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Blue_Tires

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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 44,711

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Journal Archives

Europe Tried to Rein In Google. It Backfired.

Google is a top target for European regulators and privacy watchdogs, who openly fear and distrust its dominance. The American tech giant’s search engine alone gobbles up roughly 90 percent of the European market. But a landmark court ruling intended to rein in Google has instead put it at the forefront of Europe’s enforcement of Internet privacy. That has upended conventional wisdom about the company and raised questions about the role of commercial interests in protecting people’s privacy, often with little or no transparency.

In the almost two years since Europeans gained the “right to be forgotten” on the Internet, Google has passed judgment in over 418,000 cases — roughly 572 a day — from people wanting links of certain search results to be removed, according to the company's records. It has approved fewer than half of those requests, all behind closed doors. Google’s total number of privacy-related judgments is double those of most of Europe’s biggest individual national authorities over the same period, even though these public agencies address a wider range of data protection complaints.

Despite a history of animosity toward the company, national regulators have handed over the review powers to Google with few complaints, saying they are merely following Europe’s complex data protection rules. Other search companies, including Microsoft, have been given the same authority, though their number of judgments pales by comparison.

Some consumer groups and privacy experts are not satisfied with that arrangement. They have sounded alarm bells over a for-profit company — one that relies on tapping into people’s digital lives to make billions of dollars and that is the subject of multiple privacy and antitrust investigations — playing such a central role in protecting individuals’ data, and doing so in such a secretive manner.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/technology/google-europe-privacy-watchdog.html?smid=tw-nytimesbusiness&smtyp=cur&_r=0

(Snowden was unavailable for comment)

Oldie but goodie: "Electoral Precedent"

A man impersonating Ukraine's president called the NYT

A man impersonating Ukraine's president called the NYT. Soon journalists found themselves in a propaganda war.




The intrigue began last week when The New York Times received a letter on official-looking stationery marked “President of Ukraine.”

The letter was addressed to the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet (though he was referred to as Mr. Baquet Dean), and complained about an editorial that faulted President Petro O. Poroshenko for failing to make good on pledges to prosecute corruption. The letter was forwarded to the newspaper’s editorial board, which writes editorials.

“I would like to respectfully request a telephone conference with you personally in order to attempt to convince you that opinions published in the article are without merit,” the letter read, finishing with the neat, curlicued signature of Mr. Poroshenko.

A conference call with the editorial board was set up on Monday. The complainer’s comments were so suspect that the Times participants, including some newsroom journalists listening in, declined to publish an article on the matter, but instead began to investigate.

On Wednesday, however, edited audio of the call was mysteriously posted on YouTube, and the Times participants found themselves caught up in an apparent propaganda war between Russia, which is backing separatist forces in Ukraine, and Ukraine’s government.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/world/europe/a-hoax-plot-cloaked-in-a-ukrainian-interview.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

The Assad Files

The Assad Files
Capturing the top-secret documents that tie the Syrian regime to mass torture and killings.


The investigator in Syria had made the drive perhaps a hundred times, always in the same battered truck, never with any cargo. It was forty miles to the border, through eleven rebel checkpoints, where the soldiers had come to think of him as a local, a lawyer whose wartime misfortunes included a commute on their section of the road. Sometimes he brought them snacks or water, and he made sure to thank them for protecting civilians like himself. Now, on a summer afternoon, he loaded the truck with more than a hundred thousand captured Syrian government documents, which had been buried in pits and hidden in caves and abandoned homes.

He set out at sunset. To the fighters manning the checkpoints, it was as if he were invisible. Three reconnaissance vehicles had driven ahead, and one confirmed by radio what the investigator hoped to hear: no new checkpoints. Typically, the border was sealed, but soldiers from the neighboring country waved him through. He drove until he reached a Western embassy, where he dropped off the cargo for secure transfer to Chris Engels, an American lawyer. Engels expected the papers to include evidence linking high-level Syrian officials to mass atrocities. After a decade spent training international criminal-justice practitioners in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Cambodia, Engels now leads the regime-crimes unit of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, an independent investigative body founded in 2012, in response to the Syrian war.

In the past four years, people working for the organization have smuggled more than six hundred thousand government documents out of Syria, many of them from top-secret intelligence facilities. The documents are brought to the group’s headquarters, in a nondescript office building in Western Europe, sometimes under diplomatic cover. There, each page is scanned, assigned a bar code and a number, and stored underground. A dehumidifier hums inside the evidence room; just outside, a small box dispenses rat poison.

Upstairs, in a room secured by a metal door, detailed maps of Syrian villages cover the walls, and the roles of various suspects in the Syrian government are listed on a whiteboard. Witness statements and translated documents fill dozens of binders, which are locked in a fireproof safe at night. Engels, who is forty-one, bald and athletic, with a precise, discreet manner, oversees the operation; analysts and translators report directly to him.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/bashar-al-assads-war-crimes-exposed


Those of you here who have defended Assad (and you know who you are), I dedicate this thread to you...

LOL -- Yeah, keep on telling me Snowden isn't a Kremlin stooge...

Has the balls to call for Cameron's resignation(!) while ignoring Putin's laundering of $2 billion...

https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/718858538701836288

https://www.rt.com/uk/338913-snowden-cameron-resign-tax/

I know you Snowdenstans out there would sooner jump off a cliff than address this, so just let it drop -- That's all you know how to do anyway.

Malawi's fearsome chief, terminator of child marriages

Mtakataka, Malawi - The mild-mannered woman who zips around a farmhouse packed with knick-knacks and insists her guests eat a meal before any introductions, presents a character at odds with her fearsome reputation of being Malawi's top marriage terminator.

Thirteen years ago, Theresa Kachindamoto could not have conceived of ever leaving her job of 27 years as a secretary at a city college in Zomba, another district in Southern Malawi.

She had no desire to return home to Monkey Bay, a stunning cluster of mountains in Dedza District around Lake Malawi. Although she had the blood of chiefs - Malawi's traditional authority figures - running through her veins, as the youngest of 12 siblings, a woman, and a mother of five, Kachindamoto never expected to become a senior chief to the more than 100,000 people...

...She was shocked when she saw girls as young as 12 with babies and teenaged husbands, and was soon ordering the people to give up their ways

"I told them: 'Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated.'"

Last year, Malawi's parliament passed a law forbidding marriage before the age of 18. But under customary law of the traditional authorities, and the constitution, Malawian children can still marry with parental consent.

A 2012 United Nations survey found that more than half of Malawi's girls were married before the age of 18. It ranked Malawi 8th out of 20 countries thought to have the highest child-marriage rates in the world.


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/03/malawi-fearsome-chief-terminator-child-marriages-160316081809603.html

Marco Muzzo sentenced to 10 years in prison for Vaughan crash that killed 4

Source: Yahoo via CBC.ca

Convicted impaired driver Marco Muzzo has been sentenced to 10 years in prison today in connection to a Vaughan, Ont., crash that killed four people and seriously injured two others. Muzzo, 29, pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst is expected to announce Muzzo's sentence in Newmarket.

"I'm tortured by the grief I caused," Muzzo told the court at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 24.

The crash on Sept. 27, 2015, killed three young Neville-Lake children, Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, Milly, 2, and their grandfather, Gary Neville, 65. Two other extended family members, the children's grandmother and her mother, were injured in the crash.

"You killed all my babies," Jennifer Neville-Lake, mother of the three children, said in her victim impact statement on Feb. 23. "I miss my kids. I miss my dad."

...Muzzo's family owns the drywall company Marel Contractors and is worth nearly $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine.

Read more: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/marco-muzzo-sentenced-tuesday-vaughan-050000872.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw



Thank god the "affluenza" defense wasn't in play...

Former Henrico teacher charged with letting students smoke weed in class

GLEN ALLEN, Va. (WRIC) — A former Henrico teacher is in trouble with the law for allegedly letting students get stoned in class.

Police say 23-year-old Domonic Leuzzi was doing more than just teaching shop class. They claim he was enabling students to do a little higher learning.

“Domonic Leuzzi was actually allowing students to smoke marijuana in his classroom,” said Henrico County Police Lieutenant Chris Eley.

Up until recently, Leuzzi was a shop teacher at the Academy of Virginia Randolph, a high school for academically and behaviorally challenged kids.

There is a sign in front of the school that reads it’s supposed to be a drug-free zone. But according to investigators, Leuzzi let some students feel free to light up.

“We got a call from the administration of Henrico County Public Schools saying they received information from students that a teacher was allowing them to smoke marijuana in a class,” explains Lieutenant Eley.

Now, the 23-year-old teacher faces three charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Court records show at least three teens allegedly smoked weed under Mr. Leuzzi’s watch.

http://wric.com/2016/03/23/former-henrico-teacher-charged-with-letting-students-smoke-weed-in-class/

What an asshole...

Islamic State defector brings 'goldmine' of details on 22,000 supporters

Source: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A disillusioned former member of Islamic State has passed a stolen memory stick of documents identifying 22,000 supporters in over 50 countries to a British journalist, a leak that could help the West target Islamist fighters planning attacks.

Leaks of such detailed information about Islamic State are rare and give Britain's spies a potential trove of data that could help unmask militants who have threatened more attacks like those that killed 130 people in Paris last November.

A man calling himself Abu Hamed, a former member of Islamic State who became disillusioned with its leaders, passed the files to Britain's Sky News on a memory stick he said he had stolen from the head of the group's internal security force.

On it were enrolment forms containing the names of Islamic State supporters and of their relatives, telephone numbers, and other details such as the subjects' areas of expertise and who had recommended them.

One of the files, marked "Martyrs", detailed a group of IS members who were willing and trained to carry out suicide attacks, Sky said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/tv-channel-says-obtains-details-22-000-islamic-082041671.html?nf=1#



Reverse-Snowden....

(assuming of course his cache of info is legit)

Why can't McDonald's look like this in our country?







http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2016/03/10/mcdonald_s_on_paris_champs_elysees_gets_an_upscale_makeover.html
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