Bahrain, CNN and censorship


This video from the USA says about itself:

1 October 2014

Amber Lyon recounts her time spent covering the Bahrain conflict and how CNN censored her story about the events taking place there.

Bahrain: Free Activists Facing Free-Speech Charges: here.

Thailand military dictatorship bans Orwell’s 1984


Airline advice on dictatorial Thailand

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

In-flight magazine urges passengers: ‘Don’t take Orwell’s 1984 to Thailand

Posted 23 minutes ago by Evan Bartlett

An airline has warned passengers not to take a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 to Thailand, where a strict military regime is in power.

A photograph on social media shows an in-flight magazine, purportedly from Philippine Airlines, with a list of five tips on how to blend in seamlessly in the south-east Asian country.

Tip number four urges tourists not to carry a copy of Orwell’s dystopian novel should they be mistaken for an “anti-coup protester”.

Thailand has been controlled by a military junta since a coup in May – the regime has banned international media and a man was allegedly arrested last month for reading a copy of 1984 in public.

i100 has contacted Philippine Airlines and is awaiting comment.

GENERAL NAMED THAILAND’S PRIME MINISTER “Three months after overthrowing Thailand’s last elected government, this Southeast Asian nation’s junta leader is stepping out of his army uniform for good — to take up the post of prime minister in a move critics say will only extend his time at the helm and consolidate the military’s grip on power. Thailand’s junta-appointed legislature voted unanimously Thursday to name Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to the new job during a session in Bangkok.” [USA Today]

General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Thailand’s coup leader, was unanimously chosen as the country’s new prime minister on Thursday, by a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) he had hand-picked. The NLA, which is stacked with military figures and a handful of business leaders, was installed last month by the ruling junta, which seized power on May 22, ousting the elected Pheu Thai Party government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra: here.

British government censorship about torture


This 2011 video from the USA is called Files Reveal U.S. & Britain Had Extensive Ties With Libya on Rendition, Torture. 1 of 2.

This 2011 video from the USA is called Files Reveal U.S. & Britain Had Extensive Ties With Libya on Rendition, Torture. 2 of 2.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Government ‘censored torture and rendition documents’

Monday 4th August 2014

THE government was yesterday accused of censoring critical documents to hide its involvement with CIA torture and rendition.

According to a letter from former foreign secretary William Hague to human-rights charity Reprieve, the government has “made representations” to the US Senate ahead of its publication of an intelligence select committee report.

“In plain English, it is a request to the US to keep Britain’s role in rendition out of the public domain,” said Reprieve director Cori Crider.

The dossier, expected to be published any day, will provide declassified information on US-British cooperation in Gaddafi’s Libya.

Among the details might be the case of Libyan opposition Islamist leader Abdel-hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima, who were arrested with the alleged assistance of the MI6 in 2004.

The couple were later returned to Libya on a rendition aircraft.

Mr Hague said intervention into the report’s publication had been made “to seek assurance that ordinary procedures for clearance of UK material will be followed.”

Reprieve believes this to be a revealing change of tactic as the Foreign Office stance had so far been that “the release of the committee’s report is a matter for the United States.”

Ms Crider said: “The government protested that the United States would be angered if this kidnap case ever went to trial — and now we learn the British government is leaning on the US not to air Britain’s dirty laundry.

“It exposes their litigation stance as mere posturing.”

Late in 2011 Mr Belhaj started legal proceedings against the role of the British government in his rendition and torture at the hands of the Libyan regime.

United States NSA role in censoring British daily Guardian


This video from Britain is called Revealed: the day the Guardian destroyed Snowden hard drives under watchful eye of GCHQ.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

NSA chief knew of Snowden file destruction by Guardian in UK

Revelation contrasts markedly with White House efforts to distance itself from UK government pressure to destroy disks

James Ball

Friday 11 July 2014 11.10 BST

General Keith Alexander, the then director of the NSA, was briefed that the Guardian was prepared to make a largely symbolic act of destroying documents from Edward Snowden last July, new documents reveal.

The revelation that Alexander and Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, were advised on the Guardian‘s destruction of several hard disks and laptops contrasts markedly with public White House statements that distanced the US from the decision.

White House and NSA emails obtained by Associated Press under freedom of information legislation demonstrate how pleased Alexander and his colleagues were with the developments. At times the correspondence takes a celebratory tone, with one official describing the anticipated destruction as “good news”.

On 20 July 2013, three Guardian editors destroyed all copies of the its Snowden material held in London (video), under the supervision of two GCHQ staff following a period of intense political pressure in the UK.

The decision to destroy the UK copies of the material was taken in a climate of advancing legal threats from Cabinet Office and intelligence officials. The Guardian and its publishing partners, which included the New York Times and the not-for-profit news organisation ProPublica, held other copies of the material in the US, and continued reporting revelations from the documents.

When the Guardian revealed it had destroyed several computers a month later in August, the White House spokesman Josh Earnest initially remarked it was hard to “evaluate the propriety of what they did based on incomplete knowledge of what happened” but said it would be hard to imagine the same events occurring in the US.

“That’s very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate,” he concluded.

However, heavily redacted email correspondence obtained by AP reporter Jack Gillum shows senior NSA officials celebrating the destruction of the material, even before it had occurred.

An email to Alexander from Rick Ledgett, now deputy director of the NSA, has the subject line “Guardian data being destroyed”, and is dated 19 July, a day before the destruction of the files. Most is heavily redacted, but Ledgett remarks: “Good news, at least on this front.”

A day later, hours after the material was destroyed, Alexander follows up with Ledgett, asking: “Can you confirm this actually occurred?”

Later that day, Clapper emails Alexander under the same subject line, saying: “Thanks Keith … appreciate the conversation today”.

The remainder of the emails are redacted, including the subject lines in many cases, meaning it is unclear who from the British government briefed the senior NSA and White House staff on the destruction, or whether US officials had any input to the decision to encourage destruction of journalistic material.

A spokeswoman for the Guardian said the revelation of the US-UK correspondence on the destruction was disappointing.

“We’re disappointed to learn that cross-Atlantic conversations were taking place at the very highest levels of government ahead of the bizarre destruction of journalistic material that took place in the Guardian‘s basement last July,” she said. “What’s perhaps most concerning is that the disclosure of these emails appears to contradict the White House’s comments about these events last year, when they questioned the appropriateness of the UK government’s intervention.”

The GCHQ declined to respond to AP’s requests for comment on the email exchange.

Also from the Guardian today:

The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’

Emails obtained by the Associated Press show that top US intelligence officials were well aware of the British government’s plans to destroy hard drives containing evidence of massive state spying against the world’s population that were held by the Guardian newspaper last year. The emails show that US officials not only knew of the plans to destroy the material provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden while doing nothing to stop them, but also encouraged and celebrated the police state activities of the British government: here.

Thailand military dictatorship Internet censorship


This video says about itself:

28 May 2014

Anti-coup protesters in Bangkok managed to capture a Humvee of the Royal Thai Army, Wednesday. They covered the vehicle in anti-coup graffiti and threw litter on its roof.

After the army and protesters had vacated the area, police arrived to clean up the scene and tow the vehicle away.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Dutch people in Thailand warned

Saturday, May 31, 2014, 12:53 (Update: 31-05-14 , 13:42)

Dutch people in Thailand must be careful on social media with statements against the military coup, the Dutch embassy in Bangkok tweets. Nine days ago, the army took over power in politically divided Thailand.

The new rulers yesterday banned sending [so-called] provocative messages through Facebook or other social media. Offenders risk two years in prison.

On Wednesday, Facebook was already unreachable for 55 minutes.

Fleming

On Thursday, police in Bangkok arrested a 42-year-old Fleming because he was said to have criticized the coup. The man, who has lived for several years in Thailand, wore a T-shirt imprinted with Peace Please.

He was released on the same day .

Suppressing

Police and soldiers are present in large numbers in the places in Bangkok where the two political camps during the last six months continuously demonstrated. There is no one to be seen.

In a shopping elsewhere in the city, police arrested a man who to a TV camera briefly showed a sign with the inscription: “elections only.”

Singer Taylor Swift has cancelled a sold-out concert in Thailand after the coup d’état: here.

Class War: Thailand’s Military Coup. Outnumbered by the country’s rural voters, Thailand’s once vibrantly democratic urban middle class has embraced an elitist, antidemocratic agenda: here.

HUNDREDS of demonstrators shouting “freedom” and “democracy” rallied briefly near a shopping mall in the heart of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, yesterday to denounce the country’s May 22 coup: here.

The Thai military, which seized power in a coup on May 22, is consolidating its rule, clamping down on sporadic protests, arresting opponents and critics and ruling out any elections for at least 15 months: here.

An international workers’ union has declared the Thai government to be “on trial” in an impending defamation case against a British human rights defender who exposed alleged modern-day slavery in its canned fruit and fishing industry: here.

Thailand‘s military rulers say they are monitoring a new form of silent resistance to the coup – a three-fingered salute borrowed from science fiction blockbuster The Hunger Games – and will arrest those in large groups who ignore warnings to lower their arms: here.

Critics charged yesterday that Thailand’s military junta plans to make the country’s constitution less democratic: here.

Thailand’s military is promoting itself as a US ally amid escalating tensions produced by Washington’s military build-up against China: here.

Here are five ways extreme copyright rules can be used to censor the Internet (Thank goodness for @openmedia_ca!): here.