War & Disaster Profiteering
Now come the second thoughts on globalization, as never before have world markets been so integrated. The current financial crisis could mark the start of an effort to overhaul the global financial system conceived at the 1944 summit in Bretton Woods, N.H., which set the rules of international commerce for industrial countries.
President Gloria Arroyo has ordered an investigation into reports that Filipino workers were forced to go to Iraq to work on the U.S. embassy there despite a ban on them traveling there. A report from the watchdog organization CorpWatch said that "other South Asians" were indeed working for First Kuwait Trading and Contracting in Iraq.
The U.S. Congress and the mainstream media are picking up on some of the issues that CorpWatch has been digging into over the last couple of years. Namely, trafficking of workers to Iraq; coal power plants on DinÃ© land; and Iraq reconstruction.
Vietnam War veterans from the United States, South Korea, Australia and Vietnam gathered on Tuesday to call for more help for the victims of the Agent Orange defoliant used by the U.S. military.
The Iranian regime has developed one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet. The Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company.
The Internet is no longer just an essential channel for commerce, entertainment and information. It has also become a stage for state control - and rebellion against it. Computers are becoming more crucial in global conflicts, not only in spying and military action, but also in determining what information reaches people around the globe.
The Bush administration's wiretapping program has come under new scrutiny. Two influential congressional committees have opened probes into allegations US intelligence spied on the phone calls of U.S. military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Iraq. James Bamford discusses the NSA's domestic sprying, the agency's failings pre-9/11 and the ties between NSA and the nation's telecommunications companies.
The Bush administration is waging a high-profile campaign to persuade Congress to pass legislation protecting companies from lawsuits for aiding the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program. At stake is the federal government's partnership with industry to conduct a wide range of secret surveillance operations in fighting terrorism and crime.
China Security and Surveillance Technology, a fast-growing company that installs and sometimes operates surveillance systems for Chinese police agencies, jails and banks, has just been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's listing is just a sign of ever-closer ties among Wall Street, surveillance companies and the Chinese government's security apparatus.