Microsoft has been told it must handover emails stored abroad to US prosecutors by a New York court. However, the software giant says it will fight the ruling, saying that an email deserves the same privacy protection as a paper letter sent by mail.
The company says they will not release any emails to US authorities, while it appeals the ruling, made by Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the US District Court in Manhattan. She said that Microsoft must hand over information, regardless of where it was stored. Continue reading »
The New York Times is reporting that the Obama administration is working behind the scenes to “forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions,” without seeking approval from Congress whatsoever:
In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summitmeeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.
To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. [emphasis added]
Notice the statement didn’t say climate change “rules” to be enacted, but “laws” to reduce carbon pollution. Continue reading »
A new law that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives “would prohibit the sale, transfer or possession of military-level body armor by civilians”. In other words, private citizens all over the entire nation would be permanently banned from owning body armor if this bill gets passed and signed into law. The bill that I am talking about is H.R. 5344 (The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act), and you can view the proposed legislation for yourself right here. The driving force behind this new law is Democrat Mike Honda from California. To Honda, it doesn’t matter that large numbers of very responsible Americans have purchased body armor to protect themselves and their families in a society that is rapidly decaying. Instead, it makes perfect sense to Honda to ban body armor because “access to military-grade body armor emboldens criminals and mass shooters to act.” And Honda wants to make possession of body armor a criminal offense with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. This is absolutely crazy, and it is yet another example of the “police state mentality” that is so prevalent among our politicians these days.
Facebook has been given four weeks to respond to a class action, launched against it by an Austrian activist and supported by 60,000 users. The suit claims Facebook violated users’ privacy, by cooperating with the NSA’s PRISM program.
The class action initiated by Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer, data privacy activist and founder of Europe vs. Facebook group has passed its first review in the Vienna Regional Court.
Facebook Ireland, which runs the social network’s activities outside the US and Canada, has been given four weeks to respond to the action.
“The order is very likely on the way to Facebook. The first step in the legal procedure is hereby taken,” said a statement by Europe vs. Facebook on Thursday
The group has described the suit, joined by 25,000 users, as “the largest privacy class action in Europe” and specified that 35,000 more users have registered on www.fbclaim.com, expressing their will to join the action should it expand. Continue reading »
Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking names. Potentially thousands.
The former KGB colonel, concerned with how social media can be used to undermine his authority, this month expanded his regulation of media to the blogosphere, requiring those with at least 3,000 daily readers to register their real names and contact information. So far, about 580 bloggers in Russia have applied to register with the country’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor.
The government says this is needed so it can remove inaccurate or defamatory information on the Internet. But some bloggers fear it will limit free speech, allow Putin to close down blogs he doesn’t like and give him an excuse to block sites such as Twitter in the future.
The total number of bloggers who are required to register may be several thousand. Roskomnadzor may shut down the accounts of those who don’t follow the new rule. Roskomnadzor sent Eduard Limonov and Boris Akunin, who are known for their opposition to the government, requests to register their blogs, according to the daily newspaper Izvestia. Continue reading »
The UK government is being taken to court over its continuing multi-million pound program of selling arms to Israel after claims they could have been used in Gaza. Unless it stops, its issuing of licenses to arms manufacturers will be legally challenged.
The lawsuit comes from the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which is represented by law firm Leigh Day. The firm wrote to the UK’s business secretary, Vince Cable, stating that the government was acting unlawfully and that a judicial review of its activities would be carried out if it refuses to stop the exports, the Guardian reports. Continue reading »
A coalition of 14 Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists issued statements this week in support of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who faces possible imprisonment for refusing to disclose the identity of a source to the United States government.
Risen was first subpoenaed in 2008 to testify in the case against James Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency employee who was later charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly disclosing CIA secrets to the Times reporter. Risen was subpoenaed again when the first court order expired, and unsuccessfully appealed to the US Supreme Court earlier this year in an effort to have the country’s top justices revoke the request to have the journalist testify during the Sterling trial. Continue reading »
Washington has refused to allow the UN International Court of Justice (IJC) to hear Argentina’s claims that US court decisions on the country’s debt have violated Argentina’s sovereignty.
“We do not view the ICJ as an appropriate venue for addressing Argentina’s debt issues, and we continue to urge Argentina to engage with its creditors to resolve remaining issues with bondholders,” the US State Department told Reuters in an email.
The State Department sent an email with the same content to one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, the Clarin. Continue reading »
Almost exactly one year ago today, I published a post which went on to become extremely popular titled: Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas. If you failed to read it the first time around, I suggest you take look as it provides a good outline of just what is at stake when it comes to this destructive and abusive practice increasingly utilized by police departments across these United States with zero repercussions for the offending officers. In last years article I noted that: Continue reading »
In a landmark gun control case, a federal judge in Washington DC has overturned the city’s total ban on carrying handguns outside the home, saying it is unconstitutional.
“There is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” Judge Frederick Scullin said. Continue reading »
It was nearly five years ago when Zero Hedge first wrote: “This Is The Government: Your Legal Right To Redeem Your Money Market Account Has Been Denied” in which we predicted as part of the ongoing herding of investors away from every other asset class and into stocks, regulation will be implemented to enforce that “money market fund managers will have the option to ‘suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets” or in other words implement redemption “gates.” The logic: spook participants in the $2.6 trillion money market industry with the prospect of being gated (i.e., having no access to ones funds) and force them to reallocate funds elsewhere.
Moments ago the gates arrived, when following a close 3-2 vote (with republican commissioner Piwowar and democrat Stein dissenting), the SEC adopted new rules designed to curb the risk of investor runs on money market funds, capping the end of a years-long heated debate between regulators and the industry dating to the financial crisis according to Reuters.
Among the changes, funds will have to switch to a floating share price instead of the current $1/share (hence the term breaking the buck). But the key part: “The SEC’s rule will require prime money market funds to move from a stable $1 per share net asset value, to a floating NAV. It also will let fund boards lower redemption “gates” and fees in times of market stress.” Continue reading »
British journalists who publish politically motivated content could be labeled terrorists if UK authorities deem the material to be a threat to public safety, according to Britain’s counter-terrorism watchdog.
In his annual report published on July 22, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism LegislationDavid Anderson QC emphasized the UK’s anti-terror laws were simply too broad.His comprehensive review was presented to parliament by Britain’s Home Secretary on Tuesday morning. Continue reading »
Day after day, headlines from Argentina implore Judge Griesa to do the “fair, responsible” thing and lift his judgment that holdouts get paid before current bondholders receive their payments… and day after day Argentina’s demands are met with silence or denials. Today, though, with 1 week left until Argentina must put up or shut up, Judge Griesa has come out swinging…
*U.S. JUDGE SAYS OF ARGENTINA RULINGS: ‘JUDGMENTS ARE JUDGMENTS‘
*U.S. JUDGE URGES ‘SENSIBLE STEPS’ TO AVOID ARGENTINA DEFAULT
While CDS spreads have surged once again, bonds trade with default probabilities around only 50% which, according to Jefferies “are expensive on underestimating the risk of default.” Continue reading »
As is typically the case with posts on Liberty Blitzkrieg, the reason for highlighting this story is to see it in the context of other cultural trends happening within society. One of my biggest themes in 2014 has to do with the aggressive manner in which “authorities” relentlessly pursue average citizens for the most insignificant of infractions, while the most dastardly and destructive of criminals (financial oligarchs and others) receive, at worst, a slap on the wrist. Some of the more egregious examples of this behavior can be found below: Continue reading »
A law, legally allowing children to work from as early as the age of ten, has been signed in Bolivia this week, making the Latin American country the first nation to legalize child labor. International organizations say it contravenes UN conventions.
The legislation was approved by the Congress earlier this month, with Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera signing it into law on Thursday. The signature – which didn’t come from President Evo Morales due to his absence from the country – officially lowers the age that children can legally work from 14 to 10. Continue reading »
Everytime you’re smoking a cigarette you are inhaling radioactive polonium.
The tobacco industry knows this and could easily remove the polonium from your cigarettes, but that would greatly reduce the ‘nicotine hit’ you’ll get from smoking, which would greatly reduce your addiction to smoking, which would be bad news for their profits.
Jury says tobacco firm RJ Reynolds did not inform woman’s chain-smoking husband of risks before he died of lung cancer.
A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain-smoker who died of lung cancer punitive damages of more than $23bn in her case against the RJ Reynolds Tobacco, the nation’s second-largest cigarette maker.
The judgment, returned on Friday night in a Pensacola court, was the largest in Florida history in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by an individual, according to the woman’s legal team. Continue reading »
The U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights – Navi Pillay – also said this week that Snowden should not be prosecuted:
Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected. We need them. And I see some of it here in the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation of all, as what we say, ‘multi-stakeholders,’ everybody concerned. So we do owe it to him for drawing our attention to this issue.
The US/UK/Israel wars of the present are Orwellian unlawful because they violate two treaties renouncing armed attack as a foreign policy option, and allowing military use only in a narrow definition of self-defense when attacked by another nation’s government (full explanation/documentation here).
There’s not much good you can count on Congress to accomplish, but when it comes to introducing and passing oligarch protecting, civil liberties destroying legislation, our “representatives” are absolutely relentless in their determination. Unsurprisingly, the only “distinctly native American criminal class,” as Mark Twain described Congress, is at it again when it comes to institutionalizing spying and attempting a legal run around the Bill of Rights.
One thing that has become crystal clear since the Edward Snowden revelations, is that much of Congress has no problem at all with unconstitutional spying. Rather, they are primarily upset it was exposed and are dead set on making sure no other whistleblower can ever do the same. Enter CISA, or The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.
Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act
The Royal Family is to be granted absolute protection from public scrutiny in a controversial legal reform designed to draw a veil of secrecy over the affairs of the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.
Letters, emails and documents relating to the monarch, her heir and the second in line to the throne will no longer be disclosed even if they are in the public interest. Continue reading »
An Australian judge has incurred the wrath of child protection and gay rights advocates after stating that incest and pedophilia may no longer be considered taboo – just as gay relationships are now more accepted than they were in the 1950s and 60s.
District Court Judge Garry Neilson was recorded as saying that sexual contact between adults and children or siblings may no longer be regarded by society as “unnatural” or “taboo.” Continue reading »
The US State Department has allocated more than a billion dollars in contracts to the security firm Blackwater and its later manifestations since a top official for the company threatened a government investigator’s life in 2007.
The Huffington Post reported that the notorious security contractor Blackwater, its subsequent incarnations, and its subsidiaries have received more than $1.3 billion since the fall of 2007 for training and operations the world over.
In August 2007, State Department investigator Jean C. Richter said a Blackwater project manager, Daniel Carroll, told Richter“that he could kill me at that very moment and no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” where the investigator was observing – and criticizing – the company’s operations. The New York Times reported the details of the threat last month. Continue reading »
The world’s leading Scientists, Physicians, Attorneys, Politicians and Environmental Activists expose the corruption and dangers surrounding the widespread use of Genetically Modified Organisms in the new feature length documentary, “Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs”.
Senior Executive Producer / Writer / Director: Gary Null PhD
Executive Producer/Writer/Co-Director: Richard Polonetsky
Producers: Paola Bossola, Richard Gale, James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Valerie Van Cleve
Editors: James Spruill, Patrick Thompson, Richie Williamson, Nick Palm
Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com), Armando Guarnera
Graphics: Jay Graygor