2011-09-05 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
The @wikileaks twitter account is constantly being updated with the latest WikiLeaks/Cablegate2 news.

08:40 PM Extraterrestrial life confirmed, by Tajik leader.

05:20 PM Both U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and UNICEF opposed a boycott to child labor in the cotton industry in Uzbeskistan, seemingly in an attempt to keep good relations with the country. Cables show both institutions overlooked NGOs reports regarding exploitation of children, preferring to rely on information from ‘staff of international organizations on the ground in Uzbekistan’.

Despite NGO findings of coercion and intimidation, in a cable dated January 9, 2009, the Embassy still continued to report its belief that child labor was not forced, prefering to use the term "mobilized" versus "forced labor" and that school-children's cotton picking was "an ingrained part of the local culture" and was an "exhausting rite of passage":

"Many students look forward to the annual mobilization to pack their guitars, trail mix-equivalent snacks, vodka (for university students), and head out to the farms. The work can be exhausting, but they make the best of it. Students sometimes have campfires and enjoy evening entertainment, which provide opportunities to mingle with members of the opposite sex more freely than at home."

05:00 PM No plans to prosecute Julian Assange ‘at this stage’ in Australia over the identification of an ASIO officer in documents published by WikiLeaks, despite Robert McClelland’s threats, declared a representative of McClelland’s Office.

04:40 PM Two people in Mexico are facing possible 30-year sentences for terrorism and sabotage as a result of comments made via twitter.

04:05 PM A step-by-step analysis of a cable published by WikiLeaks shows how Sweden’s Internet civil liberties were compromised due to influence of the United States when the Swedish Government agreed to implement a list of measures commissioned by the U.S.:

"Among the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the US government and industry interests." via falkvinge.net

04:00 PM Microsoft aided former Tunisian regime: the U.S. company agreed to set up a "program on cyber criminality" that covered training of law enforcement officials in Tunisia and provided the Ben Ali regime with source code.

"In theory, increasing GOT law enforcement capability through IT training is positive, but given heavy-handed GOT interference in the internet, Post questions whether this will expand GOT capacity to monitor its own citizens", a cable dated 22 September 2006 reads.

"Ultimately, for Microsoft the benefits outweigh the costs".

03:50 PM Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India, Mayawati’s ‘eccentric ways’ are detailed in a cable where she is described as a "paranoid dictator with a fetish for shoes and items of extravagance, similar to former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos in the 80's". She is said to employ "nine cooks (two to cook, the others to watch over them)" and to have sent a jet to get sandals from Mumbai. This clip offers a good summary of CM Mayawati’s extravagances.

02:45 PM Al Jazeera selects The five funniest cables about the 'war on drugs'.

See Al Jazeera’s WikiLeaks liveblog for regular updates on their Cablegate coverage.

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