Monday, February 29, 2016
The Federal Government Went to Great Lengths to Collect Data on Author and Radio Broadcaster William Cooper.
An FOIA request filed by Kristan T. Harris of The Rundown Live resulted in the release of hundreds of documents related to former United States Naval Intelligence officer, author and radio broadcaster William (Bill) Cooper from Eagar, Arizona.
The unclassified documents paint Cooper’s controversial actions as “hosting a talk show by means of short-wave radio,” as well as “frequently condemning the federal government, Justice Department and the FBI for the ‘atrocities’ at Waco and Ruby Ridge”. The records punctuate the point that Bill was, “convinced there is a government sponsored socialist conspiracy to establish a ‘new world order’” multiple times throughout the FBI’s investigations.
Cooper, best known for his underground best seller, “Behold a Pale Horse”, caught the FBI’s attention in 1997 over controversial allegations surrounding the Oklahoma City (OKC) bombing and Timothy McVeigh, the FOIA shows. In his broadcast, Hour of the Time, he often called the tragic incident a false flag attack by criminal elements of our government.
Shortly after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building, Rush Limbaugh read a White House memo on the air during his broadcast which named William Cooper, “…the most dangerous radio host in America”.
This contributed to Cooper believing that he was personally targeted by President Bill Clinton and the IRS for tax evasion. He often addressed his concerns over his daily broadcast, Hour of the Time, and Project VERITAS publications.
(1 of 3 releases) Download the first FOIA here: http://TheRundownLive.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/1342596-0-Section-01-Imported-Media.pdf
The video above is from a European Parliament meeting in 2013, in which a courageous MEP explained to the whole room why everything they know about the whole banking system is a scam.
You don’t need us to tell you that this guy deserves a round of applause for his honesty. Such is rare in politics. In addition, the importance of what he shared cannot be overstated.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, money is an arbitrary invention to profit from debt. Banks and governments encourage individuals and countries to be in debt because the greater the debt, the more money they pocket. However, they don’t make money from the interest, but from something called the Fractional Reserve Banking system.
This scam creates money out of thin air and brings in a profit of hundreds or even thousands of percent on all debts. This ‘undeclared’ money makes a few people very rich.
Kiriakou had a whole lot to say, especially about former Attorney General Eric Holder and current CIA director John Brennan, whom he sees as the prime movers behind the administration’s secrets-and-lies agenda — and also as the guys who railroaded him over what he describes as a minor indiscretion. Kiriakou spent 15 years in the CIA, first as an analyst and then as a covert operative. He was involved in the capture of Abu Zubaydah, and apparently knew that the alleged senior al-Qaida operative was waterboarded by CIA interrogators, although he was not directly involved.
Kiriakou’s decision to talk about CIA torture in a 2007 interview ultimately landed him in prison. But it’s an arcane and suggestive tale and, at least officially, his crime had nothing to do with what he said about Zubaydah and waterboarding. Kiriakou revealed the last name of a covert agent — inadvertently and in passing, he says — to an ABC News journalist named Matthew Cole, who said he was planning to write a book but was actually gathering information for defense lawyers working with detainees at Guantánamo Bay. Later, Kiriakou believes, Cole became a government informant. The whole thing would puzzle John le Carré and Immanuel Kant put together.
Even though Kiriakou’s purported offense occurred when George W. Bush was in the White House, it was Obama’s Justice Department that decided to investigate and prosecute him, a three-year process that left him bankrupt, unemployed and more than a million dollars in debt. In the end, he would up spending nearly two years in prison because he mentioned one person’s last name in one email. When it comes to why the Obama administration has repeatedly taken that approach, Kiriakou sounds just about as puzzled as the rest of us.
Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader, told his followers in a recent address to stay away from Hillary Clinton for president – she's nothing more than a "wicked woman" who's spinning a web of deceit for the black community.
His point of view seemed to stem from his contention that her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, oversaw what he painted as the unfair mass incarceration of black people during his White House administration.
As Breitbart reported, Farrakhan said: "How many of you are going to vote for Hillary Clinton? You don't have to raise your hands. I do not blame you for wanting a female president, but that is a wicked woman. She can be sweet but so can you. And you know when you are sweet but playing a game. All of a sudden, she knows about Trayvon Martin. All of a sudden – the boy's been dead two years now – she talking about him like she met the mother and oh ... White people, this is Satan. And you fall for that crap?"
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/farrakhan-on-hillary-that-is-a-wicked-woman/#o1dwDRhv29GjPkLv.99
The House Select Committee on Benghazi announced it received the records on Friday, adding that the State Department has yet to fully comply with document requests the committee made nearly a year ago.
“Today the State Department turned over more than 1,600 pages of new documents related to former Secretary Clinton and Libya,” the committee said. “The State [Department] claimed in a January 8th court filing that it only recently discovered these new documents from the Office of the Secretary.”
For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics and online presentation, a gold medal.
For its courageous, comprehensive coverage of sexual abuse by priests, an effort that pierced secrecy, stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church.
Spotlight tonight took the big prize at the 88th Academy Awards with a Best Picture victory. Nominated for a total of six Oscars tonight it also was the big winner Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Open Road-distributed and Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team’s exposes of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-ups was chosen as one of the top 10 films of 2015 by AFI.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar onstage, surrounded by Spotlight‘s cast and creatives. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
Sunday, February 28, 2016
How Were the FY2017 Pie Chart Figures Determined?
“Current military” includes Dept. of Defense ($586 billion) and the military portion ($182 billion) from other departments as noted in current military box above. “Past military” represents veterans’ benefits plus 80% of the interest on the debt.* For further explanation, please go to warresisters.org.
These figures are from an analysis of detailed tables in the Analytical Perspectives book of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2017. The figures are Federal funds, which do not include Trust funds — such as Social Security — that are raised and spent separately from income taxes.
What you pay (or don’t pay) by April 18, 2016, goes to the Federal funds portion of the budget. The government practice of combining Trust and Federal funds began during the Vietnam War, thus making the human needs portion of the budget seem larger and the military portion smaller.
*Analysts differ on how much of the debt stems from the military; other groups estimate 50% to 60%. We use 80% because we believe if there had been no military spending most (if not all) of the national debt would have been eliminated.
The pie chart is the government view of the budget. This is a distortion of how our income tax dollars are spent because it includes Trust Funds (e.g., Social Security), and most of the past military spending is not distinguished from nonmilitary spending. For a more accurate representation of how your Federal income tax dollar is really spent, see the large graph.
Pentagon Spending vs. Security
Presidential campaigns magnify the cries for more military spending. Candidates ignore the facts and declare “the military has been gutted.” They one-up each other on who will be the strongest commander in chief. The graph shows military spending at its highest levels since World War II despite recent declines. Look at what trillions of dollars and endless war have bought, then pledge to take at least one action below.
• Steady growth in terrorism over the last decade, with the highest number of deaths in countries the U.S. was “helping” — Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
• 50 million refugees or internally displaced people due to conflict and violence — the most since World War II
• 100 million barrels of oil per year burned by U.S. military equipment, releasing millions of tons of pollutants
• Major human rights violations, including detention without trial, torture, expanded U.S. government surveillance, and racial profiling.
Sources: Costs of War Project: , watson.brown.edu/costsofwar; “The Military Assault on Global Climate” by Patricia Hynes
The United States’ Air Force revealed its Northrop Grumman B-21 long-range strike bomber. Analysts propose that the Air Force opts for some 100 – 180 of the aircraft, a quantity that brings to mind the cold-war era deployment of the nuclear capable B-52 bombers.
The new B-21 is similar in design to that of the Northrop B-2 flying-wing stealth design. So far, only an artist’s rendering of the new aircraft has been declassified, so nobody with the exception of the few who have the clearance to see the beast have been able to cast an eye on “the real thing”. The B-21 is to gradually substitute the 54-year-old B-52H, the 28-year-old B-1 and the 21-year-old B-2 Spirit. The Air Force announced that it expects the new B-21 to be in service until 2060.
In its report, “Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies,” War On Want names a number of major military and security companies (PMSCs) making vast profits in conflict zones around the world, including Control Risks, G4S and Olive Group.
The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for example, has awarded contracts to PMSCs in conflict zones with a combined value of around $70 million each year since 2003. This includes nearly $210 million in the five years between 2007 and 2012 awarded for operations in Iraq.
War On Want reports:
“From dependency on Pentagon contracts, they [PMSCs] have found a wealth of new and eager clients amongst the private sector, especially in the extractive industries. They have sought out and exploited political instability in the wake of the Arab uprisings. And they have spread floating armories across the world’s oceans to protect commercial shipping interests. In all of this, U.K. companies are playing a leading role, reaping enormous profits.”
In its report, War On Want says the use of private armies by foreign governments and corporations is increasing rapidly because “states and companies seek to evade responsibility for the use of violent and often deadly force.”
Saturday, February 27, 2016
Over the past several years numerous studies have looked at the effects of piracy on the music industry.
One very consistent result seems to be that pirates are not by definition cheapskates. On the contrary, they tend to spend more money on merchandise, theater visits and concerts.
This week a new study conducted by the entertainment industry research firm MusicWatch confirmed this trend.
Brought to light by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the NSA program Upstream intercepts traffic from what has been called the "Internet's backbone," a phrase that refers to the major foreign and domestic Internet cables and switches.
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union represented nine media and human rights group - led by the Wikimedia Foundation - in challenging the program for its "suspicionless seizure and searching of Internet traffic."
Joining the ACLU in the Maryland challenge were Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, PEN American Center, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Global Fund for Women and The Nation Magazine.
Throwing out the case that fall, however, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, a Ronald Reagan nominee, found that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would be a more appropriate forum to resolve such constitutional questions.
The FISC, as the court is known for short, operates from an undisclosed room in Washington. Only government lawyers and a judge are permitted in the hushed proceedings.
In May 2015, the government agency said criminals used a tool on the IRS website to steal the tax forms of 104,000 people. Then in August, it revised that number up to 330,000.
On Friday, the tax-collection agency revealed that number is now closer to 720,000.
The latest number is the result of a nine month investigation by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Investigators found that "390,000 additional taxpayer accounts" were affected. Fraudsters tried to target an additional 295,000 taxpayer transcripts than previously thought, but "access was not successful," the IRS said.
Kenny — who won easy re-election to his own parliamentary seat in Mayo, western Ireland, for the 12th straight time dating back to 1975 — says he cannot consider forming a historic coalition with longtime nemesis Fianna Fail until full results are declared Sunday or Monday.
He concedes that Ireland could face a second 2016 election if he or Fianna Fail chief Micheal Martin are unable to forge a parliamentary majority with each other or other smaller parties.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is leading his nationalist party to its best-ever result in the Republic of Ireland, a solid third-place finish, and calls its involvement in a future Irish government just a question of time.
Adams is topping the results table as ballots continue to be counted Saturday night in his border district of Louth, midway between Dublin and Belfast. The longtime Northern Ireland-based leader won a parliamentary seat in Louth in 2011 as he sought to spearhead Sinn Fein’s growth in the independent south.
Adams says he expects his party to double its seats in parliament from the 14 it won in 2011. But he says it’s too early to say whether Sinn Fein could gain a slice of power in Ireland’s next coalition government.
He called Sinn Fein’s rise “another step in the realignment of politics on this island.”
The first step is to ask specific, well-formulated questions. What do we need to know? We need to know things like how explosives got into the WTC, how the North American air defenses failed, how the U.S. chain of command and communication systems failed, how the alleged hijackers got away with so much, and how the planes were hijacked.
Here are examples of specific questions that will help answer these questions.
What more can we learn from the official accounts about transponder and autopilot use on 9/11?
Who was invited to the explosive disposal/terrorism meeting at WTC 7 on the morning 9/11 and what was the agenda?
What do the strip clubs, bars, and other businesses frequented by the alleged hijackers have in common?
The second step is to collect information that might help to answer the questions. Good sources of information include the following.
National Archives (NARA)
National Security Archive at GWU
911 Document Archive at Scribd
History Commons Complete 9/11 Timeline
Internet Search Engines: These are more useful for those who learn how to use search operators.
The WayBack Machine: Wonder what a web page looked like 15 years ago?
It also helps to interview people who have detailed knowledge about the events. Most of the people who were present at the time of the attacks and during the official investigations are still alive and some of them will answer questions.
Additionally, useful information can be obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Direct requests to federal, state, or local agencies using resources like these:
New York State: http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/html
Other help and example letters: http://nfoic.org
The third step to investigation is to collect the information, analyze it, and then communicate it clearly and objectively. Collecting the information is relatively easy. Analysis might include categorizing or framing the information in ways that help to see linkages. Examples include creating a timeline of events or a matrix of people and events, and considering if the new information fits into the existing body of knowledge. Once new information is ready to communicate to others, there are a lot of venues for doing that. A good example is 911Blogger.
Friday, February 26, 2016
In a new report, Americans for Tax Fairness said the New York-based maker of Lipitor, Viagra and other well-known drugs would take advantage of lower tax rates in Ireland while reaping the benefits of having its operations in the U.S. under a $160 billion corporate tax inversion deal announced with Allergan in November.
The transaction is undergoing regulatory reviews even as the Obama Administration has tried to block such deals on grounds that they could undermine the nation's tax base.
A spill is not the same as an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. A Homeland Security official explained that spills often include “the accidental, inadvertent, or intentional introduction of classified information into an unclassified information technology system, or higher-level classified information into a lower-level classified information technology system, to include non-government systems.”
Examples include: using a copier not approved for the level of classified information copied; failing to properly mark a classified product; transmitting classified information on an unclassified system like Gmail; or sending classified information to someone who, while having the proper level of clearance, is not authorized to read a section of information sent to them, the official said.
And it has no limitations. Napier noted that the other programs -- things like Section 215 (now morphed into whatever the USA FREEDOM Act allows) and Section 702 -- were merely used to "fill in the gaps" not covered by 12333.
And it almost certainly involves both foreign and domestic intelligence. Basically, if any of your data goes outside of US boundaries, the NSA is free to capture it under 12333. Remember those stories of the NSA hacking into datacenters of companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft? Those datacenters were in Singapore. And the reason the target was Singapore rather than the US, was because of 12333.
The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies.
The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information, increasing the chances that they will recognize any possible nuggets of value. That also means more officials will be looking at private messages — not only foreigners’ phone calls and emails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but also communications to, from, or about Americans that the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.
Civil liberties advocates criticized the change, arguing that it will weaken privacy protections. They said the government should disclose how much American content the N.S.A. collects incidentally — which agency officials have said is hard to measure — and let the public debate what the rules should be for handling that information.
After the 2013 Snowden revelations, as mainstream technology companies started spreading encryption by putting it in popular consumer products, the wars erupted again. Law enforcement officials, led by FBI Director James Comey, loudly insisted that U.S. companies should build backdoors to break the encryption just for them.
That won’t happen because what these law enforcement officials are asking for isn’t possible (any backdoor can be used by hackers, too) and wouldn’t be effective (because encryption is widely available globally now). They’ve succeeded in slowing the spread of unbreakable encryption by intimidating tech companies that might otherwise be rolling it out faster, but not much else.
Indeed, as almost everyone else acknowledges, unbreakable encryption is here to stay.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
In letter to Yankees’ Randy Levine, Bronx borough prez calls team’s ‘draconian’ ticket policy a ‘blatant money grab’
Diaz fired off a letter to Yankees president Randy Levine Wednesday slamming the team’s “draconian new ticketing policy,” which disallows print-at-home tickets.
Diaz accused the Bombers of going for the “blatant money grab” with a policy that would bar fans from using ticket resellers such as StubHub.
In the letter, Diaz zeroed in on Yankees COO Lonn Trost, who has faced criticism for saying on WFAN last week that the new ticket policy was done with the idea that some fans might feel frustrated if they were sitting near others that did not pay a premium price for certain seats.
The MD-11 wide-body cargo jet is enroute from Munich to Durban, South Africa carrying what will later be called a “diplomatic shipment” for the South African Reserve Bank.
44Initial reports state the plane made either A. an emergency landing at the airport in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, as stated in initial reports. Or B. making a routine scheduled refueling stop, according to a press release put out three days later by the owners of the plane.
The smart money was always on “A.”
The wide-body cargo plane impounded in Harare belongs to “Western Global Airlines,” a Florida airline that is the successor to a long-time CIA subsidiary which itself is no stranger to blood dripping down the fuselage.
“Western Global Airlines” was once known as “Southern Air Transport.” The same management owns it today that brought Southern Air out of bankruptcy back in 2002. So the plane belongs to a CIA contractor.
When Western Global started service, the airline announced, but probably not tongue-in-cheek, that it would “serve the major cargo centers of South America, where they will be flying from Colombia to Miami carrying cut flowers.”
CECIL-THE-LION2But there’s another reason that’s the real clincher: The crisis PR firm the airline hires to release the press release did PR for the Minnesota dentist who killed “Cecil the Lion.”
No wonders the American electorate in both parties is so worried about national decline.
As Breitbart’s John Nolte reported last year, the four-hour miniseries from the acclaimed Iranian-American writer-director presents an unflinching dramatization of the events leading up to 9/11, including an examination of then-President Bill Clinton’s failure to capture and kill its chief architect, Osama bin Laden. ABC reportedly spent $40 million to produce the miniseries, but shelved it indefinitely under alleged pressure from the Clintons.
“The amazing thing was the Clintons were able to put pressure on Disney/ABC basically to bury their own movie that they spent $40 million on, The Path to 9/11, which did air once, by the way, over two nights, and was number one in the ratings with 20 million viewers,” Nowrasteh told KSFO The Morning Show’s Brian Sussman.
Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF Ret.) who was in charge of the NSA when 9/11 happened, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Wednesday. Hayden was there to promote a book, but was asked about the pre-9/11 warnings in relation to Donald Trump’s recent raising of the issue.
Bush CIA Chief: Taking Action on Pre-9/11... by tommyxtopher
This week, another interesting fact has been reported by the mainstream media, which adds an additional layer of mystery to the story.
According to the Washington Post, Scalia spent his final moments with members of a secret society which has ties to the Bohemian Grove. The group is called the International Order of St. Hubertus, and they are an Austrian secret society that dates back to the 1600s.
The Post pointed to public records which show that Scalia was at the ranch with a number of men that he was connected to through the International Order of St. Hubertus. Scalia had met with these same men on numerous other occasions, and once at this specific ranch.
The Post reports:
“Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,” according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen.”
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/mainstream-media-reports-scalia-spent-final-hours-members-secret-society-affiliated-bohemian-grove/#fuUumATGVojQK0Hv.99
Apple acknowledged on a call with reporters that the FBI’s demands that it write software designed to weaken the security of its phones is without precedent. Its primary argument, unsurprisingly, takes on just how outdated and inapplicable the law the FBI has invoked is. The All Writs Act the government is citing as its authority to compel Apple’s assistance, the company argues, doesn’t give the courts the power to order the kind of assistance the government wants—primarily because that assistance would be unduly burdensome for Apple to fulfill.
The company further calls on its First and Fifth Amendment rights, which might seem out of joint, until you realize that code has long been legally recognized as a form of speech. Most of all, the dismissal drives home its point that this is not a case for the courts to decide, because of the alarming precedent it could set.
“This is not a case about one isolated iPhone,” writes Apple attorney Marc Zwillinger in today’s brief. “Rather, this case is about the Department of Justice and the FBI seeking through the courts a dangerous power that Congress and the American people have withheld: the ability to force companies like Apple to undermine the basic security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of individuals around the globe.”
“These forces … will remain in Cameroon until their support is no longer needed,” Obama stated. A White House official later said the troops would not be used for combat, but to oversee intelligence gathering and surveillance. The president didn’t reveal the exact location of the new facility, but the U.S. ambassador to Cameroon, Michael Hoza, said it would be in Garoua, the site of a Cameroonian air force base. No Western journalists had apparently visited this place since Obama’s announcement, little had been written about it in the American media, and the Pentagon was keeping quiet, so I set out to find out what was going on.
Garoua represents the newest expansion of America’s stealth war against jihad in Africa. Piloted and unmanned aircraft have flown from bases in Djibouti — the center of U.S. drone operations on the continent — as well as Ethiopia and Kenya, in addition to ships off the coast of East Africa. Predator MQ-1 drones and their larger cousins, MQ-9 Reapers, have been based in Niamey in Niger, N’Djamena in Chad, and Seychelles International Airport. There is plenty more to come. The National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 appropriated $50 million for construction of an “Airfield and Base Camp at Agadez, Niger … to support operations in western Africa.”
FBI Director James Comey reversed himself on Thursday when he acknowledged that the outcome of a California court order compelling Apple to write new code to unlock a terrorist’s phone could “be instructive for other courts” when interpreting how far third parties have to go in helping the government hack their products.
Just as recently as Sunday, Comey wrote that “the San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message. It is about the victims and justice.”
Comey was really just admitting the obvious. Law enforcement agencies are already lining up to exploit what they consider a possible new tool.
ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
An estimated 45.3 percent of American households — roughly 77.5 million — will pay no federal individual income tax, according to data for the 2015 tax year from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington-based research group. (Note that this does not necessarily mean they won’t owe their states income tax.)
Roughly half pay no federal income tax because they have no taxable income, and the other roughly half get enough tax breaks to erase their tax liability, explains Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.
Despite the fact that rich people paying little in the way of income taxes makes plenty of headlines, this is the exception to the rule: The top 1 percent of taxpayers pay a higher effective income tax rate than any other group (around 23 percent, according to a report released by the Tax Policy Center in 2014) — nearly seven times higher than those in the bottom 50 percent.
If the government already has its own access to the iPhone, then the FBI’s chosen “debate” with Apple is an exercise in wearing down public resistance to the surveillance state.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) could have used a dozen other cases of locked phones to push this debate. On Tuesday, it was reported that DoJ was pursuing about 12 court orders to force Apple to help extract data from iPhones. But the San Bernardino terror case gave them an opportunity to sway public opinion.
Indeed, as The Intercept reports, the surveillance state is salivating at the possibility of trampling over the last defense of tech companies and privacy advocates.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/fbi-hack-iphone-already-making-fight-apple-tactic-surveillance-state/#mPg0J86lVkDkkdIk.99
A spokesman for the German interior ministry announced on Monday that the government had approved the usage of Trojans to monitor suspected citizens.
The interior ministry spokesman defended the government's decision, saying "basically we now have the skills in an area where we did not have this kind of skill." The program was already endorsed by members of the government in autumn 2015, the ministry said.
Trojans are software programs, also known as malware, specially designed to get into users' computers. They are often used by hackers and thieves to gain access to somebody else's data.
In order to use the malware, government officials will have to get a court order, allowing authorities to hack into a citizen's system.
A rather disturbing conclusion has been reached by a federal court in Pennsylvania. Two cases involving people who had their photography efforts interrupted by police officers have resulted in the court finding there is no First Amendment right to film public servants. (h/t Adam Steinbaugh)
U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued his ruling in two consolidated cases filed against the city of Philadelphia by citizens whose cellphones were confiscated after they either photographed police activity or were barred from filming police activity.
Neither of the plaintiffs, Richard Fields nor Amanda Geraci, were filming the police conduct because they had a criticism or challenge to what they were seeing. For Fields, he thought the conduct was an interesting scene and would make for a good picture, Kearney said. And for Geraci, she was a legal observer trained to observe the police, Kearney said.
"The citizens urge us to find, for the first time in this circuit, photographing police without any challenge or criticism is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment," Kearney said.
"While we instinctively understand the citizens' argument, particularly with rapidly developing instant image sharing technology, we find no basis to craft a new First Amendment right based solely on 'observing and recording' without expressive conduct and, consistent with the teachings of the Supreme Court and our court of appeals, decline to do so today."
The court has not yet discussed whether the actions of police in response to the filming violated the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment rights, leaving that for a jury to determine. But what it does say about the First Amendment isn't encouraging.
According to this decision, the photography must be "expressive" to receive First Amendment protection.
Obviously, Indian Point could potentially be a repeat of the level 7 Fukushima Daiichi disaster if a nuclear meltdown occurs due to a hurricane or other natural event leading to equipment failures. However, a similar disaster would require the evacuation of 5.6 million people and render Manhattan a no go zone for decades. In 2004, a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists estimated as many as 44,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome and as many as 518,000 long-term cancer deaths could occur in people within 50 miles of Indian Point in the event of a severe accident. Potential disaster models reveal the Indian Point plume could reach Chernobyl mass event levels nine times the radiation released at Fukushima.
Indian Point is just one of at least five damaged nuclear power plants in the United States. They are obviously targets for terrorists. Just one more reason why we need our borders closed to President Obama’s unconstitutional Executive Order on Immigration.
Or, if local EPA officials and geological experts are to be believed, maybe not. There are conflicting studies commissioned by the various parties in this saga that, maybe predictably, have produced very different results.
Since the fire began years ago, residents, activists, politicians and the landfill owners have battled over the smell coming from the underground fire and the future of the radioactive waste buried several hundred yards away.
The world's most powerful sporting organization is rife with corruption, say U.S. law enforcement authorities who have indicted FIFA officials
The fact that the U.S. Marshals Service uses cellphone trackers, commonly known as stingrays, has long been among law enforcement’s worst-kept secrets, though the agency still refuses to acknowledge it. The Marshals Service confirmed its use of the devices to USA TODAY only in the process of trying to keep it secret, rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of its log of cases in which agents had used stingrays.
The Marshals Service’s response to that request included an almost totally censored spreadsheet listing its stingray cases, with information about the cases stripped out line by line, which made it possible to count the number of entries the agency had made on its log of stingray uses. The agency described the log in a letter as “a listing of IMSI catcher use,” using another name for the technology that intercepts cellphone signals.
Stingrays are suitcase-sized devices that can pinpoint a cellphone’s location within a few yards by posing as a cell tower. In the process, they also intercept information about other cellphones that happen to be nearby, a fact that has raised concerns among privacy advocates and some lawmakers. Dozens of police departments use the devices, often concealing that fact from suspects and their lawyers.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
While bankers can probably get their highs any number of ways, the Mexican drug cartels need financial institutions to clean their dirty money. And, it seems, there is no better bank for that than London-based HSBC, which is one of the world’s largest. In the first six months of last year, it reported a pre-tax profit of $13.6 billion.
According to a lawsuit filed against HSBC earlier this month, it earned some of those profits by allowing the drug cartels to cycle billions of dollars through it.
“From 2004 through at least 2008, HSBC Mexico accepted over $16.1 billion in cash deposits from customers throughout Mexico. This amount eclipsed the amount of USD cash deposits at financial institutions with market shares multiple times greater than HSBC Mexico’s,” the lawsuit alleges.
For now, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said he will grant limited discovery to Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that has sued to get a look at Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
That could give the group — and the broader public — answers as to who approved Mrs. Clinton’s unique arrangement, who else in government knew about it and why they shielded it for so long. It also could force Mrs. Clinton to answer questions about how she sorted through her account and decided which messages she didn’t want to turn over to the government.
Judge Sullivan said he is “inclined” to issue a subpoena demanding that Mrs. Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin turn over the entire email system they used. He delayed that decision, saying he will wait to see what he learns from the discovery process, but was irked by answers the Obama administration has given.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington came in a lawsuit over public records brought by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, regarding its May 2013 request for information about the employment arrangement of Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide.
Officials with the State and Justice departments said that they were aware of the order but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing litigation. Discovery orders are not readily appealable. An attorney for Abedin declined to comment.
"We believe the American people need to decide who is going to make this appointment rather than a lame-duck president," Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters Tuesday after a special meeting of the committee.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said members of the panel reached a "consensus" that there should not be hearings or a vote on President Obama's nominee.
"My decision is that I don't think we should have a hearing. We should let the next president pick the Supreme Court justice," he said after emerging from a meeting in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office.
The committee Republicans left McConnell’s office and walked straight into a lunch with the party conference to brief their colleagues.
After the meeting, McConnell said the rest of the Senate Republican Conference backed the Judiciary Committee's unanimous position.
And given their recommendation, McConnell said, he wouldn't bother to even meet with an Obama nominee.
"The overwhelming view of the Republican conference in the Senate is this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president," he told reporters.
As a senator more than two decades ago, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. argued that President George Bush should delay filling a Supreme Court vacancy, should one arise, until the presidential election was over, and that it was “essential” that the Senate refuse to confirm a nominee to the court until then.
Mr. Biden’s words, though uttered long ago, are a direct contradiction to President Obama’s position in the battle over naming a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia.
Mr. Obama has said it is his constitutional responsibility to name a successor to Justice Scalia, who died Feb. 13 at the age of 79. The president has reacted with incredulity to the suggestion by several Republican presidential candidates and senators, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, that the decision should wait until after Mr. Obama has left office.
“Historically, this has not been viewed as a question,” Mr. Obama said last week. “There’s no unwritten law that says that it can only be done on off years — that’s not in the constitutional text.”
The L'Espresso report came as WikiLeaks also publicized documents that it says shows the NSA had intercepted Italian diplomatic cables about a 2010 conversation between Berlusconi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as communication from a Berlusconi adviser in 2011.
This is among the latest examples of documents, leaked over the last several years, that showed past spying activities by the United States against officials in areas such as France, Germany, the European Union and Brazil.
On February 20, 2016, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed more than 500 attendees at the Free State Project's 9th annual NH Liberty Forum in Manchester, NH.
People gathered from across the globe to discuss practical ways to expand social and economic liberties. The conference also provided an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the Free Stater community in New Hampshire, where 20,000 libertarians are now moving.
Nick Gillespie of Reason TV interviewed Snowden live via Google Hangouts. Snowden was greeted by audience members holding masks bearing his likeness--this homage was received with a wide smile from Snowden in Russia.
- See more at: https://freestateproject.org/blogs/snowden-speaks-free-state-projects-liberty-forum-libertarian-nh#sthash.ChXbHJXq.dpuf
Now, five years later, when 23andMe and Ancestry both have over a million customers, those warnings are looking prescient. “Your relative’s DNA could turn you into a suspect,” warns Wired, writing about a case from earlier this year, in which New Orleans filmmaker Michael Usry became a suspect in an unsolved murder case after cops did a familial genetic search using semen collected in 1996. The cops searched an Ancestry.com database and got a familial match to a saliva sample Usry’s father had given years earlier. Usry was ultimately determined to be innocent and the Electronic Frontier Foundation called it a “wild goose chase” that demonstrated “the very real threats to privacy and civil liberties posed by law enforcement access to private genetic databases.”
The FBI maintains a national genetic database with samples from convicts and arrestees, but this was the most public example of cops turning to private genetic databases to find a suspect. But it’s not the only time it’s happened, and it means that people who submitted genetic samples for reasons of health, curiosity, or to advance science could now end up in a genetic line-up of criminal suspects.
Monday, February 22, 2016
The documents also reveal the content of the meetings from Ban Ki Moon's strategising with Merkel over climate change, to Netanyahu's begging Berlusconi to help him deal with Obama, to Sarkozy telling Berlusconi that the Italian banking system would soon "pop like a cork".
Some documents are classified TOP-SECRET / COMINT-GAMMA and are the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization.
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said "Today we showed that UN Secretary General Ban KiMoon's private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. We previously published Hillary Clinton orders that US diplomats were to steal the Secretary General's DNA. The US government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct against the UN--let alone its Secretary General. It will be interesting to see the UN's reaction, because if the Secretary General can be targetted without consequence then everyone from world leader to street sweeper is at risk."
Tim Cook protests that Apple is being asked to create “a new version of the iPhone operating system.” This glib talking point distracts attention from the reality that there’s essentially a backdoor on every new iPhone that ships around the world: the ability to load and execute modified firmware without user intervention.
Research shows that sperm count can also be reduced by talking on a phone that is charging, or even keeping it close by on a bedside table at night.
The quality of sperm among men in Western countries is steadily decreasing, and is considered the factor in 40 per cent of cases in which couples have difficulty conceiving a child.
Heat and electromagnetic activity which emanate from a mobile phone are thought to be ‘cook’ sperm, causing them to die.
The findings have led to a leading British fertility expert to warn men about the risks of being ‘addicted’ to mobile phones.
Israeli scientists monitored 106 men attending a fertility clinic for a year.
The study revealed that men who chatted on the phone for more than an hour daily were twice as likely to have low sperm quality as those who spoke for less than an hour, while those who talked on the phone as it charged were almost twice as likely to suffer problems.
It also found that 47 per cent of men who kept their phones within 20 inches of their groin had sperm levels that were seriously affected, compared with just 11 per cent of the general population.
The findings, published in Reproductive BioMedicine, support a long-feared link between dropping male fertility rates and the prevalence of mobile phones.
Clinton was “a high ranking official who should know better, but completely given a pass, and almost an apologetic pass,” Jeffrey Sterling, who was found guilty of leaking classified information to Times reporter James Risen last year, said in an interview with the Washington Post published on Monday.
The comments from Sterling, who is serving a 3.5-year prison term, come as an indictment of the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s controversial use of a “homebrew” email setup throughout her tenure as secretary of State.
The former National Security Agency contractor, who has been living in Russia since June 2013, said he would present a public interest defence of his decision to leak thousands of classified intelligence documents if he appeared before a US jury. “I’ve told the government I would return if they would guarantee a fair trial where I can make a public interest defence of why this was done and allow a jury to decide,” Snowden told a libertarian conference, the New Hampshire Liberty Forum.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
TARGETED killing using drones has become part of the American way of war. To do it legally and effectively requires detailed and accurate intelligence. It also requires some excruciatingly difficult decisions. The dialogue above, representative of many such missions, shows how hard the commanders and analysts work to get it right.
The longer they have gone on, however, the more controversial drone strikes have become. Critics assert that a high percentage of the people killed in drone strikes are civilians — a claim totally at odds with the intelligence I have reviewed — and that the strikes have turned the Muslim world against the United States, fueling terrorist recruitment. Political elites have joined in, complaining that intelligence agencies have gone too far — until they have felt in danger, when they have complained that the agencies did not go far enough.
The program is not perfect. No military program is. But here is the bottom line: It works. I think it fair to say that the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict. It disrupted terrorist plots and reduced the original Qaeda organization along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to a shell of its former self. And that was well before Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Make no mistake, though: What the government is trying here (and in at least one other similar recent case) is unprecedented. Traditionally, the All-Writs Act has been used to force companies to cough up information they already have about their own customers, like a phone company ordered to turn over a criminal suspect’s billing records.
Here, Apple engineers are effectively being conscripted to build forensic software — a hacking app — for the FBI. That’s more like ordering a locksmith to help crack a safe, or a linguist to make sense of a suspect’s diary, against their will, if necessary. Instead of being asked to hand over its own information, Apple is being instructed to help hack into someone else’s — someone whose only connection to the company was owning a phone that Apple produced.
That’s a particular stretch because (as Apple argues in another ongoing case) Congress has already passed a federal law outlining exactly what companies must do to help police spy on digital messages: the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1992.
Nothing in that law obliges companies to help crack encryption, and despite increasingly loud calls from the FBI for an encryption “update,” Congress has declined to go along.
The FBI, in other words, is relying on an 18th-century law to grant it powers that our 21st Congress won’t.
This was the question posed to the researchers in 1971:
Suppose you were an advisor to the head of the KGB, the Soviet Secret Police. Suppose you are given the assignment of designing a system for the surveillance of all citizens and visitors within the boundaries of the USSR. The system is not to be too obtrusive or obvious. What would be your decision?
What amazing, unobtrusive surveillance system did they come up with? It wasn’t a network of intercepting every phone call or placing cameras on every street corner. They imagined an electronic funds transfer system, or EFTS—a system that looks strikingly similar to the debit card system we all use today.
The September 1975 issue of Computers and People magazine gave readers a peek at this system that was to come:
Sadly the military aren't the only ones interested in the latest gadgets and inventions, though. The alphabet soup agencies are equally voracious for innovative new ways to spy on the public. Today let's examine five of the most amazing technological breakthroughs...that are about to be turned into nightmarish spying tech.
1) New "visual microphone" lets Big Brother hear without sound
2) X-ray devices help spies see through walls
3) Stingrays help police spoof cell phone towers and scoop up all your data
4) The NSA's TEMPEST irradiates your secrets out of you
5) Brain scanner allows researchers to read your thoughts
The infighting between American proxies is the latest setback for the Obama administration’s Syria policy and lays bare its contradictions as violence in the country gets worse.
The confusion is playing out on the battlefield — with the U.S. effectively engaged in a proxy war with itself. “It’s very strange, and I cannot understand it,” said Ahmed Othman, the commander of the U.S.-backed rebel battalion Furqa al-Sultan Murad, who said he had come under attack from U.S.-backed Kurdish militants in Aleppo this week.
Furqa al-Sultan Murad receives weapons from the U.S. and its allies as part of a covert program, overseen by the CIA, that aids rebel groups struggling to overthrow the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, according to rebel officials and analysts tracking the conflict.
The Kurdish militants, on the other hand, receive weapons and support from the Pentagon as part of U.S. efforts to fight ISIS. Known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, they are the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s strategy against the extremists in Syria and coordinate regularly with U.S. airstrikes.
Friday, February 19, 2016
The documents were taken earlier this week from the home of a former communist-era interior minister, Gen Czeslaw Kiszczak.
Lukasz Kaminski, head of the Institute of National Remembrance, said the documents appear authentic.
Mr Walesa has long denied being an informer in the 1970s.
The former president said the new materials could not originate from him, according to Polish radio.
The 279 pages of documents have not yet been properly analysed, and will be made public in due course, Mr Kaminski said.
Retired union workers facing large pension cuts gathered to voice their anger at those cuts Tuesday.
Representative Emanuel Cleaver conducted the town hall meeting.
According to Cleaver, more than 270,000 people from across several states, including Missouri, who have vested millions of dollars into their pension funds, have been told their benefits from the Central States Pension Fund would be drastically cut, some as much as by 60 percent.
“We’re not talking about some welfare situation. These people have worked hard all of their lives to earn this money,” Cleaver said.
The cuts are the result of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act, which allows the pension company to ask the U.S. Treasury for permission to cut payments to remain solvent.
A federal magistrate initially gave Apple five business days to respond to her order, released on Tuesday, but the Justice Department decided not to wait for Apple’s response, noting in its motion today that Apple CEO Tim Cook had already indicated in a public statement posted to Apple’s web site Tuesday that his company would not comply.
“The government does not seek to deny Apple its right to be heard, and expects these issues to be fully briefed before the Court; however, the urgency of this investigation requires this motion now that Apple has made its intention not to comply patently clear,” the Justice Department wrote in its 35-page motion (.pdf).
After Trump stunned the Republican establishment at the debate on Saturday by claiming the Iraq war was “a big, fat mistake,” he elaborated about events that ultimately led the U.S. to invade the country, during a campaign event in Bluffton, South Carolina, Wednesday morning:
“It wasn’t the Iraqis that knocked down the World Trade Center; we went after Iraq, we decimated the country … But it wasn’t the Iraqis. You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center, ‘cause they have papers in there that are very secret, you may find it’s the Saudis … but you will find out.”
While it’s public knowledge 15 of the 19 attackers on 9/11 were Saudis, nothing has ever been divulged to directly implicate the government of Saudi Arabia. However, when the 9/11 Commission Report on those events was published, 28 pages had been notoriously left out, under the guise of protecting national security — and have since been the subject of controversy and conspiracy theories.
According to an article by Lawrence Wright published in the New Yorker, specifically focused on those 28 pages:
“‘There’s nothing in it about national security,’ Walter Jones, a Republican congressman from North Carolina who has read the missing pages, contends. ‘It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.’Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, told me that the document is ‘stunning in its clarity,’ and that it offers direct evidence of complicity on the part of certain Saudi individuals and entities in Al-Qaeda’s attack on America.‘Those twenty-eight pages tell a story that has been completely removed from the 9/11 Report,’ Lynch maintains. Another congressman who has read the document said that the evidence of Saudi government support for the 9/11 hijacking is ‘very disturbing,’ and that ‘the real question is whether it was sanctioned at the royal-family level or beneath that, and whether these leads were followed through.’”
Clearly Trump is re-igniting a smoldering, popular desire for the Obama administration to divulge the hidden information about possible Saudi involvement. Though Trump could easily be criticized, or even derided, for xenophobic and controversial proposals such as walling off the entire United States — on this point, he appears to be on target.