Daily Archives: October 5, 2007

A Reader Writes To Barbados Free Press…

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I feel it necessary to write to you concerning the article on Gwenetha Clarke. (Welcome To First World Barbados – Bring Your Own Water Pail, Forget About Bathing)

I note and appreciate the “Note From Marcus” yet I think that further action should be taken. The article still clearly outlines a conversation between Shona and Owen Arthur without any reference to the fact that it is simply an imaginative way of illustrating the issue. The entire ‘conversation’ should be removed or prefaced with a phrase like “Here’s how we think the conversation would have gone”.

Over the past few months BFP has taken a dramatic turn towards being the most professional, ethical, timely, and reliable source of information on the island. As such, your readership has increased and the cross section of individuals making up that readership has changed. If this article is the first experience that a reader has of BFP then it is likely that such a reader will view BFP as some kind of gossip column, comedic outlet, or even some radical extremist.

It is vitally important that you maintain the highest standards when it comes to things like integrity, transparency, accuracy, and professionalism. And more important it is vital that the BFP readership can see these characteristics in all of your work. Do not be frustrated into writing randomness and obscurities. I encourage you to continue writing intriguing, informational, out-of-the-box articles but to do so with the utmost care, understanding, and appreciation for the responsibility that you hold.

Please don’t interpret this to mean that jokes, insinuation, and controversial pieces are not appreciated – they are great! But they must be used with skill and relevance. Keep up the fantastic work!

Bajan Bullets
p.s. Looking forward to the next print edition

Barbados Free Press replies…

Thanks for the support and the advice. We’ve changed the article as you suggested.

We really appreciate the feedback. As most of our longtime readers know, we are not journalists – only ordinary folks who love Barbados, and believe that knowledge, transparency and accountability are fundamental to a healthy democracy.

BFP will continue to expose the corruption of our government and the cowardly silence of our Bajan media.

We ask readers for your prayers, your moral support and occasionally for your kind advice and forgiveness as we seek to do a job that really should be done by the professional Barbados media.

Marcus, Shona, George, Robert, Auntie Moses… and a very contrite and sometimes impulsive Cliverton.

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados

Government Says: Barbados Free Press, Barbados Underground Are Unpatriotic

I couldn’t find a better explanation of Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation than this…

Perhaps Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation is “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

The point, as I always understood it, is that appealing to loyalty to one’s own country is the act of a demagogue, of one who will say and do anything to gain public approval and political power. Primarily, it casts those who disagree as unpatriotic, hostile to the institutions and interests of their own country. Honest disagreement becomes character assassination. Underneath the appeal is the exploitation of bigoted or prejudiced feelings of the masses.

The quote is famous, but I don’t know the context in which it was said. I do know that there is nothing wrong with patriotism itself. Your country is, after all, the land you call home. To do what is best for your country is to do what is best for your home…

(Our thanks to The Partial Observer)

After squandering billions of our tax dollars in mismanagement and outright corruption, pushing through a secret Order in Council to enable the suppression of free speech and opposition, ignoring and then openly threatening citizens who ask reasonable questions about the lack of accountability and transparency and the corrupt conflicts of interest that make overnight millionaires of elected representatives – the Barbados Labour Party is now wrapping itself in the flag as its last defense.

In the latest government article published at the Barbados Labour Party Blog and in The Nation News, citizens are told that they should remain quiet about corruption in the Barbados government. To publicly speak about government corruption is “unpatriotic”…

“… posting negative economic and political comments about Barbados on the World Wide Web can certainly not be considered a patriotic thing to do.”

… from the Nation News article BLP Column – Where Is The Proof, Thompson? and also found at the government’s Barbados Labour Party Blog article Thompson: Believability Factor On The Line Again

The government is acting much like a husband who beats his wife and then blames her when she reveals his violence to the community.

No word in the BLP article about the $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that the Prime Minister was caught depositing into his personal bank account. Nothing in the article about the secret Order In Council that the government is using to listen to citizens’ phone calls and read their emails. Nothing about government ministers who become overnight millionaires or build a home for their girlfriends on land that they expropriated as a member of Cabinet. Nothing about reporters beaten by police for the offense of taking an accident scene photo. Nothing about the government official who had the police arrest a female tenant and strip search her over a civil debt for back rent. Nothing about police using “pre-signed” blank search warrants to terrorize a family in the middle of the night.

The list goes on and on and on.

The BLP article attempts to link Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground blogs to the opposition DLP party. The government must attempt this because they just can’t accept the reality that the ordinary non-political citizens of Barbados have had their fill of corruption and oppression.

But like that beaten wife who has had enough, who is not going to take it any longer, the ordinary citizens of Barbados are crying out to the community and to the world that this is what is being done to our country.

No, Mr. Prime Minister, we will not be silenced.

Now Mr. Prime Minister, about that $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that you deposited into your personal bank account …

24 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

How To Stop The Barbados Government From Reading Your Emails

The Government of Barbados recently invoked a secret law to allow government agents and police to read the emails of Barbados citizens without the necessity of a search warrant signed by a judge.

Do You Mind If The Government Reads YOUR Email?

As first revealed in our article Secret Order In Council Cancels Privacy Rights – Invokes Executive Powers – Barbados Government Takes The First Step Towards The Abyss, Prime Minister Owen Arthur is corruptly using government executive powers and the police for the purpose of identifying and countering his political opposition.

Part of the plan involves the forced co-operation of Barbados internet suppliers to identify readers of Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground. Once readers of these “subversive” (read “pro-democracy and accountability”) blogs are identified, the government regularly scans their emails for evidence or information that could be used against political opposition or citizens who call for accountability.

As well, our sources indicate that the private communications of high-profile members of the Democratic Labour Party are also being monitored through these new and secret laws.

For any Bajan citizens who have doubts about the government’s willingness to engage in such unethical and anti-democratic behaviour, we urge you to read our original article (link here). We also urge all Barbadians who value democracy and their own privacy to take some simple steps that will make it very difficult for government agents to read their emails. This is the first of a series of articles that will look at widely available tools and technologies that will empower Bajans and all our readers to maintain their privacy and freedom to communicate without fear of government reprisals.

Your “Private” Emails Are Not Private

When you log into Cable & Wireless, Sunbeach or any internet supplier (ISP), and then send an email to a friend, lover or business acquaintance, your message is sent “in the clear” as it is transfered from your computer to your ISP and then over the internet to its final destination. Copies of your email are to be found in several locations along the way even after the email is received or deleted by you or the recipient.

The Barbados government is able to look at those emails and it is doing so. How to stop them from reading your emails? Easy…

Encrypt Those Emails – It’s Easy!

When you use one of the widely available free email encryption programmes or web-based email services, no one except your intended recipient is able read your email.

Under normal circumstances, a government agent working with your internet supplier might see this email in transit…

“From: bobtheorganiser@sunbeach.net

To: davidleader77@sunbeach.net

Hello David,

I have attached the timetable for our candidate’s walk through Grape Hall next Wednesday afternoon. We’ve invited some of our well known members to accompany the candidate, and we’ve arranged for everyone to have some lunch at the home of Auntie Moses – one of the respected ladies from the local church. Be in Grape Hall at 10am sharp.

Robert”

When you use one of the encrypted email services, the government chap who is reading your emails sees something like this…

—–BEGIN PGP MESSAGE—–
Version: 7.1

xHzudLHwn4xI287VR4fhEgc5SwIAN2fcJOLdIkdh/6GS4Cy7h
qn8QDE/TrN2KQeh84QHpRxRBQb5Fb758eQ/sPS6QF4awsCE
oiO9oRcJjJ07WJbCTsi2xKyTp9T4JkmNSmXc6V85V9QOwQ
xnSMrkZYCu3OxP3F4bJloyupwzRLhkmWOGYT5hNOCiqy2K
3vzt7fczzFddQ/7rCdK6o8JYTaL8mmU4f9QGZ6QdkzoA0URE

—–END PGP MESSAGE—–

Big Difference!

The simplest way to implement encrypted email is to go to a free service like HushMail.com. Once you create an account, you can compose your emails at the HushMail website without the government being able to read your message – either while you are typing it or when it is in transit. Because of the secure connection between your PC and Hushmail, your message will remain private until it is viewed by the intended recipient.

HushMail has several other features – one of which is to let you send out an unencrypted email from the HusMail server. In that way, the government will not see the email going out from your computer. Yes, the government might know that you are visiting HushMail, but they won’t know what you are writing or to whom. The same goes with receiving mail.

If you use HushMail as your email address, folks will send emails to HushMail, and then you can log on securely and read them without the government being able to read them.

There are other encrypted email solutions, but for ease of use and zero cost (free is good!) HushMail is a good choice. If we all use HushMail or other encrypted email on a regular basis, it will drive the government thugs nuts!

Next article we will talk about a programme called PGP – Pretty Good Privacy – and all the things it can do to keep your computer data private.

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption