statism watch

Archive for December 31st, 2008

Defense Contractors See $$$ in Cyber Security

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Kim Zetter, Wired
December 31, 2008

The profits of (conventional) war must not be as good as they used to be.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing have decided the next cash cow is cyber defense.

According to Bloomberg, both companies, “eager to capture a share of a market that may reach $11 billion in 2013,” have formed new business units to attract money that the U.S. government will be spending to secure U.S. government computers and, no doubt, to break the security of enemy computer systems.

The companies awoke to the money-making opportunity after President Bush signed a National Security Directive in January, which is commonly known as the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative and is estimated will cost $30 billion or more to implement.

The initiative, which includes the creation of a National Cyber Security Center to be run by the Department of Homeland Security, has been criticized for its secrecy and the role that intelligence agencies may play in the plan. Critics fear the plan is a cover to give U.S. intelligence agencies the unfettered ability to monitor all traffic that passes through the internet.

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Food, medicine, fuel needed in Gaza, agencies warn

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

CBC News
December 31, 2008

Food and medical supplies are trickling into Gaza, aid agencies said Wednesday, warning a lull in violence is urgently needed to stem a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

John Holmes, the United Nations under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said roughly 115 trucks filled with supplies crossed into Gaza Tuesday and Wednesday.

Gaza’s main power plant shut down on Tuesday because no fuel has entered the Palestinian territory in the past three days. Roughly 650,000 Palestinians in central and northern Gaza will be without electricity for 16 hours for each day, he said.

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Ban-happy Ontario accused of ‘Big Brotherism’

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

I’d call it Soviet-style micromanagement. But same thing, point taken.

CBC News
December 31, 2008

2008 will probably be remembered as ‘the year of the ban’ in Ontario.

The provincial government moved to make a lot of things illegal – the use of hand-held cellphones while driving, smoking in cars with children and the cosmetic use of pesticides included.

Acting Conservative Leader Bob Runciman says it shouldn’t be the job of government to tell people what’s good for them.

“This is Big Brotherism at its finest,” said Runciman. “If you look down the list, it’s unprecedented.”

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India signs new anti-terror laws in wake of Mumbai attack

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

But of course they have. Just like The USA, Canada, and the UK when they staged terror attacks as marketing stunts to get their populations to cede their freedoms as well. Oh, and we mustn’t forget Australia. It’s a part of that particularly neolithic form of statecraft honed by the British during their Imperial phase, and people should have woken up to it after it was declassified that the USA staged the attacks off the coast of Vietnam to go to war with that country as well.

CBC News
December 31, 2008

In response to the deadly Mumbai attacks, India’s president has signed into law a bill that doubles the number of days police can detain terror suspects and extends police powers to conduct searches.

President Pratibha Patil approved the anti-terror legislation, which has been criticized by some human rights groups.

Police will now be able to detain terror suspects for 180 days before filing charges, up from 90.

The president also signed a bill that will create an FBI-style national investigation agency, said Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, the country’s top law enforcement official.

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Private firm may administer UK surveillance database

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

We’re living in a Twilight Zone episode. It’s time to roll back this global police state insanity now. Privacy is not an obsolete concept, but part of the foundation of a free society.

Alan Travis and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian
December 31, 2008

‘Hellhouse’ of personal data will be created, warns former DPP

The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone’s calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary.

A cabinet decision to put the management of the multibillion pound database of all UK communications traffic into private hands would be accompanied by tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses.

But in his strongest criticism yet of the superdatabase, Sir Ken Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, who has firsthand experience of working with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, told the Guardian such assurances would prove worthless in the long run and warned it would prove a “hellhouse” of personal private information.

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