in the US House of Representatives editing Wikipedia to smear Snowden. A Wikipedia article was edited to refer to Snowden as “the American traitor who defected to Russia.”

Good owl nesting season in Hedmark, Norway


This video from Finland says about itself:

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) flies towards the camera and eats a mouse.

The Norwegian ornithologists of the Norsk Ornitologisk Forening have this rather mechanical Google translation of an article in Norwegian:

By Magne Myklebust (06/08/2014)

There has been good supply of small rodents in Hedmark deep forests this year. In 2014, there Hedmark county been identified as 62 nesting attempts Patch owl and 14 nesting attempts of the kind owl. Never before has two major barskogsuglene our been known to breed in such numbers in Norway.

Finnmark Bird News notes on Twitter:

Regarding googletranslated article: Please excuse Google for renaming Great Grey & Ural Owl to Patchwork Owl & Kind Owl :)

‘Barskogsuglene’, which Google refused to translate, means ‘owls of coniferous forests’.

Hedmark is a county in the south east of Norway. Both owl species usually nest more to the north.

Birds of Prince Edward Island, Canada, new blogger


This video from Canada is called Birds of Prince Edward Island.

From Bird Canada:

Welcome to Prince Edward Island Birding!

Posted on August 5, 2014 by Pat Bumstead

Welcome new Bird Canada author Ron Arvidson from Prince Edward Island who will be posting the 5th of each month. It’s wonderful to have the Atlantic birds now represented on the blog!

Ron was born and raised in Manitoba, and growing up had ranged freely through the wood and eastern slope of Riding Mountain National Park. In doing so, he always had an interest of the flora and fauna of the area. Since graduating University of Regina, he has lived and visited across Canada from Horsefly Lake, BC to Cape St. Mary’s, NL. Today, he lives in rural PEI, where as an Artist and Educator, he chases birds on PEI. He is co-administrator of the Birding on PEI Faceboook page and also contributes to the blog http://preservecompany.com/blogs/we-are-for-the-birds.

Shorebirds on the Move

At this time in Prince Edward Island, our focus begins to change from our warblers and breeding birds to the birds of the shore. For the past few weeks shorebirds have been appearing in numbers on our beaches. One of the areas I am most familiar with is along the south shore.

One of the areas that I frequently visit is that of the Bedeque Bay Important Bird Area. Recently, I have visited and have been able to find Semipalmated Plover and Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstones, Short-billed Dowitchers and both Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs. A Ruff was sighted in the area earlier this year and Godwits are also frequently seen. One can also see Black-bellied Plover and Dunlin later in the season.