The British Hacker’s Fight for His Life

Lauri Love is charged with masterminding a 2013 attack by Anonymous on US government websites. He has not protested his innocence – he only points out that, without seeing the evidence, which the US Department of Justice refuses to reveal until he is on US soil, he cannot say one way or the other. But he had the means, motive and opportunity to carry out the crimes of which he stands accused. Even if Love is guilty, however, there are important legal and moral questions about whether he should be extradited to the US – a nation that has prosecuted hackers with unrivalled severity, and one where Love could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. Had Love been allowed to stand trial in the UK following his initial arrest, and had he pled guilty to every charge, he would have spent a maximum of 18 months in prison. Four years after his initial arrest, Love has nearly exhausted his legal options. His extradition to the US is now perilously close. In September 2016, a district judge refused to block Love’s deportation.

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads

 

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Forbidden Knowledge

The validity and significance of IQ as a measure of intelligence, the problem of social stratification, Trump as a “murder weapon”, universal basic income, and other topics discussed by Sam Harris and Charles Murray – the author of highly controversial book “The Bell Curve” that brought a havoc to his academic career twenty three years ago and still haunts him today.

Waking Up with Sam Harris

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Resisting Tyranny: Learning From 20th-Century Europe

 

Totalitarian Europe in comparison to contemporary America is the subject of Timothy Snyder’s talk and his new book, “On Tyranny”. He sees America’s political institutions in great danger of slipping into autocracy and possibly fascism. From the examples of the twentieth century, Snyder has distilled twenty essential points that should guide the current struggle. They are as simple as “do not obey in advance” and “beware the one-party state,” and as inspiring as “contribute to good causes” and “learn from peers in other countries.” Questions from the audience follow.

Live at Politics and Prose

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The Hollywood Blacklist and the Classic Western ‘High Noon’

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers. The president, Congress, the courts and the press all played a part.
Many who appeared before the HUAC were put on a blacklist that made it impossible for them to work in show business. Among the blacklisted was screenwriter Carl Foreman, whose 1952 classic western ‘High Noon’ is seen as a parable about the toxic political climate of the time.
Glenn Frankel revisits the film — and Foreman’s experiences testifying on Capitol Hill — in his new book, also called ‘High Noon’. “The blacklist movement stems out of a backlash by people who felt they want to get their country back,” Frankel says. “In those days it was [from] communists, and Jews and liberals. Today you might say it’s Islamic terrorists and undocumented immigrants.”

Fresh Air | 21st February 2017

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Beneath the Financial Secrecy

Trillions of dollars are flowing through the world’s over 90 tax havens. This playground of the rich is growing rapidly. How do they do it?
A panel of expert economic writers examine some of the most significant financial exposes of our time, and discuss the challenges and dangers faced when pursuing justice.
Highlights from Griffith University’s Integrity 20 Conference, ‘What Lies Beneath’ 26th October, 2016

Big Ideas | 2nd February 2017

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Didn’t We Solve This One?

Sarah, a former Iraqi housewife, worked with US forces in Baghdad. She gathered key information that became intel for the Alpha Company 177. At the time, it was a confusing churn of different militias who were trying to control the area. And the only way for the Americans to fight was to get tips from informants, ordinary local people who were frightened of the militias, of the Americans. Sarah’s job was to try to convince these frightened people to talk, and she was good at it.
Fast forward, Sarah and her two sons are trapped in Jordan. Her husband has been killed by militias in retribution for her collaboration with the foreign invaders. Furthermore, she had been accused, anonymously, by another Iraqi of betraying the Americans she was working with, and has spent months in prisons. All her savings have been stolen from a camp where she’d worked with the Americans.
Even though the case against her had been dismissed and Sarah had an exemplary work record, she had been blacklisted. The anonymous accusations that a judge had thrown out for lack of evidence and that she herself has never seen to this day became part of her US Defense Department file. It outweighed all the letters of praise and support signed by US military people who had worked and lived with Sarah for months. So she is no longer allowed to work for the US, and her visa to America has been denied.
“The moment happened when Sarah was interpreting for us during an interview with a former Sons of Iraq fighter. He pulled a tissue from a box next to him to make a point. Sarah: “[CRYING] I’m sorry. He says the American forces use us like a tissue. I feel the same thing. I’m sorry.””
Photo by Hadi Mizban: Iraqi children look at a U.S. Army soldier during a routine patrol in Baghdad

This American Life | 6th January 2017

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How the Attica Prison Riot Fueled Mass Incarceration in America

how-the-attica-prisonThe Attica Prison riot is remembered as one of the bloodiest and savage of its kind, but a new history is challenging that familiar narrative. Heather Ann Thompson is a historian who’s just come out with a gripping new account of the uprising called “Blood in the Water.” To write it, she spent 13 years wading through thousands of public archives and court documents, and what she uncovered is pretty damning: evidence of police negligence and torture during the prison’s retaking, and of a government cover up. She says an effort by authorities to smear the prisoners created a public backlash, which in turn laid the groundwork for tough-on-crime drug policies and an era of mass incarceration.

To the Best of Our Knowledge | 25th September 2016

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