cats, cat signals, games, internet freedom

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Left must fight to keep the Internet free

The fight for internet freedom will continue--

Left must fight to keep the 'Net free
New York Post
Will the free world's left now wake up, stop trusting Touré and the other international apparatchiks — and join the fight to stop the bureaucrats and tyrants in Turtle Bay from dictating the Internet's future? Arthur Herman's latest book is “Freedom's ...

WCIT, TPP, Russia PNTR: Growing Recognition of Internet Freedom As A Trade ...
In December, international negotiators halfway around the world from each other debated provisions that would impact the free flow of information online and trade. The US has pushed for provisions to boost Internet openness in the Trans Pacific ...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The UN’s ITU attempt to takeover the Internet at WCIT 2012

Well worth reading the full article (excerpt below) for the true story of the ITU attempt to take over the internet at WCIT 2012--the ITU lied about consensus and their intent to take over the internet--

Behind closed doors at the UN’s attempted “takeover of the Internet” | Ars Technica: " . . . The United States took the floor. Ambassador Kramer announced that the US would not be signing the new treaty. He was followed by the United Kingdom. Sweden said that it would need to consult with its capital (code in UN-speak for “not signing”). Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic all made similar statements before the Chairman cut the meeting short. At a later meeting that night, additional countries expressed their reservations. The EU issued a directive that the new human rights language was unacceptable, and therefore no EU country would be allowed to sign. An intensive overnight lobbying effort was launched. Once senior-level ministers got an earful from private sector representatives back in their own countries, they sent instructions to their delegations in Dubai not to sign the new treaty. All told, 89 countries signed while 55 did not. This produced a great deal of relief on the US delegation. We were able to dilute the worst proposals of the treaty, even without ultimately signing on to a document that did not match our values, and we were able to achieve that without being isolated, which could have had negative consequences both for American companies doing business abroad and for future diplomatic interactions. But it was a narrow escape. Had the Africa region not overplayed its hand at the last minute with the new “human rights” language, the outcome might have been quite different. Running WCITLeaks and experiencing the WCIT in person impressed upon me the importance of transparency in the decision-making processes that concern the Internet. While we were able to make some WCIT documents public, the group’s formal processes remain arcane and fundamentally closed. . . ."

The ITU should be abolished--one word sums up the organization, its leadership, and its processes at WCIT and elsewhere--DYSFUNCTIONAL! What does the future hold for the ITU? Increasing marginalization as it is now recognized as an untrustworthy organization which bears watching 24/7 as it continues to do the bidding of the most repressive governments in the world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cat tales for a cause

Bearden: Carrollwood author tells cat tales for a cause | "When he was just five weeks old his mother died, leaving behind the kitten and his four siblings. Fortunately, he was residing in the home of Karen Lynch of Carrollwood, who, by her own admission, is a "crazy cat lady." Crazy about cats, maybe, but not really crazy. Lynch is a former international Thoroughbred horse breeder who traveled the world for her business. Then in her 40s, she went to University of Tampa to get her degree in creative writing and political science, paving the way for a second act as a writer. These days, most of her energy is directed toward the plight of the growing population of feral cats. And she's doing it with the help of that orphaned feline she named "Finn McCool.""

I recommend!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stone-crab season suffers in Florida Keys

Oh, oh--something going on here--

Stone-crab season suffers in the Keys - Florida Keys - "Last season, Monroe County produced about 1.1 million pounds of legal-size claws, accounting for a large portion of Florida's total 2.67 million-pound harvest worth an estimated $23.6 million to the commercial fleet. . . . Only the claws are kept. Historically, stone-crab harvests have topped three million pounds of claws. . . "The first round of trap pulling was fine but it went downhill from there — like falling off a cliff." Fishermen and researchers are baffled. "Blame it on global warming, blame it on BP [Deepwater Horizon oil spill], blame it on Mother Nature," Graves said. "Everybody's got an idea but nobody can say why. It's probably a combination of a bunch of things." News reports from stone-crab fleets farther up the Florida Gulf Coast suggest an octopus population explosion. Crabs are a favorite food of octopus, which are smart enough to get into traps. . . .


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Law is an Ass* - Leave the Hemingway Cats Alone!

In 1935, famed author Ernest Hemingway received a cat named "Snowball" while living and writing in Key West. With paws featuring six toes, "Snowball" was the first of a long line of felines that has helped make the Hemingway Home and Museum one of the most popular visitor attractions in the Florida Keys.

Cat fight pits government against Hemingway museum - TODAY Travel: "In 2003, the USDA declared that the museum was an “animal exhibitor” subject to federal regulation under the Animal Welfare Act because it displayed the animals to the public for an admission fee and used the cats in its advertising. (The same act regulates circuses, zoos and carnivals.) The museum balked at the decision, which would require it to do everything from cage the cats at night and tag each animal, to build “additional elevated resting surfaces” for the felines. So in 2009, it filed a complaint in federal court arguing the Animal Welfare Act didn’t apply because it was only meant to protect animals “physically moving in interstate commerce” — while the cats spend their entire lives in one place. But the court ruled in favor of the government, and when the museum appealed, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision."

*It is easy to find reference works and websites that attribute the phrase to Charles Dickens, who put it into print in Oliver Twist, 1838. When Mr. Bumble, the unhappy spouse of a domineering wife, is told in court that "...the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction", replies:
"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is an ass - an idiot".
Couldn't have said it better myself!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The disasters known as ITU, WCIT, and Hamadoun Toure

Here's what you need to know--

US rejects UN telecom treaty over Internet rift - Story | The Star Online:" . . . "Under the cover of darkness the United Nations appears to have moved one step closer to regulating the Internet," association president Michael Beckerman said. "Millions of people across the globe have rejected the proposed UN takeover of the Internet," he said, adding that the treaty "may forever alter the free and open multi-stakeholder governance model under which the Internet has thrived." Another US group, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, said the proposal "was adopted over substantial opposition and undermines the current bottom up, multi-stakeholder governance structure of the Internet." CCIA said the vote also "sidesteps the traditional practice" of the ITU, which has operated by consensus and "contradicts the words of the ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Toure, who for months insisted that the WCIT would under no circumstances address Internet concerns." - AFP"

US, 20 countries boycott UN treaty endorsing gov't control over cyberspace | Fox News: "In the end, it was supported by 89 countries in the 193-member U.N. telecoms union. Fifty-five did not sign, including the U.S.-led bloc of more than 20 nations, and others needing home country approval. The remainder did not have high-ranking envoys in Dubai."

Those of us who live in the "free world" need to realize that most governments in the world (think of North Korea, Iran, Cuba, most of the Arab countries, Russia, China, and some other nations in Africa, Asia, Central and South America) do not hold the same values (free speech, free internet) as those who live in the "free world."  Toure complains about the lack of connectivity in some of those repressed nations--yet it is the lack of western values (some would use the phrase "civilized values") that causes the repression, ignorance, backwardness, and lack of development of the internet in those nations who jumped at the opportunity to add the internet to the bucket of technologies they can harness to enslave their populations in accordance with that "treaty" signed by those 89 countries at the WCIT. As for Dr. Toure--being a "Russian agent"--I doubt if he cares much for free speech or a free internet either! Finally-- ITU, WCIT, Hamadoun Toure --good riddance!

Dwindling Savannas, Lions at Risk

The "big cats" in Africa are in trouble--

On Dwindling Savannas, Lions at Risk - "Using Google Maps, the group was able to zoom in on the African landscape and see what the other satellite images weren’t capturing: small fields and settlements fragmenting what used to be uninterrupted habitat. According to Dr. Pimm, only about 25 percent of Africa’s savanna remains intact. The team then turned its attention to the top savanna predator, the lion, as another way of gauging savanna integrity. Compiling the best data available on lion populations, the Duke team estimated that only 32,000 to 35,000 lions now survive in Africa. In 1960, there were 100,000. Perhaps even more worrisome, however, is what the team found when it compared maps of intact savanna with lion population data and statistics on human population density and distribution. Of the 67 lion areas the team identified, only 10 support lion populations that  are large, stable and protected enough to persist into the foreseeable future.  None of the those areas are in West or Central Africa. . . . "

Friday, December 14, 2012

ITU's Hamadoun Touré and Russia - a secret "agenda"

A big thank you to CNET for their exclusive and Anthony Rutkowski for having the courage to speak out about the ITU, its secretary-general Hamadoun Touré, and the Russian "agenda"--

Exclusive: ITU 'failed,' says former policy chief | Internet & Media - CNET News: " . . . Rutkowski holds the ITU's secretary-general, Hamadoun Touré, accountable for a decade of "spin" and close work with the Russian Delegation -- ostensibly to further advance what Rutkowski sees as an "agenda." "Touré's technical education was in Russian schools. The official Russian Ministry website on Putin's visit to Geneva hosted by Hamadoun contains surprisingly candid remarks regarding Touré being a 'brother' of Russia, and that Putin anticipated his help in pursuing Russian goals in controlling the Internet. [Touré] is a master at spinning up half truths and all kinds of propaganda to drive the agenda he's been pursuing for the past ten years in the ITU. They get an A-plus for adaptability," Rutkowski said. "Classics are things like the ITRs and the ITU being responsible for the Internet's existence, or that the ITU has developed hundreds of security standards used today, or that the [WCIT-12 conference] is all about connecting the world to broadband facilities, or Dr. Vint Cerf and Google are the ones primarily leading a campaign against the ITU." "The reality is that other than ITU radio spectrum management work, the rest is a worthless institution that does nothing more than flush money into the Geneva economy," Rutkowski added. . . . "Soon after taking over as secretary general, Touré eliminated the existing policy planning staff and pulled his own confidants around him. His initial major aegis for moving forward was his Global Cybersecurity Agenda. In all these activities, Russia was a constant ally. Sometimes [Touré] would lead; sometimes Russia. They operated as a tag-team in the forums.""Russia also got some of its key operatives into different WCIT preparatory and ITU-T security committee leadership positions. You can map many of them to the Russian delegations to both WTSA and WCIT. Russia is typically good at long range planning in these intergovernmental bodies," he said. . . " (Read the full article here--it is outrageous that Touré and Russia are attempting to hijack the internet for their own purposes!)

So now we all know the truth about Hamadoun Touré, his deceptions, his attempts to promote the Russian "goals" in the ITU, WCIT and elsewhere--isn't it time to get rid of both Touré and the ITU--a "worthless institution"?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Video Games Would Benefit From Cats

Every Video Game Would Benefit From A Cat Protagonist: "Everyone knows that cats are the kings of the Internet. Put a cat on top of anything and BAM. Instant view-count increase. So here's a friendly suggestion from the Cat Brothers to game developers: let them put cats in all your things . . . "

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Abolish the ITU!

Internet freedom remains US priority at UN conference | PCWorld: "Instead of creating new regulations that could affect the Internet, the ITU should do away with the international telecom regulations, he said. Instead of the ITU, private companies and civil society should come up with rules for interconnection and other telecom issues, he said. The ITU and its telecom regulations have hung around after their original purpose has expired, Mueller said. "It's almost impossible for intergovernmental organizations to go out of existence," he said. "They just hang on and try to think of new things to do.""

Abolish the ITU!

Monday, December 10, 2012

ITU and WCIT off-track -- US Ambassador threatens veto

In Today’s Edition | CommsDay: "December 10 2012 - Head of the American delegation to the World Conference on International Telecommunications, Ambassador Terry Kramer, has promised to veto revised international telecommunications regulations if they go anywhere near content. He told a Dow Jones reporter that the US delegation could walk away from the conference. The threats came as revelations emerged that the World Telecommunications Standards Assembly held in Dubai immediately prior to WCIT approved a 66 page standard for how to track and block Internet communications."

In this video interview between Kramer and the ITU’s Sarah Parkes, Kramer says he was “surprised and disappointed” at the version of the ITRs put forward on 7 December, saying it “creates an open door for review of content and potential censorship.”

US drops ‘net regulation bombshell, threatens WCIT exit • The Register: "As the ITU’s WCIT conference rolls on in Doha, the head of the American delegation Terry Kramer has pointed to the big red button, threatening to veto any new treaty it believes puts the Internet at risk. America’s delegation has become increasingly agitated at the content of proposed changes to the ITRs – International Telecommunications Regulations – coming from countries such as Russia and China. According to Australian telecommunications newsletter Communications Day, the veto threat was made to a Dow Jones journalist, with Kramer saying the US delegation could walk away from the conference."

WCIT-12 leak shows ITU, Russia, China, others seek to define 'government-controlled Internet'

The ugliness of the conspiracy to undermine internet freedom, led by the nefarious ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré, Russia, China, and other governments of repression, is now coming to light--

WCIT-12 leak shows Russia, China, others seek to define 'government-controlled Internet' | ZDNet: "New proposals submitted to the World Conference on International Telecommunications(WCIT-12) aim to redefine the Internet as a system of government-controlled, state-supervised networks, according to a leaked document. The WCIT-12 summit in Dubai is currently where the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is being held, where member state countries are going head-to-head about proposed revisions to the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR), a legally binding international treaty signed by 178 countries. The leaked document [PDF] was proposed by a member state bloc comprised of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). . . . . It cannot be understated the damage such a proposal could do to the free and open Internet, online privacy and anonymity, with access to the Internet at risk from an array of oppressive governments."

The proposals won't even be available to delegates until Monday (December 10th) in spite of requirements that all such proposals be pre-filed 4 months before the conference!

"ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré (said) . . . it was "really premature" to discuss the document or "prejudge what would happen." Also on the table is a proposal to create a new article, 3A, to discuss Internet issues." Read more: 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

UAE Strangles Internet Freedom

UAE Strangles Internet Freedom | Infinity News Network: "Lawmakers in the Arab Emirates have introduced jail terms for all those who incite public protests and insult the state and its rulers online. The Persian Gulf countries are tightening internet laws, fearing Arab Spring-style uprisings. The news measures take the form of codes to monitor and enforce strict internet content guidelines to prevent “the deriding [of] or to damage the reputation or the stature of the state or any of its institutions.”. . . Moreover, it punishes any person or organization calling for a demonstration or protest without the necessary license with a jail sentence. Ironically, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan signed off the decree just hours after he was granted a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the next three years."

Internet Freedom!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Congress approves resolution to keep Internet control out of UN hands

House approves resolution to keep Internet control out of UN hands - The Hill's Floor Action: ""The 193 member countries of the United Nations are gathered to consider whether to apply to the Internet a regulatory regime that the International Telecommunications Union created in the 1980s for old-fashioned telephone service," Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said on the House floor. He said countries will also consider whether to "swallow the Internet's non-governmental organizational structure whole and make it part of the United Nations." "Neither of these are acceptable outcomes and must be strongly opposed by our delegation," Walden added. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said both the White House and lawmakers were united against U.N. control of the Internet. "I think that we are all very, very proud that there is not only bipartisan, but bicameral support underlying this resolution, and there is complete support across the Executive Branch of our government," she said. "In other words, the United States of America is totally unified on this issue of an open structure, a multi-stakeholder approach that has guided the Internet over the last two decades.""

Friday, December 7, 2012

Amelia's speech in the opening of Internet Governance Forum, Baku 2012

Amelia's speech in the opening of Internet Governance Forum, Baku 2012 from #exile6e on Vimeo.

Pirate Party: "Bleep you, this is my culture": "Remember, her language and thoughts represent someone attempting to represent the future; those she rails against clearly represent the past and all the status quo that goes along with it. Thank you, Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, participants of the Internet Governance Forum 2012. My name is Amelia Andersdotter. I am a member of the European Parliament on behalf of the Swedish Piratpartiet [in English: Pirate Party] since December 2011. I am mindful of the fact that I am one of only two women speaking in the opening session. Also, I am probably the youngest person speaking. I am only 25 years old. The Piratpartiet wants to change the legislative framework for communication, interaction, innovation and culture. We formed around the idea that communication technologies and culture present fantastic ways of building broad global communities. . . . "

Thursday, December 6, 2012

US issues statement on WCIT talks - "Progress"

Current News from the ITU - WCIT talks:

U.S. issues statement on WCIT talks: Progress, not failure | ZDNet: "The following is according to Ambassador Terry Kramer, Head of the U.S. Delegation to the WCIT:

Early reports suggesting failure of support for a joint U.S. - Canada proposal for early discussion on the scope of the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) are inaccurate. The proposal called for priority discussion of certain “foundational” issues and definitions at the WCIT. As of the end of Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, the following progress had been made: As proposed by Canada and the United States, the WCIT took up the foundational issues at a high level, within the first two days of the Conference; As a result, the Preamble of the ITRs was retained with only minor changes, preserving the original scope and purpose of the treaty; The definition of telecommunications in Article 1 of the ITRs was retained with no change;

The discussion of which entities the treaty would apply to - recognized operating agencies (RoAs) or operating agencies (OAs) – was taken up by a high-level working group reporting directly to the Chairman of the Conference. The RoA issue remains an important point of discussion for the United States, which will continue to work for its retention in the ITRs.

The U.S. positions on these definitional issues have been supported or shared by numerous countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia. There has been no “failure” to achieve U.S. objectives; to the contrary, the WCIT has made progress on these issues, validating the proposal by the U.S. and Canada to address them early in the proceedings. The U.S. Delegation will continue to make efforts to provide information on a transparent basis to the media and the public."

Internet freedom remains US priority at UN conference

Internet freedom remains US priority at UN conference | PCWorld: "The U.S. delegation to an upcoming United Nations telecom treaty-writing conference will not budge on its positions advocating free speech online and opposing broad new regulations for the Internet, the leader of the delegation said. The U.S. delegation wants a successful World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), said Terry Kramer, head of the U.S. delegation. But if other delegates to WCIT attempt to expand the U.N. International Telecommunication Union's telecom regulations to the Internet, "we might as well not waste our time," Kramer said during a WCIT discussion in Washington, D.C. last week. The U.S. delegation, however, will work hard to advocate for telecom competition and free expression during the ITU event, starting December 3 in Dubai. Open markets offer the only proven way to expand telecom and broadband services to more people, and the U.S. delegation has strong support for that position from parts of Europe, the Far East, and Latin America, Kramer said at the event, sponsored by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University."

Internet Freedom!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Letter from Vint

Letter I received from Vint Cerf on Monday (December 3, 2012)--see below--please take action as Vint suggests:



You’re one of the hundreds of thousands who have taken action in support of a free and open Internet.

The closed-door meeting of the world’s governments is starting today and the future of the Internet is on the agenda. Some governments want to use this meeting of the International Telecommunication Union to increase censorship and regulate the Internet.

I published my opinions on last week explaining my concerns — and I am not alone. More than 1,000 organizations from 163 countries have raised concerns about this upcoming closed-door meeting in Dubai. They are joined by Internet users from just about every country around the world — take a look.

Please tell your friends and family around the world to join you and raise their voice:

Together, we can protect the free and open Internet. Let’s make our voices heard.

Vint Cerf

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kuwait detains Twitter users for insulting emir

Kuwait detains Twitter users for insulting emir | SciTech | GMA News Online | The Go-To Site for Filipinos Everywhere: "Kuwait's public prosecution on Sunday ordered the detention of four Twitter users for 10 days for allegedly insulting the ruler of the oil-rich Gulf state, a rights group said. The four were arrested on Wednesday and remanded in police custody pending further investigation before the prosecution issued its detention order, Kuwait Human Rights News Centre said on its Twitter account.
Three other Twitter users, including a woman, who were arrested with them were each freed on bail of $3,550. The seven, described as opposition sympathizers, were interrogated on allegations of tweets deemed offensive and critical of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The clampdown on users of the social network was strongly criticized by opposition figures, with Hamad al-Matar, a member of the scrapped 2012 parliament, saying Kuwait was becoming a "police state"."

Internet Freedom!

Monday, December 3, 2012

UN internet control?

Google enters debate on UN internet control - Americas - Al Jazeera English: "Larry Downes, an analyst with the Bell Mason Group consultancy who follows technology issues, said the Russian proposal "makes explicit" Moscow's desire to bring the internet under greater control of the UN agency and diminish the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the internet address system. "The Russian federation's proposal ... would in specific substantially if not completely change the role of ICANN in overseeing domain names and IP addresses," Downes said in a blog post. "Of course the Russian Federation, along with other repressive governments, uses every opportunity to gain control over the free flow of information, and sees the internet as its most formidable enemy.""

Internet Freedom!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cat Signal Alert has been issued by the Internet Defense League

A Cat Signal Alert has been issued by the Internet Defense League:

"We're writing to tell you about a serious threat to Internet freedom, and invite you to take part in an action this Monday, December 3rd. In short, an obscure international meeting next week could give a top-down, non-transparent UN body (one with representation from many dictatorships) the power to regulate the Internet. It's called the ITU. The ITU would literally give dictators like Syria’s Assad (who was trending yesterday for--it seems--cutting Syria off from the Internet) a role in crucial decisions about the Internet’s future. You can learn more here: (scroll down for a video . . . ) . . . "

Take Action – What's at stake?

What's at stake?

A free and open world depends on a free and open Internet.

The Internet empowers everyone — anyone can speak, create, learn, and share. It is controlled by no one — no single organization, individual, or government. It connects the world. Today, more than two billion people are online — about a third of the planet.

More here

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How the ITU could put the Internet behind closed doors.

How the ITU could put the Internet behind closed doors.: "Think of all the terrible things governments do to the Internet. The US destroyed Megaupload, Russia jailed activists over a YouTube video, and China monitors Internet users' every move-- even hacking activists outside its borders. Now imagine if a panel of governments, giant corporations, and dictatorships had absolute power over the entire Internet, deciding in secret what you can see & do online. When the ITU meets December 3rd, they'll decide on this. Only a global outcry can stop it. Join us on December 3rd, and tell your leaders right now: “I don't trust the world's governments to run the global Internet. Don't give the ITU any more power.”

On Dec 3: Stop the Internet Coup

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Google attacks UN's internet treaty conference

BBC News - Google attacks UN's internet treaty conference: "It has been claimed some countries will try to wrest oversight of the net's technical specifications and domain name system from US bodies to an international organisation. . . Google has asked web users to add their name to an online petition to support its view. "The [UN agency] International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is bringing together regulators from around the world to renegotiate a decades-old communications treaty," it wrote on its Take Action site. "Some proposals could permit governments to censor legitimate speech - or even allow them to cut off internet access. "Other proposals would require services like YouTube, Facebook, and Skype to pay new tolls in order to reach people across borders. This could limit access to information - particularly in emerging markets." Google added that it was concerned that "only governments have a voice at the ITU" and not companies or others who had a stake in the net, concluding that the World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit) was "the wrong place" to make decisions about the internet's future."

Viva Google! Internet Freedom!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The ITU speaks--Do not believe a word they say

Below is an excerpt from the ITU blog-the ITU is "evil incarnate"--their "power grab" is being supported by the most repressive regimes in the world:

The Google campaign – An ITU view « The ITU Blog: "The freedom of expression and the right to communicate are already enshrined in many UN and international treaties that ITU has taken into account in the establishment of its Constitution and Convention, and also its mandate by-the Plenipotentiary Conference, which is the Supreme Organ of ITU. These treaties include Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."

Yeah, right--ITU you are a liar! 

Support Internet Freedom--take action against the ITU, UN, WCIT power grab!

Keep the Internet free & open. Make your voice heard.

PS: here is the comment I left on the ITU blog which they have yet to publish--"Your comment is awaiting moderation"--

"We don’t need the UN or ITU regulating the internet and taking away INTERNET FREEDOM–go away and find something else to do. YOU are NOT trustworthy. We do not believe a word you say. Quit blaming Google for the fact you are attempting a “power grab.”"

Simon's Cat in 'Fetch'

A playful dog interrupts a cat's down-time.
Exclusive drawing lessons from Simon Tofield and much more... check out the Simon's Cat Extra Youtube channel.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The UN's Coming Internet Power Grab

Come December 3rd, the UN is going to try to grab control of the internet and abolish internet freedom--

The UN's Coming Internet Power Grab - Hit & Run : "Currently, the ITRs [International Telecommunications Regulations] cover only international telecommunications services (PDF). But the Russians propose adding a new section to the treaty to deal explicitly with "IP-based networks." Bringing the Internet into the treaty in any capacity would represent a major expansion of the scope of the ITU's authority."


Friday, November 23, 2012

US Crackdown on Internet Censorship in Iran

Edward J. Black: U.S. Crackdown on Internet Censorship Comes at Critical Time: "Longtime opponents to Internet censorship were glad to see the Obama Administration enforce new human rights rules involving Iran last week. The State Department announced sanctions against four individuals and five entities, including Iran's communications and technology minister Reza for actions that censored access to the Internet and other actions that blocked freedom of expression. The sanctions mean these individuals and entities will have their U.S. assets frozen and U.S. entities can't do business with them. Designated individuals and members of designated entities cannot travel to the U.S. The U.S. action against censorship in Iran comes as part of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012, which President Obama signed in August as well as another executive order. A State Department spokeswoman says the goal of the policies against censorship are aimed at preventing the Iranian government from creating an "iron curtain" to cut its citizens off from the rest of the world. . . . "

I am pleased to see the Obama Administration's commitment to fighting Internet censorship : )

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Kim Dotcom Avoids “Unsafe” .Com

Kim Dotcom Avoids “Unsafe” .Com, Picks Me.Ga for New Megaupload | TorrentFreak: "In a notice, ironically hosted on, Dotcom also advises other cloud hosting providers to stay away from the U.S. and refrain from operating domains that are controlled by American companies. “It is not safe for cloud storage sites or any business allowing user generated content to be hosted on servers in the United States or on domains like .com / .net. The US government is frequently seizing domains without offering service providers a hearing or due process.” Megaupload’s founder is referring to the many domain name seizures carried out since 2010 by the Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE unit. Some of these domains were seized by “mistake” and were later returned. By avoiding .com Dotcom hopes that the new Mega will be able to operate undeterred. Whether the new service can live up to the high expectations remains to be seen, . .  “The return of the Jedi – May the Force be with us,” he concludes."

Internet Freedom!

Update: Kim Dotcom has subsequently gone with a New Zealand domain--

Kim DotCom: New Zealand will be home to new MegaUpload site | Internet & Media - CNET News: "New Zealand appears to be embracing Kim DotCom and the service he's creating to replace MegaUpload. DotCom announced on Twitter that his new cloud-storage service will use a New Zealand-based domain: DotCom attempted to use a domain name from the West African country of Gabon, but that country's administration last week ordered that the domain,, be suspended. DotCom didn't waste time in finding a new domain name. "New Zealand will be the home of our new website:," DotCom wrote, adding that the site will operate within the law. He previously said that the new service will launch in January."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cat Pirates

Cat Pirates: For All Your Adorable Cat and Pirate Needs: "A smart game knows its audience. So let's take a moment to understand what kind of audience I am. My actual cat is named Guybrush. I havethis print in my living room. I think cats and pirates are probably the best things ever except for, maybe, pirate cats. So when a game called Cat Pirates shows up... well. I mean. They may as well have called it "Kate Cox, You Play This Game Right Now I Mean It." . . . . Actual pirate cats may not approve of this game. At least, that's my take-away from the number of times that Guybrush Threepwood Cox, Mighty Pirate Cat, has knocked my iPod onto the floor in the last 24 hours. For humans, though, it's an entertaining jaunt."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dolphins being attacked

Dolphins found shot, slashed, stabbed with tool - Houston Chronicle: " . . . Scientists from the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport have responded to four dolphin strandings. And on Friday, a team went to Deer Island and found a second dolphin dead with a portion of his jaw missing. A dolphin found dead earlier near Gautier had a 9mm bullet wound. "It went through the abdomen, into the kidneys and killed it," said Moby Solangi, IMMS executive director. He said recovering the dolphins and performing a necropsy to determine the cause of death is heartbreaking for his staff. "We think there's someone or some group on a rampage," he said. "They not only kill them but also mutilate them." The public can help by reporting any information they may know about the mutilations, he said. He also asked recreational and commercial fishermen to be on the watch for anyone killing the dolphins. Attacks on the dolphins carry fines and jail sentences. Solangi said he doesn't know why anyone would want to kill the dolphins. "They already are under a lot of stress from the oil spill, the dead zone," he said. However, in the past fishermen and charter boat captains have been convicted of harming dolphins they thought were taking bait or fish."


Monday, November 19, 2012

How the ITU could put the internet behind closed doors.

Take action at Fight for the Future and Access collaborated on this short, informative video about a serious threat to the free and open internet that could have devastating effects for human rights and free expression around the globe.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Azerbaijan Does Not Have Internet Freedom

Azerbaijan: Shrinking Space For Media Freedom Eurasia Review: "At least eight journalists and three human rights defenders are in jail, and freedom of expression is severely limited in Azerbaijan, the host of the upcoming United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF), Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper."

And these criminal governments want to control the internet through the UN!!

Internet Freedom!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Australia’s controversial mandatory ISP filtering axed

Better late than never Aussies!--

Finally, Australia’s controversial mandatory ISP filtering is off the table - The Next Web: "the Australian Federal Government has announced that it will no longer pursue the Cleanfeed, a mandatory ISP filtering program riddled with problems and ethical concerns. It has been axed, shafted, given the boot, killed off — pick a phrase, any phrase from the broad range we’ve employed to describe the best course of action for this moronic idea since it appeared five years ago. . . " 

Friday, November 16, 2012

2 kinds of government oppression: China and the FTC

While the US Government (FTC) supposedly is going to sue Google (the only tech company to stand up to Chinese censorship), China has been busy censoring and cutting off Google from Chinese users--

Chinese government blocks, Gmail, Google+, Maps, Docs, Analytics, Drive, more  - The Next Web: "first reported by Chinese web monitoring site GreatFire, which summarized its findings like so: The subdomains,,,,,, and perhaps many more are all currently DNS poisoned in China. Instead of the real IP addresses, any lookups from China to any of these domains result in the following IP: That IP address is located in Korea and doesn’t serve any website at all. This means that none of these websites, including Google Search, currently work in China, unless you have a VPN or other circumvention tool. Using a DNS server outside of China doesn’t help. A lookup of to is also distorted, by the Great Firewall. So far you can still access other country versions of Google such as"

Why don't we send the whole FTC--commission and staff--to China!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Joint statement of EU Delegation to 7th International Governance Forum in Baku

Joint statement of EU Delegation to 7th International Governance Forum in Baku - Comments - Panorama | Armenian news: " . . . While we are grateful for the warm welcome extended by the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of this 7th IGF, we have a number of concerns about fundamental freedoms in Azerbaijan. Internet access on its own is no guarantee of full freedom of expression. We are extremely concerned about numerous testimonies during IGF workshops on violations of basic human rights in Azerbaijan. We deplore the many arbitrary restrictions on media, both online and offline. We see the exercise of free speech effectively criminalised. We see violent attacks on journalists. And we see activists spied on online, violating the privacy of journalists and their sources. We condemn that the intimidation of political activists has even continued within the conference premises of 7th IGF. Restrictions on fundamental freedoms, of whatever kind, and wherever they take place, are unacceptable. This applies within EU borders and globally. We call on the political leaders of Azerbaijan to immediately adhere to the standards of the Council of Europe, to which it has committed as a Member. We also invite the political leaders of Azerbaijan to ensure respect and protection of human rights and fundamental rights, particularly freedom of (and after) speech, the rule of law, freedom of assembly as well as political diversity and media pluralism. . . "

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Internet cannot co-exist with the concept of governance

Internet cannot co-exist with the concept of governance: Kapil Sibal - India News - IBNLive: "He said that issues of public policy related to the Internet have to be dealt with, by adopting a multi-stakeholder, democratic and transparent approach. Sibal stressed on putting in place a system which is "collaborative, consultative, inclusive and consensual for dealing with all public policies involving the Internet". He said that all stakeholders should be involved in the decision-making process and the consultative process should also factor regional and national sensitivities besides vast diversities in language and culture. Also, the process should be evolutionary as static frameworks are inappropriate for meeting the ever-changing requirements of the Internet space, he added."

Isn't that what we have now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Sick Kitten (1903 cat video!)

The Sick Kitten (1903 cat video!) - A century before Rolf Harris and 'Animal Hospital' audiences had more than their fair share of films about sickly pets, brave dogs and assorted animals in peril. Here, cinema pioneer G. A. Smith's tale features two under-aged vets and a feline patient. Records do not relate whether or not the kitten survived. 'The Sick Kitten' is interesting for more than its cute factor. It was possibly the first film to use a close-up shot that was not motivated by someone staring down a microscope or ogling through a keyhole. (Robin Baker) You can watch over 1200 other complete films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive free of charge in the Mediatheque at BFI Southbank, London and at the new QUAD centre for art and film in Derby -

Monday, November 12, 2012

Catalans fight libel fine with YouTube videos

In the internet era--one has resources  to fight government abuses--

Catalans fight libel fine with YouTube videos: "Catalans fight libel fine with YouTube videos"

When Catalan magazine editors Marta Sibina and Albano Dante created a YouTube video to publicly shame Catalan health-care adviser Josep Maria Via, they were fined 10,000 euro for defamation.

Not to be shouted down by Spain’s libel laws, the two responded by creating yet another video explaining why they were in the right.

In the original video, called the “Greatest theft in the history of Catalonia,” the pair decried what they see as “a lack of transparency in Catalonia’s public health-care system” and the apparent mismanagement of taxpayer dollars.

(Here’s Part 1 … there’s also a Part 2.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Big Brother vs Anonymous

All Three Branches Agree: Big Brother Is the New Normal | Threat Level | "Fast forward to Monday, and the court took the historic step of hearing a post-September 11 spying case. Judging by the high court’s deference to Congress in general and how it killed the EFF spy case weeks ago, we likely already know the outcome of this highly complex issue now before the justices: Warrantless spying is expected to continue unabated for years, and possibly forever. University of Baltimore legal scholar Garrett Epps in a Sunday blog post in the Atlantic asked in a headline whether “Big Brother is the New Normal?” His own affirmative answer is spot-on: “Whatever the court decides, Big Brother will still be watching. Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know,” he said. “Since 9/11, our national life has changed forever. Surveillance is the new normal.”"

Anonymous where are you??

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why is a crucial conference on internet freedom taking place in a dictatorship?

I smell a rat--actually a horde of rats--

Why is a crucial conference on internet freedom taking place in a dictatorship? - "It’s of deep concern that a conference on internet freedom is being held in one of the world’s most tawdry dictatorships . . .Azerbaijan is also a country with a track record of persecuting internet activists, such as bloggers Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada. Elnur Majidli, a Strasbourg-based blogger and internet activist, was threatened with a 12 year jail sentence for "inciting hatred" after setting up Facebook groups that facilitated rare public protests in Azerbaijan during 2011. . . State TV broadcasts programmes that allege Facebook and Twitter cause criminality among Azerbaijan’s young people. Just last year, the country’s chief psychiatrist warned that social media caused mental disorders. This is the country that will host the IGF (a United Nations initiative) and help set the framework for the future of internet freedom. . .  Russia and China have been particularly vocal in their desire to grab control of the internet – and the IGF is one important vehicle where they can build alliances to begin this process. . .  As Prof. Milton Mueller argues in the next issue of Index on Censorship magazine:
"Internet technology – TCP/IP protocols – can be installed in computers in North Korea, but it won’t make communications in that country free. If a repressive government owns and operates the telecommunications infrastructure, blocks trade in computer and telecom equipment, does not allow a free market for access, devices or services to develop … it’s [then] easy to contain and control the internet.""

Friday, November 9, 2012

Head of the UN's ITU, trying to take control of the Internet

A follow-up to my most recent posts regarding attempts to take over the internet--

And who is this guy heading up the UN's ITU, who is trying to take control of the Internet?

"Hamadoun Touré was born in 1953 in the Republic of Mali. He studied at the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication of Leningrad(LEIS), receiving a Masters Degree in electrical engineering, and a Candidate of Sciences degree (equivalent to PhD) from the Moscow Technical University of Communication and Informatics (MTUCI), in Russia."--wikipedia

Sounds like a real comrade. We cannot let this guy, the UN, or the ITU take control of the internet.

Internet Freedom!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

OMG!--The UN To Control The Internet ?

" . . . Russia, China and other countries back a move to place the Internet under the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, a UN agency . . .  U.S. officials say placing the Internet under U.N. control would undermine the freewheeling nature of cyberspace, which promotes open commerce and free expression, and could give a green light for some countries to crack down on dissidents. Observers say a number of authoritarian states will back the move, and that the major Western nations will oppose it, meaning the developing world could make a difference. . . . Terry Kramer, the special US envoy for the talks, has expressed Washington's position opposing proposals by Russia, China and others to expand the ITU's authority to regulate the Internet. "The Internet has grown precisely because it has not been micro-managed or owned by any government or multinational organization," Kramer told a recent forum. "There is no Internet central office. Its openness and decentralization are its strengths.". . The head of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure, said his agency has "the depth of experience that comes from being the world's longest established intergovernmental organization." . . .  But Harold Feld of the US-based non-government group Public Knowledge said any new rules could have devastating consequences. "These proposals, from the Russian Federation and several Arab states, would for the first time explicitly embrace the concept that governments have a right to control online communications and disrupt Internet access services," Feld said on a blog post. "This would reverse the trend of the last few years increasingly finding that such actions violate fundamental human rights." Paul Rohmeyer, who follows cybersecurity at the Stevens Institute of Technology, pointed to a "sense of anxiety" about the meeting in part because of a lack of transparency. He said it was unclear why the ITU is being considered for a role in the Internet. "The ITU historically has been a standards-setting body and its roots are in the telecom industry. I'm not familiar with anything they've done that's had an impact on the Internet today," Rohmeyer told AFP.

Read my post tomorrow to find out who the ITU's Hamadoun Toure is, and who his "master" is.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

L'Esprit de Chanel - COCO --a classic

L'Esprit de Chanel - COCO - YouTube: COCO advertising film from 1991
"L'esprit de Chanel" by Jean-Paul Goude with Vanessa Paradis
© CHANEL 1991
Music: "Stormy weather"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Obama, civil liberty, and internet freedom

Oliver Stone's new book rips President Obama - Katie Glueck - "On civil liberties: “Among the greatest disappointments to his followers was Obama’s refusal to roll back the expanding national security state that so egregiously encroached on American civil liberties.”"

So much for being a "constitutional law professor."

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Best Cat Video Ever Made

The Best Cat Video Ever Made: "L'Odyssée de Cartier"

The Cartier film, a journey between dream and reality.
For the very first time, Cartier has decided to create a cinema epic focusing on its history, its values and inspiration, its artistic and universal scope.

L'Odyssée de Cartier - YouTube Directed by: Bruno Aveillan.

More information on:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

iPet Companion (video)

Recommended: iPet Companion: "To play with the cats: Click on a shelter logo below to open a new window where you can take the controls of 3 cat toys and the camera from around the world.  Pop-ups must be enabled on your browser to allow a new window to open when you click a shelter logo."
 iPet Companion

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gator VS Cat (Amazing Cat Victory) video

Cat Video Friday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Some Cats Get All the Fun!

 source: Motorola Mobility

Online tools to skirt Internet censorship overwhelmed by demand

A follow-up to my story 2 days ago about US State Department efforts to keep the internet free:

The masses yearning to breathe free--

Online tools to skirt Internet censorship overwhelmed by demand - The Washington Post: Activists and nonprofit groups say that their online circumvention tools, funded by the U.S. government, are being overwhelmed by demand and that there is not enough money to expand capacity. The result: online bottlenecks that have made the tools slow and often inaccessible to users in China, Iran and elsewhere, threatening to derail the Internet freedom agenda championed by the Obama administration. “Every time we provide them with additional funding, those bottlenecks are alleviated for a time but again fill to capacity in a short period of time,” said André Mendes, director of the Office of Technology, Services and Innovation at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which funds some of the initiatives. “One could reasonably state that more funding would translate into more traffic and, therefore, more accessibility from behind these firewalls.” The United States spends about $30 million a year on Internet freedom, in effect funding an asymmetric proxy war against governments that spend billions to regulate the flow of information. The programs have been backed by President Obama, who promoted the initiatives at a town-hall-style meeting in Shanghai three years ago.

Money well spent!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Internet Freedom-- who's Freedom House?

Freedom House Downgrades Israel, Based on Palestinian Deceit
Gatestone Institute
This self-appointed, proclaimed monitor of freedom, not only cites Arab and radical propaganda taken off the internet as fact, with no checking, in order to declare Israel less free, but condemns the Jewish State for protecting itself from the ...

Read the full article at the link above.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Internet Freedom: The Role of the U.S. State Department

Internet Freedom: The Role of the U.S. State Department | Brookings ...

Internet Freedom at State
From 2008 to 2012, the State Department will have spent close to $100 million on internet freedom related activities. The grants are used to fund a range of activities. As the Department put it in its May 2012 grant solicitations (a detailed official version is available here): Since 2008, State and USAID have invested $76 million in efforts to advance human rights online. Through this call we intend to support at least $23 million in additional programs in the following areas: 1) anti-censorship technology, 2) secure communications technology, 3) digital safety training, 4) emergency response support for netizens and civil society organizations under threat, 5) policy and advocacy, 6) research and evaluation on the technology and political context for Internet repression, and 7) research on technology options for expanding the free flow of information in extremely constrained environments."

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