Free Dominion is in the forefront of the battles for the freedom of speech and for the freedom on the internet, Their path has not been easy, but they are determined and brave and understand just how important freedom is. They have already won some important rulings in court regarding privacy on the internet, which is why they made it to Michael Geist’s list of internet achievements of 2012!
However, legal battles are expensive.
If Mark and Connie, the people behind Free Dominion, run out of funds, no amount of determination will help. The wanna-be-oppressors know this. That is why, just as Mark and Connie announced their new fund-raising campaign, they have tried to keep the word from getting out by hitting their site with a DDoS SYN attack…
Please, help spread the word!
And, if you can, chip in a bit…
From Connie Fournier:
‘As many of you know, Mark and I are fighting three trials this year related to issues of online freedom of speech. We just started our largest fundraiser because we need to raise $50,000 to cover the cost of all of those trials.Almost immediately, the Free Dominion website was attacked by hackers. We are fighting what is called a DDoS SYN attack where dozens of computers are sending messages to our server in an attempt to overload it and shut it down. We keep blocking IPs, but new ones spring up almost immediately and the attacks start again.Sometimes we will have periods where the site is accessible to read, but many people cannot post. Then they come back and increase the attack until the site becomes inaccessible again.We desperately need help!We can’t get the word out about our fundraiser because many of our regular readers can’t get into our site to find out about it.We really need people who care about free speech to circulate this email, tell your friends, or post it on your blogs.Somebody doesn’t want us to meet our fundraising goal, but we have to do this. Internet freedom depends on it!Here is the link to our fundraiser, please pass it around! http://igg.me/at/internetThanks so much for your help!Connie’
Historically, ISPs have readily handed over subscriber info to ‘authorities’ for the asking – no waiting for a warrant or such silly concepts as ‘due process’.
Subscribers had no choice in the matter: if you wanted to hook up to the internet, the pipeline was controlled by ISPs who all placed submissiveness to authorities above protecting the civil liberties of their subscribers. Their subscription contracts made this clear – either waive your civil liberties or get your internet service from somebody else!
Except that this condition was in all the ISPs contracts, so that there was nobody else to go to!
So much for ‘free markets’… When all the terms of service were – at least, in this respect – almost identical, there was no consumer choice: no way to vote with your dollar.
When civil libertarians and privacy watchdogs pointed out how these ‘industry practices’ abrogate civil liberties of the consumers and that it may, in fact, be illegal, legislators quickly passed laws to permit it.
This, in effect, permits the ISPs to share content of your email (this might be a good time to check out HushMail), your web-surfing history – heck, they can even install key-loggers and pass all that information on to agents of ‘the State’. Expectation of privacy? What is this ‘privacy’ thing – this word no longer exist in the dictionary!
This is about to change. If Nick Merrill has anything to say about it, that is!
From CNET News:
‘Merrill, 39, who previously ran a New York-based Internet provider, told CNET that he’s raising funds to launch a national “non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption” that will sell mobile phone service, for as little as $20 a month, and Internet connectivity.
The ISP would not merely employ every technological means at its disposal, including encryption and limited logging, to protect its customers. It would also — and in practice this is likely more important — challenge government surveillance demands of dubious legality or constitutionality.’
Which is the thing we truly need!
So, some might say, what about the ‘baddies’? What about organized crime or terrorists or child pornographers? They will be the first to want to take advantage of this, would they not?
Of course: but that is why we have the police forces. It is their job to ferret these ‘baddies’ out: but, with great power comes great responsibility.
In the case of the police, this responsibility is checked by judicial oversight. Sure, it is more legwork – but we know that humans nature is always the weakest link in the chain, and it precisely because of human nature that these checks and balances have been instituted, it is to make sure power is not abused that due process must be followed. Knowing the police are not taking shortcuts will even make the public trust them more, making their jobs easier, instead of the growing distrust people have that police and/or other ‘authorities’ will abuse their position to our detriment.
When agents of the State are permitted to circumvent judicial oversight and what we consider to be ‘due process’ – whether by relaxing the standards so that this becomes ‘standard’ and ‘accepted’ practice (like government agents routinely asking for – and receiving – private information about someone from a third party without judicial oversight) or by passing laws that reduce the integrity of what constitutes ‘due process’ (oh, like, say, ‘The Patriot Act’), we all loose!
I, for one, escaped from a life in a police state. It pains me greatly so see our society move – slowly, but definitely – towards the type of state which I escaped from.
So – civil-liberties-mided, customer-privacy-focused ISP providers: COME ON! WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU!
MEMRI TV has compiled this videodocumenting the rising antisemitism and Judeophobia:
We cannot pretend that it is not happening. The best way to fight back against bigotry is through education and by publicly exposing what is happening. A good place to start is by watching ‘Unmasked: Judeophibia’. Here is the trailer:
‘Unmasked: Judeophobia’ will be shown worldwide: check to see when it is coming to your neighbourhood. In Ottawa, the movie will be screened during the 2nd annual Freethinking Film Festival on November 13th, 2011: here is the flyer.
It is easy for prejudice to spread. Only by exposing it for what it is will we be able to challenge it.
This does sound like an awesome film festival to go to!
And, it offers more than just films: on Saturday, 13th of November 2010, Ezra Levant and Elisabeth May will debate, live, at the National Archives building, as part of this festival.
If you like to think for yourself, and you happen to be in Ottawa between the 12th and 14th November, 2010, check them out!
Let’s get this straight, once and for all: INDIVIDUALS have rights – groups do not!
Each and every individual within any and every group has rights.
The group – as a whole – does not.
This is a fundamental distinction.
We must NEVER permit anyone to ‘fudge’ or sweep this distinction away.
If we do, if we permit a group of 10 people, 100 people, a million people, to have rights different from simply the rights of the individuals who make up the group, make no mistake about it: we are endorsing a tyranny of the majority, which is not substantially different from simple ‘mob rule’!
Coming up on the anniversary of the 11/09 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, some obscure priest in the US has announced that he’ll burn the Koran as his expression of freedom of religion.
This has generated huge publicity all over the world – quite out of proportion to the act itself.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I do not like book-burnings. It is too Jesuit-like… (Except that the Jesuits would traditionally shut the whole family, including the kids, in the house in which they found books, before burning the whole structure down. To the best of my knowledge, this preacher does not plan to burn any people – just paper on which some words are printed.)
Now, the Vatican has issued a statement that:
“every religion has the right to expect that its sacred books, places of worship and symbols will be respected and protected”
OH, NO, IT DOESN’T!!!
No ‘religion’ has ‘rights’!
Only individuals have rights!
And YOUR right to religious freedom stops where MY actions begin!
Let’s stop paying lip service to faux rights.
Let’s stop cowering in fear of reprisal for exercising our fundamental rights and freedoms!
I urge each and every one of you to take some ‘holy book’ – does not matter which one, as long as it is considered ‘holy’ by someone… or, even better, one of each of them – and burn them. At least in effigy…
Not because you disrespect them.
But because you have the right to do so!
Because our fundamental rights and freedoms are above any creed or faith or doctorine!
If you don’t use it – you WILL loose it.
Freedom is to important for such a gamble. Don’t loose it – USE IT!
On September 11th, go and burn some ‘holy’ books!
OK – I don’t understand how ANYONE would think this is a ‘good idea’!
IBM has now created a machine which can detect ‘pre-crime’ – by measuring a person’s brain waves.
It sounds like a bad science fiction flick, or a particularly stupid April fool’s joke – and I wish it were! Alas, it appears to be ‘real’…
IBM clearly wants this to go big. They have spent a whooping $12 billion beefing up its analytics division. Again, here’s the full quote from Deepak Advani [emphasis added]:
Predictive analytics gives government organizations worldwide a highly-sophisticated and intelligent source to create safer communities by identifying, predicting, responding to and preventing criminal activities. It gives the criminal justice system the ability to draw upon the wealth of data available to detect patterns, make reliable projections and then take the appropriate action in real time to combat crime and protect citizens.
IBM says that the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom—which has an impeccable record on not pre-judging its citizens—already uses this system to prevent criminal activities.
This turns our society upside down!
Our ‘Western’ society was built on the very principle all rights and freedoms are inherent in each individual: we broke free of the shackles of state and religion which claimed to ‘own’ its populations, where the only rights people had were those that State and Temple permitted them!
To make sure we were never enslaved again – to prevent the Government from choosing who has he right to exercise which freedoms and when….and who does not….we have built in mechanisms into our Constitutions, from Magna Carta on down, that limit the power of the government.
Yes – the whole point of our ‘Western’ constitutions is to protect us, the individual citizens, from the government.
From the government telling us what to do, what to believe, how to live and worship….
Yet here, the Florida government plans (and, apparently, the UK government already does – King John must be ROFL in his grave) have announced their plans to invade the thoughts of youth offenders, and set then jail based on their thought patterns!!!
And if you have any illusions that re-education camps are not prisons, ask Solzhenitsyn: he spent decades in a government-run re-education camp! Yes, in socialist Soviet Union, a person who was picked up for ‘being intoxicated in public’ was indeed sent – for his or her own good – into state-run re-education camps in Siberia… And the Soviet Union was not alone in their belief that government could ‘re-educate’ people in order to help them better fit into the society they had engineered…
I can’t believe this is actually happening!
And if you think that re-education camps in the US are being planned are being planned only for youth offenders – think again. Voices are speaking up about ‘re-education camps’ being planned for ALL they youth in the US, under the guise of ‘volunteerism’ (which, happens to pay a salary).
Yes. (When I was young, I had to join the young pioneers – prove I was ‘officially registered’ and was continuously ‘earning achievement stamps’ in my ‘pioneer passport….oh, the headaches I used to get!)
When things got too oppressive in Europe, people escaped to North America to win back their freedom. Which leaves me with the question: where do we run to now?