Tuesday, December 31, 2013

  • Crackdown on Brotherhood, Opposition Grows as Egypt Joins Ranks of Most Dangerous for Journalists


    Egypt is facing a major escalation of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other critical voices. The military government has designated the Brotherhood a "terrorist organization" after a suicide bombing last week that killed 14 people. The announcement came even though the Brotherhood condemned the attack and an unrelated jihadist group claimed responsibility. Using the "terrorism" label, the Egyptian regime has arrested hundreds of Brotherhood members and seized their assets. It is the latest in a crackdown that began with the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July following mass protests against his rule. The crackdown has also spread to opposition activists and journalists. Two leading figures behind the 2011 uprising, Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Ahmed Maher, remain behind bars following their arrests for opposing a new anti-protest law. El-Fattah is awaiting trial while Maher and two others have been sentenced to three years in prison. Meanwhile, four journalists with the news network Al Jazeera — correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy — were arrested in Cairo on accusations of "spreading false news" and holding meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Fawzy has been released so far. Egypt’s military government has repeatedly targeted Al Jazeera, raiding offices, ordering an affiliate’s closure and deporting several staffers. The arrests come as a new report details the dangerous conditions for journalists in Egypt and other troubled areas around the world. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, conditions in Egypt "deteriorated dramatically" in 2013, with six reporters killed, more than in any previous year. Egypt trailed only Iraq, where 10 journalists were killed, and Syria, where at least 29 journalists were killed. Overall, the Middle East accounted for two-thirds of at least 70 reporters’ deaths worldwide. We are joined by two guests: Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists; and Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! correspondent and a fellow at The Nation Institute.

  • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Calls on Computer Hackers to Unite Against NSA Surveillance


    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts Monday at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on Internet freedom and privacy. We play highlights from Assange’s speech, as well as the one given by Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks member who accompanied Edward Snowden to Russia. We also hear from independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum, who reveals a spying tool used by the National Security Agency known as a "portable continuous wave generator." The remote-controlled device works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed. It works even if the target computer is not connected to the Internet.

  • Jacob Appelbaum: Futuristic-Sounding "Radar Wave Devices" Can Help NSA Monitor Your Computer Usage


    At the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum revealed the existence of a futuristic-sounding device described as a portable continuous wave generator. It’s a remote-controlled device that works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what’s being typed. It works even if the target device isn’t connected to the Internet.

  • Looking Back: A Year of Struggles on Climate, Education & Marriage Equality Inspire Hope for 2014


    On the last day of 2013, we look back on some of the many signs of hope that emerged on issues ranging from economic equality to LGBT rights to climate justice. With all the bad news that came this year, there were many encouraging displays of a shifting public consciousness and a willingness by ordinary people to mobilize for change. We are joined by Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and editor-in-chief of YES! Magazine, whose latest article is "10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What’s to Come."