Sunday, March 1, 2009
This Monday (9 February 2009), Kent Police arrested a man in Sheffield under the Serious Crime Act 2007 in relation to the recent Indymedia server seizure. His home was raided, all computer equipment and related papers taken. He was released after eight hours. The person had neither technical, administrative nor editorial access to the Indymedia UK website. He was only associated to the project by hosting its server.
The arrest took place under Section 44-46 of the Serious Crime Act, which was passed into law on 1st October 2008 to combat serious international crime like drug trafficking, prostitution, money laundering and armed robbery. Sections 44-46 refer to “encouraging or assisting offences”.
Kent police claim that they are after the IP address of the poster of two anonymous comments to a report about a recent animal liberation court case, which included personal details of the Judge. The IP address of the poster is not stored as Indymedia does not log IP addresses. This was acknowledged by British Transport Police in 2005, after the Bristol IMC server seizure.
For the police to arrest the person who happened to sign the contract for server hosting, is sheer intimidation, in light of Indymedia's openly stated policy of no IP logging.
With the implementation of the EU Data Retention Directive in March 2009, the UK government attempts to turn every internet service provider in the country into part of the law enforcement apparatus. This legislation will provide a legal basis to track, intimidate, harass, and arrest people who are doing valuable and necessary work for social change, for example as peace activists, campaigners for economic and social justice or against police brutality.
The present intimidation of the open publishing alternative news platform Indymedia will have serious implications for anyone running a server in the UK which allows user contributions – blogs, social networking sites, wikis. This is an attempt to close down sites that respect the privacy of their contributors, pure and simple.
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Indymedia may be a publisher but they are definitely not "Communications Service Providers", within the meaning of RIPA or the Communications Act 2003 i.e. they are not regulated Telecommunications or Internet Service Provider companies.
Nobody can be forced by RIPA to log stuff or to retain logfiles for things which they have no need for, for business or technical administration reasons.
The EU Directive on mandatory Data Retention for internet logfiles does not come into force until April 6th this year. Neither it, nor the UK Regulations which will implement it contain any criminal or financial penalties for Communications Service providers if they refuse to, or are technically unable to, log IP addresses etc.
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Mary Riddell comments in the Telegraph :
As the former Whitehall security chief, Sir David Omand, implies, the security services will soon be privy to our every detail, from our dwindling savings to our taste in shower gel. Most galling is the imbalance of data-sharing, under which ministers know everything about us while we know little about them. True, we may discover an MP's outlay on Philippe Starck lemon-squeezers, or whether he or she (legitimately, of course) declares a top bunk in a youth hostel as a primary residence.
On the other hand, we can't know what was in the Iraq war Cabinet minutes, because Jack Straw has defied two rulings that they should be released. That veto is as rash as it is disgraceful. Not only does it suggest an illiberal government - an impression borne out by the Justice Secretary's Coroners and Justice Bill, which promotes secret military inquests and, in Clause 152, a sweeping sanction for data swapping – it also gives the appearance of a government with shameful secrets to hide. A similar impression was created in the case of the Guantánamo returnee. To the dismay of two judges, the Foreign Secretary declined to publish the intelligence dossier that secured the release of Mr Mohamed, who claims he was tortured with the complicity of M15 officers.
David Miliband is privately appalled at being branded by the media as the Minister for Torture. He has a fair point, since he pressed for Mr Mohamed's return and urged that his defence counsel have access to the disputed dossier. It is possible, or even likely, that Mr Miliband would like the material disclosed, but he has stuck to the line that the Americans must decide. Downing Street and the Foreign Office cannot yet decipher just how open Barack Obama is prepared to be, and neither wants to be wrong-footed.
Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, has a more clear-cut decision to make: whether there should be a criminal investigation into Mr Mohamed's alleged torture. Despite mulling this over since October, she has so far failed to say whether or not MI5 officers have a possible case to answer. Any further foot-dragging would fuel furious suspicions of a cover-up, but for the ambivalence inspired by Mr Mohamed. To some he is a maligned hero who survived adversity with courage; others see him as a dubious potential sponger on a state of which he is not a citizen. Neither caricature is relevant. Whether he was tortured with razor blades (as he says), or less savagely (as some close to the Foreign Office believe), human rights are universal and – in the case of torture – absolute. Any state that fails to excavate the whole truth is also more likely to strip citizens of their privacy and basic freedoms.
Britain is in an invidious place. The war on terror may be over, in name at least, but its apparatus of draconian laws bears down on everyone from the terror suspect placed, with no explanation, under a control order to the pensioner putting a wheelie bin out on the wrong day.
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From Radical Love: An interview with Natty Seidenverg by Mickey Z.
...Unlike monogamy or polyamory, radical love is about quality, not quantity. For me, radical love simply means applying my politics to my way of loving.
MZ: I'll assume you're talking about something deeper and more venerable than a 1960s "love the one you're with" philosophy- something more rooted in social activism. Can you offer a little historical context for radical love?
NS: The stereotype about the 1960's free love movement has to do with the patriarchal appropriation of freedom and sexuality—the idea that the only place for a woman in a movement is prone, or that women are not "radical" enough if they do not succumb to the desires of their male comrades. But the 1960's/1970's free love movement was rooted in an earlier free love movement of the late 1800's. The first wave was basically an overlap of the anarchist movement (which was male dominated) and the women's rights movement (which was mostly statist). At that intersection, free love as a philosophy was born. At the heart of free love at that time was not only women's right to say yes to sex outside of the traditional strictures, but also their ability to say no. Marital rape was not condemned back then. The early free love movement was about the right of everyone to say yes to love and sex, as well as to say no. That is the fundamental difference between the 1960's stereotypes and the root of the free love movement. My understanding of radical love is informed much more by the earlier movement...
Excerpt from Marianne Faithfull interview: Yours Faithfully by Aidan Smith
None of the tracks on Easy Come Easy Go was written by Faithfull, now 62, but in all of them there are lines which beg questions of her, such is the potency of cheap music, and such has been the colour and chaos of her life. Richards has been her guitar-playing friend for 45 years, and when he accompanied her on this track, the ghosts threatened to crowd the pair out of the studio.
She says: "I don't see him very often because he lives in the Caymans in a place called Pirate – where else? – but when we get together it's just like it was yesterday and singing this song with him was very emotional. I was with him and Gram Parsons the first time I heard it, back in the Sixties."
Faithfull's life has necessitated at least two autobiographies, and both books have been acclaimed for evoking seminal Swinging Sixties moments such as the shooting of the film Performance with its "seething cauldron of diabolical ingredients" including rockers, gangsters, drugs and the threesome-obsessed Scottish director Donald Cammell. She memorably described Richards as "the lute player in the window", penning a love song to his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, the ex of Brian Jones, who had just slept with Mick Jagger, Faithfull's lover, while the latter was expecting the lead Strolling Bone's baby.
Richards, though, was the one Faithfull really lusted after. She's said before that Richards was intuitively sexy while Jagger had to work at it, learning from Keith, and she adds today: "Mick didn't learn enough from him. He wasn't natural like Keith. Keith was so good-looking – they both were – but Keith loved women and didn't have to think about it and he's still like that. We had one night together, that was all. Great sex, fabulous sex." The best? "I can't say, that would be unkind."
Faithfull's life was pretty amazing before any of this. Her mother went from baroness (Austro-Hungarian) to Berlin showgirl to bus conductor, the latter after splitting from Faithfull's father, a wartime spy whose own dad invented a sexual contraption called the Frigidity Machine. Back on her mum's side, a great-uncle wrote the book which minted the term masochism, and Faithfull experienced the extremes of a commune and a convent before this wannabe beatnik caught the bus from sleepy Reading to sleep-around London, capital of the free love universe, where she entranced Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham who famously gasped: "I have seen an angel – an angel with big tits."
Royce Millar reports in the Sydney Morning Herald :
Three property industry high-flyers, including the senior agent of a company part-owned by James Packer, are among 13 Australians under arrest in Dubai as its supposed property miracle has succumbed to the global financial crisis.
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The three executives are of particular concern to lawyers and the Australian embassy because of the seriousness of the allegations and the uncertainty of their future. United Arab Emirates law allows suspects to be held indefinitely without charge.
It is understood the bribery allegations involve millions of dollars in consultancy payments by Sunland to Nakheel and a third party over a waterfront property purchase. Nakheel is one of four development companies linked to the Dubai Government and its ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.
Mr Lee and Mr Joyce have been held in solitary confinement since January 25. They have been allowed only limited access to lawyers and family.
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One Response to “Syria Suffers Water Shortage - More News on Middle Eastern Drought”
Call me crazy, but I’m still believing in ‘Baal’. And I think he’s sitting on the top of Mout Hermon lookind down to us ;-)
As you know, the Rain-God Ba[a]l was the ‘biggest’ God in the Levante Area. So when I visit Syria in winter 2000/2001 my family, friends and neighbours complaind, that over a period of 10 years the rain has fallen less and less.
So I decide to go back to ancient ‘problem-solving’ methods … and I was right! After a fire sacrifices to the Rain-God Baal (a piece of praliné ) - it started to rain day and night… ;-))
So it seem that this works even better then the Cloudbuster-Rainmaking of the Wilhelm-Reich-Scholars.
All the best!
Heavy Rain across Syria
Governorates, (SANA) – Rain fell across Syrian governorates during the past few days, accompanied by snow in mountain areas 900 meters above sea level.
The heaviest rainfalls recorded at 50mm in al-Shajara area in Daraa, 41mm in Kasab area in Lattakia, and 40mm in Slenfeh.
Rainfall across Hama governorate that took place during the past five days raised rain rates for this season, promising good harvests.
In Aleppo, rainfall since the beginning of the season exceeded that of last years, with the difference in some areas exceeding 100mm.
In al-Suweida, rain was accompanied by snowfall reaching 40cm in Dahr al-Jabal area, while snow in some eastern and southern villages reached 10 to 20cm.
Sources from the Department of Agriculture said the rainfall in most governorates promise good harvests, particularly after the long dry spell in the region, adding that the rainfall improved agriculture and increased water reserves in several dams.
The country is affected by a low-pressure front centered west of the country accompanied by cold western currents of polar origins.H. Sabbagh / A. N. Idelbi
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