Computers

The secretive conferences where delegates are hammering out the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are effectively rewriting the law for the United States, particularly in the area of intellectual property.

The TPP is an international trade treaty currently being negotiated behind closed doors by nine nations located along the Pacific Rim (Mexico and Canada have been invited to join and would bring the total number of participants to 11)  The 14th round of talks will be held on September 6-15 in Leesburg, Virginia.

The Internet-based whistleblower website WikiLeaks appears to have won some battles to recover its financial infrastructure in the past few weeks, winning the first stage of a legal battle in Iceland with Visa Corporation and gaining a French source for accepting donations in the Fund for Defense of Net Neutrality (FDN2). But a WikiLeaks satire of former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller — admitted as a phony by WikiLeaks July 29 on its Twitter feed — threatens to undo much of the organization's credibility. FDN2 claims that banks and credit card companies are legally bound to honor the French-based “Carte Bleue” transfer system. 

 

Genia Photonics, a surrogate of the CIA, has announced its greatly enhanced surveillance capabilities to monitor innocent civilians without their knowledge or permission. The latest piece of terrifying technology, the Picosecond Programmable Laser scanner from Genia Photonics, will reportedly be able to identify gunpowder residue on an individual’s shoes, and what he had for breakfast along with his adrenaline levels.

The City of San Francisco, outraged at Apple's decision to depart from environmental standards, has announced its boycott of Apple's computers. San Francisco’s ban on the purchase of Apple computers came in the aftermath of the Cupertino-based company’s decision to withdraw from participating in the “Electronics Product Environmental Assessment Tool” (EPEAT) ranking of consumer electronics.

On July 2, social media service Twitter released its first ever “Transparency Report” revealing the alarming number of requests it has received from the government of the United States to delete tweets and disclose information about its users.

The report covers activity from January 1, 2012 to the end of June, and although brief, it contains irrefutable evidence of the government’s sustained effort to monitor the online activity of citizens of this nation. A fair reading of the report indicates that officials of the federal government are becoming increasingly interested in Twitter and in what is said there and who says it.

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