Tag Archives: free press

Wikileaks wins against VISA

Kim Zetter wrote today for Wired Threat Level, WikiLeaks Wins Icelandic Court Battle Against Visa for Blocking Donations

The Icelandic partner of Visa and MasterCard violated contract laws when it imposed a block against credit card donations to the secret-spilling site WikiLeaks, a district court there has ruled.

The Reykjavík District Court ruled that Valitor, which handles Visa and MasterCard payments in Iceland, was in the wrong when it prevented card holders from donating funds to the site. The court ruled that the block should be removed within 14 days or Valitor will be fined the equivalent of about $6,000 a day.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told the Associated Press that it was “a small but very important step in fighting back against these powerful banks.” He said other lawsuits are ongoing in Denmark and Belgium.

The fine isn’t nearly big enough, and of course Valitor is appealing.

“This is a significant victory against Washington’s attempt to silence WikiLeaks,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement about the win in Iceland. “We will not be silenced. Economic censorship is censorship. It is wrong. When it’s done outside of the rule of law it’s doubly wrong. One by one those involved in the attempted censorship of WikiLeaks will find themselves on the wrong side of history.”

They tried to silence Ben Franklin, too, for distributing some government communications that he got from an anonymous source.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty
to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
—Benjamin Franklin, An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania, 1759

History found old Ben to be on the right side. It will find the same about Julian Assange. Which side are you on?


To the people of Valdosta and South Georgia —Occupy Valdosta

Posted today in Occupy Valdosta’s facebook page:
To the people of Valdosta and South Georgia

We, the local citizens occupying Valdosta, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; to nonviolently occupy public space; to create an open process to address the problems we face, and to generate solutions accessible to everyone.

Our issues are varied, yet related.

We seek

Continue reading

VDT announces Occupy Valdosta

In the paper paper today, David S. Rodock wrote, “Occupying Valdosta: Protesters to hold rally in Drexel Park Friday.” The pullquote top center of the page is:
“We initially wanted to go out and target corporate greed and get the corporations out of the government. There needs to be a separation.”
Erin Hurley
Occupy Valdosta event coordinator.
You can see it here, thanks to Michael Noll:

Y’all come:

“Basically, we want to exercise our right to peaceably assemble,” said Hurley, “We want everyone to join in and let their voice be heard. I feel a lot of people have lost that sense of freedom we once had.”
Meet at Drexel Park before noon. The VDT got the route wrong, but just come along and you’ll get there. If you aren’t able to walk a few miles, head directly to the Chamber of Commerce around 1:30 PM, and we’ll meet you there a bit later.

Yes, I’m one of the organizers, in case I haven’t said that before. Here’s the Facebook event.

I’d like to add my usual plug for Continue reading

Gigabit Internet in Chattanooga

If we’re going to copy Chattanooga about something, how about this: 133 US cities now have their own broadband networks by Nate Anderson in Ars Technica:
Such publicly owned networks can offer services that incumbents don’t, such as the 1Gbps fiber network in Chattanooga, Tennessee, run by the government-owned electric power board. And they sometimes have more incentive to reach every resident, even in surrounding rural areas, in ways that might not make sense for a profit-focused company.
According to this map of Community Broadband Networks by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, quite a few small cities in south Georgia have municipal cable networks:

All three of Moultrie, Thomasville, and Cairo use CNS, whose brochure for Moultrie says you can get:

DownstreamUpstreamMonthly Cost
5 Mbps1 Mbps$29.95
12 Mbps2 Mbps$35.95
22 Mbps3 Mbps$49.95
Now that’s not 1 Gbps, but it’s a darn sight faster than the allegedly 3Mbps AT&T DSL!

If Moultrie, Thomasville, and Cairo, and yes, Doerun can do this, why can’t Valdosta and Hahira?

And then how about add on a wireless network to reach the rest of us rural folk?

Maybe then we wouldn’t be the Internet backwoods.


The Internet backwoods: that’s south Georgia

Saturday I heard somebody bragging about how fast the Internet is in Atlanta. That would be maybe a tenth of the speed it is in Tokyo. But still blazing fast compared to the broke-down wagon in a muddy ditch speeds we get in south Georgia:

I wrote that article more than a year ago, and Internet speeds in rural Georgia have not improved much if at all. This isn’t just about playing Farmville. It’s about communicating with your relatives, about competing in business, Continue reading

“No person shall be eligible as a write-in candidate…” –Ga. Code

Calling investigative reporters: here’s a trail of fishy behavior in the Brooks County elections. George Rhynes brings up an interesting point in Quitman Ten, Judge Porter’s decision, News Media Outlets, Is Another Investigation Needed, and can Justice Be Found in South Georgia? The two write-in candidates in the general election for the Brooks County Board of Education were allowed to run despite a clear restriction in the Georgia code, O.C.G.A. 21-2-133. This restriction is mentioned in the Ga. Secretary of State Candidate Training Guide:
No person shall be eligible as a write-in candidate in a general or special election if such person was a candidate for nomination or election to the same office in the immediately preceding primary.
Also in the same department’s Continue reading