Anonymous v. Israel…

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Hacker Group Anonymous launches #OpSaveGaza, an intensive online offensive against Israel

Even as Israel has intensified its ground offensives against Hamas in Gaza, killing over 312 Palestinians, Gaza finds an unlikely ally in the international hacker’s group Anonymous.

The group, known for its clandestine vigilante activities, primarily done in anonymity of the web, launched an online offensive against the Israel government, whom they accuse of oppressing the Palestinians.

In what is now being referred to as cyber revenge, the hacker group, on July 11 and 17, put out a call for #OpSaveGaza—a large scale coordinated cyber attack against the various arms of the Israeli government. “This is an urgent call for all hackers, human right organisations and activists all around the world to unite again and start campaign against Israhell, share what is really going on there, expose their terrorist activity to the world,” it said.

What is Anonymous?

The hacker group has a history of purporting cyber violence, popularly known as ‘hacktivism’ against organisations, corporates and governments they deem to be violating human rights. They are known to have openly supported Wikileaks campaigns, directing frequent attacks towards corporates, including MasterCard and PayPal, for blocking Wikileak accounts.

It appealed to human rights activists and hackers to join them in pulling down the Israel’s online machinery, “If you are a hacker, activist, a human right organisation then hack Israel websites and expose to the world their crimes, show to the world how much blood is on their hands, blood of innocent children and women. We will never remain silent against Israhell war activity.”

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taking back the Internet…

Edward Snowden urges professionals to encrypt client communications

The NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has urged lawyers, journalists, doctors, accountants, priests and others with a duty to protect confidentiality to upgrade security in the wake of the spy surveillance revelations.

Snowden said professionals were failing in their obligations to their clients, sources, patients and parishioners in what he described as a new and challenging world.

“What last year’s revelations showed us was irrefutable evidence that unencrypted communications on the internet are no longer safe. Any communications should be encrypted by default,” he said.

The response of professional bodies has so far been patchy.

A minister at the Home Office in London, James Brokenshire, said during a Commons debate about a new surveillance bill on Tuesday that a code of practice to protect legal professional privilege and others requiring professional secrecy was under review.

Snowden’s plea for the professions to tighten security came during an extensive and revealing interview with the Guardian in Moscow.

I, spy: Edward Snowden in exile

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What policies created the violence Central American children are fleeing?

A group of 22 migrants, mostly women and children from Honduras and Guatemala, in custody just after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas, June 18, 2014. (Photo: Jennifer Whitney / The New York Times)

Love and Loathing in North Texas Amid Child Refugee Crisis

Senate Democrats remain split on the issue of expediting the deportation process for thousands of refugee children, who, under a 2008 human trafficking law signed by former President Bush, are entitled to full due-process rights and consideration for asylum. House Republicans are seeking to tie any increase in funding to changes in the 2008 law that would speed up the deportation process. The White House has also sought to water down the due process protections provided under the human trafficking law in recent days.

Additional funding is sorely needed to provide humanitarian relief in the form of social services, humane housing and legal representation for thousands of unaccompanied children currently suffering through overcrowded, inhumane conditions at detention facilities at the border. (Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children and families fleeing mainly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been detained by border agents, and federal agents predict that between 60,000 and 90,000 refugee children will travel to the United States just this year.)
However, if Obama’s supplemental spending request is passed, much of that funding would be dedicated to increased border security measures designed to greet many migrants who are already willingly giving themselves up to border agents when they enter the country.

The part of the president’s plan focusing on giving more authority to the Department of Homeland Security to fast-track deportations of unaccompanied children who may not be eligible to remain in the United States, has drawn the attention of refugee advocates, who say this part of the proposal could violate due process rights and international law.

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“It’s money, not blood…”

Gaza: Israel’s $4 billion gas grab

The following morning, he went on: “We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command …

“The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy.”

But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya’alon’s concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion.

Ya’alon dismissed the notion that “Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state” as “misguided”.

The problem, he said is that “Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel’s past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel …

“A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel – or all three …

“It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement.”

Resource competition is at the heart of the conflict

Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians (773 of whom were civilians) and 9 Israelis (3 of whom were civilians).

Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel’s increasing domestic energy woes.

Is Israel’s Operation Protective Edge Really About Natural Gas?

While many articles have debunked the myth that Israel is acting out of “self-defense,” very few have attempted to establish why Israel is continuing its assault on Palestine through Operation Protective Edge, aside from the supposition that Zionists have a fanatic penchant for drawing Palestinian blood. Behind the operation, behind the mass Israeli and U.S. propaganda attempting to justify the massacre, and behind the death of every child in Gaza is a conflict rarely discussed, an imperialist conflict and a contradiction that rests on Israel’s ambitions to appropriate and profit from Gaza’s natural gas resources.

To provide some background, the natural gas issue arose in the year 2000 when British Gas (BG) discovered what they claimed to be $4 billion worth of natural gas reserves off the coast of Gaza. The Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) and British Gas (BG) both invested in the project, with BG holding 60% of the rights. Since then, more gas has been found in the region. Michel Chossudovsky, a Canadian economist, has estimated that the amount of gas in Palestine is so grand that it could make Palestine as rich as Kuwait. In due reaction, since 2000, Israel has strengthened its maritime blockade on Gaza, denying Palestine basic rights over its territorial waters, driving away Palestinian fishing boats, and contaminating the waters so heavily from its naval attacks that the fishing industry essentially collapsed. “On its coastal littoral,” reported Peter Beaumont from Gaza several years ago, “Gaza’s limitations are marked by a different fence where the bars are Israeli gunboats with their huge wakes, scurrying beyond the Palestinian fishing boats and preventing them from going outside a zone imposed by the warships.” It is discernible that this is directly due to Israel’s appetite for Palestinian gas.

In recent years, Israel’s energy crisis has deepened, as marked by a letter by two Israeli scientists. “We believe Israel should increase its [domestic] use of natural gas by 2020 and should not export gas,” the letter reads. “The Natural Gas Authority’s estimates are lacking. There’s a gap of 100 to 150 billion cubic meters between the demand projections that were presented to the committee and the most recent projections. The gas reserves are likely to last even less than 40 years!” As the need for energy has grown in Israel, so have their ruthless attempts to seek it.

IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis

According to Anais Antreasyan in the University of California’s Journal of Palestine Studies, the most respected English language journal devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel’s stranglehold over Gaza has been designed to make “Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible.” Israel’s long-term goal “besides preventing the Palestinians from exploiting their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations.” This is part of a wider strategy of:

“…. separating the Palestinians from their land and natural resources in order to exploit them, and, as a consequence, blocking Palestinian economic development. Despite all formal agreements to the contrary, Israel continues to manage all the natural resources nominally under the jurisdiction of the PA, from land and water to maritime and hydrocarbon resources.”

For the Israeli government, Hamas continues to be the main obstacle to the finalisation of the gas deal. In the incumbent defence minister’s words: “Israel’s experience during the Oslo years indicates Palestinian gas profits would likely end up funding terrorism against Israel. The threat is not limited to Hamas… It is impossible to prevent at least some of the gas proceeds from reaching Palestinian terror groups.”

The only option, therefore, is yet another “military operation to uproot Hamas.”

Unfortunately, for the IDF uprooting Hamas means destroying the group’s perceived civilian support base – which is why Palestinian civilian casualties massively outweigh that of Israelis. Both are obviously reprehensible, but Israel’s capacity to inflict destruction is simply far greater.

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Ventura on oligarchy 6, and 7…

Oligarchy Blues (6)

Question of the Era: Are you trapped in your vocabulary?: You don’t know how to speak of the United States in any way other than what you’ve been taught? So you speak of the present as though it is the past and your answers are as antique as your questions.

Thomas Pynchon: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.”

Hold this truth to be self-evident: Without fair elections and a viable legislative process at federal and state levels, the republic no longer exists.

Votes for Democrats or Republicans may serve your ends in the short run, and good for you, good for you – but are your ends enough? Are you free?

Oh, let’s suppose you’re free, just so long as you stay in the little box you’ve created for yourself – but what do you bequeath if you can’t or won’t recognize or admit what has happened to you as a citizen of the republic that no longer exists?

Want to be free? I don’t know the second step, but I know the first:

Stop speaking in terms that describe a previous generation’s country.

If you want to change what is, speak of what is.

Oligarchy is upon us, claw and beak, and has been for some time (7)

Mr. Moyers, I have the deepest respect for you, but I must point out that what’s happening is not a drift, nor a mad dash, nor will Oligarchy overrun us; Oligarchy is upon us, claw and beak, and has been for some time.

Hard to see, because it is faceless. Hard to track because it is right in front of us, posing as the capitalism Americans believe in. Hard to fight, because legislators and judges get rich doing its bidding. Hard even to think about, because it is very hard to say out loud that the American dream is a goner. We don’t know how to face that – or how to think about what comes next.

Four years ago – April 9, 2010 – I began a five-part series headlined “O Is for Oligarchy,” which described the Oligarchy entrenched in America. It does me little credit to honk “oligarchy” four years before Piketty, Moyers, and Krugman. It was there to see before I saw it, but, as George Orwell wrote, “To see what is in front of one’s nose is a constant struggle.”

Oligarchy has no public face, but it has a subsonic voice that hisses and speaks constantly, a direct feed to all, awake or asleep, making everybody very nervous, for we hear it under, over, and within the national discourse. This is the sound it makes:

“You are all so fucking stupid you don’t know the difference between social rights and civic rights – so let gays marry and soldier, but we reserve the power to arrest any gender without warrant and detain you without trial.

“Sure, freedom of speech, speak all you like, but we have the freedom to listen in, read your emails, and make ourselves privy to your dear private lives. If we decide you need to die, we’ve staked out that right, too, the right to kill you, without trial, without proof, anywhere in the world (even here). No child shall be left behind, but millions of kids shall be hungry every day, and we shall not allow this to be a political issue – neither party shall give it serious attention. We may raise the minimum wage to $10 or $11 because that’s still not enough to live on, and it will keep you and your kids confined to the servile class. We’ll give you medical care so long as we can wed the finance industry to government, and make for-profit health care and Big Pharma semi-official agents of the state.

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