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Frankly, I never dreamed that when I posted a diary here during the Bush years titled "Listen up, Whistleblowers!" it would end up on the Wikileaks page, ( Link ) much less, still be relevant during a Democratic Presidency! A smh moment, no?

"Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text."
 Julian Assange
Sadly, the most recent "leak" of text from the Trans-Paciific Partnership available on the Wikileaks website is from March of this year, but with the uptick in attention and growing grave concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement many here are voicing, I thought it relevant to post the "latest", as well as providing links and a synopsis of earlier TPP "leaks" (provided by Wikileaks).
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What follows is an announcement made several days ago, and bears repeating for those who may not have seen it via twitter or MSM news outlets

Live Q&A with Edward Snowden: Thursday 23rd January, 8pm GMT, 3pm EST

Edward Snowden will be answering questions submitted by the public on his official support site, freesnowden.is, this Thursday 23 January at 8pm GMT, 3pm EST. The support site is run by The Courage Foundation and is the only endorsed Snowden Defence Fund.
This is the first Snowden live chat since June 2013 and will last for an hour starting at 8pm GMT, 3pm EST. Questions can be submitted on twitter on the day of the event using the #AskSnowden hashtag. Edward Snowden’s responses will appear at http://www.freesnowden.is/...

The live chat comes exactly a week after US President Barack Obama gave an address in response to the public concerns raised by Edward Snowden’s revelations about US surveillance practices. In the live chat, Edward Snowden is expected to give his first reaction to the President’s speech.

Courage (formerly the Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund) is a trust, audited by accountants Derek Rothera & Company in the UK, for the purpose of providing legal defence and campaign aid to journalistic sources. It is overseen by an unremunerated committee of trustees. Edward Snowden is its first recipient.

The freesnowden.is website was commissioned by the trustees of Courage to provide information on the threats Edward Snowden faces and what can be done to support him, and details all revelations made to date in a convenient central archive.

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"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir

Grand Tetons, taken from Blacktail Pond overlook, Jackson WY

The following article was written by David Stalling, a freelance writer, outdoorsman and advocate. It is posted here in its entirety with Mr. Stalling's permission. More about the author can be found at the bottom of this post.

"From the Wild Side-Wild Thoughts from an Untamed Heart" is author-advocate David Stalling's blog site. He is a persuasive voice for the need to preserve our great wilderness areas and the creatures that live there. I share Mr. Stalling's love for the outdoors, hunting for food, and caring for our environment. I hope you will visit his blog.

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UPDATED- Link to the newly released  FISA court opinion at bottom of diary

Finally, some very good news! Big, big, BIG victory announced today !

Back in June of this year, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) posted this article: FISA Court Rejects Catch-22 Secrecy Argument in FOIA Case:

In the first publicly known victory by a non-government party before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secret court today granted a motion filed by EFF related to an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The FISC gave its OK to the public disclosure of an earlier opinion of the FISC—an opinion that declared aspects of the NSA's surveillance under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act to be unconstitutional.

Last week, the Department of Justice made a confusing, head-spinning argument in opposition to our motion, arguing that the FISC's procedural rules operated as a seal, which prevented the executive branch from releasing the opinion.

Well, no big surprise - of course the DoJ is going to spin and twist and do whatever it can to delay or keep this 'secret' court decision 'secret'. Because it essentially says that what the government has been doing, (all that 'transparency' stuff, our transparency, the government's, not so much) ie widespread surveillance and spying on Americans, is not legal. Unconstitutional.  
In earlier arguments, the Department of Justice tried to pin the blame for withholding the opinion in its entirety on the FISC. But, with that argument gone, DOJ should have no choice but to release, at the very minimum, parts of the opinion describing the government's unconstitutional practices.
Next move, EFF's:
EFF'€™s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeks disclosure of any written opinions or orders from FISC discussing illegal government surveillance, as well as any briefings to Congress about those violations.
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More below the squiggle

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Birgitta Jonsdottir is a member of Iceland's parliament, representing the Pirate Party. She's also a well known and longtime activist and supporter of information freedom, Wikileaks and human rights, particularly for the Tibetan people. She, along with Julian Assange and others at Wikileaks, helped to produce the "Collateral Murder" video that shook the world.

This morning she tweeted the following:

~The extended text continues below the squiggle~

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Wozniak, from The Guardian:

"Read the facts: it's government of, by and for the people. We own the government; we are the ones who pay for it and then we discover something that our money is being used for – that just can't be, that level of crime."
Steve Wozniac created the Apple computer and co-founded the Apple company, along with Steve Jobs. He was interviewed last night on Piers Morgan (CNN, which I refuse to watch) about the NSA leak, and the future of computers. His thrust, worth noting, is that this is not how he intended technological advances he had a hand in creating to be used, nor is this the direction in which our country should go. The misuse of technology he helped to develop - to free people to express and share their thoughts and ideas to the world, allowing people to overcome government restrictions - and now being used to spy on people by that very government, is something that he feels somewhat guilty about.

 More from The Guardian piece:

"All these things about the constitution, that made us so good as people – they are kind of nothing."

"They are all dissolved with the Patriot Act. There are all these laws that just say 'we can secretly call anything terrorism and do anything we want, without the rights of courts to get in and say you are doing wrong things'. There's not even a free open court any more. Read the constitution. I don't know how this stuff happened. It's so clear what the constitution says."

He said he had been brought up to believe that "communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on them, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared them – these kinds of things were part of Russia.
We are getting more and more like that."

(emphasis mine)

In an impromptu interview at the airport, Wozniak speaks about his dismay about how his country isn't what he was brought up to believe it was, by a Latin American tech site crew who happened to be in the same gate area.
(at about the 50 second mark)

~Below the squiggle, the CNN interview~

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Short and sweet. You say you don't like the fact that your government is tracking you, listening to you, watching you, counting your clicks and storing your data?

Well, you can do something about it, you know.

Products have been out there for quite a while _ tested and (for the most part) open sourced _ and they work as well as or better than the mega-corpse products we all know and love (big roll eyes).

If you're willing to put in a bit of time, and you want to throw away that rather short choke chain and leash you've been on all these years, there are alternatives to Microchipsoft, rottenApple iOs, Faceplantbook, etc etc etc. that don't facilitate Big Broseff's boundless enthusiasm for * cough * keeping us safe.

Below the squiggle, a short list with links. Prepare to be liberated.
Read it. Spread it around. Share it. If you know some useful additions not listed, add to it in the comments.

::grin::

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Collapsed bridge over I-5 over the Skagit River.
From KOMO.News in Washington-
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed Thursday evening, injuring a unknown number of people.

Both the northbound and southbound portions of the bridge dropped into the river sometime before 7 p.m., according to Washington State Patrol trooper Mark Francis.

Francis said several cars were on the bridge when it collapsed, and many are now in the water.

It's unclear how many people were injured or killed in the collapse.

This is a developing story that will be updated when more information is available.

And the inevitable:
 
Bart Treece with the Washington State Department of Transportation was unsure when the bridge was last inspected.

"All of our bridges in the area are pretty old," he said.

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Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM PDT

Mrs. Anonymous in labor

by Lisa Lockwood

For those who've followed Anonymous, know the roster, or follow the tweetstream vicariously, a blessed event is in progress.

Mrs. Hignio Ochoa aka @MissAnonFatale (Kylie) is giving birth to @Anonw0rmer 's son, Brody, tonight. Labor's been induced, Hig's mom is with her, and her husband is in jail tonight.

#FreeBrody #UnOccupy #gtfo

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In a move that will increase profits of poultry producers and save only 90 million dollars over three years, one of the Obama budget items that seems to have garnered little attention recommends cuts to FDA inspections, especially at chicken processing plants and allows for the gap to be filled with privatized inspectors. Because, as we all know, privatization has worked so well in all other venues in which it's been used to replace actual government regulators or government functions. Think Blackwater.
Cutting right to the chase, do we want BP regulating it's own oil rigs? Exxon regulating it's own pipelines? Tyson regulating it's own chicken processing plants?

Follow below the squished chicken liver for more...

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Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM PDT

#OpJustice4Rataeh ~ engaged

by Lisa Lockwood

This morning, Canadian Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella posted an open letter to Anonymous, outraged at the legal apathy and yawns from the RCMP. In part, it says:

... You may ask what happened to the four males who raped her, and who circulated the photograph of Rehtaeh being raped – which, incidentally, meets the definition in Canadian law of child pornography.

Nothing.  Nothing happened to them.

The RCMP, who allegedly investigated, are led in Nova Scotia by Alphonse MacNeil.  He calls himself a “consensus builder” and has two daughters.  I’m sure you could find his email address if you needed to.

The Nova Scotia government, which agreed with – and energetically defended – the RCMP’s decision to do nothing about the rape or the child pornography, is led by NDP leader Darrell Dexter.  Interestingly, he represents Cole Harbour in the provincial legislature.  His email isn’t readily available, either, but I know you’ll find that, too.

His Attorney-General is Ross Landry.  Yesterday, Landry refused to reopen the case; by the afternoon, he had seemingly changed his tune.  His constituency office email is here.  I don’t know what his email is.

The names of the little bastards who did this, and who are still alive and walk free in Cole Harbour, are unknown to most of us.  But, as in the Steubenville, Ohio case, I am certain anyone who is sufficiently motivated can find out who the little bastards are, and name and shame them.

I’m unclear how to appeal to you, Anonymous.  But if there was ever a case that cried out for your attention – and if there were ever men like MacNeil, Dexter and Landry who deserved to be fired, or worse, for their pathetic responses – I don’t know what it is.  What happened to Rehtaeh and her family is so horrible, so evil, I am ashamed that it happened in my country.

In closing, I should note that Rehtaeh’s heart was sent to Toronto yesterday, to be transplanted into another person.  I don’t know why I feel a need to mention that to you, but I do.

Maybe because, in some way, it feels like Rehtaeh is still watching now, to see who will do something, and who will do nothing.

Sincerely,

Warren

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