Published on May 22, 2013
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is being negotiated in secret between more than 12 countries around the Pacific region. Find out why it’s the biggest threat to the Internet you’ve probably never heard of.
The reversal was requested in papers [PDF] filed last week in the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia by Cox Communications; Bright House Networks, which is owned by Time Warner; and Verizon.
In the case—AF Holdings v. Does 1-1058 and Cox Communications, et. al.—the copyright holders allege that 1058 “John Does” engaged in file-sharing through BitTorrent of a sexually explicit film.
As part of the discovery process in the case, AF Holdings wants Cox and the other ISPs to turn over to them personal information on the John Does. The order came from a federal district court judge, Beryl A. Howell, a former lobbyist for the RIAA and Senate staffer who worked on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a federal law aimed to protect the rights of copyright holders in cyberspace.
The ISPs are asking the appeals court to overturn Howell’s decision ordering the disclosure of subscribers’ names as part of evidence discovery.
According to the ISPs, AF Holdings and its attorneys aren’t interested in obtaining the names of the alleged infringers to pursue their case in court, but in order to squeeze settlement money from the subscribers.
(NaturalNews) Most people feel that a time of great change is upon us. But what kind of change is unfolding, exactly?
To answer that question, we must examine current trends and attempt to understand where they are headed.
Here’s my look at ten of the most sociologically-charged trends that I believe are leading us into a spiritual crisis (followed by a spiritual awakening, as you’ll see below).
Abandoning the seeds of nature, human scientists continue to play God with plants, animals and even humans. In doing so, they challenge the laws of nature and have already given rise to “superbugs” and “superweeds.”
Superbugs are resistant to all known chemicals and drugs, and superweeds are resistant to all known chemical herbicides. Genetic pollution is rampant. No one knows where this takes us, but many understand that such reckless science puts the future of life at risk across our entire planet.
Turning to techno-immersion devices, more and more people are escaping reality and “living” in virtual worlds, or living in “augmented” versions of the real world. Though such devices and social networks promise connection, they actually deliver isolation, social detachment and depression.
As these devices become more capable of sensory immersion, the problems they foment will only become more extreme, leading to extreme isolationism, escapism and truly delusional life experiences. People will live and die in “the Matrix,” so to speak.
On the up side, immersion devices have tremendous therapeutic value and training value. They could theoretically be used to teach the fundamentals of liberty, consciousness, economics and philosophy, but history has shown they will most likely be exploited by corporate interests and abused by users to escape reality rather than enhance it. (Just look at where television ended up taking us…)
Any idea that used to be considered “normal” is being increasingly demonized. For example, understanding mathematics and the laws of economics now makes you a “fringe whacko” in any discussion about the national debt or budget deficits.
Expressing the existence of human consciousness will earn you a sharp rebuke from conformists who insist there is no such thing as consciousness. This group already includes many the world’s top physicists such as Stephen Hawking.
Ideas like “we should be responsible for our own actions” are becoming increasingly alien across society. Even a heterosexual lifestyle is now being thought of as “abnormal” by the new metro-sexual trendies. Everything normal and natural is being marginalized and replaced with radical, anti-consciousness ideas such as “it’s okay to murder babies right after they are born, just call it a post-birth abortion.”
Normalcy is the new “closet.” If you are normal, hide it away, lest you be incessantly berated by your peers for not conforming to their “new wave” of freakish ideas.
Journalism is increasingly becoming more about what is omitted from the news rather than what’s in it. As mainstream media institutions pursue agendas of social shaping rather than reporting factual news, they use the power of omission to make sure the people aren’t aware of the most socially-relevant stories.
For example, in our modern time there are two huge stories the media isn’t reporting because it’s practicing “omission journalism.” Those stories are the abortion murder trials and DHS bullet stockpiling.
When watching the news, an informed observer must now ask himself, “What are they NOT showing me?” Therein lie the real stories that will never be reported.
I call this the “Idiocracy” effect, named after the movie of the same name (by Mike Judge). It simply means that humans who are least qualified to advance humanity are the most likely to have the most offspring.
Put simply, smart people have fewer babies, but the idiots procreate in massive numbers. This ultimately skews the demographic profile into a society filled with people of very low cognitive function who nevertheless represent the voting majority. From there, the downfall of society and the rise of the idiocracy is only a matter of time.
In a hundred years, this article you are reading right now will be incomprehensible to even high-level scholars of the future because it uses big words like “demographic” and “cognitive.” Anyone who can do basic algebra will be considered a genius.
Today, publishing truthful knowledge about nutritional supplements, colloidal silver or natural medicine is considered a criminal activity. Any coherent physics analysis of WTC building 7 is also met with sheer derision.
One of the trademarks of the insane society into which we have already entered is the censorship and criminalization of knowledge. Any who speak the truth, who attempt to preserve knowledge, or who counter lies with truth are immediately branded whackos, conspiracy theorists or terrorists.
The purpose of this ploy is to eliminate all knowledge from society’s memory so that reality can be instantly reshaped at will by the governing tyrants. A population which has no connection with actual history, knowledge of natural medicine or even awareness of their natural rights is far easier to control than a well-educated population with a sense of factual context.
Dehumanization is a key trend to watch. You see it right now with the idea that sufficiently young children have no “life” and no value and can be terminated as a “choice.” You also see it with the increasingly radical rhetoric in the mainstream media, where guests on CNN and other broadcasts call for the violent shooting of anyone who disagrees with them.
These are signs of dehumanization, and they will be extended and multiplied until all those who disagree with the governing status quo are labeled “animals” and dealt with accordingly.
WASHINGTON (AP) — You don’t see this very often: a majority of Senate Republicans voting to make people who buy stuff on the Internet pay state and local sales taxes.
Anti-tax guru Grover Norquist isn’t happy about it and the conservative Heritage Foundation is questioning the senators’ conservative credentials. But the issue of taxing Internet sales is getting strong support from Republicans and Democrats alike.
The Senate could vote as early as Thursday on a bill to empower states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. Under the bill, the sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.
On Wednesday, the bill passed a test vote in the Senate, 74 to 23, with 27 Republicans voting in favor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vowed to pass the bill this week, before senators leave for a scheduled vacation.
“This is a matter of equity and fairness,” said South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican. “The same people who are selling the same products should be paying the same taxes.”
Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.
It is part of GOP orthodoxy to oppose higher taxes, a central issue that divides Democrats and Republicans. That’s why the bill faces an uncertain fate in the House, where some Republicans regard it as a tax increase.
But supporters of the bill insist it is not a tax increase. Instead, they say, the bill merely provides states with a mechanism to enforce current taxes.
“This bill has nothing to do with imposing any kind of new tax or revenue generator,” said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. “What this law does is allow states that already have laws on the books to carry out the implementation of those” laws.
Published on Apr 24, 2013
Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Max Baucus (D-MT) explain why the Internet sales tax bill, known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, is bad for America.
TUESDAY’S BIG STORY:
Online tax bill on the move: The Senate overwhelmingly agreed, 74-20, on Monday to end debate on a bill that would allow states to tax online purchases from Internet retailers located outside their borders, seemingly setting up passage of the bill as early as Tuesday.
Despite the support in the upper chamber, the bill could face resistance in the House. So far, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has said he is going to take a close look at the legislation before giving it an all-clear.
Meanwhile, the White House gave the legislation a thumbs-up on Monday with Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, saying the bill would put online retailers on the same footing with businesses that have a physical presence in states.
“This administration has carefully considered the legislation, and our team has met with a broad array of people on the issue,” Carney said. “And we have heard overwhelmingly from governors, mayors and the business community on the need for federal legislation to level the playing field for our businesses and address sales tax fairness.”
Under current law, states can only collect sales taxes from retailers with a physical presence. Consumers using the Internet to buy goods are supposed to declare the purchases on their tax forms, although few follow through. Some online businesses have begun to voluntarily add the state taxes.
The Supreme Court ruled more than two decades ago that companies only have to collect from in-state customers, but also said that Congress could weigh in on the issue.Retail groups have long supported the issue and put their weight behind the measure, propelling it to this point.
Supporters say that the proposal could give billions in extra revenue to struggling state and local governments. The bill would also exempt small businesses with less than $1 million in out-of-state sales.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has been pressing for passage of the bill for at least two years, said the bill is needed to help states refill their coffers depleted by a lingering economic downturn.
“What it means is a lot of money for the states and localities,” he said.
Still, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Monday that the online sales tax bill would create a new tax and leads America down a “dark path.”
Supporters’ efforts were revived by a vote last month on the Senate’s budget proposal in which 75 senators voted in support of the plan, giving them the go-ahead to press for a quick resolution of the bipartisan bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week he planned to bring the bill straight to the floor, bypassing the Senate Finance Committee and setting the stage for a vote.
IDG News Service – The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a controversial cyberthreat information-sharing bill, despite opposition from the White House and several privacy and digital rights groups.
The House on Thursday voted 288-127 to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would allow U.S. intelligence agencies to share cyberthreat information with private companies. It would also shield private companies that voluntarily share cyberthreat information with each other and with government agencies from privacy lawsuits brought by customers.
[ BACKGROUND: Reddit co-founder calls out Google, Twitter, Facebook over CISPA ]
The bill would still need to be passed by the U.S. Senate before heading to President Barack Obama for his signature. The Senate declined to act on another version of CISPA during the last session of Congress, and earlier this week, Obama’s advisors threatened a veto, although that was before the House approved a handful of amendments intended to address privacy concerns.
CISPA would allow private companies to share a broad range of customer data with each other and with government agencies, privacy groups have complained.
Supporters, however, argued the legislation is needed to encourage better information sharing about active cyberattacks, resulting in better defense of U.S. networks. Federal law now prohibits intelligence agencies from sharing classified cyberthreat information with private companies.
The bill will help protect the U.S. against cyberattacks from China, Iran and other countries, supporters said. Cyberespionage has cost the U.S. tens of thousands of jobs, as foreign companies steal the blueprints of U.S. products, said Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and primary sponsor of CISPA.
“If you want to take a shot across China’s bow, this is the answer,” he said to applause on the House floor.
The bill correctly balances privacy concerns with the need for security, added Representative Dan Maffei, a New York Democrat. Rogue nations and “even independent groups like WikiLeaks” are taking aggressive measures to attack the U.S. power grid, air-traffic control systems and customer financial data, he said.
“Every day, international agents, terrorists and criminal organizations attack the public and private networks of the United States,” he said. “While I do always have some concern that the U.S. government may access our private information in the cyber sphere, I am more concerned that the Chinese government will access our private information.”
The House on Thursday voted for a handful of amendments to the bill intended to improve privacy protections in the bill. Lawmakers approved an amendment designating the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice as the primary repositories of cybertheat information shared by private companies, addressing a concern by several privacy groups that CISPA would give the U.S. National Security Agency unfettered access to customer data.
We’ve written extensively about CISPA over the last year, but since the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is set to mark the bill up next week, and the full House to vote on it the week after that, we’re posting in more depth about its shortcomings. Information sharing isn’t offensive per se; it’s really a question of what can be shared, with whom, and what corporations and government agencies can do with it. First up:
What information does CISPA allow companies to share?
The short answer: any information that “pertains” to cybersecurity, broadly defined to include vulnerabilities, threat information, efforts to degrade systems, attempts at unauthorized access, and more. You can see the full list on page 20 of the bill. You’ll see that it’s not tied to the criminal definition of hacking but instead forges new ground.
The bill sponsors will tell you that CISPA is only about the “ones and zeroes,” but it certainly isn’t drafted that way. There’s nothing limiting CISPA in that manner and personally identifiable information (PII) could be shared right along with some inconsequential code that doesn’t impact privacy at all. So, if your communications or records are somehow caught up in a cybersecurity data dump, they might possibly include information that identifies the real-world you, even if that information is not necessary to combat a cyber threat. Under CISPA, you’ll just have to trust that the corporations holding your very personal information do what’s best. Good luck with that.
Published on Apr 17, 2013
The Fox network has pulled an episode of Family Guy which depicted scenes eerily similar to those that unfolded during the Boston Marathon attack, despite the media still persisting with the claim that the episode was a “hoax” and that anyone who talked about it was an “abhorrent” conspiracy theorist.
RELATED: Fox pulls ‘Family Guy’ episode referring to deaths at Boston Marathon; no plans to re-air – http://www.washingtonpost.com/nationa…
View the scenes from Family Guy at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFXLKt…
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is one way to look for loved ones; another is Google’s Person Finder.
By Suzanne Choney, contributing writer, NBC News.com
Following the confusion and panic caused by the Boston Marathon bomb blasts, websites have been set up for people to report that they’re safe, or check in on a loved one.
The best mainstream resource is the Red Cross’ Safe and Well site, where you do two things: register yourself as being “safe and well,” or find out other people’s status. Those people will have to register with the site first, of course.
Google has activated its Person Finder service to help people locate each other. The search giant has used this in the past, for both U.S. and international crises, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Japan’s 2011 tsunami strike.
If you have loved ones who ran in the Boston Marathon, you can check on their last check-ins at the marathon’s website here. (A marathon enthusiast set up an independent Facebook page where some are checking in, too.) The Boston Marathon’s official Facebook page has also turned into a site to share information about what happened.
(Runners, for example, who got away from the scene, leaving their bags behind, were told on the Facebook page that “baggage claim is now open on Berkeley Street between Boylston Street and St. James Avenue. All unclaimed bags will remain secure.”
Families searching for loved ones can call this number at the Boston mayor’s office for information: 1-617-635-4520. Anyone with information about the blasts that can lead to an arrest are encouraged to call 1-800-494-TIPS, or text the word TIP to CRIME (27463).