Philippines gags internet with ‘draconian’ cyber crime law
Published: 03 October, 2012, 13:05
The Philippines has approved measures to prosecute users that post “defamatory” comments on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. They will be liable for a fine of 1 million pesos (US$24,000) or face up to 12 years in prison.
Websites that publish the material may also be shut down.
The cyber-law has been branded as ‘draconian’ and a serious violation of freedom of speech by rights groups.
“The cyber crime law needs to be repealed or replaced,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of the Human Rights Watch. “It violates Filipinos’ rights to free expression and it is wholly incompatible with the Philippine government’s obligations under international law.”
He stressed that while the bill was in action it will have a “chilling effect over the entire Philippines online community.”
The new legislation extends Philippines libel law, which has been previously contested by Human Rights Watch, into cyberspace.
Aside from prosecuting users who post material deemed offensive, the bill grants authorities the power to collate and retain information from people’s Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as eavesdropping on conversations over Skype.
“Anybody using popular social networks or who publishes online is now at risk of a long prison term should a reader – including government officials – bring a libel charge,” Adams said. “Allegedly libelous speech, online or off-line, should be handled as a private civil matter, not as a crime.”
Human Rights Watch has appealed to the Philippines government on numerous occasions to decriminalize libel speech in the country, but the government has thus far been unresponsive to the requests.
Hackivist group Anonymous called on their supporters in the country to rally against the new legislation and cyber attack government sites on what they dubbed “Bloody Monday” and “Black Tuesday” before the institution of the law on Wednesday.
The government says the new bill is a necessary tool to safeguard Philippines society from cyber threats, arguing that without it the country would be laid bare to hacking, identity theft, spamming and intellectual property theft.
Smartphones control smart homes at Asian tech fair
By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 7:20 EDT
Homes where every device is linked up and can be controlled by smartphone were touted in Japan on Tuesday when Asia’s biggest tech fair threw open its doors.
Manufacturers said more and more items — from ovens to cars — were now able to integrate thanks to better wireless technology, offering convenience and the chance to save energy.
More than 600 companies are showcasing cutting-edge gadgetry at this year’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) in Makuhari, near Tokyo.
One of the highlights is “smart innovation” which connects home appliances — from washing machines and air conditioners to security cameras at the door — to mobile devices.
“You will soon be able to use your smartphone or tablet PC as if it is a remote control for all these appliances,” said Shuji Tomaru of Japanese mobile phone carrier NTT DoCoMo.
“If somebody tries to break into your house, you would immediately know because your phone will receive the information.”
Residents, he said, could also use their phone to switch on the air conditioner before they return home or to turn on a washing machine.
Panasonic, which has already unveiled rice cookers and washing machines that can be controlled from a mobile phone, was Tuesday demonstrating bathroom scales and blood pressure-measuring devices connected to the Internet.
Masaki Matsukura at the company’s booth said that in ageing Japan, where grown children often live far from their parents, these devices can provide reassurance.
“They can be used when you want to check on your father’s health condition, for example,” he said. “You can see the medical data whenever he measures his blood pressure, no matter where you live.”
Japanese car giant Toyota used its first appearance at CEATEC to show off its new Smart Insect car.
These small electric vehicles can recognise their driver and can be programmed only to operate if they know the person behind the wheel.
And in a move apeing the gestures that are becoming increasingly familiar as the use of tablet computers spreads, the car will do things like open its door at the wave of an arm.
“The Smart Insect is a car which can communicate with you, your home and society,” said Toyota’s Shigeki Tomoyama.
“You can tell it what you want by making gestures, and the car understands you and will adapt to your personal style.
“We like to think of it as a well-trained pet or a friend who understands you very well.”
CEATEC runs until Saturday.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Hong Kong ferry collision kills 37 (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Published: 02 October, 2012, 11:23
Two passenger ferries have collided off the coast of Hong Kong, leaving at least 37 people dead in one of the worst disasters to hit the city. Six crew members were arrested following the incident suspected of “endangering people’s lives at sea.”
One of the boats was ferrying employees of The Hong Kong Electric Company and their families to watch the fireworks for China’s National Day celebrations when the collision occurred. A passenger ferry bound for southeastern Lamma Island plowed into it at high speed, capsizing the vessel.
“Our ferry left Lamma Island at 8:15pm to watch the fireworks display out at sea, but within a few minutes, a tugboat [which turned out to be another ferry] smashed into our vessel,” Yuen Sui-see, a director for Hong Kong Electric, one of the city’s two main electricity generators, told reporters.
Shortly after the incident the stricken ship began to sink vertically, with over 100 people tossed into the sea.
Survivors of the collision said that some people were trapped as the ship went under and were forced to break windows in order to escape.
“We thought we were going to die. Everyone was trapped inside,” said a middle-aged woman to Reuters.
The incident sparked a mass rescue operation, involving helicopters, dive teams and scores of boats.
The search is still underway amid fears that victims of the collision may still be trapped on board the stricken vessel.
“We also don’t rule out that some may have swam to shore themselves and haven’t contacted their families and so may not be accounted for,” Ng Kuen-chi, acting deputy director of fire services told local television.
The disaster is the worst to hit the port city since 1996, when 40 people died in a commercial building fire. Hong Kong’s authorities have pledged a thorough investigation into the crash, which happened when the city’s waterways were at their busiest on Monday evening. Flotillas of ships were gathering to watch the China Day fireworks.
“Normally vessels ought to stay and help other vessels in distress. But what we heard was that the other ship had passengers who were injured and needed help,” a maritime department spokesman said to reporters.
For health reasons, investigators have not yet been able to talk to the captain of the ferry to ascertain what caused the collision.
The damaged bow of the Sea Smooth ferry is seen docked at the Lamma Island pier following a collision with the Lamma IV boat off Hong Kong late on October 1, 2012. (AFP Photo/Laurent Fievet)
Rescued persons are transported on a police vessel after a collision between a ferry and another boat killed eight people and injured 45 others off Hong Kong late on October 1, 2012. (AFP Photo/Apple Daily)
A survivor (C) is taken onto shore after being rescued from the sea in Hong Kong October 1, 2012. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)
Rescuers search for survivors in a partially-submerged boat after two vessels collided in Hong Kong October 1, 2012. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)
Police boats (L) are seen near a sunken ferry being lifted out of the water after an accident off Hong Kong October 2, 2012. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)
N. Korea accuses US of attempting to spark war
Published: 02 October, 2012, 13:20
A top North Korean diplomat lays the blame for unceasing tensions between the Koreas solely on the US. The Korean peninsula is the world’s biggest hotspot, he acknowledged, mentioning thermonuclear conflict as a possibility.
Speaking at the final session of the UN 193-member General Assembly, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon announced that, “Due to the continued US hostile policy towards the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], the vicious cycle of confrontation and aggravation of tension is an ongoing phenomenon on the Korean Peninsula, which has become the world’s most dangerous hotspot where a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war.”
North Korean diplomat focused on the relations between Pyongyang and Washington, for 60 years co-existing without a peace treaty since the war in 1950-1953 which ended with an armistice. The diplomat accused the US of nourishing an idea of total destruction of his country since the day it was founded, in order to “occupy the whole of the Korean Peninsula and to use it as a stepping-stone for realizing its strategy of dominating the whole of Asia.”
The State Department of the US has offered no comment on the speech so far.
North Korea’s statement in the UN is notable for at least two reasons. Pyongyang conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, but has so far never mentioned or hinted that it possesses military thermonuclear technology – a real step-up from uranium- and plutonium-based nuclear weapons. In July, though, North Korea warned its southern neighbor and the US that it is going to “re-examine its nuclear capabilities” after perceiving new threats. That warning came after Seoul, Washington and seven other countries conducted 80,000-person war games in South Korea in June.
The six-party nuclear talks with Pyongyang commenced in 2003, but were interrupted several times. For nearly a decade the US, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea have been negotiating with North Korea in order to stop its nuclear program. But Pyongyang took one step forward, two steps back, pulling out of the six-party talks on April 14, 2005, saying it would resume its nuclear enrichment program in order to boost its nuclear deterrent. The country also expelled all nuclear inspectors from its territory.
On October 9, 2006, Pyongyang conducted its first nuclear test, which finally led to UN sanctions against the country and discontinuation of the six-party talks.
In August 2011, after a meeting with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il said he is ready to resume the six-party talks on the settlement of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula without preconditions. But the death of North Korea’s longtime leaderon December 17, 2011, drew the proposal to a halt.
Since the death of Kim Jong-il, the DPRK’s representative in the UN has been silent – until the angry speech on Monday. It appears that the transfer of power to Kim Jong-il’s son, Kim Jong-un is over, as the North Korean diplomat addressed to his country’s new leader as to “our dear respected marshal.”
The military title of the new North Korean leader might serve as evidence that the country’s policies are not subject to change and the role of the army in the country’s life has even grown up. The young leader Kim Jong-un is very fond of visiting army units throughout the country.
Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Kil-yon said Pyongyang is aware of US “plans” to implement finalized scenarios for a new Korean War and impose military rule over whole Korean Peninsula after an invasion.
However, Pak Kil-yon warned, “The DPRK’s patience does not mean it is unlimited,” with obvious reference to his country’s proven nuclear capabilities, which prevent the US military “from turning into an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula”.
North Korea has always stressed that it needs nuclear arms to deter the threat by the US, which maintains a number of military bases in South Korea and Japan, with dozens of thousands of troops and rumored nuclear arms stockpiled on those territories.
Riots Over Rotten Apple Mania
By James Hall
September 27, 2012
You may know someone who is part of the rampage. It could be a neighbor or even a family member. Even in some circumstance, you yourself might be part of the wow rage. No, we are not talking about dunking for apples or eating from the forbidden fruit.
This riot is all about living a virtual life in the ether zone of personal numbness, disguised in the appearance of being cool.
Life without an iPhone to these cutting end “Efficiency Experts” is not worth living. This is the new economy and progress dictates that connecting to the world of texting is the most important function of daily existence.
So when the reports appeared that China Apple factory riot: Foxconn workers riot suspends work at facility, the main concern for Apple devotees is the risk of a delivery delay of their newest toy.
“The company that makes Apple’s iPhones suspended production at a factory in China on Monday after a brawl by as many as 2,000 employees at a dormitory injured 40 people.”
Little empathy for the hordes of workers laboring in confined opulence. The globalist model of manufacturing provides an advance version of “benign neglect” for all the willing slaves that assemble the latest in personal communication instruments.
Production resumes quickly and the threat of ‘Mass suicide’ protest at Apple manufacturer Foxconn factory, evaporates as the tech world avoids their latest threat to digital nirvana.
“Around 150 Chinese workers at Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions.”
Apple fanatics are a breed to themselves. Cost of the products is insignificant, when viewed within the doctrinal scriptures of the computer cult that enables, Apple to become most profitable company ever.
“In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever,” White wrote.
“On average, we estimate Apple’s net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple’s net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average.”
The obvious outlay savings of using overseas companies like Foxconn to frame the components and build the products is duplicated by most manufactures.
So, the huge success that Apple enjoys rests not solely on squeezing out the greatest productivity at the lowest expenditure, but is realized by selling at the highest mark up to the widest rabid consumer market, possible.
In a fairytale economic analysis of business enterprise, one might conclude that the consumer reveres innovation and jazz more than competitive pricing and extensive open source applications.
The facts, when viewed by a balanced and well-adjusted, technology user, concludes that Apple products are purchased more for style and craving than for utilitarian function and value. Furthermore, the Apple customer, emotionally invested in a brand as a badge of self-worth, cannot be denied.
The psychological desires of buying Apple devices has more to do with making a statement of technological superiority as a reflection of the purchaser’s transcendency from mere mortals.
With a little effort, observing the crowds in an Apple store reveals the traits and behavior of a sect of society that incorporates a value system that is often at odds with the majority of the population.
Liberalism is a common mindset of Apple users. While this same bias exists with most left coast marketing programs of other tech companies, Apple is notable for their counterculture presentations.
The irony of the1984 Apple’s Macintosh Commercial, satirizes the totalitarian world view, while the 2012 Apple business prototype exemplifies the very essence of the surveillance society. Liberation of personal computing does not survive in a cloud.
The foreign workers at Foxconn and other offshore facilities seek employment, even at the lowest of scales. However, much of the technology used in the design and integration of the roving observation device surpasses the internal security monitoring at any Chinese factory.
So many Americans are enticed into voluntarily surrendering their privacy rights for the fleeting pleasure of being connected to the smart phone high tech matrix.
Next on the horizon is the Apple TV. Sadly, the capacities of the intrusive home monitoring system will be one more step to the suicidal society of servitude and misery.
The rotten apple that Steve Jobs left should not be assessed by technological standards of ease of use or options of applications.
The legacy needs to be measured by furthering the desensitization of an escape into a false idealism. The only thing smart about an iPhone is when you remove the battery.
Technology can be useful and even safe to use when backdoors are purged from the operating system and embedded chips. Moreover, low-tech devices still offer a security that has long been eliminated from the current generation of all electronic gear.
The anticipated result of the nanotech appliance age offers task recording and mapping of your every action. How does this enhance your quality of life?
The phrase, business is business, applies to the Apple franchise. People being what they are will be duped into buying expensive gimmicks as a substitute for interacting with flesh and blood individuals.
Apple became a money machine by assimilating into the national security complex. As a company, Apple is very different corporation from the early purity of Steve Wozniak’s workbench.
People being consistent with their nature, will continue to flock to the Apple brand because of their own inadequacies. Texting or talking on a cell is not thinking.
As long as consumers choose to pay for unlimited wireless plans, the country will continue to waste productive energy on trivia and irrelevancy. Get back to serious business and use communicative methods for productive ends. When you have a rotten apple in the barrel, the human interaction goes bad.
Chinese authorities shut down Weiwei firm
By Tania Branigan, The Guardian
Monday, October 1, 2012 9:46 EDT
Chinese authorities are closing down the firm handling Ai Weiwei‘s affairs, the outspoken artist said on Monday, possibly saving him from paying the remainder of a 15m yuan (£1.5m) tax fine.
The 55-year-old said he believed he and his team had lost the battle but won the war, after a court rejected his appeal against the charges last week.
Officials said this weekend they were removing Fake Cultural Development’s business licence because it had not met annual registration requirements. The company has been unable to do so because police confiscated all its materials and its stamp when they detained Ai last year.
“I think it could be an excuse not to give us a fine,” the artist added. Ai’s lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan, said it was not clear how Fake could pay the 6.6m yuan outstanding if it had no licence. But he added that he had filed a request for a hearing into its closure.
Ai’s supporters have always said the fine and his 81-day detention were in retaliation for his social and political activism, while Chinese authorities insist the case was unrelated to human rights and was solely about tax evasion. He was held amid a broader crackdown on dozens of activists, lawyers and dissidents.
Thousands of supporters sent Ai money to help pay an 8.45m yuan bond, allowing him to challenge the charges. After his appeal was rejected he said he would refuse to pay the rest because he did not recognise the fine, adding that he suspected authorities would be too embarrassed to collect it.
“I think they want to back down to try and conclude this case. From the beginning they should not have had it; they were using very old tactics to punish someone and make up a crime to make people think ‘He’s a bad guy’ … That didn’t work and it backfired. I think it completely failed,” he said on Monday.
All clear! Okinawa police remove anti-Osprey protesters, dismantle barricades (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Japanese police have forcibly removed protesters and dismantled barricades around the US Futemma military base in the city of Ginowan ahead of the of the controversial deployment of American MV-22 Osprey aircraft.
Police had to use tow cars to remove 12 vehicles that had been parked by the protesters in front of the base over the weekend. Police also dispersed a crowd of demonstrators staging a sit-in near the entrance to the base to restore the vehicle traffic.
Local residents, who are outraged by Monday’s deployment of the aircraft, began barricading one of the base’s gates last Thursday. Over the weekend they were parking their cars near the other two gates as well, effectively stopping all traffic from entering or leaving.
Okinawa residents are worried the aircraft’s safety is not up to standard as the MV-22 has a troubled history of crashes. The latest crash involving a V-22 was in April during the African Lion military exercise in Morocco. The incident prompted the Tokyo to ask the US for guarantees concerning the safety of the deployment in Okinawa.
One of the MV-22’s biggest problems is that there are still bugs to be worked out in the aircraft’s hybrid helicopter-airplane design, human rights activist Ryan Dawson said.
“For them to bringing these MV-22s is very dangerous. It could fall on someone’s head, and that is not an exaggeration,” Dawson told RT. “They don’t work, they are very expensive and very dangerous.”
An MV-22 (Osprey) aircraft (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)
The “residents feel they’re being ignored again,” further angering protesters, Dawson said. “When you see tens of thousands of Japanese protesting, that’s a lot of anger. It takes a lot in the culture here to take people out in the streets to protest.”
In September, despite massive protests by locals, Japanese authorities gave a green light to the deployment of 24 MV-22 after “detailed analysis” had shown that the US aircraft does not pose any risk.
US military would have to adhere to strict rules during training flights. Aircraft will be prohibited from flying over nuclear power plants, historical sites and densely populated areas and the minimum flight altitude should be no less than 150 meters, according to the agreement.
In late July, 12 cargo MV-22 Ospreys arrived at the US military base in Iwakuni. They are scheduled to be transferred to Futemma on Monday. By 2014 the US military is planning to send 12 more aircraft.
Screenshot from KyodoNews video
Screenshot from YouTube user OfficeChroat
Filed Under: WORLD NEWS
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