Thursday, June 30, 2011

Privitized Oppression

You may think this is about Xe, or Blackwater, or top secret torture camps. It's not.

Amplify’d from wikileaks.org

For six months now, five major US financial institutions, VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and the Bank of America have tried to economically strangle WikiLeaks as a result of political pressure from Washington. The attack has blocked over 90% of the non-profit organization’s donations, costing some $15M in lost revenue. The attack is entirely outside of any due process or rule of law. In fact, in the only formal review to occur, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy C. Geithner found, on January 12, that there were no lawful grounds to add WikiLeaks to a financial blockade.

Read more at wikileaks.org
 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OECD Draft of Internet Policy-Making Principles Raises Questions with Civil Society Coalition

Amplify’d from www.eff.org

EFF has joined with a coalition of more than 80 global civil society groups which have declined to endorse a set of Internet Policy Principles presented today in Paris by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). EFF and the other members of the OECD’s Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC) were unwilling to accept the high profile OECD Communiqué on Internet Policy-making because it could encourage states to use Internet intermediaries to police online content, undermining freedom of expression, privacy and innovation across the world.

Read more at www.eff.org
 

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Greek Bailout: Who Profits?

Defaults and bailouts. The dominoes are falling.
Amplify’d from esr.ibiblio.org
Lost in the eye-glazing babble about maturity extensions, haircuts, and which acronymic organization is going to funnel the money into place is the real magnitude of the stakes here. It’s not just the Greeks’ opera-bouffĂ© parody of the modern redistributionist state that is circling the structural-insolvency drain; what really terrifies our political class is the prospect that, very soon, the investors simply won’t buy government bonds anymore – and massive borrowing through bond issues is the only thing keeping the redistributionist state afloat.
Everywhere, the gap between political spending commitments and revenue has been covered by borrowing. The entire system of redistributionism, in which the political class buys the consent of the governed with ever-increasing handouts, has come to depend on the assumption that the bond markets will always be there to be tapped for cash to fund next week’s bread and circuses.
Read more at esr.ibiblio.org

Know Your Rights: Protect Yourself from Illegal Searches

Amplify’d from www.eff.org

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable government searches and seizures, and this protection extends to your computer and portable devices. In EFF's "Know Your Digital Rights" guide, we outline various common scenarios and explain when and how the police can search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device -- or seize it for further examination somewhere else -- and give suggestions on what you can and can't do to protect your privacy.

Read more at www.eff.org
 

Friday, June 17, 2011

U.S. Personal and Economic Freedom Index

The Mercatus Institute ranks the American states on public policies that affect individual economic, social and personal freedoms.

Amplify’d from mercatus.org



This project develops an index of economic and personal freedom in the American states. Specifically, it examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies, from income taxation to gun control, from homeschooling regulation to drug policy.



We explicitly ground our conception of freedom on an individual-rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and properties as they see fit, as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.
Read more at mercatus.org
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Week in Internet Censorship

Top stories from EFF

Amplify’d from www.eff.org
Canadian Filtering Tool Used in Middle East
Crackdowns on ‘Anonymous’
Tunisian Activists Speak Out Against Porn Blocking
Read more at www.eff.org
 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Protecting the Economic Elite

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

When the state seems to “tighten the screws” on commercial power, limiting its range of motion for (supposedly) the consumer, the outcome is to reduce the field of competitors. Only the savviest, richest and most well-connected business players will be able to afford compliance with the state’s largely arbitrary rules, so only small businesses — those without K Street suits hovering about Congress — end up losing.

It’s true that regulations cost Big Business money, but all of those added costs are more than recouped through the monopoly prices huge corporations are able to charge as a result of state intervention. At bottom, the state has never been anything but a money machine for economic elites, erecting barriers and tolls throughout our commercial interactions to make sure that the “free” part of “free enterprise” never actually reaches the people it would help most.

Read more at c4ss.org
 

Friday, June 03, 2011

Intellectual Property as Licensed Monopoly

Is thought property? Without expression thought is a pretty solitary pastime.

Amplify’d from c4ss.org

“Intellectual property,” like tariffs and all other monopolies, is a barrier to the free movement of labor and capital into certain legally defined areas of production, which has the effect of maintaining artificially high prices that would not exist under free market competition.  “Intellectual property,” in our corporate global economy, performs exactly the same function the tariff did in the old national industrial economies:  It regulates the conditions under which one is allowed to produce a particular good for a particular market, so that the beneficiaries are able to charge a monopoly premium.  Rather than erecting territorial barriers around particular nations like the tariff, “intellectual property” builds walls around global corporations.

Read more at c4ss.org
 

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The War on Drugs has Failed

Fight drug related violence and drug abuse with the only weapon proven to be effective: education.

Amplify’d from www.msnbc.msn.com

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old worldwide "war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper was released Thursday.

The commission called for drug policies based on methods empirically proven to reduce crime, lead to better health and promote economic and social development.

Read more at www.msnbc.msn.com
 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Fight Internet Censorship, take the Tor Challenge

Amplify’d from www.eff.org

Activists worldwide use Tor to protect their anonymity online and to circumvent Internet censorship. But they all rely on a limited number of user-provided "relays" to protect themselves and communicate with others. Internet users worldwide need your help to make the Tor network stronger and faster, so take the Tor Challenge today!

Read more at www.eff.org