Telegram App – RC IRK http://rc-irk.net/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 22:45:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://rc-irk.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Telegram App – RC IRK http://rc-irk.net/ 32 32 How to avoid a rejected ballot application in Tarrant County https://rc-irk.net/how-to-avoid-a-rejected-ballot-application-in-tarrant-county/ Tue, 18 Jan 2022 22:45:46 +0000 https://rc-irk.net/how-to-avoid-a-rejected-ballot-application-in-tarrant-county/

To avoid a denied mail-in ballot application, provide both your driver's license number and the last four digits of your security code, the county elections commissioner says.

To avoid a denied mail-in ballot application, provide both your driver’s license number and the last four digits of your security code, the county elections commissioner says.

amccoy@star-telegram.com

Nearly 53% of applications submitted to Tarrant County for mail-in ballots were denied, most because of missing driver’s license numbers and Social Security number digits, Elections Administrator Heider Garcia told county commissioners at their meeting Tuesday.

The trouble comes after that a bill that went into effect in December requires that applications include either the applicant’s driver’s license number, the last four digits of their social security number, or a statement that the applicant does not have a number. The numbers must match the numbers a person used to register to vote, Garcia said.

Tarrant County residents aren’t the only ones affected by the new rules. The law, which opponents say restricts access to polling stations and strips minority, disabled and elderly voters the right to vote, has produced a result Hundreds of rejections across the state. In Travis County a few weeks ago, 50% of voter motions were rejected, With harris and Bexar counties also reporting problems with an unusually high number of rejections.

The solution to making sure your application isn’t denied: Provide both your driver’s license and the last four digits of your Social Security number when registering to vote or applying for a ballot, Garcia advised.

He said those who have already registered should update their registration with both numbers.

“As long as one of them fits, it’s a try,” Garcia said.

Those whose applications were denied will receive a letter in the mail along with a new form to try again.

The deadline for applying for a postal vote is February 18.

Abby Church reports on the Tarrant County government for Star-Telegram. She holds degrees in journalism and creative writing from James Madison University, where she was editor of the award-winning student newspaper, The Breeze. Abby comes to Texas after telling stories in Virginia and North Carolina. Send news tips to achurch@star-telegram.com by email, by phone or text to 817-390-7131, or on Twitter @abbschurch.

]]>
Concerns for UK security as anti-vaccination groups evolve into US-style militias | British Security and Counter Terrorism https://rc-irk.net/concerns-for-uk-security-as-anti-vaccination-groups-evolve-into-us-style-militias-british-security-and-counter-terrorism/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 21:00:00 +0000 https://rc-irk.net/concerns-for-uk-security-as-anti-vaccination-groups-evolve-into-us-style-militias-british-security-and-counter-terrorism/

Counter-terrorism officials and police are increasingly concerned about the UK’s anti-vaccination movement evolving toward violent extremism and the formation of US-style militias.

Boris Johnson is among those receiving direct security updates on individuals willing to “undermine national health security”.

The movement’s more extreme elements are recruiting and strategizing via encrypted social media messaging app Telegram, with a UK anti-vaccination channel calling for “men of integrity” who are “fighting for our children’s future”.

Anti-vaccination opponents have targeted numerous schools and recently stormed a Covid testing site. They were led by Britain’s most visible campaigner Piers Corbyn, who subsequently called on people to burn down the offices of MPs who supported new restrictions.

Health experts warn their false claims have had an impact on the vaccination programme, with England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty blaming “misinformation” for the vaccine’s hesitation.

Government organizations now mobilized to oversee the anti-vaccination movement include the Interior Ministry’s Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) and its Research, Information and Communications Unit (Ricu), which deals with public issues security, including counter-terrorism.

Also tasked with documenting the Anti-Vaxx threat is the Home Office’s Counter-Extremism Analysis and Insight (CEAI) program, whose work informs strategic and operational decisions, as does its Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU) and Counter-Disinformation Unit, which is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Recent intelligence assessments describe the anti-vaccination movement as an alleged conveyor belt providing fresh recruits to extremist groups, including racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist organizations.

“It’s a growing problem and is being monitored at the highest level,” the Whitehall source said. “No. 10 is among those who receive the reports directly: the Prime Minister sees them in his inbox. The consensus is that we didn’t win [the disinformation war] as clean as we have to do next time.”

Of paramount importance is the UK anti-vaccination plotters going offline as UK-based group Alpha Men Assemble (AMA) organizes military training to prepare for a so-called “war” against the government and its Covid policies .

Recent posts from the AMA’s official Telegram channel, which has 7,000 subscribers, encourages members to employ anti-surveillance techniques by using “burner phones” and advises people to “communicate offline” using CB and ham radios.

Other posts seen by the observer Supporters promise that “at every AMA meeting you will be taught self-defense” with “professional men” and encouraged to “appropriate yourselves [sic] a black uniform”.

Ciaran O’Connor, an analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based think tank that studies extremism, said the AMA shared many similarities with anti-government militias in the US and it was clear they hoped to find one to create a kind of paramilitary force.

Stewart Rhodes, leader of an extremist US militia, has been charged with seditious conspiracy over the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Last Thursday, the leader of an extremist US militia, the Oath Keepers, was charged with seditious conspiracy in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

The AMA is also openly seeking British veterans, an approach that overlaps with US militia activities. Telegram messages suggest a number of ex-service workers have already joined. One related to a scene from the dystopian movie The MatrixHe describes himself as a “red-pilled veteran”. Another says: “I’m English. Ex-RAF. My mission statement was a “force for good”. I believed in that.”

Another group, Veterans 4 Freedom, which is said to have around 200 members, has been holding Telegram conversations relating to a violent riot that has included attacks on vaccination centers.

Milo Comerford, Head of Research and Policy at ISD, added: “Governments across Europe and North America are grappling with the growing prominence of a range of ideologically eclectic movements emerging at the nexus of Covid conspiracy and extremism.

“Traditional paradigms of counter-extremism policy are focused on threats from organized groups with clear political goals. However, these loose online conspiracy movements pose a much more “hybrid” challenge, not only to public safety but also to rights and democratic institutions.”

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which briefs UK officials on the evolving anti-vaccination threat, said: “We are seeing the convergence of anti-vaccination into other fringe movements.

“They’re adopting what they’ve learned about marketing strategies and communications as they’ve explored new markets and how to converge their audiences and hybridize their ideologies, much like the ‘Great Reset’ replaced QAnon as a cohesive conspiracy narrative for fringe elements.”

Comerford cited recent data from Prevent, the UK government’s counter-extremism programme, showing that one of the UK’s fastest growing extremism challenges are “mixed, unclear and unstable” (MUU) threats, ideological drivers of extremist violence beyond the traditional categories of far-right and Islamist extremism.

Ahmed added that the prominence of figures such as Piers Corbyn at UK anti-vaxxer and anti-lockdown rallies alongside far-right supporters articulated the coming together of traditionally opposing ideologies.

Despite their attempts to quash disinformation about the coronavirus online, Whitehall officials are dismayed that prominent anti-vaccination activists are still being hosted on platforms including Instagram, Facebook and Telegram, reaching nearly 1.5 million people. The most popular use the name of David Icke, a high-profile British conspiracy theorist who is promoting the false belief that the coronavirus is being spread through 5G.

Internationally, protests and demonstrations against corona lockdowns, so-called health passports and vaccination mandates have turned violent.

Across Europe, an anti-vaccination ecosystem has fueled real-world violence. In Italy, anti-vaccination groups have teamed up with far-right gangs to plan a bomb attack. Last month, German police foiled a conspiracy in which violent anti-vaccination extremists allegedly targeted a high-profile politician.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

]]>
Cambodia’s Internet could soon be like China’s: state-controlled https://rc-irk.net/cambodias-internet-could-soon-be-like-chinas-state-controlled/ Sat, 15 Jan 2022 08:00:11 +0000 https://rc-irk.net/cambodias-internet-could-soon-be-like-chinas-state-controlled/

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – On the day Kea Sokun was arrested in Cambodia, four plainclothes men showed up at his camera shop near Angkor Wat and took him to the police station. Mr. Kea Sokun, who is also a popular rapper, had posted two songs on YouTube and the men said they needed to know why he wrote them.

“They kept asking me, ‘Who is behind you? Which party do you vote for?’” said Mr. Kea Sokun. “I told them, ‘I’ve never voted and nobody controls me.'”

The 23-year-old artist, who says his songs are about everyday struggles in Cambodia, was sentenced to 18 months in a crowded prison after a judge found him guilty of inciting social unrest with his lyrics. His case is part of a crackdown that has seen dozens jailed for posting jokes, poems, pictures, private messages and songs on the internet.