Category Archive: Freedom & Democracy

Why do US senators support a tyrant?

Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, recently had criminal charges filed against him for alleged abuses of office. This moment was a long time in coming, but many of his friends in the U.S. Senate, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and James Risch (R-Ida.) are still in denial. As an American who experienced the dark side of the Saakashvili regime first hand, I am ashamed that our senators continue to support him.

These four senators publicly criticized the Georgian government – a democratic U.S. ally whose troops serve shoulder to shoulder with our troops around the world – for investigating Saakashvili, despite calls from the State Department to let the investigation proceed.

via Why do US senators support a tyrant? | TheHill.

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Opinion: "Apathetic Citizens Deserve To Lose Their Freedoms"

I absolutely believe what I wrote in the title of this article: apathetic citizens deserve to lose their freedoms. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Those of you who don’t know what is going on with your government, or to those of you who don’t care.

I don’t think they should lose their freedoms just because they are apathetic, nor do I want them to lose their freedoms because they are apathetic. IF we get to a point that our government takes away or limits our freedoms, those that sat around and did nothing while others warned them will deserve to have had their freedoms lost because they did nothing to prevent it. They are going to be responsible for their own oppression by the government.

via Apathetic Citizens Deserve To Lose Their Freedoms | Nillabyte.com.

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Cambodia cracks down on opposition; protests banned

Cambodia’s government launched a broad crackdown on the political opposition on Saturday, clearing its main protest site, banning its street demonstrations for the immediate future and having a court call in opposition party leaders for questioning on charges of inciting social unrest.

Police dispersed about 1,000 anti-government demonstrators from a park in the capital, Phnom Penh, a day after four people were killed in a crackdown on a labour protest. Stages and other structures erected by the protesters were demolished.

via Cambodia cracks down on opposition; protests banned | CTV News.

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U.S. Directs Agents to Cover up Program Used to Investigate Americans

Reuters:

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funnelling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defence lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

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Watch: How GPS spoofing can take control of drones and ships

Raw Story:

A University of Texas researcher who has hacked the navigational systems of drones and ships told PBS on Friday that anyone with his software could do the same.

“You know, we had done experiments in our laboratory and we’d convinced ourselves that we could hack a GPS receiver, make it believe it’s some other place, but what does this mean?” Professor Todd Humphreys said. “What does it entail? Could you, for example, remotely and clandestinely lead an expensive and enormous ship at sea off course without the crew even knowing? That was the question we sought to answer, and it turns out the answer is yes.”

Humphrey’s and and his graduate students used a technique called “GPS spoofing,” in which false GPS signals are broadcast that trick a vehicle’s GPS receiver. The researchers first used the technique to commandeer an aerial drone. More recently, they commandeered a ship.

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Gen. Martin Dempsey: It ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ If Russians, Chinese Have Obtained Snowden’s NSA Secrets

I have news for you. The Chinese and Russians already know. They learned about it before Snowden. Both the Chinese and Russians have been learned about NSA long ago. All Snowden did was make the information known to the American people:

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Russian and Chinese governments had already acquired classified American information allegedly taken by Edward Snowden while he was working as a government contractor for the National Security Agency.

“No, it wouldn’t surprise me, ” Dempsey told ABC’s Martha Raddatz during an interview for “This Week,” saying earlier that that amount of information in Snowden’s possession was “obviously significant.”

ABC News

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Patriot Act author: NSA spying on Americans ‘clearly not within the law’

I realize it’s a Republican saying this. But it’s still significant. At the very least we have a major player in the GOP calling the surveillance illegal. His voice must be added to all those from different political stripes questioning the NSA spying program:

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told Sean Hannity on Monday that what the Obama administration and the National Security Agency did with the Patriot Act was “clearly not within the law.” Referring to the dragnet collection of American citizens’ phone records and Internet information, Sensenbrenner said that “this is clearly beyond the law as I have outlined it, and it’s unfortunate that the Justice Department and the FISA court [which approves surveillance requests] did not follow the law in Justice’s petition to the court and the court approve it.”

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