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Media Articles from 2018

Assange Prosecution Will Focus On Chelsea Manning Era Releases, Not DNC Emails

[Justice]
Assange Prosecution Will Focus On Chelsea Manning Era Releases, Not DNC Emails
by Elizabeth Vos
Posted December 19, 2018

As noted by numerous press outlets and press freedom advocates, the prosecution – the end point of the longstanding persecution of Julian Assange – represents, as James Goodale, New York Times’ counsel for the Pentagon Papers, eloquently points out, a grave threat to the freedom of the press, in the United States and all over the world. That US espionage laws would be used against an Australian citizen who has never lived or published in the US, should send a shockwave to every international journalist who comments on US affairs and foreign policy decisions.

In the first live-streamed event following the gagging of Julian Assange in March, John Kiriakou relayed that the Eastern District of Virginia is known as “the Espionage court,” as no national security defendant had ever won a case there, and it is the home of the Central Intelligence Agency. He said: “Assange couldn’t possibly get a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.” More…

The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything

[Justice]
The Empire Keeps Proving Assange Right About Everything
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted December 16, 2018

the empire strikes backJulian Assange founded an innovative leak outlet on the premise that corrupt power can be fought with truth and transparency. Corrupt power responded by silencing, persecuting and smearing him. In so doing they succeeded in slowing down the leaks, minimizing the impact of publications, and nullifying Assange’s ability to defend himself, and in exchange they have publicly proved that his thesis was, and is, absolutely correct. There is a power establishment which uses lies and secrecy to manipulate and deceive us, and it hates having the light of truth shone upon it more than anything. We know that for certain now. There is no doubt whatsoever.

Julian Assange was never hiding from justice. Julian Assange is, and always has been, hiding from injustice. He has been proven right about his reasons for seeking political asylum from Ecuador, as he has been proven right about so very much before. More…

Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom

[Justice]
Prosecution of Julian Assange for Publishing Documents Poses Grave Threats to Press Freedom
by Glenn Greenwald
Posted December 16, 2018

all journalism is threatened by the persecution of AssangeThe Trump Justice Department inadvertently revealed in a court filing that it has charged Julian Assange in a sealed indictment. The disclosure occurred through a remarkably amateurish cutting-and-pasting error in which prosecutors unintentionally used secret language from Assange’s sealed charges in a document filed in an unrelated case. Although the document does not specify which charges have been filed against Assange, the Wall Street Journal reported that “they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.”

Prosecuting Assange and/or WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents would be in an entirely different universe of press freedom threats. Reporting on the secret acts of government officials or powerful financial actors – including by publishing documents taken without authorization – is at the core of investigative journalism. From the Pentagon Papers to the Panama Papers to the Snowden disclosures to publication of Trump’s tax returns to the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, some of the most important journalism over the last several decades has occurred because it is legal and constitutional to publish secret documents even if the sources of those documents obtained them through illicit or even illegal means. More…

Confirming Dangers of FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, New Study Shows Telecoms Throttling YouTube, Netflix, and Other Apps

[Media]
Confirming Dangers of FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, New Study Shows Telecoms Throttling YouTube, Netflix, and Other Apps
by Jessica Corbett
Posted December 7, 2018

loss of Net neutrality starting to hurtAn ongoing study first reported by Bloomberg reveals the extent to which major American telecom companies are throttling video content on apps such as YouTube and Netflix on mobile phones in the wake of the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealing national net neutrality protections last December.

Researchers from Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst used a smartphone app called Wehe, which has been downloaded by about 100,000 users, to track when wireless carriers engage in data “differentiation,” or when companies alter download speeds depending on the type of content, which violates a key tenet of the repealed rules. More…

If the House of Representatives fails to pass Net Neutrality legislation before the end of Decemeber, all the work in getting it passed in the US Senate will be lost.

The West is Failing Julian Assange

[Justice]
The West is Failing Julian Assange
By Stefania Maurizi
Posted December 4, 2018

the west is failing AssangeThe risk of an editor or publisher being extradited for his publications should raise red flags and public debate in our democratic societies, yet we don’t see any debate at all.

Julian Assange’s situation is very precarious. His living conditions within the embassy have become unsustainable, and his friends speak as if there is no hope: “When the U.S. gets Julian”, they say, as if it is a foregone conclusion that the U.S. will get him and no journalist, no media, no NGO, no press association will do anything to prevent it.

In the last six years that Assange has been languishing in the embassy, not a single major Western media has dared to say: we shouldn’t keep an individual confined with no end in sight. This treatment of Julian Assange by the UK – and, more in general, by the West – is not only inhumane, but counterproductive. More…

Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination

[Media]
Snowden: Israeli Spyware Used By Governments to Pursue Journalists Targeted for Assassination
by Whitney Webb
Posted December 3, 2018

Israeli software being used to target killing journalistsTEL AVIV — NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told an Israeli audience on Tuesday that surveillance software designed by an Israeli company had been used to target groups of journalists in Mexico as well as Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered last month in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He explained that even if some “good actors” use NSO’s surveillance software, known as Pegasus, “it is not just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks…not just for saving lives, but for making money…such a level of recklessness…actually starts costing lives.” Pegasus is a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware program that is not available to the general public or even non-state clients. More…

Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now

[Media]
Shadow Banning Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: We’re All Digital Ghosts Now
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted November 19, 2018

have you been shadow banned?If you do a search of shadow banning, you’ll find sites that claim to help you identify whether Twitter or Instagram has shadow banned your account. The basic idea of shadow banning is to spoof the shadow-banned user into believing their public posts are visible to all while in reality the posts are visible only to the user or in some cases to the users’ followers.

Here is whatis.com’s description: “Shadow banning is controversial because it allows an administrator or moderator to effectively become a censor and prevent specific users from interacting with other members of an online community on an equal basis.”

Shadow banning and outright banning are only the tip of the iceberg: everyone who posts content on the web or social media is subject to much more subtle and completely opaque controls on how much of your digital presence has been ghosted–not just in social media communities but in searches and how links to your site/content and re-posts of your content are handled by the tech cartel that controls what’s visible and “found” on the web and social media. More…

Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media “Just the Beginning,” Says Top Neocon Insider

[Media]
Facebook Censorship of Alternative Media “Just the Beginning,” Says Top Neocon Insider
By Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague
Posted November 18, 2018

Rise of a new McCarthyismAt a Berlin security conference, hardline neocon Jamie Fly appeared to claim some credit for the recent coordinated purge of alternative media.

This October, Facebook and Twitter deleted the accounts of hundreds of users, including many alternative media outlets maintained by American users. Among those wiped out in the coordinated purge were popular sites that scrutinized police brutality and U.S. interventionism, like The Free Thought Project, Anti-Media, and Cop Block, along with the pages of journalists like Rachel Blevins.

Facebook claimed that these pages had “broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior.” However, sites like The Free Thought Project were verified by Facebook and widely recognized as legitimate sources of news and opinion. John Vibes, an independent reporter who contributed to Free Thought, accused Facebook of “favoring mainstream sources and silencing alternative voices.” More…

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