CISPA – Global Unlimited Censorship

CISPA, standing for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, has passed the House of Representatives with a few amendments since it’s last edition. Although this is a United States internal issue, it’s a privacy issue that will ultimately affect the whole word and the whole internet.

The whole deal about what CISPA actually is, what powers it triggers to private companies and how it affects internet security can be found here, so I will just lay some highlights on the topic for your consideration.

“Under CISPA, what can I do if a company improperly hands over private information to the government?

Almost nothing. Even if the company violates your privacy beyond what CISPA would permit, the government does not have to notify the user whose information was improperly handed over—the government only notifies the company.[…]”

Meaning there are no longer legal boundaries for personal privacy. All your personal information will be put out there for whatever use companies see fit. CISPA actually will provide legal immunity to companies as they use your personal information.

“[CISPA] It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight—effectively creating a “cybersecurity” loophole in all existing privacy laws.”

CISPA is not for the people, it is, in fact, against the people and the global free speech community that is the internet. It was created to bridge over the laws that were first written by our past leaders for our protection.

“What government agencies can look at my private information?

Under CISPA, companies can hand “cyber threat information” to any government agency with or without limitations on what agency can receive the information.”

Unlimited, unsupervised, global censorship. The end of the freedom of speech. And that may just be the beginning.

CISPA may be the first attempt at a world very much the same as the one depicted in the book “1984” by George Orwell. A world censored and oppressed by a small elite who manipulates and unscrupulously enslaves the masses without any regards to human rights or personal freedom. Note that this is already happening in the big media. Internet is our only source of global communication and freedom. Protect the Internet at all cost.

If you live in the United States and want to campaign against CISPA, use this link.

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Good News Roundup – April2013

Climate Change and overall scientific knowledge learning took a leap in US Education System by the introduction of new science education guidelines. Although the states are not, by law, required to adopt these standards, 26 states are  seriously committed to considering them. This not only underlines the seriousness and undeniability of climate change, but also emphasizes science-proven facts that allow for broader mindsets, such as the evolutionary theory.

From The Guardian:

“Climate change is not a political issue and climate change is not a debate. It is science. It is strongly supported heavily research science, and our hope is that teachers will not see this as a political issue or a political debate,” [Mario Molina, deputy director at the Alliance for Climate Education] said.

(read complete Care2.com article here)

Approaching the importance of transparency and sustainability in the food industry, a national, student led organization called The Real Food Challenge, dedicated to building a just and sustainable food system won a major victory this month by signing an agreement with Sodexo, the second largest food service company in the world making sure that all the chain of vendors and food producers, stakeholders to the company, are socially responsible. Since its founding in 2008, the Real Food Challenge managed to reallocate 20%, about 1 billion dollars US, of college and university food purchases to local, sustainable, humane and fair trade sources by the year of 2020, which means a big part of the industry invoicing coming from clean sources.  As Sodexo spokesperson Stephen Cox states:

“Transparency and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Increasing transparency is something we want to model for this generation of interested consumers and for our industry. Working with the Real Food Challenge is great way to do just that”

(read complete Care2.com article here)

On the persistent issue of Arctic Drilling, Greenland’s first female Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond seems determined to make a difference by standing against the drilling of her country’s grounds for oil, after a failed injunction by British company Cairn Energy on the protests by Greenpeace. From The Guardian:

“Until now, the people of Greenland have been kept in the dark about the enormous risks taken by the politicians and companies in the search for Arctic oil. Now it seems that the new government will start taking these risks seriously. The logical conclusion must be a total ban on offshore oil drilling in Greenland.” Arctic campaigner for Greenpeace in Denmark, Jon Burgwald.

Greenland is the world’s largest island, with a total area of around 2.2 million square kilometres, four times the size of France (read complete Care2.com article here).

Other news worthy of note this month are the rebuilding of the reef in Mobile Bay, Alabama, by Katherine Sather from The Nature Conservancy and 500 other volunteers (see the video here), so important for the ecosystem of the region, singing to the Lynyrd Skynyrd while making sure that the future of the Gulf is a bright one; the saving of the world’s largest humpback whale nursery from natural gas company Woodside Petroleum, preventing the construction of one of the largest complexes in the planet that would drill and dredge 6 kilometers out into the sea jeopardizing a world of rare abundance and beauty for sea and sky inhabitant alike; and the on growing success of the “Ring the Bell” campaign launched by actor Patrick Stewart to prevent and tackle violence against women worldwide in a powerful and impassioned speech to the U.N. (more information about the campaign here and watch the video message by Sir Richard Branson here).

Good News Roundup III

In an uplifting Care2.com article from Women’s Day back on 8th of March, chains are lifted out of women’s rights. All around the world change is possible and change is happening as humanity takes another step towards peace, justice, freedom and equality.

“Today, on International Women’s Day, I join every individual who believes that change is possible. We are guided by a founding principle of the United Nations: the equal rights of men and women.

All around the world, our voices are rising, and silence and indifference are declining. Change is possible, and it’s happening.

Change is happening when every country, for the first time in history, has women on their Olympic teams, as they did this past summer in London.

Change is happening when people worldwide declare solidarity with a Pakistani girl who was shot for championing education for all, a girl named Malala.

Change is happening when protests erupt across the globe with women and men, young and old, rising up and saying no to violence against women.”

(read the original article here by Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN women)

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” – Kahlil Gibran

This is the citation that makes way to an Intent.com article about Good Deeds Day. Good Deeds Day started back in 2007 by American-Israeli businesswoman, philanthropist and author Shari Arison. Not only successful, she is proof that you can maintain a thriving business without sacrificing values. Shari has also written about the importance of kindness both to ourselves and others on how to Activate Your Goodness where she inspires readers to “give without expecting to receive. It will likely be the most fulfilling thing you’ll ever do.”

“Good Deeds Day 2013 takes place on March 10, 2013, and it’s an invitation to give of ourselves and to support our own humankind, which we are all a part of. When we act in love, kindness, and for the good of others and our earth, we are directly impacting our own inner happiness and peace.

In the words of the 14th Dalai Lama:

‘When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.’ ”

(read the full article here)

It is known that past mistakes can haunt us for a long time, sometimes actually as long as 40 years. A few weeks back, wildlife officials received a letter from a Montana man, which identified himself only has Roy. In remorse, Roy confessed to have illegally hunt and killed three whitetail deer between 1967 and 1970. Even though the officials made known that statute of limitations had passed and he was no longer subject to a fine, he insisted that the check he had sent of $6000 dollars was put to use to prevent situations like the one he had done so many years ago.

From The Spokesman-Review:

“The officer suggested he could sign up with the agency for volunteer jobs at a wildlife area or habitat project to soothe his conscience, but Roy said he lived in Montana.

Last week, Mann got a message from the department’s Olympia headquarters that a $6,000 check had been delivered as a donation to the enforcement division.

“I was amazed,” Mann said. “It’s not uncommon for me to hear from people who are sorry for a wildlife infraction, but usually it’s because the judge stuck them with a big fine.”

Other environmental victories from Save BioGems are also worth of note such as the proposal for the protection of Polar Bears from Obama Administration;  the unprecedented level of protection to a Whale Nursery in San Ignacio Lagoon and the protection of Cabo Pulmo’s Coral Reef from a massive tourist scheme, both in Mexico; and the protection of millions of Acres in the Western Arctic Reserve from oil and gas drilling, ecosystem to countless wildlife species.

CITES (shamelessly) rejects ban to protect Polar Bears

It is sad how politics are sometimes so evidently manipulated by money that they can be just on-our-face shameless. A proposal to ban the trade in polar bears parts was rejected in CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) by a vote of 42 to 38, with 46 abstentions, on the argument that climate change is a much greater menace to polar bears than the commercial trade on their parts, a trade which kills 800 polar bears every year.

There are currently 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild, meaning that by 2050 we might be down to one third of the polar bear population.

Now, you can read the rest of the article here, but there are two points that I would like to underline out of this issue:

1. CITES, congratulations! I guess the failure of this proposal pretty much brings you to just shy of utter meaninglessness. If your purpose is, in fact, to protect endangered species you just failed miserably, all the funding, manpower, work-hours put into your organization seem to have just been wasted away, bent to the power of money.

2. It is clear that these particular politics does not take into consideration the will of the people, since polls pretty much point out that the vast majority of inquirees wishes to ban the trade on polar bear parts as seen on the poll from the article in question (on 18th March 2013, by Care2.com). So we can safely assume, I believe, that once again the whole mechanism of politics is nothing but a farce puppeteered by those in power to give us the illusion of decision, when in fact everything is decided on the level of profit that will ultimately benefit the few that hide behind the curtain.

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It’s hard to decide if you should be pitied for your uncompassionate nature or punished for your endless greed. Time will tell. On the meanwhile, shame on you…

Good News Roundup II

A roundup of the most recent good news to spark a smile unto your day.

In this upbeat Care2.com article by Judy Molland, we read about the story of Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man who accidentally got hold of a Sarah Darling’s engagement ring when she emptied her change purse into his begging cup. Good Mr. Harris held to the ring until she came back for it, earning the friendship of Ms. Darling’s husband which, touched by Mr. Harris honesty, started a fund for him which is now on $167.000 dollars. On the same tone, Pat Wesner was walking along the street when a Brinks truck dropped $11.000 dollars on the middle of the street and continued his journey, utterly unaware. Ms. Wesner immediately called 911 and with the help of a state trooper scooped the money to their cars and delivered it safely to Brinks. Concluding the article, in what seems a Hollywood tale, a woman was absentmindedly walking her dog when she spotted another dog carrying the following message attached to his collar: “Help. Send help. No joke, cannot walk. Medicine not working. Need doctor.” Uncertain where to look she delivered the message to the police which then found a homeless man stranded in a remote area. Quoting from Yahoo News:

“Detective Jen Kolb told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, “He was absolutely immobile. He was in his camp and couldn’t move from his location. He didn’t have a phone to call anybody. No way to reach out to anybody for help, and he was afraid he was going to die.”

Attaching a note to his trusty friend? A last-ditch effort to contact the outside world. And it worked.

The homeless, but not friendless, man was treated and released from the hospital, and has been reunited with Buddy.”

(read other stories and the full article here)

In an article concerning the environment it’s announced that Shell decided to cancel the drilling of the Alaska Arctic for 2013, a major news for the native animals and environment in general. It’s always nice to know that profit doesn’t always beat common sense these days.

“Shell has announced that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year. The announcement is a victory for millions who called, wrote letters and signed petitions pointing out the extreme risk of a major oil spill, and the scientific data that showed neither Shell nor the government was prepared to respond adequately to such a catastrophe.

Despite much controversy and public outcry, in 2011 the Obama administration gave Royal Dutch Shell the green light to begin drilling for oil in the frigid waters of Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Since then, the petroleum giant has faced unending opposition from the scientific and environmental communities.

Although it’s not a permanent decision, it is a step ahead to prevent incidents such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster on the Gulf of Mexico. The fact of the issue is that we should’t even be using fossil fuel no more, but that’s a whole other story.

(read the full article here)

On United States politics, a bill was approved on The House of Representatives to pass the Violence Against Women Act, preventing future numberless cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse and hopefully saving lives.

“The Violence Against Women Act originally authorized a National Domestic Violence Hotline and federal funding to assist women’s shelters.

Almost two decades on, the version passed on Thursday goes further to authorize funding for victim assistance programs. It will also aid in the prosecution of people accused of domestic violence and sexual assault. The legislation also, for the first time, has provisions to deal with stalking, including the use of spyware and video surveillance equipment.”

(read the full article here)

On another upbeat article that did spark a smile on me: it was found that bird-watching (including observing, feeding and photographing) is now more popular than hunting. Undoubtedly good news for our flying feathered friends everywhere that apparently, nowadays, have to worry less about food and more about their good side for the cameras.

“According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), over 90 million U.S. residents 16-years-old and up participated in some form of recreation related to wildlife. During that year, 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity including observing, feeding or photographing fish and other wildlife in the United States.”

(read the full article here)

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” – Mother Teresa

“Sahaya”

Ensuing my previous post herewith are some facts for our acknowledgment. World hunger, malnutrition and poverty are allied concepts that descend from one another. We can be the generation to end world hunger if we create enough awareness to create a global movement that understands this is a priority.

It is a fact that enough food for everyone is produced worldwide. “World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could find. The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.”

The causes are fundamental to understand to pursue the dream goal: the end of world hunger!

Poverty is on the top of the list. Harmful economic systems are the main cause of poverty, thus of hunger.  And here we go again “Hunger is also a cause of poverty, and thus of hunger. By causing poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, hunger can lead to even greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and learn, thus leading to even greater hunger”. Conflict and climate changes are the two other most significant causes worthy of reference. According to the statistics available, 2005 was the glorious year where the global number of refugees was lowest in almost a quarter of a century. The statistics available suggest that 1.02 billion people suffer from chronic hunger while 36 million people are displaced due to conflict and other reasons. Climate changes affect the development of countries due to unpredictable natural catastrophes or even other natural events not as dramatic, however that require a shift in crops and farming (http://www.worldhunger.org/env_hunger.htm#global%20warming).

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The goal set in 1996 by the World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015. Despite the efforts made the conclusion is that it hasn’t be done enough to diminish the numbers. The world hasn’t awake. Compassion has not reached everyone. Lets “ join our voices” and together build anew a world where we all have the same opportunities.

“Sahaya!”

To read full article and info:

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm#hunger_meaning_quiz