“The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that Julian Assange is being arbitrarily and unlawfully detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom; and that he must be immediately released and compensated. More”
“Intelexit is an initiative that helps people leave the secret service and build a new life. It is civil society’s response to the lack of oversight and undemocratic practices of intelligence agencies.”
“The WikiLeaks Files presents expert analysis on the most important cables and outlines their historical importance. In a series of chapters dedicated to the various regions of the world, the book explores the machinations of the United States as it imposes its agenda on other nations: a new form of imperialism founded on varied tactics from torture to military action, to trade deals and “soft power,” in the perpetual pursuit of expanding influence. It illustrates the close relationship between government and big business in promoting US trade.”
Whistleblowers have a human right to a Public Interest Defense, and hacktivists do too, writes Carey Shenkman, first amendment, human rights lawyer, in HuffingtonPost.
“The United States’ war on transparency is making it an outlier in the international community. Just this week, a high-level European human rights body “urged” the United States to allow NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to return home and be given a meaningful chance to defend himself.
International human rights law has been clear for decades: anyone engaged in exposing gross abuses through whistleblowing and publishing is entitled to protection. Yet, the Obama administration has waged war on transparency, prosecuting more people for disclosing information to the press than Richard Nixon and all other U.S. presidents combined.
Not a single one of those prosecuted has been allowed to argue that their actions served the public good. Chelsea Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, exposed human rights abuses worldwide and opened an unprecedented window into global politics. Her disclosures are to this day cited regularly by the media and courts. Thomas Drake exposed massive NSA waste, while John Kiriakou exposed waterboarding later admitted to be torture in the recent Senate CIA Torture Report. The story of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of widespread NSA surveillance recently won an Oscar.
Whistleblowers cannot argue that their actions had positive effects, known as a “public interest defense.” The United States treats disclosures to the press as acts of spying — no matter what good they lead to. In response, European and international human rights bodies are urging the United States to adopt better protections for whistleblowers.
These protections should apply not only to insiders who blow the whistle, but also to other transparency advocates such as hacktivists. A public interest defense should have been available to Aaron Swartz, the Creative Commons creator and Reddit co-founder who tragically committed suicide following an overzealous government prosecution. His crime? Trying to make academic articles accessible to the public.
The defense could have helped Jeremy Hammond, who in 2013 was convicted for “computer trespass” and sentenced to 10 years for exposing that the private intelligence firm Stratfor spied on human rights activists. The Justice Department tried to cast Hammond as a cybercriminal. But Hammond’s supporters, which include human rights organizations and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, recognized that he was motivated to expose government and corporate surveillance.
In guaranteeing a fair trial for information disclosures, the United States lags behind other jurisdictions, including Canada, Denmark and Germany. Canada’s Security of Information Act offers a public interest defense, as does the Danish Criminal Code on disclosing state secrets. The defenses are not airtight, but they are better than nothing. For hacktivists, at least one German court has defended a digital sit-in as political speech, acknowledging that ‘hacker’ does not equal ‘cybercriminal.’
International norms support the human right to a public interest defense. The UN Human Rights Committee, interpreting the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the world’s farthest-reaching human rights treaty, noted that governments must take “extreme care” to ensure that laws relating to national security are not invoked “to suppress or withhold from the public information of legitimate public interest.”
Additionally, the Johannesburg Principles, adopted since 1995 by international legal experts, stipulate that “No person may be punished on national security grounds for disclosure of information if . . . the public interest in knowing the information outweighs the harm from disclosure.” This principle was reiterated in 2013 in the Tshwane Principles–agreed upon by UN experts, civil society and practitioners around the world. The Tshwane framework outlined in detail specific categories of disclosures, like corruption and human rights abuses, that should be protected.
Finally, the European Court of Human Rights, Europe’s high human rights court, has provided for whistleblower protection on numerous occasions. For instance, in Guja v. Moldova, the court protected as a matter of free speech a whistleblower’s right to disclose wrongdoing committed by a public prosecutor. In reaching its decision, the court weighed the perceived damage suffered by the public authorities against the public interest of the information revealed.
This week’s statements from the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe follow a tradition of long-standing norms which consistently support the right to a public interest defense in information disclosures. None of these norms depend on the defendant being a government whistleblower; they can certainly protect hacktivists as well.
The free flow of information is necessary for a democratic society, and this flow cannot be purely in the hands of government. This is why the rights to expression and a free and open press are among the most widely recognized rights on earth. When those exposing wrongdoing cannot even defend themselves in court, this is ultimately a failure of the rule of law. It means that even judges cannot challenge the basis for government secrecy, undermining the basic tenets of democratic society.”
“Our aim is to contribute to the international Human Rights movement based on our research and professional experience in the health sciences. Health concerns are an important area in the HR-international mission that has, unfortunately, been neglected as primary focus by most of established HR NGOs. We have chosen to undertake this endeavour from an independent platform, as a new established organization independent from government or partisan-politic interests. We act upon the basis of the UN chart of human rights and the ethical norms of the World Medical Association. We seek no sponsoring from any institution. We are totally independent from government, and we will not receive any financial support from governmental or corporative entities.”
Julian Assange em entrevista com ZH
“Nossas publicações de 2010 se tornaram a base para numerosas ações judiciais por vítimas de crimes e abusos de guerra pelos Estados Unidos, do Tribunal Europeu de Direitos Humanos aos tribunais britânicos, ao Tribunal Internacional Criminal para a ex-Iugoslávia e ao Tribunal Penal Internacional. Só isso é “mudança” – mudança muito real para pessoas reais, que eram incapazes de levar seus casos à justiça e fazer sua defesa, e agora o são. E há o grande número de grupos de direitos humanos e organizações da sociedade civil para os quais nossas publicações fizeram uma grande diferença. Grupos como Iraq Body Count (Contagem de Corpos no Iraque), que pôde usar nossos War Logs para calcular o verdadeiro número de mortos na Guerra do Iraque, ou Public Interest Lawyers, que foi capaz de usar os documentos como fonte para seus clientes em casos de prisão e tortura. Redes de ativistas de direitos autorais como La Quadrature du Net, que usou nossos despachos para investigar a utilização de lobbies corporativos secretos para introduzir restrições ao comércio e impor leis favoráveis aos Estados Unidos. Jornalistas investigativos como o Bureau de Jornalismo Investigativo, que usou nossos materiais para reconstruir a narrativa de sérios abusos contra os direitos humanos.”
Qual foi o impacto histórico do WikiLeaks até agora?
Nossas publicações também mudaram a forma como o jornalismo é feito. Antes do WikiLeaks, não havia precedente real para trabalho em larga escala com bases de dados. Desde que começamos a fazer isso, outros nos copiaram. Não havia precedente de amplas colaborações jornalísticas de interesse público entre jornais comerciais concorrentes. Demos início a isso, e outros estão fazendo o mesmo agora. Antes do WikiLeaks, ninguém dava importância a informações de segurança para jornalistas, ninguém pensava em usar criptografia para facilitar grandes vazamentos de fontes públicas. Agora essa é a única opção disponível. Mostramos o caminho para se fazer isso, e agora, como consequência também das revelações de Edward Snowden, que se apoiam nos avanços que possibilitamos, jornalistas estão levando isso a sério. Isso é um mar de mudança na cultura do jornalismo. Colocando um grande corpo de correspondência diplomática em domínio público, o Despachogate e suas sequelas elevaram o nível de alfabetização política para nossa geração. Nos últimos quatro anos, jornais de todo o mundo têm usado diariamente nossos materiais para apoiar suas apurações e noticiar suas consequências, em vez de correr para os analistas oficialistas. Essa é uma grande mudança em como nossa civilização entende suas circunstâncias históricas, e pode-se esperar que produza mudanças em cascata no futuro. Há também a imensurável, mas previsível consequência de nossas publicações, que é o fato de, depois das publicações, funcionários do governo americano saberem agora que cada palavra que escrevem pode um dia se tornar pública. Esse é um forte desestímulo contra os tipos de abusos sobre os quais podemos ler em seus despachos. Eles agora sabem que o segredo não vai proteger quem age de forma indevida. Essa é uma grande mudança, porque funciona como uma checagem da conduta dos burocratas do poder americano. E essas são apenas algumas das grandes mudanças. Mas há também aquelas mais particulares. Muitas pessoas argumentaram que nosso trabalho produziu mudanças muito concretas no mundo. Por exemplo, a Anistia Internacional e a BBC disseram que nosso trabalho contribuiu para o início da Primavera Árabe, porque nossas publicações foram uma causa das manifestações no final de dezembro de 2010 na Tunísia, quando a revolução começou. Os detalhes completos disso são dados no meu livro, mas muitos na revolução tunisiana, e mesmo um ex-ministro no governo de Ben Ali, disseram que nossas publicações “quebraram a espinha do sistema de Ben Ali”. Esses acontecimentos contribuíram para grandes mudanças históricas, nas quais outras forças intervieram, e desde então houve mudanças em cascata em todo o mundo. Nem toda mudança foi boa, mas uma parte foi boa. Isso é mudança?”
“Chelsea Manning, the US soldier convicted of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, is to receive hormone therapy to help complete the transition to life as a woman.
“NHS staff who blow the whistle on substandard and dangerous practices are being ignored, bullied or even intimidated in a “climate of fear”, according to an independent review.
A significant proportion of health workers are afraid to blow the whistle about poor patient care and safety failures in the NHS, the government commissioned inquiry, which documented “shocking” accounts of the treatment of whistbleblowers found.”
Continue reading Guardian article
At a recent press conference in Geneva, lawyer Melinda Taylor – sitting together with Baltasar Garzon, head of Assange’s defense team, journalists Sarah Harrison and Kristinn Hrafnsson of Wikileaks – explained how Julian Assange is, in view of the law, effectively detained inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and not a free man willingly imposing himself a detention to avoid questioning on alleged sex offences in Sweden. The threats, very real, are with the US… Sweden and the UK play significant roles in immobilizing Assange… What choice has a man surrounded by a moat with crocodiles, but to stay longer in the castle where he was granted asylum until this right is no longer obstructed and he can fully enjoy it ?
Julian Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador two and a half years ago, not to escape Swedish justice but as protection against political persecution and threats to his life emanating from the US. The US are building an “espionage case” against him and the organization, and public figures there have openly called for Assange’s assassination. Unjust, cruel treatments would be most likely, as we can imagine from Manning’s case and from US practices.
The investigation into him and Wikileaks was confirmed again recently with the revelations that Google has had to hand over to the FBI personal emails and metadata of 3 staffers (see Wikileaks editorial).
Julian Assange, Wikileaks staff and Wikileaks supporters, “the Wikileaks human network”, have indeed long been the targets of an arsenal of strategies essentially devised by the US and its allies to prevent them, and the likes of them now and to come, from publishing troves of truths shedding light on obscure wrongdoings worldwide. Snowden documents have proved this for a fact.
In the same time of the probe into Wikileaks, the alleged sex offences case brought against Assange in Sweden has had him deprived of liberties for over four years, despite still being at a preliminary investigation stage, with Assange not charged with any crime, certainly not rape which he is not even accused of (except by calumniators), nothing, and not trying to escape Swedish justice, contrary to what bad medias have been spinning.
Obviously, Assange’s past 967 dark days stuck inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, and still counting, are the second wave consequence of the multi parties legal struggle evolved into a deadlock, where Sweden plays the lead stalling role and the UK the watchdogs, and where Assange’s right to asylum granted by Ecuador is obstructed.
Indeed, Sweden is still not giving guarantees that Assange would not be extradited to the US should he travel to Sweden for the investigation, and the prosecution is still unwilling to opt for alternative modes of questioning, like coming to the Embassy themselves. Severely criticized by human rights organizations and the UN, Sweden has recently, by word of a representative, stated that it sees no issues in indefinite detention without charges, confirming that it has, in the words of Assange, “imported Guantanamo’s most shameful legal practice “(see Wikileaks editorial).
Meanwhile the UK, who in the past, has threatened Ecuador to raid their embassy to grab Assange, still refuses him safe-passage to his host country. The Met Police has spent over 10 million tax payers pounds, admittedly sucking their resources, to have their “crocodiles” in place at all times guarding the building in London, ready to arrest and extradite Assange should he set foot outside. The siege has been described by John Pilger as a farce, no less.
An affront to human rights, their seekers and their defenders, and a disgrace to British legendary sense of humour – to say the least – the BBC produced and now airs, a TV “comedy” show called Asylum, in which “a whistleblower and an internet pirate find themselves trapped together under the threat of extradition in the London embassy of a fictional Latin American country.” Seriously ? It should be noted that a writer of this show has called for Assange assassination by the Met Police on Twitter. PUKE, to say the least.
As Assange spends more time deprived from liberties and sunshine, cut from his family, we worry about his health.
Right now despite the tremendous pressures, Assange is well alive and so is Wikileaks, operational, as proven by their continuing publications and brave actions, notably orchestrating NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s rescue from Hong Kong, in which journalist Sarah Harrison certainly didn’t lack Courage.
We should not be discouraged either and show support by our means as Wikileaks, Assange and his team stand among those at the avant-posts of the freedom of the press, which they firmly and innovatively defend. Their fate, the outcome of their struggles, is determinant for the fate of investigative journalism, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, knowledge of the world we live in, the fate of people.
Transmediale Festival opens this week in Berlin
Check out the program ..
.. William Binney, w/ A Freedom of Information in Reverse : A screening and Discussion of SILENCED
Evgeny Morozoz, in All Watched over by Algorithms
GOODIEPAL, w/ El Camino del Hardcore
“Edna was a defenceless elderly lady who died after terrible abuse and neglect in a BUPA care home even though the “BUPA Seven” had notified management. This campaign is dedicated to Edna’s memory and to all those who have suffered or died because a whistle-blower was ignored or too afraid to speak out.”
Compassion in Care is a charity funded by caregiver-whistleblower Eileen Chubb
Go to Info and Petition page
VIVA ! Este fim-de-semana, o simpósio a não perder do festival de Estoril : Três dias de discussões e projecções sobre a vigilância de massas (incluído a projecção do CITIZENFOUR de Laura Poitras em sua presença) e participantes como o advogado Baltasar Garzòn, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR), Julian Assange (Wikileaks), fundadores de La Quadrature du Net Jeremie Zimmerman, Philippe Aigrain, entre outros. FORÇA !
December 5-7 in London will be the Logan Symposium organized by the Center For Investigative Journalism, for journalists, hacktivists, and all who care about the defence of freedom and democracy. Among the speakers will be Eileen Chubb, a former care worker who blew the whistle on the bad treatment of the elderly in their care homes. She has since been active in the protection of whistleblowers and of the vulnerable elders, working closely with the media. She is the founder of the charity Compassion In Care and co-founder of The Whistler.
Check out the program up HERE.
Surveillance Self-Defense is EFF’s “guide to defending yourself and your friends from surveillance by using secure technology and developing careful practices.”
Activists or protesters, journalists, human rights defender, everyone, on the move or at home: Be introduced to threat modeling, find out how to keep your data safe, how to create strong passwords, learn about encryption, choose your tools…
Holly Herndon says:
For my debut album Movement, I communicated an intimacy with my laptop. It is my instrument, memory, and window to most people that I love. It is my Home.
The ongoing NSA revelations have fundamentally changed this relationship. I entrusted so much in my device. To learn this intimacy had been compromised felt like a grand betrayal. Is everything done privately on my laptop to be considered a public performance?
The NSA spying on our network may have been tacitly known from reports going back as far as 2002, but the aesthetics of this surveillance were not so known. Code names, acronyms, icons and graphics from a shadow world designed to never be publicly exposed.
For “Home,” we created a data rain of these NSA symbols.
SNOWDEN, TERMINATOR ET NOUS, par Jérémie Zimmerman
“Il y a un an jour pour jour, un courageux jeune homme nommé Edward Snowden a sacrifié une grande partie de sa vie et de ses libertés pour nous révéler la dure réalité du monde dans lequel nous vivons. Ses révélations en cours nous enseignent et nous permettent de comprendre à quel point notre relation à la technologie a changé à tout jamais, et pourquoi nous ne pourrons plus faire confiance aux machines. Edward Snowden nous a aussi montré le chemin à emprunter pour reprendre le contrôle des machines, et l’importance de cette tâche que plus personne ne peut ignorer.”
Lire la suite sur le blog de Mediapart ICI
EXIGEONS L’ASILE POLITIQUE POUR EDWARD SNOWDEN ! par La Quadrature Du Net
“Le 5 juin 2013 paraissait le premier d’une série d’articles de Glenn Greenwald et Laura Poitras et une vidéo d’Edward Snowden. L’onde de choc des révélations d’Edward Snowden n’a pas fini d’ébranler l’édifice monstrueux du partenariat public-privé de surveillance planétaire de chacun d’entre nous. Ce même jour, chacun découvrait le pouvoir des actes d’un seul être humain, dévoué aux valeurs démocratiques et aux droits fondamentaux, lorsqu’ils sont relayés à destination de tous. Hélas, nous découvrions également l’indifférence, ou pire : la complicité d’États qui ne cherchent qu’à nier leur propre responsabilité, ou à légaliser rapidement leurs propres atteintes à la vie privée des citoyens”
Lire la suite ICI
Caption by http://terminatorstudies.org
SARAH HARRISON, who, on top of her great work with Wikileaks as an investigative journalist and legal researcher, has provided whistleblower Edward Snowden with some ultimate form of care last year, from Hong-Kong to his asylum in Russia,
together put a few facts straight about Wikileaks, Manning and Snowden in their conversation @ re:publica 14.
Watch it HERE.