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From Baghdad, US To Relocate Some, UN Said It's Safe, Silent on Kyiv Embassy

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 15 -- After the UN on June 13 told Inner City Press it assesses Baghad to be safe from the advance of ISIL, on June 15 US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced:

"As a result of ongoing instability and violence in certain areas of Iraq, Embassy Baghdad is reviewing its staffing requirements in consultation with the State Department.  Some additional U.S. government security personnel will be added to the staff in Baghdad; other staff will be temporarily relocated both to our Consulate Generals in Basra and Erbil and to the Iraq Support Unit in Amman.

 

"We advise U.S. citizens in Iraq to exercise caution and limit travel to Anbar, Ninawa, Salah ad-Din, Diyala, and Kirkuk provinces; make their own contingency emergency plans; and maintain security awareness at all times."

  Iraq's neighbor Iran was spoken to, through its Vice President, by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who alluded to the role Iran could play, and also the P5+1 nuclear talks with their July 20 deadline. Meanwhile Ban was entirely silent on the attack on Russia's embassy in Kyiv, long after he condemned the downing of Ukraine's military plane.

 As ISIL advanced through Iraq on June 13, at the UN Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq if it's true that UN assesses Baghdad to be safe - and is so, why? Video here.
 
  The UN's Haq said while different parts of Iraq are under threat, the UN's assessment is indeed that Baghdad is safe. If you say so.

  Inner City Press also asked for any UN comment on calls to arm the population in Baghdad to confront ISIL. Haq said he'd seen the comment made by "Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, we don't have any comments to make about that." Video here.


UNfree Press, background: Iraq has blocked much of social media, and Twitter has suspended an account associated with ISIL, which live-tweeted ISIL's advances.

  
   Was Twitter's suspension of @Nnewsi at governmental request -- and to confirm, which government?


In March, Turkey blocked Twitter citing a court order, after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to get his leaked phone calls removed from Google's YouTube has reportedly "copyrighted" his calls.

   Both censorship moves have echoes in the United Nations, which as part of its renovation accepted money and named an area by the Security Council previously open to all accredited journalists the "Turkish Lounge."

   As set forth below, an anti-Press complaint to the UN's Stephane Dujarric, now Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, has been banned from Google's Search by an invocation of copyright similar to Erdogan's.

   Google has accepted and acted on DMCA complaints about leaked e-mails, for example from Reuters to the United Nations seeking to get the investigative Press thrown out, and has then blocked access to the leaked documents from its search.

  In this case, copyright is being (mis) claimed for an email from Reuters' Louis Charbonneau to the UN's chief Media Accreditation official Stephane Dujarric -- since March 10 Ban Ki-moon's new spokesperson -- seeking to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN. 

  Access to the document has been blocked from Google's search based on a cursory take-down request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

 If this remains precedent, what else could come down?

  Why not an email from Iran, for example, to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency? Why not a sanctions filing by a country? Here is Reuters logic, accepted if only automatically by Google:

The copyrighted material is a private email I wrote in April 2012 and for which I never gave permission to be published. It has been published on a blog and appears in on the first page of search results for my name and the firm I work for, Reuters. It can be seen here: http://www.innercitypress.com/reutersLC3unmalu.pdf

  But this is true of ANY leaked document: it can be said that the entity or person exposed "never gave permission [for it] to be published." Does that mean Google can or should block search access to it?

  Can a complaint to a Media Accreditation official against a competitor legitimately be considered "private"? In any event, the DMCA is not about protecting privacy.

  Iran or North Korea could say a filing or status report they make with the IAEA is "private" and was not intended to be published. Would Google, receiving a DMCA filing, block access to the information on, say, Reuters.com?

  Charbonneau's bad-faith argument says his complaint to the UN was "published on a blog." Is THAT what Reuters claims makes it different that publication in some other media?

  The logic of Reuters' and Charbonneau's August 14, 2013 filing with Google, put online via the ChillingEffects.org project, is profoundly anti free press.

  The fact that Google accepts or didn't check, to remain in the DMCA Safe Harbor, the filing makes it even worse. The request to take-down wasn't made to InnerCityPress.com or its server -- it would have been rejected. But banning a page from Search has the same censoring effect.

  The US has a regime to protect freedom of the press, and against prior restraint. But this is a loophole, exploited cynically by Reuters. What if a media conducted a long investigation of a mayor, fueled by a leaked email. When the story was published, could the Mayor make a Reuters-like filing with Google and get it blocked?

  Here is the text of Charbonneau's communication to the UN's top Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit official Stephane Dujarric and MALU's manager, to which he claimed "copyright" and for now has banned from Google's Search:

Hi Isabelle and Stephane,

I just wanted to pass on for the record that I was just confronted by Matt Lee in the DHL auditorium in very hostile fashion a short while ago (there were several witnesses, including Giampaolo). He's obviously gotten wind that there's a movement afoot to expel him from the UNCA executive committee, though he doesn't know the details yet. But he was going out of his way to be as intimidating and aggressive as possible towards me, told me I "disgust" him, etc.

In all my 20+ years of reporting I've never been approached like that by a follow journalist in any press corps, no matter how stressful things got. He's become someone who's making it very hard for me and others in the UN press to do our jobs. His harassment of fellow reporters is reaching a new fever pitch.

I just thought you should know this.

Cheers,

Lou
Louis Charbonneau
Bureau Chief. United Nations
Reuters News Thomson Reuters reuters. com

This email was sent to you by Thomson Reuters, the global news and information company.

"UNCA" in the for-now banned e-mail is the United Nations Correspondents Association. The story developed here, as to Sri Lanka; here is a sample pick-up in Italian, to which we link and give full credit, translated into English (NOT for now by Google)...

 

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