Appelbaum Leaves Tor Project Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Prominent Tor Project developer and privacy activist Jacob Appelbaum stepped down from his position on the Project’s board on May 25 after what the Tor Project described as “serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment.”

The reason for Appelbaum’s departure came to light on Friday, when the Tor Project issued a statement explaining that “a number of people” have made “serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment” by Appelbaum.

The post, signed by Tor Project Executive Director Shari Steele, continues: “These types of allegations were not entirely new to everybody at Tor; they were consistent with rumors some of us had been hearing for some time. That said, the most recent allegations are much more serious and concrete than anything we had heard previously.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/appelbaum-leaves-tor-project-amid-sexual-misconduct-allegations?utm_source=mbtwitter Continue reading

Andrew Cuomo and Other Democrats Launch Severe Attack on Free Speech to Protect Israel

New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo (above, in 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade) has significantly escalated this free speech attack on U.S. soil, aimed at U.S. citizens. The prince of the New York political dynasty yesterday issued an executive order directing all agencies under his control to terminate any and all business with companies or organizations that support a boycott of Israel. It ensures that citizens who hold and express a particular view are punished through the denial of benefits which other citizens enjoy: a classic free speech violation (imagine if Cuomo issued an order stating that “anyone who expresses conservative viewpoints shall have all state benefits immediately terminated”).

Even more disturbing, Cuomo’s Executive Order requires that one of his Commissioners compile “a list of institutions and companies” which – “either directly or through a parent or subsidiary” – support a boycott. That government list is then posted publicly, and the burden falls on them to prove to the state that they do not, in fact, support such a boycott. Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told The Intercept: “Whenever the government creates a blacklist based on political views it raises serious First Amendment concerns and this is no exception.” Reason‘s Robby Soave denounced it today as “brazenly autocratic.”

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/06/andrew-cuomo-and-other-democrats-launch-severe-attack-on-free-speech-to-protect-israel/ Continue reading

Cuomo to Halt State Business With Groups That Back Boycott of Israel

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York ordered agencies under his control on Sunday to divest themselves of companies and organizations aligned with a Palestinian-backed boycott movement against Israel.

Wading into a delicate international issue, Mr. Cuomo set executive-branch and other state entities in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., which has grown in popularity in some quarters of the United States and elsewhere, alarming Jewish leaders who fear its toll on Israel’s international image and economy.

Mr. Cuomo made his announcement in a speech at the Harvard Club in Manhattan to an audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers, describing the B.D.S. movement as an “economic attack” on Israel.

“We cannot allow that to happen,” the governor said, adding that, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/nyregion/cuomo-new-york-israel-boycott-bds-movement.html Continue reading

Panama Papers Show How Rich United States Clients Hid Millions Abroad

In recent weeks, the papers’ revelations about Mossack Fonseca’s international clientele have shaken the financial world. The Times’s examination of the files found that Mossack Fonseca also had at least 2,400 United States-based clients over the past decade, and set up at least 2,800 companies on their behalf in the British Virgin Islands, Panama, the Seychelles and other jurisdictions that specialize in helping hide wealth.

Many of these transactions were legal; there are legitimate reasons to create offshore accounts, particularly when setting up a business overseas or buying real estate in a foreign country.

But the documents — confidential emails, copies of passports, ledgers of bank transactions and even the various code names used to refer to clients — show that the firm did much more than simply create offshore shell companies and accounts. For many of its American clients, Mossack Fonseca offered a how-to guide of sorts on skirting or evading United States tax and financial disclosure laws.

These included locating an individual from a “tax-convenient” jurisdiction to be the straw man owner of an offshore account, concealing the true American owner, or encouraging one client it knew was a United States resident to use his foreign passports to open accounts offshore, again to avoid scrutiny from regulators, the documents show.

If the compliance department at one foreign bank contacted by Mossack Fonseca on behalf of its clients started to ask too many questions about who owned the account, the firm simply turned to other, less inquisitive banks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/us/panama-papers.html Continue reading