A few good articles: HIV/AIDS Funding Case & NSA

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According to last week’s USA Today article Court rules against government in HIV/AIDS funding case:

The federal government cannot require that groups using its money to combat HIV/AIDS overseas also oppose prostitution and sex trafficking, a divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Despite complaints from the Obama administration and some justices that the government has a right to pick and choose who receives federal funds, the court ruled such a pledge amounts to a loyalty oath that violates the First Amendment.

As usual, any law that includes language about sex work work has a thinly veiled layer of discrimination attached to it. What’s worse is reading the line, “The HIV/AIDS funding case divided the court between two worthy goals: preventing the spread and improving treatment of HIV/AIDS in Third World nations, and standing firm against sex trafficking of women and girls.” Really? Of only women and girls? I’m sure the men and young boys who suffer from actual sex trafficking–not voluntary prostitution, mind you, but forced sex slavery–are overwhelmed by the compassion in a statement like that.

The article goes on to quote Marine Buissonnière, director of the Open Society Public Health Program and one of the plaintiffs in the case:

“Public health groups cannot tell sex workers that we ‘oppose’ them, yet expect them to be partners in preventing HIV. Condemnation and alienation are not public health strategies. The pledge ignores years of evidence that sex workers are critical partners in the fight against AIDS.”

Thank you, Marine Buissonnière. Truth and common sense in the world. Always refreshing, however rare.

 

In a completely different article posted at AVN.com by writer Ann Oui, “Released National Security Agency (NSA) documents reveal that the use of privacy (and maybe even common encryption) tools is enough reason for the government to retain the encrypted data until it is decrypted. The program further assumes that the owner of encrypted files is not a United States citizen until proven otherwise.”

In NSA: We Can Keep Your Encrypted Communications Indefinitely [NSFW] Ann Oui compares the situation to Ray Bradbury’s The Pedestrian, “about a future in which people no longer enjoy long walks through their neighborhoods but instead stay home and watch television,” and so long walks for what would appear to be no reason are highly suspect.

A vast majority of people who use privacy tools are obviously not terrorists; most probably just want to avoid being tracked by ad networks. Private industry, after all, is at least as vested in the 24/7 surveillance society as government, a point driven home in a 2012 article by DigiTrends analyzing the escalating use of data tracking by the world’s “Top 100 Websites,” including several adult tube sites.)

But the NSA can’t see into your mind to know why you want to take anonymous walks online, share files anonymously or even send banking data by encryption, which is why they have now been given the legal right to take and store your stuff until they can figure out if you’re okay to go. It’s the virtual version of being hauled off to the Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies.

I recommend reading it. The article ends with a humorous line, but is no less disturbing.


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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

2 Comments

  1. it’s impossible to support the anti-e anti-prostitution pledge and treat HIV/AIDS at it’s source… it seems logical that you wouldn’t seek help from people who see you as a criminal/victim. Logic wins this round. lol

    NSA… only the paranoid survive :)

  2. “Condemnation and alienation are not public health strategies” My favourite sentence.

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