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Deplorable Daily NYT Propaganda Drumbeat - Sun, 02/10/2016 - 21:01
Deplorable Daily NYT Propaganda Drumbeat
by Stephen Lendman
A previous article offered an easy, simple to remember definition of a rogue state: the United States of America.
Here’s another to understand state-sponsored propaganda: The New York Times - press agent for wealth, power and privilege, publishing administration and Pentagon handouts with disturbing regularity, pretending it’s legitimate journalism.
Merriam-Webster defines it as “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation.” In other words, impartial fact-based truths, all of it at all times with no deviations.
NYT misreporting is polar opposite, violating its own ethical standards, featuring managed news misinformation and Big Lies on issues mattering most.
Its shockingly one-sided pro-Hillary political coverage should even make her supporters blush with shame and outrage. Its anti-Trump rage invents reasons to bash him, a steady tirade without letup.
Cheerleading US aggression against nonbelligerent nations makes it complicit with imperial high crimes. Its reporting on events in Syria and Ukraine give the term “deplorable” new meaning - all misinformation and Big Lies all the time, truth and full disclosure entirely banished from its pages.
In its Sunday edition, writing about why war in Syria gets more attention than Yemen’s conflict, The Times conceals what’s most important to report.
Obama launched them both, using terrorist foot soldier proxies in Syria, Saudi Arabian terror-bombing in Yemen, along with longstanding US drone war, largely murdering noncombatant civilians.
The Times lied, claiming war in Syria puts US “interests at risk, including the lives of its citizens, giving Americans a direct stake in it. (ISIS) murdered American hostages and committed terrorist attacks in the West.”
What’s omitted from Times reports is most important. Washington created and supports ISIS and all other regional terrorist groups, others elsewhere. They couldn’t exist without foreign support.
Where do they get tanks, other heavy weapons and training to use them? On their own, they only might have ineffective small arms against powerful Syrian military weapons, along with its aerial resources, hugely supplemented by Russia’s.
They’d be routed in days or weeks. Instead they flourish because of US and other foreign support, their ranks regularly replenished by new fighters.
America’s “direct stake in” the conflict is for regime change, wanting another imperial trophy, the same objective in Yemen and all other countries it attacks, along with looting nations’ resources and exploiting their people.
No so-called terrorist attacks occurred on US territory in modern memory. All reported ones were false flags, innocent patsies falsely blamed for state-sponsored crimes.
The Times: Assad “and his patrons in Iran are hostile to the United States and responsible for terrible atrocities. And now Russia…America’s ‘frenemy’ is fighting on their side…”
Fact: Syria was invaded, Washington fully responsible, its rogue allies sharing blame, committing atrocities despicably blamed on Damascus and Moscow - The Times complicit in proliferating state-sponsored misinformation and Big Lies.
Fact: Russia intervened in Syria responsibly and legally at the behest of its legitimate government. America and its rogue allies operate illegally, committing naked aggression against a sovereign state threatening no one.
The Times: Yemen’s death toll is lower than Syria’s…There is no obvious good-versus-evil story to tell there.”
Fact: Yemen’s death toll is multiples more than officially reported - from Saudi-terror bombing instigated and supported by Washington, US drone attacks, war-related violence, untreated diseases, starvation and overall deprivation.
America’s dirty hands are directly or indirectly involved in so many world conflicts, including virtual war zones in domestic minority communities, killer cops nationwide lethally shooting defenseless victims with impunity. 
The world’s leading self-styled defender of human and civil rights is its most ruthless abuser - never explained in deplorable NYT reports.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia Ramping Up Its Aerial Campaign in Syria - Sun, 02/10/2016 - 03:26
Russia Ramping Up Its Aerial Campaign in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
In March, Russia withdrew the “main part” of its warplanes and ground support personnel from Syria - a strategic error, US-supported terrorists taking full advantage to regroup, rearm and mobilize for more attacks.
At the time, Putin said “I think that the tasks set (by) the defense ministry are generally fulfilled…With the participation of Russia’s military, Syrian troops and patriotic forces…turn(ed) the tide in the fight against international terrorism and took the initiative on practically all directions.”
His remarks proved premature, recognized when Russia’s aerial campaign began intensifying - to be supplemented later this month when its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier arrives in Mediterranean waters near Syria’s coast, its warplanes and attack helicopters intended for airstrikes on terrorist targets.
On September 30, Izvestia reported “Russia increas(ing the number of formations at (its Khmeimin airbase) of…additional front-line (Su-24 and Su-34) bombers…” along with Su-25 ground attack aircraft.
“(B)uildup…comes amid threats by Americans” to escalate operations in Syria - including greater numbers of airstrikes, more special forces and increased aid for terrorist fighters.
Ceasefire collapsed. Russia is preparing for what’s coming. Izvestia cited military analyst Anton Lavrov, saying “Su-25 attack planes will significantly increase the number of (Russian) combat missions in Syria…”
Foreign and Defense Policy Council chairman Fyodor Lukyanov said Moscow’s buildup followed stalled peace talks. Perhaps it intends resurrecting its initial strike-force strength before substantially withdrawing it last March.
The best way to get Washington’s attention is by routing terrorist fighters it supports, letting Syrian ground forces retake more earlier lost territory, especially all Aleppo areas still controlled by US proxies.
Weeks earlier, Russia’s ambassador to Iran said his country’s Aerospace Forces may resume operations against terrorists in Syria from Tehran’s Hamedan airbase - after using the facility briefly in August.
On October 1, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zahharova warned Washington about any plans for “direct aggression” on Damascus and Syrian armed forces, saying it could inflame the entire region.
She minced no words, stressing “so-called moderates (are) in reality not moderate at all, but just terrorists of all flavors…”
She failed to explain why her boss, Sergey Lavrov, continues distinguishing between nonexistent moderates and terrorists when they’re all the same.
A Final Comment
A previous article called John Kerry a diplomat in name only, in reality a closet hawk, pushing things toward unthinkable war on Russia when Hillary succeeds Obama next year, most likely as things now stand.
On Friday, The New York Times discussed his audio tape, showing he favors US war on Syria, not diplomatic conflict resolution.
Taped on the sidelines of the UN’s 71st General Assembly session, he said he “lost the argument” for US “use of force” to oust Assad.
Publicly his rhetoric is diplomatic, claiming to favor resolving Syria’s conflict politically. His private comments, not meant for public airing, show where he really stands - militantly hawkish like Hillary.
He lied claiming “the Russians don’t care about international law, and we do.” Truth is polar opposite.
His only sensible comment was saying “you get…enforcers in there and then everybody ups the ante, right? Russia puts in more, Iran puts in more; Hezbollah is there more and Nusra is more; and Saudi Arabia and Turkey put all their surrogate money in, and you all are destroyed.”
He said nothing about America’s full responsibility for launching naked aggression in the first place, no end of it in sight, peace prospects nil as long as it demands regime change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Syrian UN Envoy Straight Talk - Sun, 02/10/2016 - 03:00
Syrian UN Envoy Straight Talk
by Stephen Lendman
Explaining conflict in Syria is simple. The pattern repeats time and again. It’s hard understanding why everyone doesn’t know by now. There’s no ambiguity about it.
I’ve explained many times. Washington tolerates no sovereign independent nations, ones it doesn’t control. Wars, color revolutions and coups (a color revolution variant) are strategies used to transform them into US vassal states.
Post-9/11, America invaded Afghanistan and Iraq with large numbers of US troops, its so-called coalition allies pressed to deploy their own - daring not refuse or risk regime change targeting them.
US strategy changed with Libya, followed weeks later in Syria, using US-recruited, armed, funded, trained and directed imperial foot soldiers, ISIS and other terrorist groups, US special forces and CIA operatives supporting them, backed by US-led NATO terror-bombing.
All US wars have the same goal, tactics alone changing, orchestrated and implemented based on what’s decided against different targeted countries.
Civilians suffer most in all wars. Casualty counts don’t matter, only imperial objectives.
Unlike his duplicitous US counterpart, neocon Samantha Power, a despicable character, chosen for her wickedness, performing as expected, Syria’s Bashar al-Jaafari is a distinguished figure on the world stage, representing his country honorably, holding rule of law principles sacrosanct.
Interviewed by RT International, he explained Washington’s plan since initiating war on his country was and remains regime change, flagrantly violating UN Charter principles and other international law.
America’s imperial agenda, supported by its Western and regional allies, is the conflict’s root cause, “ravaging the country,” Jaafari explained, using terrorist foot soldiers, recruited from scores of countries.
Washington and its coalition partners “never targeted al-Nusra” or other terrorist groups, supporting them instead while pretending otherwise.
Al-Nusra uses civilians “as human shields…prevent(ing) them from getting out of (Eastern) Aleppo through the four humanitarian corridors opened by the Russians and Syrian army,” Jaafari explained.
Its fighters are occupying hospitals and other civilian sites, using them for protection. Syria and Russia genuinely want diplomatic conflict resolution. America and its rogue allies block it.
“Enough is enough,” Jaafari stressed. “We need a genuine so-called international coalition to combat the terrorists with the Syrian government, not on (its) behalf…not to replace (it), not to ignore (it).”
Washington still hasn’t apologized for willfully massacring 83 Syrian soldiers, injuring scores more. Nor did it explain terrorists it supports destroyed 18 UN trucks with humanitarian aid heading for desperate Syrian civilians in need.
“(W)e are defending our country” legally, al-Jafaari stressed. Invaded by foreign-supported terrorists, its government is obligated to protect them by all means possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Has Anyone Ever Spotted a Moderate Rebel in Syria? - Sun, 02/10/2016 - 01:25
Has Anyone Ever Spotted a Moderate Rebel in Syria?
by Stephen Lendman
Nobody has because none exist - why it’s impossible separating them from terrorists. They’re all cut from the same extremist jihadist cloth - imported US death squads, serving as imperial foot soldiers. 
So why does Russia maintain the myth otherwise? More importantly, why does it waste time negotiating with its sworn enemy bent on destroying its sovereignty, wanting its democratically elected government toppled, replaced by a puppet regime America controls?
Why does it engage in endless talks with Washington, knowing they accomplish nothing. Even when agreements are reached, US policymakers under all administrations breach them, often straightaway the way things have gone in Syria and Ukraine.
Claiming otherwise is one of the many Big Lies about Obama’s war on Syria, naked aggression, planned long before initiated, falsely characterized as civil conflict. Syria was invaded. There’s nothing civil about what’s ongoing.
All wars are based on a foundation of misinformation, deceptions and Big Lies. Truth is the ally of peace, the enemy of war, why suppressing it is vital to wage them.
If people understood why they’re fought and propaganda selling them, their tax dollars diverted from vital homeland needs to fund them, harming their welfare, they’d oppose governments waging them, maybe rise up against them.
Americans were largely pacifists pre-WW I. State-sponsored propaganda turned them into raging German haters. It took Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor for Congress to approve war - before the UN’s founding and Geneva Conventions.
One nation attacking another is naked aggression without Security Council authorization. In America, Congress and presidents have no authority on their own to go to war without it - hardly an obstacle for US war-makers, operating by their own rules and standards, international, constitutional and US statute laws pertaining to war be damned.
All US post-WW II wars from aggression on North Korea in the early 50s (not the other way around) to today’s raging conflicts were and are naked acts of aggression - Security Council authorization absent in all cases.
The world community’s failure to act responsibly lets America get away with mass murder and much more. Will nuclear war be its next high crime? Will we all go together when we go in its aftermath?
Defeating the scourge of US imperialism in Syria is vital to prevent it’s regional spread, a cancer destroying everything it touches, nations along with millions of people - America the greatest threat to world peace and humanity’s survival.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia Challenging US Imperial Aims in Syria - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 21:26
Russia Challenging US Imperial Aims in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Russia’s intervention last September changed the dynamic on the ground, letting government forces retake territory lost earlier.
They’re making progress toward winning the strategically important battle for Aleppo, a likely game-changer if achieved.
Obama launched war for regime change, wanting Assad replaced with US controlled puppet governance. The objective remains unchanged.
What’s unknown is how much risk his successor will take to achieve what remains out of reach. Everything Washington tried so far failed. The one remaining option is upping the ante, escalating conflict, maybe unilaterally imposing a no-fly zone, the strategy used against Libya.
It worked because Russia and China failed to veto Security Council Resolution 1973, a tragic error. Washington and rogue NATO allies took full advantage.
Virtually certain Moscow and Beijing vetoes prevent US policymakers from using Security Council authorization for no-fly zone imposition on Syria.
America would have to do it unilaterally or jointly with so-called coalition partners if they dare risk it.
Direct confrontation with Russia could follow, a possible nuclear face-off. Obama won’t likely chance it, especially with his tenure winding down - another story entirely if Hillary succeeds him.
She supports no-fly zone imposition, won’t likely let Sino/Russian Security Council vetoes stop her. Whatever strategy she chooses, escalated conflict in Syria seems certain if she succeeds Obama.
Before her term ends, maybe shortly into it, America could be at war with Russia, possibly with nuclear weapons, an unthinkable doomsday scenario.
America’s current strategy, along with its rogue partners, includes continuing to arm ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups with heavy weapons and other material support - media scoundrels cheerleading Obama’s war with unrelenting anti-Russia, anti-Syria propaganda.
Truth and deplorable reporting are the first casualties of war, continuing as long as its waged. Coverage of America’s Syria aggression is some of the worst in memory, credibility entirely absent.
Russia and Syria are consistently blamed for crimes committed by US-supported terrorists and Pentagon-led “coalition” warplanes - terror-bombing government sites and vital infrastructure, willfully massacring civilians, striking hospitals and other nonmilitary targets.
Frustration over failure to oust Assad shows up in deplorable media scoundrel reports, a Washington Post one lamenting about Moscow achieving two important objectives.
Assad remains in power. Russia proved itself an important regional and global player, not to be taken lightly. Obama’s year ago quagmire prediction failed to materialize. 
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained Moscow’s mission is open-ended, no limited time frame imposed. It wants terrorism defeated in Syria, kept from spreading to Russia’s heartland - better to combat it there than at home.
Intervention worked, Peskov stressed. Terrorists haven’t taken Damascus. Irresponsibly blaming Russian and Syrian forces for imperial war crimes has no deterrent effect on their campaign.
Their ability to advance against US-backed terrorists is good news. The bad news is heavily armed new recruits keep replenishing their ranks depleted by conflict.
The disturbing reality is war can continue indefinitely - as long as neocons infesting Washington wish. Using terrorist foot soldiers avoids the cost of US combat troops coming home in body bags. 
No one’s keeping count of how many perished or no longer can fight because of disabling injuries. Many others tired of conflict and went home.
Preemptive US wars are easier to start than resolve. They continue because America deplores peace and stability. US hubris and arrogance demand imperial trophies - no matter the cost in human lives and misery.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump Bashing on Steroids - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 21:09
Trump Bashing on Steroids
by Stephen Lendman
With November 8 elections approaching, pro-Hillary media scoundrels are stepping up their one-sided coverage - deplorable rubbish not fit to print, featuring a torrent of press agent reporting, showing they're more of a collective laughing stock than already.
Why does anyone waste time following them along with round-the-clock cable news pro-Hillary/anti-Trump reporting?
The latest New York Times edition has over a dozen anti-Trump reports, including its lead editorial - with nary a discouraging word on Hillary, one-sidedly denigrating one candidate while shamelessly promoting the other.
Saturday’s Washington Post has more anti-Trump reports than The Times, including three editorials, virtually unheard of in one edition on the same topic.
One headlined “The clear and present danger of Donald Trump,” saying “he could, unilaterally, change this country to the core. By remaking US relations with other nations, he could fundamentally reshape the world, too.”
Fact: Powerful monied interests run America, no single individual unilaterally. It’s been this way from inception. While presidents can make policy on their own by executive orders and other means, including decisions on US relations with other countries, Congress and the courts have much to say on how the nation is governed - with one major exception.
The executive can and has gone to war extrajudicially on his own. Obama bombed seven countries with no legal authority, violating international and US laws. 
He ordered combat troops deployed to various countries, notably Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. He ousted democratically elected presidents in Honduras, Paraguay, Ukraine and Brazil. He tried and failed in Venezuela and Ecuador. 
US special forces operate in at least two-thirds of world nations, overtly and covertly - not as goodwill ambassadors. Presidents can wage nuclear war on their own - the extreme danger of having war goddess Hillary as America’s leader.
Fact: No US duopoly power president would or could unilaterally “change this country to its core.” None ever did. None would try. At the same time, if Trump normalized relations with Russia alone, he could save “the world” and humanity from possible nuclear war - the major threat Hillary poses.
Policies WaPo editors’ fear about what he might institute or support as president are currently part of the national agenda, no matter which duopoly power wing runs things. 
All politicians lie. What they do in office virtually always differs markedly from campaign pledges. Based on her longstanding deplorable record, we know what Hillary is likely to do - including waging endless wars, likely escalating them, maybe pushing the envelope recklessly toward nuclear war, a doomsday scenario if launched.
Neither Trump or Hillary deserves anyone’s support. Of the two, she clearly poses a far greater clear and present danger.
A second WaPo Saturday editorial accused Trump of “normalizing bigotry,” failing to explain America’s longstanding racist history.
It’s far worse today than during Jim Crow years, killer cops operating with impunity nationwide, immigrants of color denigrated. Obama deported more undocumented ones than any of his predecessors by far.
WaPo’s third Saturday editorial targeted Libertarian party presidential nominee Gary Johnson - asking if his supporters want Trump to win.
Its purpose was to shift support from him to Hillary. Denigrating him was solely for this purpose.
WaPo, like most other media scoundrels, want her succeeding Obama, the establishment favorite - never mind how recklessly dangerous she is.
Trump bashing exceeds anything seen before in US presidential politics - unprecedented viciousness, obscene, no-holds-barred character assassination, not letting facts interfere with opinions.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Fair Processes, Better Outcomes - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 07:47

Yesterday we exposed the dangers of Shadow Regulation; the secretive web of backroom agreements between companies that seeks to control our behavior online, often driven by governments as a shortcut and less accountable alternative to regulation.

Today we are proposing a set of criteria, summarized in the infographic below, which turns this critical account of private agreements gone wrong, into a positive agenda for how they could be done better. EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow wrote:

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

But what are the means by which we will address problems and wrongs that we find online? What mechanisms of governance are we using to craft our own Social Contract?

In general it's best to take decisions as close to the user as possible—preferably by empowering the user themselves. But that isn't always possible; often a user falls subject to foreign laws or corporate policies that they have no say in, and that they can't simply opt out of or route around. In such cases, a good use case for a Social Contract might be to coordinate these laws and policies so that they are consistent and broadly fair to all affected.

Sometimes, we can use treaties to do this (like the Marrakesh Treaty), or standards documents (like those of the IETF), or non-binding high-level statements of principles (like the NETmundial Principles), using so-called "multi-stakeholder" processes which although not democratic in the same way as national parliaments, at least offer all affected parties a chance to be heard.

The problem is that the term "multi-stakeholder" alone isn't very meaningful. The higher the stakes, the more likely it is that a process that may purport to be "multi-stakeholder", will actually be captured and become a form of opaque and corrupt Shadow Regulation. So we're proposing a more specific set of criteria for adding to our Social Contract for the Internet in a way that meaningfully includes all those affected, from wherever they are in the world.

  • Inclusion. The more voices can be heard when considering solutions to a problem, the better quality a decision on that problem will be, and the more legitimate its broad application. Some processes may require these voices to be aggregated into "stakeholder groups", though that isn't always necessary. What is necessary is that nobody with a significant interest in a decision is excluded due to lack of resources, or other barriers such as language or technology.
  • Balance. Even if you include all affected parties, it's likely that some have more money and power than others, and will sway the decision in their favor. Multi-stakeholder communities have tried different ways to address this. One example is an organizational structure like ICANN's that attempts to keep the interests of diverse constituencies in a fair balance. Another is the use of techniques of deliberative democracy, to flatten power imbalances and foster the development of consensus.
  • Accountability. If an agreement that really works for everybody is to be reached, the participants in the process need to act in good faith, and the institution that hosts their deliberations must be accepted as neutral and legitimate. The mechanisms available to foster such mutual trust include documentary and financial transparency, along with mechanisms of accountability such as independent reviews, audits, and elections.

Finally, there is no point in inviting affected communities to help develop policies for the Internet if their recommendations are ignored. This doesn't mean that these need to be enforceable in their own right; often the solutions developed will simply be available for voluntary adoption by stakeholders, and the extent to which this happens is the best measure of their success. If there is justification for them to be enacted or enforced by formal decision-taking bodies (eg. through laws or treaties) then there should be a clear pathway for that to happen.

These criteria may seem a little abstract—but they'll become clearer as we use them to suggest improvements to institutions and processes that we don't think measure up, and especially those that amount to Shadow Regulation. You can check out particular cases that we've identified under the "Blog posts" tab on our Shadow Regulation issue page.

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Categories: Aggregated News

Stupid Design Patent of the Month: Rectangles on a Screen - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 04:56

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the long-running Apple-Samsung litigation. The issue is whether Apple, by virtue of having its design patents infringed by Samsung, is entitled to all of Samsung’s profits made from the infringing phones (regardless of how much that design contributed to the value of the phone).

This case—in which EFF submitted an amicus brief arguing the award of Samsung’s total profit is improper—is important for many reasons. But one reason stands out: it is trivially easy to get a design patent on trivial designs and, unless the Supreme Court changes the law, that can lead to anything-but-trivial awards in court.

This month’s stupid patent, a design patent, shows just how broken the current system of design patents is. Design patents, unlike the utility patents we usually feature, consist only of a single claim followed by pictures. It is generally the pictures that inform the public as to what is claimed. Importantly, in a design patent only the features drawn in solid lines are claimed. Anything in dotted lines is generally not part of the claim.

U.S. Patent D767,583, issued on September 27, 2016, is a patent on a design for a “display screen portion with graphical user interface.” Here, the claim is to “the ornamental design for a display screen portion with graphical user interface, as shown and described.” As most design patent owners do, the patent also makes clear that “the broken line showing of the display screen in the figure forms no part of the claimed design.” Below is the sole picture from the patent showing the patented design:

The only thing claimed in this design patent are the three rectangles at the top and the square beneath them. This patent is both remarkably trivial and remarkably easy to be accused of infringing. Someone who arranges three rectangles in a row with a square underneath in the way shown in the image is potentially infringing this patent. (The test for whether a design patent is infringed is described in a case called Egyptian Goddess, and is based on what an “ordinary observer” thinks and often involves a comparison to the prior art.) For example, here is an excerpt from the USPTO’s home page, showing three rectangles and something that looks close to a square beneath it:

To be clear, this patent would likely not be infringed if someone arranged three rectangles and a square in a different way (say, if the rectangles were arranged vertically instead of horizontally), and the USPTO itself may not infringe as the prior art would likely narrow this patent significantly.

But even the possibility of a finding of infringement may be enough to cause concern for many people who may be accused of infringing a design patent. That’s because under current law, if someone is found to infringe a design patent, the patent owner can argue that it is entitled to all of the profits from that website.

The Supreme Court has a chance to fix this last issue in the upcoming Apple-Samsung decision. But that won’t change the fact that the Patent Office still issues patents on trivial designs at an alarming rate. This latest patent is just another in a long line of questionable patents.

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Categories: Aggregated News

US Instigated Cold War 2.0 Risks Getting Hot - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 02:32
US Instigated Cold War 2.0 Risks Getting Hot
by Stephen Lendman
Intense Russia bashing largely directed at Vladimir Putin seems heading inexorably toward open conflict - unthinkable war between the world’s leading nuclear powers, humanity’s fate up for grabs if instigated.
Putin and Sergey Lavrov are the world’s preeminent peace and stability advocates, deploring war, wanting geopolitical disputes resolved diplomatically, notably in Syria and Ukraine, dangerous world flashpoints because of US imperial madness.
America systematically undermines Russia’s best conflict resolution efforts, wanting war, not peace, disgracefully blaming Putin for US high crimes and obstructionism. 
Conflict in Syria risks boiling over into something much more serious - escalated, not resolved or defused, America more directly involved, clashes between US and Russian forces possibly occurring - a prescription for exploding into all-out war.
The New York Times is America’s leading proliferator of state-sponsored propaganda, especially on geopolitical issues. It’s militantly anti-Russia, anti-Putin, its latest broadside calling him a “disrupter,” deplorably saying:
“Escalating airstrikes in Syria. Sophisticated cyberattacks, apparently intended to influence the American election. New evidence of complicity in shooting down a civilian airliner.”
“The behavior of Russia in the last few weeks has echoes of some of the uglier moments of the Cold War…”
Fact: Russia’s involvement in Syria deserves world praise and support, not shameless bashing.
Fact: No evidence whatever links its government to cyberattacks or other attempts to interfere with America’s electoral process.
Fact: Ukraine, almost certainly complicit with Washington, downed MH17 - not Russia, not Donbass freedom fighters. No evidence links them to the crime.
Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for instigating Cold War 2.0, risking direct confrontation between both countries.
Fact: The Russian Federation hasn’t attacked another country throughout its existence. America wages permanent wars against nonbelligerent nations - the supreme crime against peace.
The Times calling Putin “the great disrupter of American plans around the globe” sounds like backhanded praise. He deserves universal admiration for combating US-created and supported terrorists in Syria.
“Disrupting” US imperial lawlessness is badly needed, with committed determination to challenge it effectively. Humanity’s fate depends on it succeeding - short of nuclear war no one can win.
According to The Times, citing dubious unnamed US intelligence sources, “Putin has played his hand skillfully, stringing along…John Kerry in a yearlong negotiation over cease-fires and political transitions in Syria, all the while bolstering their proxy, President Bashar al-Assad.”
Fact: No nation works harder for conflict resolution in Syria than Russia - none more obstructionist than America, undermining its best efforts.
Fact: Helping Syrians and their leadership preserve and protect their sovereign independence and territorial integrity deserves universal praise - not disgraceful Times bashing.
Fact: Russia alone continues going all-out to resolve conflict in Ukraine. America and its illegitimate installed putschists undermine its best efforts.
Not according to The Times, wrongfully accusing Moscow of breaching commitments it wholeheartedly endorses.
While ignoring provocative US actions risking eventual war with Russia, it shamelessly bashes Putin, inventing reasons because none exist, blaming him for America’s imperial crimes.
A Final Comment
September 30 marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s aerial campaign in Syria, effectively combating US-supported terrorists, letting government ground forces retake earlier lost territory.
Putin’s responsible decision to intervene, at the request of Syria’s government, may eventually become the difference between liberation over US-installed tyrannical rule.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

US Neocons Promote Escalated War on Syria - Sat, 01/10/2016 - 02:15
US Neocons Promote Escalated War on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Earlier this week, I discussed Syria with a retired 92-year-old academic neighbor in my building. 
We both expressed dismay about the human species, its flawed nature, nowhere more evident than in America - a nation permanently at war, raping one country after another, advanced technology making its super-weapons increasingly destructive, its leadership not shy about using them to achieve its goals.
Without challenging and stopping Washington’s reckless agenda, its pursuit of world dominance, the threat of humanity’s extinction remains frighteningly real.
We both shook our heads, wondering what type future youths in America have to look forward to - vastly different from when we grew up.
Numerous flashpoints exist. US imperial policy bears full responsibility. New conflicts on top of current ones could erupt almost anywhere, on any continent, for any reason with potentially devastating consequences.
The Asia/Pacific is a hot spot, especially the South China Sea with America intruding provocatively where it doesn’t belong. Things seem headed for US war on Beijing. The fate of the region hangs in the balance if launched.
US-led NATO forces deployed in large numbers near Russia’s border may be prelude to eventual Operation Barbarossa 2.0, this time with nuclear and other super-weapons.
Using Nazi-infested Ukrainian putschists as a dagger targeting Russia’s heartland could trigger large-scale conflict in central Europe for the first time since WW II, a clash of nuclear super-powers perhaps following.
Syria poses the greatest imminent threat, Russian and US warplanes overflying its territory, both countries with polar opposite strategic aims. 
Will clashes erupt by accident or intent? Will neocons infesting Washington dare attack Russian planes in Syrian airspace and/or its support personnel on the ground?
Are they waiting for Hillary’s ascension to power before initiating direct confrontation? Will they preemptively wage nuclear war, mindless of the threat to humanity?
A nation bent on world dominance may do anything to attain it. Power-crazed lunatics may only consider objectives, not potentially devastating consequences.
Democrats are as hawkish as hardline Republicans. Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Ben Cardin urges “bold US action in Syria” - on the phony pretext of protecting civilian lives neither wing of America’s one-party state gives a damn about.
Virtually the entire Congress bashes Russia relentlessly, facts never interfering with US adversarial strategy and tactics.
On Friday, Wall Street Journal editors called Obama officials “bystanders to Genocide,” highlighting “barbarism” in Syria without acknowledging America’s full responsibility, shared by its rogue partners in high crimes.
Journal editors lied, claiming “Russian and Syrian government forces continue to press their offensive in Aleppo, killing hundreds with incendiary and bunker-buster bombs.”
Propaganda repeated enough gets most people to believe it - why it’s effective in all wars, featuring misinformation, deception and Big Lies, enlisting public support for what’s unjustifiable.
“President Obama bears ultimate responsibility for doing so little to stop the five-year Guernica that is Syria,” Journal editors ranted - suppressing his “responsibility” for waging war in the first place, using imported terrorist death squads.
The whole dirty business would wind down and stop if America and its rogue allies stopped recruiting, arming, funding, training and directing ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.
What’s most important to explain, media scoundrels suppress, ignoring America’s responsibility for regional and other wars, blaming its victims instead.
Endless US naked aggression rages in multiple theaters - no prospects for peace anywhere.
A new century of war followed the last one’s endless carnage. The late historian Gabriel Kolko called the 20th century “the bloodiest in all history” - the current one even bloodier so far.
The business of America is war, a national addiction for unlimited wealth, power and dominance. 
Dante’s ninth gate of Hell bore the inscription: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” It resembles much of planet earth where US imperial wars rage.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

EFF Asks Court to Block U.S. From Prosecuting Security Researcher For Detecting and Publishing Computer Vulnerabilities - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 23:15
DMCA Provision Violates Author’s First Amendment Right to Publish Research About Computer Security

Washington, D.C.—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a court Thursday for an order that would prevent the government from prosecuting its client, security researcher Matthew Green, for publishing a book about making computer systems more secure.  

Green is writing a book about methods of security research to recognize vulnerabilities in computer systems. This important work helps keep everyone safer by finding weaknesses in computer code running devices critical to our lives—electronic devices, cars, medical record systems, credit card processing, and ATM transactions. Green’s aim is to publish research that can be used to build more secure software.

But publishing the book, tentatively entitled Practical Cryptographic Engineering, could land Green in jail under an onerous and unconstitutional provision of copyright law. To identify security vulnerabilities in a device he has purchased, Green must work directly with copyrighted computer code, bypassing control measures meant to prevent the code from being accessed. Even though this kind of research is traditionally a “fair use” permitted by copyright law, Digital Millennium Copyright Act  (DMCA) Section 1201 threatens criminal and civil penalties— including jail time—for performing it or publishing information about the methods of security research. The exemptions Congress included in the 1998 DMCA to protect security researchers from prosecution are vague, limited, and provide inadequate assurance against the serious legal ramifications of Section 1201 lawsuits—something the government itself has acknowledged.

“Under Section 1201, computer researchers can face serious penalties just for selling a book that would help people build better, more secure computer systems,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “As we explained when we filed a legal challenge to the law in July, such penalties violate the First Amendment and threaten ordinary people for publishing research or even talking about circumventing computer code that’s embedded in nearly everything we own. With the lawsuit underway, we’re asking the court to bar the government from prosecuting Dr. Green so he can publish a book that’s clearly in the public interest.”

“If we want our communications and devices to be secure, we need to protect independent security researchers like Dr. Green,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kit Walsh. “Researchers should be encouraged to educate the public and the next generation of computer scientists. Instead, they are threatened by an unconstitutional law that has come unmoored from its original purpose of addressing copyright infringement. We’re going to court to protect everyone whose speech is squelched by this law, starting with Dr. Green and his book.”

EFF filed the Section 1201 lawsuit and Thursday's request for a court order with co-counsel Brian Willen, Stephen Gikow, and Lauren Gallo White of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

For the motion for preliminary injunction:

For more about this case:



Contact:  CorynneMcSherryLegal KitWalshStaff
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Kerry Blames Russia and Syria for US High Crimes - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 21:46
Kerry Blames Russia and Syria for US High Crimes
by Stephen Lendman
Here’s an easy, simple to understand and remember definition of a rogue state: the United States of America.
None now or earlier matched its viciousness, ongoing globally with plans for wars from space, almost certain eventual nuclear war if the world community doesn’t challenge and stop its reckless agenda.
No one anywhere is safe from its rage for dominance, using premeditated wars of aggression as its main geopolitical strategy, supplemented by color revolutions, at times coup d’etats the way Brazil’s democracy was lost, the same thing against Honduras and Paraguay on Obama’s watch, Haiti under GW Bush.
America’s high crimes against peace are endless, ongoing daily. Millions of corpses post-9/11 alone attest to its brutality. Never before in human history have things been as perilous as now - likely heading for something much worse if Hillary succeeds Obama, a mentally unstable neocon war goddess too dangerous to let become president and commander-in-chief of America’s military, a prescription for potential disaster.
John Kerry is a diplomat in name only, a closet hawk, goading Moscow irresponsibly, manipulating public opinion, heading America for likely unthinkable war on Russia when Hillary takes over, predictably at this point.
Addressing the right-wing Atlantic and Aspen Institute on Thursday, Kerry discussed Obama’s war on Syria without calling it that, along with Russia’s involvement.
A deplorable stream of misinformation and Big Lies followed, supplemented by an imperial threat. He disgracefully blamed Russia and Syria for ceasefire breaches committed by US-supported terrorists and Pentagon warplanes.
He lied saying “I think there is strong evidence with respect to Syrian regime” responsibility for attacking a UN humanitarian convoy, destroying 18 trucks.
Clear “evidence” shows US-supported terrorists responsible for what happened, likely with full support and encouragement from Washington - to be able to blame Syria and/or Russia for the high crime.
Kerry lied claiming Washington seeks diplomatic conflict resolution. Russia’s forthright efforts are repeatedly undermined by US policymakers.
They want regime change, naked aggression their strategy of choice, subverting peace as long as Assad remains Syria’s leader - democratically reelected in June 2014, remaining overwhelmingly popular.
Freeing Syria from its US-backed terrorist scourge requires winning the battle for Aleppo. Russian aerial support let Syrian ground forces gain a strategic advantage.
US policymakers can’t counter it except with Big Lies, calls for ceasefire so terrorist foot soldiers can regroup, rearm, and mobilize for new attacks, or initiate US war on Russian and Syrian forces, risking a nuclear confrontation.
Kerry lied calling “the bombing of Aleppo…inexcusable.” He lied saying it’s “beyond the pale of any notion of strategic (sic) or otherwise.”
He lied claiming it’s “indiscriminate.” He lied accusing Russian and Syrian warplanes of “t(aking) out a hospital…” He lied accusing both countries of killing “400 civilians…in the last eight days, 100 of them children.”
He threatened Russia, saying it’s “crystal clear…that under those kinds of circumstances, it is not possible to be cooperating” - failing to explain Washington spurns cooperation with Russia, other than coordinating to keep their warplanes from clashing.
“(W)e’re on the verge of suspending” talks with Russia, he blustered. A previous article said his threat should be met with cheers from Moscow. Diplomacy with America wastes time and effort, doomed each time undertaken because US policymakers consistently breach terms agree on.
“(W)e’re going to have to pursue other alternatives for a period of time,” Kerry ranted, with no elaboration. He lied saying “America (isn’t) going to war in Syria.” It’s been waging naked aggression since March 2011, using ISIS and other terrorists as imperial foot soldiers.
Kerry lied claiming Washington is “at war against ISIL and we are going to win that war, (and) we are making enormous progress.”
Since US warplanes began bombing Iraq and Syria (in June and September 2014 respectively), part of its phony war on terrorism, ISIS and likeminded groups got stronger - because of arms, munitions and other material support supplied by Washington and its rogue partners.
Russian and Syrian warplanes strictly observe international laws on war - unlike America and its terrorist foot soldiers, ruthlessly massacring civilians and striking non-military-related targets.
Kerry lied claiming “(i)t is inappropriate to be bombing the way they are.” He lied saying “(i)t is completely against the laws of war.”
He lied blustering “it is against decency…against any common morality.” He lied claiming “the need to fight against extremism…to prevent (Syria) from breaking up…” US policy is polar opposite.
“I’m not happy with Syria,” he said. Of course not with Russian and Syrian forces foiling Washington’s imperial objective - its aim for unchallenged regional and global dominance, humanity’s worst fate if achieved, other than nuclear armageddon.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Shimon Peres: Eulogizing a Man of War and Injustice - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 21:38
Shimon Peres: Eulogizing a Man of War and Injustice
by Stephen Lendman
America, other Western nations and most others notoriously honor their worst while persecuting and punishing some of their best.
A Wednesday article discussed Shimon Peres’ passing, calling him an enforcer of Israeli apartheid brutishness, a member of the generation of thugs responsible for the Nakba catastrophe - stealing most of historic Palestine, the rest in June 1967, imposing occupation harshness on millions of Palestinians, victims of Israeli ruthlessness.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri described him as “the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in (its) history and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”
Hamas official Amir Abo Al Amren called him “a murderer and not a man of peace. He deceived the entire world but (not) the Palestinian people.”
Late in life, ignoring his longstanding criminal legacy, he disgracefully called Palestinians “self-victimizing. They victimize themselves,” he said. “They are a victim of their own mistakes unnecessarily.”
America and Israel notoriously blame victims for their imperial crimes, their attempt to justify the unjustifiable.
Alive or deceased, Peres deserves universal condemnation, a lifelong perpetrator of high crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide, sanitized to appear otherwise.
Longtime Israeli collaborator against his own people, illegitimate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, anointed, not elected, said he’ll attend Peres’ Friday funeral, disgracing himself more than already.
He called Peres a partner in the “peace of the brave,” a shameless perversion of truth like all other eulogies, praising a man of war and apartheid viciousness, not peace and justice.
Ahead of Friday’s funeral, Netanyahu issued a statement, saying Peres “set his gaze on the future. He did so much to protect our people.”
“He worked to his last days for peace and a better future for all - at the expense of long-suffering Palestinians, paying the price for his actions, Netanyahu neglected to explain.
Scores of world leaders and other dignitaries arrived - including Obama (together with Bill Clinton, John Kerry and numerous other current and former US officials), French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, a British delegation including former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair along with Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Obama issued a deplorable statement, saying “(a) light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever.” 
He disgracefully called Peres a “soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves…”
A joint Bill and Hillary Clinton statement described him as “a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness. Let those of us who loved him and love this nation keep his dream alive.”
Heavy security is present in Israel today for Peres’ funeral, major roads closed, other measures in place, disrupting things for many Israelis.
Longtime Israeli apologist New York Times ignored Peres’ deplorable legacy, calling him “Israel’s Philosopher-Politician…(a)dmired…for his eloquence, wisdom and dedication to peacemaking…” - typical Times misreporting, reinventing history, characterizing sinners as saints and vice versa.
Israeli historian Ilan Pappe portrayed him accurately, saying few obituaries “will examine (his) life and activities from the perspective of the victims of Zionism and Israel.”
Throughout his public life, he “contributed to the destruction of the Palestinian people and did nothing to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation…”
He largely oversaw the establishment of Israel’s “clandestine nuclear weapons program.” He zealously supported ethnic cleansing, wanting historic Palestine for Jews only.
He was “the leading ambassador” of the 1993 sham Oslo accords - “creat(ing) a greater apartheid Israel with small Palestinian bantustans scattered within it.”
He disgracefully won a Nobel Peace Prize for “advanc(ing) the ruination of Palestine and its people” - their suffering ignored for generations.
Peres “symbolized the beautification of Zionism, but the facts on the ground lay bare his role in perpetrating so much suffering and conflict,” Pappe explained.
Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy wrote “(i)f Israel is on the verge of a moral abyss, then Peres had a part in that. If it’s a country en route to apartheid, he was a founding partner. (He) never saw Palestinians as equal to Jews.”
Peres was a world class thug, a mass murderer, a leading figure throughout Israel’s sordid history of high crimes gone unpunished. Pretending otherwise can’t change his blood-drenched legacy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Sanders Stumps for War Criminal, Racketeer, Perjurer Hillary - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 21:26
Sanders Stumps for War Criminal, Racketeer, Perjurer Hillary
by Stephen Lendman
He’s on call for occasional cameo appearances for Hillary - mocking what he claimed to stand for while campaigning, proving his lofty rhetoric was phony.
He’s like virtually all others in Washington, promising one thing, delivering another - once a con man, always one, Sanders a deplorable self-serving opportunist throughout his years of public disservice.
He flouts the principles he claims to stand for, a Judas goat betraying his loyal followers, leading them to the slaughter Hillary assures if anointed Obama’s successor.
On Wednesday, he appeared with her at the University of New Hampshire, his mission to con students and youths to support a presidential aspirant belonging in prison, not any public office.
He helped her promote the illusion of tuition-free public college education for students of families earning less than $125,000 annually if she succeeds Obama.
Chance for it becoming reality under any duopoly power candidate is nil. Nor is relief from onerous student debt bondage coming. Prioritized neoliberal harshness mandates social justice erosion en route to eliminating it altogether.
America’s resources increasingly go for militarism, war-making, obscene corporate handouts, and hardening the nation’s police state apparatus.
Supporting Hillary assures more of the same on steroids, Sanders a convenient puppet, supporting what demands denunciation. 
He and Clinton back an imperial war agenda, risking direct confrontation with Russia, China and Iran, possible nuclear war on her watch if she bests Trump in November by fair or foul means.
Sanders made himself a laughing stock, a first class scoundrel, his rhetoric sounding increasingly hollow - buffoon-like blustering “(i)s everybody here ready to transform America?”
“If we are prepared to stand up to powerful and wealthy and greedy special interests, there is nothing we cannot accomplish…”
Touting progressivism rhetorically while supporting a war goddess, racketeer, perjurer, Wall Street tool shows what he really stands for - a man of special interests, not vital public ones, a shameless backer of dirty business as usual.
Bellowing an “imperative (to) elect Hillary Clinton as our next president” destroys his phony populism. His so-called political revolution is hot air, empty promises, unrelated to vitally needed social, political and economic change.
He’ll likely fade to obscurity once past November 8. Will millions backing him understand they were had? Shifting allegiance to Hillary would show an uninformed electorate consistently harms its own self-interest.
Supporting either duopoly power aspirant for the nation’s highest office assures the triumph of monied interests over all others.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Shadow Regulation: the Back-Room Threat to Digital Rights - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 08:07

When a new law threatens to stifle online speech, to limit our use of the Internet, or allow others to control our digital devices, we can push back in a variety of ways—participating in formal consultations, calling or petitioning our representatives, exposing the proposal through the media, and bringing a legal challenge if the law passes, and so on. When individual companies threaten our rights, we also have options, ranging from boycotting that company, to "shaming" it into changing its practices, or if nothing else works, bringing a lawsuit or invoking regulatory action.

But what do we do when the same threats aren't the result of a law or the practices of an individual company, but the result of a private industry agreement? For example, agreements between copyright holders and Internet companies that give copyright holders the ability to effectively delete users' content from the Internet, and agreements on other topics such as hateful speech and terrorism that can be used to stifle lawful speech. Unlike laws, such agreements (sometimes also called codes, standard, principles, or guidelines) aren't developed with public input or accountability. As a result, users who are affected by them are often completely unaware that they even exist.

Even those who are aware of these agreements have few options for changing them, because users aren't a party to these private deals. They tend to cover multiple companies, so shaming or boycotting a single company isn't an option. And asking regulators to step in might not be possible either, because these agreements often have the active support of government officials who see them as a cheap and easy alternative to regulation.

We are calling these invisible and unaccountable arrangements Shadow Regulation. Here are a few representative examples:

  • The Copyright Alert System or "six strikes" program between U.S. Internet providers and the content industry, which provides for monitoring of your Internet usage and the delivery of warning notices about copyright infringement.
  • The European Commission's hate speech code of conduct, under which major U.S. Internet companies agreed to an expedited process for the removal of supposed hate speech and terrorist activity online.
  • The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Trusted Notifier Program, which requires Internet domain name registries Radix and Donuts to disable the domains of websites that are accused of hosting infringing content.
  • The RogueBlock guidelines for payment providers, and Trustworthy Ads Guidelines for advertising networks, which block websites accused of hosting infringing content from accessing payment processing and advertising services.

It's time to bring these agreements, or Shadow Regulations, into the bright light of public scrutiny.

Today we're unveiling a new, revamped version of our interactive Free Speech Weak Links infographic, that maps some key instances of Shadow Regulation that exist at various levels of the Internet ecosystem where content and user behavior can be effectively blocked and controlled. At the same time, we're launching a series of blog posts that will delve deeper into particular agreements. As new Shadow Regulation threats emerge (such as a recent European proposal requiring Web platforms to do deals with media companies), we'll also be offering you the opportunity to speak out against them.

Shadow Regulation may be a new term, but it's a phenomenon that has been gathering speed for several years. To defend our Internet, we need to pay attention to the encroachment of these secretive, exclusive agreements, and challenge them when they pose a threat to our digital rights and democracy. Keep reading Deeplinks this week as we explore Shadow Regulation in more detail, and explain how industry-wide agreements, where they have to exist at all, could be done in a more inclusive, balanced, and accountable fashion.

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The World Trade Organization Sets its Eyes on the Internet - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 04:42

This week, EFF has been at the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s annual Public Forum. Best known to the general public as the locus of anti-globalization protests at its 1999 Ministerial Conference, it's ironic that the WTO is today the most open and transparent of trade negotiation bodies—an honor it holds mainly because of how closed and opaque the trade negotiations conducted outside the WTO are, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or on its margins, the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).

This year's Public Forum, although notionally focusing on inclusive trade, has featured unprecedented interest in digital trade, with dozens of sessions dealing with this topic. Just a few of them, including the workshop "Boundaries and Best Practices for Inclusive Digital Trade" organized by EFF, have been summarized by the Geneva Internet Platform (you can also read slides from some of our workshop's presentations below).

This explosion of interest in digital trade represents widespread enthusiasm from WTO members (which are 164 countries of the world) for the organization to take up an expanded work program on e-commerce. Currently this work program at the WTO only contains one item: a moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. But in a "non-paper" dated July 1 this year, the United States proposed an expanded work program that contains a raft of new measures, some copied and pasted straight out of TISA and the TPP—including a provision on encryption that would allow law enforcement backdoors, a ban on local hosting mandates, and a ban on mandates to disclose source code.

In a bilateral discussion with EFF, a member of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) acknowledged that this document represents an ambitious ask, and that WTO members will likely focus on a narrower set of objectives to facilitate global e-commerce. Even then it will probably take more than a year even to establish the content of the work program, let alone to produce any deliverables from it. By that time, it is intended that the more ambitious (but less inclusive) TISA will be done and dusted, since the agreement is slated for completion by December this year (though that deadline will probably slip, just as the TPP's completion deadline did).

Although we have significant reservations about the WTO accepting a new digital trade agenda, several of the panelists at EFF's workshop pointed out that it would be difficult to completely insulate the Internet from the WTO's normative work. Panelist Andrew Crosby from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) explained that this flows from the dependence of global trade flows on many "behind the border" issues, including domestic Internet regulations and standards. Fellow panelist Nick Ashton-Hart from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy went further, arguing out that the Internet had already been covered by the WTO since its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in 1995 (though Jean-Baptiste Velut from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle countered that there are certainly many aspects of the Internet that had not appeared in trade agreements until the more recent TPP and TISA era).

If a new WTO work program on digital trade is established, there is the possibility that new modalities for the negotiations could be developed. In particular, there were many sessions at the WTO Public Forum at which panelists (including American University's Sean Flynn who spoke at EFF's workshop) emphasized that digital issues need to be treated differently from conventional trade issues such as quotas and tariffs, and that users would need to be deeply involved in the process from the outset, to avoid a repetition of previous failed agreements such as ACTA (and perhaps soon, the TPP). EFF offered participants a preview of three criteria that we suggest can be used as a guidepost to the design of processes that meaningfully include users, and we'll be formally unveiling those criteria in a new infographic on this website next week.

We view these developments at the WTO with interest and with some concern. The track record of trade agreements regulating the Internet has been extremely poor, due largely to the lack of transparency and user participation in the development of Internet-related trade rules. If there was any comfort to be gained from the discussions that took place this week, it was an apparently broad consensus that Internet-related trade rules can no longer be made in this closed and opaque fashion, and that if any new work program that impacts the Internet is to be adopted by the WTO, it will have to be with the much more integral involvement of affected stakeholders, most importantly Internet users.

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Latest NYT Ad Hominem Attack on Putin - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 02:38
Latest NYT Ad Hominem Attack on Putin
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout his tenure as Russia’s president, he’s been viciously and unjustifiably denigrated by US-led Western officials and their media scoundrel echo chamber - making repeated false accusations.
The NYT is especially outrageous, attacking him for responsibly challenging America’s hegemonic ambitions along with defending Russia’s sovereign rights.
On the one hand, The Times cheerleads America’s ruthless imperial agenda, its endless wars of aggression, raping one nation after another, ignoring its highest of high crimes, its sham electoral system, a one-party state with two right wings, fantasy democracy, not the real thing, and contempt for rule of law principles.
On the other, it viciously and unjustifiably bashes legitimate governments Washington opposes - for wanting their sovereign independence respected, free from US imperial dominance, Russia a key example, Vladimir Putin America’s public enemy number one for acting responsibly on the geopolitical stage.
Times editors go at him repeatedly and viciously, its latest editorial broadside despicably accusing him of “turning Russia into an outlaw nation,” an absurdity on its face. 
America pretends to want peace in Syria while waging endless war for regime change. Putin genuinely seeks conflict resolution. US neocons undermine his forthright efforts, blaming him for their high crimes, media scoundrels repeating false accusations.
Times editors support Kerry’s Big Lie, falsely claiming US warplanes accidentally massacred 82 Syrian soldiers, injuring scores more earlier this month - an act of willful mass murder. 
They lied, blaming Russia for the humanitarian convoy attack days later, carried out by US-supported terrorists. They lied about the downing of MH17, falsely blaming Russia for Ukraine’s high crime complicit with Washington - stressing “the United States should lend its support to Ukraine’s quest for accountability.”
They lied, saying “(t)here seems no holding Mr. Putin to account in Syria,” despicably claiming his forthright efforts for conflict resolution permitted “slaughter” to continue…backed by (nonexistent) Iranian ground troops.”
They lied, claiming most jihadist terrorists in Aleppo are moderate rebels when none exist. They lied, saying Putin uses “bunker-busting bombs (on) underground hospitals and safety zones where civilians seek shelter.”
They lied, blaming Russia and Syria for violating Geneva ceasefire terms - America and its terrorist foot soldiers entirely responsible.
They lied, claiming “Putin fancies himself a man on a mission to restore Russia to greatness…butchering civilians in Syria and Ukraine…”
A same day Times article lied, citing unnamed analysts, accusing Russia and Syria of targeting civilians in Aleppo to “driv(e) (nonexistent rebels) into the hands of extremists, (and) give Russia more leverage in diplomatic talks…”
The Times absurdly claimed Moscow aims to “persuade civilians to stop supporting (nonexistent) rebels.”
Did the self-styled newspaper of record present any credible facts, backing up its accusations, either in its Putin-bashing editorial or accompanying article on Syria? Nothing legitimate editors would allow to be published - Russia-bashing propaganda only, truth and full disclosure entirely absent.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Russia Calls War in Syria "A US-Controlled International Terrorist Alliance" - Fri, 30/09/2016 - 02:28
Russia Calls War in Syria “A US-Controlled International Terrorist Alliance”
by Stephen Lendman
Anyone paying attention to war on Syria, following reliable independent sources for credible information, avoiding media scoundrel propaganda, knows the conflict is Obama’s war, using terrorists as imperial foot soldiers, supported by Pentagon-led “coalition” air power.
On Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov blasted State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby’s scurrilous remark, suggesting (US-supported) extremists could launch “attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities…(its) troops (sent) home in body bags.”
He called his remarks the clearest “confession by the US side (that so-called) civil war in Syria is a US-controlled international terrorist alliance” against a sovereign independent state.
“What makes Kirby’s statement particularly shocking is that the scale of direct US influence on terrorists’ activity is global. That it reaches as far as Russia. The mask (is) off…” It was off long ago.
Konashenkov explained Russia “knows well as to where in Syria, including Aleppo province, there are ‘clandestine specialists’ who do the operations planning and command the militants’ operations and how many of them there are.”
“Should there follow any attempts to act on the threats towards Russia and Russian military servicemen in Syria, the militants may find themselves short of both body bags and the time to get away.”
Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate first deputy chief General Viktor Poznikhir said “terrorist groups are preparing provocative attacks with chemical weapons on Syrian army positions and residential areas in (eastern) Aleppo to accuse government forces” of the high crime.
Poznikhir’s accusation followed Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari telling Security Council members about the intent of Ahrar al-Sham terrorists to use white phosphorous against Syrian soldiers and civilians, a hideous weapon, able to burn flesh to the bone on contact. They want government forces blamed for their high crime.
US-supported terrorists took advantage of a 7-day regime of silence to regroup, rearm and mobilize for new attacks, breaching Geneva terms 300 times in one week, rendering them null and void.
Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova revealed “(a)n especially grave situation” in the battle for Aleppo.
Tactics used by terrorists remain unchanged. Human shields are used in launching attacks. Snipers are involved, shooting Syrian soldiers and civilians.
“(S)o-called infernal machines (consisting of) self-made explosive devices (are) used time after time.” Terrorists “are laying mines along positions they are abandoning and approaches to them. Populated areas in the province of Aleppo and also in the province of Latakia and the Damascus region were shelled.”
Despite Russia’s best efforts for ceasefire and conflict resolution, conditions continue deteriorating. Nothing ongoing suggests any prospect for peace.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

America Headed for War on Russia - Thu, 29/09/2016 - 23:02
America Headed for War on Russia
by Stephen Lendman
America’s reckless imperial agenda should terrify everyone, a permanent war policy targeting all nations not serving its interests, wanting pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them - willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it.
Imperial madness may kill us all, especially if neocons infesting Washington wage war on Russia, likely with nuclear weapons if launched - a possible doomsday scenario if militantly anti-Russia/war goddess/she-devil Hillary succeeds Obama, humanity’s greatest threat.
Syria is the world’s most dangerous flashpoint, a classic good v. evil struggle, pitting Russia wanting the nation freed from the scourge of US-supported terrorism v.  Washington’s determination to use it as an imperial force for conquest, a step toward its ultimate aim of unchallenged global dominance. 
Something has to give. John Kerry’s ultimatum to Sergey Lavrov on Aleppo amounted to saying stop combating US-supported terrorists so they can regain and upper hand, prevail in the area and ultimately defeat government forces. 
It’s virtually certain without Russia’s involvement and determination to win the battle for Aleppo, defeating Washington’s proxy death squad army.
Moscow has a choice - defeat terrorism in Syria or yield to US interests, let Washington gain another imperial trophy, leaving Iran vulnerable to become the next domino to fall, then face a US-backed terrorist infestation in its heartland, leading to war between the most powerful nuclear-armed nations - a prescription for disaster.
It’s incomprehensible why Russia considers America its geopolitical partner. How much more evidence is needed to know its criminal cabal in charge wants Kremlin leadership ousted, the nation’s sovereignty destroyed, and US-controlled governance replacing it - by any means, including nuclear war.
Things seem headed inexorably toward this potentially catastrophic confrontation. Moscow wastes time and energy on diplomacy with a sworn adversary - futile every time tried during the post-Cold War period, especially during Putin’s tenure as president.
So-called US/Russia cooperation on Syria is pure fantasy. Except for keeping their warplanes from engaging in aerial combat, both nations pursue polar opposite agendas.
Washington wants endless war to topple Assad, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing him. Russia is committed to defeat the scourge of terrorism in Syria, wanting it prevented from infesting its own heartland.
Yielding to US interests would be its undoing, hopefully not forthcoming. Stiffer resolve is needed. America is Russia’s enemy, not partner. 
On September 27, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Syria’s ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad.
A Foreign Ministry statement followed, saying “(t)he Russian side stressed its firm commitment to continue assistance to the Syrian government in its anti-terrorism efforts and promote the soonest political settlement of the Syrian crisis in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.”
On September 28, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused Washington of “de facto support for terrorism” in Syria - adding its use “show(s) the political depths the (Obama) administration has stooped to in its approach to the Middle East and specifically to Syria.”
The only way to defeat the scourge of US imperialism is by firm resolve against it, refusing to capitulate to its demands. 
Convention diplomacy with Washington is futile, accomplishing nothing - not with neocons in charge.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

NYT Reinvents Reality in Aleppo - Thu, 29/09/2016 - 21:51
NYT Reinvents Reality in Aleppo
by Stephen Lendman
Liberating Syria from the scourge of US-supported terrorists requires winning the battle for Aleppo, a vital strategic prize.
Washington is concerned because it’s incrementally happening, Syrian forces retaking parts of the city long held by US-backed terrorists - Russian aerial support making the difference, essential to continue without letup until the entire city and surrounding areas are free from its terrorist infestation.
The campaign deserves universal support. Syria’s future depends on its success - why Washington arrogantly threatens to cease (largely nonexistent) cooperation with Russia unless it halts bombing Aleppo areas held by US-backed terrorists.
The latest edition of Times Pentagon press release propaganda misrepresented what’s going on, publishing pure rubbish no legitimate editors would touch, saying:
Russian and Syrian forces “could be massacring Aleppo’s civilians as part of a calculated strategy, aimed beyond this one city.”
“The strategy, more about politics than advancing the battle lines, appears to be designed to pressure rebels to ally themselves with extremists, eroding the rebels’ legitimacy; give Russia veto power over any high-level diplomacy; and exhaust Syrian civilians who might otherwise support the opposition.”
Fact: US-supported terrorists, along with Pentagon and so-called coalition warplanes alone massacre defenseless civilians unaccountably - The Times wrongfully blaming their high crimes on Russian and Syrian forces.
Fact: Moscow’s alliance with Damascus is unrelated to politics. It’s entirely about defeating the scourge of US-backed terrorism in Syria, preventing its spread to Russia’s heartland.
Fact: The term “rebel” is code language for US-supported terrorists. No moderates exist. All anti-government forces are cutthroat killers, imported death squads serving as imperial foot soldiers.
The above Times scenario is pure fantasy misinformation, intended to deceive, not explain what’s ongoing - supporting America’s imperial agenda, cheerleading its mass slaughter and destruction, its naked aggression wherever waged, blaming its high crimes on victims.
Claiming the battle for Aleppo “forced” nonexistent rebels (sic) to “turn to extremists for help” is pure Times deception - along with ignoring Washington’s direct role in supplying ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups with heavy weapons and other material support.
Russia’s involvement is key, hope for eventual Syrian liberation depends on it - why Washington and its Times mouthpiece shamelessly criticize its noble mission. 
Victory would mean defeating the scourge of US imperialism in Syria, key to keeping it from spreading further regionally, notably targeting Iran next if Damascus falls - threatening Russia’s security if events play out this way.
The Times article was rife with deplorable misinformation and Big Lies. Examples:
Syria’s conflict is “civil war.” 
Fact: There’s nothing civil about naked aggression - planned, orchestrated and implemented from Washington.
“…Russia has no need for local support; its warplanes keep flying whether Syrian civilians want them there or not.”
Fact: Liberating long-suffering Syrian civilians requires Russian aerial and other support.
“The Syrian government does not need popular support to survive…”
Fact: Assad and his government are overwhelmingly popular, affirmed by recent presidential and parliamentary elections - judged open, free and fair by independent international monitors.
“…Russia and the Syrian government stand to benefit from mass killings.”
Fact: Their focus is combating terrorists along with liberating Syrian civilians from their scourge.
“The destruction of Aleppo will not persuade its residents to support the government…:
Fact: Attacking terrorist-held parts of the city wouldn’t be necessary if America and its rogue allies didn’t deploy them to ravage it, hold its residents hostage, and freely commit atrocities - Washington supporting and encouraging them.
The Times claiming “Russia’s willingness to target civilians for military gain” is despicable lying - not a shred of evidence supports its accusation.
Its reporting backs US imperial ruthlessness, suppressing vital information readers need to know - never on major geopolitical issues, truth-telling strictly forbidden.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.



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