28 dec. 2010

Când europenii servesc drept cobai

"Este viitoarea etapă a mondializării, şi sunt motive bune de a dori ca acesta să nu fie cazul", constată Vanity Fair. Din ce în ce mai mult, laboratoarele farmaceutice americane îşi testează medicamentele în străinătate, pe persoane care nu beneficiază de toate garanţiile de siguranţă. Această tendinţă priveşte ţările din lumea a treia dar şi Europa, precizează mensualul din New York. Din 2004 în 2007, partea de eseuri clinice efectuate în Statele Unite a scăzut cu 5.2%, în timp ce ea creştea cu 16% în Europa de Est, cu 12% în Asia şi cu 10% în America latină.
Avantajul pentru laboratoare, explică Vanity Fair, este faptul că ele fac testele în condiţii mai puţin stricte şi mai puţin costisitoare, de a obţine rezultate pozitive şi "de a convinge astfel Food and Drug Administration că medicamentele sunt sigure şi eficace pentru americani". În 2008, 80% din produsele supuse FDA au fost testate în afara Statelor Unite, ceea ce reprezintă 58 788 de teste. 876 dintre ele au avut loc în România, 589 în Ucraina, 716 în Turcia. Estonia, Polonia, Rusia, Lituania, Slovacia sau Croaţia sunt şi ele ţări apreciate de laboratoare.
În afara oricărui control serios, aceste teste sunt adeseori mortale. Revista citează exemplul unui test pentru un vaccin contra gripei efectuat într-un refugiu pentru cei fără domiciliu fix, la Grudziadz, în Polonia. Plătiţi cu 2 dolari, "cobaii credeau că vor primi un vaccin normal. Nu a fost cazul. Cel puţin 20 dintre ei au murit".Vanity Fair New York

12 dec. 2010

Putin: Western Model of Democracy Doesn't Exist

 Vladimir Putin: if there is democracy, it must be a full one. Why did they jail Mr. Assange? Is that democracy?”

 About democracy
“Can you tell me what it is – the Western model of democracy? France has one model of democracy, the USA has another one. A French politician told me once: one can not do anything at the elections in the USA without money – whether they are elections to the Senate or Congress, not to mention the presidential election. There is nothing to do there without a sack of money. So what is that democracy about? Is it democracy of those who have a lot of money? The USA is a presidential republic, Great Britain is a monarchy. All of that are elements of democracy, but what kind of democracy? There is no single model of “ Western democracy ”. It doesn’t exist.

Julian Assange supporters plan protests worldwide

Detention of WikiLeaks founder is focus of demonstrations today as speculation grows over legal move by US authorities

Protests will be held around the world today against the detention of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Demonstrations are planned in the capitals of Spain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru to demand Assange's release, the re-establishment of the WikiLeaks domain name and the restoration of Visa and Mastercard credit services to allow supporters to donate money to the whistleblowing site.
A statement on the Spanish-language website Free WikiLeaks said: "We seek the liberation of Julian Assange in United Kingdom territory." The website called on protesters to gather at 6pm (17.00 GMT) in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville and three other Spanish cities.(www.guardian.co.uk)

8 dec. 2010

Global Censorship: Wikileaks under attack

Since Wikileaks released the US embassy cables on 28 November it has come under pressure on several fronts, from DDoS attacks to frozen bank accounts. We list the companies, politicians and organisations making life difficult for Wikileaks and Julian Assange

On Sunday 28 November Wikileaks began releasing the first of its 250,000 leaked US embassy cables. Almost immediately, a hacking attack known as a "DDOS" – distributed denial of service – attack tried to knock it off the net. These are the attacks that have followed in the succeeding days.

Sunday 28 November

TECH: DDoS attack hits WikiLeaks as first set of US diplomatic cables is published.

Wednesday 1 December

TECH: Tableau Software, which offers free software for data visualisation, removes the public views of graphics built using information about the diplomatic cables. It is the first company to distance itself from Wikileaks, and admits that the reason was pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman, an independent senator with ties to the Democratic party.
POLITICS: Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's committee on homeland security, calls for Wikileaks to be taken offline. "I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them. Wikileaks' illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company - whether American or foreign - should assist Wikileaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials."
TECH Amazon removes Wikileaks's content from its EC2 cloud service, but later insists it did so because the content could cause harm to people and did not belong to Wikileaks – and that it was not due to political pressure or the hacker attacks against the site.

Friday 3 December

TECH: Wikileaks.org ceases to work for web users after everyDNS.com, which had provided a free routing service translating the human-readable address into a machine-readable form, ends support.
Wikileaks shifts to a backup domain registered in Switzerland but actually hosted in Sweden, at Wikileaks.ch, though the cables are hosted in part by OVH, an internet provider in the north of France.
EveryDNS claims that the DDOS attacks against Wikileaks were disrupting its service provided to thousands of other customers. The company says it is "following established policies so as not to put any one EveryDNS.net user's interests ahead of any others. Lastly, regardless of what people say about the actions of EveryDNS.net, we know this much is true - we believe in our New Hampshire state motto, Live Free or Die."
POLITICS: French industry minister Eric Besson writes to internet companies warning them there will be "consequences" for any companies or organisations helping to keep WikiLeaks online in the country.

Saturday 4 December

MONEY: PayPal, owned by US auction site eBay, permanently restricts account used by WikiLeaks due to a "violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy". A spokesman said the account was suspended because "[it] cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity."
You can still donate at Commerzbank Kassel in Germany or Landsbanki in Iceland or by post to a post office box at the University of Melbourne or at http://wikileaks.ch/support.html
TECH: Switch, the Swiss registrar for Wikileaks.ch declines pressure from US and French authorities to remove the site or block access to it.

Sunday 5 December

TECH: The Pirate Party in Sweden says that it has taken over the hosting of the Cablegate directory of Wikileaks after the server in France at OVH, which had been hosting the contents of the US diplomatic cables released so far, goes offline.

Monday 6 December

MONEY: Credit card company Mastercard withdraws ability to make donations to Wikileaks. "MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products," the credit card outfit says.
TECH: Wikileaks' servers in Sweden attacked by distributed denial of service attack.
MONEY: Postfinance, the Swiss postal system, strips WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of a key fundraising tool, accusing him of lying and immediately shutting down one of his bank accounts. The bank says that Assange had "provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process."
Assange had told Postfinance he lived in Geneva but could offer no proof that he was a Swiss resident, a requirement of opening such an account. Postfinance spokesman Alex Josty told The Associated Press the account was closed Monday afternoon and there would be "no criminal consequences" for misleading authorities. "That's his money, he will get his money back," Josty said. "We just close the account and that's it."

Tuesday 7 December

MONEY: Credit card company Visa withdraws ability to make donations or payments to Wikileaks. "Visa Europe has taken action to suspend Visa payment acceptance on WikiLeaks' website pending further investigation into the nature of its business and whether it contravenes Visa operating rules," said a spokesman.

Note: an earlier version of this article wrongly referred to easyDNS.com as having provided DNS routing for Wikileaks. This was wrong, and the company was not involved at that time - although easyDNS.com is now providing routing for Wikileaks.ch.

3 dec. 2010

Wikileaks: Vladimir Putin warns USA to stay out of Russian internal affairs

In a combative interview with CNN, the Russian prime minister dropped diplomatic protocol to lash out at US criticism of him and his country laid bare in a series of US diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.
Mr Putin dismissed US defence secretary Robert Gates' views on Russia as "deeply misled," said that a US decision not to ratify a key US-Russia nuclear arms reduction pact would be "very dumb," and repeated Kremlin warnings that the world would face a new arms race if Nato did not treat Russia fairly.(read more)

Wikileaks: Russia branded 'mafia state' in cables
 The cables, published by the Guardian newspaper, paint a picture of a corrupt Russia centred around the leadership of Mr Putin. Bribery in the political system totals an estimated $300bn (£192bn) a year, the paper says.
In one cable from January 2010, Spanish prosecutor Jose "Pepe" Grinda Gonzales claimed that in Russia, Belarus and Chechnya "one cannot differentiate between the activities of the Government and OC (organised crime) groups".