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

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