Megaupload data massacre

Kim Dotcom is charged with having facilitated a large scale piracy operation with his Megaupload, where people uploaded and stored their own, personal files.  He faces 20 years in prison, if convicted, on a multitude of charges.

His primary defense had been that the vast majority of the data stored on his servers was of personal nature or backups of business deals and only a tiny percentage held copyrighted material.  The US Department of Justice had told the owner of the servers that Megaupload had rented for the storage that since the DOJ has enough data to prosecute Kim Dotcom, they can proceed to delete the files.  Kim Dotcom protested on two grounds:  the data stored in these servers was the personal intellectual property of his customers and nobody had the right to deprive them of it, and he needed the data for his defense.

Now, without warning, all the data had been deleted…

‘The information stored on the dormant servers – “petabytes of pictures, backups, personal & business property” – was what Dotcom called evidence in the case US authorities launched against him in January 2012.  Dotcom is wanted in the US on criminal charges for facilitating copyright fraud on a massive scale.

This is the largest data massacre in the history of the Internet,” Dotcom wrote on Twitter.

Lawyers representing his former company “have repeatedly asked Leaseweb not to delete Megaupload servers while court proceedings are pending in the US,” he added. ‘

Yeah – go ahead and defend yourself – now that the evidence in your favour had been destroyed!

Kim Dotcom also said:

“My goal is, within the next five years, I want to encrypt half of the Internet. Just re-establish a balance between a person – an individual – and the state,” Dotcom said in an interview with RT“Because right now, we are living very close to this vision of George Orwell and I think it’s not the right way. It’s the wrong path that the government is on, thinking that they can spy on everybody.”

And you wonder why the US government is targeting him?!?!?

NSA Gathers Far More Than Phone Data (Julian Sanchez)

 

US Supreme Court rules silence may be used as evidence of guilt

End well, this will not…

According to the 5-4 split US Supreme Court ruling, refusing to answer questions and remaining silent can indeed be used as evidence of guilt in a court of law, if you have not had your Miranda rights read to you prior to the questioning.

Gee, how could this possibly go wrong?

I am speechless (no pun intended)!

Binks, the Webelf, is baaack!

MSMF: Annual Indian Food Picnic in Ottawa

If you like Indian food and you’ll be in Ottawa next weekend, Saturday, 22nd of June, 2013, Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa.

This is a fundraiser for the Manjari Sankurathri Memorial Foundation – and the food is always ECXELLENT!!!
This is what’s on this year’s menu:  Indian Vegetarian Food (Served from 11am – 2pm)

Entertainment is from 2pm – 5pm.
MSMF Facts to date:

  • Children educated – 1,930
  • Eye surgeries performed – 178,805

For more information, please check http://www.msmf.ca or contact info@msmf.ca

MSMF Annual Picnic Flyer 2013(1)

 

How to Rig a Majority Vote

 

Pat Condell: Singling out a billion Muslims

 

US Supreme Court Ruling: naturally occuring DNA cannot be patented, but synthesized DNA can

The full ruling can be found here.

While I have not had a chance to study the ruling in detail yet, I have no illusions that my non-legally-trained mind would be able to grasp all of the nuances of the ruling, so, please, do read it for yourself.

In the meantime, this is what the news folks are saying about it:

The Sydney Morning Herald:

‘The US Supreme Court has issued a potentially far-reaching ruling, stating that DNA in the human genome is a “product of nature” that cannot be patented.

The nine-member court’s unanimous finding on Thursday overturns exclusive rights to use genes that have been issued in recent decades by the US Patent and Trademark Office, but does allow companies to patent their developments of synthetic, so-called composite DNA.

“A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent-eligible merely because it has been isolated,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas, author of the decision. 

However, he went on to write that composite DNA “is patent-eligible because it is not naturally occurring”.

The decision strikes down patents issued to Myriad Genetics, which had isolated a rare gene associated with very high rates of breast and ovarian cancer in women who carry the mutation. The company had claimed the exclusive right to offer tests for the gene, based on its patent.’

Of course, this patenting of the naturally-occurring cancer genes has been the highest obstacle in cancer research and even cancer treatment, as per many medical professionals.  If you had a naturally occurring breast cancer,  you yourself could not use your own tissue to try to get better, because someone else held a patent on the DNA that had naturally occurred inside of you!
Frankly, that sounds to me like slavery by another name – and I am glad that the US Supreme Court has struck it down! It corrects some (no, not all, but you have to start somewhere) of the incredible patents irresponsibly (and, hopefully ignorantly) granted by the US Patent Office.
More sources…here is what BBC is saying:

‘The opinion said DNA came from nature and was not eligible for patenting.The US biotechnology industry had warned any blanket ban on such patents would jeopardise huge investment in gene research and therapies.

“We hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in Thursday’s opinion.

But his ruling said that synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA can be patented “because it is not naturally occurring”.’

And from The Blaze:

‘For more than 30 years, the  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been awarding patents on human genes. But Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a patent could not be placed on naturally occurring human genes, because researchers didn’t “create” them.

Those who are praising the decision believe it will benefit both the progress of research and protect the human body  ”from the assertion of private property rights.”’

Considering that over quarter of human DNA had been patented, this is an important ruling indeed!

Free Dominion is going to hold a funraising BBQ in Ottawa

UPDATE:  Please note that the date has been changed to July 21st, 2013  To make sure everyone gets this change, I’ll leave this post ‘stuck’ at the top for a few days.

UPDATE:  If all goes according to plan, yours truly will say a few words at the event!

Date:  Saturday, July 13, 2013  Sunday, July 21, 2013

Time:  6:00-11:00 pm

Where:  3500 Fallowfield Rd., Unit #3

This fundraiser is being held to help Connie and Mark Fournier of Free Dominion pay the costs associated with their upcoming trial in September which will define boundaries of freedom of speech on the internet for Canadians.  An important battle, if there ever was one!

For tickets and more information, please click here.

A ‘Least Untruthful’ Statement to Congress (Julian Sanchez)