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A fraude jornalística da Folha é ainda pior: surgem novas evidências

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 19:35

(To read the English version of this article, click here)

  • Dados de pesquisa ocultados pela Folha mostram que a grande maioria dos eleitores quer a renúncia de Temer, o que contradiz categoricamente a matéria da Folha
  • 62% dos brasileiros querem a renúncia de Dilma e Temer, e a realização de novas eleições: ao contrário dos 3% inicialmente mencionados pela Folha
  • Dados cruciais da pesquisa foram publicados e, em seguida, retirados do ar pelo datafolha: encontrados por portal brasileiro
  • Resposta do Diretor Executivo da Folha de São Paulo de que os dados ocultados não eram “jornalisticamente relevantes” não resiste a análise

Na quarta-feira (20), a Intercept publicou um artigo documentando a incrível “fraude jornalística” cometida pelo maior jornal do país, Folha de São Paulo, contendo uma interpretação extremamente distorcida das respostas dos eleitores à pesquisa sobre a crise política atual. Mais especificamente, a Folha – em uma manchete que chocou grande parte do país – alegava que 50% dos brasileiros desejavam que o presidente interino, e extremamente impopular, Michel Temer, concluísse o mandato de Dilma e continuasse como presidente até 2018, enquanto apenas 3% do eleitorado era favorável a novas eleições, e apenas 4% desejava que Dilma e Temer renunciassem. Isso estava em flagrante desacordo com pesquisas anteriores que mostravam expressivas maiorias em oposição a Temer e favoráveis a novas eleições. Conforme escrevemos, os dados da pesquisa – somente publicados dois dias depois pelo instituto de pesquisa da Folha – estavam longe de confirmar tais alegações.

Depois da publicação de nosso artigo, foram encontrados ainda mais indícios – através de um trabalho colaborativo incrível de verdadeiros detetives da era digital – que revelam a gravidade da abordagem da Folha, incluindo a descoberta de um legítimo “smoking gun” comprovando que a situação era muito pior do que achávamos quando publicamos nosso artigo ontem. É importante não deixar o aspecto estatístico e metodológico encubra a importância desse episódio:

Semanas antes da conclusão do conflito político mais virulento dos úlitmos anos – a votação final do impeachment de Dilma no Senado Federal –  a Folha, maior e mais importante jornal do país, não apenas distorceu, mas efetivamente escondeu, dados cruciais da pesquisa que negam em gênero, número e grau a matéria original. Esses dados demonstram que a grande maioria dos brasileiros desejam a renúncia de Michel Temer, e não que o “presidente interino” permaneça no cargo, como informado pelo jornal. Colocado de forma simples, esse é um dos casos de irresponsabilidade jornalística mais graves que se pode imaginar.

A desconstrução completa da matéria da Folha começou quando Brad Brooks, Correspondente Chefe da Reuters no Brasil, observou uma enorme discrepância: enquanto a Folha anunciava em sua capa que apenas 3% dos brasileiros queriam novas eleições e que 50% queria a permanência de Temer, o instituto de pesquisa do jornal, Datafolha, havia publicado um comunicado à imprensa com os dados da pesquisa anunciando que 60% dos brasileiros queriam novas eleições. Observe essa impressionante contradição:

Como isso é possível? Nós entramos em contato com o Datafolha imediatamente para esclarecer a dúvida, mas como grande parte dos veículos de comunicação já havia lido nosso artigo e o assunto havia se tornado uma controvérsia nacional, o instituto se recusou a se manifestar. Eles simplesmente não queriam nos explicar a natureza da discrepância.

Mas essa revelação levou a outro mistério: nos dados e perguntas complementares publicados pelo Datafolha, não havia nenhuma informação mostrando que 60% dos brasileiros eram favoráveis a novas eleições, como dizia um dos enunciados da pesquisa do instituto. Parecia evidente que o Datafolha havia publicado apenas algumas das perguntas feitas aos entrevistados. Apesar das perguntas estarem numeradas, o documento contava apenas com as perguntas 7-10, 12-13 e 21. Isso não é necessariamente incomum ou incorreto (jornais tendem a omitir perguntas sobre tópicos menos relevantes ao publicar uma reportagem), mas era estranho que nenhuma das perguntas publicadas pelo Datafolha confirmasse ou tivesse relação com a afirmação do enunciado da pesquisa. De onde, então, saiu essa informação – 60% – que contradiz a reportagem de primeira página da Folha?

A resposta veio através do excelente esforço investigativo de Fernando Brito do site Tijolaço. Primeiro, a equipe do site observou que o endereço URL do documento do Datafolha com os dados e perguntas complementares à pesquisa que foi publicado na segunda-feira – documento citado em nosso artigo original mostrando que a manchete da Folha era falsa – terminava em “v2”, ou seja, era a segunda versão do documento publicado pelo Datafolha. A equipe procurou a versão original, mas não foi possível encontrá-la no site do instituto. Eles começaram a tentar adivinhar o endereço URL da versão original, até que acertaram. Embora a versão original tivesse sido retirada do ar pelo Datafolha, ainda se encontrava nos servidores do instituto, e ao acertar o endereço URL correto o Tijolaço teve acesso ao documento.

O que foi encontrado na versão original do documento – aparentemente retirada do ar de forma discreta pelo Datafolha – é de tirar o fôlego. Ficou comprovado que a matéria da Folha era uma fraude jornalística completa. A pergunta 14, encontrada na versão original, dizia:

“Uma situação em que poderia haver novas eleições presidenciais no Brasil seria em caso de renúncia de Dilma Rousseff e Michel Temer a seus cargos. Você é a favor ou contra Michel Temer e Dilma Rousseff renunciarem para a convocação de novas eleições para a Presidência da República ainda neste ano?”

Os dados não publicados pelo Datafolha mostram que 62% dos brasileiros são favoráveis à renúncia de Dilma e Temer, e à realização de novas eleições, enquanto 30% são contrários a essa solução. Isso significa que, ao contrário da afirmação da Folha de que apenas 3% querem novas eleições e 50% dos brasileiros querem a permanência de Temer como presidente até 2018 – ao menos 62% dos brasileiros, uma ampla maioria, querem a renúncia imediata de Temer.

A situação é ainda pior para a Folha (e Temer): a porcentagem de eleitores que deseja a renúncia imediata de Temer é certamente muito maior do que esses 62%. A pergunta colocada pelo Datafolha era se os entrevistados eram favoráveis à renúncia de Temer /e Dilma/. Muitos dos que responderam “não” – conforme demonstrado pelos detalhes dos dados – são apoiadores do PT e/ou querem Lula como presidente em 2018, o que significa responderam que “não” porque querem que Dilma retorne, e não porque querem a permanência de Temer. Portanto – conforme concluído pelo Ibope em abril – apenas uma minoria dos eleitores querem Temer como presidente: exatamente o oposto da “informação” publicada pela Folha.

Essa não foi a única informação ausente que o Tijolaço descobriu quando encontrou a primeira versão dos dados publicados. Como explicam de maneira detalhada, havia dois parágrafos inteiros escritos pelo DataFolha resumindo os dados das respostas que também foram removidos da segunda versão publicada, inclusive a seguinte frase: “a maioria (62%) declarou ser a favor de uma nova votação para o cargo de presidente”

A equipe também descobriu uma pergunta não revelada – a pergunta 11 – que é provavelmente a mais favorável a Dilma e foi completamente omitida pela Folha. O DataFolha perguntou:

“Na sua opinião, o processo de impeachment contra a presidente Dilma Rousseff está seguindo a regras democráticas e a Constituição ou está desrespeitando as regras democráticas e a Constituição?”

Apenas 49% disseram que o impeachment cumpre as regras democráticas e respeita a Constituição, enquanto 37% disseram que não. Como a Folha pode omitir este dado tão surpreendente e importante quando, supostamente, quer descrever a visão dos eleitores sobre o impeachment?

Ontem, a Folha publicou uma “notícia” sobre o que chamou de “controvérsia” provocada por nosso artigo. O jornal se esquiva e, em muitos casos ignora a maioria destas questões importantes.

O artigo confirma que, ao contrário de sua afirmação anterior de que apenas 3% dos brasileiros querem novas eleições, “a porcentagem de favoráveis a novas eleições, no entanto, sobe para 62% nas respostas estimuladas, ou seja, quando o instituto pergunta explicitamente”. E incluiu as duas perguntas que havia mantido em segredo: uma demonstrando que a maioria quer a saída de Temer, e outra mostrando uma expressiva minoria que vê o impeachment como uma violação da democracia (a Folha deixou de mencionar que estes novos dados, na verdade, haviam sido publicados anteriormente pelo Tijolaço).

No entanto, o jornal insistiu que não havia nada de errado em esconder esses dados. Publicaram uma citação do próprio editor executivo, Sérgio Dávila, argumentando que é “prerrogativa da Redação escolher o que acha jornalisticamente mais relevante no momento em que decide publicar a pesquisa”. Dávila insistiu que “o resultado da questão sobre a dupla renúncia de Dilma e Temer não nos pareceu especialmente noticioso, por praticamente repetir a tendência de pesquisa anterior e pela mudança no atual cenário político, em que essa possibilidade não é mais levada em conta.”

Não se pode subestimar a desonestidade dessa resposta e quanto o editor executivo da Folha conta com a ingenuidade de seus leitores. O maior absurdo da reportagem da Folha foi dizer que o país deseja a permanência de Temer como presidente até 2018 e apenas uma pequena porcentagem quer novas eleições. Mas, ao mesmo tempo em que publicava isso, a Folha tinha em mãos os dados que provam que essas afirmações eram 100% falsas, mostrando que, na realidade, o oposto era verdadeiro. A grande maioria dos brasileiros querem que Temer saia do poder, e não que o interino permaneça como presidente. E uma expressiva maioria, não uma parcela ínfima, quer novas eleições.

Nenhuma das desculpas de Dávila resiste sequer ao menor questionamento. Se é jornalisticamente irrelevante saber a porcentagem de brasileiros favoráveis a novas eleições, por que a Folha encomendou a pergunta? Se essa pergunta sobre novas eleições é irrelevante, por que esse dado foi não apenas incluído, mas proeminentemente destacado pelo Datafolha no título do relatório original? Por que, se esse dado é irrelevante, o Datafolha o publicou originalmente e depois o retirou do ar em nova versão que excluía essa informação? E como esse dado pode ser considerado jornalisticamente irrelevante pela Folha quando ele contradiz diretamente as afirmações alardeadas na capa do jornal e, em seguida, reproduzidas pelos maiores jornais do país?

Outros meios de comunicação também consideraram esses dados relevantes. Ontem à noite, a edição brasileira do El País publicou um artigo de destaque com a manchete: “62% apoiam novas eleições, diz dado que Datafolha publica agora”. O El País aborda o ocorrido tanto como um escândalo jornalístico, quanto político, descrevendo como a Folha escondeu esses dados até serem encontrados em consequência de nosso artigo. O jornal também publicou outra matéria citando especialistas que corroboraram as posições de nossos entrevistados, criticando veementemente a Folha pelo uso impróprio dos dados da pesquisa.

Fica extremamente óbvio o que realmente aconteceu: a Folha de São Paulo fez alegações falsas sobre as questões políticas relevantes do país e, além disso, sabiam que eram falsas quando as publicou. A Folha tinha em mãos os dados que comprovam a falsidade das alegações, mas optou por efetivamente escondê-las de seus leitores. Ou melhor, alguém decidiu por tentar retirá-los da Internet.

O mais surpreendente é que todo esse esforço foi feito para negar o desejo de democracia: fazendo o país acreditar que a maioria dos brasileiros apoiam a figura política que tomou o poder de forma antidemocrática e que não há necessidade de realizarem-se novas eleições, quando a verdade é que a maioria do país quer a renúncia do “presidente interino” e a realização de novas eleições para escolha de um presidente legítimo.

Conforme dissemos ontem, é impossível estabelecer se a Folha agiu de forma proposital com o intuito de enganar seus leitores ou com extrema incompetência e negligência jornalísticas – embora as evidências sugerindo aquela possibilidade sejam mais abundantes hoje que ontem. Motivos à parte, é indiscutível que a Folha essencialmente enganou seus leitores no que diz respeito a questões políticas cruciais e escondeu provas fundamentais apenas publicadas após serem pegos em flagrante.

Traduzido por Inacio Vieira

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Afghanistan: Taliban auf dem Vormarsch

Hintergrund.de - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 19:29

(21.07.2016/hgdpa)

In Afghanistan hat nach Berichten aus Sicherheitskreisen die Gewalt wieder stark zugenommen. Demnach bedrängen die Taliban vor allem die Nordprovinz Kundus schwer. Dort war bis Herbst 2013 die Bundeswehr stationiert. Schon seit Montag gibt es schwere Gefechte im Bezirk Kala-e Sal. Am Donnerstagmorgen fiel angeblich das Zentrum des Bezirks Dascht-e Artschi an die Islamisten.

In Kala-e Sal hätten die Aufständischen in der Nacht das Gebäude der Bezirksregierung sowie das Polizeihauptquartier eingenommen, sagte ein Provinzratsmitglied, Amruddin Wali. Gefechte dauerten an.

Das Bezirkszentrum von Dascht-e Artschi hätten die Aufständischen am frühen Donnerstagmorgen angegriffen, sagte Provinzratsmitglied Ghulam Rabbani. Sie kontrollierten nun die Polizeistation, Regierungsgebäude und

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Türkei: Menschenrechtskonvention teilweise außer Kraft gesetzt

Hintergrund.de - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 19:29

(21.07.2016/hg/dpa)

Die Türkei setzt nach der Verhängung des Ausnahmezustands die Europäische Menschenrechtskonvention Medienberichten zufolge teilweise aus. Vize-Ministerpräsident Numan Kurtulmus verwies nach übereinstimmenden Angaben türkischer Medien vom Donnerstag auf Artikel 15 der Konvention, der einen solchen Schritt in Kriegs- oder Notstandszeiten mit Einschränkungen erlaubt. Auch Frankreich hat die Konvention nach den Anschlägen von Paris teilweise ausgesetzt, ebenso wie die Regierung in Kiew wegen der Gewalt in der Ostukraine.

Kurtulmus sagte nach Angaben der Zeitung Hürriyet: „Unser Ziel ist es, den Ausnahmezustand so kurz wie möglich zu halten.“ Er hoffe, dass er bereits nach einem bis eineinhalb Monaten wieder aufgehoben werden könne – statt

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Forget Trump: Peter Thiel Is So Dangerous and Fascinating You Have to Watch Him Tonight

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 18:55

Tonight, Peter Thiel, an openly gay immigrant hailing from San Francisco, will address the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. His speech will close out the coronation of Donald Trump as the nominee of his party, which three days earlier finalized a platform affirming the definition of marriage as “between one man and one woman.”

Thiel may seem an unlikely warm-up act for a raving nativist like Trump. But the pair are actually an impeccable ideological tag-team. In fact, Thiel outmatches Trump both in the preposterousness of his capitalistic ambition and in the sheer pathology of his political inconsistency.

Like Trump’s, Thiel’s speech will be one of the few in Cleveland (or Philly, for that matter) worth viewing in full, if only because the libertarian billionaire is, even more so than the man he’s opening for, a bizarre and fascinating man—his support for Trump is just one more strange item on a long list. And, unlike those who have taken the stage before him, Thiel isn’t a retired general, washed-up actor, incendiary evangelical, or reality show star, but a complicated member of the Silicon Valley elite.

Many Americans found Thiel the same way they found Donald Trump: on a screen, presented as something between caricature and real-world business figure. In The Social Network, Hollywood’s 2010 rendition of the Facebook creation myth, Thiel’s character appears briefly to write Mark Zuckerberg a $500,000 check and suggest that he utterly betray his best friend and co-founder, Eduardo Saverin — a fictionalized version of one of the greatest moments of treachery in modern business history. And unless you’re within or near the tech bubble, this may be your only impression of Thiel, who, despite his titanic stature in the startup sector, never crossed over to the national stage before Thursday night.

It’s a testament to Thiel’s contradictions that he’s so poorly understood even back home. In Silicon Valley, the tech sector was amazed when Thiel backed Trump as a party delegate — aberrant behavior in a community that sees itself as essentially open-minded and tolerant. How could a California futurist, who co-founded PayPal and beat every other VC in town to Facebook, support Stone Age politics? Thiel, who was born in West Germany, was a lifeline to startups founded by and employing people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds — and now supported a presidential candidate who’d like to make life considerably harder for many of those same people.

In truth, extreme ideology was old hat for Thiel by the time Trump’s 2016 campaign began; he’s been a strong donor for both Ted Cruz and Ron Paul. Thiel gave hundreds of thousands of dollars over multiple campaigns, going back to at least 2009, to support Cruz, the Texas senator who pledged to make his opposition to gay marriage “front and center” in his presidential campaign and proposed a constitutional amendment to preserve bans on the practice. During the 2012 campaign, Thiel donated over $2 million to a Paul-supporting Super PAC.

Thiel has also postured as a libertarian, and even as his ideology shifts toward something more nihilistic — The Economist now calls him a “corporate Nietzschean” — he continues to rail against government programs like Medicare and Social Security. Meanwhile, he is chairman and co-founder of Palantir Technologies, a mass-surveillance-software company that makes a good deal of its money selling to the government; Palantir’s clients reportedly include the Depart of Defense (including the NSA and various military branches), the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA. Thiel is, inexplicably, pro-monopoly. And don’t forget that Peter Thiel believes death is nothing but a bug in the feature set of mankind, and one he can buy his way out of.

What, if not ideological incoherence, could make Thiel a better pairing for Trump, for whom free trade is bad, but corporate interests are good; military spending is good, but military intervention is bad; immigrants are bad, and he married one? Voters love Trump’s wealth and crazed chatter — Thiel is just one more “self-made man” with bombastic theories to drive them wild.

Trump supporters (clearly) don’t mind some hefty dissonance between policy talk and stories of grand success in business — if anything, the former tends to annoyingly distract from the latter. So even though Thiel, like Trump, is a bundle of grandiose, self-negating ideas that don’t add up to much of anything, he has an easy job crafting a script for himself.

He can tout his co-creation of job creator PayPal (perhaps best not to mention its five foreign-born founders).

He might rant about how political correctness is tanking the United States, a topic on which he is a published author.

He can flaunt his shrewd early investment in Facebook, the source of his billions.

He can even tantalize convention-goers with his vision of a floating techno-libertarian archipelago, far from the reaches of the federal government (no Syrian refugees allowed, of course).

Or perhaps Thiel could repeat his 2009 suggestion that American democracy suffered when the right to vote was extended to women (casual misogyny has polled well so far in this election).

But where Thiel and Trump are perhaps most aligned is in their shared disdain for a free press.

Trump, of course, tolerates the media only when it functions as something approximating his own personal megaphone. Otherwise, Trump is relentlessly anti-media, a stance that has become a key part of his anti-establishment campaign: Like most politicians, the press is “phony,” “dishonest,” and “disgusting,” and Trump is its victim.

The media is really on a witch-hunt against me. False reporting, and plenty of it – but we will prevail!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2016

Accordingly, Trump has declared that under his presidency, he will “open up our libel laws so when [the press] write purposely negative and horrible and false” articles, “we can sue them and win lots of money. … We can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”

Trump calls the press here the "world's most dishonest people." Crowd turns towards press pen, booing. #TrumpRally

— Rachel Alexander (@rachelwalexande) May 7, 2016

Trump’s comments were widely understood as an open attack on press freedom, even if the mechanics are unclear (under the 1964 Supreme Court ruling New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a cornerstone of the American free press, public figures like Trump may already sue journalists for incorrect and defamatory statements made with a knowing disregard for the truth, that is, for “purposely negative and horrible and false” articles).

Thiel also wants to coercively halt the speech he finds most offensive, but he has done so through a private legal campaign rather than legislation. For nearly a decade, Forbes revealed in two stories earlier this year, Thiel has secretly funded lawsuits intended to put Gawker Media, my former employer, out of business, because the billionaire does not like their work. Granted an exclusive interview with Thiel, the New York Times essentially confirmed that storyline.

Thiel insisted to the Times that he cherished freedom of speech and journalism but believed Gawker to be “a singularly terrible bully” that acted completely outside the public interest. Yet even as he acknowledged spending somewhere “in the neighborhood” of $10 million to finance multiple lawsuits to muzzle the web publisher, he refused to detail exactly how many cases he was behind or name any of the news articles at issue, save for one involving a sex tape, published by Gawker, starring wrestler Hulk Hogan and resulting in a $140 million invasion-of-privacy judgment against the company, a verdict that is now under appeal.

News reports have speculated that other Thiel-backed lawsuits against Gawker Media, via the same firm that represented Hogan, include two pieces by me; consider that an awkwardly indeterminate disclosure. One of those stories challenged claims by Massachusetts entrepreneur Shiva Ayyadurai (the plaintiff) to have invented email; similar stories have run in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. (Ayyadurai told Forbes and the Times that Thiel was not funding his case “to the best of my knowledge.”) Another was an in-depth feature involving a reporter named Ashley Terrill who claimed she was harassed and surveilled by a Tinder co-founder.

The editor-in-chief of investigative magazine Mother Jones has called Thiel’s campaign part of a “pattern of press intimidation“; the director of the First Amendment Coalition said it could have a “chilling effect” and make “editors … think twice before writing another critical story”; and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s journalism school called Thiel’s plot “sinister” and “especially troubling” because “even a successful digital publisher can be threatened with ruin by a concerted litigation attack.”

Thiel, of course, doesn’t see things this way. His strategy of “specific deterrence,” as he dubbed his intentional legal harassment of a disfavored news organization, represents another way, should Trump find himself unable to “open up” libel laws, for the wealthy and powerful to silence their critics — or anyone, really. Both Thiel and Trump, despite being wealthy white American men and therefore essentially disqualified from victimhood, have somehow cast themselves simultaneously as bullied and bully, and will find in Cleveland an audience of potential voters who feel the same way, both about the media and themselves.

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Saudi Arabia’s PR Machine Uses the 28 Pages to Blame Iran for 9/11 Attacks

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 18:17

Last Friday the U.S. government finally released 28 pages of a 2002 congressional report that detail possible ties between the Saudi Arabian government and the 9/11 hijackers.

The document lists various forms of assistance provided by Saudi agents to the hijackers, including help finding a flight school and various forms of financial support when the hijackers arrived in the United States. Many of the findings in the report have not been fully vetted as several of the Saudi agents named in the 28 pages have refused to cooperate.

But that has not stopped Saudi-funded lobbyists and media outlets from claiming that the disclosure of the 28 pages ends all speculation about the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terror attacks. Several outlets controlled by Saudi Arabia’s vast public relations machine are trumpeting the document as a vindication that closes the door on any suggestion that the Saudi government had any ties to the 9/11 terrorists.

“The question of Saudi involvement in 9/11 should be entirely put to rest,” said Fran Townsend, a former Bush administration official, in a 28 pages-related video posted on social media this week. The video was produced by Focus Washington, an interview series managed by Qorvis MSL, a lobbying firm retained by the Saudi government to influence American policymakers. The Saudi Embassy Twitter account distributed the video.

Watch: Frances Townsend on the release of the 28 pages https://t.co/vGcaCswgYI

— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) July 20, 2016

Other media outlets with ties to the Saudi government have used the 28 pages to dismiss concerns about Saudi involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Andrew Bowen, writing for al Arabiya, declares that the document ends any “conspiracy” that the Saudi government provided support to the hijackers. Another al Arabiya columnist, Turki Aldakhil, goes a step further, and in a piece about the 28 pages (“The Sept. 11 road began from Tehran”), attempts to claim that the declassified document should raise questions about Iran. The 28 ages, notably, does not include any information about Iran, and in contrast to Aldakhil’s claims, Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah is at war with al Qaeda.

Al Arabiya is an English language news outlet controlled by members of the Saudi Royal family. As we’ve reported, the outlet has responded quickly to other Saudi-related controversies to push stories that reflect a narrative promoted by the Saudi government.

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Folha’s Journalistic Fraud Far Worse Than We Reported Yesterday: A Smoking Gun Emerges

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 18:15

(A versão deste artigo em português será publicada em breve)

  • Polling data concealed by Folha shows a large majority want Temer to resign: directly contradicting Folha‘s key claim
  • 62% of Brazilians want Dilma and Temer to quit and new elections held: not 3% as Folha stated
  • Incriminating data was published, then un-published, by Datafolha: discovered yesterday by a Brazilian website
  • Response from Folha‘s Executive Editor – they withheld data that was not “journalistically relevant” – cannot withstand scrutiny

On Wednesday, The Intercept published an article documenting the extraordinary journalistic fraud committed by Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, in radically distorting the views of Brazilians on the key questions of the country’s political crisis. Specifically, Folha blasted headlines to the country announcing that 50% of Brazilians now want the extremely unpopular interim President, Michel Temer, to complete Dilma’s term and remain as president through 2018, while only 3% favor new elections and only 4% want both Dilma and Temer to resign. That was at squarely odds with prior polling showing vast majorities opposed to Temer and favoring new elections. As we documented, the actual polling data – which Folha‘s polling firm, Datafolha, only published days after the article – did not remotely support Folha‘s claims.

But after our article was published, much more evidence was found – through amazing collaborative work by internet sleuths – showing how extreme Folha‘s behavior was, including the discovery of a smoking gun proving that it was much worse than we knew when we published yesterday. Do not let the fact that this story involves polling data and methodologies obscure how significant this episode is:

Weeks before the conclusion of the country’s most virulent political conflict in at least a generation – the final Senate vote on Dilma’s impeachment – Folha, Brazil’s largest and most influential newspaper, not only distorted, but actively concealed, crucial polling data that completely negated what they “reported”: data which establishes that a large majority of Brazilians want “interim President” Michel Temer to resign, not remain in office as the paper claimed. Put simply, this is one of the most remarkable, flagrant and serious cases of journalistic malfeasance one can imagine.

After our article was published yesterday, the full-scale unravelling of Folha‘s story began when Brad Brooks, Reuters’ Chief Correspondent for Brazil, noted an extraordinary discrepancy: while Folha trumpeted on its front-page that only 3% of Brazilians want new elections and 50% want Temer to stay, the paper’s polling firm, Datafolha, had issued a press release with the published data announcing that 60% of Brazilians actually want new elections. Just compare this amazing contradiction:

Graphic on left from Datafolha: “60 favor new elections” – Graphic on right from Folha: “3% favor elections”

How could this be? We immediately contacted Datafolha to ask this, but by then our story had been picked up by most media outlets in Brazil and became a national controversy, so they were refusing to talk to us further. They just simply would not explain this major discrepancy.

But this discovery led to another towering question: in the underlying questions and data published by Datafolha, there was nothing showing that 60% of Brazilians favored new elections, as the firm’s headline described. It was clear that Datafolha only published some of the questions they asked, not all. That’s because the questions were numbered, and the published document only included the questions numbered 7-10, 12-13, and 21. That is not itself uncommon or wrong (newspapers often withhold polling questions on different topics in order to roll out the reporting in stages), but it was bizarre that none of the questions Datafolha published supported or even related to its headline. So where did that 60% number – one that directly contradicted Folha‘s front-page report – come from?

The answer was discovered through outstanding investigative work by the website Tijolaço. First, led by Fernando Brito, they realized that Datafolha’s published document containing the underlying polling data and questions – the document that we cited in our article to show that Folha‘s reporting was false – had a URL that ended with “v2,” which meant that it was the second version of the document published by Datafolha. So they searched for the first version, but it not on Datafolha’s site. Although the first version had apparently been unpublished by Datafolha, it was still a live link on their server, and, guessing the correct URL, Tijolaço was able to locate and download it.

What they found there – which Datafolha apparently had unpublished – was stunning. It proved that Folha‘s story was an absolute journalistic fraud. Included in that first version was Question 14, which asked:

“A situation that could happen is new presidential elections in Brazil if Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer resign their office. Do you favor or oppose Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer resigning in order to convene new elections this year for the Presidency of the Republic?”

The unpublished data from Datafolha shows that 62% of Brazilians favor the resignations of Dilma and Temer and then new elections held, while 30% oppose that solution. That means that – contrary to Folha’s claim that only 3% want new elections and 50% of Brazilians want Temer to stay as president through 2018 – at least 62% of Brazilians, a large majority, want Temer to resign now.

The facts are even worse for Folha (and Temer): the percentage of Brazilians that wants Temer to resign now is certainly much higher even than this 62%. That’s because Datafolha’s question asked whether people favor the resignations of both Temer and Dilma. Many of those who answered “no” – as the data breakdown shows – are members of PT (Dilma’s party) and/or want Lula to be President in 2018, which means they answered “no” not because they want Temer to stay, but because they want Dilma to return. So – just as Ibope found in April – it is only a very small minority of the country that wants Temer as their president: the exact opposite of what Folha “reported.”

This was not the only missing data that Tijolaço discovered when they found the first version of the published data. As they explain in a comprehensive account of what they did, there were two full paragraphs written by Datafolha summarizing this vita polling data that were also removed from the published second version, including this sentence: “a majority (62%) declared themselves in favor of a new election for the office of president.”

Tijolaço also discovered a separately concealed question – Question 11 – that is the most favorable yet for Dilma on the question of impeachment, which Folha omitted. Datafolha asked:

“In your opinion, is the process of impeachment against president Dilma Rousseff following democratic rules and the Constitution, or is it disrespecting democratic rules and the Constitution”?

Only 49% said impeachment complies with democratic rules and the Constitution, while 37% said it did not. When purporting to describe the views of the country about impeachment, how could Folha possibly conceal this very surprising and significant data?

Last night, Folha published a response in the form of a news article that described what it called the “controversy” provoked by our article. It glided over, and in many cases ignored, most of these key questions.

The Folha article did note that contrary to its own previous claim that only 3% of Brazilians want new elections, “the percentage that favors new elections increases to 62% when the polling firm asked about this explicitly.” And it included the two questions it had previously kept hidden: one showing that a majority wants Temer to quit, the other showing a large minority viewing impeachment as a violation of democracy (Folha failed to mention that this new data had, in fact, already been published earlier that day by Tijolaço):

But the paper nonetheless insisted it did nothing wrong by hiding this data. It quoted its own executive editor, Sérgio Dávila, as arguing that it is “the prerogative of the paper to chose what it believes is ‘most journalistically relevant’ when it decides to publish a poll.” Dávila argued that “the question about Dilma and Temer both resigning did not appear particularly noteworthy because it was known from prior polling and because, in the current political landscape, that option is not really considered any longer.”

It’s impossible to overstate how irrational this response is, and how much Folha‘s Executive Editor is counting on the gullibility of his readers. The biggest takeaway by far from Folha‘s reporting was that the country is happy to have Temer remain as president through 2018, and only a tiny percentage want new elections. But while Folha reported this, they were holding in their hands the data that proved these claims to be 100% false, showing that literally the opposite was true. A large majority of Brazilians wants Temer to quit, not remain as president. And a large majority, not a tiny fringe, wants new elections.

None of Dávila’s excuses withstand even the slightest scrutiny. If it’s journalistically irrelevant to know what percentage of Brazilians favor new elections, why did Folha have their polling firm ask this? If this question about new elections is irrelevant, why was this data not only included, but prominently highlighted in its headline, by Datafolha in their original release? Why, if this data is irrelevant, did Datafolha publish it originally, only to then un-publish it by posting a second version that excluded it? And how can this data be deemed by Folha to be journalistically irrelevant when it directly contradicts the claims they hyped on their front page that were then amplified by the country’s largest media outlets?

Other media outlets certainly don’t view this data as irrelevant. The Brazilian edition of El Pais last night published a news account with the headline: “62% support new elections, according to data that Datafolha now publishes.” The El Pais article casts the story as much as a media scandal as it does a political one, as it describes how Folha hid this data until it was found as a result of our story. Indeed, El Pais published a separate story yesterday quoting experts who echoed the ones we interviewed, harshly criticizing Folha for how they misused this polling data.

Headline: “62% support new elections, according to data that Datafolha now publishes.”

Most amazingly of all, this was all done in service of denying the need for democracy: deceiving the country into believing that most Brazilians support the person who seized power undemocratically and that there is no need for elections, when in fact the majority of the country wants this “interim President” to quit and new elections to be held to choose the legitimate leader.

As we noted yesterday, it’s impossible to say whether Folha acted with deliberate intent to deceive or with extreme journalistic ineptitude and recklessness, although evidence suggesting the former is certainly more abundant now than it was yesterday. But motives aside, what is now beyond debate is that Folha misled the country in fundamental ways about this generation’s most consequential political conflict, and hid from the public vital evidence that they only admitted existed once they got caught red-handed doing all this.

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The post Folha’s Journalistic Fraud Far Worse Than We Reported Yesterday: A Smoking Gun Emerges appeared first on The Intercept.

Edward Snowden’s New Research Aims to Keep Smartphones from Betraying Their Owners

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 15:34

In early 2012, Marie Colvin, an acclaimed international journalist from New York, entered the besieged city of Homs, Syria while reporting for London’s Sunday Times. She wrote of a difficult journey involving “a smugglers’ route, which I promised not to reveal, climbing over walls in the dark and slipping into muddy trenches.” Despite the covert approach, Syrian forces still managed to get to Colvin; under orders to “kill any journalist that set foot on Syrian soil,” they bombed the makeshift media center she was working in, killing her and one other journalist, and injuring two others.

Syrian forces may have found Colvin by tracing her phone, according to a lawsuit filed by Colvin’s family this month. Syrian military intelligence used “signal interception devices to monitor satellite dish and cell phone communications and trace journalists’ locations,” the suit says.

In dangerous environments like war-torn Syria, smartphones become indispensable tools for journalists, human rights workers, and activists. But at the same time they become especially potent tracking devices that can put users in mortal danger by leaking their location.

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has been working with prominent hardware hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang to solve this problem. The pair are developing a way for potentially imperiled smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions. They argue that a smartphone’s user interface can’t be relied to tell you the truth about that state of its radios. Their initial prototyping work uses an iPhone 6.

“We have to ensure that journalists can investigate and find the truth, even in areas where governments prefer they don’t,” Snowden told me in a video interview.“It’s basically to make the phone work for you, how you want it, when you want it, but only when.”

Huang made a name for himself by using a technique known as reverse engineering to hack into Microsoft’s Xbox and other hardware devices locked down using various forms of encryption, and Snowden said he’s been an invaluable research partner.

“When I worked at the NSA I worked with some incredibly talented people,” Snowden said, “but I’ve never worked with anybody who had such an incredible outpouring of expertise than I have with Bunnie.”

Snowden and Huang presented their findings in a talk at MIT Media Lab’s Forbidden Research event today, and published a detailed paper.

Location Privacy and Smartphones

Smartphones come with a variety of different types of radio transmitters and receivers: cellular modems (for phone calls, SMS messages, and mobile data), wifi, bluetooth, and others. But using any of these radios could leak your physical location to an adversary who is watching the airwaves.

Journalists and activists use their phones to communicate with sources and colleagues, post updates and livestream to social media, and to accomplish countless other networked tasks. If they need to keep their location secret, for example in a war zone, they need to turn off all of the radios within their phones. Even so, phones can still be vital tools even when offline; internet access is not needed to take photographs, record video or audio, take notes, use certain maps, or manage schedules.

Snowden and Huang have been researching if it’s possible to use a smartphone in such an offline manner without leaking its location, starting with the assumption that “a phone can and will be compromised.” After all, journalists and activists are often under-resourced and face off against well-funded intelligence services. They also, necessarily, use their phones to talk to, and open documents from, a wide variety of sources, leaving them especially vulnerable to targeted phishing, or “spearphishing,” attacks, where an attacker baits a victim into opening an enticing document that actually contains an exploit.

The research is necessary in part because most common way to try and silence a phone’s radio — turning on airplane mode — can’t be relied on to squelch your phone’s radio traffic. “Malware packages, peddled by hackers at a price accessible by private individuals, can activate radios without any indication from the user interface,” Snowden and Huang explain in their blog post. “Trusting a phone that has been hacked to go into airplane mode is like trusting a drunk person to judge if they are sober enough to drive.”

Concept art for the Introspection Engine

Image: Andrew Huang

Introspection Engine

Since a smartphone can essentially be made to lie about that state of its radios, the goal of Snowden and Huang’s research, according to their post, is to “provide field-ready tools that enable a reporter to observe and investigate the status of the phone’s radios directly and independently of the phone’s native hardware.” In other words, they want to build an entirely separate tiny computer that users can attach to a smartphone to alert them if it’s being dishonest about its radio emissions.

Snowden and Haung are calling this device an “introspection engine” because it will inspect the inner-workings of the phone. The device will be contained inside a battery case, looking similar to a smartphone with an extra bulky battery, except with its own screen to update the user on the status of the radios. Plans are for the device to also be able to sound an audible alarm and possibly to also come equipped with a “kill switch” that can shut off power to the phone if any radio signals are detected. “The core principle is simple,” they wrote in the blog post. “If the reporter expects radios to be off, alert the user when they are turned on.”

The introspection engine also must fit a number of design goals, including: It should be entirely open source, with open hardware, to make it easy for experts to inspect; it should operate in a separate “security domain” than the phone. Basically, the introspection engine should work even if the phone is hacked and actively lying to you; it should have a simple and intuitive user interface and require no special training to use; it should be usable on a daily basis with minimal impact on workflow.

Introspection engines don’t exist yet, and the research Snowden and Huang presented today is only the beginning. In order to begin work on a prototype, the pair needed to pick a specific model of smartphone to target. They chose the 4.7 inch iPhone 6, based on their understanding of “the current preferences and tastes of reporters.” However, introspection engines could be designed for any model phone.

Jacking Into the iPhone

Huang, an American who currently lives in Singapore, traveled to the metropolis of Shenzhen, China to explore the electronics markets of Hua Qiang, which he described as “ground zero for the trade and practice of iPhone repair.” While there, he bought spare parts and repair manuals that contained detailed blueprints of the target device.

Testing the electrical signals from the iPhone 6.

Photo: Andrew Huang

Using information gleaned from these manuals, Snowden and Huang discovered that the iPhone’s logic board has several test points designed by the manufacturer which can be exploited to learn the status of various on-board radios. These test points, which are built-in to many consumer devices, are crucial to improving customer experience. When a customer returns a defective device, engineers rely on them to determine the cause of the defect.

Snowden and Huang discovered twelve test points that could be used to monitor the status of the cellular radios, the GPS radio, and the wifi and bluetooth radios. While they didn’t find a test point to monitor the Near Field Communication chip, the part that makes Apple Pay possible, they discovered that they could disconnect its antenna, vastly reducing its range.

They don’t think that modifying an iPhone 6 to install an introspection device could be done by just anyone, but “any technician with modest soldering skills can be trained to perform these operations reliably in about 1-2 days of practice on scrap motherboards.”

Supply Chain

The next step is to develop a working prototype, which Snowden and Bunnie hope to complete over the next year. Their blog post says that the project is currently operating on a “shoestring budget” and “donated time.”

If it proves successful, they may seek funding through the Freedom of the Press Foundation to develop and maintain a supply chain. The non-profit, of which both I and Snowden are board members, could then distribute iPhones that have been modified to include introspection devices to journalists that work in dangerous environments to use in the field.

 

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The post Edward Snowden’s New Research Aims to Keep Smartphones from Betraying Their Owners appeared first on The Intercept.

Dual Use

IMI Tübingen - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 12:05
Am Abend des 25. Juli 2016 wird im Lenbachhaus in München die Ausstellung FAVORITEN III: NEUE KUNST AUS MÜNCHEN eröffnet und dann bis 30. Oktober zu sehen sein. Teil der Ausstellung ist die Video-Installation DUAL USE I-V von Franz Wanner. (…)

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Wanderausstellung zum Aktionstag der Kampagne „Fluchtursachen bekämpfen“

Indymedia antimil - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 10:58
von: OTKM Stuttgart am: 21.07.2016 - 10:58

Mit einem Dutzend Personen schwärmten wir am Samstagmittag des 9.Juli 2016 in das Stuttgarter Straßenbahnnetz aus, um mit einer Wanderausstellung auf Krieg als Fluchtursache aufmerksam zu machen. Aufgeteilt in zwei Gruppen haben wir vielfach Plakate verklebt und Flyer an Mitfahrende verteilt. Eine Durchsage machte die Passagiere auf die Themen der fahrenden Ausstellung aufmerksam.

Link zum Video / Stream: https://www.youtube.com/w...

Video zum Aktionstag der Kampagne „Fluchtursachen bekämpfen“

Indymedia antimil - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 10:55
von: OTKM Stuttgart am: 21.07.2016 - 10:55

Die Spritztour durchs U-Bahnnetz fand im Rahmen des Aktionstages „Fluchtursachen bekämpfen“ statt - von der auch das Offene Treffen gegen Krieg und Militariserung Stuttgart (OTKM) ein Teil ist. Als antimilitaristisches Treffen rückten wir dabei Kriege als Verursacher von Flucht ins Zentrum. Im Kontext der Kampagne wird am 29. Oktober 2016 eine Großdemonstration in Nürnberg stattfinden. Aus Stuttgart wird es eine gemeinsame Anreise organisiert. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUlA2jb0Ah8

Ted Cruz Booed and Heckled for Refusing to Endorse Donald Trump

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 05:17

In a remarkable show of disunity at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Sen. Ted Cruz was booed and heckled by many delegates on Wednesday night as it became clear that he had no intention of endorsing Donald Trump for the presidency.

Cruz, who called Trump “a pathological liar” and “utterly amoral” when he dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination in May, refused to follow the lead of two of the other defeated candidates, Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio, who did endorse the billionaire in their speeches.

Watching Cruz give what seemed like a campaign speech for himself, Trump’s children sat in silence. Then there were cheers and a ripple of applause from the delegates as Cruz looked into the camera and said, “to those listening, please don’t stay home in November.”

Cruz was then jeered as he pointedly stopped short of asking Americans to vote for Trump, the man who had mocked the senator’s wife as unattractive and suggested that his immigrant father might have been involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Republican delegates surprised that Cruz didn't endorse guy that suggested his father was involved in JFK assassination. So they boo him.

— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) July 21, 2016

“If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience — vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the constitution.”

As reporters in the hall noted, Trump supporters, led by the New York delegation directly in front of the stage, chanted for Cruz to endorse Trump, yelled “say it!” and heckled and booed him when he did not.

Delegates scream "Trump! Trump!" at @SenTedCruz and "Wrap it up!" Booed for not endorsing @realDonaldTrumpz pic.twitter.com/ZYpJqSfwsO

— James Rosen (@JamesRosenFNC) July 21, 2016

Trump crowd turning on Cruz pic.twitter.com/BCjUp2Aiv4

— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) July 21, 2016

Here are the boos as Cruz refuses to endorse Trump: #RNCinCLE pic.twitter.com/RPo15m39S2

— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) July 21, 2016

That is louder than any boo Hillary Clinton got here.

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) July 21, 2016

The booing intensified as Cruz wrapped up his speech, and was interrupted only by the sudden appearance in the hall of Donald Trump, who upstaged the speaker by making his way to his seat even before the senator finished speaking.

Donald Trump just walked into #RNCinCLE convention hall as Sen. Ted Cruz ended speech, stealing crowd's attention pic.twitter.com/vdXSnmmpgY

— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) July 21, 2016

The booing, mixed with some applause from the senator’s supporters, continued as Cruz finally concluded his remarks and left the stage.

How the Cruz boos sounded from the floor pic.twitter.com/SJzYoPBQgt

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 21, 2016

cruz's reception from the crowd takes me back to when I used to debate him in college. pretty much same reactions.

— Austan Goolsbee (@Austan_Goolsbee) July 21, 2016

The senator’s wife, Heidi Cruz, was also reportedly heckled and threatened as she was escorted from the convention floor.

HEIDI CRUZ escorted out by security as crowd gets angry at Cruz for his speech. One Trump supporter shouting "Goldman Sachs!" at her

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 21, 2016

Angry Ken Cuccinelli escorting Heidi Cruz out as Trump supporters yell at her pic.twitter.com/G6USuhoSx2

— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) July 21, 2016

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The post Ted Cruz Booed and Heckled for Refusing to Endorse Donald Trump appeared first on The Intercept.

Black Cleveland Residents Tell Tale of Two Cities in the Shadow of Republican Convention

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 00:28

A day after Republican National Convention speakers discussed how to “make America safe again,” a group of young Clevelanders held their own “make America safe again” event at a downtown park.

As police officers on horseback and bikes fended off a small rally down the block and helicopters buzzed overhead, the group of mostly of black and Latino college students huddled around a picnic table Tuesday and talked about how irrelevant and offensive the Republican event is to many residents of its host city.

“America has never been safe for some people,” said Alice Ragland as she flipped through handwritten slides on the history of American oppression, from the genocide of Native Americans to the lynching of blacks. “For some of us, it has not been a great place to live.”

The students, who branded themselves on social media #CLEoverRNC, riffing off the ubiquitous #RNCinCLE hashtag, hoped to reclaim space in a city that this week has largely excluded Cleveland residents — particularly those of color and little means in what remains one of America’s poorest and most segregated cities.

Students in Cleveland who have branded themselves on social media #CLEoverRNC.

Photo: Dan T. Peters/The Intercept

“I was pissed off when I first found out that the convention was going to happen here, because the reason why Cleveland is in such condition is because of the conservative politics that they’re going to be talking about here,” said Ragland.

“In a city where we have a huge problem with police violence, racial discrimination, economic oppression, where a 12-year-old was killed for having a fake gun, knowing they’re going to be in that same city talking about all those racist policies, and devaluing black lives… for me it’s kind of a slap in the face. It’s insulting.”

As the massive protests many had predicted ahead of the convention failed to materialize in the streets of Cleveland, the groups that did show up were notably light on black and brown Cleveland locals.

“Having this big ceremony here, where you’re going to hear people say things that are anti-black and anti-minority and anti-women, it’s just another reason for people not to care, clock out, stay to the far east or far west and far away from all this,” said Dwight Vincent, a student at the gathering. “And that just makes it easier for them to be forgotten and ignored.”

Protest was the furthest thing from many Clevelanders’ minds right now, added Tatyana Atkinson, pointing out that already inefficient public transportation into the city was largely disrupted because of the convention — and that many with hourly, low-wage jobs found themselves out of work for the week. “How do you expect residents whom this is affecting every day to be here and protest if they can’t even get here?”

She also took issue with the $50 million in federal funding the city of Cleveland received to secure the convention — echoing what several people referred to as a “tale of two cities.”

“[They’re] putting $50 million into the city but not putting $50 million into the city, she said. “They got all this money for this fun military-grade weapons for a city that already has use-of-force issues, and they just get to keep these weapons to use them against us every day. So the Republicans came, they kept them safe, and now they hurt us every single day afterwards,” she said. “Yay.”

With most protests limited to a few hundred peaceful participants, much of the equipment the city acquired ahead of the convention remained out of sight, though the event zone surrounding the convention was barricaded in a labyrinthine system of gated off streets, and the police presence, if largely cordial, was ubiquitous. Uniformed law enforcement visibly outnumbered the people taking to the streets.

Officers from a dozen law enforcement agencies from as far away as California and Florida patrolled downtown Cleveland mostly on foot and on bikes, greeting people and maintaining a laid-back attitude. But as soon as rallies grew larger or more raucous, officers on horseback showed up to disperse them, and the squads of cops on bikes were reinforced with squads of cops riding bikes while also wearing riot gear.

As of Wednesday, the largest shows of police force were in response to a Tuesday rally against police violence organized by mostly out-of-town members of the leftist Revolution Books group and to a group attempting to burn a U.S. flag on Wednesday afternoon. At the first rally, protesters held signs carrying the names of black victims of police brutality in Cleveland and elsewhere, chanting “indict, convict, send these killer cops to jail” and other slogans that have become the trademark of the movement that started in Ferguson, Missouri. But the Cleveland protest was much smaller than similar ones taking place even in recent weeks in cities across the country, and it was quickly dispersed with no incidents.

Civil rights advocates warned against considering that a success, however. They noted that police didn’t need to turn to more suppressive crowd dispersal tactics largely because they had already intimidated most people out of attending in the first place.

“There are police everywhere, they have massive weapons, and this creates a chilling effect on people’s willingness to come downtown and engage in their free speech rights and right of assembly,” Jaqueline Greene, a coordinator with the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild told The Intercept as a line of officers on horseback blocked off a road by Cleveland’s Public Square, the heart of most rallies. “We’re at a breaking point in terms of racial justice issues and it’s critical that those conversations happen but the appropriate response is not militarized police and it is not the chilling of expression of first amendment rights.”

Julia Shearson, the executive director of Ohio’s chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told The Intercept that some 4,000 members of the National Guard were stationed down the road from her office.

“What’s happened is that we have incredible suppression of public participation in the protest movement, so many people stayed away, even regular people who would maybe just want to come down and see what’s going on, because this has been turned into an armed camp,” she said. “That’s not how the political process should be. If the politicians are so afraid of the people I think they need to question what kinds of policies they’re making vis-a-vis the people.”

Shearson was speaking from a small Tuesday morning rally against police violence, as Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was escorted into the convention center followed by dozens of journalists and a couple boos and shouts of “shame on you.”

The rhetoric and hatefulness from speakers on the convention’s first night were also a deterrent to many locals, Shearson said. She singled out former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for calling the Black Lives Matter movement “racist.”

“You cannot get more tone-deaf to the suffering of the African-American community,” she said. “It doesn’t help law enforcement to have this vehement, bigoted response to what are legitimate grievances … People are so dejected and so apathetic and have so little hope in the American political system to solve the problem.”

Speaking at the same Tuesday morning rally, professor and civil rights activist Cornel West told reporters that because the political class failed, someone had to keep pushing for justice and an end to racism.

“Some of us have to stand up for justice, love, sensitivity,” he said. “If the party wants to live in a bubble, if they want to live in denial, then they’re going to reap what they sow. But I’m not here to convince the Republicans.”

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Chamber of Commerce May Prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump

The Intercept - Engl. - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 00:16

The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday signaled that the big-business community is still undecided between newly-minted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Chamber President Tom Donohue’s statements to Fox Business News on Wednesday morning represented an astonishing break from the organization’s nearly invariable support for Republican candidates.

“Trump talks about some important things in energy and taxes and financial areas,” Donohue said. “Hillary perhaps has more experience and businessmen like that — businessmen and women like that — but I don’t think that’ll be decided until you hear the speeches here and next week and you see the first debate, and I think people will start to move more clearly to where they’re going to vote.”

Chief among Donohue’s complaints about Trump was his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We need a trade deal that opens markets for us,” Donohue complained. “I like where he says we’ve got to get a little tougher on some of the fulfillment. But you want to stop trade? You want to get rid of NAFTA? NAFTA is 14 million jobs in the United States.”

The Chamber spent tens of millions of dollars backing GOP candidates and attacking President Barack Obama during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Although the organization remains supportive of congressional Republicans, it has clashed with Trump over international trade agreements. Trump has said the Chamber should “fight harder” for workers.

Donohue has also suggested that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would implement the TPP — a major chamber priority — despite her current position of opposing the agreement.

In a blog post on Monday, Donohue asked of both candidates: “Will they promote an agenda to support jobs, growth, and prosperity? Or will they advance more of the same failed policies that have delivered slow growth, the lowest labor participation rate ever, and falling incomes?” And he noted “U.S. businesses are coming under attack from the left and the right.”

The Chamber has been almost invisible at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Top photo: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce building in Washington, D.C.

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Das Druckmittel Sezession

German Foreign Policy - Gio, 21/07/2016 - 00:00
(Eigener Bericht) - Berlin und London setzen trotz des britischen Austritts aus der EU auf eine weiterhin enge ökonomische Kooperation. Dies erklärten Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel und die britische Premierministerin Theresa May am gestrigen Mittwoch. Berlin trägt mit dieser Ankündigung Forderungen der deutschen Wirtschaft Rechnung, deren drittwichtigster Markt und zweitgrößter Investitionsstandort Großbritannien ist; einen "hässlichen Scheidungskrieg" dürfe man keinesfalls riskieren, heißt es in Wirtschaftskreisen. Allerdings behält Berlin spezielle Druckmittel gegen London in der Hand. Berliner Politiker befeuern den schottischen Separatismus; EU-Parlamentspräsident Martin Schulz hat Gespräche mit der schottischen Regierungschefin Nicola Sturgeon aufgenommen, obwohl mindestens ein EU-Mitglied, Spanien, ausdrücklich erklärt hat, sein Veto gegen einen EU-Beitritt Schottlands nach einer etwaigen Abspaltung von Großbritannien einzulegen. Kanzlerin Merkel hat darüber hinaus begonnen, mit dem irischen Ministerpräsidenten Enda Kenny Gespräche über die Gestaltung der Beziehungen zwischen Dublin und London nach dem britischen Austritt zu führen. Beide Politikfelder sind eskalationsfähig und bieten Berlin die Möglichkeit, Großbritannien bei Bedarf existenziellen Schaden zuzufügen.

Tor Could Protect Your Smart Fridge From Spies and Hackers

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 23:26

There’s a growing fear that the exploding internet of things — from baby cams to pacemakers — could be a goldmine for spies and criminal hackers, allowing them access to all kinds of personal photos, videos, audio recordings, and other data. It’s a concern bolstered by remarks from top national security officials.

But protecting homes from digital invaders doesn’t have to be difficult, argues Nathan Freitas, director of The Guardian Project, which brings together software developers and activists.

He teamed up with the developers of a simple open source platform that can track and control internet connected devices throughout the home. Called Home Assistant, the software can be configured to incorporate strong security that already exists: the Tor Project’s anonymous browsing services.

Here’s how it works: you log into your computer or phone through a Tor browser — basically an anonymized version of the internet you normally use. Tor will bounce the signal across the world, making it impossible to know from where exactly you’re connecting. Then, you connect to your device at home through Tor’s hidden onion service. “Nobody knows who you are connecting to or what you are seeing except you,” reads a slideshow explaining the concept on Github, an open software development hosting service.

Tor is preferable, the presentation suggests, to connecting through the open internet, which often doesn’t have encryption or other protections and is easily hackable. It’s also better than connecting to a cloud service, which can store and sometimes share or monetize the information you share. (Though some cloud services are more private than others, and can include strong encryption so the hosting company can’t access the content stored there.)

“We’ve seen time and time again, from all of the early devices out there, be it cars, cameras, or fridges, …they’re making the same mistakes with security that apps have done, that web browsers have done,” Freitas said in an interview with The Intercept. “There’s no transport security” beyond “setting a password.”

Freitas said he realized that Tor’s features, which are often used for SecureDrop or other whistleblowing applications, could be used by anyone. “What if everyone had it in their homes and that only they could connect to it,” he said.

He compared the incorporation of Tor — free, secure, and partially funded by the U.S. government — to WhatsApp and other apps that integrate Open Whisper System’s end-to-end encryption into their code, protecting mobile phone users and their conversations from hackers and surveillance. “With the internet of things, it’s the same thing,” he said. “You want to be able to connect. You shouldn’t have to trade off that desire with the idea that someone will be monitoring you.”

The test was limited to the partnership with Home Assistant, which controls in-home devices, and doesn’t demonstrate exactly how the same system will be applied to more complex internet connected devices like cars, however.

Tor has bandwidth restrictions because it relies on other computers to “donate” bandwidth to bounce signals around the world, so home devices might run more slowly, depending on the service. A baby camera needs a lot of bandwidth, so connecting to Tor might make it challenging for in-home systems to do more than stream choppy video, such as sending notifications when movement is detected — a popular feature in some home-surveillance systems. For things like adjusting a home thermostat, the lag would probably be less. And the tradeoff of having a more secure baby monitor might be preferable, even if the connection is slow.

If vendors consider incorporating Tor into their products, they’ll also have to consider how the software might be updated when the Tor Project pushes security patches, or else it will remain vulnerable when bugs are discovered.

The proof of concept project isn’t in the product phase, says Freitas — but maybe someday it can be installed in home systems. “Our goal is to show this can work and hopefully advocate towards commercial product vendors,” he said.

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Tim Kaine, Possible Hillary Clinton Pick for Vice President, Goes to Bat for Banks

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 23:00

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, considered a leading contender for the Democratic vice presidential nomination, has spent this week signaling to the financial industry that he’ll go to bat for them.

On Monday, Kaine signed onto two letters, one to federal banking regulators and the other to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, urging them to loosen regulations on certain financial players. The timing of the letters, sent while Kaine is being vetted for the top of the ticket, could show potential financial industry donors that he is willing to serve as an ally on their regulatory issues.

In the letters, Kaine is offering to support community banks, credit unions, and even large regional banks. While separate from the Wall Street mega-banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, these financial institutions often partner with the larger industry to fight regulations and can be hostile to government efforts to safeguard the public, especially if it crimps their profits.

They also represent a key source of donor funds, one that has trended away from Democrats. The Independent Community Bankers of America have given 74 percent of their $873,949 in donations this cycle to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Regional banks like PNC Financial Services, SunTrust Bank, and First Republic Bank, have given even higher percentages to the Republicans.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her vice presidential pick on Friday. Kaine, if selected, could now help woo fundraising dollars away from Republicans, because he’s able to point to his support for financial industry causes. The letters also show Hillary Clinton’s campaign how Kaine could be an asset with banking interests on the fundraising trail.

The letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, signed by a bipartisan coalition of 16 Democrats and every Republican senator, asked that the consumer agency “carefully tailor its regulations” to exempt community banks and credit unions. It posits these smaller banks as “essential to spurring economic growth and prosperity at a local level.”

While this seems benign, tailoring rules that exempt large classes of financial institutions leaves consumers vulnerable to deceptive practices. A rule of this type could allow community banks and credit unions to sell high-risk mortgages or personal loans without the disclosure and ability to pay rules in place across the industry.

The fact that the entire Republican caucus, from Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to Mitch McConnell, supports this idea suggests that it’s not necessarily a bipartisan measure but a Republican desire that a few Democrats agree with. Kaine counts himself among those Democrats.

The second letter, sent to the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, seeks to protect an even bigger subset of banks, the large regional institutions like PNC and SunTrust. Kaine and three Democratic colleagues want regulators to change certain rules so they don’t apply to these regional banks.

Some regional banks have become so large that they may reach a threshold triggering daily reporting requirements under the liquidity coverage ratio rule, which requires qualifying banks to hold enough assets to cover a 30-day period of financial stress. Kaine and his colleagues argue that would “impose significant burdens on the firms” and want the regulators to alter that threshold and exempt all regional banks, regardless of size.

Next, Kaine and his fellow senators want to eliminate so-called “advanced approaches” capital requirements — which governs the ratio of reserves banks must carry to cover potential losses — for regional banks, even if they have over $250 billion in assets. The rule “captures many regional banks that do not share the same risk profile or complexity as their larger, systemically important brethren,” the senators write.

In fact, regional banks with over $50 billion in assets like PNC, BB&T, SunTrust, and Regions Financial, are among the 33 subject to annual stress tests by the Federal Reserve. In an interconnected financial system, a large regional bank that gets into trouble has as much chance of creating ripple effects as a mega-bank. It’s unclear why they should be exempted from regulations deemed appropriate for all facets of the financial sector.

While Kaine has focused on protecting banks this week, he has apparently been less concerned for consumers. He was one of 13 Democrats who did not sign onto a separate letter authored by Senate Banking Committee Chairperson Sherrod Brown, supporting a strengthening of new rules for payday lenders, so borrowers don’t continue to get trapped in a vortex of debt.

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“Guantánamo Diary” Author Cleared for Release After 14-Year Imprisonment

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 22:22

An interagency review board has determined that Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi poses no threat to the United States and has recommended that he be released, setting the bestselling author on the path to be reunited with his family.

Slahi was arrested in his native Mauritania in 2001, and was held and tortured in secret prisons in Afghanistan and Jordan before being secreted to Guantánamo, an odyssey he recounted in a memoir, Guantánamo Diary, which became a bestseller last year. He has been imprisoned for over 14 years without being charged with a crime.

In early June, Slahi made his case to the Periodic Review Board as part of a sort of parole process instituted by the Obama administration to evaluate the cases of the remaining men at Guantanamo to determine if they might be safely transferred to another country.

At that hearing, Slahi’s advocates, including his lawyer and two representatives from the military, described his plans to continue writing and to start a small business, and noted the strong network of family and other supporters who could help him. They spoke to his unusual language skills and warm relationship with his lawyers and even the guards assigned to him. The military representatives described him as “an advocate for peace,” and stated that they were “certain that Mohamedou’s intentions after Guantánamo are genuine, and that he possesses sound judgment, and that he is good for his word.” One former guard submitted a letter attesting that he “would be pleased to welcome [Slahi] into my home.” (In keeping with the general secrecy of proceedings at Guantánamo, Slahi was not allowed speak during the open portion of the review, and he declined to have his own statement from the closed session made public.)

In a document dated July 14th but released today, the board members noted Slahi’s “highly compliant behavior in detention,” “candid responses to the Board’s questions,” and “clear indications of a change in the detainee’s mindset.” They had also taken into consideration his “robust and realistic plan for the future.”

Slahi has admitted to traveling to Afghanistan in the early 1990s to fight with the mujahideen against the Soviet-backed government, and the government claims he helped recruit and facilitate the travel of Al Qaeda fighters. In 2010, a federal judge found that was not a member of Al Qaeda when the U.S. picked him up and ordered his release, but that case stalled on appeal.

The board’s recommendation on a detainee is just a first step. The Secretary of Defense must arrange for a country to receive them and notify Congress of the transfer. In Slahi’s case, the government of Mauritania has already indicated that it would be willing to take him back.

One of Slahi’s lawyers, Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that they were pressing the Pentagon to arrange for his actual release as soon as possible, but the exact timing is uncertain.

“We will now work toward his quick release and return to the waiting arms of his loving family,” said Nancy Hollander, another of his lawyers, in a statement. “This is long overdue.”

Slahi’s mother and one of his brothers died while he was imprisoned, and his father died nearly three decades ago. But he has 10 other siblings and has described plans to “take care of his sisters.”

There are currently 76 men still held in Guantanamo. Including Slahi, 31 of them have been approved for release. Last week, the Obama administration sent a Yemeni prisoner to Italy and another Yemeni and a Tajik detainee to Serbia; those countries agreed to accept them as “humanitarian gestures.” It seems that the administration is prioritizing moving out as many people as possible from the approved list before the end of the year, as it looks increasingly unlikely that Guantánamo will actually be closed before Obama leaves office.

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Syrien: „Moderate“ Terroristen enthaupten Kind

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 19:32

Nach der brutalen Enthauptung eines Jungen wollen die USA die weitere Unterstützung für eine syrische Terrorgruppe überdenken –

Von REDAKTION, 20. Juli 2016 –

„Moderate“ Terroristen aus den Reihen der „Eroberer Aleppos“ präsentieren ihr Opfer kurz vor dessen Hinrichtung

Es sind Bilder, die selbst die vom Krieg verrohte syrische Gesellschaft erschrecken und für Empörung sorgen: Am gestrigen Dienstag stellten Kämpfer der islamistischen Nur ed-Din Sinki (auch: Nur-al-Din-al-Sinki) Videoaufnahmen online, die zeigen, wie sie einem schätzungsweise zehnjährigen Jungen auf der Ladefläche eines Pick-Ups mit

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Rudy Giuliani Brags About Treating All Muslims Like Criminal Suspects

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 18:11

In his grab-the-pitchforks address to the Republican National Convention on Monday night, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani insisted the enemy wasn’t “most of Islam,” just “Islamic extremist terrorism.”

But in an interview with The Intercept on the convention floor Tuesday night, Giuliani enthusiastically defended policies that treat all Muslims like criminal suspects.

Asked whether he supports Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposals to have police spy on mosques, Giuliani replied “I was the mayor who put police officers in mosques, in New York and New Jersey.”

Giuliani even claimed credit for a longer history of police surveillance of New York area mosques than is widely known, predating the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “We did it for the eight years I was mayor,” he said. Giuliani was mayor from 1994 through December 2001.

“After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center by Islamic extremist terrorists from New Jersey, I did it in early January of 1994.”

After the 9/11 attacks, the New York Police Department launched a now well-documented but then-secret program of spying on every mosque within a 100-mile radius of New York City, including in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New England. The department acknowledged in 2012 court testimony that the program had never generated an investigative lead and in 2014, Mayor Bill De Blasio shut down the program’s most controversial unit.

Giuliani insisted on Tuesday that the mosque surveillance during his tenure “helped stop, hopefully, three or four attacks,” and said that “those leads helped us immensely. And they were enormously valuable to us. And Mayor De Blasio doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

But when pressed, Giuliani would not name a terror plot the program stopped. “Of course I cannot! That’s top secret information. I’m not Hillary Clinton, I do not reveal top secret information.”

In his speech on Monday, Giuliani called for “unconditional victory” against “Islamic extremist terrorism” and attacked Hillary Clinton over her willingness to accept Syrian refugees into the United States even though they are “going to come here and kill us.” Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times said the speech would have been better delivered “at the head of a torch-bearing mob.”

Giuliani, “for the purposes of the media,” insisted on Monday night that he did not say the enemy was “all of Islam” or even “most of Islam. I said Islamic extremist terrorism. You know who you are! And we’re coming to get you!”

Indeed, Giuliani argued that screening and surveillance were  actually doing “good Muslims” a favor. “Failing to identify them promptly,” he said of extremists, “maligns all those good Muslims around the world.”

Giuliani is the CEO of Giuliani Partners, a lucrative security firm he founded in 2002 to sell “security consulting services” to international companies. In 2004, asked whether he would join the Bush administration, he told CNN that “the money’s really good.” More recently, he joined the powerful, global law and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig.

The NYPD’s post-9/11 program was widely ridiculed by civil liberties groups. The NYPD’s “Demographics Unit,” (later renamed the Zone Assessment Unit) mapped neighborhoods based on “ancestries of interest,” including “black American Muslims.” A 2007 report from the NYPD’s Intelligence Division outlines radicalization “indicators,” including “growing a beard,” “abstaining from alcohol,” and “becoming involved in social activism.” The Brennan Center described it as a recipe for “racial and religious profiling deleterious both to civil liberties and to genuine efforts at attaining security.”

In 2012, the Associated Press revealed that the NYPD was photographing the faces and license plates of mosque worshippers, installing hidden cameras pointed at mosques, and recruiting informants to infiltrate mosques, report on sermons, and bait Muslims into making inflammatory statements.

The ACLU was critical of Giuliani’s statement to The Intercept.

“It should come as no surprise that Rudolph Giuliani, a serial violator of civil liberties, reveals himself as directing discrimination on the basis of religion,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. “It’s telling that Mr. Giuliani makes his assertions while hiding behind the hollow and implausible claim that he cannot say more because something that might have happened decades ago should remain a secret.”

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The post Rudy Giuliani Brags About Treating All Muslims Like Criminal Suspects appeared first on The Intercept.

Der gelungene Coup

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 20/07/2016 - 16:32

Nach dem gescheiterten Putsch einiger hochrangiger Militärs in der Türkei vollendet der autoritäre Staatspräsident Recep Tayyip Erdogan seinen eigenen Staatsstreich. -

Von CAN DEVRIM, 20. Juli 2016 -

Recep Tayyip Erdogan im August 2015: „Es gibt einen Präsidenten, der de facto die Macht in diesem Land hat, nicht einen symbolischen Präsidenten. (…) Ob man es akzeptiert oder nicht, das administrative System der Türkei hat sich verändert. Nun sollten wir die Verfassung dieser De-Facto-Situation anpassen.“ Das entspricht seiner derzeitigen Agenda, das angestrebte Präsidentialsystem mit aller Macht und ohne Rücksicht auf

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