Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Walking Tour of New York’s Massive Surveillance Network


Earlier this month, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the lower tip of Manhattan was thronged with soldiers in uniform, firefighters marching with photos of lost friends pinned to their backpacks, and tourists bumbling around the new mall at the World Trade Center. Firetrucks and police cars ringed Zuccotti Park and white ribbons adorned the iron fence around the churchyard on Broadway. Trash cans were closed up, with signs announcing “temporary security lockdown.”

So it felt a bit risky to be climbing up a street pole on Wall Street to closely inspect a microwave radar sensor, or to be lingering under a police camera, pointing and gesturing at the wires and antenna connected to it. Yet it was also entirely appropriate to be doing just that, especially in the company of Ingrid Burrington, author of the new book “Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure,” which points out that many of the city’s communications and surveillance programs were conceived and funded in response to the attacks.

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/24/a-walking-tour-of-new-yorks-massive-surveillance-network/

GOP lawmaker: FBI gave immunity to top Clinton aide

Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other staff members were granted immunity deals in exchange for their cooperation in the now-closed FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state, says a Republican congressman.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told The Associated Press on Friday that Mills gave federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that what they found couldn't be used against her.

Democrats on the committee said Friday the immunity agreements were limited in scope and did not cover statements made to investigators or to potential testimony before Congress.

Still, Chaffetz said he was "absolutely stunned" that the FBI would cut a deal with someone as close to the investigation as Mills. By including the emails recovered from the laptops in the immunity agreements, the Justice Department exempted key physical evidence from any potential criminal case against the aides.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5eb9830643084dfa9fcbedd8b18b08e0/gop-lawmaker-fbi-gave-immunity-clinton-aides-testimony

Guccifer 2.0 Releases More DNC Docs, Exposing More Corruption

New evidence proves Clinton was always the Democratic choice

Last week, WikiLeaks directly released files from Guccifer 2.0 through their Twitter account. Among them was a high-profile donor list revealing the pay-to-play appointments of several ambassadorships and other positions by President Barack Obama. On September 15, Guccifer 2.0 released several DCCC memos on a WordPress site, including one from Ohio dated December 9, 2015 that referred to Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee before the primaries began, even though Sen. Bernie Sanders was just a few points behind Clinton in most polls. “With former Governor Ted Strickland and Secretary Clinton on the ballot, there will be a boost from the top of the ticket,” read the memo.

Based on many similar memos and documents released by Guccifer 2.0 from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and DCCC, it appears the Democratic Party leadership felt strangely self-assured Clinton would be their presidential nominee before a single vote was cast. The Clinton campaign and DNC have not disputed the veracity of any files or documents leaked, rather they have portrayed themselves as the victims of Russian hackers to divert attention from the content of the leaks.

http://observer.com/2016/09/breaking-guccifer-2-0-releases-more-dnc-docs-exposing-more-corruption/

Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal

President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday.

The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/hillary-clinton-emails-fbi-228607

Friday, September 23, 2016

Saudis hire lobbyists amid 9/11 fight

Saudi Arabia has hired two new lobby firms as it fights legislation that would allow victims of the 9/11 attacks to file lawsuits against the country.

Glover Park Group and Squire Patton Boggs are now working for the Saudi government, according to new disclosure forms. Both contracts were inked earlier this week.

The Saudi government is adding Washington firepower amid the battle over legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to sue any other country for terrorist attacks. The bill passed both chambers of Congress unanimously.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 hailed from Saudi Arabia. Critics have long suspected that the kingdom’s government may have either directly or indirectly supported the attacks, something the Saudis vehemently deny.

On Friday afternoon, President Obama vetoed the bill, saying that it would weaken immunity laws for sovereign governments, lead to a deluge of lawsuits and put longstanding foreign policy relationships at risk.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/business-a-lobbying/297482-saudis-hire-lobbyists-amid-fight-over-9-11

Obama vetoes 9/11 bill

President Obama on Friday vetoed legislation that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S courts, setting up a high-stakes showdown with Congress.

“I recognize that there is nothing that could ever erase the grief the 9/11 families have endured," Obama wrote in his veto message. "Enacting JASTA into law, however would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks."

Obama’s move opens up the possibility that lawmakers could override his veto for the first time with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.

Republican and Democratic leaders have said they are committed to holding an override vote, and the bill’s drafters say they have the support to force the bill to become law.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) unanimously passed through both chambers by voice vote.

But the timing of the president’s veto is designed to erode congressional support for the bill and put off a politically damaging override vote until after the November elections.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/296862-obama-vetoes-9-11-bill

NYPD Says Talking About Its IMSI Catchers Would Make Them Vulnerable to Hacking

Typically, cops don't like talking about IMSI catchers, the powerful surveillance technology used to monitor mobile phones en masse. In a recent case, the New York Police Department (NYPD) introduced a novel argument for keeping mum on the subject: Asked about the tools it uses, it argued that revealing the different models of IMSI catchers the force owned would make the devices more vulnerable to hacking.

Civil liberties activists are not convinced. Christopher Soghoian from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote in an affidavit as part of a petition against the NYPD’s decision not to share this information, “It would be a serious problem if the costly surveillance devices purchased by the NYPD without public competitive bidding are so woefully insecure that the only thing protecting them from hackers is the secrecy surrounding their model names.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), an affiliate of the ACLU, has been trying to get access to information about the NYPD’s IMSI catchers under the Freedom of Information Law. These devices are also commonly referred to as “stingrays”, after a particularly popular model from Harris Corporation. Indeed, the NYCLU wants to know which models of IMSI catchers made by Harris the police department has.

https://motherboard.vice.com/read/nypd-says-talking-about-its-imsi-catchers-would-make-them-vulnerable-to-hacking

Related:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160920/13130835574/nypd-says-releasing-basic-stingray-contract-info-will-result-supercriminal-apocalypse.shtml

William Binney: 'NSA Is Backbone Of World Surveillance State'

George H.W. Bush & Bill Clinton Linked Together in Drug Trade

There is compelling evidence that suggests George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were once part of the largest drug smuggling operation in American history. Darrin McBreen and David Knight talk about the Bush and Clinton Crime Family connections with the CIA, Barry Seal, Oliver North and the Iran Contra Scandal.

Women of the CIA: The Hidden History of American Spycraft

Women have been central to American spycraft since 1776, and they continued to play important roles in the World War II–era Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the CIA’s predecessor. Even so, the agency has a long history as a chauvinistic old boys’ club rife with sexism. “People treat it as only men have a calling to serve their country and it’s unnatural for women to do it,” Bennett says. “Women have been extremely involved and integral! It burns me up to no end. Women in intelligence is not new. We’ve always been important, and there’s nothing strange with us wanting to do this role.”

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/30/cia-women-national-security-500312.html

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Farrakhan Unleashes on Obama and his Failed Legacy

Secret report reveals: German BND also uses XKEYSCORE for data collection

Over the past few years we learned a lot about Germany's foreign intelligence service BND, although not from leaks, but from the public hearings of the parliamentary commission that investigates NSA spying operations and its cooperation with German agencies.

Recently however a secret government report was leaked to German media, which not only identifies violations of the data protection act but also reveals the codenames for several BND systems and the fact that BND uses the American XKEYSCORE system not only for analysis, but also for collection purposes.

Here, the new information from the secret report is combined with things we know from earlier sources and reportings.

- A secret report
- The SUSLAG liaison office
- Selectors provided by NSA
- Operations SMARAGD and ZABBO
- Metadata analysis: VERAS
- Analysis and collection: XKEYSCORE
- Integrated analysis: MIRA 4
- Legal defects

http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2016/09/secret-report-reveals-german-bnd-also.html

No Agenda: Thursday (9-22-16) Episode 862 - Otherizing

Yahoo says 500 million accounts stolen

Yahoo confirmed on Thursday data "associated with at least 500 million user accounts" have been stolen in what may be one of the largest cybersecurity breaches ever.

The company said it believes a "state-sponsored actor" was behind the data breach, meaning an individual acting on behalf of a government. The breach is said to have occurred in late 2014.

"The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers," Yahoo said in a statement.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/22/technology/yahoo-data-breach/

A U.S. judge just disclosed how often law enforcement asked to secretly track electronic records

A federal judge released a list Wednesday of all sealed requests made in Washington in 2012 for Americans’ telephone and Internet activity, a step toward bringing more public scrutiny to rapidly expanding secret law enforcement activities.

The action came in a case brought by a journalist to unseal a much larger collection of information about court-ordered electronic surveillance in closed criminal investigations in the nation’s capital.

Legal experts say even the selective release appears to mark the first time a U.S. district court has made a systematic online disclosure of how often law enforcement seeks court orders under a 1986 statute to obtain individuals’ electronic records from communication service providers. The release could serve as a model for court disclosure elsewhere, several legal experts said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/us-judge-lists-one-years-government-electronic-surveillance-requests-in-dc/2016/09/21/7911b044-7c26-11e6-beac-57a4a412e93a_story.html