If Mexico Wanted to Destroy New Jersey: Understanding Israel’s Concerns

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This is, of course, a hypothetical, but stay with me on it. Many in the United States and around the world seem to be perfectly fine with deciding the fate of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, allowing them to self-inspect some of their own military facilities and giving 24-days to prepare before an inspection. They want to tell Israel, Saudi Arabia, and others within striking distance of Iran that they have nothing to worry about, that John Kerry and company negotiated a really sweet deal on their behalf.

What if the situation was reversed?

Imagine that Mexico declared that they wanted to annihilate New Jersey. Mexico is bigger than Iran, but they’re not too far off in size. New Jersey and Israel are approximately the same size with the same population density.

Now, imagine that Mexico had one of the most powerful military forces in the world, that they were ruled by a theocracy that denounced the existence of the State of New Jersey, and that they were years into the process of enriching Uranium for nuclear weapons. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that they were a decade away from having a nuclear weapon. Iran is much closer than that according to US military intelligence, but for the sake of this hypothetical situation we’ll give it a decade.

Would Americans want the rest of the world to make a deal loaded with concessions that made truly stopping the program impossible for all practical purposes? Would we really be okay with a deal that rewards Mexico with lifted sanctions and huge payments made to them by the international community just because they say they’ll slow down their efforts?

As we’ve said, the Iranian Nuclear Deal is asinine. We’re asking Israel to sit back and shut up while a country bent on their destruction is getting everything they want. There’s a reason that the deal is widely accepted by the Iranians as they literally dance in the streets while our government is breathing a sigh of relief because the President was able to politically coax barely enough Senators to prevent them from reversing a Presidential veto.

Everyone knows what would happen in the New Jersey versus Mexico scenario. We wouldn’t allow it to happen, but we’re demanding that Israel allows it. Of course, Israel is in worse shape than New Jersey would be. Iran is closer to Israel than Mexico is to New Jersey. Saudi Arabia has even more to worry about, being separated by the narrow Persian Gulf, but that’s a whole other story.

Iran and Israel

Soshable

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Facebook cracks open Internet.org to address net neutrality concerns

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Facebook has introduced a new platform to address concerns that Internet.org threatens net neutrality in the developing markets it’s hoping to bring online.

The platform intends to make it easier for developers to create software that works with the initiative to “offer services through Internet.org in a way that’s more transparent and inclusive.” Facebook is waving the white flag.

Internet.org has been criticized in the past for offering what the Electronic Frontier Foundation described as a “fishbowl” Internet that allows some freedom but cuts people off from the Internet’s larger “ocean” of websites.

That proclamation followed recent criticism from Indian companies that backed out of partnerships with Internet.org and Latin American activists who warned against plans to use the initiative to provide Internet access to remote regions.

Mark Zuckerberg then took to his Facebook page to respond to those criticisms. His argument boiled down to this: It’s better for consumers in remote areas to have access to a fishbowl Internet than for them to remain totally land-locked.

Facebook explains in this platform’s announcement that Internet.org should be open to all companies, and that it initially limited access to the initiative so it could make sure its telecom partners wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the effort.

Yet this isn’t really an “open” platform. Facebook has some requirements — namely, that services help people “ultimately become paying users of the Internet” and are built specifically with Internet.org compatibility in mind.

That first requirement isn’t surprising. Of course Facebook wants people to pay to use the Internet; that brings them a step closer to making Facebook money. But the technical specifications, which explicitly prohibit developers from requiring the use of various encryption standards, are a little more worrisome.

Does that mean Facebook can’t guarantee the safety of data transferred via Internet.org? Is the company worried that encrypting the data will lead some governments to ban Internet.org from their countries? Or is it a technical issue?

You won’t find any answers on the technical guidelines page Facebook links to in its announcement. At the time of writing, this is the only thing on the page:

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.21.30 AM

[illustration by Brad Jonas]

PandoDaily

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