All posts filed under: free speech under attack

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

by James Coga, via WSWS June 6 will mark 10 weeks since the Ecuadorian government blocked all communication by WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange with the outside world, including personal visitors. Assange has been trapped inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, when Quito granted him asylum in the face of a legal witch-hunt by the governments of the United States, Britain and Sweden. Britain was moving to extradite Assange to Sweden on trumped-up allegations of sexual abuse as the first step in transferring him to the US to face charges of espionage, which carry a possible death sentence. Washington had vowed to punish Assange for having exposed before the world war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as US intrigues against other countries. In remarks last Wednesday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attempted to defend the silencing of Assange. He sought to deny—unconvincingly—that this action was the outcome of his government’s capitulation to pressure and threats by the United States. Moreno put forward an Orwellian conception of freedom of speech …

Propornot 2 — Setting Up the Atlantic Council for Lawsuits

by George H. Elias, Donbass Early in 2018, I pulled back the veil Propornot hid behind and disclosed the groups behind the smear site.  Propornot is a product of the Atlantic Council’s backers.  It is a symptom of the ongoing Information War.  People in the groups behind it are waging to destroy Press Freedom in the US by branding dissenting voices as objects of ridicule at best and enemies of the state at the worst. Below, you’ll see the results of yet another website scan, as well as circumstantial evidence showing the InterpreterMag and the Atlantic Council, are responsible for Propornot. The lawsuits are starting and because of the damage Propornot’s lists have done, will trickle down to the InterpreterMag staff,  the Atlantic Council, and their backers at some point. For those that don’t know, the Atlantic Council is brought to you by the Central and Eastern European Coalition (CEEC), the Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America (UCCA), and the Ukrainian World Congress(UWC). Between these three organizations, there is a constituency of 20 million voting ultranationalist …

Media on Trial event banned

Media on Trial has released the following statement: Today, on World Press Freedom Day, Leeds City Museum, a city council owned and operated venue, cancelled the Media on Trial’s booking for the event we had planned for 27 May. The fact that the event was cancelled is perhaps bad enough. What became clear as the day has progressed, though, is that Leeds City Museum appear to have informed the press and media of the cancellation before they informed Media on Trial organisers. Indeed they waited for the Media on Trial representative to arrive at the venue for a planned meeting following a four hour train journey before giving us the news. They seem to have taken this decision on the basis of misinformed assumptions about the content of the event, and offered no right of reply to Media on Trial. Leeds City Museum has cancelled an event that threatened mainstream media and UK Government narratives that have enabled another regime change war to be waged against Syria, financed by British taxpayers contributions. The cancellation of …

The Death of Academic Freedom: Professor James Tracy Denied First Amendment Rights by Federal Court

by Vivian Lee James Tracy, former tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University, rose to some notoriety after his website, The Memory Hole Blog, began exploring claims being made in various quarters that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a fake event in which no children died. Although Tracy himself never specifically endorsed this view his website was effectively shut down in 2015 and, shortly after, he was dismissed from his post at the university. Since then he has been fighting for his reinstatement. This month he lost his legal battle On December 11, 2017, in a serious miscarriage of justice, a jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, ruled unanimously in favor of Florida Atlantic University and against former Media Studies Professor James Tracy, who was suing for reinstatement after his firing in 2016. jury found that Tracy’s “controversial” articles on Memory Hole Blog were not a “motivating factor” in his firing, the only question they were required to consider. Of course, Tracy’s posts at “his conspiracy theory blog” were indeed the reason he was fired, …

Google hiring 10,000 reviewers to censor YouTube content

by Zaida Green, via WSWS Google is escalating its campaign of internet censorship, announcing that it will expand its workforce of human censors to over 10,000, the internet giant announced on December 4. The censors’ primary focus will be videos and other content on YouTube, its video-sharing platform, but will work across Google to censor content and train its automated systems, which remove videos at a rate four times faster than its human employees. Human censors have already reviewed over 2 million videos since June. YouTube has already removed over 150,000 videos, 50 percent of which were removed within two hours of upload. The company is working to accelerate the rate of takedown through machine-learning from manual censorship, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki in an official blog post. The hiring drive by Google is yet another advance in the campaign against any expression of political opposition. Other social media giants have implemented measures against “fake news”; Facebook has altered its algorithms to reduce the visibility of certain news stories, and Twitter has banned the Russian-funded media …

US Left, You Have Been Duped

by Richard Hugus, via Dissident Voice On August 19, a week after a heavily publicized clash over a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, an estimated 8,000 people converged on Boston Common to protest a speaking event organized by a group calling itself the Boston Free Speech Movement. Who are the Boston Free Speech Movement and what do they stand for? We’ll never know because antifascists, leftists, anti-racists, and progressives of Boston prevented them from even speaking. Some might say this was a good thing — no one wants to hear from bigots (if that’s who they were) — but, in fact, the left in all its self-righteousness was duped into an assault on the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, for everyone. The left have been the pawns of much more powerful forces who, if they aren’t organizing these news events and provocations outright, are certainly happy to see precedents set for publicly shutting down free speech by the use of force. First it will …

Google now threatening Alt-News web-sites

Eric Zuesse I just happened to notice at one of my publishers, RINF, “Google’s Censorship Of Independent News – Rinf Becomes Latest Victim”, and the owner, Mick Meaney, described Google’s threat to him if he didn’t remove a news-article that was critical of the Israeli government. He promptly removed it. He continued: Then the next day, as I expected, I received another email telling me to delete a second article. This time it was an article about Donald Trump, written by Eric Zuesse.” He’s in a predicament: My choice is now; let Google dictate what information is acceptable, or significantly reduce the amount of time I spend devoted to RINF.” I used to be published at places such as Huffington Post, Salon, and Common Dreams, but the number of sites that are willing to publish me has gradually reduced as more and more of my articles came to expose the operations that control the U.S. federal government. None of those publishers explained to me why they were dropping me. But now I understand. And Google …

Avaaz once again telling us what the Establishment wants us to think?

Any doubt that might have remained about how a certain section of the elite want to spin Brexit is now put to rest as that most entirely fake of all fake “grassroots activist” sites Avaaz is herding its obedient fandom to sign on and “stop the hate.” This is the wording of its latest touchy-feely petition, already signed by 90,000 well-meaning clicktivists. We, the people of the United Kingdom, stand against hate. We call on those editors who tar our country’s reputation by fuelling xenophobia and racism to step down, and pledge to confront racists wherever they are. “If enough of us call for it, we can make it untenable for newspapers like the Daily Mail and The Sun to fan the flames of hate,” runs the accompanying blurb. “And editors will know their jobs depend on responsible journalism.” (our emphasis). I’d be the first to agree the Sun is an open sewer of lowest common denominator ordure, and of course any rational person deplores racism and “hate.” But equally we all should deplore – …

End free speech and save the minorities! (will anyone really fall for this?)

by Blackcatte The current – and frankly bizarre even by recent standards – Guardian campaign “the web we want” seems to be driven by two main agendas. The first, and probably the major one is the long-simmering plan to “regulate” (i.e. control and censor) free speech on the Web. That the Graun’s effort is part of a co-ordinated new offensive in that department is pretty conclusively illustrated by the fact the ex minister for “equality”, Maria Miller delivered her own diatribe agains the “problem” of internet “abuse” just days after the Guardian’s new campaign took off. The similarity between her invective and that employed by the Guardian’s tame journos puts it beyond question that this is an Establishment-wide move. A concerted plan to use exaggerated claims of “abuse” and its alleged impact on minorities, to mobilise well-meaning liberals in support of internet censorship. In fact, unlike the feeble Apologists at Graun HQ, Miller at least has the guts to pretty much say so out loud: “We need better laws and we need better enforcement. Government …