Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cato Institute Surveillance Conference 2014



http://leaksource.info/2014/12/18/cato-institute-surveillance-conference-2014/

Hollywood's Secret War On Net Neutrality Is A Key Part Of Its Plan Stop You From Accessing Websites It Doesn't Like

We already wrote about the MPAA's plan to break the internet by trying to twist a portion of the DMCA to force ISPs to remove DNS entries, making sites effectively disappear off the internet. However, one key element to this actually relies on an issue closely related to the net neutrality fight -- though understanding it involves going pretty deep into both copyright law and telecommunications law.

Historically, the MPAA has been against net neutrality for a long time. Back in 2007, during the original net neutrality fight, the MPAA weighed in with an FCC filing against net neutrality, arguing that it would interfere with filtering technologies that it wanted ISPs to start using. In 2009, as the second net neutrality battle ramped up, the MPAA sent a similar filing -- with some friends arguing that net neutrality is just another word for file sharing, and would lead to "rampant looting." Given all this, the 2010 open internet rules from the FCC included a special carveout for copyright content, arguing that the rules "do not apply" to copyright infringement.

https://www.techdirt.com/blog/netneutrality/articles/20141218/06355229476/mpaas-secret-war-net-neutrality-is-key-part-its-plan-to-block-sites.shtml

EFF in Court to Argue NSA Data Collection from Internet Backbone Is Unconstitutional

First Public Court Challenge to “Upstream” Internet Spying

Oakland - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue on Friday before a federal court that the National Security Agency (NSA) is violating the Fourth Amendment by copying and searching data that it collects by tapping into the Internet backbone. The hearing on a motion for partial summary judgment in Jewel v. NSA will be at 9 am on Dec. 19 before Judge Jeffrey White at the federal courthouse in Oakland.

Jewel was filed in 2008 on behalf of San Francisco Bay Area resident Carolyn Jewel and other AT&T customers. EFF has amassed a mountain of evidence to support the case, including documents provided by former AT&T technician Mark Klein, which show that the company has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA. Other whistleblowers—including Thomas Drake, Bill Binney and Edward Snowden—have revealed more detail about how this technique feeds data into the NSA's massive databases of communications. Since June 2013, the government has confirmed that it searches much of the content it collects as part of its "upstream" collection without a warrant. The government claims the content searches are justified under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-court-argue-nsa-data-collection-internet-backbone-unconstitutional

CIA Review of High-Value Target Assassination Programs

WikiLeaks today, Thursday 18 December, publishes a review by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of its "High Value Target" (HVT) assassination programme. The report weighs the pros and cons of killing "insurgent" leaders in assassination plots. After the report was prepared, US drone strike killings rose to an all-time high.

The report discusses assassination operations (by various states) against the Taliban, al-Qa'ida, the FARC, Hizbullah, the PLO, HAMAS, Peru's Shining Path, the Tamil's LTTE, the IRA and Algeria's FLN. Case studies are drawn from Chechnya, Libya, Pakistan and Thailand.

Read the full press release here

https://wikileaks.org/cia-hvt-counterinsurgency/

Download the PDF for CIA Review of High-Value Target Assassination Programs

The Pentagon Once Considered False-Flag Attacks To Justify An Invasion Of Cuba

The US is moving towards ending its 50-year political and economic embargo on Cuba, a breakthrough in American relations with the island nation.


But at the height of the Cold War, the US was panicked over the prospect of a communist regime less than 100-miles from its territory. And in 1962, three years after Fidel Castro and his allies had successfully carried out their Communist revolution in Cuba, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) proposed a number of measures aimed at legitimizing a US invasion of the island.

The majority of these measures involved false-flag attacks that would give the US the leeway needed to carry out regime change in Havana.

In an unclassified memo titled "Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba," the JCS floats a number of actions that the US could execute which would "develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere."

The plans were developed under the name "Operation Mongoose," with an emphasis on the namesake animal's speed: The JCS wanted to carry out these operations, thereby legitimizing attacks on Cuba, before Havana and the Soviet Union established bilateral mutual support agreements. The report was released in March, seven months before the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/pentagon-tried-to-justify-an-invasion-of-cuba-2014-12?


Drone strikes counterproductive, says secret CIA report

Drone strikes and other "targeted killings" of terrorist and insurgent leaders favoured by the US and supported by Australia can strengthen extremist groups and be counterproductive, according to a secret CIA report published by WikiLeaks.

According to a leaked document by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence, "high value targeting" (HVT) involving air strikes and special forces operations against insurgent leaders can be effective, but can also havenegative effects including increasing violence and greater popular support for extremist groups.

The leaked document is classified secret and "NoForn" (meaning not to be distributed to non-US nationals) and reviews attacks by the United States and other countries engaged in counter-insurgency operations over the past 50 years.

The CIA assessment is the first leaked secret intelligence document published by WikiLeaks since 2011. Led by Australian publisher Julian Assange, the anti-secrecy group says the CIA assessment is the first in what will be a new series of leaked documents relating to the US agency.

http://www.watoday.com.au/world/drone-strikes-counterproductive-says-secret-cia-report-20141218-129ynq.html?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ABC NEWS: NORTH KOREA GOVT BEHIND SONY HACK

“Tonight, ABC News has learned federal investigators have determined North Korea is responsible for the worst corporate cyber-attack in history,” Vega said. “Sources say agents are closely scrutinizing an elite high-tech cyber-spy unit called Bureau 121 -- the group, believed to have recently hacked into tens of thousands of South Korean mobile devices, banks and broadcasters.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/12/17/ABC-News-North-Korea-Govt-Behind-Sony-Hack

James Risen Prepared to "Pay Any Price" to Report on War on Terror Amid Crackdown on Whistleblowers

Federal judge rules Obama amnesty order unconstitutional power grab

Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania, said Mr. Obama has some discretion in how to enforce laws, but by setting out a comprehensive system to grant tentative legal status to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, the president has strayed into trying to write the laws, which is a power reserved for Congress.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab wrote.

Immigrant rights advocates said the ruling was a shocking overstep of the court’s authority. Indeed, the Obama administration has argued in federal court in Washington that judges have no power to review the president’s decision-making.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/16/judge-finds-obama-amnesty-unconstitutional/

The War on Drugs Was Born 100 Years Ago

The War on Drugs was initiated by legislation that was passed not to help drug addicts and protect the innocent, but rather was designed to control and marginalize minority groups and to push the United States into a leadership role in world diplomatic affairs.

The War on Drugs is 100 years old today. It kills thousands of people, destroys untold number of lives, and wastes hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Plus it prevents us from using three of the most miraculous plants on the planet, even for their “legitimate” uses.

The Harrison Narcotics Act

As written, the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was legislation that established a tax and registration requirement on narcotics and cocaine. Politicians and journalists openly targeted Chinese immigrants, Southern blacks, and Mexicans with outrageous propaganda. The real priority of the legislation, however, was to comply with the first international drug control treaty, the International Opium Convention of 1912.

As implemented, the legislation quickly evolved into an outright prohibition. Enforcement bureaucrats argued that doctors prescribing narcotics for drug addiction was an illegitimate medical practice. The courts ruled in their favor and addict-maintenance medical practices and addiction clinics were forced to close.

Marijuana prohibition went national with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. It too quickly changed from a measure to tax and regulate into an outright prohibition. Even hemp, the non-intoxicating form of cannabis was banned! When propaganda claiming that marijuana was deadly and caused insanity, violence, and criminal behavior was debunked (aka Reefer Madness), the “gateway theory” was born to fill the void. The gateway theory posits that while marijuana might not be addictive or dangerous, it would lead the user to try the hard drugs, such as heroin. This theory became the prevailing view in the second half of the twentieth century.

http://mises.org/library/war-drugs-was-born-100-years-ago

BILLION DOLLAR SURVEILLANCE BLIMP TO LAUNCH OVER MARYLAND

In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles.

And while the blimps may never stave off a barrage of enemy missiles, their ability to spot and track cars, trucks and boats hundreds of miles away is raising serious privacy concerns.

The project is called JLENS – or “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System.” And you couldn’t come up with a better metaphor for wildly inflated defense contracts, a ponderous Pentagon bureaucracy, and the U.S. surveillance leviathan all in one.

Built by the Raytheon Company, the JLENS blimps operate as a pair. One provides omnipresent high-resolution 360-degree radar coverage up to 340 miles in any direction; the other can focus on specific threats and provide targeting information.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/17/billion-dollar-surveillance-blimp-launch-maryland/

Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations

The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century after the release of an American contractor held in prison for five years, President Obama announced on Wednesday.

In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final meeting at the Vatican, Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 miles off the American coast.

NY Times

Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction.

State officials concluded that fracking, as the method is known, could contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health.

That conclusion was delivered during a year-end cabinet meeting Mr. Cuomo convened in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release oil and natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.

The question of whether to allow fracking has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years, pitting environmentalists against others who saw it as a critical way to bring jobs to economically stagnant portions of upstate.

NY Times

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Mainstream Media: American TV Networks (P1)

Navigating the opaque world of mainstream media, it can be easy to get lost in the fray. With that in mind, RT offers part one of its roadmap to the major MSM players to help viewers see the final destination that each has in store for the public.


http://rt.com/news/213171-us-mainstream-media-bias/

Social Security continuing to pursue claims against family members for old debts

The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents.

After The Washington Post reported in April that the Treasury Department had confiscated $75 million in tax refunds due to about 400,000 Americans whose ancestors owed money to Social Security, the agency’s acting commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said efforts to collect on those old debts would cease immediately.

But although some people whose refunds were seized were reimbursed in recent months, some of those same taxpayers have since received new demands from Social Security, asserting that the debts remain and seeking repayment.

Washington Post