The Internet: Challenges and discontents

While the critical importance of the Internet as both an economic and social utility is no longer in doubt, the fact remains that its promise of democratising communications and society has yet to be realised. Numerous pressing issues with the development, technical architecture and governance of the Internet threaten to stall or completely derail many of the benefits of the Internet, particularly to the developing world. Rishab Bailey highlights these.

Source: twn.my

Special issue of Third World Resurgence: Democratising global Internet governance: Issues and challenges

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Warnings of Civil War, ‘Critical Plight of Civilians’ in Libya

As instability continues to grip Libya, officials are sounding alarm over the deteriorating situation that could lead towards civil war in the country, where destabilization, critics charge, has deepened since NATO’s bombing in 2011. “The situation in Libya is complicated,” Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s United Nations Ambassador, told the UN Security Council Wednesday. “Yet the situation since the 13th of July has become even more complicated and the situation might unravel into a full-blown civil war if we’re not very careful and wise in our actions.”

Source: www.commondreams.org

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#Nigeria: e-surveillance bill underway to up security watch

In the wake of heightened insecurity in Nigeria, the federal government has begun deliberating new legislation that will monitor telephone calls.

Source: www.theafricareport.com

I trust the Nigerian Human Rights Commission will be vigorously opposing this proposal to join the ranks of the US, UK, China and Israel to invade the privacy of citizens. I wonder to what extent the US is putting pressure on the Nigeria government.

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Leaked document reveals US-EU trade agreement threatens public health, food safety | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

A draft chapter of the U.S-EU trade agreement leaked today by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reveals public health and food safety could be at risk, according to an accompanying analysis. The leaked chapter concerns Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues—those surrounding food safety and animal and plant health—in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated. Only TTIP negotiators and security cleared advisors, mostly corporate representatives, can read and comment on draft negotiating texts. – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/documents/leaked-document-reveals-us-eu-trade-agreement-threatens-public-health-food-safety#sthash.F41OfaZY.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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Whose Century Is It?: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Food and the “21st-Century Trade Agreement”

In the final year of the George W. Bush presidency, the U.S. entered into negotiations to establish a gargantuan new trade deal. The negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently involve 12 countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States—together comprising 40 percent of the world economy and a third of global trade.1 In pro-TPP rhetoric, the deal is marketed as a “21st-century trade agreement.”2 But the deal isn’t as futuristic as its boosters want you to believe; rather, it’s a massive double down on the strategies and philosophies of NAFTA and other 20th-century free trade agreements. And like those earlier deals, TPP has the potential to impact agriculture and food systems on a large scale. There isn’t a single TPP chapter on agriculture in TPP; rather, issues impacting food and agriculture are scattered throughout the deal. With that in mind, here are the issues that characterize the TPP so far: – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/documents/whose-century-is-it-the-trans-pacific-partnership-food-and-the-%E2%80%9C21st-century-trade-agreeme#sthash.yoYDYHae.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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Tar sands, trade rules and the gutting of human rights for corporate profit | Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

A new report released today from IATP takes an in-depth look at how tar sands have developed from an unconventional, inefficient energy source to the spotlight of the corporate agenda as conventional oil supplies dwindle. Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights follows the development of energy policy from NAFTA up to current free trade negotiations to illustrate that while energy sources evolve, one trend remains constant: The protection of corporate profits at the expense of human rights, sovereignty and the environment. With new free trade agreements in negotiation, the time for action is here: The public needs a seat at the negotiating table. – See more at: http://www.iatp.org/blog/201408/tar-sands-trade-rules-and-the-gutting-of-human-rights-for-corporate-profit#sthash.MUJTLqg2.dpuf

Source: www.iatp.org

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OpEdNews Article: Article: The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria

Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed “Bomb Assad!” campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad — the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years.

Source: www.opednews.com

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South Africa and the Changing Politics of Labour: The Demise of COSATU

The two biggest signifiers of the state of the labour movement in South Africa in 2014 are, on the one hand, a terminal crisis within what is still, formally, the biggest trade union centre — the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), aligned to the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), and, on the other, the emergence of new workplace militancies by workers, notably the national strike wave in the second half of 2013.

Source: www.socialistproject.ca

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