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2013 in Review: The Worrying Trend of Internet Shutdowns | Electronic Frontier Foundation

2013 in Review: The Worrying Trend of Internet Shutdowns | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

2013 in ReviewAs the year draws to a close, EFF is looking back at the major trends influencing digital rights in 2013 and discussing where we are in the fight for free expression, innovation, fair use, and privacy. Click here to read other blog posts in this series.

Prior to January 2011, national or regional Internet “blackouts” were mostly unheard of.  Although the Maldives,NepalBurma, and China all preceded Egypt with this innovation, it was the shutdown initiated by former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak that set a new precedent and garnered global media coverage.  Since then, SyriaLibya, and even San Francisco’s BART police have “pulled a Mubarak.”

But in 2013, Internet blackouts became de rigeur for embattled governments: In August,Burma experienced a week of disruptions, the cause of which remains unclear. In Egypt’s North Sinai region, telephone and Internet networks were—according to a report from Mada Masr—intermittently shut down in September in the midst of military operations targeting militants there. In Sudan, where a brutal government crackdown in September on protests over fuel subsidy cuts resulted in the deaths of more than 30 people, authorities cut off Internet accessin an apparent bid to stop the demonstrations. In October, Renesys reported that the Iraqi government had tried but failed to shut down the Internet. And more recently, Renesys spotted a 45-minute national outage from North Korea, for which the source was unclear.

The Syrian Internet has seen numerous outages throughout the year, some of which appear to be politically motivated and others of which may be structural.  In October, Aleppo was without Internet for 17.5 hours, while in early December, the entire country’s Internet went down for a few hours.

Politically-motivated Internet outages are certainly trending. For governments, they pose an all-too-tempting way of stifling speech and keeping order during periods of protest or unrest, but as the BART telecommunications shutdown in San Francisco demonstrated, they can also prevent urgent communications from getting through and therefore may not be worth the risks they pose, even to the most despotic of regimes.

This article is part of our 2013 Year in Review series; read other articles about the fight for digital rights in 2013.

 

Food Bank Use Near Record Level In Ontario, Report Says

Food Bank Use Near Record Level In Ontario, Report Says.

A near-record number of Ontarians are using food banks, according to a new report.

The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) says that 375,789 people made use of a food bank in the province this March – more than one-third of whom were children.

That’s more than nine-tenths of the number that used food banks in the previous March, when a record high of 412,998 was recorded.

Nearly half of the families (46.1 per cent) making use of Ontario food banks have children at home. A similar proportion of those relying on food banks (43.6 per cent) are single people, while the remainder of families using food banks (10.3 per cent) are couples without children.

Food banks in the province also served more than 1.2 million meals to Ontarians during the month of March, which is part of an ongoing trend in which food banks have expanded the services they offer to meet the needs of clients.

“As a province with so much, there is no reason that any child should have to go to bed hungry,” Bill Laidlaw, the OAFB executive director, said in a statement accompanying the release of the 2013 Hunger Report.

“To meet these growing needs, food banks are now having to do so much more than provide emergency support. They are becoming hubs for social innovation, health and child care support, learning and training opportunities, and community development that stretch far beyond the traditional idea of a food bank.”

 

Why I Won’t Be Charitable When The SHTF | The Daily Sheeple

Why I Won’t Be Charitable When The SHTF | The Daily Sheeple. (FULL ARTICLE)

I have learned a great deal since I came on board here at The Daily Sheeple. I have read and listened to the opinions of many who are far further down the line of preparedness than I am, and although it may make me unpopular, I disagree with a some of what they say.

Of course agreeing or disagreeing with someone is purely personal choice. I am not saying they are wrong, just that I disagree with them.

Take for instance the charity aspect of prepping.

Many of the big names in prepping advocate that we should show solid Christian values in times of crisis and lay aside some essential items to give away to those that pass through who are less fortunate that ourselves.

NOT A CHANCE.

It has nothing to do with the fact that I have prepared, that I have scrimped and saved, and they possibly have not. It has nothing to do with greed on my part and to hell with all others. It has to do with the survival of my family.

A great deal is made on all prepping sites about OPSEC. Keeping low and not attracting attention, and this is where the trouble starts.

I know for a fact that if I had been given food, water and maybe a few other essential items by someone I passed along the way I would remember them.

I know that if the survival of my children was at stake and I couldn’t provide for them I would revisit the person that had assisted me in the hope of getting more supplies.

I know I would do anything I had to do to feed my kids, to keep them alive. Now if I could trade something, work for the food I would certainly do so. What happens though if the answer is no, we’re fine thanks, off you go?

Think about this….

 

Mythbusters: “Huge executive salaries are vital to UK competitiveness” | new economics foundation

Mythbusters: “Huge executive salaries are vital to UK competitiveness” | new economics foundation.

 

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