Tag Archive: Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement


Monday, March 19, 2012
Internet service providers to launch biggest digital spying operation in history on July 12


Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Activist Post
Internet service providers (ISPs) across the United States are set to voluntarily begin a digital surveillance operation so large that nothing can even come close in the history of espionage.
Starting on July 12, 2012, if you download software, videos or music which are potentially protected by copyright, you very well might find yourself targeted by any of America’s behemoth ISPs.
Possibly the most troubling aspect of this is that these corporations are putting these so-called anti-piracy measures in place on a wholly voluntary basis in accordance with a deal with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Obama White House.
After that date, some users might find their bandwidth choked off completely until they sign some kind of agreement saying that they will not download materials which are potentially protected by copyright.
The RIAA and MPAA have been making a concerted effort to stifle internet freedom under the guise of fighting piracy across the world, largely with the help of the government of the United States.
This latest announcement is likely related to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which was signed by Obama without any input from the people of the United States whatsoever.
The seemingly arbitrary July 12 deadline was announced by RIAA CEO and star lobbyist Cary Sherman to a conference in New York, according to CNET.
The digital surveillance operation is dubbed a “graduated response” scheme since supposedly users will have a bit of leniency afforded to them upon their first alleged infraction.
ISPs including AT&T, Time Warner Cable (which I myself am unfortunately forced to use due to a near monopoly in my market), Comcast, Cablevision, and Verizon, will be spying on the activities of users in an attempt to spot potential copyright infringement.
As I have previously pointed out, this would require something known as “deep packet inspection” wherein literally every bit of data is analyzed by the ISP.
For many people, this represents nothing less than an egregious and unacceptable breach of privacy, especially since people are monitored even when they do absolutely nothing wrong.
The so-called “graduated response” scheme, also known as the “six-strikes” plan goes something like this:
ISPs monitor all activity and data transfers of every single one of their customers.
If a subscriber is suspected of or found to be illegally downloading copyrighted content, said user receives a so-called “educational notice.” This notice informs them that IP addresses associated with their account have been linked to allegedly downloading copyrighted content illegally. The notice will likely outline the potential penalties for copyright infringement including fines of up to $150,000 per infringement.
If the customer continues the activities which resulted in the first notice, the ISP will continue to send “confirmation notices” in order to make sure that the user received the earlier notices.
If alleged copyright infringement continues, the ISP can then throttle the bandwidth of the user, essentially turning that cable connection you pay for into the equivalent of dialup, or potentially even cut off internet access completely. They could even restrict internet access to selected major websites like Facebook or Google and even share the information on alleged repeat offenders with other service providers. This could create a de facto internet blacklist which could prevent customers from getting internet service from any ISP after being labeled a “repeat offender.”
If the user agrees to stop sharing files which are allegedly protected by copyright, the ISP can then lift the restrictions. The actual details of this agreement are unclear at this point. Apparently, the user can still be subject to lawsuits for copyright infringement for their activities, which could be a highly lucrative income source for the entertainment industry with the help of ISPs who can pinpoint alleged acts of infringement and identify the individual engaging in such activities.
CNET reports that ISPs have the option to skip the so-called “mitigation measures” and as of yet none of the major providers have publicly committed to cutting off Internet access completely.
However, if the massive (and arguably undue) influence of the RIAA and MPAA continues to sway the big industry players, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started cutting off the Internet access of users for supposedly repeatedly sharing files which might by under copyright.
This is a fantastic way for ISPs and the entertainment industry to circumvent the failed attempts to pass the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and perhaps even go beyond what this legislation could be capable of.
The entertainment industry is clearly enthused by the prospect of monitoring every single bit of data transferred between Internet users, evidenced by the fact that they will pay most of the costs involved in the project.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), on the other hand, points out that the “graduated response” protocol is non-transparent and that copyright holders could exploit ISPs to target individuals even in cases where their claims might not be valid.
The EFF is also attempting to get ISPs to agree to claim reviews being conducted by a neutral third party as well as giving internet users a kind of “due process” before having their bandwidth throttled or being disconnected entirely.
For some, having their Internet connection throttled heavily or cut off completely could mean a major business setback, income loss, etc., and without some semblance of due process involved it would be very easy for the media giants to wreak havoc on Americans who work from home based on alleged copyright infringement.
The EFF similarly pointed out that the defenses provided to users against a claim of copyright infringement leave quite a bit to be desired.
Users are given only six predetermined defenses, “and even the six enumerated defenses are incomplete,” according to the EFF.
“For example, the ‘public domain’ defense applies only if the work was created before 1923 — even though works created after 1923 can enter the public domain in a variety of ways,” the EFF explained.
There has yet to be a coordinated outcry from the technology sector as there was in response to SOPA and PIPA, leading to blackouts and boycotts of the legislation’s supporters.
Hopefully we will see something similar, although honestly I would be surprised if companies like Google came out against this since this could be such a boon for government surveillance and Google has close government ties which just seem to get tighter.
I see this program as having the potential to be much more sinister than it seems, especially since the automatic monitoring of Internet activity requires an incredibly intrusive process like deep packet inspection.
This could also be used to better track the Internet activity of people who oppose the actions of the government of the United States, under the guise of combating domestic terrorism.
In a nation where just about anything can make you into a suspected terrorist in the eyes of the government, I would truly be surprised if they didn’t leverage this to their advantage.
Such technology could also help restrict access to certain websites with “objectionable” content, namely alternative news websites.
Worst of all, if the data collected by this system is stored indefinitely – which it seems it will be since they need to identify alleged repeat offenders – it could be used as yet another private sector partner for the United States government’s Big Brother activities.
However, this would make methods of intelligence collection like Google and Facebook (which has been busted spying on private text messages of users) seem like the equivalent of the now primitive manual eavesdropping.
Hopefully this plan can see widespread opposition leading to boycotts and massive financial pressure on the gigantic ISPs participating in the program. Perhaps if we can identify the Internet service providers who refuse to take part in the program and show them our support by patronizing them, the biggest ISPs will take note and back away from the scheme.
If you know of any ISPs who have come out publicly against this or voiced their opposition in one way or another, please make me aware of this by emailing me at Admin@EndtheLie.com.
I would love to help promote such an effort, but currently I am unaware of any alternatives, especially in my area where I have the choice of either no Internet or Time Warner Cable or paying exorbitant fees to get Verizon hooked up; but since Verizon is taking part as well, it would be completely pointless.
Help us push back against this unbelievably massive domestic surveillance apparatus and spread the word!
This article first appeared at End the Lie
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on Orion Talk Radio from 8 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can find HERE.  If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

Politics

Saudi diplomat shot dead in Bangladesh

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/06/world/asia/saudi-diplomat-killed-bangladesh/index.html

Why No One Would Listen

Eyal Press, News Analysis: “What’s worse: to be persecuted and indicted for trying to expose an act of wrongdoing — or to be ignored for doing so? Whistleblowers have been under intense scrutiny in Washington lately, at least when it comes to the national security state.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-no-one-would-listen-1331142258

Tribes rip Abramoff, ethics watchdogs

By Jordy Yager
Native American tribes are questioning the ethics of government watchdog groups that have partnered with Jack Abramoff since his release from prison.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/214593-tribes-rip-abramoff-watchdogs

Economy

Modern Alchemy: The Money Illusion

Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of hard working people on this planet does not make enough earnings to have a reasonable standard of living without being in debt? Our personal debt is modern version of slavery*.

http://blog.world-mysteries.com/ancient-writings/modern-alchemy-the-money-illusion/

Iran may stop oil exports to Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands

http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/96113-iran-may-stop-oil-exports-to-belgium-czech-republic-netherlands

Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford convicted of bilking $7B from investors in 20-year Ponzi scheme

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/judge-says-jury-has-reached-verdict-in-7b-ponzi-scheme-trial-of-texas-financier-stanford/2012/03/06/gIQAY9yzuR_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels

Greece’s secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was a costly mistake from the start.

On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country’s debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan and that Goldman Sachs persuaded Greece not to test with competitors, had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said.

ECB Blows Up Europe? Creates ‘Super-Immune’ Elite Bonds … Throws Credit Market into Disarray

Investors call on ECB to play fair in sovereign credit … Resentment at the European Central Bank’s immunity from losses on Greek debt has left fund firms wondering about the strength of their creditor rights and whether they should blacklist bonds purchased during emergency sprees by the lender of last resort. By sidestepping markdowns on Greek bonds, the ECB has effectively robbed fellow senior creditors of their top rank status, investors say, forcing each to forgive a greater proportion of the debt than they might otherwise have needed to. “I think many investors believed that as they were holding the same bond as the ECB, they should therefore be considered in the same boat as the ECB,” said Michael Krautzberger, head of the Euro fixed income business at BlackRock. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: What central banks do is “legal.” What YOU do is something else again.

Free-Market Analysis: We have often written the goal of the Anglosphere power elite is to create a worldwide depression on the way to one-world government. They are seemingly well on their way to doing that using the power of monopoly central banking, which they certainly seem to control.

http://thedailybell.com/3676/ECB-Blows-Up-Europe-Creates-Super-Immune-Elite-Bonds-Throws-Credit-Market-into-Disarray

15 Potentially Massive Threats To The U.S. Economy Over The Next 12 Months

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause “sudden change” to the U.S. economy is greater than ever.  There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months.  A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly.  Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad “black swan event” over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/15_Potentially_Massive_Threats_To_The_U.S._Economy_Over_The_Next_12_Months_/18310/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Wars and Rumors of War

Netanyahu tells Obama: I have yet to decide whether to attack Iran

U.S. president and Israeli premier agree to increase their coordination on Iran, in two hour White House meeting.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-tells-obama-i-have-yet-to-decide-whether-to-attack-iran-1.416711

What are the Saudis really looking for in Baghdad?

http://www.tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/96118

IAEA: Iran tripled higher-grade uranium production

Amano voices “serious concern” over Tehran’s nuclear program to UN atomic watchdog’s 35-nation governing board.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=260522

Britain admits funding Syria rebels

06 Mar 2012 The UK government has acknowledged that it has provided an extra GBP 2 million to the Western-backed rebels fighting the popular government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Prime Minister David Cameron told a hearing at the House of Commons Liaison Committee on Tuesday afternoon that his government provided cash and equipment to foreign-backed rebels in Syria under such names as ‘aid agencies’ operating on the ground to help deliver emergency medical supplies and food. The acknowledgement is yet another proof that the rebellion in the Middle Eastern Arab country has its root somewhere in Britain and France.

http://www.eutimes.net/2012/03/britain-admits-funding-syria-rebels/comment-page-1/

Assad determined to fight ‘foreign-backed terrorism’

06 Mar 2012 Syria’s president defied mounting international pressure to end the year-old crackdown on an [Western-backed] uprising against him and said Tuesday he was determined to go on fighting what he called [and is] “foreign-backed terrorism.” After a powerful American senator called for airstrikes on Syria, President Barack Obama said unilateral U.S. military action against President Bashar Assad’s government would be a mistake. The United States said it is proposing a new United Nations Security Council resolution demanding an end to violence in Syria, first by government forces and then by opposition fighters. Russia and China, powerful allies that have blocked a Security Council resolution against Syria, made clear they were still standing by the government in Damascus.

http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120306/120306_syria_crisis/20120306/

Tears for Somali’s “Baby Soldiers”

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4525

Syria: Game Over for Western Propaganda

Why should the West intervene in Syria when it turns out “activists” giving daily body counts, the sole source of “evidence” for the UN’s ever climbing grand total, are caught not only lying, but staging entire interviews complete with fake gunfire directed “off stage?” Why should the US, UK, EU, or the West’s stable of Arab proxy-regimes be allowed to arm Syrian rebels admittedly carrying out their own horrific atrocities? Clearly Syria’s opposition have turned out, just as they have in Libya, to be craven, murderous, and ultimately deceitful extremists – making any further contact with them by the West a direct violation of their own national and international laws…..

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Syria%3A_Game_Over_for_Western_Propaganda_/18314/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Eastern Libya pulls away from central government

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Tribal leaders and militia commanders declared oil-rich eastern Libya a semiautonomous state on Tuesday, a unilateral move that the interim head of state called a “dangerous” conspiracy by Arab nations to tear the country apart six months after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

http://news.yahoo.com/eastern-libya-pulls-away-central-government-200358649.html

Economic Warfare and Strangling Sanctions: Punishing Iran for its “Defiance” of the United States

The economic sanctions imposed upon Iran are having the desired effect of punishing the population through hunger and economic strangulation, making life miserable for the many. As tensions increase between the “international community” (the West) and Iran, talk of war is in the air. For years, sanctions have been imposed upon Iran in an attempt to devastate its dependence upon the oil industry for 80% of its revenues. The West seeks ‘regime change,’ and we hear a never-ending proliferation of proclamations from Western leaders about respecting democratic rights and freedom for Iranians, in lambasting the Iranian government for its human rights record, portraying it as a state sponsor of terrorism, and, of course, that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons with a stated goal of wanting to ‘wipe Israel off the map.’

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Economic_Warfare_and_Strangling_Sanctions%3A_Punishing_Iran_for_its_%E2%80%9CDefiance%E2%80%9D_of_the_United_States/18305/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Obama seeks to calm ‘beat of war’ over Syria, Iran

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-07/obama-warns-against-military-action-in-syria/3872982/?site=sydney

Environmental

How do you stop a synthetic-biology disaster?

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/How_do_you_stop_a_synthetic_biology_disaster_999.html

UN’s Environmental “Solution”: More Government

With the time counting down to the next United Nations conference on “sustainable development,” a new report recently published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) clearly indicates that the UN’s approach to the entire topic is to expand the power of government to regulate and control all levels of economic development throughout the world.

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11089-uns-environmental-qsolutionq-more-government

BP vs. Gulf Coast: It’s Not Settled Yet

Antonia Juhasz, Op-Ed: “On March 2, the first agreement in the historic trial against BP and all of the companies responsible for the largest maritime oil spill in world history was announced. The settlement proposal between BP and some 120,000 individuals and businesses includes key provisions long sought by those most economically and physically devastated by the gulf oil disaster. It also entails a number of critical unknowns, with vital details under negotiation for up to forty-five days.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/bp-vs-gulf-coast-it-s-not-settled-yet-1331134971

Cyber Space

Five arrested in high-profile cyberattacks

06 Mar 2012 Top members of the computer hacker group “Anonymous” and its offshoots were arrested and charged Tuesday after a wide-ranging investigation used the help of a group leader who was working as a secret government informant. Five of the suspects, considered by investigators among the “most sophisticated hackers in the world,” were arrested in the United States and Europe and charged in a Manhattan federal court over their alleged role in high-profile cyberattacks against government agencies and large companies, according to an indictment. A sixth man, Hector Xavier Monsegur, a notorious hacker known as “Sabu,” pleaded guilty in August to computer hacking and other crimes.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/06/us/new-york-hacker-arrests/index.html

LulzSec boss Hector Monsegur was working for us – FBI

Monsegur, aka Sabu, turned by FBI last June –‘We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec’ 07 Mar 2012 Police on two continents swooped on top members of computer hacking group LulzSec early today, and acting largely on evidence gathered by the organisation’s leader – who sources say has been secretly working for the government for months – arrested three and charged two more with conspiracy. Charges against four of the five were based on a conspiracy case filed in New York federal court. An indictment charging the suspects, who include two men from Great Britain, two from Ireland and an American from Chicago, is expected to be unsealed today in the Southern District of New York. “This is devastating to the organisation,” an FBI official involved with the investigation said. “We’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.” [We’ll see.]

http://www.news.com.au/technology/computer-hacking-group-lulzsec-brought-down-by-own-leader/story-e6frfro0-1226291313158

STRATFOR email on Assange refers to ‘switching him off’

http://www.legitgov.org/STRATFOR-email-Assange-refers-switching-him

The accepted culture at Stratfor includes sharing advice about how to take control of informants ‘by means of financial, sexual or psychological control’.

Assange Counts Down to Sweden

http://newmatilda.com/2012/03/07/assange-counts-down-sweden

07 Mar 2012 Julian Assange has worn an electronic manacle for 454 days. Every day for 454 days he has signed in at a police station. Every night for 454 nights Serco has ensured he is home by 10pm, monitoring him in a fixed location for a required 10 hours, an equivalent of 225 days in prison. These bail conditions are maintained in the absence of any charge being laid against him – or even a decision to prosecute. They were set after an Interpol Red Notice was issued for Assange’s arrest. Gaddafi attracted an orange notice around the same time. The emails about Assange and Wikileaks are vicious; one little charmer refers to “switching him off”, that is, murder. Others lament when Assange is not killed in a car accident and joke, “Screw the terrorist. He’ll be eating cat food forever… Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison”. Their language and suggestions are sadistic and their strategy reads like spooky prophecy because Stratfor’s advice is being taken.

Top Republican publishes full ACTA text for public look-see

‘Secret negotiations not the American way’ 06 Mar 1012 Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California has published the full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), saying that the public has a right to know what their governments have been hiding from them. “ACTA represents as great a threat to an open Internet as SOPA and PIPA and was drafted with even less transparency and input from digital citizens,” Issa said in a statement.

Negotiations on ACTA started under President [sic] Bush the Younger, and have been carried on by the current administration. [Of course they have. Obusha hasn’t deviated much from the previous regime, and in most situations (NDAA, killer drone attacks) has moved farther to the right than Bush. For some reason, he gets a ‘pass.’ –LRP]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/06/issa_opens_acta/

US, Israeli hackers fail in their effort to take down Press TV

[Press TV needs to *return the favor.*] 06 Mar 2012 A recent cyber attack launched by US and Israeli hackers against the website of Iran’s 24-hour English-language news channel, Press TV, has failed to take down the website. According to the Press TV report, the attack against the website took place from 14:00 on March 5 to 04:00 local time on March 6. However, the effective security countermeasures taken by the Press TV technical team foiled the cyber attack on the website. This is not the first cyber attack on Press TV. A similar attack was launched on the website on February 18, from 07:50 to 10:05 local time, which also failed.

http://www.legitgov.org/US-Israeli-hackers-fail-their-effort-take-down-Press-TV

US, Israeli hackers fail in their effort to take down Press TV

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/230303.html

Attacking The Hacker Hydra: Why FBI’s LulzSec Takedown May Backfire

from the top-down-approach-to-a-bottom-up-threat dept

Interesting timing. Just about the same time that we had our story concerning how LulzSec kept its own site from getting hacked, the news was breaking that the key leaders of LulzSec were being arrested, in large part because the “leader” of the group had become an FBI informant after they tracked him down last year. Of the various hacking efforts out there, LulzSec has definitely been the most brazen, so it’s not a huge surprise that it would be targeted by the FBI. Also, unlike “Anonymous,” LulzSec was pretty clearly an effort by a few key individuals, rather than a loose collective of folks joining and leaving at will.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120306/09451918000/attacking-hacker-hydra-why-fbis-lulzsec-takedown-may-backfire.shtml

Misc

What is the New World Order?

The nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the authority of international law. We now have the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Court just to name a few. We have a World Court to adjudicate the international laws of the emerging world government.          –Irvin Baxter

http://blog.world-mysteries.com/ancient-writings/what-is-the-new-world-order/

State Investigators, Workers Cite Labor Abuses in Warehouse Empire

Lilly Fowler, News Analysis: “As a warehouse worker in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, the nation’s biggest distribution hub for consumer goods, Jorge Soto handles shipments for retail giant Walmart every day. But Soto, who works for a subcontractor, claims that, along with routine jobs such as unloading trucks, he also has been ordered to perform an illegal task: falsifying employees’ time sheets to cheat them out of getting the minimum wage.”