Friday, October 30, 2015
Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the plans when she introduces the Government's new surveillance bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The Telegraph understands the new powers for the police will form part of the new bill.
It would make it a legal requirement for communications companies to retain all the web browsing history of customers for 12 months in case the spy agencies or police need to access them.
Police would be able to access specific web addresses visited by customers.
The new powers would allow the police to seize details of the website and searches being made by people they wanted to investigate.
They will still need to apply for judicial approval to be able to access the content of the websites.
While the deployment was small in scale, it was large in importance for a president who had refused to commit American ground forces inside Syria beyond quick raids. White House officials said the troops would advise local forces fighting the Islamic State and not play a direct combat role, but they left open the possibility of sending more in the future.
The escalation came just weeks after Russia inserted itself into the multisided civil war to support President Bashar al-Assad, bombing opposition forces, including some supported by the United States. Although not characterized as a response, the dispatch of American troops further complicates a kaleidoscopic battlefield with varied forces and sometimes murky allegiances.
Gelli, of course, refers to Licio Gelli, the Venerable Master of the Propaganda Due (P2) secret masonic lodge which recruited members with senior positions in the intelligence apparatus, the military, judiciary, parliament, media, banking and high finance. P2 operated like a state within a state, and Gelli as a self-proclaimed puppet master. The discovery, in 1981, of an official list of nearly a thousand members, including “four cabinet ministers, three under-secretaries and thirty-eight parliamentarians,” precipitated a collapse of the government (Willan 2002: 49). In subsequent government inquiries, Gelli and P2 were linked to the downfall of Banco Ambrosiano; Operation Gladio and the Strategy of Tension; the Bologna massacre; far-right/fascist groups such as Ordine Nuovo and Stefano Delle Chiaie’s Italian Social Movement; the Borghese coup; the Rosa dei Venti (Compass Rose) conspiracy; kidnapping, murder and assassination.
The parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating P2 specifically mentions Frank Gigliotti, his OSS/CIA/US Scottish Rite/Grand Orient ties, and draws attention to the conspicuous appearance of Licio Gelli once Gigliotti leaves the scene.
This seemingly obscure mason from the US was meddling in grand orient masonic affairs, on behalf of his masonic brethren as well as the US government, and was linked to the rise of Gelli and his ascendancy to the leadership of P2. Who was this man? What was the trajectory of his career?
I'm going to keep this really simple.
In response to your comment that you could personally "plead guilty" to not having imagined terrorists would use passenger aircraft as weapons→please stop lying.
As proof, I provide the "Iron Man" documents from the Asymmetrical Threats Division of Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC), also known as DO5, whose task it was to track UBL from mid 1998-mid 2001.
I would first note that you were National Security Advisor to the President of the United States -- that means that you had pretty much access to anything and everything available regarding terrorist threats from groups like Al Qaeda.
Fourteen years later, everyone now knows about the summer of 2001 and the more than one dozen intelligence reports blinking red about an impending Al Qaeda terrorist attack. There was the August 6 PDB, FAA reports, CIA reports, DoD reports, and FBI reports -- all indicating and discussing terrorist cells inside the US planning attacks inside the US.
What most people don't know about is the smoking gun report from JFIC, DO5.
According to the report written in the summer of 2000: "The WMD Threat to the U.S." (information cut off date 16 July 2000) the briefing slides emphasized that NYC was the most difficult consequence management problem and recommended using NYC as the model for planning/exercises. The oral briefing itself was much more sensitive, indicating that the World Trade Centers #1 and #2 were the most likely buildings to be attacked in the U.S., followed closely by the Pentagon. The briefer indicated that the worst case scenario would be one Tower collapsed onto the other. The possibility of striking the buildings with a plane may have been discussed then -- it was certainly discussed in the Red Cell Analysis leading up to the briefing period. The acting Deputy of DO5 (name redacted), proposed in the Red Cell Analysis that the building could be struck by a jetliner. Discussion followed on contacting World Trade Center security and engineering/architectural staff, but the idea was not further explored because of a command climate discouraging contact with the civilian community.
So please Ms. Rice -- with all due respect -- stand down and stop spouting lies like, "The idea the president of the United States was warned that Al-Qaeda was going to attack the United States and did nothing about it. Really? Do you think any president of the United States, if he had even an inkling there was going to be an attack, they wouldn't have moved heaven and earth to try to stop it?"
In September, the justice minister, Michael Keenan, announced that the federal government would spend $18.5m to develop the national facial biometric matching capability, known simply as “the capability”.
Under questioning in Senate estimates on Tuesday night, senior officials from the attorney general’s department said that photos could be pulled from social media sites and used in the new system.
The Greens senator, Scott Ludlam, asked: “Is there any law that would prevent the system from ingesting [photographs] from publicly available sources like social media sites?”
Andrew Rice, the assistant secretary of the department, answered: “It’s possible that still images out of these kinds of environments could be put into the system. That would be a choice for the users of the system.”
But he added that it could only happen if users of the capability, such as police agencies, could legally draw on those sources at present.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Under the law, the CIA has the legal authority to ask the president to continue the concealment of the records on grounds of “national security.” While we don’t yet know whether the CIA intends to pursue that route, in my opinion it’s a virtual certainty that it will.
In the aftermath of the assassination, the national-security branch of the federal government — i.e., the CIA and the Pentagon — went to tremendous efforts to suppress and conceal matters relating to the assassination, much of which did not come out until decades later.
Consider, for example, the autopsy that the U.S. military conducted on President Kennedy’s body. The military required participants in the autopsy to sign oaths of secrecy and made them promise to take what they had witnessed to the grave. Participants were told that if they ever violated their written oaths, they would be severely punished through court martial or criminal prosecution.
When evidence regarding the autopsy later began surfacing, the popular position was that the military physicians who performed the autopsy were simply incompetent.
But then came the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, which was enacted in 1992 — 29 years after the assassination. It mandated an end to the long-time secrecy that federal agencies, especially the military and the CIA, had maintained with respect to the Kennedy assassination. The enforcement agency for the act was called the Assassination Records Review Board.
Why was that law enacted? It was because of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. At the end of that movie, which posited that the U.S. national-security establishment had assassinated Kennedy as part of its Cold War regime-change operations, there was a small blurb informing people about the continued concealment of JFK-assassination-related records.
That blurb generated such an enormous outburst of public outrage that Congress was forced to pass a mandatory disclosure law and President George H.W. Bush was forced to sign the act into law.
The giant airship — 80 yards long and about the size of three Goodyear blimps — was one of a pair that represented the last gasp of an 18-year, $2.7 billion program called JLENS or “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System.”
There were once supposed to be 36 of them, their high-resolution 360-degree radar coverage up to 340 miles in any direction protecting the nation from cruise missiles.
But costs inflated, doubts about their utility mounted, and the program was scaled back and almost killed.
Blimps, it turns out, have had mixed success in purely military terms. When equipped with cameras, they are highly effective at conducting surveillance — but the Army promised there were no cameras on the JLENS blimps.
What blimps are best at is having a psychological effect: making people feel like they’re being watched.
It is believed a helicopter was also used to monitor the men.
Exhibits presented to defence solicitors included detailed maps and graphics highlighting the movement of cars containing the men.
Information from bugs planted in the cars was ‘overlaid’ with GPS co-ordinates from trackers, meaning surveillance teams could identify the exact time and location comments were made.
Video footage, at times reconstructed by the PSNI, was also added to the computerised exhibits to recreate what could be seen from the vehicles at the location and times conversations were held.
The extraordinary operation was supplemented by ‘aerial platform footage”, which may have involved the use of drones, or ‘heletele’ footage filmed from a PSNI chopper.
At times this aerial footage was also inlaid on the exhibit to show where the car was in real time.
The Irish News revealed yesterday that the huge surveillance operation, which cost millions of pounds, involved 44 MI5 officers, who are known as ‘Pins’.
In addition 35 PSNI officers, known as ‘Oscars’, were involved.
Mr Murphy said “an exhibit of this nature has never been seen before in our courts”.
“The three accused were subject to the most sophisticated and intensive methods of surveillance ever seen in this jurisdiction, involving vehicle tracker devices planted in several cars, helicopter surveillance on many dates, complemented by on the ground covert undercover PSNI and Security Service operatives.”
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The surveillance devices simulate cell phone towers in order to trick nearby mobile phones into connecting to them and revealing the phones’ locations.
Now newly released documents confirm long-held suspicions that the controversial devices are also capable of recording numbers for a mobile phone’s incoming and outgoing calls, as well as intercepting the content of voice and text communications. The documents also discuss the possibility of flashing a phone’s firmware “so that you can intercept conversations using a suspect’s cell phone as a bug.”
The information appears in a 2008 guideline prepared by the Justice Department to advise law enforcement agents on when and how the equipment can be legally used.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California obtained the documents (.pdf) after a protracted legal battle involving a two-year-old public records request. The documents include not only policy guidelines, but also templates for submitting requests to courts to obtain permission to use the technology.
License Plate Readers Exposed! How Public Safety Agencies Responded to Major Vulnerabilities in Vehicle Surveillance Tech
Case in point: automated license plate recognition (ALPR) systems.
Earlier this year, EFF learned that more than a hundred ALPR cameras were exposed online, often with totally open Web pages accessible by anyone with a browser. In five cases, we were able to track the cameras to their sources: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the Kenner Police in Louisiana; Hialeah Police Department in Florida; and the University of Southern California’s public safety department. These cases are very similar, but unrelated to, major vulnerabilities in Boston’s ALPR network uncovered in September by DigBoston and the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.
After five months of engagement with these entities, we are releasing the results of our research and the actions these offices undertook in response to our warnings.
What is ALPR?
ALPRs are networks of cameras that take pictures of every passing car and capture data on each car’s license plate number, including the time, date, and location where the vehicle was photographed. ALPR cameras are often mounted on patrol cars or affixed to stationary roadside structures, such as light poles and traffic signals.
The systems will alert police when a camera recognizes a car on a “hot list,” an index of cars that are stolen or believed to be tied to criminal activities. However, most ALPR systems collect and store data on every car (i.e. they don’t distinguish between suspects and innocent civilians). Even if a vehicle isn’t involved in a crime, data on where it was and when may be stored for many years, just in case the vehicle later comes under suspicion. Consequently, a breach of an ALPR system is a breach of potentially every driver’s travel history. Depending on how much data has been collected, this information in aggregate can reveal all sorts of personal information, including what doctors you visit, what protests you attend, and where you work, shop, worship, and sleep at night.
The ALPR systems at the center of our investigation were sold by a company called PIPS Technology, which has since been bought by 3M. In 2011, prior to the acquisition, the company bragged of installing more than 20,000 cameras around the globe. After independent security researchers alerted us to the vulnerabilities, we discovered that many stationary ALPR cameras from PIPS were individually connected to the Internet and freely accessible online to anyone who knew where to look.
Firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wrote the rules, are the dominant buyers and sellers and, ultimately, help decide winners and losers.
Has a country such as Argentina paid what it owes? Has a company like Caesars Entertainment Corp. kept up with its bills? When the question comes up, the 15 firms meet on a conference call to decide whether a default has triggered a payout of the bond insurance, called a credit-default swap. Investors use CDS to protect themselves from missed debt payments or profit from them.
Once the 15 firms decide that a default has taken place, they effectively determine how much money will change hands.
And now, seven years after the financial crisis first brought CDS to widespread attention, pressure is growing inside and outside what’s called the determinations committee to tackle conflicts of interest, according to interviews with three dozen people with direct knowledge of the panel’s functioning who asked that their names not be used. Scandals that exposed how bank traders rigged key interest rates and fixed currency values have given ammunition to those who say CDS may also be susceptible to collusion or, worse, outright manipulation.
Judicial Watch Obtains Previously Classified CIA Inspector General Report Strongly Condemning Agency Handling of Briefings and Interviews with the Entertainment Industry
Citing the confidentiality of the requested documents and the integrity of the scientific process, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it won’t give Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) what he recently subpoenaed about the research.
At the center of the controversy is a study that concluded there has not been a 15-year “pause” in global warming. Some NOAA scientists contributed to the report.
Skeptics of climate change, including Smith, have cited the pause to prove that increased greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels, are not heating up the globe.
Smith, the chairman of the House Science Committee, vehemently disagreed with the study’s findings. He subpoenaed for communications among the scientists and some data, leading to charges from Democrats that he was trying to intimidate the researchers.
On Wednesday in Chicago, Hastert took an oath of a different kind, swearing in a federal courtroom to tell the truth as he pleaded guilty to a felony count of illegally structuring cash withdrawals to evade bank currency-reporting requirements.
"Guilty, sir," Hastert, 73, said in a hoarse voice as he leaned toward a microphone and acknowledged in the packed courtroom that he had made hush-money payments to cover up wrongdoing in his past.
The guilty plea marked a dramatic downfall for Hastert, one of Illinois' most powerful Republicans who rose from humble beginnings as a small-town high school teacher to the third-highest political office in the country.
But while Hastert is now a convicted felon, the 20-minute hearing left more questions than answers. The 15-page plea agreement with prosecutors contains almost identical language as the indictment issued in May. It does not identify the person Hastert had agreed to pay $3.5 million to keep quiet or provide any new details on the wrongdoing Hastert was trying to cover up.
Under federal guidelines, Hastert faces a sentence ranging from probation to up to six months in prison. The judge, however, said that despite the agreement between parties, he is free to hand out a term of up to the statutory maximum of five years behind bars. He set sentencing for Feb. 29.
The story is important because it adds to our understanding of the essentially criminal disinformation put out to convince Americans, Britons and the world that war was unavoidable. We’d all been told that Bush and Blair only acted after exhaustive efforts to determine whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) — and that in any case their focus was on addressing that threat through all possible diplomatic options. In fact, as a leaked White House memo now shows, the UK was committed to backing the US-led invasion almost a year before the war started in March 2003.
The juiciest material in the memo was, of course, redacted, but even what remains is very telling: “On Iraq, Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary. He is convinced on two points: the threat is real; and success against Saddam will yield more regional success.”
What kind of “regional success” might these two Western leaders be after? And what would determining that the threat Saddam posed was “real” have to do with “more regional success”?
Well, that success had nothing to do with eliminating WMDs (which turned out to be non-existent). It had everything to do with securing a wealth of natural resources.
As WhoWhatWhy previously reported, former NATO commander General Wesley Clark has revealed that the Pentagon had a plan dating back even before the attacks of September 11, 2001, to invade seven different countries in the region. According to Clark, it was “all about oil.” (Vice President Dick Cheney, chairing a secret energy task force, tried mightily to pin blame for 9/11 on Iraq — and though there was no truth to that claim, ended up persuading a fair chunk of the American public otherwise.)
Stretching sparse precedents, the lawyers worked in intense secrecy. Fearing leaks, the White House would not let them consult aides or even the administration’s top lawyer, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. They did their own research, wrote memos on highly secure laptops and traded drafts hand-delivered by trusted couriers.
Just days before the raid, the lawyers drafted five secret memos so that if pressed later, they could prove they were not inventing after-the-fact reasons for having blessed it. “We should memorialize our rationales because we may be called upon to explain our legal conclusions, particularly if the operation goes terribly badly,” said Stephen W. Preston, the C.I.A.’s general counsel, according to officials familiar with the internal deliberations.
While the Bin Laden operation has been much scrutinized, the story of how a tiny team of government lawyers helped shape and justify Mr. Obama’s high-stakes decision has not been previously told. The group worked as military and intelligence officials conducted a parallel effort to explore options and prepare members of SEAL Team 6 for the possible mission.
By CHARLIE SAVAGE http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/us/politics/obama-legal-authorization-osama-bin-laden-raid.html
Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Tulsi explains why the US allying with Islamist extremists to overthrow Syrian President Assad is an illegal, counterproductive war that will cause even more human misery in the region and help ISIS and other Islamist extremists take over all of Syria. Instead of once again being distracted by trying to get rid of a secular dictator, Tulsi explains, the US must stay out of counter productive wars and focus on defeating the Islamist extremists who have declared war on America.
Comey told several hundred students during a forum at the University of Chicago Law School that it's critical to do more to address a widening gulf between law enforcement and citizens in many communities, particularly African-Americans.
He said while there likely are multiple factors behind the spike in violence in cities, including Chicago, officers and others nationwide have told him they see "the era of viral videos" as a link.
"I don't know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year, and that wind is surely changing behavior," Comey said.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Kyodo News has reported on this event, but only in regard to Bordne’s crew. In my opinion, Bordne’s full recollections—as they relate to the other seven crews—need to be made public at this time as well, because they provide more than enough reason for the US government to search for and release in timely fashion all documents relating to events in Okinawa during the Cuban Missile Crisis. If true, Bordne’s account would add appreciably to historical understanding, not just of the Cuban crisis, but of the role accident or miscalculation have played and continue to play in the Nuclear Age.
What Bordne contends. Bordne was interviewed extensively last year by Masakatsu Ota, a senior writer with Kyodo News, which describes itself as the leading news agency in Japan and has a worldwide presence, with more than 40 news bureaus outside that country. In a March 2015 article, Ota laid out much of Bordne’s account and wrote that “[a]nother former US veteran who served in Okinawa also recently confirmed [Bordne’s account] on condition of anonymity.” Ota has subsequently declined to identify the unnamed veteran, because of the anonymity he’d been promised.
Ota did not report portions of Bordne’s story that are based on telephone exchanges that Bordne says he overheard between his launch officer, Capt. Basset, and the other seven launch officers. Bordne, who was in the Launch Control Center with the captain, was directly privy only to what was said at one end of the line during those conversations—unless the captain directly relayed to Bordne and the other two crew members in the Launch Control Center what another launch officers just said.
With that limitation acknowledged, here is Bordne’s account of the ensuing events of that night:
The Army's Green Berets are among the best known of America's elite forces, but they're hardly alone. Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, Army Rangers, Marine Corps Raiders, as well as civil affairs personnel, logisticians, administrators, analysts, and planners, among others, make up US Special Operations forces (SOF). They are the men and women who carry out America's most difficult and secret military missions. Since 9/11, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has grown in every conceivable way from funding and personnel to global reach and deployments. In 2015, according to Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw, US Special Operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries - 75% of the nations on the planet, which represents a jump of 145% since the waning days of the Bush administration. On any day of the year, in fact, America's most elite troops can be found in 70 to 90 nations.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted 74 to 21 to pass a version of CISA that roughly mirrors legislation passed in the House earlier this year, paving the way for some combined version of the security bill to become law. CISA is designed to stem the rising tide of corporate data breaches by allowing companies to share cybersecurity threat data with the Department of Homeland Security, who could then pass it on to other agencies like the FBI and NSA, who would in theory use it to defend the target company and others facing similar attacks. That landslide vote was no doubt fueled in part by a year of massive hacks that hit targets including the health insurer Anthem, Sony, and the Office of Personal Management.
But privacy advocates and civil liberties groups see CISA as a free pass that allows companies to monitor users and share their information with the government without a warrant, while offering a backdoor that circumvents any laws that might protect users’ privacy. “The incentive and the framework it creates is for companies to quickly and massively collect user information and ship it to the government,” says Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst for the civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “As soon as you do, you obtain broad immunity, even if you’ve violated privacy law.”
Richelson filed the FOIA request shortly after CIA director John Brennan’s March 2015 announcement that the agency would undergo an extensive restructuring intended to eliminate “seams” in coverage (as a result of the reorganization, the NCS is now named the Directorate of Operations).
Previous charts of the NCS had been heavily redacted, and this is the first look at what the actual NCS structure looked like before the March 2015 reorganization. The FOIA release shows that the NCS offices listed alphabetically are the: Africa Division; Central Eurasia Division; Clandestine Information Staff; Community HUMINT; Counterintelligence Center; Counterproliferation Center; Counterterrorism Center; Crime and Narcotics Center; East Asia Division; Global Development Center; Human Resources Staff; Intelligence and Foreign Liaison; Information Operations Center; Iran Operations Center; Latin America Division; National Resources Division; Near East Division; National Resettlement Operations Center; Operations and Resources Management Staff; Policy Coordination Staff; Special Activities Center; South Asia Division; Technology Management Office; Tradecraft and Training Division.
A dramatically divided three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit ruled in favor of Department of Justice lawyers who argued that Amir Meshal couldn’t sue for damages for his alleged torture at the hands of FBI agents in three African countries because it happened overseas and because the litigation would jeopardize “national security.” Meshal is a U.S. citizen who FBI agents suspected had ties to al Qaeda.
And a Maryland district court judge threw out a massive legal challenge to the National Security Agency and its “Upstream” surveillance program on behalf of Wikimedia, Amnesty International USA, The Nation magazine and six other groups, because they couldn’t prove that the NSA had specifically spied on them — despite the troves of publicly available information on how the mass-surveillance program works, primarily from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In both cases, the ACLU had appealed to the judicial branch for relief from the excesses of the executive branch. But both courts allowed the federal government to escape judicial oversight simply by insisting that national security matters should remain secret.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Some think it’s where sexual deviants access child pornography or devoted drug users go to purchase their substance of choice. Others see it quite differently as a marketplace completely devoid of personal information – the first of its kind. While both arguments hold water, the real question is: what implications does a completely anonymous Deep Web have on society? We’ve got the links to answer that question and more! Read on to learn more about the Deep Web than you ever imagined.
The issue goes beyond old worries during the Cold War that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. The alarm today is deeper: The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West’s governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.
While there is no evidence yet of any cable cutting, the concern is part of a growing wariness among senior American and allied military and intelligence officials over the accelerated activity by Russian armed forces around the globe. At the same time, the internal debate in Washington illustrates how the United States is increasingly viewing every Russian move through a lens of deep distrust, reminiscent of relations during the Cold War.
Invoices obtained following a request under the Freedom of Information Act show purchases made in 2009 and 2012 by the federal tax agency with Harris Corporation, one of a number of companies that manufacture the devices. Privacy advocates said the revelation “shows the wide proliferation of this very invasive surveillance technology”.
The 2009 IRS/Harris Corp invoice is mostly redacted under section B(4) of the Freedom of Information Act, which is intended to protect trade secrets and privileged information. However, an invoice from 2012, which is also partially redacted, reports that the agency spent $65,652 on upgrading a Stingray II to a HailStorm, a more powerful version of the same device, as well as $6,000 on training from Harris Corporation.
Stingrays are the best-known example of a type of device called an IMSI-catcher, also known as “cell-site simulators”. About the size of a briefcase, they work by pretending to be cellphone towers in order to strip metadata and in some cases even content from phones which connect to them.
Despite their extensive capabilities, they require only a low-level court order called a PEN register, also known as a “trap and trace”, to grant permission for their use.
Another disturbing and growing trend is how prosecutors use the law to criminally charge employees and ex-employees for exceeding authorized access. In 1994, the CFAA was amended to allow civil actions to be brought under the statute. This opened a path for corporations to sue workers who steal company secrets in violation of their authorized access. But instead of using this civil recourse, companies have, in several cases, worked with the government to criminally charge employees who violate work contracts.
“It’s a poorly written statute that doesn’t effectively define the main thing it seeks to prohibit,” says Tor Ekeland, a New York-based defense attorney who has worked on a number of controversial CFAA cases. “There are ambiguities surrounding that definition that allow prosecutors wide latitude to bring charges under theories that shock computer people in the infosec community. Combine that with the fact that there is this general paranoia about hackers—it’s a sort of hysteria that’s on par with the hysteria about witchcraft.”
Civil liberty and legal advocacy groups have called on lawmakers to reform the CFAA to prevent zealous prosecutors from punishing conduct that many feel doesn’t truly constitute a computer crime. Calls for reform grew particularly loud in 2013 after internet activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide following his indictment on charges related to downloading academic papers.
Before it was finally dismantled in 2013, Hiramine’s organization received millions in funding from the Pentagon through a complex web of organizations designed to mask the origin of the cash, according to one of the former military officials familiar with the program, as well as documentation reviewed for this article.
The use of HISG for espionage was “beyond the pale” of what the U.S. government should be allowed to do, said Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, an association of nearly 200 American NGOs. The practice of using humanitarian workers as spies “violates international principles” and puts legitimate aid and development workers at risk, he argued.
“It is unacceptable that the Pentagon or any other U.S. agency use nonprofits for intelligence gathering,” Worthington said. “It is a violation of the basic trust between the U.S. government and its civic sector.”
Sunday, October 25, 2015
The people who actually committed the crimes of September 11th didn’t intend to just hijack planes and take down the buildings—they intended to blame others. To accomplish that plan the real criminals needed to create a false account of what happened and undoubtedly that need was considered well in advance. In this light, the official reports can be seen to provide a link between the “blaming others” part of the crimes and the physical parts.
Pushing the concept of “Islamic Terrorism” was the beginning of the effort to blame others, although the exact 9/11 plan might not have been worked out at the time. This concept was largely a conversion of the existing Soviet threat, which by 1989 was rapidly losing its ability to frighten the public, into something that would serve more current policy needs. Paul Bremer and Brian Jenkins were at the forefront of this conversion of the Soviet threat into the threat of Islamic terrorism. Both Bremer and Jenkins were also intimately connected to the events at the World Trade Center.
Tony Blair apologises for Iraq War mistakes and accepts invasion had part to play in rise of Islamic State
In a candid interview with CNN, the former prime minister was challenged by US political broadcaster Fareed Zakar who accused Blair of being George Bush’s ‘poodle’ over the conflict.
During the exchange, which will air on CNN Europe at 11am and 7pm on Sunday, Mr Blair says: “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence was wrong. I also apologise, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime. But I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam.”
When asked whether he thought the invasion led to the rise of Isil, he says: “I think there are elements of truth in that. Of course you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”
Saturday, October 24, 2015
This is because Congressional Defense leaders on Tuesday announced that they are looking to enact more “entitlement and personnel reforms” in 2016.
The bill being submitted and debated by Congress would provide a much lower than anticipated pay raise for U.S. troops beginning in January 2016. It includes cuts in the growth of military housing stipends, an introduction of new co-pays for some military drug prescriptions and a scale-down of the commissary benefit.
The bill also includes changes to the traditional military retirement system and an overhaul of military healthcare offerings like Tricare.
Unsurprisingly, one of the most vocal cheerleaders of this effort to reduce benefits for American soldiers is Senator John McCain who stated that military personnel costs are “one of our greatest challenges” and that “we’re going to have to make some tough decisions” soon.
No one should be shocked at McCain’s position of course since despite his constant harping about his military service as a qualification for any and all of his opinions McCain has been a relentless enemy of American military personnel since as far back as the Vietnam War.
It should be remembered that it was John McCain who stood in front of Congress and argued against any further investigation or revelation of whether or not American POWs were still being held in Vietnam, as well as displaying a general antipathy to American military personnel as I’ve detailed in my article “The Un-American Hero: Crimes of John McCain.”
Policymakers, and now historians have had vehement disagreements about the War Scare, leading some to describe the debate as "an echo chamber of inadequate research and misguided analysis," and the CIA itself to downplay the danger in its 1984 review. This newly declassified PFIAB document, however, provides the strongest evidence to date that the danger of the War Scare was real, as the only study written with access to all US intelligence files on US/NATO actions and the Soviet response in the fall of 1983.
The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), sometimes called "the secrecy court of last resort," was instrumental in spurring the declassification of this document after the Archive's initial 2004 request. ISCAP's efforts helped break through the referral black hole that continues to prevent the public from seeing billions of other pages of documents locked in our Presidential Libraries. The George H. W. Bush Presidential Library also helped in trying to win this document's release, but was continually stymied by an "unnamed agency" that would not allow the Library to perform a declassification review, despite that "unnamed agency" failing to complete its own review since 2004.
According to documents reviewed by the Board and dissected in the declassified PFIAB report, by 1983 "The Soviets had concern that the West might decide to attack the USSR without warning during a time of vulnerability…thus compelling the Soviets to consider a preemptive strike at the first sign of US preparations for a nuclear strike." To counter this strike (which the West never intended to launch), Soviet leader Yuri Andropov initiated Operation RYaN, the Soviet human intelligence effort to detect and preempt a Western "surprise nuclear missile attack."
“In 1983, we may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger,” the review concluded.
That autumn has long been regarded as one of the most tense moments of the Cold War, coming after the Soviet Union shot down a South Korean civilian airliner in September and as the West was preparing to deploy Pershing II intermediate-range and ground-launched cruise missiles in Europe in November. But there has been a long-running debate about whether the period known as the “war scare” was a moment of genuine danger or a period of bluster for propaganda purposes.
The review concluded that for Soviet leaders, the war scare was real, and that U.S. intelligence postmortems did not take it seriously enough.
Wikimedia (and the ACLU, who is helping with the case), believed they had a smoking gun that could grant them standing. The following slide, which was revealed by Ed Snowden:
See that Wikipedia logo? Wikimedia Foundation and the ACLU argued that this presented evidence that the NSA was targeting Wikipedia users, and thus the Wikimedia Foundation had standing.
Unfortunately, so far, it's not working. Earlier today, the court tossed out the lawsuit, saying that Wikimedia did not present enough evidence to prove it has standing. The court, not surprisingly, relies heavily on the Supreme Court's ruling in Clapper v. Amnesty International, in which SCOTUS rejected Amnesty's similar claim by saying the organization failed to prove it had standing, since it couldn't prove its team was caught up in dragnet surveillance. Of course, famously, to get to that ruling, the US government flat out lied to the Supreme Court (something it has since admitted), claiming (incorrectly) that if information collected via such surveillance was used in criminal cases, the defendants would be told about it.
According to the lawsuit, the NSA secretly violated the First and Fourth Amendments by creating a program called Upstream, which intercepts both foreign and domestic telephone and Internet traffic along major internet cables. Although whistleblower Edward Snowden publicly disclosed the existence of the program in 2013 and the government has acknowledged its existence, Judge Thomas Selby “T.S.” Ellis III dismissed the suit because he admittedly did not have enough information to confirm their allegations.
“The decision turns a blind eye to the fact that the government is tapping into the Internet’s backbone to spy on millions of Americans,” ACLU lawyer Patrick Toomey said in a statement. “The dismissal of the lawsuit’s claims as ‘speculative’ is at odds with an overwhelming public record of warrantless surveillance.”
By playing the national security card, the NSA proved once again that it is currently immune to public scrutiny and accountability. If the ruling stands, the ACLU believes it will be impossible to challenge the NSA in civil court. Although Judge T.S. Ellis III said the suit relied on “the subjective fear of surveillance,” the ACLU plans to file an appeal.
Friday, October 23, 2015
In a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, the department said the investigation into the controversy will be closed -- and while they found "mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia," they found "no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution."
"What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action -- but it does not warrant criminal prosecution," Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik wrote.
Republicans, who themselves have investigated the IRS scandal for years, fumed over Friday's DOJ decision.
Nerves frayed at the White House after senior officials learned Israeli aircraft had flown in and out of Iran in what some believed was a dry run for a commando raid on the site. Worried that Israel might ignite a regional war, the White House sent a second aircraft carrier to the region and readied attack aircraft, a senior U.S. official said, “in case all hell broke loose.”
The two countries, nursing a mutual distrust, each had something to hide. U.S. officials hoped to restrain Israel long enough to advance negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran that the U.S. had launched in secret. U.S. officials saw Israel’s strike preparations as an attempt to usurp American foreign policy.
Instead of talking to each other, the allies kept their intentions secret. To figure out what they weren’t being told, they turned to their spy agencies to fill gaps. They employed deception, not only against Iran, but against each other. After working in concert for nearly a decade to keep Iran from an atomic bomb, the U.S. and Israel split over the best means: diplomacy, covert action or military strikes.
Personal strains between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu erupted at their first Oval Office meeting in 2009, and an accumulation of grievances in the years since plunged relations between the two countries into crisis.
This Wall Street Journal account of the souring of U.S.-Israel relations over Iran is based on interviews with nearly two dozen current and former senior U.S. and Israeli officials.
Just 21 of those videos — less than half — have been publicly released. And in several of those cases, the footage, as in Burlington, was severely cut or otherwise edited.
Meanwhile, virtually all of the 36 departments involved in those shootings have permitted their officers to view the videos before giving statements to investigators, The Post found. Civil and human rights groups fear that access could help rogue officers tailor their stories to obscure misconduct and avoid prosecution.
“What point is there of even doing this if they are going to be treated this way? Why even spend the money on these cameras?” said Burlington Mayor Shane McCampbell, who has called on police to release video of the Steele shooting. He noted that police promised greater openness last year when they petitioned the city to buy body cameras.
If the videos “are going to be a secret, no one is being held accountable,” McCampbell said. “And that was the point.”
While individual police departments are adopting rules on the local level, police chiefs and unions are lobbying state officials to enshrine favorable policies into law. In 36 states and the District this year, lawmakers introduced legislation to create statewide rules governing the use of body cameras, often with the goal of increasing transparency.
Of 138 bills, 20 were enacted, The Post found. Eight of those expanded the use of body cameras. However, 10 set up legal roadblocks to public access in states such as Florida, South Carolina and Texas. And most died after police chiefs and unions mounted fierce campaigns against them.
Like a good poem, the ISR study has multiple meanings, and rewards careful attention and repeated reading. On its surface, it’s simply an analysis by the Defense Department’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Task Force of the “performance and requirements” of the U.S. military’s counterterrorism kill/capture operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia and Yemen. However, it’s also what a former senior special operations officer characterized as a “bitch brief” — that is, a study designed to be a weapon in a bureaucratic turf war with the CIA to win the Pentagon more money and a bigger mandate. The study was also presumably an opportunity for IBM to demonstrate that it can produce snappy “analysis” tailored to the desires of its Defense Department clients, as well as for current Defense employees to network with a potential future employer.
But the presentation’s most compelling meaning is much deeper: It’s a rare, peculiar cultural artifact that opens a window into the deep guts of the military-industrial complex, where the technologies of assassination and corporate sales converge, all described in language as dead as the target of an ISR platform kinetic engagement.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
CIA's Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac, and Other Leftists - John Potash
"Drugs as Weapons Against Us: The CIA's Murderous Targeting of SDS, Panthers, Hendrix, Lennon, Cobain, Tupac, and Other Leftists "
On Infowars Nightly News 10/ 22 /15
Drugs as Weapons Against Us meticulously details how a group of opium-trafficking families came to form an American oligarchy and eventually achieved global dominance. This oligarchy helped fund the Nazi regime and then saved thousands of Nazis to work with the Central Intelligence Agency. CIA operations such as MK-Ultra pushed LSD and other drugs on leftist leaders and left-leaning populations at home and abroad. Evidence supports that this oligarchy further led the United States into its longest-running wars in the ideal areas for opium crops, while also massively funding wars in areas of coca plant abundance for cocaine production under the guise of a "war on drugs" that is actually the use of drugs as a war on us.
Drugs as Weapons Against Us tells how scores of undercover U.S. Intelligence agents used drugs in the targeting of leftist leaders from SDS to the Black Panthers, Young Lords, Latin Kings, and the Occupy Movement. It also tells how they particularly targeted leftist musicians, including John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Tupac Shakur to promote drugs while later murdering them when they started sobering up and taking on more leftist activism. The book further uncovers the evidence that Intelligence agents dosed Paul Robeson with LSD, gave Mick Jagger his first hit of acid, hooked Janis Joplin on amphetamines, as well as manipulating Elvis Presley, Eminem, the Wu Tang Clan, and others.
Would Edward Snowden be better off had he gone through official channels to blow the whistle?
No way, says his lawyer, Jesselyn Radack of ExposeFacts.org.
The 14 principled votes against this bill are the following list, who should be thanked for taking a stand against expanded mass surveillance:
In New York City, the police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks. The technology was used in Afghanistan before being loosed on U.S. streets. Each X-ray van costs an estimated $729,000 to $825,000.
The NYPD will not reveal when, where, or how often they are used.
“I will not talk about anything at all about this,” New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told a journalist for the New York Post who pressed for details on the vans. “It falls into the range of security and counter-terrorism activity that we engage in.”
He added that “they’re not used to scan people for weapons.”
Here are some specific questions that New York City refuses to answer:
How is the NYPD ensuring that innocent New Yorkers are not subject to harmful X-ray radiation?
How long is the NYPD keeping the images that it takes and who can look at them?
Is the NYPD obtaining judicial authorization prior to taking images, and if so, what type of authorization?
Is the technology funded by taxpayer money, and has the use of the vans justified the price tag?
Those specifics are taken from a New York Civil Liberties Union court filing. The legal organization is seeking to assist a lawsuit filed by Pro Publica journalist Michael Grabell, who has been fighting New York City for answers about X-ray vans for 3 years.
Giraldi’s report is based on the revelations of Sibel Edmonds, a former FBI translator who has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators, and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups.
So what, exactly, does Edmonds say about Hastert?
Hastert’s sex with boys didn’t stop with a student when Hastert was a high-school coach. His pedophilia has continued until the present.
In fact, foreign governments bribed Hastert during his tenure of Speaker of the House with underage sex slaves
Hastert was involved with Turkish and other foreign drug cartels and money-laundering operations
Hastert was up to his neck in bribery
Other prominent Republican and Democratic politicians were also involved with these illegal operations
The government is giving Hastert a lesser plea deal because they don’t want this dirty laundry to air, since the government doesn’t want this rampant corruption in our political system to see the light of day … and because the government illegally spied on Hastert
The US Senate is due to vote on CISA this week, which purports to protect Americans from hackers and aims to use the companies to gather data.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the bill will grant companies more power to obtain threat information and allow them to disclose that data to the government without a warrant.
This includes sending data to the National Security Agency.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The public prosecutions service said on Wednesday they would open an inquiry into crimes committed by Stakeknife, named by the BBC as Fred Scappaticci in 2003.
Freddie Scappaticci, 68, originally from West Belfast, has consistently denied claims that he was the spy.
Barra McGrory QC, Northern Ireland's director of public prosecutions, ordered the chief constable to reopen investigations into the murders – opening up the possibility the man alleged to be Britain’s key informer could be questioned about his covert career in open court.
Information received by the army, MI5 and the Royal Ulster Constabulary's Special Branch (RUC) will also be examined.
You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here. The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me…
-38 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.
-51 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.
-62 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.
-71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.
John Brennan became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in March 2013, replacing General David Petraeus who was forced to step down after becoming embroiled in a classified information mishandling scandal. Brennan was made Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on the commencement of the Obama presidency in 2009--a position he held until taking up his role as CIA chief.
According to the CIA Brennan previously worked for the agency for a 25 year stretch, from 1980 to 2005.
Brennan went private in 2005-2008, founding an intelligence and analysis firm The Analysis Corp (TAC). In 2008 Brennan became a donor to Obama. The same year TAC, led by Brennan, became a security advisor to the Obama campaign and later that year to the Obama-Biden Transition Project. It is during this period many of the Obama administration's key strategic policies to China, Iran and "Af-Pak" were formulated. When Obama and Biden entered into power, Brennan was lifted up on high, resulting in his subsequent high-level national security appointments.
On Wednesday, the secret-spilling group published a series of selected messages and attachments from a trove of emails taken from Brennan’s AOL account. Though WikiLeaks hasn’t revealed its source, there’s little doubt the files were handed off by the self-described teen hackers calling themselves CWA or “Crackas With Attitude,” who claim to have hacked Brennan’s AOL account through a series of “social engineering” tricks.
Security services given new rights to spy on your phones and computers: 'Dizzying' range of electronic surveillance equipment set to be made available to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ under new laws
Privacy campaigners have warned against increasing surveillance powers, but the Government and senior intelligence services say they are more important than ever because of electronic crime and the threat from Islamist extremists.
MI5, MI6 and GCHQ would be granted a range of electronic surveillance capabilities under the Government's Investigatory Powers Bill, allowing them to legally hack phones, tablets and laptops
The new laws would give security agencies the power to hack devices, with permission from the Home Secretary, rather than simply intercepting them, which is becoming increasingly difficult.
Online criminals and terrorist can encrypt their communications, which means that when they are intercepted, they may be impossible to interpret.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
If you step back and look at the bigger picture, you will see the situation in reverse: how much the dominating presence of those from the western world has affected the daily lives of people living in Muslim countries.
What the colonial powers have done in Muslim countries is well known. Less well known are the machinations of Allen Dulles and the CIA in one of these colonial powers, France.
Without the knowledge or consent of President John F. Kennedy, Allen Dulles orchestrated the efforts of retired French generals, rightwing French, Nazi sympathizers, and at least one White Russian, to overthrow Charles de Gaulle, who wanted to give Algeria its independence. Dulles et al feared an independent Algeria would go Communist, giving the Soviets a base in Africa.
And there was another reason to hang onto Algeria: its natural resources. According to the US Energy Information Administration, it is “the leading natural gas producer in Africa, the second-largest natural gas supplier to Europe outside of the region, and is among the top three oil producers in Africa.”
We note with great interest that the plot to bring down Charles De Gaulle — the kind of people involved, the role of Allen Dulles, the motive behind it — all bear an eerie similarity to the circumstances surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But that is another story.
As we have said earlier, Dulles’s job, simply put, was to hijack the US government to benefit the wealthy. And in this fascinating series of excerpts from David Talbot’s new biography on Dulles, we see how his reach extended deeply into the government of France.
WhoWhatWhy Introduction by Milicent Cranor
This is the first of a three-part series of excerpts, from Chapter 15 (“Contempt”) of The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of the American Secret Government. HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.
Monday, October 19, 2015
The federal civil rights lawsuit, filed on Monday against six officers and the city of Chicago, alleges the use of “unconstitutionally coercive and torturous tactics” and connects the practices at Homan Square to a pattern of racially motivated policing.
In the suit, the third since the Guardian began an investigation into the secretive police compound, Atheris Mann, Jessie Patrick and Deanda Wilson charge that they were coerced into providing false information through a series of physical, verbal and psychological assaults at the facility which their attorney said “does fit into torture under the United Nations definition”.