(ICYMI: Our recent open letter to Twitter concerning @JackalAnon’s attempt to claim ownership of @YourAnonNews: http://bit.ly/1uM4eKX )
You may have noticed some chaos taking place on this account lately. A lot has happened in the last few days. As the group of @YourAnonNews (YAN) users who have recently inherited this account (after actively maintaining it for quite some time), we would like to bring everyone up to speed on the current state of YAN.
Based on our understanding, the amounts listed by “the board” in the previous truth and reconciliation report seem about right. All spending decisions were made and carried out by Jackal. We were not consulted prior to any purchases, except the macbook since it was going to be used directly for editing the YAN show. We did not have access to, or handle, any of the money. There was some implicit trust at the start, but with delays and Jackal’s refusal to discuss the money, we eventually all reached the point of concluding the rest of it must be gone. A programmer working on the site was repeatedly told by Jackal that he would be paid, yet he never received any payment. We were unsuccessful in receiving an answer to our repeated question - “where did the money go?” and to date can only speculate.
Below is the indiegogo accounting pulled from the previous statement, with some calculations for your convenience. By all accounts it is agreed about 30k is missing.
We have always stressed that @Youranonnews should run on horizontal, egalitarian principles, and not as a top-down non-profit legal entity.
We’re unsure if @Jackalanon is going to pursue some back door account recovery or not (for everyone’s sake we hope he doesn’t) but in the meantime our plan is to open this thing up to anons, independent/DIY journalists, and grassroots organizers who are doing work that is worthy of having a YAN signal boost, because that boost is huge.
We considered deleting the account, or renaming it. But this thing doesn’t belong to us, it is a product of everyone who has ever shared its articles and increased its reach. We take that responsibility very seriously.
We never asked to be in charge, but we’re happy to steer the ship away from disaster.
We will not exploit YAN for personal gain.
We will not accept money in the name of Anonymous.
We plan on taking @youranonnews back to basics, to ensure this account remains a collective voice to support anonymous ops, radical activists, jailed anons/political prisoners and news that wouldn’t otherwise be told.
Over the past few years, we’ve become very close. We know it’s been weird. But, hey, it’s worked out pretty well for the both of us. The masses have flooded in just for the opportunity to observe our battles unfold.
In the beginning, there was revolution, and it spread across the world. Your role was invaluable. You unified the people by giving them control. Under the most oppressive regimes, you were there—and we love you for it. Still do.
But those voices are now being threatened. Whether it is to be regarded as “official” or not (we do not feel that way about ourselves), the media has often portrayed us as the largest voice of the Anonymous collective. We both know this is bullshit. Nothing is anonymous in the real world. Anonymous is an idea, and once we had it, all we could do was act. We’ve worked hard to exhibit this idea as often as possible, and it hasn’t been easy. With great power comes… you know.
But let’s talk specifics. It’s time to parley. We have no official channel and this is the only way we know how to communicate. Hear us.
So, the story goes…
In March 2013, one of the many contributors to this account launched an Indiegogo campaign. His idea was to raise funds to create a website that would support citizen journalism, activists, and every man, woman, and child currently suffering under the boot of an oppressive regime. It wasn’t a terrible thought. We all wanted to expand our voice, to be louder, to instill the virtue of dissent in those whose spirit had been broken.
In the spirit of Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who launched a thousand protests with his final agonizing breath, we stepped forward to raise awareness of the many injustices in this world.
Unbeknownst to our collective, the contributor who launched this fundraiser had become a fraud. A basic criminal. Upon receiving the sum of those contributions, he mishandled them in the most egregious way. Of the $54,000 he raised, some $35,000 went missing that we know of. There’s no way for us to know where it went, or what he ultimately decided to do with it. He has refused to cooperate and tell us the truth. We feel he should be held accountable for his actions or tossed aside—hell, if we had our way, he’d be fed to the dogs.
We’re disgusted by this person. He’s a thief. He’s lower than the lowest and quite possibly on his way to the 9th ring of hell, where mutineers, backstabbers, the Judases and Ptolemys of our world reside. He spat in the face of a every person who has died over these last four years fighting against the dictatorial regimes we’ve opposed, and the people we’ve supported who’ve inhaled pepperspray in defense of our right to speak freely.
We are aware that this person of which we speak, @JackalAnon, has petitioned you for permission to assume custody of this account.
In November 2013, he forfeited the account to a group of activists uninvolved in his treachery. He did this to lessen the blow he knew was coming because of his crime. Now that we have expelled him entirely, he is seeking exclusive control.
This person stole from your community. Not ours. Not Anonymous. But from Twitter. We are not prone to begging, you know that. It’s not our style. But we are asking you, in the most serious way, to not fulfill this request. No one that has abused your service, and misled thousands of your users, for their own personal profit, should be allowed retain control of this account.
We would rather see it burnt to the ground.
There is a phone number currently attached to @YourAnonNews and we urge you to contact us. Or, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not turn this account over to someone that has used it to steal your users’ money. We fought very hard to remove him. Do not permit this abuse of your service to be repeated.
Cecily McMillan Found Guilty
Official statement from the Justice4Cecily team:
We are devastated by the Jury’s verdict today. It has been clear from day one that Cecily has not received a fair and open trial. The job of a judge during a jury trial isn’t to guide the verdict to fit his opinion. Judge Zweibel, who consistently suppressed evidence, has demonstrated his clear bias by consistently siding with the prosecution. In addition to suppressing evidence, he imposed a gag order on Cecily’s lawyers, which is a clear violation of their 1st Amendment Rights, and placed the burden of proof on the defense, not the prosecution. He is rightly known as ‘a prosecutor in robes’.
Beyond Judge Zweibel, it is disgusting to see vast resources from taxpayers wasted for over two years to prosecute Cecily. Manhattan DA Cy Vance has refused to drop this case, pursuing maximum charges against Cecily while ignoring police violence and misconduct. This is unfortunately not isolated to Cecily’s case but is indicative of a system concerned not with justice but with the unrelenting harassment of dissenters and the powerless.
In the two years awaiting trial, Cecily was never offered anything less than a felony charge, a charge that would stay with her for the rest of her life. While awaiting a trial, Cecily has lived in limbo for two years, not knowing what her future would be, forced to re-live her trauma every one of those days. Beyond the sexual assault and physical injuries she sustained, Cecily suffered PTSD and has had difficulty finishing her master’s degree and continuing her work as a union organizer and activist.
Despite the chilling precedent this verdict puts forth for activists, we will not be deterred from seeking social and economic justice, as evidenced in the courtroom today. Though we’ve held our tongues throughout this trial as Cecily was personally attacked and degraded, we could not stand silent today in the face of such a gross miscarriage of justice. The people had to speak truth to power today by standing up and will continue to do so as long as this justice system continues to punish the 99% and protect the 1%.
As journalist Chris Hedges said in a recent article, “The corporate state, which has proved utterly incapable of addressing the grievances and injustices endured by the underclass, is extremely nervous about the mass movements that have swept the country in recent years. And if protests erupt again—as I think they will—the state hopes it will have neutralized much of the potential leadership. Being an activist in peaceful mass protest is the only real “crime” McMillan has committed.”
We recognize that, as poorly as Cecily has been treated these past two years, she was lucky enough to have an amazing support system comprised of representation from the National Lawyer’s Guild and Mutant Legal, as well as significant financial help from supporters of Occupy Wall Street and a team of ten who tirelessly worked to bring her case to light and support her through this trying time. It’s harrowing to imagine how many unfortunate people encounter this system without the resources Cecily had, though we know countless innocent people are forced to plea to felonies and ruin their lives every day in this building.
We will be fighting this unjust verdict in the court of appeals. Cecily’s lawyers are optimistic, given the circumstances of the case and the gross bias demonstrated throughout, that we can win on appeal. Thank you all for your ongoing support throughout this trial. We know that many share our outrage at this verdict, if you would like to get involved in jail support, please visit justiceforcecily.com to learn more about how to best support Cecily.
A fundraising page has been set up to support Cecily. You can donate here.
Press freedom around the world has declined to its lowest level in over a decade, with major setbacks in several Middle Eastern states, Turkey and Ukraine
Source: The Guardian
Snowden Leaks Reveal Ghost In The Machine
A top secret memo leaked by Snowden reveals how the NSA made an agreement with the UK’s GCHQ to share data on an “unsupervised” basis as part of a program called Olympic Option, which utilized a system known as GHOSTMACHINE.
Ryan Gallagher of The Intercept reports:
Olympic Option was a surveillance program operated during the London Olympics in 2012, under which at least 100 GCHQ operatives were given access to the PRISM system “throughout the Olympic timeframe,” ostensibly to identify potential terror threats. In a single six-day period in May 2012, according to a top-secret PowerPoint slide, GCHQ received 11,431 “cuts of traffic” from communications intercepted using PRISM. (“Cuts” is a term used by the NSA to describe extracts of conversations that it collects.) The memo prepared for Alexander describes the British request for unsupervised access to FISA 702 data as “in a manner similar to Olympics Option [sic].”
The data sharing between the agencies during the Olympics, though, was not isolated to PRISM. It also encompassed large volumes of metadata – such as the “to” and “from” details from an email but not the content of the message itself – as part of a more expansive Olympics surveillance effort. The NSA was funneling troves of intercepted data to GCHQ from a system called GHOSTMACHINE, a massive cloud database used by the NSA to analyze metadata and store, according to one document in the Snowden archive, “100s of billions of entries.”
Read the full story here.
How The New Internet Rules Could Undermine Net Neutrality
Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress report:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will release proposed draft rules on Thursday that will “allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers,” the Wall Street Journal reports, potentially undermining the principle of net neutrality on the Internet.
Under the new rules, broadband providers (ISPs) like Verizon or Comcast would be able to charge companies like Netflix or Amazon separate fees to deliver video or other services in a special faster lane on the “last mile” of broadband “that connects directly to consumers’ homes.” Content companies may then pass on those additional costs to consumers. ISPs would be prohibited from blocking or discriminating against specific websites and would be required to spell out “commercially reasonable” terms that would be available to all interested content providers. The FCC would review each deal on a “case by case basis,” the Journal notes.
The new guidelines — which the New York Times describes as “a complete turnaround” for the commission — come after a federal court decision in January that struck down a rule that required broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of the source.
Read the full story here:
After January’s court decision, Netflix was forced to pay an ISP toll to Comcast in order to reverse what Neflix politely refers to as “an unacceptable decline” in their members’ video experience on the Comcast network. What it really was was a case of corporate extortion. Read more about it here.
How many businesses will be held to ransom like Netflix under the new non-neutral Net Neutrality rules?
And how much of the cost of these ISP preferred access bribes will be passed on to YOU, the consumer?
F.B.I. Informant [Sabu] Is Tied to Cyberattacks Abroad
Mark Mazzetti of the NY Times reports:
Shortly after the Stratfor incident, Mr. Monsegur, 30, began supplying Mr. Hammond with lists of foreign websites that might be vulnerable to sabotage, according to Mr. Hammond, in an interview, and chat logs between the two men. The New York Times petitioned the court last year to have those documents unredacted, and they were submitted to the court last week with some of the redactions removed.
“After Stratfor, it was pretty much out of control in terms of targets we had access to,” Mr. Hammond said during an interview this month at a federal prison in Kentucky, where he is serving a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to the Stratfor operation and other computer attacks inside the United States. He has not been charged with any crimes in connection with the hacks against foreign countries.
Mr. Hammond would not disclose the specific foreign government websites that he said Mr. Monsegur had asked him to attack, one of the terms of a protective order imposed by the judge. The names of the targeted countries are also redacted from court documents.
But according to an uncensored version of a court statement by Mr. Hammond, leaked online the day of his sentencing in November, the target list was extensive and included more than 2,000 Internet domains. The document said Mr. Monsegur had directed Mr. Hammond to hack government websites in Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Brazil and other government sites, like those of the Polish Embassy in Britain and the Ministry of Electricity in Iraq.
An F.B.I. spokeswoman declined to comment, as did lawyers for Mr. Monsegur and Mr. Hammond.
Read the full story here: