Greta Thunberg Accidentally Posts Doc with Talking Points on India Protests, Faces Criminal Probe

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg drew the ire of police prosecutors in India on Thursday after she used social media to offer running commentary and advice on violent protests by the country’s farmers.

The 18-year-old left-wing eco-activist shared — and then quickly deleted — a message that detailed a list of “suggested posts” about the ongoing civil disorder, according to a report in the NY Post, which her critics say reveals she is being coached on what position to take by outsiders.

The list gave a series of tips on what to post on social media, asking her to also repost and tag other celebrities tweeting about it, including pop star Rihanna.

As well as the Twitter storm, the “toolkit” she shared also suggested highlighting planned demonstrations at Indian embassies.

The Delhi Police on Thursday filed a case against the activist over her tweets while rejecting foreign intervention on purely domestic matters.

For her part, Rihanna tweeted to her more than 101 million followers: “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” She linked to a CNN news report about India blocking internet services at the protest sites, a tactic of the government to thwart protests.

Senior government ministers, Indian celebrities and even the foreign ministry are now urging people to come together and denounce “outsiders” like Thunberg and Rihanna who try to “break the country.”

“It is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them,” India’s foreign ministry said Wednesday in a rare statement criticizing “foreign individuals” posting on social media. It did not name Rihanna and others who followed suit.

Tens of thousands of farmers have been hunkering down at the Indian capital’s fringes to protest new agricultural laws they say will leave them poorer and at the mercy of corporations. The protests are posing a major challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has billed the laws as necessary to modernize Indian farming.

Their largely peaceful protests turned violent on Jan. 26, India’s Republic Day, when a section of the tens of thousands of farmers riding tractors veered from the protest route earlier decided with police and stormed the 17th century Red Fort in a dramatic escalation.

Hundreds of police officers were injured and a protester died. Scores of farmers were also injured but officials have not given their numbers.

Farmer leaders condemned the violence but said they would not call off the protest.

Source: Breitbart

India Farmers’ Protests Began: Internet Shutdown Highlights Modi’s Record of Stifling Digital Dissent

The storming of the Red Fort in Delhi on January 26 marked an escalation of tensions between the Indian government – led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – and farmers who have been protesting against agricultural reforms since August 2020.

With footage of the farmers clashing with police going viral, the Red Fort incident also marked a spike in interest in the farmers’ movement around the world, much to Modi’s embarrassment.

The authorities’ response to events at the Red Fort – a historic building symbolic of Indian independence, and located in the very heart of Old Delhi – was swift. Delhi Police shut down the city’s internet, affecting more than 52 million mobile phone subscribers. The shutdown was ostensibly in the interest of public safety, but it’s also the latest episode in India’s long-running story of heavy-handed internet crackdowns – a strategy used time and again to quell swelling protest movements.

India’s control over the internet is comparable to some of the world’s most authoritarian countries. While India ranks second in the world in terms of mobile internet subscribers, the country also leads in shutdowns. They’re used with alarming regularity to disrupt protest movements and – in the case of Kashmir, currently under the world’s longest internet shutdown – to control entire populations.

During the Citizen Act protests last year, shutdowns were used in Aligarh – home to the Aligarh Muslim University – one of the hubs of the protests, where severe police brutality is alleged to have taken place. The Indian government implemented more than 106 internet shutdowns in 2019 alone – the vast majority in response to protests.

This control is largely achieved via the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, passed into law in 2017, which expanded the government’s powers for surveillance and connectivity suspension, empowering it to control dissent and opposition.

In Kashmir, where there are tight restrictions on the rights to free expression, speech and assembly, internet shutdowns function as an “invisibility cloak” to crack down on dissent and isolate Kashmiris from the rest of the world. Because India’s supreme court has ruled that “indefinite internet shutdowns” are illegal, India’s government instead downgrades or “throttles” Kashmir’s mobile connectivity from 4G to 2G, seriously limiting what can be loaded on phones.

Tractors and tear gas

The recent events at the Red Fort also presented an example of India’s disinformation ecosystem. At a pivotal moment, some protesters raised a flag sacred to Sikhs next to the Indian flag, even as movement leaders pleaded with them to climb down. Hundreds of cameras caught the moment the flags where raised, uploading photos to social media.

These images were immediately seized upon by social media influencers loyal to Modi, who began a disinformation campaign which spread across the country, claiming the flag to be that of Khalistani separatists. In Modi’s India, separatists are often depicted as enemies of the state.

Disinformation spreads particularly quickly in India, where mobile internet packages make it cheaper to access social media than to run a Google search. This lack of “net neutrality” – favouring traffic to certain websites over others – discourages users from fact-checking what they see on social media.

In response to the fast-spreading flag disinformation, social media activists sympathetic to the farmers were quick to point out that the flag was the Sikh “Nishan Sahib”. They showed how the same flag is flown at all Sikh gurudwaras, used by regiments of the Indian army, and had even been sported by Modi while he campaigned in Punjab. It’s unclear how successful these efforts to neutralise “fake news” have been in a country with powerful state-backed media companies.

Angry anchors

Television anchors on state-backed news channels regularly tarnish protesting farmers as Khalistani separatists, Pakistani spies, members of the opposition Congress party, or communists. Using abusive words such as “behuda” (impudent), “badtameez” (ill-mannered), and “gunda” (goons), these anchors are aware that their language will inflame passions when cut into shorter clips for social media. These images achieve virality on WhatsApp and Facebook via common channels of circulation, drumming up support for the state’s crackdowns on dissent.

As with the flag dispute, India’s activists also know how to use the digital space to achieve their objectives. They post videos, release their own memes and hashtags, and are particularly strong at satire, humour, music and art.

By positioning cameras at key protest sites, clashes are recorded and live-streamed on social media, capturing alleged police brutality and heightening the pitch of public debate. Unfortunately, such tactics are often nullified by the state’s common default to full internet shutdowns.

And in a further move to shut down dissent, the government recently reportedly sent a legal notice to Twitter that led to the blocking of several accounts linked to the farmers’ protest – revealing the Modi administration’s ability to censor groups and individuals on specific platforms, too.

Beyond signalling the authoritarian drift of the “world’s largest democracy”, India’s internet shutdowns are also expensive affairs. Even as Modi promises to build a “digital India” to boost the country’s economy, his internet shutdowns are costing India US$2.8 billion (£2 billion) a year – which equates to 70% of the global cost of shutting off the internet in 2020. That he is willing to foot this bill is indicative of how much is at stake for Modi. It is time for the world to take notice.The Conversation

Subir Sinha, Senior Lecturer in Institutions and Development, SOAS, University of London

Source: ActivistPost

GOP-Controlled Senate Passes ‘America Last’ Green Card Giveaway to Reward Big Tech

by Chris Menahan | Information Liberation

The GOP-controlled Senate stabbed their voters in the back on Wednesday by passing Utah Senator Mike Lee’s green card giveaway to reward Big Tech by allowing them to import hundreds of thousands of Indian workers to take jobs from struggling American tech workers.

The bill failed earlier this year but Lee brought it back and the GOP-controlled Senate just passed it with unanimous consent — right before the election in Georgia which will determine whether the GOP holds on to the Senate.

America First patriots were urging folks to call their senators on Wednesday and demand they object to the bill.

It would only have taken one senator to force a debate or force a vote on the bill.

Not one senator objected.

Republican Senator Mike Braun of North Dakota could be seen smirking after the bill was passed:

As Ryan Girdusky noted, not even Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri — who has made a name for himself by bashing Big Tech — bothered to muster up an objection.

The same goes for Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, both of whom are up for reelection in Georgia.

The GOP are also currently teaming up with Democrats to shove through a $740 billion defense authorization bill that will erase our history by renaming military bases named after Confederate generals. President Trump demanded the bill include a measure to change Section 230 but his objections were ignored.

The contempt these GOP traitors have for their own voters is almost beyond belief.

It appears that now that they think they’ve got Trump out of the way they’re just going to return to business as usual — i.e. screwing us relentlessly on behalf of their globalist donors.

This is naked tyranny.

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Report: India Suffers ‘Record Number of Violent Attacks Against Christians’

The number of violent attacks on Christians in India has been steadily increasing during the administration of Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Telegraph reported Sunday.

The report suggests that it is precisely “the prime minister’s Hindu nationalist agenda” that has fueled the rise in attacks on Christians manifesting a “worrying trend” of religious intolerance.

New data “shows a record number of violent attacks against Christians across the country,” the Telegraph noted.

By all accounts 2019 was a very difficult year for Christians living in India, as Breitbart News has reported, and 2020 promises to be as bad if not worse. In the first quarter of 2019, hate crimes and targeted violence against Christians in India showed a jump of 57 percent over the same period in 2018, according to report released at the time by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI).

The persecution continued unabated through the year, and Indian Christians faced one of their most difficult Christmases in memory, suffering numerous acts of targeted persecution, according to a report from International Christian Concern (ICC).

The growing intolerance toward Christians severely curbed Christians’ ability to freely celebrate the Christmas holiday, ICC said, and many were forced to adjust their Christmas celebrations accordingly, due to “a fear of being attacked by Hindu radicals.”

Sunday’s Telegraph article recounts the story of Christian pastor Jai Singh, who was assaulted by a mob of some 200 Hindus chanting anti-Christian slogans in the village of Bitchpuri, which has a Christian population of some 120 souls.

The mob, instigated by members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an all-male paramilitary youth wing of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), beat the pastor along with his 15-year-old son and dragged him to the village square.

“They hit me with their fists and then took me into the temple and beat me with sticks, before stretching my legs back as far as they would go,” resulting in two broken feet and permanent nerve damage to his legs, Rev. Singh told The Sunday Telegraph.

As is typical in such cases, Pastor Singh’s assailants have filed trumped-up charges against him for “attempted conversion” in an apparent attempt to silence him.

“We are living in constant fear and after hearing about the attack, many local believers renounced their faith,” Singh said.

“But for me it just made my faith stronger and I pray to God to forgive the people who attacked me,” he added.

According to the latest data, the year 2019 saw a record 328 violent attacks against Christians in India.

More than 300 Christians were detained without trial for their faith, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a faith-based legal advocacy organization, while numerous businesses, homes, churches, and schools were looted, torched, or vandalized. The ADF has registered a 220 percent increase in violent attacks on Christians since 2014 when Mr. Modi came to power.

Yet while 328 violent attacks were reported to officials, only 36 of these resulted in police filing a case. Not one of the incidents has resulted in prosecution.

Indian Christians trace their history back to 52 AD, when the apostle Thomas reached their shores to evangelize those living there. Presently there are some 28 million Christians in India, who comprise 2.3 percent of the overall population.

Source: Breitbart

Report: CIA Secretly Owned World’s Top Encryption Supplier, Read Enemy and Ally Messages for Decades

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. That company was secretly run by the CIA, which had the ability to read all those communications for decades.

Greg Miller at the Washington Post:

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project.

Read more: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’ (Requires subscription)

Or, read Report at Forbes for free HERE

via https://boingboing.net/2020/02/11/cia-secretly-owned-worlds-to.html