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

REPORT: Mysterious “Donald Trump Watch” Website Reveals Addresses of Local Trump Donors for Antifa and BLM Terrorist Targeting

(The Gateway Pundit) Far left operatives created the Donald Trump Watch website recently to reveal local Trump donors in your community.

Users are able to punch in the address of any location in the country and a map will show you the name and address of any Trump donor in the area.

The website is using FEC data to target Trump voters and donors.

According to the website they provide the names and addresses of “Americans who Give Money to Support a Racist.”

The website claims it is a privately owned website that is not affiliated with any government agencies.

Here is what we found.

We looked up the registering company Dynadot LLC.

It was a small company in San Mateo California and now has two Chinese offices and a Toronto Canada office.

The only reason for calling Trump a racist and doxing his supporters on-line is to let BLM and ANTIFA know where we live.

It has our names, amount of donations, and our addresses according to zipcode.

They could easily target donors in a single geographic area.

And we all know how the left operates today!

According to Wikipedia Dynadot, the registering company has offices in San Mateo, CA and Zhenzhou and Beijing China.

DOJ Files Long-Awaited Antitrust Suit Against Google

The Justice Department has filed its long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the Big Tech Masters of the Universe engaged in anticompetitive practices to preserve its monopoly power and crush competitors to its search and advertising businesses. The Wall Street Journal first broke the story on Tuesday morning that the lawsuit would finally be filed.

According to a report by Reuters, the DOJ has filed its hotly-anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Google. 11 states also joined the DOJ action against the internet giant.

Reuters writes:

The U.S. Justice Department and 11 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday for allegedly breaking the law in using its market power to fend off rivals.

The lawsuit marks the biggest antitrust case in a generation, comparable to the lawsuit against Microsoft Corp filed in 1998 and the 1974 case against AT&T which led to the breakup of the Bell System.

Google, whose search engine is so ubiquitous that its name has become a verb, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company had revenue of $162 billion in 2019, more than the nation of Hungary.

The Reuters report confirms the news this morning from the Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department would file an antitrust lawsuit against tech giant Google today, claiming that the company engaged in anticompetitive practices in order to preserve monopolies in the search and advertising components that make up huge sections of the tech firm’s main business.

The WSJ writes:

The department will allege that Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., GOOG -2.44%▲ is maintaining its status as gatekeeper to the internet through an unlawful web of exclusionary and interlocking business agreements that shut out competitors, officials said. The government will allege that Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisements on its platform to pay mobile-phone manufacturers, carriers and browsers, like Apple Inc.’s Safari, to maintain Google as their preset, default search engine.

The upshot is that Google has pole position in search on hundreds of millions of American devices, with little opportunity for any competitor to make inroads, the government will allege.

Justice officials said the lawsuit will also take aim at arrangements in which Google’s search application is preloaded, and can’t be deleted, on mobile phones running its popular Android operating system. The government will allege Google unlawfully prohibits competitors’ search applications from being preloaded on phones under revenue-sharing arrangements, they said.

Breitbart News previously reported that the Justice Department has been planning to bring an antitrust case against Google for some time. The recent filing comes after Attorney General William P. Barr reportedly overruled lawyers who said they needed more time to build a case against the tech giant.

It was reported that the company has been under investigation for almost a year with dozens of Justice Department lawyers working in two groups, each overseeing a separate line of inquiry. The two main areas being investigated were Google’s dominance in search and the company’s control over the online advertising ecosystem.

Google has control over approximately 90 percent of web searches worldwide, many rivals have complained that  Google extends its dominance by making its search and browsing tools defaults on phones running its Android operating system.

Source: Breitbart

Trump White House Implements EO to Prevent Tech Giants from Altering Users’ Free Speech, Demands Transparency of Moderation Practices

On Wednesday Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook testified before Congress in the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust.

Since 2016 and the election of Donald Trump the tech giants have been censoring and banning conservative voices online. Of course, the CEOs dismissed allegations that they are targeting and censoring conservative users despite ALL of the evidence to the contrary.

“If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!”

On Wednesday afternoon the Trump White House published their executive order on online censorship.  The EO prevents social media giants from altering or editorializing free speech.

The executive order also demands the social media giants provide transparency requirements for their moderation practices!

More…

Via The Trump White House:

On Monday, the Department of Commerce, as directed by President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, filed a petition to clarify the scope of Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. The petition requests that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clarify that Section 230 does not permit social media companies that alter or editorialize users’ speech to escape civil liability. The petition also requests that the FCC clarify when an online platform curates content in “good faith,” and requests transparency requirements on their moderation practices, similar to requirements imposed on broadband service providers under Title I of the Communications Act. President Trump will continue to fight back against unfair, un-American, and politically biased censorship of Americans online.

The executive order calls for social media companies to be stripped of their “liability shield” if they engage in censorship of political content. Trump’s order came two days after Twitter decided to issue an extremely biased “fact-check” on two of the president’s tweets, supporting vote-by-mail practices that are at the center of a lawsuit between the California Republican Party and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.). Trump has condemned the “fact-check” as an attack on free speech.

The president also directed Attorney General William Barr to work with the states “to enforce their own laws against such deceptive business practices.” Echoing other critics of Big Tech, Trump said, “What they’re doing is tantamount to monopoly, you could say. It’s tantamount to taking over the airwaves.”

Without restraining Big Tech censorship, “we’re not going to have a democracy, we’re not going to have anything to do with a republic,” the president warned. He also directed the administration to make sure that “taxpayer dollars are not going to any social media company that represses free speech.” “As president, I will not allow the American people to be bullied by these giant corporations,” Trump added. He teased further legislation on the issue. “I’ve been called by Democrats that want to do this.”

Indeed, in order to enact a new policy that has any real teeth, the president would likely have to work with Congress to amend Section 230. While the administration can issue new regulations to build on the enforcement of laws, the president cannot unilaterally alter the law. However, it is arguable that actions like Twitter’s “fact-check” already violate the stipulations of Section 230, as the president claimed.

In May, President Trump signed an executive order to check social media companies for censoring conservatives online. He said:

They’ve had unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter virtually any form of communication between private citizens and large public audiences. There’s no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction.

Sources: