Privatization & Procurement

Voice for Humanity recently sold tens of thousands of pink and silver audio players to the United States government to teach Afghan villagers about democracy. Critics say that the project was a waste of taxpayer dollars. Others say it is a perfect example of the covert "information war" conducted in the "war on terrorism."
The Maine Public Utilities Commission decided Monday to begin contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthfulness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government's warrantless surveillance program.
CorpWatch editor Julie Light reports on a pitched battle for the future of a San Francisco school. The players? The Edison Corporation, the local school board, parents, teachers and students.
Rio de la Plata is one of the few rivers of the world whose pollution can be seen from space. Making matters worse is the privatized water company Aguas Argentinas, which dumps sewage into the river a few kilometers from where it treats water for drinking.
Court documents and interviews with whistleblowers shed light on persistent problems in the operations of private military and security company MVM, Inc., a top provider of secret security to U.S. intelligence agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Across the country, corporations are privatizing the commons -- water -- so they can sell it. Now one town is fighting back in a powerful new way: Barnstead, New Hampshire, has become the first municipality in the U.S. to adopt a binding local law that bans certain corporations from withdrawing water within the town. To protect their local law, Barnstead residents have also voted to strip corporations of their claims to constitutional rights and powers. This is not your father's old "regulatory" approach.
A flagship rice plantation in Tanzania run by UK investors has allegedly destroyed the livelihoods of local smallholder farmers, driven them into debt and impacted the local environment, according to a new report published by the Oakland Institute. The report was co-authored with Greenpeace Africa and Global Justice Now.
Disks containing what appears to be software code used in Maryland's touchscreen voting machines in 2004 were delivered anonymously to a former state legislator, raising fresh concerns about the reliability of the voting system.
Global Response Staff is a new unit set up by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) to hire private security contractors to accompany dangerous spying missions. Unlike Jason Bourne - the fictional character on which they appear to be modeled on - this gang cannot shoot straight.
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong's operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.