Posts Tagged ‘Macedonia’

This from Daily Beast is interesting.

It was just last week when congressional investigators said they favored more transparency to the general public about exactly which Facebook posts a Kremlin-backed troll farm used to target Americans with anti-immigrant rhetoric—and even rallies on U.S. soil.

The lawmakers who lead the Capitol Hill committees charged with investigating Russia’s election meddling spoke out after Facebook declined to commit to sharing with Congress information about Russian government-backed posts, groups, and paid advertisements—including ones first reported by The Daily Beast.

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it plans to turn over more than 3,000 Russian-linked ads that appeared on the site to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and Congress is keeping information about the process close to the vest—at least for now.

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Is location a privacy issue? Should it be? We know now that location on social platforms is an issue. Individual users can hide their locations on Facebook.

We can argue two sides to the privacy question as a function of public safety:

I, personally, am safer hiding my location. V. The population is safer when we can identify a user’s location.

We can also argue that what goes for terrorists should not necessarily apply to trolls and bots. Is one more of a threat to public safety than the other?

At the far end of that argument is interference is elections, not only in the United States, and not only presidential elections. Potentially any election anywhere. Is the danger of that less than the dangers posed by terrorists?

Terrorist groups like ISIS operate recruiting efforts via a network of users dispersed over a variety of locations.

Although current evidence indicates that Russian trolls on Facebook operate out of brick-and-mortar “troll farms” like the one we saw on Homeland last season, we also know that the Macedonian trolls operated via a virtual troll farm in our last election. So we know that trolling need not operate from a hard-wired consolidated location in order to succeed.


So is location a privacy issue? Should Fake Americans have a right to hide their locations from Facebook followers on the basis of the argument that doing so ensures their safety? Should trolls have different rules from those that govern terrorists? Just asking.

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Passing of Kiro Gligorov

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 2, 2012


I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kiro Gligorov, the first president of the independent Republic of Macedonia. He was a patriot and true statesman.

His commitment to Macedonia’s independence led to a peaceful transition in 1990-1991, and his steady leadership provided inspiration while Macedonia overcame enormous hardships. President Gligorov was a friend to the United States and a leader who had a vision for his country that still serves as an example for Macedonia and the region. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all the citizens of Macedonia.

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DOS did not post a public schedule today, unfortunately, so,  although we did know in advance about Mme. Secretary’s address at the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, we had no information about anything else.  Nevertheless, today’s press briefing gives us a peak into a bilateral she held today with the Prime Minister of Macedonia.  This picture is not from that event.  It is from the Civil Society Dialogue earlier in the day.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
February 16, 2011
MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State for the primary press briefing. Two items before taking your questions. The Secretary met this morning with Prime Minister Gruevski of Macedonia, discussing a wide range of bilateral and regional issues. During the meeting, the Secretary expressed concerns about trends regarding rule of law, independent media, and civil society. She also reiterated our hope that Macedonia and Greece resolve together the longstanding name issue so that Macedonia can move forward on seeking NATO membership and fulfilling its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. At the same time, the Secretary also expressed appreciation for Macedonia’s contributions to ISAF in Afghanistan, recognizing Macedonia as one of the highest per capita troop contributors.

There are no photos, video, or text of remarks.  Only this.  Further on in the briefing, and evidently in reference to a journalist’s tweet, there was this which I add because I wholeheartedly agree.

MR. CROWLEY: Layla is the greatest rock and roll song of all time, but we digress.

This exchange I post to refute accusations that Hillary Clinton waffled on anything regarding the level of popular dissatisfaction, the need to address it, and the subsequent fact of popular uprisings over the past month.  She has been nothing if not consistent.  Statements to the contrary are untrue.

QUESTION: On the protests that we’re seeing in different countries today, first, with respect to Libya, how do you characterize those protests? And is Muammar Qadhafi properly characterized as a dictator?

MR. CROWLEY: Look, there are events going on across many countries in the region today. As the President made clear yesterday, change is coming to the region and it’s important for governments – plural – to stay ahead of this trend. The Secretary made clear in her comments in Doha, reiterated them recently in Munich, countries across the region have the same kind of challenge in terms of the demographics, the aspirations of their people, the need for reform. And we encourage these countries to take specific actions that address the aspirations and the needs and hopes of their people. Libya certainly would be in that same category.

QUESTION: Is Qadhafi a dictator? You have no answer to that question?

QUESTION: He (inaudible) stumping —

QUESTION: Are you stumped?

MR. CROWLEY: I’m not stumped.

QUESTION: So what’s your answer to the question? Is he a dictator?

MR. CROWLEY: I don’t think he came to office through a democratic process.

Sorry the Hillary news was so skimpy today. Don’t shoot the messenger, please.  I can only give as good as I get.

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