Monday, August 31, 2015

Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8 systems

Microsoft has been criticized by privacy advocates in regards to the data hunger of its Windows 10 operating system. The operating system slurps data like there is no tomorrow, especially when systems are set up using the express settings.

Experienced users may disable telemetry and data collection partially during setup, and then some more afterwards using the Registry or Group Policy.

What makes this problematic however is the fact that it is nearly impossible to stop all of the data collecting that is taking place.

While users may disable some, for instance by using privacy tools (of which there are plenty), others cannot be disabled or stopped that easily, for instance because of hardcoded host and IP address information that bypass the Hosts file of the operating system.

http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/28/microsoft-intensifies-data-collection-on-windows-7-and-8-systems/

Katherine Albrecht: Windows 10 Is Full Blown Electronic Tyranny

Would You Pay Micro-soft to spy on you? Windows 10 is an update that is being used to spy on you through malware. It is placed on your computer through the update and then leaves you helpless against spying through keystrokes, your camera and websites you visit.

Cocaine Production Plummets After DEA Kicked Out of Bolivia

After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.

It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.

http://theantimedia.org/cocaine-production-plummets-after-dea-kicked-out-of-bolivia/

Meet Allen Dulles: Fascist Spymaster

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Post Office “Secret Rooms”— What They’re For & Why You Need To Know About Them

Report: FBI Clinton email probe becoming 'extremely serious'

An FBI probe into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private server has been described as "extremely serious" and has required the help of the agency's best investigators.

The investigation, which Clinton has dismissed as a routine "security inquiry," is examining a possible violation of the Espionage Act, according to a report by Fox News.

Investigators are looking to see whether Clinton should have been aware of the sensitive nature of emails circulating on her private network, regardless of whether the emails were marked classified.

Clinton has repeatedly defended her handling of the material by claiming none of the emails were marked classified at the time they were sent.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-fbi-clinton-email-probe-extremely-serious/article/2571040

Clinton secrets hacked by spy in bag

THE MI6 spy found dead in a holdall had illegally hacked into secret data on Bill Clinton, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.

Gareth Williams, 31, dug out the guestlist for an event the former American president was going to as a favour for a pal.

The codebreaker — who had breached his security clearance — handed the list to the friend, who was also to be a guest.

MI6 bosses raged over the data breach amid growing tensions with US security services over Mr Williams’s transatlantic work.

Today, just over five years since his body was found inside a padlocked bag, his death remains one of Britain’s most mysterious unsolved cases.

The Sun on Sunday can reveal that voicemail messages Mr Williams left for family and pals were deleted in the days after his death. And a rival agent may also have broken into the flat to destroy or remove evidence.

The inquest was barred from discussing Mr Williams’s work in public. But sources say he was helping on the joint monitoring network Echelon, which uses sophisticated programs to eavesdrop on terrorists and criminal gangs, particularly those in Russia.

Echelon is used by Britain, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

A source said: “The Clinton diary hack came at a time when Williams’s work with America was of the most sensitive nature.

“It was a diplomatic nightmare for Sir John Sawers, the new director of MI6 at the time.”

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/6613428/Secrets-of-MI6-spy-found-dead-in-bag-revealed.html

Friday, August 28, 2015

Court: We Can’t Rule on NSA Bulk Data Collection Because We Don’t Know Whose Data Was Collected

On Friday, an appeals court overturned a U.S. District Court decision last May that had declared that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records was beyond the authorization of the law. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit kicked the matter back to the lower court for additional deliberation.

The decision did not declare the NSA’s program, which was revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013, to have been legal or constitutional. Rather, it focused on a technicality: a majority opinion that the plaintiffs in the case could not actually prove that the metadata program swept up their own phone records. Therefore, the plaintiffs, the court declared, did not have standing to sue.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/28/court-cant-rule-nsa-bulk-collection-dont-know-whose-data-collected/

Why It’s Hard to Sue the NSA: You Have to Prove It Spied on You

HERE’S A BIG problem with secret spying programs in the US: To dismantle them with a lawsuit, someone has to prove that their privacy rights were infringed. And that proof is almost always a secret.

That’s the Catch-22 that an appeals court served up Friday to plaintiffs who for the last two years have been attacking the NSA’s metadata collection program authorized under section 215 of the Patriot Act. The plaintiffs are led by constitutional lawyer and conservative activist Larry Klayman, who had sued the Obama administration for violating his fourth amendment privacy rights. In 2013, a lower court granted his a request for an injunction to stop the NSA’s spying on his data. But the Obama administration appealed that ruling, and an appellate court has now thrown out that injunction based on a familiar and vexing problem for those who sue the government’s secret spying apparatus: The plaintiffs couldn’t sufficiently prove that the NSA secretly spied on them.

“In order to establish his standing to sue, a plaintiff must show he has suffered a ‘concrete and particularized’ injury,” wrote judge Janice Rogers Brown in her opinion. “In other words, plaintiffs here must show their own metadata was collected by the government…the facts marshaled by plaintiffs do not fully establish that their own metadata was ever collected.”

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/hard-sue-nsa-prove-spied/

Study: 15% Of Wireless Users Now Tracked By Stealth Headers, Or 'Zombie Cookies'

Earlier this year AT&T and Verizon were caught modifying wireless user traffic to inject unique identifier headers (UIDH). This allowed the carriers to ignore a user's privacy preferences on the browser level and track all online behavior. In Verizon's case, the practice wasn't discovered for two years after implementation, and the carrier only integrated a working opt out mechanism only after another six months of public criticism. Verizon and AT&T of course denied that these headers could be abused by third parties. Shortly thereafter it was illustrated that it was relatively easy for these headers to be abused by third parties.

While the fracas over these "stealth" or "zombie" cookies has quieted down since, a new study suggests use of such stealth tracking is increasing around the world as carriers push to nab their share of the advertising pie. Consumer advocacy group Access has been running a website called AmiBeingTracked.com, which analyzes user traffic to determine whether or not carriers are fiddling with their packets to track online behavior. According to a new study from the group (pdf) examining around 200,000 such tests, about 15% of site visitors were being tracked by the carriers in this fashion all over the globe:

https://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20150819/08372732005/study-15-wireless-users-now-tracked-stealth-headers-zombie-cookies.shtml

INVESTIGATION The Last Word on Katrina: Treachery at Bush’s FEMA Pays Handsomely - PART 5 of 5

How the Botchees Made Out Like Bandits

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/28/investigation-the-last-word-on-katrina-treachery-at-bushs-fema-pays-handsomely/

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How the Bush Team Crushed Clinton’s FEMA - PART 4 OF 5

The Hidden Shame of Katrina, Part 4 of Series

WHO: Michael Brown, the disgraced head of FEMA during Hurricane Katrina

WHAT: The real story of how and why this hopelessly unqualified individual was placed in this sensitive post

WHY: A web of self-interest, undergirded by a philosophical contempt for government and the governed.

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/27/how-the-bush-team-crushed-clintons-fema/

Pinky and Brownie: Bush’s Forgotten Henchmen - PART 3 OF 5

In the second part of this series, which you can read here, we discussed the origins of the partnership between Joe Allbaugh and Michael “Brownie” Brown, that ultimately contributed to the needless suffering of thousands of New Orleans residents.

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/26/pinky-and-brownie-bushs-forgotten-henchmen/

Confederacy of Scoundrels: Katrina Exposed, Part 2 of 5

The backstory to the very bad boys Bush put in charge of FEMA

In the first part of this series, which you can read here, we learned about Michael Brown’s incompetence and how it manifested itself in the days after Katrina. But Brown’s incompetence, it turns out, was not something that bothered the Bush Administration. By all appearances, it was in fact Brown’s stunning lack of qualifications that made him the perfect person to help “downsize” government and outsource. The consequences of this ideological play would be catastrophic.

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/25/confederacy-of-scoundrels-katrina-exposed-part-2-of-5/

A Bronx coup: end-running democracy to replace a DA

Good news: New York’s longest-serving — and least effective — district attorney may finally be leaving his job after more than a quarter-century.

Bad news: He’s to be replaced in a squalid deal that lets the political bosses hand-pick his successor with next-to-no voter involvement.
As The Post’s Richard Johnson reported Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has put together a scheme to place Bronx DA Robert Johnson on the state Supreme Court bench and replace him with a political loyalist — Darcel Clark, now an Appellate Division judge.

Rumors of Heastie’s plan go back more than two years — but it’s a hot issue now because Johnson’s up for re-election this year.

The scheme reportedly has Johnson resigning next month, after his name is already on the primary ballot for re-election.

That would let the Bronx Democratic Committee — which Heastie headed until he became speaker — put Clark on the ballot instead. That’s too late for any other would-be candidate to make the ballot, and so gives Clark a near-lock on victory.

This goes beyond a cynical back-room assault on democracy.

http://nypost.com/2015/08/25/a-bronx-coup-end-running-democracy-to-replace-a-da/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Way GCHQ Obliterated The Guardian’s Laptops May Have Revealed More Than It Intended

In July 2013, GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, forced journalists at the London headquarters of The Guardian to completely obliterate the memory of the computers on which they kept copies of top-secret documents provided to them by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

However, in its attempt to destroy information, GCHQ also revealed intriguing details about what it did and why.

Two technologists, Mustafa Al-Bassam and Richard Tynan, visited Guardian headquarters last year to examine the remnants of the devices. Al-Bassam is an ex-hacker who two years ago pleaded guilty to joining attacks on Sony, Nintendo, and other companies, and now studies computer science at King’s College; Tynan is a technologist at Privacy International with a PhD in computer science. The pair concluded, first, that GCHQ wanted The Guardian to completely destroy every possible bit of information the news outlet might retain; and second, that GCHQ’s instructions may have inadvertently revealed all the locations in your computer where information may be covertly stored.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/26/way-gchq-obliterated-guardians-laptops-revealed-intended/

First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist

It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist.

With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.

The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.

Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/26/first-state-legalizes-armed-drones-for-cops-thanks-to-a-lobbyist.html

The CIA and the Media: 50 Historical Facts the World Needs to Know

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis. CIA publicists and journalists alike will assert they have few, if any, relationships, yet the seldom acknowledged history of their intimate collaboration indicates a far different story–indeed, one that media historians are reluctant to examine.

1.The CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD is a long-recognised keystone among researchers pointing to the Agency’s clear interest in and relationship to major US news media. MOCKINGBIRD grew out of the CIA’s forerunner, the Office for Strategic Services (OSS, 1942-47), which during World War Two had established a network of journalists and psychological warfare experts operating primarily in the European theatre.

2.Many of the relationships forged under OSS auspices were carried over into the postwar era through a State Department-run organization called the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) overseen by OSS staffer Frank Wisner.

3.The OPC “became the fastest-growing unit within the nascent CIA,” historian Lisa Pease observes, “rising in personnel from 302 in 1949 to 2,812 in 1952, along with 3,142 overseas contract personnel. In the same period, the budget rose from $4.7 million to $82 million.” Lisa Pease, “The Media and the Assassination,” in James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X, Port Townsend, WA, 2003, 300.

4.Like many career CIA officers, eventual CIA Director/Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms was recruited out of the press corps by his own supervisor at the United Press International’s Berlin Bureau to join in the OSS’s fledgling “black propaganda” program. “‘[Y]ou’re a natural,” Helms’ boss remarked. Richard Helms, A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency, New York: Random House, 2003, 30-31.

http://memoryholeblog.com/2015/08/26/the-cia-and-the-news-media-50-historical-facts-the-world-needs-to-know/

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

CIA chief told RFK about two shooters in Dallas

Why did Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy believe that his brother President John F. Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, as his son recently said?

Did RFK have any evidence for his belief, asked several readers who had seen the widespread coverage of RFK Jr.’s comments

It turns out RFK had it on good authority that two people were involved.

RFK’s belief was based on conversations with the Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone, who had been briefed by analysts at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) after they reviewed a home movie of JFK being struck by gunfire.

This little-known story comes from two credible sources: Dino Brugioni, retired chief of the CIA’s photographic analysis offices, and historian Arthur Schlesinger.

The CIA views the Zapruder film

The film, of course, came from the camera of dressmaker Abraham Zapruder as he watched the presidential motorcade in Dallas in which President Kennedy was struck by gunfire on November 22, 1963. Zapruder had the film developed and gave a copy to the Secret Service. That night one copy of Zapruder’s film was hand-delivered to the Grand Prairie Naval Air Station in southwest Dallas. A jet pilot flew the film to Washington D.C. where it was viewed by FBI and Secret Service officials.

http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/news/cia-chief-told-rfk-about-two-shooters-in-dallas/#more-2415

Pentagon Silent on Whether Top-Secret Data Was Compromised in Clinton Emails

The Pentagon on Tuesday sidestepped questions about whether top-secret intelligence, including secrets derived from reconnaissance satellites and aircraft, was compromised after being placed on unsecure emails found on Hillary Clinton’s private server.

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, in an inaugural briefing for reporters, would not answer questions about the secret intelligence found by an inspector general in a sampling of emails once stored on Clinton’s unsecured server. The email system was used by the former secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

So far, some 305 emails containing classified data have been found among some 60,000 emails once kept on the private server.

“I think this an issue best left to the State Department,” Cook said. “They’ve had to address this and also Secretary Clinton. It’s not something that I think makes sense for me to get into from right here at this podium.”

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/pentagon-silent-on-whether-top-secret-data-was-compromised-in-clinton-emails/

Windows 10 users are being banned from torrent sites

Piracy sites are preventing users of Windows 10 from using their trackers. These are the servers that allow all of the computers downloading files using torrents to talk to one another, which allows them to find and request the files that they need. Without trackers, torrents won’t work.

Pirates have released statements that say, “Windows 10 sends the contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers.” They also claim that Microsoft is working with a company called MarkMonitor to identify people who are downloading from the internet.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/technow/tech/windows-10-users-are-being-banned-from-torrent-sites-349932.html

TSA airport style searches on all Amtrak trains!

Our government is stepping up its plans to search EVERYONE, ANYWHERE, whether you're travelling by air, rail, ferry or bus.

Beginning this week and almost four years since writers warned Americans that our government wants to search people on trains, its finally become a reality!

The Baltimore Sun reported Amtrak will begin searching all passengers: “Passengers failing to consent to security procedures will be denied access to trains.”

“I don’t know if that level of security we have at airports would be practical at train stations,” said Vernon Herron, University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. “Washington DC and New York City—our financial district and our seat of power in Washington DC. Those types of targets are always going to be on their radar.”

What does this mean for anyone taking a government train (Amtrak)? It means EVERYONE will be subjected to airline style boarding procedures. In Europe, you won’t find pre-boarding ticket checks on any international intercity train line except Eurostar (between London and Paris, for border control purposes). By importing the security theater of air travel, DHS, sorry I mean Amtrak will treat EVERYONE like a suspected terrorist!

http://massprivatei.blogspot.com/2015/08/tsa-airport-style-searches-begins-on.html

Monday, August 24, 2015

DHS works with movie theaters to search your handbags and backpacks

The Regal Entertainment Group – the nation’s largest movie theater chain just added a bag and purse check policy as a so-called security measure in some of its theaters, which undoubtedly will include every theater soon!

Regal Entertainment's website uses public safety as a reason to ILLEGALLY search everyone's handbag, backpacks etc.

"Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety."

Jim Davis, a public safety expert who served as Homeland Security advisor to Governor John Hickenlooper promises soon EVERYONE will be TSA searched at movie theaters:.

“There is no question in my mind that there are meetings going on as we speak, talking about improving security and associated liability. I think it will take time to happen…By necessity now – from a liability standpoint, movie theaters are going to have to step up.”

On July 29th., I reported how AMC and SMG movie theaters are working with DHS to establish TSA checkpoint searches at movie theaters across the country!

Don't think TSA security searches are coming to a theater near you? Senator Tony Avella is working on legislation to introduce metal detectors at theaters, malls and sports stadiums.

http://massprivatei.blogspot.com/2015/08/dhs-works-with-movie-theaters-to-search.html

Corruption and Contempt: The Hidden Story of Hurricane Katrina

How the Bush Machine Destroyed America’s Emergency Response Agency

This article was originally assigned, accepted, and paid for in full by Vanity Fair — which never got around to publishing it, and graciously released it to the author. It tells the story of the cronyism, corruption, ineptness, contempt for the public and utter shamelessness of the Bush family apparatus and its extensive network. With yet another Bush now contesting the White House, and with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, we would do well to study this closely. It documents unequivocally how greed and self-interest in high places can tear apart the very fabric of American society. Originally written within months of Hurricane Katrina, it will still make your blood boil.

This week we publish it in five parts. It has been slightly updated from the original.

http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/08/24/corruption-and-contempt-the-hidden-story-of-hurricane-katrina/

Police secretly track cellphones to solve routine crimes

In one case after another, USA TODAY found police in Baltimore and other cities used the phone tracker, commonly known as a stingray, to locate the perpetrators of routine street crimes and frequently concealed that fact from the suspects, their lawyers and even judges. In the process, they quietly transformed a form of surveillance billed as a tool to hunt terrorists and kidnappers into a staple of everyday policing.

The suitcase-size tracking systems, which can cost as much as $400,000, allow the police to pinpoint a phone’s location within a few yards by posing as a cell tower. In the process, they can intercept information from the phones of nearly everyone else who happens to be nearby, including innocent bystanders. They do not intercept the content of any communications.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/08/23/baltimore-police-stingray-cell-surveillance/31994181/

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Federal Reserve is Not Your Friend

Imagine that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was a corporation, with its shares owned by the nation's major pharmaceutical companies. How would you feel about the regulation of medications? Whose interests would this corporation be serving? Or suppose that major oil companies appointed a small committee to periodically announce the price of a barrel of crude in the United States. How would that impact you at the gasoline pump?

Such hypotheticals would strike the majority of Americans as completely absurd, but it's exactly how our banking system operates.

The Federal Reserve is literally owned by the nation's commercial banks, with a rotation of the regional Reserve Bank presidents constituting 5 of the 12 voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the body that sets targets for certain interest rates. The other 7 members of the FOMC are the D.C.-based Board of Governors—which includes the Fed chairperson, currently Janet Yellen—and are nominated by the President. The Fed serves its owners and patrons—the big banks and the federal government, while the rest of Americans get left behind.

The Federal Reserve has the ability to create legal tender through mere bookkeeping operations. By the simple act of buying, for example, $10 million worth of bonds, the Federal Reserve literally creates $10 million worth of money and adds it into the system. The seller's account goes up by $10 million once the Fed's monies are received. Nobody's account gets debited for $10 million. This is a tremendous amount of power for an institution to possess, and yet the Fed shrouds itself in secrecy and is accountable to no one.

http://reason.com/archives/2015/08/20/the-federal-reserve-is-not-your-friend

U.S. banks moved billions of dollars in trades beyond Washington’s reach

This spring, traders and analysts working deep in the global swaps markets began picking up peculiar readings: Hundreds of billions of dollars of trades by U.S. banks had seemingly vanished.

“We saw strange things in the data,” said Chris Barnes, a former swaps trader now with ClarusFT, a London-based data firm.

The vanishing of the trades was little noted outside a circle of specialists. But the implications were big. The missing transactions reflected an effort by some of the largest U.S. banks — including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley — to get around new regulations on derivatives enacted in the wake of the financial crisis, say current and former financial regulators.

The trades hadn’t really disappeared. Instead, the major banks had tweaked a few key words in swaps contracts and shifted some other trades to affiliates in London, where regulations are far more lenient. Those affiliates remain largely outside the jurisdiction of U.S. regulators, thanks to a loophole in swaps rules that banks successfully won from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2013.

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-swaps/

Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

"The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew," he told Foreign Policy.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/

Friday, August 21, 2015

Federal Judge Orders DEA to Release Information about Illegal Mass Surveillance

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been ordered by a federal judge to provide information on its secretive mass surveillance program to a human rights group.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), with legal help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), sued the DEA and other federal agencies to stop the collecting of data on international phone calls made by Americans to overseas parties—a form of unauthorized surveillance that the DEA quietly performed for two decades, according to EFF.

The DEA conducted the mass surveillance without court approval, gathering billions of phone records on calls made to more than 100 countries, EFF’s Mark Rumold wrote. The DEA also shared its data with other federal agencies.

In response to the HRW lawsuit, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled last week that the government must release information on the secretive program to the plaintiffs. “Friday’s decision is rare, and it’s a decisive victory—both for HRW and for the general public,” Rumold wrote. “EFF is not aware of any other case where discovery has been allowed into a government mass surveillance program. And the order forces the government to answer questions, under oath, about the steps it took to ensure that all illegally collected records have been fully purged from all government systems.”

The DEA claims it suspended the program two years ago, and on that basis asked for the case to be dismissed. Instead, EFF wants the court to rule the surveillance unconstitutional to ensure it is halted permanently and that any records collected from it are destroyed.

http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/federal-judge-orders-dea-to-release-information-about-illegal-mass-surveillance-150820?news=857241

The Legend of Ruby Ridge

The Siege of Ruby Ridge

Date August 21 – August 31, 1992
Location Ruby Ridge, Idaho Panhandle, U.S.

Causes: Randy Weaver refused an offer to become an informant in exchange for dismissal of charge of possession of illegal weapons
Result: Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris arrested; Vicki Weaver, Sam Weaver and U.S. Marshal Bill Degan killed

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Obama Administration Supports Privacy-Invasive "Cybersecurity" Bill

Right before Congress left for its annual summer vacation the Obama Administration endorsed the Senate Intelligence Committee's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). EFF opposes the bill because its vague definitions, broad legal immunity, and new spying powers allow for a tremendous amount of unnecessary damage to users' privacy. Just last week the Department of Homeland Security agreed and criticized CISPA for its lack of privacy protections. More importantly, CISA fails to address the causes of the recent highly publicized data breaches.

The Obama administration's endorsement is a complete reversal from its previous stance on privacy-invasive cybersecurity bills. In 2012, the White House published a detailed two-page veto threat against CISA's antecedent, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). In the letter the Administration noted CISPA:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/08/obama-administration-supports-privacy-invasive-cybersecurity-bills

THE TEFLON TOXIN How DuPont Slipped Past the EPA

Part 1: DuPont and the Chemistry of Deception

Part 2: The Case Against DuPont


IN MARCH 2001, an attorney named Robert Bilott embarked on an ambitious plan to force DuPont to come clean — to tell what it knew about C8 and, he hoped, eliminate the chemical from the water consumed by Romine and others throughout the country. Bilott sent packages of evidence to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, and the Attorney General of the United States, among other regulators. Inside were more than 100 documents he had received through discovery in a lawsuit he had filed in 1999 on behalf of a West Virginia farmer named Wilbur Tennant, whose cows died after being exposed to PFOA, also called C8 because of the eight-carbon chain that makes up its chemical backbone. The documents showed that DuPont, which since the early 1950s had used C8 to manufacture Teflon and other products in its Parkersburg plant, had known for years that C8 posed health dangers and had spread beyond the company’s West Virginia plant into local sources of drinking water.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/20/teflon-toxin-dupont-slipped-past-epa/

Exclusive: U.S. government, police working on counter-drone system - sources

As concerns rise about a security menace posed by rogue drone flights, U.S. government agencies are working with state and local police forces to develop high-tech systems to protect vulnerable sites, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Although the research aimed at tracking and disabling drones is at an early stage, there has been at least one field test.

Last New Year's Eve, New York police used a microwave-based system to try to track a commercially available drone at a packed Times Square and send it back to its operator, according to one source involved in the test.

The previously unreported test, which ran into difficulty because of interference from nearby media broadcasts, was part of the nationwide development effort that includes the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Defense Department, the source said.

The sources were not authorized to speak about the effort and declined to be identified.

Asked about the development of counter-drone-technology, the Department of Homeland Security said it "works side-by-side with our interagency partners" to develop solutions to address the unlawful use of drones. Officials with the Defense Department, FAA and New York Police Department declined to comment.

But the sources acknowledged that efforts to combat rogue drones have gained new urgency due to the sharp rise in drone use and a series of alarming incidents.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/20/us-usa-drones-security-idUSKCN0QP0BB20150820?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FBI Had 12-Page File On George Carlin Because He Made Jokes About Government

Comedian George Carlin is known as one of the most controversial and outspoken entertainers of his time, and as far as the government is concerned, he could have possibly been a terrorist.

Carlin was not a violent or criminal person in any way, but he said things during his routines that struck at the root of the problems in our society. He went into great detail about corruption in government and business.

Just after his 1969 appearance on the Jackie Gleason show, Carlin caught the attention of the FBI because he made jokes about then-FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. According to the government, Carlin had “referred to the Bureau and the Director in a satirical vein.”
They added that his act was “considered to be in very poor taste” and “it was obvious that he was using the prestige of the Bureau and Mr. Hoover to enhance his performance.”



Read the 12 pages of FBI documents on Carlin here

http://theantimedia.org/fbi-had-12-page-file-on-george-carlin-because-he-made-jokes-about-government/



Pentagon Manual Calls Some Reporters Spies

Exclusive: The Pentagon’s new “Law of War” manual puts some journalists in the category of “unprivileged belligerents,” meaning they can be tried by military tribunals as spies, a further sign of U.S. government hostility toward reporting that undercuts Washington’s goals, writes veteran war correspondent Don North.

By Don North

Honest war correspondents and photographers who try to cover wars effectively are about to become suspect spies if a new Pentagon manual, “Law of War,” is accepted by U.S. military commanders. I can confirm from personal experience that reporting on wars is hard enough without being considered a suspicious character secretly working for the other side.

The 1,176-page manual, published on June 24, is the first comprehensive revision made to the Defense Department’s law of war policy since 1956. One change in terminology directly targets journalists, saying “in general, journalists are civilians,” but under some circumstances, journalists may be regarded as “unprivileged belligerents.” [p. 173] That places reporters in the same ranks as Al Qaeda, since the term “unprivileged belligerents” replaces the Bush-era phrase “unlawful combatants.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/08/19/pentagon-manual-calls-some-reporters-spies/

David Duke Debates Alex Jones (8-18-15)

2017JFK.org has been launched


In 1992, the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act mandated that in 2017 all remaining JFK records and redactions be released. However, the National Archives has recently informed federal agencies that if they intend on maintaining secrecy over these records they should begin preparing appeals to the next president of the United States. We are working to ensure that the law is upheld.

We are calling on you, fellow Americans, to come together and ensure that our government upholds the law.

http://2017jfk.org/#home

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How your phone tracks your every move

As we move through the modern world many of our actions leave behind an electronic footprint; who collects that data and what they do with it have become critical questions for modern society.

Australia's new data retention laws mean phone and internet companies have to save this information for two years: that's every time you call someone, where you call them from, which cell tower your phone pings every time it connects to the internet, and more.

On a mission to find out what that data might reveal, ABC reporter Will Ockenden took a 'surveillance selfie': he got access to his own metadata, and now for the first time you can see what an individual Australian's metadata actually looks like.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-16/metadata-retention-privacy-phone-will-ockenden/6694152

Undercover Police Have Regularly Spied On Black Lives Matter Activists in New York

Documents obtained by The Intercept confirm that undercover police officers attended numerous Black Lives Matter protests in New York City between December 2014 and February 2015. The documents also show that police in New York have monitored activists, tracking their movements and keeping individual photos of them on file.

The nearly 300 documents, released by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Metro-North Railroad, reveal more on-the-ground surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists than previous reports have shown, conducted by a coalition of MTA counterterrorism agents and undercover police in conjunction with NYPD intelligence officers.

This appears to be the first documented proof of the frequent presence of undercover police at Black Lives Matter protests in the city of New York, though many activists have suspected their presence since mass protests erupted there last year over a grand jury’s decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

The protest surveillance and use of undercover officers raises questions over whether New York-area law enforcement agencies are potentially criminalizing the exercise of free speech and treating activists like terrorist threats. Critics say the police files seem to document a response vastly disproportionate to the level of law breaking associated with the protests.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/18/undercover-police-spied-on-ny-black-lives-matter/

Price for TSA's failed body scanners: $160 million

It’s now becoming clear exactly how many tens of millions of dollars the TSA spent on body scanners that have missed airport security threats, outraged passengers and brought the agency under congressional scrutiny.

The $160 million bill includes $120 million for the body scanners now in place in hundreds of airports nationwide, according to newly disclosed figures obtained by POLITICO. The rest of the money went to the agency’s “naked” X-ray scanners, which it pulled from airports two years ago amid worries about health risks and the devices’ detailed images of travelers’ bodies.

The cost breakdown, which the TSA recently turned over to some members of Congress, provides the latest look at the agency’s investment in body imaging technology since it decided to make the scanners the centerpiece of the checkpoint screening process. The price tag averages more than $150,000 per unit since the agency bought the first batch of 45 devices in 2008.

And for that money, lawmakers privy to classified reports say, the TSA has gotten a woeful failure rate. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson has such low confidence in the scanners’ ability to catch explosives and weapons that he says the agency should make fliers walk through metal detectors after passing through the body imaging machines.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/airport-security-price-for-tsa-failed-body-scanners-160-million-121385.html

Two Women Make History by Passing Army’s Elite Ranger School

For the first time ever, two women have successfully completed the Army’s elite Ranger school, one of the toughest combat training courses in the world, the Army said Monday.

The female soldiers weren’t identified beyond being described as West Point-trained officers. They were among 96 soldiers who will graduate Friday at Fort Benning, Georgia, with the coveted Ranger tab, the Army said.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/two-women-make-history-passing-armys-elite-ranger-school-n411506

Saudi Charity Head Accused of Funding Al-Qaeda Prior to 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Granted Immunity

A Saudi official caught up in an ongoing lawsuit over the September 11 attacks has once again been removed as a defendant by a U.S. federal judge after the Saudi government requested his immunity.

Abdul Rahman Al-Swailem, former president of two charities, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee (SJRC) and the Saudi Red Crescent Society, was accused in a 9/11 lawsuit of supporting Al-Qaeda before the terrorist attacks. He was also accused of appointing an Al-Qaeda figure as a SJRC director. The legal action against Al-Swailem is part of what is described as a “vast multi-district” lawsuit against hundreds of defendants who are claimed to have provided support for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Courthouse News Service.

Al-Swailem got himself removed from the civil case in 2010 when a federal judge tossed the complaint out altogether. But on appeal the litigation was restored by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which put Al-Swailem back as a defendant. So he again asked to be removed, as did the Saudi Royal Family, which rules Saudi Arabia, saying Al-Swailem’s position as head of the charities entitled him to diplomatic immunity due to the charities being agencies of the Saudi government.

U.S. District Judge George Daniels granted Al-Swailem’s motion last week, ruling he was entitled to immunity.

http://www.allgov.com/news/us-and-the-world/saudi-charity-head-accused-of-funding-al-qaeda-prior-to-911-terrorist-attacks-granted-immunity-because-saudi-royal-family-asked-for-it-150818?news=857220

Feds Still Shrugging People Onto Terrorist Watchlists Based On Hunches

The US government's desire to keep terrorists off airplanes has resulted in heavily-populated "watchlists" -- lists short on due process and long on hunches.

The TSA, in particular, has embraced a mixture of borrowed ideas and junk science to staff airports with Behavioral Detection Officers, who attempt to keep terrorists from boarding planes by looking for any number of vague indicators. The end result is a billion-dollar program with the accuracy of a coin flip.

That's the physical version of the government's "predictive policing" security efforts. The same sort of vague quasi-science is used to populate its "no fly" list.
The U.S. government’s reliance on “predictive judgments” to deprive Americans of their constitutionally protected liberties is no fiction. It’s now central to the government’s defense of its no-fly list—a secretive watch list that bans people from flying to or from the United States or over American airspace—in a challenge brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Court filings show that the government is trying to predict whether people who have never been charged, let alone convicted, of any violent crime might nevertheless commit a violent terrorist act. Because the government predicts that our clients—all innocent U.S. citizens—might engage in violence at some unknown point in the future, it has grounded them indefinitely.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150817/07555331976/feds-still-shrugging-people-onto-terrorist-watchlists-based-hunches.shtml

Monday, August 17, 2015

Whistleblower Mark Klein: 'the government was trying to hide their collaboration with AT&T; they know it’s illegal’

Mark Klein, author of “Wiring Up the Big Brother Machine and Fighting It,” was one of the earliest to blow the whistle on the partnership between the government and AT&T that involved spying on citizens and using metadata surveillance. He talks with Simone Del Rosario about the recent Snowden leaks regarding both the scope of the collaboration between the telecom company and the National Security Agency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=52&v=p1LXPqiaJdY



http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/interviews/klein.html

Supreme Court May Review U.S. Government’s Cellphone ‘Kill Switch’

On August 11, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court in their latest effort to force the U.S. government to reveal information about a cellphone shutdown policy, also known as a “kill switch”.

EPIC has fought for records related to the program since July 2011, when it was revealed that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials in San Franscico shut down cellular networks during a protest of a murdered homeless man. BART denies blocking cell networks. In July 2012, EPIC submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security to find out more about the procedures governing such actions.

The DHS initially claimed that they were “unable to locate or identify any responsive records.” However, on November 12, 2013, a District Court ruled that the DHS improperly withheld information, specifically information regarding something known as Standard Operating Procedure 303 or SOP 303. The DHS appealed this decision and was once again allowed to withhold records. Now EPIC is taking the fight to the Supreme Court.

http://truthinmedia.com/supreme-court-government-cellphone-kill-switch/

What We Know About the NSA and AT&T’s Spying Pact

NEW EDWARD SNOWDEN documents revealed on Saturday in the New York Times detail a decade-long secret partnership between the NSA and AT&T, which provided the spy agency with metadata on billions of emails. Although the Times story has garnered a lot of attention, it offers few details about how the telecom conducted the siphoning and spying for the NSA.

But two stories published almost decade ago by WIRED and Salon provide in-depth details about the secret rooms at AT&T facilities in San Francisco, Missouri, and other areas across the US that the NSA used to siphon internet data.

WIRED and Salon exposed that willingness back in 2006, when Mark Klein, a former technician with AT&T in San Francisco, and two other former AT&T technicians who worked at other facilities, provided information about secret rooms the telecom had built in Bridgeton, Missouri and San Francisco.

According to them, AT&T first built the highly secured room in Bridgeton, outside St. Louis, in 2002. The telecom outfitted the room with a biometric “mantrap” that was secured with retinal and fingerprint scanners, and only workers with a TS/SCI security clearance were allowed inside. The facility, local workers were told, was being used for “monitoring network traffic” for “a government agency.”

http://www.wired.com/2015/08/know-nsa-atts-spying-pact/

The Secret Project to Turn the Internet into an Anti-Soviet Spy Network

In 1973, Norway became the first nation outside the US to get online through DARPA’s packet-switched network, the ARPANET. Americans had decided to connect the proto-internet to such a distant country for one reason. They were trying to keep tabs on Soviet nuclear tests.

People often forget that the US defense and intelligence communities helped build the internet. The NSA, the CIA, the Department of Defense — they were all there from the beginning. But the military conducted their work through universities, which is why first host-to-host connection on the ARPANET, on October 29, 1969, was between researchers at Stanford Research Institute and UCLA. From there, the ARPANET grew to have many nodes across the US, as you can see in this GIF showing its rise and fall.

In June of 1973 the ARPANET went international with its Norway connection. It was promoted as part of a project to encourage civilian research on earthquakes. But that wasn’t the whole story.

http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/the-secret-project-to-turn-the-internet-into-an-anti-so-1724555107

Here’s Why the Close Collaboration Between the NSA and AT&T Matters

Newly disclosed documents unveiling the close relationship between the National Security Agency and AT&T could breathe new life into a long-running legal dispute about the NSA’s controversial method of tapping the Internet backbone on U.S. soil.

This program, according to documents provided by Edward Snowden, is largely enabled by telecom giant AT&T, which filters Internet traffic, based on NSA instructions. AT&T then forwards the “take” to the spy agency’s storage facilities for further review and analysis.

But a single email traverses the Internet in hundreds of tiny slices, called “packets,’’ that travel separate routes. Grabbing even one email requires a computer search of many slices of other people’s messages.

Privacy advocates have long argued in court that grabbing portions of so many emails — involving people not suspected of anything — is a violation of the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures provided by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group, is now hoping that the new documents will bolster their claims in a long-running case, Jewel v. NSA. “We will be presenting this information to the court,” said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the foundation. A Department of Justice spokesman declined to comment.

https://www.propublica.org/article/heres-why-the-close-collaboration-between-the-nsa-and-att-matters






CBS News Investigative Journalist Explains How Mainstream Media Brainwashes The Masses

Did you know that only a handful of corporations, 6 to be exact, control over 90 percent of the media? That means nearly everything we hear on the radio, read in the news, and see on television (including ‘news’). I’m talking about General Electric (GE), News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.

Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media, more and more people are expressing their concern that what we see in the media is nothing short of brainwashing. This is also evident by blatant lies that continue to spam the TV screen, especially when it comes to topics such as health, food, war (“terrorism“), poverty and more. Corporate interests always seem to get in the way.

http://counterpsyops.com/2015/08/17/cbs-news-investigative-journalist-explains-how-mainstream-media-brainwashes-the-masses/

Lisa Pease – James Jesus Angleton and The Warren Commission

Pease, Lisa. “James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination,” Probe Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 5, 2000
Pease, Lisa. “James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination, Part II,” Probe Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 6, 2000

http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/2015/08/17/lisa-pease-james-jesus-angleton-and-the-warren-commission/

Lisa Pease - James Jesus Angleton and The Warren Commission from AARC Library on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Leaked Snowden Documents Seem to Contradict NSA Critics

The New York Times believes that the story in newly released Snowden documents is about a cozy relationship between the NSA and AT&T. “AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale,” the headline screams.

Hmm . . . the NSA has a relationship with one of the largest American telecommunications providers. Who knew? For better or worse, the fact that any major U.S. telecom is in bed with the NSA is a dog-bites-man story, if ever there was one.

The real news is buried in the eighteenth paragraph:

Many privacy advocates have suspected that AT&T was giving the N.S.A. a copy of all Internet data to sift for itself. But one 2012 presentation says the spy agency does not “typically” have “direct access” to telecoms’ hubs. Instead, the telecoms have done the sifting and forwarded messages the government believes it may legally collect.

“Corporate sites are often controlled by the partner, who filters the communications before sending to N.S.A.,” according to the presentation. This system sometimes leads to “delays” when the government sends new instructions, it added.
In other words, allegations that critics have been making for years that the NSA has direct access to all the data transiting the Internet backbone have now been contradicted by classified NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Now that’s news!

https://www.lawfareblog.com/leaked-snowden-documents-seem-contradict-nsa-critics

Number of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Flagged for Classified Data Grows to 60 as Review Continues

While media coverage has focused on a half-dozen of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal emails containing sensitive intelligence, the total number of her private emails identified by an ongoing State Department review as having contained classified data has ballooned to 60, officials told The Washington Times.

That figure is current through the end of July and is likely to grow as officials wade through a total of 30,000 work-related emails that passed through her personal email server, officials said. The process is expected to take months.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/16/number-of-hillary-clintons-emails-flagged-for-clas/

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Conspiracy 'Theory' Conspiracy - An Adam Green Film (2015)

A Trail of Evidence Leading to AT&T’s Partnership with the NSA

Documents provided by Edward Snowden mention a special relationship between the National Security Agency and an unnamed telecommunications company. Here’s how we figured out that’s AT&T.

TODAY WE REPORTED that the National Security Agency’s ability to capture Internet traffic on United States soil has relied on its extraordinary, decadeslong partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

While it has long been known that American telecommunications companies work closely with the spy agency, the documents we’ve published show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative” and another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

By following breadcrumbs we found throughout the trove of documents released by Snowden, we were able to prove that a program called Fairview was the cover term for the agency’s partnership with AT&T. We also found evidence that Verizon participates in the agency’s smaller Stormbrew program.

https://www.propublica.org/article/a-trail-of-evidence-leading-to-atts-partnership-with-the-nsa

AT&T Helped N.S.A. Spy on an Array of Internet Traffic

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from 2003 to 2013. AT&T has given the N.S.A. access, through several methods covered under different legal rules, to billions of emails as they have flowed across its domestic networks. It provided technical assistance in carrying out a secret court order permitting the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the United Nations headquarters, a customer of AT&T.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/us/politics/att-helped-nsa-spy-on-an-array-of-internet-traffic.html?referrer=

Friday, August 14, 2015

Copy of Postal Service Audit Shows Extent of Mail Surveillance

In what experts say is the first acknowledgment of how the United States Postal Service’s mail surveillance program for national security investigations is used, the service’s internal watchdog found that inspectors failed to follow key safeguards in the gathering and handling of classified information.

The overall program, called mail covers, allows postal employees working on behalf of law enforcement agencies to record names, return addresses and other information from the outside of letters and packages before they are delivered to the home of a person suspected of criminal activity.

The information about national security mail covers, amid heated public debate over the proper limits on government surveillance, was contained in an audit conducted by the Postal Service’s inspector general last year. Although much of the information was public, sections about the national security mail covers were heavily redacted. An unredacted copy of the report was provided to a security researcher in response to a Freedom of Information Act request this year. The researcher, who goes by a single legal name, Sai, shared the report with The New York Times.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/us/copy-of-postal-service-audit-shows-extent-of-mail-surveillance.html

Digitization of Photographs from President John F. Kennedy’s Funeral


We are pleased to announce that all White House Photographs from the state funeral of President John F. Kennedy are now digitized in full.

These photographs capture a time of great significance and grief in our nation’s history, and they (together with the photos from the President’s final trip to Dallas) are among some of the most requested images in the White House Photographs collection. While they were already available for research, the photos are now accessible online to researchers and users worldwide, along with all of the materials in the library’s digital archives.

http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/08/digitization-of-photographs-from-president-john-f-kennedys-funeral/

Acoustic Cannon Sales to Police Surge After Black Lives Matter Protests

During a company conference call with financial analysts last week, Tom Brown, the chief executive of LRAD, a military contractor, informed investors that sales were rolling in, not just from Chinese government agencies and the U.S. Navy, but also from American law enforcement.

LRAD manufactures an acoustic cannon that can be used either as a mounted loudspeaker or as a weapon to fire deafening noises at crowds of people.

Over the last year, following a wave of protests over officer-involved killings of black Americans, LRAD has seen an uptick in inquiries from police departments around the country.

The LRAD device can reach 152 decibels, a level that can cause permanent hearing damage. In December, Vice reported on the potential dangers of the LRAD cannon, noting, “Permanent hearing loss begins with a sustained sound that’s louder than 90 dB SPL — for example, a subway train 200 feet away — but you won’t start to feel immediate pain until 120 decibels, about the loudness of a shotgun blast. At 160 dB — a little less loud than a rocket launch — your eardrum will burst.”

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/14/after-ferguson-baltimore/

Private Intelligence Contractors as Public Relations Arm of Military Industrial Complex

Private Intelligence Contractors (PICs) are an important component of the “perception management” branch of the machine.

Ostensibly, private intelligence contractors offer evidence-based “intelligence” that serves to inform policy-makers with a view to making sound decisions, but too often, these agencies manipulate intelligence for the benefit of a warmongering agenda, and an uninterrupted flow of lucrative, publicly-funded contracts.

Vested interests over-ride public interests at home and abroad, and the “War Machine”, as described by Peter Dale Scott in his book, “American War Machine/Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan” [vii] metastizes, largely beneath the public radar, as it sows death and destruction throughout the world.

Science Application International Corporation (SAIC)[viii] is likely the largest (and least known) PIC, with a huge staff (about 40,000 in 2007, likely more now), and it is fully integrated into the War Machine.

Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele report in “Washington’s $ Billion Shadow”, that

“SAIC’s friends in Washington are everywhere, and play on all sides; the connections are tightly interlocked. To cite just one example: Robert M. Gates, the new secretary of defense, whose confirmation hearings lasted all of a day, is a former member of SAIC’s board of directors…”[ix]

In the same article, Bartlett and Steele also report that

“SAIC personnel were instrumental in pressing the case that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and that war was the only way to get rid of them. When no weapons of mass destruction were found, SAIC personnel staffed the commission set up to investigate how American intelligence could have been so disastrously wrong, including Gordon Oehler, the commission's deputy director for review a 25-year CIA veteran, Jeffrey R. Cooper, vice president and chief science officer for one of SAIC's sub-units and Samuel Visner, a SAIC vice president for corporate development who had also passed through the revolving door and back to the NSA.”

We now know that Washington chose to use these intelligence findings – and not the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Special Commission on Iraq (UNMOVIC) findings[x] --as part of its rationale for waging the on-going war of aggression against Iraq.

The fact that SAICs board of directors is not only interlocked with Washington and governing agencies such as the DoD and Homeland Security but also with a myriad of powerful companies from the MIC, including Boeing, and Raytheon as examples,[xi] raises reasonable questions about its ability to provide “objective” intelligence.

http://whatsupic.com/special-usa/private-intelligence-contractors56484.html

Facial Recognition Technology Is Big Business — And It's Coming For You

Every face is different. The precise space between eyes, the curve of the cheek, the fullness of the lips — the sum of these features distinguishes one person from another, even identical twins.

Today, a decent camera and a mathematical algorithm can easily capture these characteristics and convert them into an individualized "faceprint" — a unique identifying tag much like a fingerprint.

Capturing, storing, and ultimately selling facial biometrics has quickly become big business. A recent research report valued the global facial recognition market at $1.3 billion in 2014. It could double by 2022.

For now, this market is completely unregulated by the United States government.

"Here's what's scary: facial recognition tracks you in the real world — from cameras on street corners and in shopping centers, and through photographs taken by friends and strangers alike," Minnesota Sen. Al Franken told VICE News. Franken is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. He's been keeping an eye on facial recognition technology, and thinks it's time for stricter oversight.

"What we really need are federal standards in place that directly address facial recognition privacy," he said.

https://news.vice.com/article/facial-recognition-technology-is-big-business-and-its-coming-for-you

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Countless Crimes of Hillary Clinton: Special Prosecutor Needed Now

Hillary finally hands over her server—after it's been professionally wiped clean

After years of holding herself above the law, telling lie after lie, and months of flat-out obstruction, HIllary Clinton has finally produced to the FBI her server and three thumb drives. Apparently, the server has been professionally wiped clean of any useable information, and the thumb drives contain only what she selectively culled. Myriad criminal offenses apply to this conduct.

Anyone with knowledge of government workings has known from inception that Hillary’s communications necessarily would contain classified and national security related information. Thanks to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, it is now beyond dispute that she had ultra-Top Secret information and more that should never have left the State Department.

Equal to Ms. Clinton’s outrageous misconduct is that of the entire federal law enforcement community. It has long chosen to be deliberately blind to these flagrant infractions of laws designed to protect national security—laws for which other people, even reporters, have endured atrocious investigations, prosecutions, and some served years in prison for comparatively minor infractions.

http://observer.com/2015/08/the-countless-crimes-of-hillary-clinton-special-prosecutor-needed-now/

Ireland Refuses To Extradite Man To US Because Prison System Is Too Inhumane

The American prison system is so reviled, in fact, that Irish officials recently refused to extradite an alleged terrorist to the U.S. The court cited concerns that if he were sent to the U.S., he would probably be placed in Colorado’s “Supermax” prison, ADX Florence (Administrative Maximum Facility). The prison is nicknamed Colorado’s “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”

Irish High Court Justice Aileen Donnelly went as far as to write a 333-page report about why the suspect shouldn’t be extradited. One highlight from the court’s ruling was that incarceration at ADX Florence prison would amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-12/ireland-refuses-extradite-man-us-because-prison-system-too-inhumane

'Peace-loving aliens tried to save America from nuclear war,' claims moon mission astronaut Edgar Mitchell

The sixth man to walk on the surface of the moon has made the astonishing claim that aliens came to Earth to stop a nuclear war between America and Russia.

Edgar Mitchell, a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, told Mirror Online that top-ranking military sources spotted UFOs during weapons tests.

The astronaut has been outspoken about his belief in aliens ever since he landed on the surface of the moon, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the worldwide UFO community.

He told us military insiders had seen strange crafts flying over missile bases and the famous White Sands facility, where the world's first ever nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/peace-loving-aliens-tried-save-6235113

Exclusive: Jeb Bush Linked to Cartel Money Laundering While Serving CIA

by WAYNE MADSEN

During the recent Republican presidential candidates’ “debate” in Cleveland, former Florida Governor John Ellis Bush (JEB) wanted to recount his eight years as governor of the Sunshine State; however, it is not Bush the politician who should be of interest to voters but Bush the Central Intelligence Agency “non-official cover” banker in Venezuela and Miami-based real estate businessman/money launderer who should alarm the American electorate.

While Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush, glossed over his AWOL status with the Texas Air National Guard, Jeb does not have a military record to defend but he does have a CIA employment record to fess up to.

Jeb’s early work in Venezuela and south Florida is much more troubling than Dubya pretending to be on active duty in Texas while he was actually off in Alabama helping a GOP U.S. Senate campaign and getting sloppy drunk in redneck bars. Jeb should fully explain his relationship with Alberto Duque, a Colombian national who laundered drug money for the Medellin and Cali narco-cartels and Nicaraguan contras while serving as owner of City National Bank of Miami and president of the General Coffee Company of Colombia.

Apparently, there was more than coffee arriving in sacks of coffee coming into Miami from Colombia. Duque financed a $30 million real estate development project run by Jeb Bush.

http://www.infowars.com/exclusive-jeb-bush-linked-to-cartel-money-laundering-while-serving-cia/

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Facial Recognition Software Moves From Overseas Wars to Local Police

Facial recognition software, which American military and intelligence agencies used for years in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify potential terrorists, is being eagerly adopted by dozens of police departments around the country to pursue drug dealers, prostitutes and other conventional criminal suspects. But because it is being used with few guidelines and with little oversight or public disclosure, it is raising questions of privacy and concerns about potential misuse.

Law enforcement officers say the technology is much faster than fingerprinting at identifying suspects, although it is unclear how much it is helping the police make arrests.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/us/facial-recognition-software-moves-from-overseas-wars-to-local-police.html

The Spy Satellite Secrets in Hillary’s Emails

These weren’t just ordinary secrets found in Clinton’s private server, but some of the most classified material the U.S. government has.

Most seriously, the Inspector General assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified—yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” according to the Inspector General’s report.

You may have seen acronym lists like these on declassified documents before—and glazed over them. This is the arcane language of the cleared cognoscenti so let me explain what this means:

• TOP SECRET, as the name implies, is the highest official classification level in the U.S. government, defined as information whose unauthorized release “could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security or foreign relations.”

• SI refers to Special Intelligence, meaning it is information derived from intercepted communications, which is the business of the National Security Agency, America’s single biggest source of intelligence. They’re the guys who eavesdrop on phone calls, map who’s calling who, and comb through emails. SI is a subset of what the intelligence community calls Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI. And these materials always require special handling and protection. They are to be kept in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, which is a special hardened room that is safe from both physical and electronic intrusion.

• TK refers to Talent Keyhole, which is an IC caveat indicating that the classified material was obtained via satellite.

• NOFORN, as the name implies, means that the materials can only be shown to Americans, not to foreigners.

In short: Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling. Every person who is cleared and “read on” for access to such information signs reams of paperwork and receives detailed training about how it is to be handled, no exceptions—and what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/12/the-spy-satellite-secrets-in-hillary-s-emails.html

The Pentagon’s Half-Billion-Dollar Drone Boondoggle

Rivalry between the Army and Air Force over Predator drones may have cost the Pentagon over $500 million in wasteful spending, according to a report released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The report, which the Pentagon’s Inspector General completed in 2010, is not available on the Defense Department’s public website, which instructs people to request it through the Freedom of Information Act. The Pentagon released a copy of the report to The Intercept this week, nearly five years after it was originally requested.

The report blasts both the Army and the Air Force for spending $115 million in 2008 and 2009 on research efforts that were supposed to help combine their Predator programs, in other words, to buy the same drone. Those efforts were “ineffective,” the report said, depriving the Pentagon of an estimated $400 million in savings that would have resulted.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/12/pentagons-half-billion-dollar-drone-boondoggle/

After 2 Killers Fled, New York Prisoners Say, Beatings Were Next

Night had fallen at the Clinton Correctional Facility in far northern New York when the prison guards came for Patrick Alexander. They handcuffed him and took him into a broom closet for questioning. Then, Mr. Alexander said in an interview last week, the beatings began.

As the three guards, who wore no name badges, punched him and slammed his head against the wall, he said they shouted questions: “Where are they going? What did you hear? How much are they paying you to keep your mouth shut?” One of the guards put a plastic bag over his head, Mr. Alexander said, and threatened to waterboard him.

Hours earlier, Richard W. Matt and David Sweat had made their daring escape from the unit — called the “honor block” — where they were housed. Now it appeared that Mr. Alexander, a fellow convicted murderer who lived in an adjoining cell, was being made to suffer the consequences.

For days after the June prison break, corrections officers carried out what seemed like a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates, particularly those on the honor block, an investigation by The New York Times found. In letters reviewed by The Times, as well as prison interviews, inmates described a strikingly similar catalog of abuses, including being beaten while handcuffed, choked and slammed against cell bars and walls.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/nyregion/after-2-killers-fled-new-york-prisoners-say-beatings-were-next.html

Hillary Clinton on the Sanctity of Protecting Classified Information

It turns out that at least two of the emails which traversed Hillary Clinton’s personal email account and server were “top secret,” according to the inspector general for the Intelligence Community as reported by McClatchy. To describe that as reckless is an understatement given that, as AP notes, “There is no evidence she used encryption to shield the emails or her personal server from foreign intelligence services or other potentially prying eyes.” The FBI has now taken possession of that server.

When it comes to low-level government employees with no power, the Obama administration has purposely prosecuted them as harshly as possible to the point of vindictiveness: It has notoriously prosecuted more individuals under the Espionage Act of 1917 for improperly handling classified information than all previous administrations combined.

NSA whistleblower Tom Drake, for instance, faced years in prison, and ultimately had his career destroyed, based on the Obama DOJ’s claims that he “mishandled” classified information (it included information that was not formally classified at the time but was retroactively decreed to be such). Less than two weeks ago, “a Naval reservist was convicted and sentenced for mishandling classified military materials” despite no “evidence he intended to distribute them.” Last year, a Naval officer was convicted of mishandling classified information also in the absence of any intent to distribute it.

In the light of these new Clinton revelations, the very same people who spent years justifying this obsessive assault are now scampering for reasons why a huge exception should be made for the Democratic Party front-runner. Fascinatingly, one of the most vocal defenders of this Obama DOJ record of persecution has been Hillary Clinton herself.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/08/12/hillary-clinton-sanctity-protecting-classified-information/

‘Top Secret’ emails found as Clinton probe expands to key aides

As pressure builds on Hillary Clinton to explain her official use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, she faced new complications Tuesday. It was disclosed her top aides are being drawn into a burgeoning federal inquiry and that two emails on her private account have been classified as “Top Secret.”

The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications - more sensitive than previously known.

The notice came as the State Department inspector general’s office acknowledged that it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides after requests from Congress.

“We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate,” said Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s inspector general.

Despite the acknowledgment, the State Department inspector general’s office has left numerous unanswered questions, including exactly who and what is being investigated. The office initially declined to comment and referred questions to the Intelligence Community inspector general’s office, which said it is not currently involved in any inquiry into aides and is being denied full access to aides’ emails by the State Department. Clinton, herself, is not a target.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article30714762.html

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Number of Ground Zero responders with 9/11-linked cancers hits 3,700

The rising toll of Ground Zero responders and others afflicted with 9/11-linked cancers has hit 3,700.

The staggering tally of those suffering cancers certified by the feds as 9/11-related includes FDNY members (1,100), cops and other Ground Zero responders (2,134), and survivors such as downtown workers and residents (467). Many have more than one type of cancer.

The FDNY’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Prezant, said over 2,100 firefighters and EMS personnel have retired on disability with World Trade Center-related illnesses, mostly lung disease and cancer, since 9/11.

“Due to the physical nature of their jobs, these illnesses have had a tremendous impact on our membership and their families,” he said in a statement.

The grim toll includes 109 FDNY responders who have died from WTC-linked illnesses, 44 of them from cancer.

http://nypost.com/2015/08/09/number-of-ground-zero-responders-with-911-linked-cancers-hits-3700/

The Collapsing US Economy

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Do you remember when real reporters existed? Those were the days before the Clinton regime concentrated the media into a few hands and turned the media into a Ministry of Propaganda, a tool of Big Brother. The false reality in which Americans live extends into economic life. Last Friday’s employment report was a continuation of a long string of bad news spun into good news. The media repeats two numbers as if they mean something—the monthly payroll jobs gains and the unemployment rate—and ignores the numbers that show the continuing multi-year decline in employment opportunities while the economy is allegedly recovering.

The so-called recovery is based on the U.3 measure of the unemployment rate. This measure does not include any unemployed person who has become discouraged from the inability to find a job and has not looked for a job in four weeks. The U.3 measure of unemployment only includes the still hopeful who think they will find a job.

The government has a second official measure of unemployment, U.6. This measure, seldom reported, includes among the unemployed those who have been discouraged for less than one year. This official measure is double the 5.3% U.3 measure. What does it mean that the unemployment rate is over 10% after six years of alleged economic recovery?

In 1994 the Clinton regime stopped counting long-term discouraged workers as unemployed. Clinton wanted his economy to look better than Reagan’s, so he ceased counting the long-term discouraged workers that were part of Reagan’s unemployment rate. John Williams (shadowstats.com) continues to measure the long-term discouraged with the official methodology of that time, and when these unemployed are included, the US rate of unemployment as of July 2015 is 23%, several times higher than during the recession with which Fed chairman Paul Volcker greeted the Reagan presidency.

An unemployment rate of 23% gives economic recovery a new meaning. It has been eighty-five years since the Great Depression, and the US economy is in economic recovery with an unemployment rate close to that of the Great Depression.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/11/the-collapsing-us-economy/

We Can Tell You That You Can't Fly; We Can't Tell You Why

Last year, in response to an ACLU-sponsored lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown ordered the federal government to create an appeals process for people placed on the "no fly" list that prevents travelers from boarding flights to, from, within, or across the United States. Last spring the Department of Homeland Security began telling travelers barred from flying whether they were on the list and, if so, informing them of their right to initiate a "redress inquiry." But it's hard to get off the list if you don't know why you were put there to begin with, and the government says it can't be specific because that would endanger national security.

"By its very nature, identifying individuals who 'may be a threat to civil aviation or national security' is a predictive judgment intended to prevent future acts of terrorism in an uncertain context," two Justice Department officials say in a May 28 brief quoted by Spencer Ackerman in The Guardian. "Judgments concerning such potential threats to aviation and national security call upon the unique prerogatives of the Executive in assessing such threats." In other words: We know what we're doing; you'll just have to trust us.

http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/11/we-can-tell-you-that-you-cant-fly-we-can

No-fly list uses 'predictive assessments' instead of hard evidence, US admits

The Obama administration’s no-fly lists and broader watchlisting system is based on predicting crimes rather than relying on records of demonstrated offenses, the government has been forced to admit in court.

In a little-noticed filing before an Oregon federal judge, the US Justice Department and the FBI conceded that stopping US and other citizens from travelling on airplanes is a matter of “predictive assessments about potential threats”, the government asserted in May.

“By its very nature, identifying individuals who ‘may be a threat to civil aviation or national security’ is a predictive judgment intended to prevent future acts of terrorism in an uncertain context,” Justice Department officials Benjamin C Mizer and Anthony J Coppolino told the court on 28 May.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/10/us-no-fly-list-predictive-assessments

Monday, August 10, 2015

Federal Appeals Panel Rules Cell Phone Tracking Data Held by Service Providers is protected by Fourth Amendment

Law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant to get tracking data from mobile phone companies, according to a decision by a federal appeals court.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (pdf) Wednesday in a 2-1 decision that just because a third party holds information, it does not mean that it can be made freely available to police.

“People cannot be deemed to have volunteered to forfeit expectations of privacy by simply seeking active participation in society through use of their cell phones,” Senate Circuit Judge Andre Davis wrote for the majority.

The case was one of an armed robber whose whereabouts were traced over a seven-month period via data provided to prosecutors by Sprint.

http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/federal-appeals-panel-rules-cell-phone-tracking-data-held-by-service-providers-is-protected-by-fourth-amendment-150810?news=857165