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freedom of speech

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freedom of speech

Post by bobbin on 10.12.13 12:14

Please move this Guardian article admin, if you think it inappropriate here.
I have put it here at the moment, as a means of 'bringing hope' to our members who have long been fearful of losing the freedom of expression, of communicating our thoughts, observations and feelings.
We have seen Gonçalo Amaral, Tony Bennett, gagged, threatened, financially broken, and the rest of us in fear, for daring to exercise what should be our human right to communicate with others.
It has been a long, dark night, followed by long, dark days and then more dark nights, where we have been threatened by the likes of Gerry McCann and his fight to suppress freedom of the press....by the likes of this child neglecting (deleted) and his wife, who tried and almost succeeded in bringing 'tagging' to children, under the guise of 'safety' for children to protect them from the criminal acts of kidnapping, abduction, etc.

We have seen this site so monitored, and so carter rucked, that our freedom of expression has been at risk of abject penalty, financial, judicial, or even imprisonment.
All of the 'bigger McCann agenda' has been pointing towards a global lock-down on freedom of speech.
It has either arisen (in order to advance) or ridden on the back of, the encroachment of the all invasive government (NSA GCHQ) collection of privately expressed opinion which has subsequently rendered all human beings to nothing more than the level of an enchained beast.
The following article expresses this all far more eloquently than I have. When we are looking for a salvation, we can start by looking at the change.org site highlighted in red further down and support their initiative.

the Guardian.
World's leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft
• 500 signatories include five Nobel prize winners
• Writers demand 'digital bill of rights' to curb abuses.

   Matthew Taylor and Nick Hopkins
   The Guardian, Tuesday 10 December 2013
   Jump to comments (853)

Author composite including Tom Stoppard
Clockwise from top left, eight of the people who have signed the petition: Hanif Kureishi, Björk, Arundhati Roy, Don DeLillo, Ian McEwan, Tom Stoppard, Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis

More than 500 of the world's leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and warned that spy agencies are undermining democracy and must be curbed by a new international charter.

The signatories, who come from 81 different countries and include Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Orhan Pamuk, Günter Grass and Arundhati Roy, say the capacity of intelligence agencies to spy on millions of people's digital communications is turning everyone into potential suspects, with worrying implications for the way societies work.

They have urged the United Nations to create an international bill of digital rights that would enshrine the protection of civil rights in the internet age.

Their call comes a day after the heads of the world's leading technology companies demanded sweeping changes to surveillance laws to help preserve the public's trust in the internet – reflecting the growing global momentum for a proper review of mass snooping capabilities in countries such as the US and UK, which have been the pioneers in the field.

The open letter to the US president, Barack Obama, from firms including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, will be followed by the petition, which has drawn together a remarkable list of the world's most respected and widely-read authors, who have accused states of systematically abusing their powers by conducting intrusive mass surveillance.

Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Irvine Welsh, Hari Kunzru, Jeanette Winterson and Kazuo Ishiguro are among the British authors on the list.

It also includes JM Coetzee, Yann Martel, Ariel Dorfman, Amit Chaudhuri, Roddy Doyle, Amos Oz, David Grossman, and the Russian Mikhail Shishkin.

Henning Mankell, Lionel Shriver, Hanif Kureishi and the antipodean writers CK Stead, Thomas Keneally and Anna Funder are other globally renowned signatories.

The Guardian has published a series of stories about the mass surveillance techniques of GCHQ and its US counterpart, the NSA, over the past six months; two of the most significant programmes uncovered in the Snowden files were Prism, run by the NSA, and Tempora, which was set up by GCHQ. Between them, they allow the agencies to harvest, store and analyse data about millions of phone calls, emails and search-engine queries.

Though Tuesday's statement does not mention these programmes by name, it says the extent of surveillance revealed by Snowden has challenged and undermined the right of all humans to "remain unobserved and unmolested" in their thoughts, personal environments and communications. "This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes," the statement adds.

"A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space."

Demanding the right "for all people to determine to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed", the writers call for a digital rights convention that states will sign up to and adhere to. "Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property, it belongs to us. When it is used to predict our behaviour, we are robbed of something else – the principle of free will crucial to democratic liberty."

McEwan told the Guardian: "Where Leviathan can, it will. The state, by its nature, always prefers security to liberty. Lately, technology has offered it means it can't resist, means of mass surveillance that Orwell would have been amazed by. The process is inexorable – unless it's resisted. Obviously, we need protection from terrorism, but not at any cost."

The intervention comes after the Guardian and some of the world's other major media organisations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Der Spiegel, began disclosing details of the extent and reach of secret surveillance programmes run by Britain's eavesdropping centre, GCHQ, and the National Security Agency.

The revelations have sparked a huge debate on the legal framework and oversight governing western spy agencies. Obama has launched a review of US intelligence operations, and earlier this month the UN's senior counter-terrorism official, Ben Emmerson, announced an investigation into the techniques used by both US and British intelligence agencies.

Civil liberties groups have criticised the UK government for putting intense political pressure on the Guardian and other media groups covering the leaks rather than addressing the implications of the mass surveillance programmes that have been uncovered. But campaigners hope Tuesday's statement will increase the pressure on governments to address the implications of the Snowden revelations.

"International moral pressure is what's needed to ensure politicians address the mass invasion of our privacy by the intelligence services in the UK and US," said Jo Glanville, from English Pen, which along with its sister organisations around the world has supported the Writers Against Mass Surveillance campaign. "The signatories to the appeal are a measure of the level of outrage and concern."

Tuesday's statement is being launched simultaneously in 27 countries, and organisers hope members of the public will now sign up through the change.org website.

Eva Menasse, one of the group of German writers who initiated the project, said it began with an open letter from a group of authors to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, when the first Snowden revelations came to light. "When we started, we did not know how far we would get. But more and more colleagues joined us and within the last weeks we were sitting at our computers day and night, using our networks as more people came forward. This started as an entirely private initiative, but now has worldwide support."

Another author who helped set up the campaign, Juli Zeh, said writers around the world had felt compelled to act: "We all have to stand up now, and we as writers do what we can do best: use the written word to intervene publicly."

Winterson told the Guardian she regarded Snowden as a "brave and selfless human being"."We should be supporting him in trying to determine the extent of the state in our lives. We have had no debate, no vote, no say, hardly any information about how our data is used and for what purpose. Our mobile phones have become tracking devices. Social networking is data profiling. We can't shop, spend, browse, email, without being monitored. We might as well be tagged prisoners. Privacy is an illusion. Do you mind about that? I do."

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 10.12.13 13:41

Interesting to see Margaret Atwood's name there. Has anybody else read Oryx and Crake? I do see occasional references to various dystopian works by posters here - that one should be top of the reading list as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by bobbin on 10.12.13 14:04

Clay Regazzoni wrote:Interesting to see Margaret Atwood's name there. Has anybody else read Oryx and Crake? I do see occasional references to various dystopian works by posters here - that one should be top of the reading list as far as I'm concerned.
fascinating, very enlightening and thought provoking. Thank you CR
I've just read a synopsis on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oryx_and_Crake
Must get that book....it looks to be the sort of possible modern day forecaster to our current global state, that George Orwell's book was in its time.
Bravo to Margaret Atwood, a voice in the wilderness: so glad her weight is behind the letter/campaign to regain, and protect individuals against the theft of, their private thoughts and expression.
 high5 

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 10.12.13 15:22

So, let's call the lady Sharon then?

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Cristobell on 10.12.13 15:27

Thanks for posting Bobbin, it makes interesting reading.  smilie

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by plebgate on 10.12.13 15:47

Thanks from me too Bobbin for OP.

Good on these authors.  

Too much spying on us all for sure - why?   

Stealing our thoughts, yes I agree with that, nobody has any business reading our communications.

If somebody opens a private letter addressed to another person, I believe that is against the law, why are our emails treated differently

Totally goes against our human rights imo.   

I am sick of hearing it is because of terrorism.   Really?   Do they think we were born yesterday.  

We vote them in and we can vote them out, they are there to LISTEN to the people, not to do as they like against us.

Too many people do not seem to care though and this is how they get away with it. 

Now that some big names have stepped in perhaps we will get somewhere.   Let's all hope so and it's about time Britain did as was promised some while ago and took a really good, hard look at the libel laws of this country and also at the injunctions which are put into place by the Rich, Famous and Infamous while the rest of us are STILL used as cannon fodder to keep them all in luxury.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Angelique on 10.12.13 16:15

Bobbin

Very interesting and I do agree that we are surveilled on every action we take including the wrtitten word. I even refused a tesco card because they target even what you purchase.

As far Margaret Attwood's novel Oryx and Crake - not my cup of tea but I have read Blind Assassin though it was a gift and sort of enjoyed it but only insofar as that too was slightly "strange". Not sci-fi my favourite, but other world or surreal.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 10.12.13 16:31

@plebgate wrote: [...]

We vote them in and we can vote them out, they are there to LISTEN to the people, not to do as they like against us.
***
Oh, but they DO "listen" to us. Without our permission, though. That's the problem.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by plebgate on 10.12.13 16:33

@Chatelaine -  big grin   too true, unfortunately.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by bobbin on 10.12.13 17:36

@plebgate wrote:Thanks from me too Bobbin for OP.

Good on these authors.  

Too much spying on us all for sure - why?   

Stealing our thoughts, yes I agree with that, nobody has any business reading our communications.

If somebody opens a private letter addressed to another person, I believe that is against the law, why are our emails treated differently

Totally goes against our human rights imo.   

I am sick of hearing it is because of terrorism.   Really?   Do they think we were born yesterday.  

We vote them in and we can vote them out, they are there to LISTEN to the people, not to do as they like against us.

Too many people do not seem to care though and this is how they get away with it. 

Now that some big names have stepped in perhaps we will get somewhere.   Let's all hope so and it's about time Britain did as was promised some while ago and took a really good, hard look at the libel laws of this country and also at the injunctions which are put into place by the Rich, Famous and Infamous while the rest of us are STILL used as cannon fodder to keep them all in luxury.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Sometimes the simplest of remarks can have the most profound effect. I think your statement in 'red' is a clincher.
Yes, if someone opens someone else's private mail, it's a criminal offense.
The NSA GCHQ have not made the move to have laws put in place to have all private post opened in order to select out the terrorists.
Why is it only with internet technology that they have suddenly decided we need protecting from terrorism to the extent of opening all and every one of our electronic posts.
Possibly because until they were caught with their pants below their ankles, they thought no one would know, whereas with it being a criminal offense to open another person's private mail, opened post is self evident.
I am so glad that people (comments below the Guardian article testify to this) are now so pissed off that a rebound reaction is mounting.
I wonder how confident Gerry McCann feels now about any public taste for supporting his campaign to silence the press.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 10.12.13 18:03

@bobbin wrote:
@plebgate wrote:[...]

If somebody opens a private letter addressed to another person, I believe that is against the law, why are our emails treated differently

[...]
Sometimes the simplest of remarks can have the most profound effect. I think your statement in 'red' is a clincher.
Yes, if someone opens someone else's private mail, it's a criminal offense.
The NSA GCHQ have not made the move to have laws put in place to have all private post opened in order to select out the terrorists.
Why is it only with internet technology that they have suddenly decided we need protecting from terrorism to the extent of opening all and every one of our electronic posts.
Possibly because until they were caught with their pants below their ankles, they thought no one would know, whereas with it being a criminal offense to open another person's private mail, opened post is self evident.
I am so glad that people (comments below the Guardian article testify to this) are now so pissed off that a rebound reaction is mounting.
I wonder how confident Gerry McCann feels now about any public taste for supporting his campaign to silence the press.
***
I would guess, he's having something hanging around his ankles too ...  titter

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by jeanmonroe on 10.12.13 18:26

I wonder how confident Gerry McCann feels now about any public taste for supporting his campaign to silence the press.?
......................................................................................

He's more worried about what NSA/GCHQ 'know' about him, her and the 'groovy gang'!

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by ultimaThule on 10.12.13 19:09

Does anyone know whether JK Rowling has appended her name to this petition?

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Cristobell on 10.12.13 22:42

Gerry was deluded into believing he could fool all the people, all of the time, and lets face it, we almost had another tragedy on the scale of the death of Diana, such was the public response.  Their campaign was successful beyond their wildest dreams.  I tend to think these days that the McCann case will forever be linked to the birth of social networks, I may have said this elsewhere.  Within hours Madeleine's face was was part of a chain mail campaign, one of those pass this on to at least 10 people or your doomed emails that are now happily spammed out, but they flourished in 2007. From the photos we have seen Kate and Gerry rarely left their laptops, the internet is a great leveler and they not only had access to the great and good, they were having doors flung open for them.  They managed to convince 'everyone' that they were victims, money would help them find their daughter and it was evil to question them.

Unfortunately for them, those heady days have now gone.  The internet which turned them into a Cause Celebre, has blown apart their flimsy story because information is freely available, its not confined by borders anymore.  The British public can find the true story behind this case, simply by Googling Madeleine McCann.  Gerry's posturing with Hacked Off is comparable to King Canute attempting to order the tide to turn back.  He truly believes he can keep the facts of the case away from the UK forevermore, and who can blame him, thus far he has been successful.     

But back closer to topic, unfortunately such is the standard of education in this country we are still faced with the mentality, 'well I've got nothing to hide, so I don't care'.  I usually ask such people if they are happy to have their medical and financial details on a large database, accessible to to every penpushing jobsworth who may, or may not, decide to make their lives a misery.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by marconi on 11.12.13 7:06

Cristobell, have you got any idea of what happened to your interview?
If it is gagged, it must have been very good!

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by plebgate on 11.12.13 9:02

@Bobbin, yes, I believe all sorts of human rights may have been breached by the reading of our personal emails.

Many people keep in contact with their solicitors and doctors by email these days.   Patient/client confidentiality would have been breached if emails such of those had been read.

It is disgusting that this snooping has been allowed to happen.  What are the MPs doing about it.   Zilch, and they wonder why many see them as being so useless and IMO absolutely gutless.

MPs should be jumping up and down about this but not a peep, are they happy that their emails can be read without their permission, it does appear to be the case.

Vote the lot of them out  I say and any promises made in the "new" lots  manifestos should be made to be kept with a new law brought in to ensure this happens. 

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by bobbin on 11.12.13 17:09

@plebgate wrote:@Bobbin, yes, I believe all sorts of human rights may have been breached by the reading of our personal emails.

Many people keep in contact with their solicitors and doctors by email these days.   Patient/client confidentiality would have been breached if emails such of those had been read.

It is disgusting that this snooping has been allowed to happen.  What are the MPs doing about it.   Zilch, and they wonder why many see them as being so useless and IMO absolutely gutless.

MPs should be jumping up and down about this but not a peep, are they happy that their emails can be read without their permission, it does appear to be the case.

Vote the lot of them out  I say and any promises made in the "new" lots  manifestos should be made to be kept with a new law brought in to ensure this happens. 
Yes, but jump they don't, they have grown too fat, more they slither into dark and out of sight places.
They probably know that their dirty little secrets are already known, so are keeping schtum and not rocking the boat in a sort of truce....
(MP) "I won't get in your (GCHQ) way if you'll leave me (MP) alone",
besides which, it's the government = MPs and their cabinet who are paying GCHQ to do their government paid snooping work.
This is the status quo after years of audacious, in your face, stealth where laws have been slid through systematically to lock the whole world down.
The fact is it is actually us, the taxpayers, who now find ourselves paying GCHQ and the Politicians to snoop on us.
A law which makes it as much an offense to open 'electronic mail' as it is to open 'letter post', is required forthwith.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Daisy on 11.12.13 18:55

I believe we've been spied upon for much longer than widely publicised.
 
I became interested in Project Echelon after driving past Menwith Hill in the North Yorkshire Moors a time or two. The place always gave me the creeps. It looked so alien given the surrounding landscape.  I didn't like what I found after researching the place. But all I know is the propaganda put out there.

I'd like to know what others feel about Echelon, is it just another conspiracy?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/503224.stm

Snipped: "Imagine a global spying network that can eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet.

It sounds like science fiction, but it's true.

Two of the chief protagonists - Britain and America - officially deny its existence. But the BBC has confirmation from the Australian Government that such a network really does exist and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are calling for an inquiry.

On the North Yorkshire moors above Harrogate they can be seen for miles, but still they are shrouded in secrecy. Around 30 giant golf balls, known as radomes, rise from the US military base at Menwith Hill."

There's plenty of information about Menwith Hill out there, but thought it best to stck to the more mainstream sources that folk round here seem to expect.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON




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Re: freedom of speech

Post by tigger on 12.12.13 8:25

@Cristobell wrote:Gerry was deluded into believing he could fool all the people, all of the time, and lets face it, we almost had another tragedy on the scale of the death of Diana, such was the public response.  Their campaign was successful beyond their wildest dreams.  I tend to think these days that the McCann case will forever be linked to the birth of social networks, I may have said this elsewhere.  Within hours Madeleine's face was was part of a chain mail campaign, one of those pass this on to at least 10 people or your doomed emails that are now happily spammed out, but they flourished in 2007. From the photos we have seen Kate and Gerry rarely left their laptops, the internet is a great leveler and they not only had access to the great and good, they were having doors flung open for them.  They managed to convince 'everyone' that they were victims, money would help them find their daughter and it was evil to question them.


I've never seen a photograph of Kate with a laptop, they were far too busy I'd think.
I think they had a lot of help right from the start, using social networks which were already  well established. The political help they got from the start, the Pope visit arranged, all done by PR, imo it was the very existence of freedom of speech at that time which was at the heart of the PR and very necessary as the official story was full of holes.

The press and the political protection were alerted at about the same time, the protection slightly earlier iirc.

The press milked it for all it was worth. Another tragedy like Diana's death - I don't think that would have happened, thepublic were sympathising, not grieving. It was the ultimate fairy tale with most believing in a happy ending because everyone - the whole world was looking for a beautiful little princess.  

Dash it! Correction, the whole world except the parents who were really busy....

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 12.12.13 9:24

@tigger wrote:
The press milked it for all it was worth. Another tragedy like Diana's death - I don't think that would have happened, thepublic were sympathising, not grieving. It was the ultimate fairy tale with most believing in a happy ending because everyone - the whole world was looking for a beautiful little princess.  

That's the thing though isn't it? I mean, I would never call a three year old girl ugly, but like Michael Shrimpton's claim that Madeleine was selected to order from potentially thousands of little girls, it kind of overlooks the fact that she was a fairly unremarkable child, if not a bit odd looking.

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by chillyheat on 12.12.13 10:27

Clay Regazzoni wrote:
@tigger wrote:
The press milked it for all it was worth. Another tragedy like Diana's death - I don't think that would have happened, thepublic were sympathising, not grieving. It was the ultimate fairy tale with most believing in a happy ending because everyone - the whole world was looking for a beautiful little princess.  

That's the thing though isn't it? I mean, I would never call a three year old girl ugly, but like Michael Shrimpton's claim that Madeleine was selected to order from potentially thousands of little girls, it kind of overlooks the fact that she was a fairly unremarkable child, if not a bit odd looking.

Clay ? Have you read the similarities of what Christopher Story says about the case too. Im not saying Im a believer, but I find it strange that a British writer, publisher and government adviser specialising in intelligence and economic affairs would name such a high profile person....Something is not quite right

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Re: freedom of speech

Post by Guest on 12.12.13 10:37

[quote="ChillyHeat"][quote="Clay Regazzoni"]
@tigger wrote:

Clay ? Have you read the similarities of what Christopher Story says about the case too. Im not saying Im a believer, but I find it strange that a British writer, publisher and government adviser specialising in intelligence and economic affairs would name such a high profile person....Something is not quite right

Yes, I've read him. Frankly if it's true then we're all f***ed anyway, isn't that so? I might as well waste my life away speculating about the alternatives (which are either more or less credible depending on what you want to believe).

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