Journalism, hardly possible in NATO’s ‘new’ Libya


AFP news agency says about this 15 September 2019 video:

Practicing journalism has almost become impossible in Libya. Hostility towards the media and journalists continues to increase. At least that is what this group of Libyan journalists claims. The journalists attended an programme known as the “Kon Chahed” application or “Be a witness”.

It was developed by the Libyan Centre for Press Freedom, which aims to enable journalists to report attacks without fear. Political and security crisis has plunged the country into chaos since 2011.

“At the moment, the situation in Libya is that of clashes, conflict areas and war. There are many cases of violations against journalists working in conflict areas’‘, said We’am al-Alem, Coordinator of activities at the Libyan center for freedom of press.

Mohamed al-Najem is the Executive Director of the centre.

“Unfortunately, many journalists are leaving the country and others have stopped practicing the profession inside Libya. At the same time, there is an increase in self-censorship by journalists about the content of their work”, he said.

Libya is ranked 162 out of 180 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

At least 19 journalists have been killed in the country since 2011 and many have gone missing.

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Neo-nazi vandalism at British soldiers’ cemetery


Swastika at Mierlo British military cemetery

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The Brabant police arrested a resident of Mierlo in connection with the vandalism of graves and monuments at the local war cemetery. The 36-year-old suspect was arrested early this morning in his home. The man is being questioned today.

Yesterday, graves, walls and the chapel of the war cemetery turned out to be smeared with, eg, a swastika and incomprehensible English slogans. Almost all tombstones are daubed.

An amateur historian was to lead a school class at the cemetery yesterday. That visit was canceled.

The cemetery was also violated last weekend [with a swastika]. The manager assumes that the same perpetrator struck twice.

On the Mierlo War Cemetery 665 soldiers are buried who died between September and November 1944 during battles around the Maas and the Scheldt rivers. Almost all of them were from the United Kingdom. There are also seven soldiers whose identity is unknown.

Trump’s Pentagon prepares mass internet censorship


Diagram of the Semantic Forensics online censorship system sought by the United States Defense Department

This is a diagram of the Semantic Forensics online censorship system sought by the United States Defense Department.

By Kevin Reed in the USA:

DARPA requests proposals for “Semantic Forensics” system

US Defense Department prepares for mass internet censorship

6 September 2019

The US military has issued a call for research proposals from technology partners for the development of an automated system capable of scanning the entire internet and locating and censoring content deemed as “false media assets” and “disinformation”. According to government documents, the requested solution would provide “innovative semantic technologies for analyzing media” that will help “identify, deter, and understand adversary disinformation campaigns.”

On August 23, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a solicitation for a so-called Semantic Forensics (SemaFor) program on the federal government business opportunities website. According to the bid specifications, SemaFor “will develop technologies to automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified multi-modal media assets (text, audio, image, video) to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.”

In other words, the US Defense Department is seeking a technology partner that will build a platform to enable the Pentagon to locate any content it identifies as an adversarial “disinformation attack” and shut it down. This technology will cover anything on the internet including web pages, videos, photo and social media platforms.

The documents released as part of the DARPA request say that the technology and software algorithms it is seeking would “constitute advances to the state of the art” that will be top secret and do not include “information that is lawfully publicly available without restrictions.”

Several recent media reports have pointed to the rise of government Internet shutdowns internationally as a mechanism of censorship, repression and control in response to growing political turmoil and mass protests. Based largely on data maintained by Access Now—an organization that “defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world”—these reports show a trend of dramatically accelerating Internet shutdowns over the past three years: here.