General

The Secrecy Surrounding the Government’s Illegal Spying has Reached the Point of Complete Absurdity

activistpost.com | In a perfect example of how the government treats the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) received documents related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) with almost everything redacted.

Keep in mind that the FISA Amendments Act was recently reauthorized for another five years, thus enabling even more illegal warrantless surveillance – which is growing at an exponential rate.

Some might find it noteworthy that anything was released at all given the fact that a federal judge ruled the Obama administration never has to explain why they claim it is legal to assassinate Americans without charge or trial, while still being able to claim it is legal to do so.

CNET Reporter Quits over CBS Interference

Foxdc.com | LOS ANGELES (AP) - Technology reviews by website CNET have long been respected for their thoroughness and integrity, but that reputation has come under scrutiny after a top reporter quit over what he says is editorial interference by its parent company, CBS Corp.

The dispute centers on CNET's choice of best gadgets from last week's International CES show in Las Vegas.

CNET voted Dish Network Corp.'s "Hopper with Sling" the best home theater and audio product. Because CBS is in a legal fight with Dish over the Hopper's ad-skipping capabilities, CBS vetoed the selection, saying the product couldn't be considered "Best of CES." Instead, CNET's official selection was a sound bar from TV maker Vizio.

Senator Asks CIA Nominee; When Drones Can Kill Americans

Wired.com | The man in charge of America’s drone wars will face Senate questioning about perhaps their most controversial aspect: when the president can target American citizens for death.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter on Monday to John Brennan, the White House’s counterterrorism adviser and nominee to be head of the CIA, asking for an outline of the legal and practical rules that underpin the U.S. government’s targeted killing of American citizens suspected of working with al-Qaida. The Obama administration has repeatedly resisted disclosing any such information about its so-called “disposition matrix” targeting terrorists, especially where it concerns possible American targets. Brennan reportedly oversees that matrix from his White House perch, and would be responsible for its execution at CIA director.

Secret Societies and the Free Press

Galt Report | While doing research on articles of many different things that our Presidents and others have had to say regarding our First Amendment Right to a "Free Press", I came across a site that had the whole speech that was unedited, It regarded the famous speech regarding secret societies and a free press that I thought was worth sharing with our readers. The speech was recorded at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City, on April 27, 1961. Kennedy was addressing the Publishers and Editors of major publications regarding articles and news items of the day and, he discussed the way he thought that they should use their best judgement and concern for the country when writing their stories. 

While some contend that the edited version that we hear most often is not what the intent of the speech was actually about, I would say that I would disagree with them on that point completely. Their contention is that John F. Kennedy wanted the press to make sure that they did not divulge any administrative information and, that was all it was all about. That he was worried that the media would leak secrets that could damage the administration.

That would be only part of the story as the speech clearly indicates to me. JFK would not have included the part about secret societies being a danger to our liberties if this were not true. Furthermore, he does stress that the press should use common sense and discretion when telling a story of national interest to the public. I would agree that there are certain things that the public should not have knowledge of that would jeopardize our country. That's just common sense.

But from what I heard him say in that speech, he was not talking about censoring the media, he was asking that they use proper discretion in reporting the news by seeing the bigger picture of what is more important. Is getting the news out more important than risking our nations security? That is what John F. Kennedy said.

He went on to say that it was just as important for the press to expose wrongs in our government, as well as our private sector, with keeping national security in mind at all times. Regardless of whether the United States was in a time of war or not. In fact, he said that just because we were not at war at the time, it was just as important as if we were at war to keep national security as a top priority.

Some would have you believe that he wanted to close the ability of the press to expose national secrets that could be damaging to the administration at the time. Again, I have to disagree with that argument. He did not want the press to NOT report issues or scandals that affect all of us directly or indirectly unless it was a true national security matter. He did not want anyone to hide information from the public that should be told to expose any corruption or misdeeds by those that we have entrusted our country too. He also pointed out that he knew that there would be some that would cite national security when it was not a national security issue at all. He understood that in order to maintain a free society, we need a free flow of information. Even if the news was not good news.

Kennedy went even further by saying that the whole reason we have a free press as part of our Constitution was to protect the press from those that would suppress the press as we all know can happen when the government runs the press, rather that the people. Rather than continue try to convince you of anything, I suggest that you listen to the whole speech to make your own determination. I have included the link here.

So to those that say that the edited version was just bits and bites of his speech to convey a different meaning, I would say that is utter hogwash. The edited version was just cutting to the meat and potato parts that did not diminish the speech in my opinion at all.

Please listen to the speech at least two times so that you will hear what he is actually saying to all Americans, as well as the editors and publishers that he was speaking to that night.

Facebook Testing $100 Charge to Send Messages to Strangers

TheVerge.com | Some Facebook users have seen an unusual popup when they attempt to send messages to people outside their network. It notes that the message will be filtered, but offers to deliver it to the top of the recipient's inbox anyway — for a cool $100.

Facebook began experimenting with a pay-to-message option in December when it first introduced filters including the "Other" folder. In initial tests, the toll was $1. According to Mashable, Facebook confirms the $100 option is part of that test, and says it's testing "some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam." It's anyone's guess exactly what the final toll will be.


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