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Civil liberties groups launch StopWatching.us to protest surveillance

A coalition of Internet and civil liberties groups launched a campaign Tuesday protesting the huge US online surveillance program revealed in the past week. Joining the effort were the Mozilla Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, Greenpeace USA, the World Wide Web Foundation and more than 80 other organizations or companies.…

Putin: Iran threats against Israel ‘unacceptable’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Iran had a right to a peaceful nuclear programme but slammed as “unacceptable” its threats against its regional nemesis Israel. “Iran is in a very difficult region,” Putin told a televised question-and-answer session in Moscow. “And when we hear threats from Iran…

Edward Snowden’s ‘pole-dancing super hero’ girlfriend: All I can feel is alone

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden may have gone to ground after leaking details of a vast program to spy on Internet users, but his girlfriend’s public web presence has caused a stir. The now notorious former CIA technician’s partner is reportedly 28-year-old Lindsay Mills, but she wrote a personal…

Russian lawmakers set to pass ‘gay propaganda’ ban

Russian lawmakers were preparing to vote Tuesday on a bill introducing fines and detention for homosexual “propaganda,” a measure critics fear will be used to justify repression of gays. The Duma lower house was expected to pass the bill which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors by Russians…

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 skyrocket in wake of spying scandal

Big brother is watching — sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984″ have skyrocketed in the wake of revelations of US government surveillance. The centennial edition of the novel surged 7,005 percent on Amazon, according to the online retailer’s “Mover and Shakers in Books” page that monitors biggest gainers in…

News Corp. shareholders approve plan to split company

News Corp shareholders Tuesday approved a plan to split the Rupert Murdoch-led conglomerate into two independent firms, one focusing on entertainment and the other on newspaper operations. The vote came as no surprise, since Murdoch and his immediate family hold a majority of voting shares in the media-entertainment powerhouse. “We…

ACLU challenges constitutionality of NSA phone surveillance program

By Daniel Trotta NEW YORK (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union sued senior U.S. government officials on Tuesday to challenge the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance program, saying it violates rights to free speech and privacy. The suit asked the court to immediately halt the NSA’s…

Russia passes anti-’gay propaganda’ bill

Law will make it illegal to equate straight and gay relationships and to distribute gay rights material Russia’s parliament has unanimously passed a federal law banning gay “propaganda” amid a Kremlin push to enshrine deeply conservative values that critics say has already led to a sharp increase in anti-gay violence.…

Thousands flood Istanbul’s protest square after police clashes

ISTANBUL — Thousands of demonstrators squared off against riot police on Tuesday and defiantly packed an Istanbul square after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned he had “no more tolerance” for the mass protests against his Islamic-rooted government. Hundreds of police stormed Taksim Square, the epicentre of nearly two…

Marine security expert testifies Manning solicited secret military information

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The founder of the WikiLeaks website, at the center of the trial of a soldier charged with the biggest U.S. leak of classified material, solicited secret military information during a 2009 conference in Berlin, a Marine Corps computer security expert testified on Tuesday. On the…

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