WikiLeaks Julian Assange Warns about the Creation of Digital Armies

Havana Times.org

HAVANA TIMES — The founder of Wikileaks (an international non-profit organization that leaks secret information), Julian Assange, warned us on Thursday about the creation of digital armies in the world, which are a threat to society and don’t only come from Nations but from private enterprises too, reported dpa news.

“The ability to create digital armies is a very serious threat. This is the result of the efforts of powerful companies, large corporations and Governments who control online data and information,” Assange said in a video-conference that was broadcast in Quito, at a commemorative event which marked his five-year anniversary in refuge at the Embassy of Ecuador in London.

The expert warned that people no longer warn of information gathering plans that are being implemented and that, just as in chess, you have to plan 10 moves in advance.

He set an example with corporations such as Google and Apple who are changing their strategies “in order to get to know their users better” and said that the CIA is a dangerous organization which “is nothing more than a fleet of IT pirates” who have a complex in Germany.

“These espionage organizations such as Apple or Google are trying to become digital “super-states,” trying to become States within their States,” warned the Wikileaks’ founder.

“If we don’t do anything, the time will come when we human beings won’t be able to stand up and do anything to these companies,” Assange warned.

With regard to his personal situation, he complained that the United States and the United Kingdom have used “many resources” to stop him from being able to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.

He said he felt alone at the embassy. “I am completely cut off from the world, I don’t exist in London, in Quito…, just at this embassy.” he claimed.

He noted that the first thing he will do when he leaves the embassy, if he wins his case, will be to watch the sun, the cars, birds. “I want to see my family and bring them to Ecuador,” he added.

After his speech, a dialogue began with attendees at Quito’s media research center (CIESPAL), where the “Day of Reflection, Julian Assange, five years of freedom denied” took place.

Lawyer Baltasar Garzon, the head of the Wikileaks founder’s legal defense team, attended this event, who announced that he would take his defendant’s case to the United Nations, more specifically to UNHCR and the Committee against Torture.

“These actions answer to the fact that Assange, who has been in asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London for five years, finds himself in a legal limbo and that there aren’t any arrest warrants against him, however, they still want to arrest him,” Garzon pointed out to journalists.

The lawyer also announced that the case will be put forward to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).

He also went on to say that the defense team is asking the United States to indicate “whether there is any legal warrant against Assange” which hasn’t been communicated to the defense team on the record.

Assange asked Ecuador for political asylum in London five years ago and he has remained inside its diplomatic offices throughout this time.

His request was due to the fear of Sweden, a country which was after him over alleged sexual abuse crimes, could extradite him to the United States, after he disclosed information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Charges against Assange have already been dropped by the Swedish Attorney General, but the United Kingdom has yet to announce that it will withdraw its home arrest warrant and extradition to Sweden.

anonymous.. the first internet based super-consciousness.

anonymous the first internet-based superconsciousness…. anonymous is a group, in the sense that a flock of birds is a group. how do you know they’re a group? because they’re travelling in the same direction. at any given moment, more birds could join, leave, peel off in another direction entirely. – Chris Landers. Baltimore City […]

via anonymous.. the first internet based super-consciousness. — The Free

The Constitution and Conscience: NSA’s Thomas Drake (Video)

Rise Up Times

A talk by Thomas Drake, a veteran of the Air Force and Navy, who was working as a senior executive in the National Security Agency when surveillance policy changed in the aftermath of 9-11 in ways that violated both the Constitution and his conscience.

He spoke out on secret mass ‘Collect-it-all’ electronic surveillance and the multibillion-dollar fraud and intelligence failures within the NSA. He was the first U.S. whistleblower to be charged under the Espionage Act since Daniel Ellsberg in 1971 and faced 35 years in prison. A program that he exposed was later confirmed by the NSA to have been a waste of over a billion dollars. He was among the first to expose to the public the mass surveillance of US citizens which still continues in various forms.

Sponsored by:
Tackling Torture at the Top Committee of Women Against Military Madness
The Coming Home Collaborative
Veterans for Peace…

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As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All

AMY GOODMAN: CNN is reporting the Trump administration has prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

via As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All — Rise Up Times

Jeff Sessions Won’t Say If WikiLeaks Charges Open Up News Organizations to Prosecution

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to comment Friday when asked whether prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would also open up news organizations to prosecution. “That’s speculative and I’m not able to comment on that,” Sessions told CNN when asked specifically whether places like CNN or the New York Times would be vulnerable to prosecution. AG…

via Jeff Sessions Won’t Say If WikiLeaks Charges Open Up News Organizations to Prosecution — TIME

Alleged Russian hacker arrested in Spain at US request

By Aritz Parra and Raphael Satter | AP

MADRID — An alleged Russian hacker has been detained in Spain at the request of American authorities, an arrest that set cybersecurity circles abuzz after a Russian broadcaster raised the possibility it was linked to the U.S. presidential election.

Pyotr Levashov was arrested Friday in Barcelona on a U.S. computer crimes warrant, according to a spokeswoman for Spain’s National Court, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with court rules.

Such arrests aren’t unusual — American authorities typically try to nab Russian cybercrime suspects abroad because of the difficulty involved in extraditing them from Russia — but Levashov’s arrest drew immediate attention after his wife told Russia’s RT broadcaster that he was linked to America’s 2016 election hacking.

RT quoted Maria Levashova as saying that armed police stormed into their apartment in Barcelona overnight, keeping her and her friend locked in a room for two hours while they quizzed her husband. She said that when she spoke to her husband on the phone from the police station, he told her he was told that he had created a computer virus that was “linked to Trump’s election win.”

Levashova didn’t elaborate, and the exact nature of the allegations weren’t immediately clear. Malicious software is routinely shared, reworked and repurposed, meaning that even a computer virus’ creator may have little or nothing to do with how the virus is eventually used.

Levashov’s name is familiar in cybercrime circles. He has been alleged to be spam kingpin Peter Severa, according to Brian Krebs, a journalist who has written extensively about the Russian cybercrime underworld, and Spamhaus , a group which polices spam.

Levashov himself couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, and officials did not say whether he had a lawyer

The U.S. Embassy in Spain declined comment. Russian Embassy spokesman Vasily Nioradze confirmed the arrest but wouldn’t say whether he was a programmer, as reported by RT. He wouldn’t comment on the U.S. extradition order.

“As it is routine in these cases, we offer consular support to our citizen,” he said.

The Spanish spokeswoman said Levashov remains in custody.

Satter contributed from London. Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

Source :https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/alleged-russian-hacker-arrested-in-spain-at-us-request/2017/04/10/3e4830e6-1dd9-11e7-bb59-a74ccaf1d02f_story.html?utm_term=.822f1cb0d262

Net Neutrality Is Trump’s Next Target, Administration Says

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The Trump administration served notice on Thursday that its next move to deregulate broadband internet service companies would be to jettison the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules, which were intended to safeguard free expression online.

The net neutrality rules, approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015, aimed to preserve the open internet and ensure that it could not be divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for web and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else.

Supporters of net neutrality have insisted the rules are necessary to protect equal access to content on the internet. Opponents said the rules unfairly subjected broadband internet suppliers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter to utility-style regulation.

In a news conference, Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, mentioned the net neutrality rules affecting telecommunications and cable internet services, noting that the Obama administration had “reclassified them as common carriers.”

Mr. Spicer said President Trump had “pledged to reverse this overreach.” The Obama-era rules, Mr. Spicer said, were an example of “bureaucrats in Washington” placing restrictions on one kind of company — internet service suppliers — and “picking winners and losers.”

Telecommunications and cable television companies fought being classified as common-carrier utility services, which are subject to anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules. They said the classification opened the door to government interference that would ultimately reduce incentives to invest and would therefore result in higher prices and hurt consumers.

Mr. Spicer made his comments after Congress voted this week to complete its overturning of Obama-era internet privacy protections and to allow broadband companies to track and sell their customers’ online information with greater ease. The vote was seen as a prelude to further deregulation for broadband companies.

Mr. Spicer remarked on the rollback of privacy rules before he spoke more broadly about regulations on broadband internet services. President Trump, he said, will “continue to fight Washington red tape that stifles American innovation, job creation and economic growth.”

Mr. Trump earlier this year appointed Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon and a minority Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, as chairman of the agency. Mr. Pai voted against the net neutrality rules as a commission member in 2015.

Since becoming chairman, Mr. Pai has indicated that he plans to either roll back or decline to enforce many consumer protection regulations created during the Obama administration, including those regarding net neutrality.

Getting rid of the net neutrality rules, policy experts said, will be more difficult than peeling away the privacy regulations. Congress, in a vote mainly along party lines, and by a narrow margin, overturned the privacy rules enacted last fall, using a streamlined process under the Congressional Review Act.

But that faster procedure will not apply to the net neutrality rules, which were approved by the F.C.C. two years ago, beyond the timetable for such reviews.

Another path to repeal would be for Mr. Pai, who now leads a Republican-majority commission, to revisit the issue at the F.C.C.

Politically, net neutrality might be a bigger challenge as well. When it was weighing the rules in 2014 and 2015, the F.C.C. received more than one million public comments. The vast majority of them endorsed strict nondiscrimination rules that supporters viewed as necessary to preserve the democratic ethos of an open internet.

That wave of response influenced the Democratic-majority commission. “Net neutrality could be a volatile and explosive issue,” said Gene Kimmelman, president of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit consumer group. “I’m not sure the Trump administration appreciates that it addresses nondiscrimination for all kinds of speech, as much for Breitbart and Newsmax as it is for MSNBC and CNN,” referring to news sources that are staunch backers of the Trump administration and ones often seen by Republicans as harsh critics.

Opponents of the net neutrality rules say the rules were mainly the result of a very effective lobbying campaign by powerful internet companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Netflix. They have deep pockets and could pay more for fast lanes for their services, they say, but used the net neutrality campaign to avoid that expense.

“Regulations result in the allocation of wealth by the government,” said Jeffrey Eisenach, an economist and visiting scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who was also an adviser to the Trump transition team. “They are often an opportunity for one group of firms to grab an advantage over another group.”