Category Archives: internet freedom

Alan Gross’ Fasting Folly

By Max S. Cruz

Alan Gross’ fasting folly

healthshakeTwo weeks ago, Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor arrested in Cuba in 2009 for activities aimed at overthrowing the Cuban government, desperately announced that he was beginning a fast in an attempt to get the attention of US President Obama, who has basically abandoned Mr. Gross:

“I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal.”

All major news sources rushed to tell the world that a man had gone on hunger strike.

“Fast” and “hunger strike” are not interchangeable terms. Continue reading

Ernesto Hernández Busto, Peter Ackerman and James Glassman in the same room? Call the firemen!

Hat tip to Eva Golinger…sometimes the news just doesn’t get any better than this.  It seems that Machetera’s secret admirer, Ernesto Hernández Busto, is hitting the talking heads circuit now for who else but his other American idol, George W. Bush.

W, whose latest vanity project is something called the George W. Bush Institute (whatever happened to the good old days of disgraced presidents quietly slithering off to San Clemente?) has hired James Glassman to run the shop and put on silly dog and pony shows like the one EHB will be joining on April 19 in Dallas.  The “Conference on Cyber-Dissidents,” co-sponsored by NED beneficiary Freedom House will also feature Al Giordano’s new best friend Peter Ackerman, and a raft of other guests linked to U.S. intelligence. Continue reading

Yoani Sánchez: a few cards short of a full deck

By Machetera A Yoani Sánchez se le aflojó un tornillo

Now en français! Cuba: Yoani Sánchez, La “Blogueuse Star” Cubaine: Une Folle Furieuse

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Untreated mental illness is never a lovely thing to gaze upon, so in the case of Yoani Sánchez, the self-proclaimed “blocked” Cuban blogger, it’s hard to fathom the cruelty of a U.S. State Department which in lieu of quietly suggesting psychological help for its client blogger, amplifies and repeats her ravings for the simple reason that they are so very helpful to the propaganda war against Cuba going on fifty years now.

On Monday, November 9, the same State Department which remained stoically silent in the face of so many criminal assaults and murders carried out by its client putschists in Honduras over the past four months, moved itself to issue a statement in which it “strongly deplore[d] the assault on bloggers Yoani Sanchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, and Claudia Cadelo.” Taking the Cuban government over its knee once again, it delivered a lecture about repression and violence, freedom and reconciliation.  There are multiple problems with the State Department’s touching level of concern, though. Continue reading

Back from the salt mine

saltIt’s a difficult job, but somebody’s got to do it.

And unlike Ernesto Hernández Busto, those of us who lack a check from Langley have to find other ways of putting food on the table.  But now that Machetera’s bank account is stabilized again, she can turn her attention to things a little closer to her heart.  Like reminding everyone (in case you missed it) that Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, was in Baghdad a month ago courtesy of the U.S. State Department, for talks on how to reconstruct the Iraqi information network destroyed by Iraq’s occupiers, and (conveniently) promote Twitter into the bargain.  Continue reading

“Brute force has an elegance all its own”

The remarks about “brute force” come from Colonel Charles W. Williamson III’s article, Carpet bombing in cyberspace, in last month’s Armed Forces Journal where he proposes that the U.S. military go on the offensive with a botnet “that can direct such massive amounts of traffic to target computers that they can no longer communicate and become no more useful to our adversaries than hunks of metal and plastic.” He’s talking about directing botnets at other hostile botnets coming the United States’ direction, but the drift is clear.

Are you surprised?

The question is not whether they can do it (although judging at how well they’re doing in their other foreign adventures at the moment, you’d have to wonder) but what measures the left, which can be presumed to be the targeted adversary, will take to defend itself and perhaps even fight back. Machetera will be writing more about this in future posts – in the meantime take a look at the posts beneath this one, to ponder the censorship already underway in Spanish Wikipedialand, where no botnets have even been employed, just a few Zionists and overzealous “librarians” with too much time on their hands and a taste for the censor’s pen.

How Internet censorship works, Part 4: The Zionist hijacking of Spanish Wikipedia

A short time ago, Machetera received the news that Rebelión, the primary Spanish language alternative media site had been censored by the Spanish language Wikipedia. A Rebelión editor, who also happened to be a Wikipedia contributor, tried to link a reference to Rebelión, and found that the link was un-saveable. As you will read in the story below by Santiago Alba Rico, where more details are provided in the footnote, when this editor asked what was going on, the answer came back that Rebelión could not be linked to any longer because it was not considered to be a reliable source.

But the truth is that it has nothing to do whether or not Rebelión is a reliable source (unlike for instance, the New York Times, or El País which would never ever lie), and everything to do with Rebelión‘s anti-Zionist stance. The Zionists who’ve hijacked the Spanish language Wikipedia for their own purposes are methodically combing through Wikipedia and manually disabling the links, and soon it will be as though Rebelión never existed at all. (Oh, but they wish.) Continue reading

The Wikipedia thought police

Ariel Zúñiga seems to Machetera to be a little bit cranky. And if he doesn’t care for having his work posted at Rebelión without being consulted first, he probably won’t like being translated without asking either. But this is an excellent analysis that shouldn’t wait, so Machetera will translate first and ask forgiveness later. “Gusgus,” aka Mercedes, is one of the iron-fisted hierarchy over at Spanish Wikipedia, whose word is apparently law.

Wikipedia’s Censorship of Rebelión

Under the Lord of the Flies Syndrome

Ariel Zúñiga – Alterinfos

Translation: Machetera

When the Wikipedia project was born, I immediately felt seduced and summoned to support it with the knowledge available to me. It was assumed that no-one would go around making selections based on the fame of the authors, but rather that the community itself would decide which knowledge was valid by contesting previous affirmations. Whoever wished to disagree should present their arguments rather than imposing academic credentials, and not only the topic, but the reader and the community would be enriched through involvement in the entire process. Being treated to different points of view would allow users to select that which they considered valid in the material found throughout the discussion. That’s how it works in the social sciences. No-one has the last word in them and what is said, in the humanities.

Very shortly in the project, two tribes emerged that through their actions laid the groundwork so that today, the free encyclopedia has transformed itself into a complex control system for knowledge and at the same time, the crude Inquisitor that we thought we’d banished. The first tribe is that of the extremely sensitive, that for the sake of political correctness, efficiency and utility, claimed that some users were abusing the freedom given them to transform certain articles into the equivalent of public bathroom walls; others, the megalomaniacs, aspired for Wikipedia to compete with other encyclopedias, therefore claiming that the contents should be controlled so that any ignorant user might find it useful. Both tribes converged over the risks implied by the divulging of false information, forgetting that this was exactly the characteristic that made Wikipedia unique. It was supposed that this needed to stop now that the Internet was going to reach the masses and the Wiki would be the teacher of billions of people. Continue reading