European Union Targets Google with Antitrust Probe

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Powerful internet company operating to give itself "unfair advantage" at the expense of European consumers and competitors, says EU official

byJon Queally, staff writer | CommonDreams.org

 

If Google executives use their service to perform an online search for "antitrust + European Union" on Wednesday morning, they may not like the results.

The European Union has opened a formal investigation and sent a list of complaints to the U.S.-based internet giant accusing it of behaving in ways that give it "unfair advantage" over its competitors in Europe, opening a legal door that may have far-reaching consequences for one of the world's most lucrative corporations.

In addition to the broader list of charges regarding Google businesses practices on the continent, the EU Competition Commission, which handles such matters, has also opened a separate antitrust investigation which will look specifically at Google's mobile operating system, known as Android.

"If the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe," said Margrethe Vestager, the European Union competition commissioner.

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Visionaries Imagine a New York City 'Designed for Free Speech'

Published on Monday, June 9, 2014 by Common Dreams - Sarah Lazare, staff writer

From 'People's Pulpits' in Times Square to an 'Urban Atlas' in Harlem, designers transform places for 'public participation'

 

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Pop-Up Sound Garden by Gabriella D’Angelo (Image: Designing for Free Speech)

"What does a space for free speech look and feel and sound like?"

This is the question that artists, performers, and architects are taking on in an ongoing design competition and exhibition, organized by Theatrum Mundi and the American Institute of Architects—New York, in which participants "propose architectural or performative designs (temporary or permanent) that transform spaces in New York City into places for public 'demonstration'" and free speech.

This concept, while not new in a city with a vibrant history of protest and organizing, has unearthed a trove of proposals that are sure to add to New York's struggle over what constitutes free speech and who gets to participate.

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An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism

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Published on Thursday, May 29, 2014 | Common Dreams by Norman Solomon

In a memoir published this year, the CIA’s former top legal officer John Rizzo says that on the last day of 2005 a panicky White House tried to figure out how to prevent the distribution of a book by New York Times reporter James Risen. Officials were upset because Risen’s book, State of War, exposed what -- in his words -- “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

The book told of a bungled CIA attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear program in 2000 by supplying the Iranian government with flawed blueprints for nuclear-bomb design. The CIA’s tactic might have actually aided Iranian nuclear development.

When a bootlegged copy of State of War reached the National Security Council, a frantic meeting convened in the Situation Room, according to Rizzo. “As best anyone could tell, the books were printed in bulk and stacked somewhere in warehouses.” The aspiring censors hit a wall. “We arrived at a rueful consensus: game over as far as any realistic possibility to keep the book, and the classified information in it, from getting out.”

But more than eight years later, the Obama White House is seeking a different form of retribution. The people running the current administration don’t want to pulp the book -- they want to put its author in jail.

The Obama administration is insisting that Risen name his confidential source -- or face imprisonment. Risen says he won’t capitulate.

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Reset The Net: 'Don't Ask for Online Privacy... Take It Back.'

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Online coalition vows to fight mass online surveillance by empowering web users.

Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by Common Dreams Jon Queally, staff writer

Led by online freedom organizations, internet firms, and other advocacy groups, a broadbased coalition is coming together with a singular call to "Reset the Net" as a way to beat back government and corporate surveillance on the web.

With a national online day of action scheduled for June 5, supporters of the campaign—including Common Dreams (full disclosure), Free Press, Fight for the Future, Credo Action, RootsAction.org. Demand Progress, Greenpeace, Reddit, CodePink, and dozens of others—say they will use the anniversary of the first reporting about NSA spying based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden as an opportunity to reclaim the internet from the spying eyes of the National Security Agency and gross abuse of privacy protections.

As part of its effort to promote the campaign and encourage broad participation, the 'Reset the Net' coalition released this video:

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Supreme Court Denies NDAA Lawsuit

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The American people, have lost their fight to defeat the parts of the NDAA (a much worse version of Bush's Patriot act on steroids) that remove our constitutional rights under civil law. After a federal court ruled that the NDAA law was unconstitutional, we then lost in every appeal, and Chris Hedges just lost his last attempt at an appeal. This is a monumental loss for our personal freedoms.

A group of journalists and activists who filed a lawsuit two years ago challenging a controversial provision in a national defense spending bill that they claimed allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens were dealt a crushing blow Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal.

In declining to hear the case, the highest court in the land effectively killed the lawsuit—Hedges V. Obama—which was brought by famed former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, plus four others. Collectively, the plaintiffs were dubbed “The Magnificent Seven” by supporters.

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