Notes From the Northern Colony

julianassange

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Dear Mr Murray,

You are an impressively meticulous reporter. You are also thin-skinned and self-absorbed, and, as I have previously written (while defending you), you have a tendency to embarrass yourself when you take things personally.

This was demonstrated by your response to my previous post.

Bella Caledonia magazine posted a link on Tw**ter, and your reaction was to ignore the questions I had asked and make it about yourself. In response to my asking if you had blocked Protonmail, or if your Russian email provider did so automatically, you wrote, “I don't know what Protonmail is, let alone have blocked it.” For someone who is supposedly concerned about surveillance — and who is a friend of Julian Assange — to not know about a popular encrypted email service is bizarre, and indicates you are dangerously ignorant and naive, as I suggested here. (I wonder now if it was a similar naivete, rather than something more sinister, that caused you to obtain “press credentials” from Black Isle Media, an amateur “news” site run by a wannabe terrorist who assaulted a pregnant woman.)

You then wrote: “Better query – why is Bella Caledonia obsessed with promoting paranoid attacks on Craig Murray?”

You did not explain how what I wrote was paranoid, or even how it was an attack. And, of course, it was not. Not only am I not your enemy, I recently agreed to testify as your witness at your impending trial for contempt of court, and your lawyers took a precognition from me and filed it as an affidavit.

The only paranoia on display was yours, when you told Bella Caledonia, “I find it very hard to understand why anyone is accusing me of anything.” But I had not accused you of anything.

While you ignored my questions, you answered a question I had not asked. “I have a mail.ru account because I used to live in St Petersburg and Tashkent,” you wrote. “I also have btinternet and gmail and a blog contact button.” Leaving aside the naivete of a journalist and activist using email provided by Google, you seem to be using the classic politician's evasion — ignoring the questions being asked and talking about something else instead. And you did not explain why, of your various email addresses, the Russian one is the one on your website.

It turns out that your Russian mail server does indeed block Protonmail.

After the email sent to you bounced back, the person who sent it then tried to post it as a comment on your blog. It said: “I work in tech. The reason they're insisting that people dial in is so they can track their phone numbers and devices. I strongly advise against doing so.” The comment never appeared, which you claim was the decision of “the mods.” You wrote: “To be fair, it does seem the mods may have blocked a comment. I can't find the comment but there seems to be a response to it from one of the mods... I think the mod wasn't chuffed when I was asking people to listen to the hearing, by someone posting telling them not to. I would not have blocked it myself.”

This raises two additional questions, and I hope you will answer them rather than evading them or lashing out. They are:

  1. Who are “the mods” who decide what comments are allowed on your blog, rather than you making the decisions yourself?

  2. Now that you know that people who attend your trial virtually will be tracked and surveilled, are you concerned enough to warn them, or are you only concerned about yourself?

Sincerely, Greum Maol Stevenson

#craigmurray #julianassange #alexsalmond #surveillance #protonmail #russia #scottishpolitics #bellacaledonia #scottishblogs #greummaolstevenson

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by Greum Maol Stevenson

In his latest report from the show-trial that is Julian Assange's “extradition hearing,” Craig Murray writes:

Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were between them sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister – people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody’s timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.

That Mr Murray is surprised by this would be comical were his naivete not the norm, rather than the exception. It is both bizarre and outrageous that journalists and activists use Twitter (which, according to Blacklight, captures your keystrokes) and Facebook. Both companies have shown themselves to be enemies of factual journalism, progressive politics, and democracy as a whole. To use those platforms is to validate them, and to accept their modus operandi, so it makes no sense for Mr Murray to start complaining now.

To use Twitter or Facebook is to relinquish journalistic and political integrity. Audre Lorde still speaks to us from nearly 40 years ago: “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.”

Writers, activists, and political groups must create their own media, based on what some people in the Fediverse call “the solidarity economy.”

#craigmurray #julianassange #surveillancecapitalism #socialmedia #tracking #fediverse #blacklight #scottishblogs #greummaolstevenson

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