Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic Cop

 

By Cecilia Kang

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 13, 2008; Page D01

Comcast said yesterday that it purposely slows down some traffic on its network, including some music and movie downloads, an admission that sparked more controversy in the debate over how much control network operators should have over the Internet.

In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, Comcast said such measures — which can slow the transfer of music or video between subscribers sharing files, for example — are necessary to ensure better flow of traffic over its network.

In defending its actions, Comcast stepped into one of the technology industry’s most divisive battles. Comcast argues that it should be able to direct traffic so networks don’t get clogged; consumer groups and some Internet companies argue that the networks should not be permitted to block or slow users’ access to the Web.

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Revealed: 800 public bodies now have powers to ‘snoop’ on our phones and emails

Almost 800 public bodies have assumed powers to “snoop” on our phone records or private correspondence, it emerged yesterday.The “surveillance state” powers have been handed to prison bosses, the police, Environment Agency, NHS Trusts, fire chiefs, Post Office and 474 local councils.

Local authorities made 1,700 requests to access mobile phone records and other private information in the last nine months of 2006 – using them to catch “criminals” such as fly-tippers.

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The Expanding Police State

The Secret Raids of Alberto Gonzales

Operation Falcon: 10,000 Swept Up

By MIKE WHITNEY

18/05/08 “Counterpunch” — – There’s only one way to make sure that the machinery of state-terror is operating at maximum efficiency; flip on the switch and let er rip. That was thinking behind last month’s massive roundup of 10,000 American citizens in what was aptly-christened Operation Falcon.

Operation Falcon was a massive clandestine dragnet that involved hundreds of state, federal and local law-enforcement agencies during the week of April 4 to April 10, 2005. It was the largest criminal-sweep in the nation’s history and was brainchild of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his counterpart in the US Marshal’s office, (Director) Ben Reyna.

Read more and listen to speeches by Mike Whitney and Jeremey Scahill on the militarization of America and on the looming martial law.

Freedom of Speech and H.R. 1955 pt. 1

Read the full text on the page above.

French Author Accused of Outing Secrets

Saturday December 8, 2007 4:46 AM
By VERENA VON DERSCHAU

Associated Press Writer

PARIS (AP) – A French anti-terrorist judge has filed preliminary charges against an investigative journalist and author accused of publishing defense secrets, judicial officials said Friday.

Authorities are investigating articles by Guillaume Dasquie, including one that reported French intelligence had suspected al-Qaida of planning a plane hijacking nine months before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Dasquie was detained Wednesday after investigators from the DST counterespionage agency searched his residence, the judicial officials said. On Thursday, investigating judge Philippe Coirre, who handles anti-terrorist cases, filed preliminary charges, the officials said.

The charges are for “possessing secret defense documents” and “divulging secret defense documents or intelligence,” the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

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Terror watch list swells to more than 755,000

WASHINGTON — The government’s terrorist watch list has swelled to more than 755,000 names, according to a new government report that has raised worries about the list’s effectiveness.

The size of the list, typically used to check people entering the country through land border crossings, airports and sea ports, has been growing by 200,000 names a year since 2004. Some lawmakers, security experts and civil rights advocates warn that it will become useless if it includes too many people.

“It undermines the authority of the list,” says Lisa Graves of the Center for National Security Studies. “There’s just no rational, reasonable estimate that there’s anywhere close to that many suspected terrorists.”

The exact number of people on the list, compiled after 9/11 to help government agents keep terrorists out of the country, is unclear, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Some people may be on the list more than once because they are listed under multiple spellings.

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Why, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom:

“I’ve got nothing to hide, so electronic surveillance doesn’t bother me. To the contrary, I’m delighted that the Bush Administration is monitoring calls and electronic traffic on a massive scale, because catching terrorists is far more important that worrying about the government’s listening to my phone calls, or reading my emails.” So the argument goes. It is a powerful one that has seduced too many people.Millions of Americans buy this logic, and in accepting it, believe they are doing the right thing for themselves, their family, and their friends, neighbors, community and country. They are sadly wrong. If you accept this argument, you have been badly fooled.

This contention is being bantered about once again, so there is no better time than the present to set thinking people straight. Bush and Cheney want to make permanent unchecked Executive powers to electronically eavesdrop on anyone whom any President feels to be of interest. In August, before the summer recess, Congress enacted the Protect America Act, which provided only temporary approval for the expanding Executive powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). These temporary powers expire in February 2008, so Congress is once again addressing the subject.

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