YouTube and Facebook Are Removing Evidence of Atrocities, Jeopardizing Cases Against War Criminals
by Avi Asher-Schapiro
Posted November 24, 2017
Social media evidence is increasingly used to build cases against perpetrators of abuses by human rights organizations, by European courts that have “universal jurisdiction” and can bring war crimes charges, and by United Nations investigators.
Over the summer, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for a Libyan commander accused of extrajudicial killings on the battlefield, basing the warrant, in part, on videos posted to Facebook. (One of the prosecutors on that case is Nicholls, the ICC lawyer who frets about atrocity evidence disappearing on social media.) Last year in Germany, an ISIS fighter was found guilty of posing with decapitated prisoners based in part on evidence found on Facebook.
This year, in Sweden, Syrian regime and rebel fighters were successfully prosecuted for war crimes using evidence from both Facebook and YouTube. In total, there are 30 ongoing war crimes investigations in Swedish and German courts connected to crimes committed in Syria and Iraq. On the other side of the world, the government of Myanmar has barred NGOs and aid agencies from entering northern parts of the country, where human rights groups say a genocide is taking place against the Rohingya population. Human rights workers are often reliant on social media evidence to document the atrocities. More…
The loss of net neutrality: Say goodbye to a free and open Internet
by Tom Henderson
Posted November 23, 2017
The end of net neutrality looks imminent. If it goes away, you can expect these long-lasting problems to surface. Net neutrality—the principle that no online traffic has priority over other traffic, not even for pay—might go away. If it does, big money will be behind its demise.
Every conceivable new theory about how one organization should have priority will ensue, and the courts will be clogged deciding the outcome. Today, the principle is simple: all traffic gets the same priority, and multimedia can have isochronous priority, but it’s not guaranteed.
Without net neutrality, we will enter an era where ISPs, telcos, carriers and interconnects will all demand that THEIR traffic has priority, and yours does not—unless you pay. Let the litigation begin, and the courts glow in the dark in an attempt to sort out what theories of law now hold sway. Insert wallet, here. More…
Psychopath vs. Empath: The War Between Evolution and Stagnation
by Gary ‘Z’ McGee
Posted November 23, 2017
Psychopaths are apathetic and have trouble empathizing with others; empaths are exemplary at putting themselves in the shoes of someone else. Psychopaths are about power and invulnerability; empaths are about empowerment and absolute vulnerability. Psychopaths are about ruthless individualism; empaths are about individualized interdependence. Psychopaths are indifferent, apathetic and emotionally shallow; empaths are deeply thoughtful and compassionate. Psychopaths are self-serious and insincere; empaths are humble and sincere. Psychopaths are overconfident and narrow-minded; empaths are confident but open-minded. Psychopaths are selfish and violent; empaths are selfless and loving. Psychopaths are rigid, inflexible, and intolerant; empaths are open, flexible, and tolerant.
But human nature is never so black and white. No one is all empathic or all psychopathic. Most people would probably fall somewhere in the middle on a bell curve. And nobody knows for sure if anybody is 100% psychopathic or empathic or even if anyone can be. More…
Is Trump a Blessing or a Curse to the Deep State?
By John W. Whitehead
Posted November 22, 2017
The moral choice before us is clear: it is the choice between tyranny and freedom, dictatorship and autonomy, peaceful slavery and dangerous freedom, and manufactured pipe dreams of what America used to be versus the gritty reality of what she is today.
We are still viewed as relatively expendable in the eyes of government: faceless numbers of individuals who serve one purpose, which is to keep the government machine running through our labor and our tax dollars.
We are still being made to suffer countless abuses at the government’s hands.
We still have little protection against standing armies (domestic and military), invasive surveillance, marauding SWAT teams, an overwhelming government arsenal of assault vehicles and firepower, and a barrage of laws that criminalize everything from vegetable gardens to lemonade stands. More…
A Week After Virginia Election Sweep, Democrats Join Republicans for More Bank Deregulation
by David Dayen
Posted November 22, 2017
Bipartisanship, long left for dead in Washington, has struck again. And Wall Street looks to be the winner.
In the wake of the Equifax scandal, Congress has been under pressure to act. But the price of modest reforms in Washington is often much larger giveaways elsewhere, and that pattern holds true in the agreement announced Monday between nine Senate Democrats and the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
The measure would roll back several key financial regulations, including sections of the Dodd-Frank Act. It does so under the cover of offering consumer protections and coming to the aid of community banks — though the financial institutions that benefit have not-so-obscure names, like American Express, SunTrust, and BB&T. More…
How Ranked-Choice Voting Works
By Matthew Green
Posted November 21, 2017
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) ballots vary somewhat by city, but generally follow a similar format. Assuming there are more than two candidates running for a given position, RCV races on the ballot include a first choice, second choice and third choice column, with every candidate listed in each column.
Voters pick their first, second and third choices, regardless of party. (Note: You don’t have to pick three; you can still just pick your first choice, or your first two choices, etc. It also doesn’t do much good to select your first choice three times — it’ll be counted only once.)
If any candidate receives more than 50 percent of first-choice votes, that candidate is automatically elected. Game over. But if no one receives a majority, a second round of voting proceeds. The candidate who received the least number of votes is eliminated (and if you voted for that candidate, your vote goes to your second choice pick). This process is repeated until one candidate has a clean majority. More…
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