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In the Blind Spot (Human rights, Wikileaks, Coinbase)

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This edition of the Blind Spot Wrap was compiled by Dario Garcia Giner (DGG) and Izabella Kaminska (IK).

Economics, Finance, Markets etc.

  • Alena Douhan, a UN Special Rapporteur on the impact of coercive measures on human rights, has urged banks and financial institutions not to over-comply sanctions regimes due to their impact on human rights.

    This over-compliance, Douhan says, has done things such as preventing “international organisations and humanitarian actors from transferring funds to pay their workers in sanctioned countries, and blocks people in targeted societies from accessing their property, meeting their financial obligations, engaging in business activities, participating in international cooperation and day-to-day interactions.”

    The issue extends beyond sanctions to general anti money laundering (AML) compliance too. It’s a big issue. The Blind Spot looked at some of the human rights incompatibility factors with AML back when Canadian anti-vaccine mandate protestors had access to their funds blocked on government instruction. It isn’t something that’s easily fixable. Like beauty or any other subjective value, it is very hard to codify — especially without some sort of court process — what is a justifiable inhibition of someone else’s freedom, life or health. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist etc.

    As noted in our piece about Blackwater’s Erik Prince this week, the difference between an active opposition and an outright resistance is merely the ideological framing. When two ideologically opposed sides can no longer agree to disagree on basic principles underpinning the rule of law or the concept of legality in a system, schisms inevitably manifest. When they do, respect for what is perceived to be the challenger system’s laws is extinguished. What was once perceived to be criminal behaviour is seen as virtuous and justified. It equates to an endeavour to defend one’s cultural and ideological heritage (perceived to be under threat) or to revolt against a greater oppressive force. – IK

Journalistic freedoms:

  • Wikileaks attorneys are suing the US government for illegally surveilling Assange’s legal team inside the Ecuadorian embassy.

    You can read the full legal filing here. The key claim: “Each of the named plaintiffs, and hundreds of others, visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under political asylum at the Embassy of the government of Ecuador in London, United Kingdom. Prior to their visits each visitor was required to surrender his or her electronic devices, e.g. smartphones, laptops etc. to employees of Defendant Undercover Global (hereinafter “UC Global”). Unbeknownst to each of those visitors, including Plaintiffs and without their consent, employees of UC Global, acting without the knowledge of the Ecuadorian government, copied the information stored on the devices. UC Global then provided that information to the then headed by Defendant United States Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) defendant Michael Pompeo.”The attorneys are arguing that this is a violation of US citizens’ fourth amendment – because the US government is not allowed to spy on its own citizens without due legal process. How this might impact Julian Assange’s key extradition case is unclear.

    We’ll have a few more thoughts on the Assange case once we finish UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer’s book on the persecution of Assange – IK

OnlyFans did what?

Crypto news:

WW3 Watch:

  • Putin tells Kim Jong Un that Russia and North Korea will “expand the comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations with common efforts”, showing the increased closeness of ties being explored by both countries.
  • Israeli strikes Iran-linked targets in Syria.
  • Northern Syria erupts in protest at Turkish Foreign Minister’s comments.

    Individuals across Turkish-occupied Northern Syria have protested the words from the Turkish FM that encouraged a reconciliation between Syrian leaders aligned with Turkey, formerly known as the ‘rebels’, and the Syrian regime. This talk of reconciliation is Turkey’s latest manoeuvre to isolate the YPG-dominated SDF, which has recently been moving towards reconciliation with the Syrian regime. – DGG

Cool drones:

  • YouTuber Nicholas Rehm develops an ultra-efficient spinning drone.

    I don’t tend to get excited by the development of new model-sized drone platforms. However, the incredible efficiency gains Rehm draws from attaching fat wings and wingtips and pivoting to a spinning drone model is mesmerising. The addition of a nose tip seems to make the contraption even more aerodynamic (though I’m no engineer). I assume the commercial viability of such a hyper-efficient aerial platform will depend on the cost and complexity of developing a suitable gyroscopic system to keep whatever sensor or camera in the nose from functioning properly despite the spin. – DGG

Violent happenings:

In the boomer space:

The truth is out there:

  • A photographer from Sheffield Hallam University analyses the recently released picture of the Calvine UFO and deems it unlikely to have been manipulated.
  • There’s a rumour going around the UAP community that Congress has found where the private sector retrieval programmes are buried.

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