February 16, 2012
By Natalie Nicol
“Talk about a government that is out control. The only reason that want to censor on-line material is because they are scared the truth will finally reach the masses.” –KTRN
In a report published last week, members of the United Kingdom Parliament concluded that the Internet plays a major role in the radicalization of terrorists and called on the government to pressure Internet Service Providers in Britain and abroad to censor online speech. The Roots of Violent Radicalisation places the Internet ahead of prisons, universities, and religious establishments in propagating radical beliefs and ultimately recommends that the government “develop a code of practice for the removal of material which promotes violent extremism” binding ISPs.
While the Terrorism Act 2006 authorizes British law enforcement agencies to order certain material to be removed from websites, lawmakers on the Home Affairs Committee stated that “service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host.” Their report raises serious concerns that political and religious speech will be suppressed. Security expert Peter Neumann who testified before the Committee asked why websites like YouTube and Facebook can’t be as “effective at removing . . . extremist Islamist or extremist right-wing content” as they are at removing sexually explicit content or copyrighted material that violates their own terms of service.
Citing “persuasive evidence about the potential threat from extreme far-right terrorism” and lauding the recent conviction of four London men who used the Internet to plot a bombing of the London Stock Exchange, Parliament Members commended the report saying, “[it] tackles the threat from home-grown terrorism on and off line.” A spokesman for the House of Commons Home Office stated that the Committee would continue to “work closely with police and internet service providers to take Internet hate off the web.”
In an interview with the International Business Times, Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson criticized the Committee’s recommendations and argued that making ISPs “judge, jury and executioner” imposes responsibilities on ISPs that rightfully belong to law enforcement. “Material of a political or religious nature is by definition much more difficult to define and much more difficult to police without crossing the line to impact on freedom of expression,” Ferguson stated.
The Committee issued its recommendations in the midst of reports that Google India had taken down online content deemed offensive to Indian political and religious leaders in response to a lawsuit. The Washington Post points out that Google Transparency Reports indicate that the UK removed nearly as much content as India from January to June 2011. Google complied with more than 80% of requests from the UK to remove content from its services.
May 24, 2010
by Michael D. Shear
President Obama on Saturday offered a glimpse of a new national security doctrine that distances his administration from George W. Bush’s policy of preemptive war, emphasizing global institutions and America’s role in promoting democratic values.
In a commencement speech to the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the president outlined his departure from what Bush had called a “distinctly American internationalism.” Instead, Obama pledged to shape a new “international order” based on diplomacy and engagement.
Obama has spoken frequently about creating new alliances, and of attempts to repair the U.S. image abroad after nearly a decade in which Bush’s approach was viewed with suspicion in many quarters.
Unlike Bush, who traveled to West Point in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to announce his American-centered approach to security, Obama on Saturday emphasized his belief in the power of those alliances.
“Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation,” he said. “We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice — so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don’t.”
In his speech — the ninth wartime commencement in a row — the commander in chief, who is leading two foreign wars, expressed his faith in cooperation to confront economic, military and environmental crises.
“The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times,” he said in prepared remarks. “Countering violent extremism and insurgency; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and securing nuclear materials; combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing its wounds.”
And yet, as he calls for global cooperation, Obama has intensified the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And his administration has repeatedly confronted the dangers of Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil, including unsuccessful attempts to down a Detroit-bound airliner and explode a car bomb in New York’s Times Square.
To the men and women in the hall, many of whom are headed to Afghanistan because of the expansion of the war the president announced here six months ago, Obama pledged “the full support of a proud and grateful nation.”
The president expressed confidence in the military’s ability to succeed in Afghanistan. But he warned of a “tough fight” ahead as the United States helps the Afghan people rebuild civil institutions and a security system so they can battle the Taliban and other extremists on their own.
“We have brought hope to the Afghan people; now we must see that their country does not fall prey to our common enemies,” Obama said. “There will be difficult days ahead. But we will adapt, we will persist, and I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan.”
In Iraq, he said, the United States is “poised” to end its combat operations this summer, leaving behind “an Iraq that provides no safe haven to terrorists; a democratic Iraq that is sovereign, stable and self-reliant.”
“You, and all who wear America’s uniform, remain the cornerstone of our national defense and the anchor of global security,” he said. “And through a period when too many of our institutions have acted irresponsibly, the American military has set a standard of service and sacrifice that is as great as any in this nation’s history.”
Civilians, he added, must answer the call of service as well, by securing America’s economic future, educating its children and confronting the challenges of poverty and climate change. The country must always pursue what he called the “universal rights” rooted in the Constitution.
“We will promote these values above all by living them — through our fidelity to the rule of law and our Constitution, even when it’s hard; and through our commitment to forever pursue a more perfect union,” he said.
Obama praised the cadets’ pursuit of being “soldier-scholars” and lauded the records of academic excellence the Class of 2010 has set. He also noted that the class’s top two graduates are women, reflecting, the “indispensable role” that women play in the modern military.
“Here, in the quiet of these hills, you have come together to prepare for the most difficult tests of our time,” Obama said. “You signed up knowing your service would send you into harm’s way, and did so long after the first drums of war were sounded. In you we see the commitment of our country, and timeless virtues that have served our nation well.”
August 7, 2009
World Net Daily
By Bob Unruh
An ad campaign featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an “Internment/Resettlement” specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on “threatening” conservatives.
The ads, at the GoArmy.com website as well as others including Monster.com, cite the need for:
“Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel.
The campaign follows by only weeks a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning about “right-wing extremists” who could pose a danger to the country – including those who support third-party political candidates, oppose abortion and would prefer to have the U.S. immigration laws already on the books enforced.
The “extremism” report coincided with a report out of California that the Department of Defense was describing protesters as “low-level terrorists.”
The new ad says successful candidates will “provide external security to … detention/internment facilities” and “provide counseling and guidance to individual prisoners within a rehabilitative program.”
Officials at the state and federal National Guard levels told WND they were unaware of the program, although one officer speculated it could be intended for soldiers trained in the U.S. and dispatched overseas to “detention facilities.” From the national level, WND was told, officials were unaware of any such “internment facilities” at which there could be jobs to be available.
At a NationalGuard.com website, a front page video describes the position thoroughly.
But one of the critics was a YouTube contributor who identifies himself as jafount and titled his video, “Want a job putting people into camps?”
Alarmed by the ads, he said it, the idea “just absolutely blew my mind.”
Citing a promise that successful applicants would be trained in “search and restrain procedures,” he said, “That’s code for violating the 14th Amendment.”
Likewise, he said, “use of firearms” is “code for depriving somebody of their life.’
“This is the real deal, I think,” he said, citing, among others, the NationalGuard.com link.
“I saw something that didn’t sit right with me. I posted it so other people can investigate,” he said.
A commenter on the YouTube site pooh-poohed the whole suggestion.
“You have … put out a relatively benign fact, twisted it into something sinister, and then did a tinfoil-hat connection to give a false impression,” the forum participant wrote.
The ads list as “advanced responsibilities” issues such as supervision and administration, responsibility for the “prisoner/internee” population, “custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) camp,” and work on “custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (CD) resettlement facility.”