Saturday, November 29, 2014

German loophole allows BND spy agency to snoop on own people

German MPs examining the surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency have found a legal loophole that allows the Berlin’s foreign intelligence agency to spy on its own citizens.

The agency, known by its German acronym BND, is not usually allowed to intercept communications made by Germans or German companies, but a former BND lawyer told parliament this week that citizens working abroad for foreign companies were not protected.

The German government confirmed on Saturday that work-related calls or emails were attributed to the employer. As a result, if the employer is foreign, the BND could legally intercept them.

Opposition politicians have accused Angela Merkel’s government of pretending to be outraged about alleged spying by the NSA while condoning illegal surveillance itself.

http://www.intelligence-world.org/german-loophole-allows-bnd-spy-agency-to-snoop-on-own-people/

Warren Report: Fact or Fiction? - William F. Buckley Interview of Mark Lane - December 1, 1966

British spies ‘bugged Scotland Yard’

Britain's security and intelligence agencies were last night rocked by claims that they bugged Scotland Yard detectives who were investigating the agencies’ own alleged malpractice.

A Yard spokesman yesterday confirmed that police are investigating the allegations – which stem from documents disclosed in court by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

If substantiated, the claims – set out in a letter to Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe from Cori Crider, a director of the human rights charity Reprieve – would mean that one arm of the State supposed to keep the country safe from terrorism spied on another, the Metropolitan Police.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854383/British-spies-bugged-Scotland-Yard-according-letter-claims-conversations-Met-Libyan-case-intercepted.html

INCENSER, or how NSA and GCHQ are tapping internet cables

Documents recently disclosed by Edward Snowden show that the NSA's fourth-largest cable tapping program, codenamed INCENSER, pulls its data from just one single source: a submarine fiber optic cable linking Asia with Europe.

Until now, it was only known that INCENSER was a sub-program of WINDSTOP and that it collected some 14 billion pieces of internet data a month. The latest revelations now say that these data are collected with the help of the British company Cable & Wireless (codenamed GERONTIC, now part of Vodafone) at a location in Cornwall in the UK, codenamed NIGELLA.

For the first time, this gives us a view on the whole processing chain, from the parent program all the way down to the physical interception facility. Here we will piece together what is known about these different stages and programs from recent and earlier publications.


- NIGELLA - GERONTIC - INCENSER - WINDSTOP -

http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2014/11/incenser-or-how-nsa-and-gchq-are.html

UK spy base GCHQ tapped Irish internet cables

New documents released this week via the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden outline how Irish subsea telecommunications cables have been targeted by British intelligence.
The documents detail a whole series of underwater cables – essentially the backbone that connects Ireland to the globe – that are being tapped.
A document titled “Partner Cables” list the cables that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has accessed or sought to access. The commercial owners of the cables are identified by codenames.

The cables include the Solas undersea cable, which extends from the Wexford coast to southern Wales.
The owner of the cable is listed as “GERONTIC”, the password for Cable & Wireless, which is now part of Vodafone. The method of access is described as “DCO” or Direct Cable Ownership.
Eircom has a 50 per cent interest in the Solas cable and said last night “we have no knowledge of any activity of that nature”.
Vodafone said it “does not recognise any of the intelligence activities identified and we have no more knowledge of or information about any of those intelligence agency activities”.

Hibernia cable
British intelligence also access the Hibernia cable, which connects Ireland to the US and Canada from Dublin to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It loops to the UK via Southport, on the other side of the Irish Sea.

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/uk-spy-base-gchq-tapped-irish-internet-cables-1.2019492

Friday, November 28, 2014

Global Power Project: Is the Bilderberg Group Picking Our Politicians?

When it comes to the secretive meetings of the world’s financial, corporate, political and technocratic elites at the annual Bilderberg conferences, a common criticism from conspiracy theorists and others is that the group pre-selects major politicians – choosing presidents and prime ministers in private before populations have a chance to vote themselves.

Bilderberg participants contest this framing, suggesting that Bilderberg participants simply invite up-and-coming politicians who appear to have a bright future ahead of them.

The truth is that it’s a bit of both. Bilderberg invites politicians who appear to have an influential future in their respective nations, but their attendance at the meetings (depending on their ability to impress Bilderberg members and participants) can itself have a very significant influence on their political futures. This is because the industrialists, bankers and media moguls in attendance hold significant individual and collective power over the political processes across much of the Western world.

The main ideologies that pervade the group are an undeterred commitment to corporate and financial globalization, support of a Western-led world order, and the advancement and further institutionalization of global governance. Politicians who share similar views are more likely to be invited. As former Bilderberg chairman Etienne Davignon explained, “automatically around the table [at meetings] you have internationalists” who support European integration, the WTO and trans-Atlantic cooperation.

The result: invited politicians who impress the attended members and guests through speeches or contributions to debates are likely to gain the support of some of the world’s most powerful individuals and institutions. This is no absolute guarantee of political success for higher office, but there are numerous examples of politicians whose attendance may have provided supportive – or even pivotal – influence in their reaching higher office.

http://www.occupy.com/article/global-power-project-bilderberg-group-picking-our-politicians

Global Power Project: Meet the Bilderberg Group, High Priests of Globalization

Meet the Bilderberg Group – an annual gathering of 130 of the Western world’s top financial, corporate, political, academic, media, military and policy elites, held every year since 1954.

They meet behind closed doors, at five-star hotels, where participants are encouraged to speak frankly – meaning "off the record" and away from the prying eyes and piercing ears of the public. Some journalists and media executives are invited, but they don’t actually cover the meetings: they simply attend them as guests.

The famous exclusivity and secrecy of the Bilderberg Group, we are told, is designed to encourage frank and open discussions among some of the most influential people in North America and Western Europe. But unlike its portrayal as a place where powerful people simply "talk shop," critics for years have considered the meetings a form of secret world government, and a shadowy cabal.

The truth, as it often is, rests somewhere between these extremes.

Bilderberg is a meeting of the movers and shakers, the managers and policy-makers, the plutocrats, technocrats, financiers and imperialists of the North Atlantic powers. Its original purpose was to provide a forum where Western European elites could meet in private with American officials to encourage the strengthening of the "Atlantic Alliance." The forum has provided the geopolitical and economic framework for behind-the-scenes collaboration and cooperation between the major NATO powers.

Founding members of the group in 1954 included Joseph Retinger, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and David Rockefeller of the United States. Named after the Hotel de Bilderberg in the Netherlands, where the first conference took place, attendees decided to hold a conference annually with locations rotating between Europe and North America. In its early years, much of the funding for the group came from the CIA and American philanthropic foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

These institutions, along with the CIA, other major foundations and the Bilderberg conference itself, were pivotal in the early process of post-WWII European integration, laying the groundwork for what decades later would become the European Union.

http://www.occupy.com/article/global-power-project-meet-bilderberg-group-high-priests-globalization

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Which Submarine Cables Are NSA and GCHQ Tapping?

Edward Snowden's latest document dump has confirmed the extensive list of submarine cables tapped by the NSA, GCHQ and others.

A list of cables errily reminiscent to that The Register revealed in June has been made public by German broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung in a Google Drive dump here.

As The Register's Duncan Campbell revealed at the time, access to cables under the programs called “CIRCUIT” (intercepting cables landing at Seeb in Oman), “REMEDY” (access to BT cable facilities) and “GERONTIC” (Vodafone) delivered up a huge amount of communications to GCHQ and NSA spooks.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/26/snowden_doc_leak_lists_all_the_compromised_cables/

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Federal Reserve Is At The Heart Of The Debt Enslavement System That Dominates Our Lives

There are many people out there that believe that the Federal Reserve is an “agency” of the federal government. But that is not true at all. The Federal Reserve is an unelected, unaccountable central banking cartel, and it has argued in federal court that it is “not an agency” of the federal government and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are organized “much like private corporations“, and they actually issue shares of stock to the “member banks” that own them. 100 percent of the shareholders of the Federal Reserve are private banks. The U.S. government owns zero shares.

Many people also assume that the federal government “issues money”, but that is not true at all either. Under our current system, what the federal government actually does is borrow money that the Federal Reserve creates out of thin air. The big banks, the ultra-wealthy and other countries purchase the debt that is created, and we end up as debt servants to them. For a detailed explanation of how this works, please see my previous article entitled “Where Does Money Come From? The Giant Federal Reserve Scam That Most Americans Do Not Understand“. When it is all said and done, the elite end up holding the debt instruments and we end up being collectively responsible for the endlessly growing mountain of debt. Our politicians always promise to get the debt under control, but there is never enough money to both fund the government and pay the interest on the constantly expanding debt. So it always becomes necessary to borrow even more money. When it was created back in 1913, the Federal Reserve system was designed to create a perpetual government debt spiral from which it would never be possible to escape, and that is precisely what has happened.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-federal-reserve-is-at-the-heart-of-the-debt-enslavement-system-that-dominates-our-lives

TALKING TO JAMES RISEN ABOUT “PAY ANY PRICE,” THE WAR ON TERROR AND PRESS FREEDOMS

Jim Risen, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for exposing the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program, has long been one of the nation’s most aggressive and adversarial investigative journalists. Over the past several years, he has received at least as much attention for being threatened with prison by the Obama Justice Department (ostensibly) for refusing to reveal the source of one of his stories, a persecution that, in reality, is almost certainly the vindictive by-product of the U.S. Government’s anger over his NSA reporting.

He has published a new book on the War on Terror entitled “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.” There have been lots of critiques of the War on Terror on its own terms, but Risen’s is one of the first to offer large amounts of original reporting on what is almost certainly the most overlooked aspect of this war: the role corporate profiteering plays in ensuring its endless continuation, and how the beneficiaries use rank fear-mongering to sustain it.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/25/talking-james-risen-pay-price-war-terror-press-freedoms/

Monday, November 24, 2014

U.S. Postal Service ‘mail imaging’ program used for law enforcement, surveillance

The U.S. Postal Service runs a massive dragnet surveillance program of all the mail in the United States; enabling law enforcement to generate profiles of associations and contacts of every American.

Two key programs play a role in the surveillance. The first is called “Mail Imaging.” As the name suggests, the program involves taking a digital photograph of every piece of physical mail that crosses through the USPS. The images provide a permanent record of the source and destination addresses posted on all packages and letters in the country.

The scope of the program is absolutely huge. The New York Times reported that about 160 billion pieces of mail were scanned in 2012.

Ostensibly, the Mail Imaging program is used to sort mail. However, law enforcement agencies are regularly granted access to this data without even the requirement of obtaining a warrant. The massive trove of data can be used to profile individuals and gather intelligence on their private lives. For example, the government can glean who the individual corresponds with; who the individual does business with; who sends the individual birthday cards; who sends the individual monthly bills; who the individual contracts for legal services.

A second program, called the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking (MICT) program is engaged when there is special interest in a targeted individual. Reportedly, the program allows law enforcement to “track or investigate” the contents of mail connected to specific people.

An audit performed by the USPS Office of the Inspector General concluded that few safeguards (not warrants) that exist were not faithfully applied to the program. As often as 20% of the law enforcement surveillance requests were not properly approved, the audit revealed. The lax system was recently described in a report by Politico:

http://truthfrequencyradio.com/u-s-postal-service-mail-imaging-program-used-for-law-enforcement-surveillance/

German investigation of the cooperation between NSA and BND (I)

In Germany, a parliamentary commission is currently investigating the relationship between the NSA and the German foreign intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). Initially the hearings were about the main accusations made by Edward Snowden about NSA spying on countries like Germany and the experts only provided the usual statements that were already heard oftentimes since last year.

But recently the commission focussed on the cooperation between NSA and BND and a number of officials of the German agency were heard. Their statements provided very interesting details about how BND is operating and how they were cooperating with NSA. As all this is only in German, we will start providing summaries in English of the most interesting parts of these hearings.

http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2014/11/german-investigation-of-cooperation.html

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 12 - Philip Shenon

Philip Shenon, the bestselling author of The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, was a reporter for the New York Times for more than twenty years. As a Washington correspondent for the Times, he covered the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the State Department. As a foreign correspondent for the paper, he reported from more than sixty countries and several warzones. He lives in Washington, DC.

http://911blogger.com/news/2014-11-23/we-were-lied-about-911-episode-12-philip-shenon?

SECRET MALWARE IN EUROPEAN UNION ATTACK LINKED TO U.S. AND BRITISH INTELLIGENCE

Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept.

Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept.

The malware, which steals data from infected systems and disguises itself as legitimate Microsoft software, has also been identified on the same European Union computer systems that were targeted for surveillance by the National Security Agency.

The hacking operations against Belgacom and the European Union were first revealed last year through documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The specific malware used in the attacks has never been disclosed, however.

The Regin malware, whose existence was first reported by the security firm Symantec on Sunday, is among the most sophisticated ever discovered by researchers. Symantec compared Regin to Stuxnet, a state-sponsored malware program developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage computers at an Iranian nuclear facility. Sources familiar with internal investigations at Belgacom and the European Union have confirmed to The Intercept that the Regin malware was found on their systems after they were compromised, linking the spy tool to the secret GCHQ and NSA operations.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/24/secret-regin-malware-belgacom-nsa-gchq/

Researchers Uncover Government Spy Tool Used to Hack Telecoms and Belgian Cryptographer

The researchers have no doubt that Regin is a nation-state tool and are calling it the most sophisticated espionage machine uncovered to date—more complex even than the massive Flame platform, uncovered by Kaspersky and Symantec in 2012 and crafted by the same team who created Stuxnet.

“In the world of malware threats, only a few rare examples can truly be considered groundbreaking and almost peerless,” writes Symantec in its report about Regin.

Though no one is willing to speculate on the record about Regin’s source, news reports about the Belgacom and Quisquater hacks pointed a finger at GCHQ and the NSA. Kaspersky confirms that Quisqater was infected with Regin, and other researchers familiar with the Belgacom attack have told WIRED that the description of Regin fits the malware that targeted the telecom, though the malicious files used in that attack were given a different name, based on something investigators found inside the platform’s main file.


Victims are located in multiple countries. Kaspersky has found them in Algeria, Afghanistan, Belgium, Brazil, Fiji, Germany, Iran, India, Malaysia, Syria, Pakistan, Russia and the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati. The majority of victims Symantec has tracked are located in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/mysteries-of-the-malware-regin/

DHS SET TO DESTROY GOVERNMENTWIDE NETWORK SURVEILLANCE RECORDS

The Department of Homeland Security is poised to ditch all records from a controversial network monitoring system called Einstein that are at least three years old, but not for security reasons.

DHS reasons the files -- which include data about traffic to government websites, agency network intrusions and general vulnerabilities -- have no research significance.

But some security experts say, to the contrary, DHS would be deleting a treasure chest of historical threat data. And privacy experts, who wish the metadata wasn’t collected at all, say destroying it could eliminate evidence that the governmentwide surveillance system does not perform as intended.

The National Archives and Records Administration has tentatively approved the disposal plan, pending a public comment period.

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2014/11/dhs-set-destroy-governmentwide-network-surveillance-records/99737/

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Happened To JFK And Why It Matters Today - Jim Fetzer

JFK Assassination - 50 Reasons For 50 Years -

The real JFK mystery, 50 years later: Why the infamous murder must be reinvestigated

From the moment it was established, the Warren Commission was under tremendous pressure to calm a hysterical public and quash the widespread rumors of a conspiracy that exploded across the country in the days following the public killing of the president’s accused assassin. As Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach put it in a memo written hours after Oswald’s death, “We need something to head off public speculation or Congressional hearings of the wrong sort.”

That “speculation” never went away. In 1966, the first national poll taken on the subject found that 46 percent of Americans believed that JFK had been struck down by a plot. Last year, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 62 percent of the public rejected the idea that a single man had killed the president.

The Post reported this development with a palpable sense of bafflement, for the mainstream media has always treated skeptics of the official account with impatience, even scorn. For them, the Kennedy case was cracked and closed long ago. Last year, Jill Abramson blithely informed readers of The New York Times that “the historical consensus seems to have settled on Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin,” dismissing the wealth of information about the assassination that can be found online as “unfiltered and at times unhinged musings.”

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/22/the_real_jfk_mystery_50_years_later_why_the_infamous_murder_must_be_reinvestigated/?

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat

President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.

Mr. Obama’s order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision. The new authorization also allows American jets, bombers and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions.

In an announcement in the White House Rose Garden in May, Mr. Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that the missions for the 9,800 troops remaining in the country would be limited to training Afghan forces and to hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.”

NY Times

The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutes

The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap—testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for "rapid DNA" technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.

"We're not always aware of how it's being used," Schueren said. "All we can say is that it's used to give an accurate identification of an individual." Civil liberties advocates worry that rapid DNA will spur new efforts by the FBI and police to collect ordinary citizens' genetic code.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/rapid-dna-profiles-database-fbi-police

Friday, November 21, 2014

Postal Service almost never denies mail-surveillance requests

The U.S. Postal Service almost never denies requests to track suspects’ mail on behalf of law-enforcement agencies through a controversial surveillance program known for having compliance problems, according to a federal auditor.

USPS Deputy Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb said in testimony for a House hearing Wednesday that the Postal Service rejected only about 0.2 percent of the 6,000 outside requests last year for a practice known as mail covers.

The investigative technique involves recording information on the outside of individuals’ envelopes and parcels before the items are delivered, and then handing the data to law-enforcement agencies. It does not permit the opening of mail, which requires a search warrant.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/20/postal-service-almost-never-denies-mail-surveillance-requests/

Spy cable revealed: how telecoms firm worked with GCHQ

One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed.


Cable and Wireless even went as far as providing traffic from a rival foreign communications company, handing information sent by millions of internet users worldwide over to spies.

The firm, which was bought by Vodafone in July 2012, was part of a programme called Mastering the Internet, under which British spies used private companies to help them gather and store swathes of internet traffic; a quarter of which passes through the UK. Top secret documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by Channel 4 News show that GCHQ developed what it called "partnerships" with private companies under codenames. Cable and Wireless was called Gerontic.

http://www.channel4.com/news/spy-cable-revealed-how-telecoms-firm-worked-with-gchq

GCHQ and Cable and Wireless teamed as Masters of the Internet

Cable and Wireless provided UK intelligence agency GCHQ with access to the internet connections of millions of global users, going as far as to tap India's second largest telco, Snowden documents reveal.

The telco, since acquired by Vodafone, operated under GCHQ pseudonym 'Gerontic' when it opened and managed a secret firbe tap code named 'Nigella' in major backbone link owned by Indian telco Reliance Communications giving access to users in the subcontinent and Asia.


Nigella was located at a intersection of Cable and Wireless and Reliance links at Skewjack Farm in Cornwell. It was there the GCHQ planned to sniff data from the Indian carrier.

For its efforts Channel4 revealed Cable and Wireless was paid tens of millions of pounds under the program aptly named 'Mastering the Internet' that cost up to a million pounds a month to run.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/mastering_the_internet_snowden_disclosure/?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CIA WANTS TO DESTROY THOUSANDS OF INTERNAL EMAILS COVERING SPY OPERATIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

by MICHAEL ISIKOFF | YAHOO

A CIA plan to erase tens of thousands of its internal emails — including those sent by virtually all covert and counterterrorism officers after they leave the agency — is drawing fire from Senate Intelligence Committee members concerned that it would wipe out key records of some of the agency’s most controversial operations.

The agency proposal, which has been tentatively approved by the National Archives, “could allow for the destruction of crucial documentary evidence regarding the CIA’s activities,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein and ranking minority member Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., wrote in a letter to Margaret Hawkins, the director of records and management services at the archives.

But agency officials quickly shot back, calling the committee’s concerns grossly overblown and ill informed. They insist their proposal is completely in keeping with — and in some cases goes beyond — the email retention policies of other government agencies. “What we’ve proposed is a totally normal process,” one agency official told Yahoo News.

The source of the controversy may be that the CIA, given its secret mission and rich history of clandestine operations, is not a normal agency. And its proposal to destroy internal emails comes amid mounting tensions between the CIA and its Senate oversight panel, stoked by continued bickering over an upcoming committee report — relying heavily on years-old internal CIA emails — that is sharply critical of the agency’s use of waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques against al-Qaida suspects in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

https://news.yahoo.com/the-cia-wants-to-destroy-thousand-of-internal-emails-covering-spy-operations-and-other-activities-144303528.html

Let's Play NSA! The Hackers Open-Sourcing Top Secret Spy Tools

It all began just after Christmas 2013, when a peculiar 48-page gadget catalog appeared on the website of Der Spiegel. The top of each page contained a string of letters, beginning with "TOP SECRET."

Six months earlier, the German newspaper had been one of a number of media outlets to publish thousands of classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. But this document wasn't like the others.

The leaked file, authored around 2008 by a group at the National Security Agency known as the Advanced Network Technology (ANT) division, was a list of spy devices designed for getting what it called "the ungettable."

These tools weren't made for the controversial blanket surveillance that had captured the world's imagination and stirred its outrage. They were for use in more targeted and, in some cases, more dazzling attacks: gadgets meant to be secreted deep inside specific computers or telephones or walls, spying on the world's most secure systems—in some cases, even when they weren't connected to the internet. These devices were for the kind of old-fashioned spying that we almost forgot about in 2013: surveilling foreign governments and agents, terrorists, criminals, and perhaps some unintended victims.

“For nearly every lock, ANT seems to have a key in its toolbox,” wrote Jacob Appelbaum, the American privacy activist and security researcher, in Der Spiegel. “And no matter what walls companies erect, the NSA’s specialists seem already to have gotten past them.”

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/michael-ossmann-and-the-nsa-playset?trk_source=homepage-lede

Matt Taibbi on Why Bankers Will Always Stay Out of Jail

Swedish Court Rejects Julian Assange’s Appeal to Dismiss His Arrest Warrant

More than two years after Julian Assange sought protection at the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, a Swedish court is still demanding he return to that country to face questioning in a sex crimes investigation.

Today a Swedish appeals court rejected Assange’s request to rescind the warrant for his arrest.

“In making this assessment, account must be taken of the fact that Julian Assange is suspected of crimes of a relatively serious nature,” the court said in its statement today. “There is a great risk that he will flee and thereby evade legal proceedings if the detention order is set aside. In the view of the court of appeal, these circumstances mean that the reasons for detention still outweigh the intrusion or other detriment entailed by the detention order.”

The ruling forces Assange to remain inside the embassy or risk arrest and extradition to Sweden. But new pressures on Swedish prosecutors could force them to travel to London to interrogate him instead of requiring him to travel to Sweden. Assange has resisted going to Sweden for fear that he would face further extradition to the U.S. where a grand jury investigation is ongoing.

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/sweden-rejects-assange-appeal/

WALL STREET IS TAKING OVER AMERICA’S PENSION PLANS

The flow of public money into Wall Street coffers has greater ramifications than simply putting pension funds at risk and corrupting our political system. It also fundamentally alters the future shape of American society by changing how public funds will get spent. Consider what might happen if pension money were steered into the communities where pension beneficiaries live. Michael McCarthy, an assistant professor of sociology at Marquette University, has highlighted how the Quebec government’s pension investment fund boosts the regional economy:

The fund invests in small and medium enterprises that operate within the province. According to their calculations, by 2012, the Solidarity Fund’s investments created 86,624 new jobs and kept 81,993 more from moving overseas.

Pension funds could play a similar role in America, but they don’t. Instead, U.S. pension funds mimic Wall Street investment practices.

Simply put, outsourcing investment decisions to Wall Street instead of giving them to accountable public servants adversely affects where pension investment money goes. When the money is not managed publicly there is no incentive to invest in local infrastructure, and there is nothing to dissuade investors from putting public money into investments that harm the local community, for example by outsourcing local jobs abroad.

“There is a massive transfer of power and wealth happening from the public to Wall Street, through pensions,” says a former Congressional staffer, who asked to remain anonymous because he has ties to the industry.“The more that money goes into private hands as opposed to public hands, the less that it gets invested into projects which are socially constructive.”

“It’s a policy justified entirely on people’s ignorance of what’s going on.”

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/20/huge-wall-street-story-one-talking/

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Unredacted FBI “Suicide Letter” to MLK

Beverly Gage/NYTimes:

When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received this letter, nearly 50 years ago, he quietly informed friends that someone wanted him to kill himself — and he thought he knew who that someone was. Despite its half-baked prose, self-conscious amateurism and other attempts at misdirection, King was certain the letter had come from the F.B.I. Its infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, made no secret of his desire to see King discredited. A little more than a decade later, the Senate’s Church Committee on intelligence overreach confirmed King’s suspicion (PDF/8MB).

Since then, the so-called “suicide letter” has occupied a unique place in the history of American intelligence — the most notorious and embarrassing example of Hoover’s F.B.I. run amok. For several decades, however, only significantly redacted copies of the letter were available for public scrutiny.

http://leaksource.info/2014/11/17/unredacted-fbi-suicide-letter-to-mlk/

Feds Indict Another Person For Teaching People How To Beat Polygraph Tests

Polygraph technology is far from infallible and has been for so long that it's practically common knowledge. And yet, the federal government still wants everyone to believe polygraphs tests separate the honest from the liars with incredibly high accuracy. So, it cracks down on those who claim to be able to help others beat the tests.

In 2012, federal agents began investigating Chad Dixon and Doug Williams, two men who sold books, videos and personal instruction sessions on beating polygraph tests. Late last year, Dixon was sentenced to eight months in prison for obstruction and wire fraud charges. The government claimed his actions jeopardized national security, pointing to a client list that included intelligence employees, law enforcement agents and sex offenders.

The government has just handed down an indictment [pdf link] of its second target -- former Oklahoma City police polygraph administrator Doug Williams.
The 69-year-old Norman, Oklahoma, man is the owner of Polygraph.com and charged customers thousands of dollars for instructions on how to beat lie detector tests administered for federal employment suitability assessments, federal security background investigations, and internal federal agency investigations, court documents show.

The government wants to see Williams locked up for fraud, claiming his polygraph-beating business allowed unqualified applicants to "obtain and maintain positions of Federal employment" and the "salary attendant to such positions."

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141115/16013429160/feds-indict-another-person-teaching-people-how-to-beat-polygraph-tests.shtml

Critical NSA Reform Bill Fails in the Senate

Senate lawmakers working to reform NSA surveillance were struck a fatal blow tonight when a critical bill that would have curbed some of the spy agency’s controversial activity failed to obtain enough votes.

In one of their last acts before the year sunsets, pro-reform Senators attempted to advance the USA FREEDOM Act but failed by just two votes to obtain the 60 votes needed to move the bill forward.

Democrats, who maintain the majority in the Senate, were eager to push the bill through during the end-of-year session before Republicans assume the majority position next year. Civil liberties groups, which support reforms currently laid out in the bill, considered tonight’s vote the last-gasp chance for the bill to move forward before some of its staunchest supporters hand over seats lost in the November elections.

The bill would have put an end to the government’s controversial bulk collection of phone records from U.S. telecoms—a program first uncovered by USA Today in 2006 but re-exposed in 2013 in leaks by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The bill would instead have kept records in the hands of telecoms and forced the NSA to obtain court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to gain access to them. It would also have required the agency to use specific search terms to narrow its access to only relevant records.

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/usa-freedom-act-fails-in-senate/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Questions About Al Sharpton’s Finances Accompany His Rise in Influence

Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills. Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.

With the tax liability outstanding, Mr. Sharpton traveled first class and collected a sizable salary, the kind of practice by nonprofit groups that the United States Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration recently characterized as “abusive,” or “potentially criminal” if the failure to turn over or collect taxes is willful.

Mr. Sharpton and the National Action Network have repeatedly failed to pay travel agencies, hotels and landlords. He has leaned on the generosity of friends and sometimes even the organization, intermingling its finances with his own to cover his daughters’ private school tuition.

NY Times

Secret Mafia initiation captured on camera for the first time

Police in Italy have captured a secret initiation ritual by Italy’s most feared and powerful mafia on camera for the first time.

In a scene seemingly straight out of the Godfather films, the ‘men of honour’ met at an old farmhouse near Lake Como to swear an oath of allegiance to a secret society within the mafia known as the ‘Santa’ .

In a separate ceremony recorded by police, the alleged mafiosi took oaths in the presence of a revolver and cyanide capsules to symbolise the penalty for betraying the clan.

The rituals were captured as part of an investigation which led to 38 arrests in the north of Italy this morning.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2839642/Secret-mafia-initiation-society-members-one-Italy-s-feared-criminal-clans-captured-camera-time.html


9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui claims Saudi involvement

From his cell in a maximum security prison, terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui is reviving old allegations and making new ones against al Qaeda and a handful of Saudi royals.

The 46-year old French national is claiming that Saudi Embassy officials were involved in a plot to shoot down Air Force One to assassinate Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton during a trip to the United Kingdom.

Moussaoui says he met with a Secret Service agent several months ago and told him what he knew. CNN has reached out to the Secret Service for comment.

In two handwritten letters filed this month in federal court in New York and Oklahoma, Moussaoui claimed that, during the time he was taking flying lessons in Norman, Oklahoma, he met with a Saudi prince and princess and that she "gave me money," and provided funding for 9/11 hijackers.

Lawyers for the Saudi government have repeatedly denied connections, maintaining Saudi Arabia was cleared by the 9/11 Commission.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/world/zacarias-moussaoui-saudi-arabia/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Monday, November 17, 2014

Executive order on immigration would ignite a political firestorm

Reports are rampant that President Obama will sign an executive order as soon as this week that will allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. Signing such an order would have explosive political consequences — it would not only reshape the near-term fights in Congress but also have a potentially profound effect on the two parties’ national coalitions heading into the 2016 election and beyond.

Republicans have made it clear that if Obama goes forward, it would be the equivalent of giving the middle finger to their incoming majority — and, by extension, the American public, which helped the GOP gain seats in the House and Senate on Nov. 4.

Washington Post

Federal drug agents launch surprise inspections of NFL teams following games

Federal drug agents conducted surprise inspections of National Football League team medical staffs on Sunday as part of an ongoing investigation into prescription drug abuse in the league. The inspections, which entailed bag searches and questioning of team doctors by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, were based on the suspicion that NFL teams dispense drugs illegally to keep players on the field in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, according to a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

The medical staffs were part of travel parties whose teams were playing at stadiums across the country. The law enforcement official said DEA agents, working in cooperation with the Transportation Security Administration, inspected multiple teams but would not specify which ones were inspected or where.

Washington Post

The siege of Julian Assange is a farce - a special investigation

by John Pilger

The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war.

The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end. On 28 October, the deputy foreign minister, Hugo Swire, told Parliament he would "actively welcome" the Swedish prosecutor in London and "we would do absolutely everything to facilitate that". The tone was impatient.

The Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, has refused to come to London to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduct in Stockholm in 2010 - even though Swedish law allows for it and the procedure is routine for Sweden and the UK. The documentary evidence of a threat to Assange's life and freedom from the United States - should he leave the embassy - is overwhelming. On May 14 this year, US court files revealed that a "multi subject investigation" against Assange was "active and ongoing".

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-siege-of-julian-assange-is-a-farce-a-special-investigation

Justice Department Defends US Marshals' Airborne Cell Tower Spoofers; Refuses To Acknowledge Program Exists

The Justice Department has been summoned to say a few words in defense of the US Marshals' Cessna-mounted cell tower spoofers. And while it tried to leave a lot unsaid, it actually said quite a bit.

The Justice Department, without formally acknowledging the existence of the program, defended the legality of the operation by the U.S. Marshals Service, saying the agency doesn’t maintain a database of everyday Americans’ cellphones.

Because America's criminal element is forever only moments away from permanently escaping the grasp of law enforcement, the DOJ has refused to confirm or deny the existence of technology everyone already knows exists -- IMSI catchers and single-engine aircraft. The DOJ's caginess is commendable. I'm sorry, I mean ridiculous. Here's the same official further protecting and defending The Program That Dare Not Confirm Its Existence, using statements that indicate the program exposed by the Wall Street Journal not only exists, but functions pretty much as described.

A Justice Department official on Friday refused to confirm or deny the existence of such a program, because doing so would allow criminals to better evade law enforcement. But the official said it would be “utterly false’’ to conflate the law-enforcement program with the collection of bulk telephone records by the National Security Agency, a controversial program already being challenged in the courts and by some members of Congress.

techdirt

SECRETIVE ‘VACCINE COURT’ ISN’T PAYING OUT CLAIMS

A system Congress established to speed help to Americans harmed by vaccines has instead heaped additional suffering on thousands of families, The Associated Press has found.

The premise was simple: quickly and generously pay for medical care in the rare cases when a shot to prevent a sickness such as flu or measles instead is the likely cause of serious health complications. But the system is not working as intended.

The AP read hundreds of decisions, conducted more than 100 interviews, and analyzed a database of more than 14,500 cases filed in a special vaccine court. That database was current as of January 2013; the government has refused to release an updated version since.

Among the findings:

—Private attorneys have been paid tens of millions of taxpayer dollars even as they clog the court with more cases than they can handle, some of which the court rejected as totally inadequate. The court offers a financial incentive to over-file — unlike typical civil court cases, attorneys are paid whether or not they win, as was the case with more than 5,000 losing claims that vaccines caused the developmental disability autism. Those who double-bill for their time or consistently submit questionable expenses are not disciplined.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ap-impact-vaccine-court-claimants-waiting-26972774

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Federal Agencies Are Using Undercover Operations

The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show.

At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and join the protests to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar with the practice.

At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders worldwide, by posing as tax preparers, accountants drug dealers or yacht buyers and more, court records show.

At the Agriculture Department, more than 100 undercover agents pose as food stamp recipients at thousands of neighborhood stores to spot suspicious vendors and fraud, officials said.

Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.

New York Times

Afghan Opium Poppy Cultivation At All Time High

CIA mission accomplished: Afghan Opium Poppy Cultivation at All-Time High 12 Nov 2014 Poppy production is the leading export among the mind boggling agents produced in the war torn nation..."Helmand province, registering a 3% increase in cultivation, remained Afghanistan's leading crop grower (taking 46% of the national total)". In fact, the production trend from Helmand, where British troops were first deployed in 2006 and which they left last month, has been steadily up. One could conclude the poppy eradication programme the British were supposed to lead at the request of then Prime Minister Tony Blair has been a failure...According to UN sources, at least 70% of drug profits wound up in the pockets of government figures who were the NATO allies.

http://www.legitgov.org/Afghan-Opium-Poppy-Cultivation-All-Time-High

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ex-NSA technical chief: How 9/11 created the surveillance state

Former NSA technical director Brian Snow discusses the ethical issues around the use of mass surveillance and tells Sophie Curtis why citizens should be careful what they wish for

The US National Security Agency's mass electronic surveillance programme, known as PRISM, is widely regarded to be one of the biggest privacy invasions of all time, and yet it was US citizens themselves who had demanded to be kept safe at all costs, according to one former NSA technical director.

Brian Snow, who worked for the NSA for 34 years before joining UK-based data security company PQ Solutions, said that after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, there was massive pressure on the government from US citizens to do whatever it took to protect them from further terrorist attacks.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/11221287/Ex-NSA-technical-chief-How-911-created-the-surveillance-state.html

CYNICS, STEP ASIDE: THERE IS GENUINE EXCITEMENT OVER A HILLARY CLINTON CANDIDACY

BY GLENN GREENWALD

It’s easy to strike a pose of cynicism when contemplating Hillary Clinton’s inevitable (and terribly imminent) presidential campaign. As a drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones, she’s about as banal of an American politician as it gets. One of the few unique aspects to her, perhaps the only one, is how the genuinely inspiring gender milestone of her election will (following the Obama model) be exploited to obscure her primary role as guardian of the status quo.

That she’s the beneficiary of dynastic succession – who may very well be pitted against the next heir in line from the regal Bush dynasty (this one, not yet this one) - makes it all the more tempting to regard #HillaryTime with an evenly distributed mix of boredom and contempt. The tens of millions of dollars the Clintons have jointly “earned” off their political celebrity - much of it speaking to the very globalists, industry groups, hedge funds, and other Wall Street appendages who would have among the largest stake in her presidency - make the spectacle that much more depressing (the likely candidate is pictured above with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein at an event in September).

But one shouldn’t be so jaded. There is genuine and intense excitement over the prospect of (another) Clinton presidency. Many significant American factions regard her elevation to the Oval Office as an opportunity for rejuvenation, as a stirring symbol of hope and change, as the vehicle for vital policy advances. Those increasingly inspired factions include:

Wall Street
The Israel Lobby
Interventionists (i.e., war zealots)
Old school neocons

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/14/despite-cynicism-genuine-excitement-hillary-clinton-candidacy/

POLICE DEPARTMENTS PETITION FEDS FOR ADVANCED CELL PHONE INTERCEPTORS

Multiple police departments across California’s Bay Area are looking to upgrade their Stingray cell phone interceptors to an even more advanced model.

IMSI catchers, portable devices commonly referred to as Stingrays, trick 2G cell phones into sharing their information by mimicking a cell tower. Limited by their ability to only intercept older model phones, law enforcement groups are petitioning the federal government for half a million dollars in grant money in order to purchase the “Hailstorm,” a device capable of siphoning data from phones utilizing the 4G LTE network.

by MIKAEL THALEN | INFOWARS.COM

The Feds Are Now Using ‘Stingrays’ in Planes to Spy on Our Phone Calls

It’s bad enough the government has been skulking around in cars and vans with a little device that can impersonate a cell phone tower and track you.

Now, in a move that should surprise no one, it’s taking to the skies to expand its tracking reach, in a move that would also allow it to collect data on more people at once.

That’s according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal indicating that the government has been using Cessna planes outfitted with special phone surveillance equipment to track suspects. But the surveillance system is designed to pick up the phone signals of anyone within range. The range of the equipment is currently unknown, but it means that data on potentially tens of thousands of phones could be collected during a single flight.

The airplane-based system is a 2-foot-square box called the Dirtbox—after the Boeing subsidiary that manufactures it (the Boeing division is known as DRT, for Digital Receiver Technology Inc). It appears to be the same or similar to so-called IMSI catchers or stingrays that law enforcement, the military, and intelligence agencies have been using for more than a decade.

The secretive stingray technology allows law enforcement agents to spoof a legitimate cell tower in order to trick nearby mobile phones and other wireless communication devices like air cards into connecting to the stingray instead of a phone carrier’s legitimate tower. When a device connects, stingrays can see and record its unique ID number as well as information that points to the device’s location.

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/feds-motherfng-stingrays-motherfng-planes/

Thursday, November 13, 2014

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 11 - Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive with the National Security Agency, a United States Air Force and Navy veteran, CIA intelligence analyst, computer software expert and whistleblower. While at NSA, he blew the whistle on multi-billion dollar programmatic fraud, waste and abuse; the critical loss and coverup of 9/11 intelligence; government wrongdoing; and a dragnet electronic mass surveillance and data mining program conducted on a vast scale by the NSA (with the approval of the White House) after 9/11. Mr. Drake argued that this program violated and subverted the Constitution as well as individual sovereignty and privacy, while weakening national security and fundamentally eroding our civil liberties. In April 2010 he was charged by the US Department of Justice with a 10 felony count Espionage Act indictment facing 35 years in prison and declared an enemy of the state. All 10 original charges were dropped in July 2011 after Mr. Drake pled to a single misdemeanor count of exceeding the authorized use of a government computer with no fine or prison time.

http://911blogger.com/news/2014-11-13/we-were-lied-about-911-episode-11-thomas-drake?

Bill Requiring Cops To Get Consent For Some Searches Riles Up NYPD

Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program

The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of cellphones through fake communications towers deployed on airplanes, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.

Planes are equipped with devices—some known as “dirtboxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. unit that produces them—which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.

The technology in the two-foot-square device enables investigators to scoop data from tens of thousands of cellphones in a single flight, collecting their identifying information and general location, these people said.

Wall St Journal

Justice Department Admits It Misled Court About FBI’s Secret Surveillance Program

The Justice Department acknowledged that it misled a federal Appeals Court during oral arguments last month in a case reviewing whether the government should be able to secretly conduct electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant.

In a newly unsealed letter, a Justice Department lawyer told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that it spoke erroneously when describing the disclosure restrictions placed upon the FBI's use of so-called national security letters. NSLs, as they are often referred, can compel companies to hand over communications data or financial records of certain users to authorities conducting a national security investigation.

Companies are often given an NSL with an accompanying gag order that prevents them from publicly revealing any details regarding the NSL, or disclosing that it even exists. But during arguments, government lawyers indicated to the contrary that a company could reveal that it had received a specific NSL and "discuss the quality" of it.

"That suggestion was mistaken," wrote Justice Department lawyer Jonathan Levy. "We regret this inadvertent inaccuracy and apologize for any confusion that may have been caused."

Levy additionally noted the letter, addressed to the Appeals Court, was an attempt to "correct that error."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-freedom group which represented an unidentified telecommunications company in the case, said the government's mea culpa "significantly undermines its case."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/justice-department-admits-it-misled-court-about-fbi-s-secret-surveillance-program-20141113

SON OF STUXNET

THE DIGITAL HUNT FOR DUQU, A DANGEROUS AND CUNNING U.S.-ISRAELI SPY VIRUS

Duqu was essentially a remote-access Trojan, or RAT, which operated as a simple back door to give the attackers a persistent foothold on infected machines. Once the back door was installed, however, Duqu contacted a command-and-control server, from which the attackers could download additional modules to give their attack code more functionality, such as the keystroke logger/infostealer the Hungarians had found on one of their systems.

As for Duqu’s intent, it was pretty clear it wasn’t a saboteur like Stuxnet, but an espionage tool. Whereas Stuxnet was a black ops mission bent on destruction, Duqu appeared to be the forward scout, sent out to collect intelligence for future assaults. Symantec suspected it was the precursor to another Stuxnet-like attack. Duqu’s life-span was limited, however; a kill date in the code forced it to self-destruct after thirty-six days, deleting all traces of itself from an infected machine.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/11/12/stuxnet/

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Watch out: the US government wants to pass new spying laws behind your back

Never underestimate the ability of the “do-nothing” US Congress to make sure it passes privacy-invasive legislation on its way out the door. In December 2012, the Senate re-upped the NSA’s vast surveillance powers over the holidays when no one was paying attention. In December 2013, Congress weakened video-rental privacy laws because Netflix asked them to and nobody noticed.

Now, as the post-election lame-duck session opens on Wednesday in Washington, the Senate might try to sneak through a “cybersecurity” bill that would, as the ACLU puts it, “create a massive loophole in our existing privacy laws”. The vague and ambiguous law would essentially allow companies like Google and Facebook to hand over even more of your personal information to the US government, all of which could ultimately end up in the hands of the NSA and the FBI.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/12/new-spying-laws-cybersecurity-nsa-fbi

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

War Is A Racket - The Truth About Veteran's Day

CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY WORKING TO DECODE BRAINS & READ YOUR THOUGHTS

It seems like science fiction, or something out of the movies.

Being able to read someone’s mind is happening for real, right here in Pittsburgh.

At Carnegie Mellon University, they are decoding brains and reading thoughts.

“For the first time, we can get inside people’s heads the way you’ve never been able to before,” CMU’s Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging Director Marcel Just said.

He is at the forefront of ground-breaking research.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2014/11/10/cmu-working-to-decode-brains-read-your-thoughts/

For Guccifer, Hacking Was Easy. Prison Is Hard.

Before agreeing to answer questions from The New York Times in prison, where he shares a cell with four others, including two convicted murderers, he read out a lengthy handwritten statement that he said explained the purpose of his hacking.

A potpourri of conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 1997 death of Princess Diana and alleged plans for a nuclear attack in Chicago in 2015, it said: “This world is run by a group of conspirators called the Council of Illuminati, very rich people, noble families, bankers and industrialists from the 19th and 20th century.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/world/europe/for-guccifer-hacking-was-easy-prison-is-hard-.html


Monday, November 10, 2014

ISIS is America’s Dream Rebel Army

US policy paper reveals desire for construction of full-scale extraterritorial army to invade Syria. Such an army is being built in Iraq and Turkey and it’s called “ISIS.”

The corporate-financier funded and directed policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, has served as one of several prominent forums documenting and disseminating US foreign policy. It would host in part the architects of the so-called “surge” during the nearly decade-spanning US occupation of Iraq, as well as battle plans for waging a covert war against Iran now well under way.

Part of this covert war against Iran involved the arming and backing of listed terrorist groups, and in particular, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) which has killed US servicemen, American civilians, as well as countless innocent Iranians over the decades. Among those signing their name to this plan found within Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” report, was Kenneth Pollack. Now, in efforts to overthrow the government of Syria, also a stated and integral part of undermining, isolating, and destroying Iran, Pollack has revealed another element of the plan – to create a full-scale proxy military force outside of Syria, then subsequently invading and occupying Syria with it.

In the report titled, “Building a Better Syrian Opposition Army: How and Why,” Pollack cites the so-called “Islamic State” or “ISIS” as the ultimate impetus for expanded US intervention. However, upon looking at Pollack’s proposal, it merely looks as if the US is using ISIS as a pretext to more overtly intervene in order to overthrow the government of Syria – not in fact neutralize ISIS.

After a considerable preamble assuring readers that the aim of creating a “better Syrian opposition army” would exclude sectarian extremists and result in the same “success” the US had in training the Iraqi army, the document explains:

…building a new Syrian army is best not done in Syria itself. At least not at first. The program would need the time and sanctuary to perform the necessary training, reorganization, sorting and socialization into a new Syrian army without the distractions and pressures of Syria itself. The Saudi offer to provide facilities to train 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters is one of reasonable possibility, although one of Syria’s neighbors would probably be preferable. Jordan already serves as training ground for America’s current training program and it would be an ideal locale to build a real Syrian army. However, Turkey could also conceivably serve that purpose if the Turks were willing.

Clearly, not only is this already being done as admitted by Pollack himself, it is being done on a scale already eclipsing Pollack’s alleged plan – the only difference is it is being done through the use of sectarian extremists – not the imaginary, nonexistent secular professionals Pollack uses as a marketing gimmick to sell this scheme.

http://journal-neo.org/2014/11/10/isis-is-america-s-dream-rebel-army/

Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize

Mr. Connelly was talking about a practice known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows the government, without ever securing a conviction or even filing a criminal charge, to seize property suspected of having ties to crime. The practice, expanded during the war on drugs in the 1980s, has become a staple of law enforcement agencies because it helps finance their work. It is difficult to tell how much has been seized by state and local law enforcement, but under a Justice Department program, the value of assets seized has ballooned to $4.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year from $407 million in 2001. Much of that money is shared with local police forces.



The practice of civil forfeiture has come under fire in recent months, amid a spate of negative press reports and growing outrage among civil rights advocates, libertarians and members of Congress who have raised serious questions about the fairness of the practice, which critics say runs roughshod over due process rights. In one oft-cited case, a Philadelphia couple’s home was seized after their son made $40 worth of drug sales on the porch. Despite that opposition, many cities and states are moving to expand civil seizures of cars and other assets. The seminars, some of which were captured on video, raise a curtain on how law enforcement officials view the practice.

NY Times

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN CALIFORNIA LAUNCH LOAN PROGRAM FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Students in the country illegally can now receive extra financial aid through California’s public universities under a new loan program recently approved by the state legislature that circumvents federal regulations prohibiting non-U.S. residents from obtaining federally funded student loans.

California already allows many undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, and they can get state-funded tuition aid through Cal grants.

“Nevertheless, many of these students remain ineligible for federal student aid for reasons beyond their control,” the law states. “Lack of access to federal student loans presents a substantial barrier for these students to obtain a baccalaureate degree from the California State University or the University of California. The California DREAM Loan Act addresses this barrier by providing access to additional state aid.”

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in late September, and universities are preparing to offer the loans starting with the 2015–16 academic year.

The interest rate for loans issued under the DREAM program will be the same as those given to students through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the law states. California will funnel $9.2 million annually from its coffers to support the program, to be run by the California State University and University of California systems. Lawmakers anticipate 3,000 borrowers during the first year.

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/20039/

FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT FBI’S FACIAL RECOGNITION DATABASE

A federal judge has ruled that the FBI's futuristic facial-recognition database is deserving of scrutiny from open-government advocates because of the size and scope of the surveillance technology.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the bureau's Next Generation Identification program represents a "significant public interest" due to concerns regarding its potential impact on privacy rights and should be subject to rigorous transparency oversight.

"There can be little dispute that the general public has a genuine, tangible interest in a system designed to store and manipulate significant quantities of its own biometric data, particularly given the great numbers of people from whom such data will be gathered," Chutkan wrote in an opinion released late Wednesday.

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2014/11/federal-judge-says-public-has-right-know-about-fbis-facial-recognition-database/98453/?oref=ng-HPriver

Major banks knowingly funded Hezbollah terror operations: suit

Some of the world’s most powerful banks knowingly funded Hezbollah terror operations by concealing billions of dollars in transactions with their Iranian sponsors, a ​new ​Brooklyn federal lawsuit ​charges.
Dozens of victims of Hezbollah​ ​violence ​filed suit Monday against Barclays, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland​ for purposefully “stripping” information from the deals​ allegedly​ to obscure the involvement of Iranian banks.
The suit comes on the heels of a landmark jury verdict in Brooklyn federal court that found Jordanian banking power Arab Bank guilty of ​conducting business with Hamas that helped fund terror attacks.

http://nypost.com/2014/11/10/major-banks-knowingly-funded-hezbollah-terror-operations-suit/

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winston Churchill's 'bid to nuke Russia' to win Cold War - uncovered in secret FBI files

Winston Churchill urged the United States to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union to win the Cold War, a newly released document reveals.
The previously unseen memorandum from the FBI archives details how Britain’s wartime leader made his views known to a visiting American politician in 1947.
Churchill believed a pre-emptive strike on Stalin’s Russia might be the only way to stop Communism conquering the West.
Russian leader Joseph Stalin (left) and Winston Churchill (right) in 1945 - he urged the US to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union to win the Cold War

The note, written by an FBI agent, reports that Churchill urged Right-wing Republican Senator Styles Bridges to persuade President Harry Truman to launch a nuclear attack which would ‘wipe out’ the Kremlin and make the Soviet Union a ‘very easy problem’ to deal with.
The Russians would have been defenceless against a nuclear attack at that time – they did not successfully test their own atomic bomb until 1949.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2826980/Winston-Churchill-s-bid-nuke-Russia-win-Cold-War-uncovered-secret-FBI-files.html

NIST's WTC 7 Reports: Filled with Fantasy, Fiction, and Fraud

We will show, step by step, that NIST's final hypothesis of scattered office fires producing the gravitational collapse of a 47-story steel structure is a classic case of "cover-up" — designed to obscure the fact that the implosion of Building 7 was the result of controlled demolition.

NIST's pattern of omissions and distortions:

In its 2004 preliminary report, NIST fabricated the myth that debris from World Trade Center Building 1 (the North Tower) created a 10-story hole at a specific location at the base of WTC 7's south face. The following year it propagated that myth in Popular Mechanics, which defended NIST's work.

It turns out that NIST "needed" the 10-story hole to exist at this specific location to back up its explanation for the collapse of Building 7. This is an example of reverse engineering, where supposed evidence is constructed to fit a prearranged conclusion. NIST also used its Popular Mechanics (PM) platform to launch a second myth — namely, that Building 7 had a peculiar design, which purportedly made it vulnerable to collapse.

The PM article also helped NIST generate two more myths — namely, that diesel fuel tanks stored inside WTC 7 supposedly fueled an imaginary fire on the fifth floor, ostensibly helping to weaken the building at a strategic location, and that certain trusses helped to facilitate the collapse of the entire building by transferring stresses from supposedly damaged columns on the south side of the building.

NIST's final 2008 report discarded these self-constructed myths and introduced a new collapse initiation hypothesis that blames WTC 7's destruction on normal office fires. The final report is premised on the same shoddy investigative practices that the agency displayed in its 2004 report and in the 2005 PM article. Indeed, NIST's omissions and distortions are gross enough to discredit both its entire WTC 7 investigation and the agency itself as a viable 9/11 investigator.

NIST has consistently ignored evidence that would refute its preconceived conclusion. All the hard evidence demonstrates that Building 7 was brought down by classic controlled demolition.

We trust that a thorough perusal of this article will convince most readers that NIST's methodology and conclusions are not scientific and thus not credible. We also trust it will cause readers to declare "Enough is enough!" and demand a proper investigation.

http://www.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/927-nists-wtc-7-reports-filled-with-fantasy-fiction-and-fraud-intro.html

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The CIA and Drugs, Inc.: a Covert History

Gary Webb was a good investigator. He linked a drug dealer in Los Angeles, through Contra suppliers, to CIA officers and Republican politicians. His editor let the story rip, and the “Dark Alliance” series made a mighty impact on Black Americans, who saw it as evidence that the ruling class was as racist as ever.

Webb stuck a stake in the evil heart of the national security state and embarrassed the CIA’s contacts in the mainstream media. All of which was unforgiveable. Pressure was applied, history re-written, and Webb, in despair, apparently committed suicide.

The irony, of course, is that Webb had exposed only a small part of the story. The fact of the matter is that the US government has always managed large portions of the illicit, international drug business, and was doing so long before the CIA came into existence.

by DOUG VALENTINE...http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/11/07/the-cia-and-drugs-inc-a-covert-history/

Friday, November 7, 2014

JFK interview with Author James DiEugenio and Ry Dawson

American Upper Middle Class Share of Wealth is Worse than Every Country Besides Russia and Indonesia

One of Liberty Blitzkrieg’s most popular posts in 2013 was titled: How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally? #27. Here’s an excerpt:

We are number 1 right? USA! USA! No one can beat our wealth creation machine, our economic dynamism, our level playing field and our bastions of higher education. We have a middle class that is the envy of the world, right?

Well, like so much of the “American dream” we have been force fed for a generation or more, this perception is not based in reality whatsoever. Sure it may have been the case for a couple of decades immediately after World War 2. Before the military-industrial-Wall Street complex fully took over the political process, but it certainly isn’t true any longer. Myths die hard and this one is particularly pernicious because it prevents people from changing things.

The data in that article was based on a comprehensive study published by Credit Suisse titled Global Wealth Data Book. Well, the 2014 version is now out, and the results are not pretty.


Paul Buchheit has crunched the numbers, and highlighted some of his conclusions here. Here is some of what he found:

http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/11/06/american-upper-middle-class-share-of-wealth-is-worse-than-every-country-besides-russia-and-indonesia/

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/11/03/infuriating-facts-about-our-disappearing-middle-class-wealth

Former ECB Head Bullied Ireland into Bailout: Trichet “Held a Loaded Gun to Their Heads”

The authoritarian and undemocratic nature of the European Union has once again reared its ugly head.

Former European Central Bank head Jean Claude Trichet – who stepped down in 2011 and is a Bilderberg Steering Committee member and sitting chairman of the European branch of the Trilateral Commission – refused to appear at a hearing after documents revealed his role in giving Ireland a bailout choice it couldn’t refuse:

EU bullyboy Jean Claude Trichet has snubbed calls to appear before the banking inquiry after damning letters confirmed the European Central Bank shoved Ireland into our crushing bailout.

The four letters, released after four years, revealed the ECB would pull emergency funding for Irish banks unless they accepted the €64billion bailout.

[…]

He said: “The threat to cut off liquidity from the Irish banks was in essence a threat to force Ireland out of the Euro.

“The Government was essentially left with no choice in the matter. I believe this threat was a clear breach of the obligations of the ECB to act in the interests of all the citizens that use the Euro, not least those of Ireland.

[...]

“Three years ago, Mr Trichet threatened the previous Government and the Irish people and held a loaded gun to their heads.

Even the famed movie don in The Godfather could hardly muscle a deal that big.

Those involved in the investigation are suggesting it is a dirty deal of the highest order in the interests of the dominance of the superstate:

Mr Ross said it proved Ireland was “the weakest country” that was “picked on first” by the powerful bank.

“It was an example of corporate bullying by a Central Bank of a democratically elected Government.”

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/former-ecb-head-bullied-ireland-into-bailout-trichet-held-a-loaded-gun-to-their-heads_11062014

The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.

Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/the-ultimate-goal-of-the-nsa-is-total-population-control

JPMorgan Chase Whistleblower Breaks Silence on "Massive Criminal Securities Fraud"/DOJ Whitewashing

A year ago this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the banking giant JPMorgan Chase would avoid criminal charges by agreeing to pay $13 billion to settle claims that it had routinely overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors. But how did the bank avoid prosecution for committing fraud that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis? Democracy Now! speaks to JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview discussing how she witnessed "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank’s mortgage operations. She is profiled in Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone investigation, "The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare."

http://leaksource.info/2014/11/07/jpmorgan-chase-whistleblower-alayne-fleischmann-breaks-silence-on-massive-criminal-securities-fraud-doj-whitewashing/

Why Innocent People Plead Guilty

In actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.

In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed.


While corresponding statistics for the fifty states combined are not available, it is a rare state where plea bargains do not similarly account for the resolution of at least 95 percent of the felony cases that are not dismissed; and again, the plea bargains usually determine the sentences, sometimes as a matter of law and otherwise as a matter of practice. Furthermore, in both the state and federal systems, the power to determine the terms of the plea bargain is, as a practical matter, lodged largely in the prosecutor, with the defense counsel having little say and the judge even less.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/?insrc=hpma

CIA widow denounced JFK, Jackie, and RFK. Then she expressed love for a gangster

Harvey was one of the big men of CIA in it earliest days. A former FBI agent, he was the agency’s first chief of counterintelligence. He ran the CIA’s Berlin base in the 1950s. In 1960 Harvey was put in charge of ZR-RIFLE, the agency’s assassination program. Robert F. Kennedy forced the CIA to transfer him to Rome in 1963. Harvey died in 1976.

In the 1977-78 some investigators on the House Select Committee on Assassinations regarded Harvey as a prime suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy, because of his harsh criticism of JFK’s Cuba policy and the role of Robert F. Kennedy in it. Although no proof that Harvey was involved in JFK assassination has ever surfaced, his hostility to the Kennedy’s bordered on insubordination as this video shows.

http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/cia-widow-denounced-jfk-jackie-and-rfk-then-she-expressed-love-for-a-gangster/#more-16936

Why Americans Are Still Stuck on The Oswald ‘Lone Gunman’ Narrative

Why is JFK is still the most important Lone Gunman story? Because it was the first in a long series of psy-ops (psychological operations) directed against the American people. It wasn’t just the killing of Kennedy – it was also the death of common sense in America, as a nation surrendered to the false flag narrative.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2014/11/06/why-most-americans-are-still-stuck-on-the-oswald-lone-gunman-narrative/

How the CIA brought Animal Farm to the screen

The film version of Animal Farm was released to acclaim 60 years ago. There was a gala launch at the United Nations in New York and the film was praised by national newspapers. "The British out-Disney Disney" was one headline.

George Orwell's novella remains a set book on school curriculums, and his satire has lost none of its relevance in the modern age ("All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others"). The story of how his book was turned into Britain's first animated feature film is fascinating, not least because the movie was funded by America's Central Intelligence Agency.
The truth about the CIA's involvement was kept hidden for 20 years until, in 1974, Everette Howard Hunt revealed the story in his book Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent. In January 1950, when Orwell died at the age of 46, New Yorker Hunt had been part of the CIA's Psychological Warfare Workshop and he had been sent to obtain the screen rights to Animal Farm from Orwell's widow Sonia. Some people believe that Hunt exaggerated his own role in sealing the deal – he supposedly promised Mrs Orwell that he would arrange for her to meet her favourite star, Clark Gable – but he was certainly involved in getting the film off the ground.

To add to the Orwellian nature of the story, it is interesting to note that Hunt later found notoriety as part of team that broke into Watergate.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/11209390/How-the-CIA-brought-Animal-Farm-to-the-screen.html

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she's kept her mouth shut since then. "My closest family and friends don't know what I've been living with," she says. "Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview."

Six years after the crisis that cratered the global economy, it's not exactly news that the country's biggest banks stole on a grand scale. That's why the more important part of Fleischmann's story is in the pains Chase and the Justice Department took to silence her.

She was blocked at every turn: by asleep-on-the-job regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a court system that allowed Chase to use its billions to bury her evidence, and, finally, by officials like outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief architect of the crazily elaborate government policy of surrender, secrecy and cover-up. "Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way," Fleischmann says.

This past year she watched as Holder's Justice Department struck a series of historic settlement deals with Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America. The root bargain in these deals was cash for secrecy. The banks paid big fines, without trials or even judges – only secret negotiations that typically ended with the public shown nothing but vague, quasi-official papers called "statements of facts," which were conveniently devoid of anything like actual facts.


And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. "I could be sued into bankruptcy," she says. "I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don't start speaking up, then this really is all we're going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history."

By Matt Taibbi - Rolling Stone