On Friday's Democracy Now, Amy Goodman spent a long segment with Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org talking about threats to the Internet. The timing was particularly appropriate because an extremely serious threat to our Internet freedoms made important advances last week and an alarm needs to be sounded. Unfortunately that's not what Amy talked about. Instead of enlightenment, Amy and Eli offered diversion and confusion. I was very disappointed.
Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Protect IP Act. This legislation, if it becomes law, will make the Internet in the US like the Internet in China; both will be filtered by their governments. Like the Internet Blacklist bill [COICA] that they couldn't get passed last year, this new bill authorizes the Attorney General to create a list of websites that are to be blocked. COICA would have made legal the Federal government practice of seizing domain names without a notice or a hearing. This is a power that the AG started exercising on his own authority last year, after they failed to get their eggs hatched in the Senate. But as I pointed out last December, they have figured out that seizing domain names is pretty impotent if the search engines continue to do their job of indexing the web for us as they find it. So now they have come out with an "improved version" that forces even more draconian controls on the Internet.
At this point NATO is just using Gaddafi to discipline the rebels.
For a month UN/NATO gave Gaddafi absolute freedom to apply maximum violence to suppress the rebels. Meanwhile they kept buying his oil and if he had been successful all would have been forgiven and they would have kept buying the oil from him.
They made overtures to the rebels and those overtures were rejected. They landed British SAS forces in a rebel area and the rebels arrested them. That probably delayed NATO air strikes by more than a week.
Most of all NATO wants oil from Libya and they can get that from Gaddafi or the rebels but they can't get that without stability. NATO did not act until they had determined Gaddafi would not prevail quickly. His promise to do to Benhgazi what he had just done to Ajdabiya, saying "Libya will clean house to house if the protesters do not surrender", meant that as many as a hundred thousand civilians could have been slaughtered and that whole oil producing area would be in great turmoil for a long time. So they finally acted.
Once NATO started bombing they had already determined that Gaddafi must go and they have every intention of removing him. But they still have not received the concessions they want from the rebels. That's why they have backed off. That is why they have been slow to resumed air strikes to stop Gaddafi's murderous bombardment of Misratah. They are using Gaddafi to discipline the rebels in an attempt to force them to beg for NATO's support on NATO's terms.
I am blogging today from the So. Cal. Linux Expo [SCALE9x]. I am promoting Anonymous, among other things to the Linux and Free Software communities. While I was here yesterday, someone attending the conference told me what Google did to support the popular uprisings in Iran a few years ago.
He said that at before that time there was basically nothing in the way of computer based Farsi translation but Google had a project in the lab which they rushed into production to support the struggle then rapidly developing in Iran.
"We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran" said Google principal scientist Franz Och in a statement on Goolge's Official Blog.
After Wael Ghonim was released from the custody of Mubarak's thugs, he said he would like to return to work at Google if he was not fired. Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt tweeted back "We're incredibly proud of you, @Ghonim, & of course will welcome you back when you're ready."
Just why founder Larry Page is now stepping in to replace Eric Schmidt as Google CEO is not clear but rumor has it that differences over Google's China policy played a big role. Schmidt opposed the decision by founders Page and Brin to pull out of China over government censorship.
At the White House Press Briefing yesterday, Friday, 25 February 2011 Press Secretary Jay Carney inadvertently reveals the top secret source of CIA intelligence on North Africa and the Middle East.
This is followed by a plug for my documentary Vietnam: American Holocaust
The brute force approach to popular uprisings is now being tried in earnest in Libya. In using artillery, aircraft and navy on peaceful protesters Colonel Gaddfi is attempt to break the protest movements with massive violence.
If he is successful, this type of violent response to popular uprising will almost certainly be used elsewhere with all the terrible consequences for humanity. If he fails and is hopefully executed for his war crimes, the reigning powers around the world will favor more peaceful methods of resolving contradictions.
The groups that have been robbing Egypt for the past thirty years represent a circle much broader than their fearless leader Hosni Mubarak. They include a certain section of the very rich in Egypt, high ranking army officers, senior NDP functionaries, the U.S. and European imperialists, and while space does not permit a complete listing of all the beneficiaries of the Mubarak regime, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that the Zionists have long been singing "What a friend we have in Cairo."
All of these groups can do very well without Mubarak and if they can carry on as before without Mubarak, that is just fine with them. Mubarak will be gone shortly. I think everybody but Hosni Mubarak knows that. By ceding his presidential powers to Omar Suleiman the way he did today he blew the best chance they had of a "smooth and orderly transition" to more of the same under a different label, namely a Suleiman regime.