Tag Archives: brave new world

European Parliament names Snowden for human rights award

Reading from a statement that she said had come from Mr. Snowden, Jesselyn Radack, a former ethics adviser to the United States Department of Justice and a former government whistle-blower,  quoted Mr. Snowden as saying that “the surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time.” […]

UK to order welfare recipients “Back to the Workhouse”

Jobless Britons could be forced to do community work to keep their unemployment payments, Britain’s top economics minister said Monday, announcing the latest in a series of moves to tighten benefits rules and crack down on “welfare dependency.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/world/europe/britain-plans-to-require-community-service-for-jobless-benefits.html?ref=world Under the plan, those out of work for more than two years could be required to […]

NSA records historical “enrichment” profiles of americans

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their  traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2 The spy agency began allowing […]

US ex-military lead international band of mercenary assasins

This past spring, the onetime sergeant, Joseph Hunter, 48, and two other former soldiers agreed to murder an undercover agent of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and one of that agency’s confidential informers, both in Liberia, for a total of $800,000, federal prosecutors said on Friday in Manhattan. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/nyregion/former-army-sergeant-became-contract-killer-authorities-say.html?hp&_r=0 The plot had been proposed […]

Feinstein leads effort to keep NSA spying on US citizens

The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to be moving toward swift passage of a bill that would “change but preserve” the once-secret National Security Agency program that is keeping logs of every American’s phone calls, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the panel, said Thursday.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/us/politics/senators-push-to-preserve-nsa-phone-surveillance.html?ref=us Ms. Feinstein, speaking at a rare public hearing […]

FBI spends $3M for domestic drone deployment

US justice authorities are facing calls for new rules on drone surveillance after it was revealed the FBI has been deploying unmanned aircraft since 2006. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24294857 A report by the Department of Justice’s watchdog said the FBI has spent $3m (£1.9m) on drone deployment. The audit is the first time the full extent of drone […]

China collects $2.7B in fines for one child policy violations

Nineteen province-level governments in China collected a total of $2.7 billion in fines last year from parents who had violated family planning laws, which usually limit couples to one child, a lawyer who had requested the data said Thursday. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/world/asia/chinese-provinces-collected-billions-in-family-planning-fines-lawyer-says.html?ref=world Last year, some prominent scholars and policy advisers started a major effort to push central […]

Military Industrial Complex unveils pilotless warplanes

Boeing has revealed that it has retrofitted retired fighter jets to turn them into drones. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24231077   It said that one of the Lockheed Martin F-16 made a first flight with an empty cockpit last week.  It carried out a series of manoeuvres including a barrel roll and a “split S” – a move in which […]

FBI leak shows US complicit in terrorism threat

A former F.B.I. agent has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen last year. In the leak, the government was able to obtain a special underwear bomb apparently designed by a terrorist group’s master bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, to evade detection in airport […]

US DOD allocates over 6 billion for autonomous robots

The US military budget ending Sept. 30 allocated $6.04 billion for autonomous aircraft and just $261 million for unmanned ground vehicles.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/science/military-lags-in-push-for-robotic-ground-vehicles.html?ref=us  The gap, said John Arquilla, a military strategist at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., a research university operated by the Navy, is “particularly troubling because a large percentage of our casualties […]

Capitol SWAT leader replaced after questioning stand down

Members of a Washington DC Swat team who the BBC has learned were ordered not to respond to Monday’s Navy Yard shootings have yet to be contacted by the authorities.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24163244   The Capitol Police tactical response team was told by a supervisor to leave the scene instead of aiding municipal officers.  The department has […]

Despite problems The Experts allowed Alexis to continue

Aaron Alexis called the police in Newport, R.I., to complain that he was hearing voices sent by a “microwave machine,”  “Brenda from The Experts Inc. called re: Mr. Alexis in 407,” a Residence Inn employee noted in a log dated Aug. 7.  “She explained that he is unstable and the company is bringing him home,” […]

RSA security warns customers of NSA encryption cracking

RSA, the internet security firm, has warned customers not to use one of its own encryption algorithms after fears it can be unlocked by the US National Security Agency (NSA). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24173977 In an advisory note to its developer customers, RSA said that a default algorithm in one of its toolkits could contain a “back door” […]

US limits airspace for Maduro’s trip to UN

In a speech in the capital Caracas, Nicholas Maduro also accused the US of refusing to issue a visa to a top official in order to attend a UN meeting next week. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24173124 US officials have not confirmed or commented on the claims. Venezuela’s relations with the US have been often been strained, both under […]

Glyphosate damages soil as well as poisoning enviroment

“Anything you put on the land affects the chemistry and biology of the land, and that’s a powerful pesticide,” Iowa farmer Dennis Von Arb said. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/business/misgivings-about-how-a-weed-killer-affects-the-soil.html?ref=us   His neighbor grows “traited,” or biotech, corn and soy on some 1,500 acres and estimates that his yield would fall by 20 percent if he switched to conventional […]

Texas appeals court exempts Delay of money laundering

His political career collapsed in 2005 when Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who was the House majority leader, was indicted on money-laundering charges that resulted in a three-year prison sentence.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/us/politics/conviction-of-delay-in-texas-donation-case-is-overturned.html?ref=us    Thursday as a Texas appeals court threw out the November 2010 verdict, ruling that what he was convicted of — laundering corporate contributions […]

FISA court says NSA justified and blames tech companies

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday offered its most extensive public explanation for why it has allowed the government to keep records of all Americans’ phone calls, releasing a previously classified opinion in which it said the program was constitutional and did not violate Americans’ privacy rights.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/us/opinion-by-secret-court-calls-collection-of-phone-data-legal.html?hp In a 29-page opinion that quoted […]

Obamacare highlights healthcare lobbying corruption

Washington’s health care revolving door is spinning fast as the new online health insurance marketplaces, a central provision of President Obama’s health care law, are set to open Oct. 1. Those who had a hand in the law’s passage are now finding lucrative work in the private sector, as businesses try to understand the complex […]

American poverty grows as elite wealth grows

The number of Americans in poverty rose last year to 46.5 million, according to US Census data, despite a stock market recovery.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24139251   The figure edged up from 46.2 million in 2011, meaning the national poverty rate remains unchanged at 15%. It is the sixth year in a row that the rate failed to improve, […]

US DOD behind 3D printed live organ development

Miniature human organs developed with a modified 3D printer are being used to test new vaccines in a lab in the US.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24125678  The “body on a chip” project replicates human cells to print structures which mimic the functions of the heart, liver, lung and blood vessels. The organs are then placed on a microchip […]