Thursday morning, Julian Assange lost his safe place in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after seven years. Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, revoked his asylum, citing breaches of international law. The following video from The Independent shows British police dragging Assange out of the embassy.
By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, may be in trouble. Since 2012, he has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. The government of Ecuador has granted him asylum, but recent possible charges from the United States could end his safety.
By Joshua D. Glawson | United States
Comfort breeds apathy. Most people live simply to work to make a living for themselves and their families. We get focused on our career goals and stick to that path. Anything that distracts us from those life objectives (even when it is a major issue) prevents us from possibly feeding our family, providing housing, and all of the daily comforts of life. So, instead of delving into the serious topics of government abuses (lies, thefts, murders, wars, etc.), we prefer answering only to the immediacy of our direct needs and desires rather than a long fought battle against people that are lying to us.
This may also answer why so many people prefer getting their news from social media and comedians, rather than opening books and discussing things that make people uncomfortable. When we get comfortable with our lives, we tend to shield ourselves from things that will disrupt that comfort.
Likeability is at the forefront of most people’s relationships. Being liked by people, especially your family and friends, is important to most people, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, since most are concerned about being agreeable and liked, they tend to shy away from discussions that could lead them to be viewed in a different and bad light. No one wants to be that crazy conspiracy theorist relative, so they accept mainstream political opinion as fact. Some people also just want to continue positive relationships with those they know they will disagree with any non-mainstream thinking in a positive way.
Education also plays a role in turning a blind eye towards government lies. This may have more to do with public schools being the primary source of education for most Americans. It is ingrained in the public school system not to question your government. It teaches you to admire the Presidents as gods that have come to save us while dismissing all of their corruption, abuses, and lies within a generation or two. Furthermore, when public schools are paid for by states and the federal government, as in the US, with every dollar comes a regulation and control of that schooling system. This is because the state has a monopoly on the use of force. So, public schools will paint the State in a positive image, and many continue to believe that without question.
Philosophy is an ongoing battlefield. For many Americans, the idea that government officials are “just doing their job,” is constantly prevalent in their initial responses. Even when the actions of the government go against the Constitution or laws in place, many shun from contesting. This is the ever-pervasive philosophy that helps to destroy the very questioning of government itself.
Many have come to believe that, although an action such as murder or stealing is wrong for the individual, it is collectively permissible if done behind the guise of government. This also echoes throughout political debate where the majority of the political right only questions and badgers the political left, and the political left does the same only to the right, rather than individuals staying philosophically consistent in questioning everyone. These philosophies perpetuate tribalism, identity politics, and collectivism rather than instilling the reason of the individual to rationally and empirically question authority and philosophies themselves.
A systematic benefit is given to the government itself. When people have found lies within government, it turns against the whistleblower. Oftentimes, it may threaten their property, life, and liberty on the grounds of treason or whatever other charges that can be put on the person. Then, if the person goes to court, who will win? When the government is judging the case, the judges, the lawyers, the politicians, those involved in the charges being brought against them by the whistleblower are typically protected from the highest levels down by the government itself. If a state is suing the federal government, we can only hope that the Supreme Court will respond justly, but there is no guarantee.
How well can we actually use the system in place to charge politicians, military personnel, and other government officials for their crimes against God, Nature, and even the Constitution itself?
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By Emily Merrell | USA
Edward Snowden and a team of collaborators from the Freedom Of The Press Association have teamed up to develop an app called Haven. Haven is now available in the Google Play store and uses the software on a spare phone to detect movement around a room where you may have a personal belonging. This app is especially meant to help journalists, activists, and whistleblowers.
Imagine you’re a freelance journalist becoming a whistleblower. You do research and try to expose government secrets that you believe the people should know. However, you have a strong chance of police coming in to track down your laptop. Haven uses all the software on a phone including the camera, microphone, motion sense, etc. to detect movement in a room. It logs everything it senses. With this app, you will definitely want to use a cheap spare phone. When the phone senses movement it will notify you on your main device.
The app can send encrypted alerts to your phone through signal or it can be monitored through Tor. Haven does not back up information to the cloud and does not transmit data to third parties. You can also choose not to have notifications. Edward Snowden explains how Haven works here. Haven is also free and in its early stages of develop, the Freedom of the Press Association would love for any contributors (designers/programmers) to help by visiting their Github page or by donating on their donation page.
Let’s create a safe reality for whistleblowers and journalists in today’s authoritarian society. Download Haven on Google Play or F-Droid today.