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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Bad Guys

French President Sarkozy Sees Opportunity for Censorship, Seizes It

problem, reaction, solution graphic
© n/a
In the wake of a horrific rampage, in which Mohamed Merah (now dead after a 32-hour standoff with police) reportedly murdered three French soldiers, three young Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has begun calling for criminal penalties for citizens who visit web sites that advocate for terror or hate. "From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished," Sarkozy was reported as saying.

Apart from the obvious flaws in Sarkozy's plan--users, can, of course, use anonymizing tools to view the material or simply access it from a variety of locations to avoid appearing as "habitual" viewers--there are numerous other reasons to be concerned about criminalizing access to information.

First, there's no guarantee that criminalizing access to hate speech or terrorist content will end the very real problems of hate crime and terrorism. Extremist violence didn't start with the Internet and it won't end with it, either.

Second, who defines "hate speech"? In France, that definition includes Holocaust denial, which in the past resulted in Yahoo! discontinuing auctions of Nazi memoribilia (the collectors of which are not, by any stretch, all sympathizers). And negative comments about France's Muslim community have also resulted in criminal penalties, most notably in the case of actress Brigitte Bardot, who has been convicted five times for "inciting racial hatred." While Holocaust denial and comments about Muslims such as those made by Bardot may be deplorable, they should not be criminal.

Finally, while Sarkozy is not--yet--calling for websites to be blocked, it wouldn't be a stretch; after all, France already offers mechanisms for blocking child pornography and "incitement to terrorism and racial hatred." If Sarkozy were to decide censorship is the answer, one major risk would be overblocking: there's nary a country in the world that censors the Internet without collateral damage (in Australia, for example, testing on a would-be censorship regime found the site of a dentist blocked, among others).

EFF has serious concerns about the implications of Sarkozy's comments. When a democratic country such as France decides to censor or criminalize speech, it is not just the French that suffer, but the world, as authoritarian regimes are given easy justification for their own censorship. We urge French authorities to judge crime on action, not expression.

Pirates

The French Connection: Are we watching Gladio-style electioneering by terror?

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© Thierry Pons/Maxppp/Zuma Press/MCT
The following are important facts that may help you understand the background to the recent shocking events in South Western France.

Three servicemen have died and in another attack on a Jewish school, a teacher, two of his own children and a third child were tragically gunned down by a masked man riding a motor scooter.

Important fact number one: the first round of the French presidential election is scheduled for April 22nd. A final encounter between the two front runners is scheduled for May 6th, should no clear winner emerge from the first round.

And number two: the incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy is fighting for his political life. He has trailed his socialist opponent Francoise Holland for months now. He has not led in the polls against any socialist contender since November 2009.

To sum up, Sarkozy is one of the consistently least popular presidents in the history of the Fifth Republic. He looked every inch the loser engaged in a race to the bottom. His populist lunges at the over-bearing EU, playing the anti-Turkish card over the Armenian genocide issue, barely registered more than a temporary flicker on the political Geiger counter.

Bad Guys

Fathers Arrested in Child Porn Ring


Fifteen men across eastern Australia, some of them fathers, have been charged with child pornography offences following the discovery of hundreds of thousands of images and videos of children including toddlers.

Seven men were arrested in Victoria, five in NSW, two in the ACT and one in Queensland following a tip-off from Interpol to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in December.

The arrests over the past week have disrupted a network of online child predators, the AFP alleges.

The peer-to-peer file-sharing network, which involves the sharing of information without using a central server, was originally discovered in Germany.

Bad Guys

Australians Arrested in International Child Porn Ring Bust

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Thirteen Australians have been arrested in several police raids on an international child pornography ring.

Australian Federal Police raided 19 properties in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT, arresting the 13 men, with one of those in possession of images and videos requiring 24 standard laptops to store.

Arrow Down

Nigel Farage on the Euro Project: History will prove Barroso Wrong

Nigel Farage commenting on Barroso's message that the signing of the European Fiscal Compact treaty signifies the "irreversibility of the euro."


Star of David

Ozar Hatoraj School Attack - Inside Job

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In 2001, at an Ozar Hatorah school in Paris, a classroom was burned down. This turned out to be an inside job. The perpetrator turned out to be a pupil. (From Middle East to France, a Jewish school's journey Reuters)

On 19 March 2012, in Toulouse, an Ozar Hatorah school was reportedly attacked. This followed the shooting of three Moslems in Toulouse earlier in March 2012.

Witnesses of the March 19 attack described the shooter as being "of European descent". ("School Shooting".)

On 21 March 2012, the French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says the shooting suspect is 24 years old, of French nationality and "belongs to al-Qaeda," the mercenary group reportedly set up by the CIA.

Apparently, the suspect wants to damage the cause of the Palestinians, by associating himself with the Palestinians.

The suspect reportedly says he "wants to take revenge for Palestinian children" killed in the Middle East. (Toulouse siege: live)

Comment: Sarkozy's Backers To Use Toulouse Attacks To Steal French Election - UPDATE!


Star of David

Is it an Israeli False Flag Again?

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Israeli press reported this evening that French gunman Mohamed Merah had been on a trip to Israel in the past.

According to the report, Merah's passport had Israeli stamps in it. The purpose of his visit is unknown. Israeli analysts suspect he was either trying to visit the Palestinian territories or preparing for a terror attack.

However, I won't rule out the possibility that Merah was actually trained by Israeli forces. Marah may have conducted a false flag operation. By way of deception is, after all, the Mossad's motto.

Read the story of Naeim Giladi, an Israeli agent operating in Iraq in the late 1940's.

Handcuffs

The 1%'s Doctrine for the 99%

Many on the American Right insist federal actions from the Civil War to recent banking regulations were encroachments on states' rights and personal liberties, but underlying these claims - in the 1860s and today - is the greed of the richest 1 percent treating the 99 percent as chattel, writes Mark Ames.

A little over a year ago, while researching the Confederacy's economy, I stumbled across this unnerving graph charting the value of America's "stock of slaves" in the last decades before the Civil War.

Slave value chart
© Roger Ransom & Richard Sutch
This graph tells the real story behind the South's secession: the value of the South's "slave stock" - the property of the ruling class - soared as secession approached, reaching an almost 90-degree angle in those final years before Harper's Ferry. The South's ruling class seceded to protect their riches, period.

Bad Guys

Destabilization of Africa: Coup in Mali

Mali map
© Land Destroyer
Mali, represented in green, is located just south of Algeria, west of uranium-rich Niger, and north of Guinea and the recently French-besieged nation of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast.)
The North African nation of Mali, whose borders exist within the epicenter of recent Western-backed destabilization efforts throughout the continent, has French-backed war in Cote d'Ivoire on its southern borders and Western attempts to destabilize Algeria to the north.

As recent reports of a military coup emerge, indicating that troops have seized control of the capital city Bamako, including the presidential palace, the flickers of Western-destabilization can be seen at play in the country's north. Labeled as a "Tuareg rebellion," the resulting violence from warfare in Mali's north has been cited as a contributing factor to the military's move to overthrow the government in Bamako, claiming the ruling government has left troops under-armed to deal with the increasing violence.

Western media cites "weapons left over from the Libyan civil war," as the impetus for "Tuareg" separatism. However, while it is true the nomadic Tuareg people exist in a region that includes Mali, southern Algeria, Niger, and parts of western Libya, it should also be noted that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) operate in territory that almost perfectly overlays that of the Tuareg. AQIM are also the more likely recipients of Libyan weapons handed to them by their Libyan Al Qaeda affiliates, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who led the 2011 NATO-backed rebellion against Qaddafi.

Smoking

Fascist New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates quarter billion dollars to global anti-smoking crusade

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New York mayor will use cash injection to target countries with highest rates of smoking including Bangladesh, India and Russia

The mayor of New York has bolstered a global crusade against tobacco with a donation of a quarter of a billion dollars to curb the growth of the industry in low- and middle-income countries.

Michael Bloomberg, who introduced a ban on smoking in public places in New York despite warnings that it would destroy tourism and alienate voters, is putting unprecedented sums of money into anti-smoking efforts in poorer parts of the world where the industry is increasingly looking for expansion.

About 80% of deaths from smoking-related diseases last year were in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Lung Foundation's 'Tobacco Atlas' published on Wednesday.

Smoking is the biggest killer in China, causing 1.2 million deaths a year and is the leading cause of male deaths in Turkey (38%) and Kazakhstan (35%). It is the biggest killer of women in the Maldives (25%) and the US (23%).

Comment: Anti-Smoking Propaganda Alert! WHO: Nearly Half World Smokers To Die Of Tobacco-Related Disease