National Security Last Week at the United Nations (March 26 – April 2)

On March 29-30, the European Union (E.U.) and United Nations (U.N.) co-hosted the fifth annual Brussels Conference, the main pledging event through which international contributions to the ongoing Syria crisis are announced and through which civil society can engage with donors. Ahead of the conference, U.N. agencies calculatedthat they would require over $10 billion (or €8.5 billion) to address the urgent humanitarian needs inside Syria and neighboring countries. However, the pledging conference generated only $6.4 billion (€5.3 billion) in pledges, including just over $500 million from the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken chaired a Security Council session on Monday and urged the Council to reopen two Syrian border crossings – access to which has been closed since Russia blocked their reauthorization by the Security Council last year – to deliver aid to the people. At present, cross-border aid can only be delivered through one crossing. Blinken expressed frustration with the international community’s continued failure to resolve the Syrian crisis. Addressing the Russian government’s sovereignty-based objections to expanding cross-border aid, Blinken said that “sovereignty was never intended to ensure the right of any government to starve people, deprive them of life-saving medicine, bomb hospitals or commit any other human rights abuse against citizens.”

Greek Military Chief: Syria’s Territory Must Be Respected, All Mercenaries And Foreigners Need To Leave – Greek City Times

The head of the Greek National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), General Konstantinos Floros, spoke about the common values and common interests that
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YouTube Launches Face Blur Tool To Help Protesters | TechWeekEurope UK

On Wednesday, YouTube has started to offer a new feature that automatically blurs the faces of the people in uploaded videos with a single click.

The tool is primarily designed to help political dissidents to conceal their identity, but can also be used for a variety of other purposes. The technology looks similar to what has been used in Google StreetView for several years.

According to the international human rights organization WITNESS, no other video-sharing service currently offers such anonymisation features.
Better safe than sorry

YouTube hosts an increasing amount of politically themed footage, some of it coming from countries with oppressive regimes, such as Syria. Although these videos do a great job of helping protesters get more exposure, they can also be used by the governments to identify and lock up the freedom fighters.

via YouTube Launches Face Blur Tool To Help Protesters | TechWeekEurope UK.