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Gary McKinnon’s US extradition blocked

TechCrunch | It’s been a very long fight but British hacker Gary McKinnon has finally won his battle to avoid extradition to the US under the controversial Extradition...

US vs hackers: America’s crusade against cybercrime

Cyberattacks across the world have grown ever-larger in scale, inflicting billions of dollars of damage –...

Obama urged to block extradition of autistic British hacker Lauri Love

British lawmakers are calling on US President Barack Obama to halt the extradition of Lauri...

Annie Machon: Asymmetric Extradition – The American Way

Annie Machon, huffingtonpost | I blame my partner. There I was having a perfectly nice day off, pootling my way through the Sunday newspapers and finding...

UK coalition to halt computer surveillance

The UK will reverse and restrain many of the surveillance systems that have marked its citizens out as the most watched in the world. The...

British NASA hacker to face U.S. trial

LONDON (Reuters) - A British computer expert faces up to 70 years in jail after losing his fight on Wednesday against extradition to the...

Hacker Appeals To House Of Lords

By Christopher Nickson | A British hacker accused to accessing US military and Nasa computers has taken his case against extradition to the House of...

‘Lesser of two evils is still evil’: Voters, lawmakers on tough presidential choices of...

Many Americans long for a knight in shining armor-type candidate who bows to no party to...

Police respond to possible hostage situation at McDonald's branch in Florida

Multiple law enforcement agencies are responding to a possible hostage situation at a McDonald's in Lakeland,...


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Canadian Gov’t Targets US Journalists in Keystone XL Approval Scheme

Canada's Harper government is systematically targeting American journalists in an "elaborate" scheme to promote approval of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, newly released diplomatic cables reveal.

Climate activists draw attention to the devastating impact that opening up Canadian tar sands will have on the planet. (Photo: Steve Rhodes via Flickr) Nearly 1,000 pages of heavily-redacted emails released to Toronto-based Environmental Defence group, reveal an "elaborate strategy" that includes weekly "war-room" meetings, heavy monitoring of media coverage and protest groups, and an "outreach program" specifically focused on winning allies among American reporters.

 Postmedia News reports:

The records revealed several attempts, over a two-week period in August 2011, to reach out to various journalists from major publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and an influential trade publication, E & E Daily, as part of a government program to “develop Canada’s network of reporters covering energy issues” and to “support energy objectives in the U.S., specifically as they relate to advocacy on the Keystone (XL) pipeline expansion.”

After a $123 lunch with one of the journalists, a media relations officer from Canada’s Washington embassy filed a report saying the meeting was designed to develop a “better relationship” with the journalist and had strengthened the network of reporters covering Keystone XL.

The records also showed a flurry of emails, generated in response to a negative editorial from the New York Times that criticized the pipeline project, going all the way up to the office of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, prior to approval of a letter to the editor that was signed by Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer.

This "flurry of activity among Canadian diplomats in the United States," dates back to the summer of 2011—right at the time that protests against Transcanada's Keystone XL successfully delayed the State Department's approval of the project.

Media influence has become paramount as the US State Department again weighs approval of the pipeline, which will carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas opening the flood gates to 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide reserves and spelling—as leading environmental scientist James Hansen articulated—"game over" for the climate and planet.

"The facts speak for themselves," said Hannah McKinnon, program manager at Environmental Defence. "There are no rules to control the soaring pollution from the tar sands. Until that changes, it’s all just a glossy PR strategy."

Both US and Canadian governments, with the help of oil and gas industry stakeholders, have long-defended the tar sands industry and have gone great lengths to draw attention away from the devastating impact that extraction of Canadian tar sands oil will have on the climate and planet.

Environmental watchdog groups blasted the "deeply flawed" draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) on the Keystone XL pipeline released Friday, charging that the supposedly unbiased report was written by a contractor for the pipeline's parent company, TransCanada, not by State Department officials.

Also, according to the reporting, Postmedia News obtained another series of internal records earlier this year which indicated that the Harper government "deliberately tried to downplay scientific evidence about the industry’s environmental footprint on air, water and wildlife" while proactively "discouraging federal scientists from speaking publicly about their oil sands research."


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