April 29, 2014

What CIA seeks to achieve through Ford Foundation


James Petras, retired Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, and adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, wrote a damning article on September 18, 2002, exposing the Ford Foundation’s sinister choice of beneficiaries of its donations. He accused the CIA of using “philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source”.
Beginning the 1950s, “50 per cent of the 700 grants in the field of international activities by the principal foundations were funded by the CIA,” he wrote, citing a US Congressional investigation in 1976 that said the CIA considered foundations such as Ford “the best and most plausible kind of funding cover”. This article will go beyond the professor’s findings that showed that the Ford Foundation-CIA connection was a deliberate, conscious joint effort to strengthen US imperial cultural hegemony and to undermine left-wing political and cultural influence.
Frances Stonor Saunders wrote in his book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters, 2001, “At times it seemed as if the Ford Foundation was simply an extension of Government in the area of international cultural propaganda. The Ford Foundation had a record of close involvement in covert actions in Europe, working closely with Marshall Plan and CIA officials on specific projects.”
That should keep India safe because the US claims to further the cause of democracy while India is the largest democracy, right? Wrong. The Americans often follow an Indira Gandhi-like policy: Romancing with nefarious elements till they serve as Pentagon’s puppets. A deep probe into the cia-on-campus.org site reveals that the Ford Foundation has dirty pro-Islamic businesses it would rather be silent on. There have been a number of reports by journalists about it founding anti-Israel NGOs. It is also worth noting that Henry Ford created the Ford Foundation while he was involved in and impressed by Nazi Germany, two years before he received his award. Remember, Ford also had a factory in Imperial Japan and, for some unexplained reason in March 1945, Japan sent orders for a pro-independance committee to be formed in Indonesia.
Former Ford Foundation president Richard Bisell acknowledged that the purpose of the Ford Foundation was not “so much to defeat the Leftist intellectuals in dialectical combat as to lure them away from their positions”. In other words, you make them work in ‘harmless’ activities, and not in those that may eventually pose a threat to the interests of the US Administration.
Almost exactly 50 years ago, reports writer and documentary filmmaker G Edward Griffin, an unusual meeting took place between one Roland Gaither, then President of the enormously wealthy Ford Foundation, and a Norman Dodd, then chief investigator for the Congressional Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations. Gaither asks Dodd, “Would you be interested in knowing what we do here at the Ford Foundation?” Dodd replies, “Yes! That’s exactly why I am here. I would be very interested, sir.” Gaither tells him, “Mr Dodd, we operate in response to directives, the substance of which is that we shall use our grant making power to alter life in the United States so that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.” When he recovers from his shock, Dodd asks whether Gaither believes he doesn’t have an obligation to disclose this aim of one of the wealthiest tax-exempt foundations in the country to the American people. Gaither replies, “We would never dream of doing such a thing.” So, even the American citizenry is not supposed to know what the Ford Foundation is up to!
Niti Central now digs out from the archives of The New York Times a report that speaks of the Ford Foundation’s links with the CIA:
What CIA seeks to achieve through Ford Foundation
Click to enlarge
Next, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (Penguin, 2008) speaks of the Ford Foundation’s involvement in the ‘Southern Cone’ (South Americas) and Indonesia. It is an account of intellectual sponsorship of fascist intellectuals such as those following Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of Economics, embarrassment of the aftermath, followed by sponsorship of human rights organisations.
The Congressional report spoken of above names some of the Ford Foundation’s projects that looked innocuous but had American soft imperialism as their motive:
• Establishment of a publishing house, Inter-cultural Publications, and the publication of a magazine Perspectives in Europe in four languages.
• Setting up journal Der Monat funded by the Confidential Fund of the US military and run by Melvin Lasky.
• Funding CIA-organised Congress for Cultural Freedom (Donation: $7 million in the early 1960s).
• Proliferation of a number of journals and access to the mass media which pro-US intellectuals used to launch vituperative polemics against Marxists and other anti-imperialists. The FF funding of these anti-Marxists organisations and intellectuals provided a legal cover for their claims of being “independent” of government funding (CIA).
Other authoritative sources reveal a different set of sinister activities of the Ford Foundation:
• In 1968, the Ford Foundation began disbursing $12 million to persuade law schools to make “law school clinics” part of their curriculum. Clinics were intended to give practical experience in law practice while providing pro bono representation to the poor. Many, however, charge that the clinics have been used instead by professors to engage in political activism. Critics cite the financial involvement of the Ford Foundation as the turning point when these clinics began to change from giving practical experience to engaging in advocacy ["Clinical, Cynical" by Heather MacDonald in the Wall Street Journal, 2006, p A14].
• In 1994, Christina Hoff Sommers in her book, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women, alleged that the Ford Foundation funded “gender feminism”, an ideology that abandoned the feminist quest for equity in favour of a gender war against men. Similar claims were made by the Spanish judge Francisco Serrano Castro in his 2012 book, La Dictadura de GĂ©nero (The Dictatorship of Gender).
• Joan Roelofs, in Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (State University of New York Press, 2003), wrote that Ford and similar foundations played a key role in co-opting opposition movements. “While dissent from ruling class ideas is labelled ‘extremism’ and is isolated, individual dissenters may be welcomed and transformed. Indeed, ruling class hegemony is more durable if it is not rigid and narrow, but is able dynamically to incorporate emergent trends”. She reports that McCloy, while chairman of the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees from 1958 to 1965, “thought of the Ford Foundation as a quasi-extension of the US Government. It was his habit, for instance, to drop by the National Security Council (NSC) in Washington every couple of months and casually ask whether there were any overseas projects the NSC would like to see funded.” Roelofs also charges that the Ford Foundation financed counter-insurgency programmes in Indonesia and other countries.
• In 2003, the Ford Foundation was critiqued by American news service Jewish Telegraphic Agency, among others, for supporting Palestinian NGOs that were accused of promoting anti-Semitism at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. Under pressure from several members of Congress, chief among them Rep Jerrold Nadler, the Ford Foundation apologised and then prohibited the promotion of “violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state” among its grantees. This move itself sparked protest among university provosts and various non-profit groups on free speech issues.
• In 2005, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox began a probe of the Ford Foundation that ultimately backfired. Though the Ford Foundation is headquartered in New York City, it is chartered in Michigan, giving that state some jurisdiction. Cox focused on its governance, potential conflicts of interest among board members, and what he viewed as its poor record of giving to charities in Michigan. Between 1998 and 2002, the Ford Foundation gave Michigan charities about $2.5 million per year, far less than many other charities its size. The Ford Foundation countered that an extensive review and report by the Gaither Study Committee in 1949 had recommended that the Ford Foundation broaden its scope beyond Michigan to national and international grant-making. The report was endorsed by the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees, and they subsequently voted to move the Ford Foundation to New York City in 1953.
• The Ford Foundation’s partnership with the New Israel Fund, which began in 2003, was frequently criticised regarding its choice of mostly liberal grantees and causes. This criticism came to light after the 2001 Durban Conference, where some nongovernmental organizations funded by the Ford Foundation backed resolutions equating Israeli policies as apartheid, and later, against those groups which support the delegitimization of Israel. In response, the Ford Foundation adopted stricter criteria for funding.
In the new millennium, Petras says, the Ford Foundation has turned “more flexible in providing small grants to human rights groups and academic researchers who occasionally dissent from US policy. They are not as likely to recruit CIA operatives to head the organisation. More significantly, they are likely to collaborate more openly with the US government in its cultural and educational projects, particularly with the Agency of International Development.”
We will see how the CIA has spread its tentacles in India in the next article in the series.

BJP wants all online companies to set up servers in India

BJP IT cell co-Convener wants all online companies to set up servers in India

By NT Balanarayan on Apr 16th, 2014  |   3 Comments Email Email  anonymous tip off

The national co-convenor of BJP’s IT cell Vinit Goenka believes that online companies need to store data of Indians in servers within the country for security and data sovereignty.

In a blog post, Goenka notes that many countries have changed their IT laws keeping developments such as cloud computing in mind and made it mandatory for companies to store customer data within the country the customer resides in. He says that India also needs to consider such a legislation.

The main points he raises are:

- He claims that the police in India cannot track people who send “illegal data” unless they receive a complaint, but this could change if companies set up their server in India.

- He also raises questions about all the data that e-commerce companies collects and wonders why they are not stored in India. He also goes on to say that this data could be used against Indians if these companies are acquired by terrorist organisations!

- Goenka does present some valid reasons for forcing companies to host servers in India such as the location information gathered by companies like Google and maintaining of company books in servers of countries where Indian has no jurisdiction to hide black money.

But govt can already access data: Do note that the Indian government has been setting up monitoring systems such as CMS and Netra to grab online data. According to reports, the government was also planning to ask its US counterpart to share the technology it uses to decrypt conversations happening over chat services like WhatsApp and Skype, if the companies don’t do so themselves.

That being the case why should companies set up their server here? What is the guarantee that information thus obtained will be used only for security purposes and not for political targeting?

Also, if there is a data leak of any sort, it could have some serious repercussions on the privacy of users, considering there is no privacy law in place yet. This could also have major implications on enterprises including intellectual property theft and possible financial losses.

Jurisdiction in libel cases: Companies like Google and Amazon have argued jurisdiction in India and will probably not be able to argue jurisdiction if servers are set up here. This is an issue we had raised a few years ago in relevance to a libel case involving Blogspot.

ISPs’ requests to Indian government

Note that this is not the first time someone has demanded that tech companies set up servers in India. Last June, several Indian ISPs had reportedly asked the Indian Government to insist foreign Internet companies like Facebook and Google to setup local servers in India, after the leak of NSA’s surveillance data mining program PRISM.

ISPs had apparently asked the government to mandate foreign companies to store data from users within the country in these local servers, so that the data is not available to any other foreign intelligence agency. However, what’s interesting here is the same ISPs had not raised any such privacy issues when Indian government set up CMS, which is essentially India’s version of PRISM. (Also read: India To Ask ISPs, Telcos To Link To CMS; Who’ll Sue The Indian Government?)

Issue with setting up servers in India

It needs to be noted that India was ranked one of the most risk prone location for hosting Data Centre Operations in ‘Datacenter Risk Index 2013’ survey conducted by Cushman & Wakefield. While India ranked high on parameters like Cost of Labour (4th) and Sustainability (6th), it emerged 13th on Political Stability and 16th on International Bandwidth. It failed to score high on crucial parameters with higher weightage in the survey, scoring low on key factors such as Energy Cost (25th) and lying last (30th) on the parameters of Ease of Doing Business, Inflation and GDP per capita. It also ranked 28th of Natural Disasters, Energy Security, Corporation Tax and Education Level.

If BJP thinks companies should set up server in India, it should address these issues and make India an attractive location for these companies instead of making it a legal requirement, if and when it forms the government. This means solving energy issues, bandwidth issues and business policies among others.

With inputs from Vikas SN

Corrigendum: An earlier headline incorrectly referred to Goenka as the IT Cell head of the BJP. Goenka is the national co-convener of the IT Cell. Our apologies for the error.

Diplomatic Assertion: India Wants Equinet To End US Hegemony On Internet

PREETAM KAUSHIK1APR 22, 2014, 12.47 PM


The revelations made by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who had been granted Russian asylum and is currently living in that country, surely dented the US image for the long term. Although the world has long suspected that the US is the brain behind all the 'paranormal' activities on the Internet, such as spying, data gathering and breaching the trust of several world leaders by screening their communication in the e-world, Snowden managed to provide the perfect setting for the livid reactions that followed. In fact, Snowden has single-handedly caused more damage to the country's reputation than the years of Cold War could ever accomplish.

The reactions were candid and sometimes explicit to the extent of shedding the suave language of diplomacy to get the point across in no uncertain terms. Among the first to react strongly against this was the Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, who was simply furious. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent out a cautious reaction, expressing anger over the same and saying that European Union countries need to explore ways to ensure data safety on the Internet by hosting their servers in other places than the US.

Now, the next in the list is India. When Edward Snowden's allegation/revelation came along, the country sat as a silent observer even as the world went about reacting and revealing plans to safeguard the data concerning their countries and citizens.

This has got to be a major diplomatic initiative where India is seen as a challenge to the US in terms of the hegemony the latter has over the Internet world. India will propose to rename the Internet as 'Equinet' and make all nations equal stakeholders in its operations. Through this, India will call for 'internationalisation' of the Internet, where technology won't be a preserve of any specific country, but will allow all countries to have a say in the matter of data security.

When India speaks about Equinet, it won't be the first nation to do so. Equinet, as a structure and concept with greater objectives, is the European Network of Specialised National Equality Bodies. This structure co-ordinates and facilitates information exchange among fair bodies in the European Union, to counteract discrimination across a wide range of key areas including age, sexual orientation, gender and a host of other aspects.

But the Equinet India proposes to implement, goes much beyond counteracting discrimination. This Equinet reaches the realms of Internet safety, data protection and privacy of users across the spectrum. India will place this suggestion at a meeting, proposed to be held at Brazil's Sao Paulo on April 23 at the 'NETMundial' event where representatives from more than 180 countries will be present.

It is well expected that India will side with Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and Iran to get the point across that the time has come to end the US dominance over the Internet. This conference, which is also known as the 'Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Governance,' was led by Brazil, which had expressed its displeasure over the American snooping activities in no uncertain words.

In its interpretation of what the Internet should turn out to be, India will press for a 'multilateral, transparent, democratic and representative...' Internet and security programmes, which need to be 'internationalised' in the sense that access to security measures should be distributed equally among stakeholders.

India will also elaborate on how the new cyber jurisprudence should be evolved, bringing down all political boundaries and aiming to deliver cyber justice in real time. For this, India feels that all stakeholders need to facilitate the transfer of Information Technology and capacity building to developing nations in order to help them take measures to improve cyber security, develop technical skills and enact legislation, strategies and regulatory frameworks to fulfil their responsibilities.

Even the Indian government is aware that the country is home to the world's biggest tech force that can make it happen. In fact Milind Deora, Union Minister of State for IT and Communications, has reportedly said that in order to strengthen cyber security programmes and safeguard the secrecy of Internet communication, the government is encouraging Indian IT firms to set up their servers in the country. This is being done in order to protect the interests and secrecy of Indian citizens, the minister has stated. In its 12th Five Year Plan in 2012-17, the government has also allocated Rs 500 crore towards strengthening cyber security that will cover a number of key areas such as surveillance, cyber crime investigation and forensics.

In what can be a major step for India to track illegal activities driven by technology, the position of a stakeholder can easily catapult the country from being a victim to an empowered nation. However, the tech world would then want the government to exercise caution while exercising control over the Internet, without acceding to knee-jerk reactions.

ndia wants the Internet to become Equinet

By Lori Sandoval, Tech Times | April 21, 11:07

NETmundialIndia wants to rename the Internet to Equinet as it fights for all nations to have an equal say in the operations of the World Wide Web, rather than control by a single entity, the United States. Will it succeed?
(Photo : NETmundial)

In an era where the rise of Internet technology and its pros and cons become hot issues for global debate, India proposes renaming the "Internet" to "Equinet," bolstering its move to decentralize the operations of the World Wide Web. That way, all nations would have an equal say, instead of the United States having too much control over it.

India will put its challenge on the table at the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 23 and 24. Also called NETmundial, the global meeting is to discuss principles on Internet governance and a road map for evolving the Internet Governance Ecosystem.

It was initiated by Brazil in light of the leaked reports of U.S. agencies spying on Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's president, and other high government officials. The leaked reports came from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Research says the idea of Equinet first came out from Kapil Sibal, India's communications minister, during an Internet Governance Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2012.

"Equinet means an equitable Internet, which plays the role of an equalizer in the society and [is] not limited only to the privileged people," said CEO Dr. Govind of the National Internet Exchange of India.

Sivasubramanian Muthusamy, who is president of Internet Society India in Chennai, as well as participant in the NETmundial, said the concept of Equinet isn't achievable.

"Totally wrong idea. Internet provides a level playing field already. It is designed and operated to be universally accessible, free and open. Internet as it is operated today offers the greatest hope for developing countries to access global markets and prosper," he said.

Interestingly, a draft of the paper to be discussed was made available online since last week and is even open for any comment. Apparently, there's a sense of dissatisfaction among the stakeholders, criticizing the document for discussion for its lack of any strength.

In a letter posted at NETmundial.net, the draft was criticized for several things, including removing references to net neutrality and no mention of mass surveillance by the NSA and other active parties supposedly involved.

Meanwhile, Ben Wagner and Milton Mueller, said to be experts of Internet governance, see the global meeting as merely a rehash of old debates, based on their paper Finding a Formula for Brazil: Representation and Legitimacy in Internet Governance.

News came out in March that the U.S. intends to abandon control of a vital part of ICANN, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, after 16 years of control. Critics said it appeared to be a move of the U.S. against criticism that it controls the Internet.

The global meeting will have representatives from around 180 countries and have 33 remote participation centers in 23 nations. It will be streamed live on Netmundial.br. India is said to possibly to take sides with China, Iran, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

With 220 million users, India is the third-largest Internet community, after the United States and China.