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Internet under attack once again


Right now at a UN meeting in Dubai, authoritarian regimes are pushing for full governmental control of the Internet in a binding global treaty — if they succeed, the internet could become less open, more costly and much slower. We have only 2 days to stop them.

The Internet has been an amazing example of people power — allowing us to connect, speak out and pressure leaders like never before. That’s largely because it’s been governed to date by users and non-profits and not governments. But now countries like Russia, China and United Arab Emirates are trying to rewrite a major telecom treaty called the ITR to bring the Internet under its control — the web would then be shaped by government interests and not by us, the users. Tim Berners Lee, one of the “fathers of the Internet,” has warned that this could increase censorship online and invade our privacy. But if we object with a massive people-powered petition, we can strengthen the hand of countries fighting this power grab.

We have stopped attacks like this before and can do it again before the treaty text is locked this week. A wave of opposition to a new ITR is already building — sign the petition to tell governments hands off our Internet! and then forward this email to everyone you know — when we hit 1 million signers, it’ll be delivered straight to the delegates at this cozy meeting:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hands_off_our_internet_i/?bcjsnbb&v=20018
(if link doesnt work – please copy and past into your browser)

The meeting to update the ITR (International Telecommunication Regulations) is being convened by a UN body called the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Normally, it wouldn’t merit much attention, but Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and others are trying to use the meeting to increase government control of the Internet through proposals that would allow for access to be cut off more easily, threaten privacy, legitimize monitoring and traffic-blocking, and introduce new fees to access content online.

At the moment, our Internet has no central regulatory body, but various non-profit organisations work together to manage different technological, commercial and political interests to allow the Internet to run. The current model is certainly not without its flaws. US dominance and corporate influence highlight the need for reform, but changes should not be dictated from an opaque governments-only treaty body. They should emerge from an open and transparent, people-powered process — putting the interests of us users in the center.

The ITU does extremely important work — expanding affordable access for poor countries and securing networks — but it’s not the right place to make changes to how the Internet operates. Let’s ensure that our Internet stays free and governed by the public and show the ITU and the world that we won’t stay silent in the face of this Internet attack. Click below to sign and then share this email widely:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/hands_off_our_internet_i/?bcjsnbb&v=20018

Avaaz members have come together before to save the free web — and won. More than 3 million of us demanded the US kill a bill that would have given the government the right to shut down any website, helping push the White House to drop its support. In the EU, the European Parliament responded after 2.8 million of us called on them to drop ACTA, another threat to the free net. Together, now we can do it again.

With hope,

Pascal, Ian, Paul, Luca, Caroline, Ricken, Kya and the rest of the Avaaz team

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Posted by on 11/12/2012 in World happenings

 

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Photography in the Serengeti


Dear friends,

The following email was sent to me regarding the planned eviction of the Maasai tribe from the Serengeti. For those who have been lucky and privileged enough to have been to the Serengeti to take wildlife photos in future it may no longer be possible and your photos will just become a record of what used to be.

It is sad what money can do.

Middle Eastern kings and princes are about to force up to 48,000 people in Tanzania from their land to make way for corporate-sponsored big game hunting. But Tanzanian President Kikwete has shown before that he will stop deals like this when they generate negative press coverage. Click to deliver a media blitz that will push President Kikwete to stop the landgrab and save these Maasai.

At any moment, a big-game hunting corporation could sign a deal which would force up to 48,000 members of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land to make way for wealthy Middle Eastern kings and princes to hunt lions and leopards. Experts say the Tanzanian President’s approval of the deal may be imminent, but if we act now, we can stop this sell-off of the Serengeti.

The last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land. This time, there hasn’t been a big press controversy yet, but we can change that and force Kikwete to stop the deal if we join our voices now.

If 150,000 of us sign, media outlets in Tanzania and around the world will be blitzed so President Kikwete gets the message to rethink this deadly deal. Sign the petition now and send to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?bcjsnbb&v=17057

The Maasai are semi-nomadic herders who have lived in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries, playing a critical role in preserving the delicate ecosystem. But to royal families from the United Arab Emirates, they’re an obstacle to luxurious animal shooting sprees. A deal to evict the Maasai to make way for rich foreign hunters is as bad for wildlife as it is for the communities it would destroy. While President Kikwete is talking to favoured local elites to sell them on the deal as good for development, the vast majority of people just want to keep the land that they know the President can take by decree.

President Kikwete knows that this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists — a critical source of national income — and is therefore trying to keep it from the public eye. In 2009, a similar royal landgrab in the area executed by the same corporation that is swooping in this time generated global media coverage that helped to roll it back. If we can generate the same level of attention, we know the pressure can work.

A petition signed by thousands can force all the major global media bureaus in East Africa and Tanzania to blow up this controversial deal. Sign now to call on Kikwete to kill the deal:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_maasai_a/?bcjsnbb&v=17057

Representatives from the Maasai community today urgently appealed to Avaaz to raise the global alarm call and save their land. Time and again, the incredible response from this amazing community turns seemingly lost causes into legacies that last a lifetime. Lets protect the Maasai and save the animals for tourists that want to shoot them with camera lenses, rather than lethal weapons!

With hope and determination,

Sam, Meredith, Luis, Aldine, Diego, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team

For More Information:

The Guardian: “Tourism is a curse to us”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/06/masai-tribesman-tanzania-tourism

News Internationalist Magazine: “Hunted down”
http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/12/01/tanzania/

Society for Threatened People: Briefing on the eviction of the Loliondo Maasai
http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/session12/TZ/STP-SocietyThreatenedPeople-eng.pdf

FEMACT: Report by 16 human rights investigators & media on violence in Loliondo
http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/58956/print

Voices of Loliondo: Short film from Loliondo on impact of eviction on Maasai
http://vimeo.com/35311385

 
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Posted by on 13/08/2012 in Envioronment, Photo, World happenings

 

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