Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How The TPP Came From The U.N and Agenda 21

CIA photos of ‘black sites’ could complicate Guantanamo trials

Military prosecutors this year learned about a massive cache of CIA photographs of its former overseas “black sites” while reviewing material collected for the Senate investigation of the agency’s interrogation program, U.S. officials said.

The existence of the approximately 14,000 photographs will probably cause yet another delay in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as attorneys for the defendants demand that all the images be turned over and the government wades through the material to decide what it thinks is relevant to the proceedings.

Defense attorneys said they have not yet been informed about the photographs and said it is unacceptable that they should come to light now, more than three years after the arraignment of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other defendants accused of planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/cia-photos-of-black-sites-could-complicate-guantanamo-trials/2015/06/27/7b1177bc-1912-11e5-93b7-5eddc056ad8a_story.html

FISA Court Reinstates Bulk Surveillance Temporarily

A federal judge with the top-secret surveillance court on Monday breezily reinstated the NSA bulk domestic surveillance program that was temporarily halted a month ago, allowing the agency to go back to hoovering up telephone metadata for five months while it unwinds the program for good.

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Michael W. Mosman wrote in his ruling, using the French phrase that means “the more things change, the more they stay the same” to summarize the legislative and judicial back-and-forth that led to the temporary reinstatement.

By failing to agree on how to reauthorize certain sections of the Patriot Act, the Senate on May 31 engaged in a rare act of rebellion against the surveillance state, forcing the National Security Agency to shutter the program that had collected telephone metadata — information about who called who, and for how long — for more than a decade, until NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed its existence in 2013.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/30/bulk-phone-surveillance-lives-die-orderly-fashion-five-months/

Monday, June 29, 2015

New WikiLeaks Documents Reveal NSA Spied On Top French Companies

Following last week’s eavesdropping reports, WikiLeaks shared new documents with Libération and Mediapart. This time, the new documents reveal that the NSA was spying on France’s best performing companies for economic intelligence purposes.

In addition to eavesdropping French Economy Ministers François Baroin and Pierre Moscovici between 2004 and 2012, the NSA gathered as much data as possible on big French companies. In particular, the agency wanted to know more about the companies that signed expensive export contracts for industrial goods, such as nuclear power plants, planes, high speed trains, etc.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/29/new-wikileaks-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-top-french-companies/

U.S. top court rules against Obama administration over air pollution rule

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled the Obama administration should have considered compliance cost when it decided to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants, a setback for the government that leaves the legal status of the regulation in limbo.

The court ruled in a 5-4 decision, with its five conservative justices in the majority, against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rule stays in effect for the time being, with the case returning to an appeals court, which will decide whether or not it should be thrown out.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/29/us-usa-court-pollution-idUSKCN0P91VK20150629

Greece Will Default To IMF Tomorrow, Government Official Says

Earlier today, as the exchange between Greece and its creditors got increasingly belligerent, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas told public broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhaaling in interview that a possible Greek decision to leave euro area wouldn’t soften stance of other EU countries and that Greece’s debt would still remain outstanding and creditors would expect this money back."

"If Greece leaves, the value of their new national currency would decline very fast, so their solvency would still worsen further. They will either have to cut spending or improve their tax revenues. There are no other options."

So did this latest antagonism change the Greek mind? According to a flash headline by the WSJ released moments ago, not all. In fact, Greece just made it official that it would default to the IMF in just over 24 hours.



http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-29/greece-will-default-imf-tomorrow-government-official-says

Inside Rikers

The first jail on the island opened in 1935, meant to supplement and eventually replace the unimprovable disaster that was the Blackwell’s Island (now Roosevelt Island) jail, which Time had called, in an exposé, the “world’s worst.” Rikers never had a pristine moment, even at the start. Before the facility opened, inspectors warned of health hazards occasioned by, among other things, “dump fires,” and the problems that had plagued Blackwell’s — drug use, corrupt correction officers, violence, squalor, gang consolidation — moved upriver almost immediately, and have stubbornly stayed ever since. Today, there are ten jails in total on Rikers, plus vast parking lots, a solitary-confinement complex, infirmaries, a power plant, and a barge to combat overcrowding — a persistent difficulty in a facility that holds, on average, more than 9,700 prisoners and sometimes has to squeeze in more than 15,000. Adults and adolescents who are sentenced to less than a year’s time in New York City serve out their punishment on the island. (Those sentenced to longer than a year move upstate, to a state facility.)

Rikers has a kind of notoriety in the popular imagination: The city’s highest-profile defendants, from the Son of Sam to Dominique Strauss-Kahn to Bobby Shmurda, pass through in a cloud of gleeful Post headlines, but so do two-bit weed dealers and shoplifters and the resourceless mentally ill. As do violent criminals. But the vast majority of the island’s residents are very poor and awaiting trial for low-level offenses, unable to afford bail and stuck in a limbo that can last weeks or, thanks to delays in the court system, extend to several years. The crowded isolation of the island has resulted in a complex society with its own hierarchies, official and not. Gangs openly control certain dorms; correction officers are in constant battle — often literal — with their charges, but some of them form transactional relationships with them too, whether for sex or drugs or cigarettes. People are born on Rikers — there are 15 beds for babies adjacent to the women’s dorm — and they die there, too.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/06/inside-rikers-island-interviews.html

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/28/this-is-rikers

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wikileaks published some of the most secret NSA reports so far

Last Tuesday, June 23, the website Wikileaks (in cooperation with Libération and Mediapart) published a number of NSA-documents showing that between 2006 and 2012, NSA had been able to eavesdrop on the phone calls of three French presidents.

This is the first time we see actual finished intelligence reports that prove such eavesdropping, and being classified as TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA they are much more sensitive than most of the documents from the Snowden-archive.

Also it seems that these new Wikileaks-documents are not from Snowden, but from another source, which could be the same as the one that leaked a database record about NSA's eavesdropping on German chancellor Merkel.

Wikileaks announced that more revelations will follow this Monday.

http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2015/06/wikileaks-publishes-some-of-most-secret.html

Think it's cool Facebook can auto-tag you in pics? So does the government

State-of-the-art facial recognition technology, which had been the stuff of hypothetical privacy nightmares for years, is becoming a startling reality. It is increasingly being deployed all around the United States by giant tech companies, shady advertisers and the FBI – with few if any rules to stop it.

In recent weeks, both Facebook and Google launched facial recognition to mine the photos on your phone, with both impressive and disturbing results. Facebook’s Moments app can recognize you even if you cover your face. Google Photos can identify grown adults from decades-old childhood pictures.

Some people might find it neat when it’s only restricted to photos on their phone. But advertisers, security companies and just plain creepy authority figures have also set up their own systems at music festivals, sporting events and even some churches to monitor attendees, which is bound to disturb even those who don’t give a second thought to issues like the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.

Making matters worse, advertisers have apparently indicated that they have no intention of restricting their technology whatsoever. Their refusal caused nine major civil liberties groups to pull out of talks with the advertisers that were aimed to come to an agreement on how companies could institute voluntary protections for the people whose faceprints will inevitably be vacuumed up into their databases. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jennifer Lynch wrote, “After 16 months of active engagement in the process, we decided this week it was no longer an effective use of our resources to continue in a process where companies wouldn’t even agree to the most modest measures to protect privacy.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/27/facebook-tag-pics-government

Friday, June 26, 2015

J. Edgar Hoover (FBI) & Adolf Hitler in Argentina

J. Edgar Hoover (FBI) called off all searches for Adolf Hitler in Argentina.

SCOTUS Rules States Must Allow Same-sex Marriage

In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.

The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/26/politics/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage-ruling/

Turns Out the US Launched Its Zero-Day Policy in Feb 2010

A NEWLY RELEASED document from the FBI sheds a little more light on the government’s controversial policy around the use of zero-day exploits. Though there is still much we don’t know, the question of when the secretive policy was put into place is finally answered: February, 2010.

It wasn’t until last year that the government even admitted to using zero-day exploits for attack purposes. Following that disclosure, the White House then revealed that it had established an Equities process for determining when a zero-day software vulnerability it learns about should be disclosed to a vendor to be fixed or kept secret so that the NSA and other agencies can exploit it for intelligence or law enforcement purposes.

The question was when exactly the policy had been established.

Zero-day vulnerabilities are software security holes that are not known to the software vendor and are therefore unpatched and open to attack by hackers and others. A zero-day exploit is the malicious code crafted to attack such a hole to gain entry to a computer. When security researchers uncover zero-day vulnerabilities, they generally disclose them to the vendor so they can be patched. But when the government wants to exploit a hole, it withholds the information, leaving all computers that contain the flaw open to attack—including U.S. government computers, critical infrastructure systems and the computers of average users.

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/turns-us-launched-zero-day-policy-feb-2010/

How the NSA Started Investigating the New York Times’ Warrantless Wiretapping Story

Three days after the New York Times revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring the calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants, the National Security Agency issued a top-secret assessment of the damage done to intelligence efforts by the story. The conclusion: the information could lead terrorists to try to evade detection. Yet the agency gave no specific examples of investigations that had been jeopardized.

The December 2005 bombshell story, by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, set off a debate about the George W. Bush administration’s expansion of spying powers after the 9/11 attacks, and also about the Times editors’ decision to delay its publication for a year. White House officials had warned the Times that revealing the program would have grave consequences for national security.

The NSA’s damage assessment on the article — referred to as a “cryptologic insecurity” — is among the files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The memo recounts meetings in 2004 and 2005 in which administration officials disclosed “certain details of the special program to select individuals from the New York Times to dissuade them from publishing a story on the program at that time.”

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/26/nsa-started-investigating-new-york-times-original-warrantless-wiretapping-story/

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies underpinning President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, rejecting a major challenge to the landmark law in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, as opponents contended.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_HEALTH_OVERHAUL_SUBSIDIES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

This Secret Program Tracks Every Passenger on International Flights

Buried in the transcripts of a congressional hearing that took place yesterday is fleeting mention of the federal government’s latest and perhaps most outrageous assault on privacy. If you take an inbound flight from overseas, and a suspected terrorist or supporter is flagged by automated name-check systems as being on the same flight—even if (and particularly if) that someone was denied boarding because they were on some no-fly list—the government regards you as connected with that terrorist, and runs a check on you and everyone else on the plane.

The program is called Kingfisher. It began two years ago to check foreign-born visa-applicants against ever-growing intelligence and biometrics databases, and then expanded to keep tabs on visa-holders even after they enter the country. Under Kingfisher, those names are constantly pinged against day-to-day intelligence traffic just in case something was missed or develops. But Kingfisher has also been quietly expanded again to permit checks of passengers (including American citizens) on inbound flights containing foreigners that the government regards as fishy.

The theory behind Kingfisher goes back 20-plus years, when two of the original World Trade Center bombers arrived together on the same flight at Kennedy airport, intentionally seated in separate sections of the plane. The musclemen on 9/11 arrived in the same manner. After 9/11, as everyone’s names taking international flights started going through computers, the terrorist-hunters began to wonder: What if we catch a bad guy coming in, but we don’t spot his buddy sitting four rows behind? So they built the capability to look at everyone on select planes.

http://phasezero.gawker.com/this-secret-program-tracks-every-passenger-on-internati-1713855720

The Real Story Behind the Fort Dix Five Terror Plot

Beyond the sensational headlines is the story of paid FBI informants with long criminal histories who spent a year working to befriend the brothers and enlist them as terrorists. This effort, both expensive and time-consuming, nevertheless failed to convince the Duka brothers to take part in a violent attack. Indeed, over the course of hundreds of hours of surveillance, the plot against Fort Dix was never even raised with them.

In the years since these events occurred, the use of dubious informants in terrorism investigations by the FBI has become almost routine. When purported terror plots are “revealed,” they almost invariably involve paid government informants at every level of their ideation, facilitation and planning. But the story of the Duka brothers is an early example of this type of case — and it still stands out because of the deliberate and brazen way the brothers were entrapped by authorities, assisted by their paid informants. Indeed, one might argue that the targeting of the Dukas was the prototype for the program of state-orchestrated terrorism plots that continues today.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/25/fort-dix-five-terror-plot-the-real-story/


Entrapped from The Intercept on Vimeo.

GCHQ documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes

British intelligence agency GCHQ is facing fresh calls to reveal the extent of its involvement in the US targeted killing programme after details of a fatal drone strike in Yemen were included in a top secret memo circulated to agency staff.

A leading barrister asked by the Guardian to review a number of classified GCHQ documents said they raised questions about British complicity in US strikes outside recognised war zones and demonstrated the need for the government to come clean about the UK’s role.

The documents, provided to the Guardian by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times, discuss how a joint US, UK and Australian programme codenamed Overhead supported the strike in Yemen in 2012.

The files also show GCHQ and Overhead developed their ability to track the location of individuals – essential for the targeted killing programme – in both Yemen and Pakistan. The legality of the US’s lethal operations in both countries has been questioned by international lawyers and human rights groups.

Jemima Stratford QC, who reviewed the Snowden documents for the Guardian, said: “Assuming that the documents which I have seen are genuine, in my view they raise questions about the extent to which UK officials may have had knowledge of, or helped to facilitate, certain US drone strikes which were not carried out in the context of an international armed conflict,” she said.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/24/gchq-documents-raise-fresh-questions-over-uk-complicity-in-us-drone-strikes

Documents on 2012 Drone Strike Detail How Terrorists Are Targeted

Early in 2012, worried that suicide bombers might pass through airline security undetected, American counterterrorism officials ordered a drone strike in Yemen to kill a doctor they believed was working with Al Qaeda to surgically implant explosives in operatives, according to British intelligence documents.

The documents, previously undisclosed, include details about how terrorism suspects are targeted in drone strikes and how strikes can go wrong at times. The documents also show how closely the National Security Agency has worked in Pakistan and Yemen with its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or G.C.H.Q.

Britain has carried out drone strikes only in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The documents raise the possibility that in addition, British intelligence may have helped guide American strikes outside conventional war zones.

President Obama spoke on Thursday about the two hostages accidentally killed in a counterterrorism operation.Obama Apologizes After Drone Kills American and Italian Held by Al QaedaAPRIL 23, 2015
Drone strikes carried out by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have received fresh scrutiny after President Obama disclosed in April that a strike had killed two Western aid workers held hostage by Al Qaeda in Pakistan. In that case, intelligence officers targeting the Qaeda compound had no idea the hostages were there, illustrating how incomplete or faulty information has led to civilian deaths in the drone campaign.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/world/middleeast/us-drone-strike-said-to-kill-doctor-trying-to-implant-bombs.html



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

OPM Contractor’s Parent Firm Has a Troubled History

Officials at the Office of Personnel Management claim that their system was breached using credentials that were stolen from KeyPoint Government Solutions, a government contractor that provides background checks.

The hack, which exposed personal information for potentionally tens of millions of Americans, has drawn scrutiny to KeyPoint’s security practices, with one senior lawmaker even calling for OPM to cease use of outside contractors.

But for KeyPoint’s parent company, Veritas Capital, a private equity firm based in New York City, the hack is only the latest incident in a long history of controversial government contracting.

Founded in 1992 by the late investment banker Robert McKeon, Veritas Capital grew quickly by buying up government contractors and forming close ties with former senior government officials. Of the many defense-related investments made by the company, the most famous has been the 2005 purchase of DynCorp International, a scandal-plagued company that played a pivotal role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/24/opm-contractor-veritas/

With Its French NSA Leak, WikiLeaks Is Back

But the strongest sign of new life from WikiLeaks is its efforts to enable and even incentivize leakers to give it fresh material. In early May, it relaunched its submission system, a Tor-based dark web site designed to guarantee anonymity to any submitter. That leak portal had once represented the core of the WikiLeaks idea: A no-questions-asked drop box for the world’s secrets that any whistleblower could access with the least possible risk. But it went offline in late 2010, the result of a mutiny of several WikiLeakers who had bristled under Assange’s leadership. For nearly five years, the system remained offline, leaving leakers to search out Assange or his associates through other, potentially riskier means of communication.

Now that leak portal is back. And WikiLeaks isn’t just accepting leaks, but for the first time, trying to get leakers paid for them. In a new “competition,” which it calls the Prize for Understanding Good Government or PUGG, WikiLeaks is crowdsourcing donations from visitors and offering the resulting cash them to anyone who leaks a certain document. The project has already issued a call for a $100,000 bounty for the 26 chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and raised nearly $75,000 from about 1,500 donors.

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/french-nsa-leak-wikileaks-back/

Espionnage Élysée

Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing "Espionnage Élysée", a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years.

The top secret documents derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications of French Presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States. The documents also contain the "selectors" from the target list, detailing the cell phone numbers of numerous officials in the Elysee up to and including the direct cell phone of the President.

Prominent within the top secret cache of documents are intelligence summaries of conversations between French government officials concerning some of the most pressing issues facing France and the international community, including the global financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, the leadership and future of the European Union, the relationship between the Hollande administration and the German government of Angela Merkel, French efforts to determine the make-up of the executive staff of the United Nations, French involvement in the conflict in Palestine and a dispute between the French and US governments over US spying on France.

https://wikileaks.org/nsa-france/

WikiLeaks Files Said to Show N.S.A. Spied on French Leaders

WikiLeaks published documents late Tuesday that it says shows the United States National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents.

There was no immediate confirmation of the accuracy of the documents released in collaboration with Libération, a left-leaning French newspaper, and the investigative website Mediapart.

A WikiLeaks spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told The Associated Press he was confident the documents were authentic, saying that WikiLeaks’ previous mass disclosures have proved to be accurate.

Claudine Ripert-Landler, a senior spokeswoman for President François Hollande of France, said on Tuesday night that Mr. Hollande would convene “the Defense Council to evaluate the nature of the information reported in the media and draw the necessary conclusions.” The council, which is similar to the United States National Security Council, was expected to meet Wednesday morning. There was no immediate comment from the White House or from former President Jacques Chirac.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/world/europe/wikileaks-files-said-to-show-nsa-spied-on-french-leaders.html

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Creepy Facebook Tech Can ID You Even Without Seeing Your Face

Forget "facial" recognition. Facebook is getting so good at identifying you in photos that it doesn't even need to see your mug.

According to New Scientist, the social network has developed an "experimental" algorithm that can identify you in photos without seeing your face. Instead, it uses other characteristics—like your hair, clothing, body shape, and how you carry yourself—to figure out it's you.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2486573,00.asp?

U.S. data hack may be 4 times larger than the government originally said

The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management - more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey gave the 18 million estimate in a closed-door briefing to Senators in recent weeks, using the OPM's own internal data, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never actually ended up working for the government.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/22/politics/opm-hack-18-milliion/index.html

Google eavesdropping tool installed on computers without permission

Privacy campaigners and open source developers are up in arms over the secret installing of Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer.

First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser – the open source basis for Google’s Chrome – began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users.

It was designed to support Chrome’s new “OK, Google” hotword detection – which makes the computer respond when you talk to it – but was installed, and, some users have claimed, it is activated on computers without their permission.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/23/google-eavesdropping-tool-installed-computers-without-permission

Monday, June 22, 2015

FBI Agent: The CIA Could Have Stopped 9/11

Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, says he is “appalled” by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency’s efforts to detect and stop the plot.

Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a failed effort to crash into the U.S. Capitol, were Saudis.

http://www.newsweek.com/saudi-arabia-911-cia-344693

Google Chrome Listening In To Your Room Shows The Importance Of Privacy Defense In Depth

Yesterday, news broke that Google has been stealth downloading audio listeners onto every computer that runs Chrome, and transmits audio data back to Google. Effectively, this means that Google had taken itself the right to listen to every conversation in every room that runs Chrome somewhere, without any kind of consent from the people eavesdropped on. In official statements, Google shrugged off the practice with what amounts to “we can do that”.

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/blog/2015/06/google-chrome-listening-in-to-your-room-shows-the-importance-of-privacy-defense-in-depth/

WikiLeaks publishes the Saudi Cables

Friday 19th June at 1pm GMT, WikiLeaks began publishing The Saudi Cables: more than half a million cables and other documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry that contain secret communications from various Saudi Embassies around the world. The publication includes "Top Secret" reports from other Saudi State institutions, including the Ministry of Interior and the Kingdom's General Intelligence Services. The massive cache of data also contains a large number of email communications between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign entities. The Saudi Cables are being published in tranches of tens of thousands of documents at a time over the coming weeks. Today WikiLeaks is releasing around 70,000 documents from the trove as the first tranche.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks publisher, said: "The Saudi Cables lift the lid on a increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself."

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a hereditary dictatorship bordering the Persian Gulf. Despite the Kingdom's infamous human rights record, Saudi Arabia remains a top-tier ally of the United States and the United Kingdom in the Middle East, largely owing to its globally unrivalled oil reserves. The Kingdom frequently tops the list of oil-producing countries, which has given the Kingdom disproportionate influence in international affairs. Each year it pushes billions of petro-dollars into the pockets of UK banks and US arms companies. Last year it became the largest arms importer in the world, eclipsing China, India and the combined countries of Western Europe. The Kingdom has since the 1960s played a major role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and dominates the global Islamic charity market.

For 40 years the Kingdom's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was headed by one man: Saud al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, and the world's longest-serving foreign minister. The end of Saud al Faisal's tenure, which began in 1975, coincided with the royal succession upon the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. Saud al Faisal's tenure over the Ministry covered its handling of key events and issues in the foreign relations of Saudi Arabia, from the fall of the Shah and the second Oil Crisis to the September 11 attacks and its ongoing proxy war against Iran. The Saudi Cables provide key insights into the Kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions. The cables also illustrate the highly centralised bureaucratic structure of the Kingdom, where even the most minute issues are addressed by the most senior officials.

https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/press

Revealed: How DOJ Gagged Google over Surveillance of WikiLeaks Volunteer

The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks.

Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (pictured above), a developer for the Tor online anonymity project who has worked with WikiLeaks as a volunteer. The order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government.

The surveillance of Appelbaum’s Gmail account was tied to the Justice Department’s long-running criminal investigation of WikiLeaks, which began in 2010 following the transparency group’s publication of a large cache of U.S. government diplomatic cables.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/20/wikileaks-jacob-appelbaum-google-investigation/

Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks

The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software. One security software maker repeatedly singled out in the documents is Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which has a holding registered in the U.K., claims more than 270,000 corporate clients, and says it protects more than 400 million people with its products.

British spies aimed to thwart Kaspersky software in part through a technique known as software reverse engineering, or SRE, according to a top-secret warrant renewal request. The NSA has also studied Kaspersky Lab’s software for weaknesses, obtaining sensitive customer information by monitoring communications between the software and Kaspersky servers, according to a draft top-secret report. The U.S. spy agency also appears to have examined emails inbound to security software companies flagging new viruses and vulnerabilities.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/22/nsa-gchq-targeted-kaspersky/

Saturday, June 20, 2015

NYPD OFFICERS' RACIST COMMENTS ABOUT CHARLESTON SHOOTING ARE DEPRESSING

Some NYPD officers on Thee Rant, a controversial law enforcement message board, wasted no time making inflammatory, racist comments about the Wednesday shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine people are dead after the attack by a suspected white supremacist.

Worse, this isn't particularly surprising. As ProPublica documented in April, the site — which is populated by both retired and active-duty NYPD cops — is a cesspool when it comes to race issues, and some in the department think it’s a liability for the force. (They’re right.) According to ProPublica, NYPD leadership attributes the bigoted posts, which appear with depressing regularity, to just a few bad apples, to use an unofficial department term.

“It’s very disturbing stuff. Outrageous stuff,” Stephen Davis, the chief spokesman for the NYPD, told ProPublica about previous instances of racist comments. “We see it. It’s a problem.”

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/nypd-officers-racist-comments-about-charleston-shooting-are-depressing-7277931


Friday, June 19, 2015

Who owns your face? Weak laws give power to Facebook

In a fateful moment for privacy, Facebook’s “Moments” uses facial recognition to expose where people went and who they were with.

What a bad week for privacy. Consumer watchdogs gave up on government talks over facial recognition software after industry groups appeared to reject even basic restrictions on face-scanning. Meanwhile, Facebook rolled out a new service called “Moments” that expands the use of the company’s powerful “faceprint” technology.

This doesn’t mean the privacy apocalypse is upon us; for now least, the Facebook “Moments” tool is just one more creepy-but-useful social media innovation. But if loss of liberty happens gradually, June of 2015 could be a watershed we look back on with regret. It marks a time when we took new steps towards accepting the use of our very faces as a universal ID card – without deciding on the rules for using it.

http://fortune.com/2015/06/17/facebook-moments-privacy-facial-recognition/

Spy court clears path to renewing NSA powers

The secretive federal court that oversees the nation’s spies is laying the groundwork for temporarily reauthorizing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) sweeping collection of U.S. phone records.

In an order released on Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said that a brief lapse in some Patriot Act provisions would not bar the court from renewing the NSA's powers. Although the court asserted its ability to renew the controversial NSA program, it has yet to issue an order giving a green light to the spy agency.

The court also decided that it doesn’t need the advice of a new expert panel, in its first ever opportunity to use the friend-of-the-court analysis.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/245537-spy-court-clears-path-to-renewing-nsa-powers

WikiLeaks Says It's Leaking Over 500,000 Saudi Documents

WikiLeaks is in the process of publishing more than 500,000 Saudi diplomatic documents to the Internet, the transparency website said Friday, a move that echoes its famous release of U.S. State Department cables in 2010.

WikiLeaks said in a statement that it has already posted roughly 60,000 files. Most of them appear to be in Arabic.

There was no immediate way to verify the authenticity of the documents, although WikiLeaks has a long track record of hosting large-scale leaks of government material. Many of the documents carried green letterhead marked “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” or “Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Some were marked “urgent” or “classified.” At least one appeared to be from the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

If genuine, the documents would offer a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the notoriously opaque kingdom. They might also shed light on Riyadh’s longstanding regional rivalry with Iran, its support for Syrian rebels and Egypt’s military-backed government, and its opposition to an emerging international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/wikileaks-leaking-500000-saudi-documents-31892687

WikiLeaks Unloads Second Batch Of Sony Files Into Its Database

It seems like Sony just can’t catch a break. On Thursday, WikiLeaks added 276,394 more private documents, emails and financial files, leaked from the embattled tech and media giant, into its database.

The files, which relate mostly to legal and financial documents (among stranger items), are the second massive release of files on the site from last November’s major data breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment by the “Guardians of Peace” hacker group. Fallout from the data leak left Sony’s internal infrastructure crippled and many company executives scrambling to atone for embarrassing comments made in the thousands of private emails that were leaked.

The dump “Sony Files Part 2,” appears to coincide with a major social media push from WikiLeaks regarding the three-year anniversary of its founder Julian Assange’s stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he is remaining to avoid extradition.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/19/wikileaks-unloads-second-batch-of-sony-files-into-its-database/

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Donald Trump Campaign Paid Actors $50 To Cheer On His Announcement

The Hollywood Reporter says Donald Trump’s campaign paid actors $50 to cheer at his presidential announcement press conference Tuesday.
The casting notice, obtained by the Reporter, asked actors to wear T-shirts and hold signs for a “big announcement.”

The pay was listed as $50 for fewer than three hours of work.

According to the email, Extra Mile Casting (in partnership with Gotham Government Relations and Communications, a New York-Based political consulting group that has worked with Trump in the past) was looking for actors “to help cheer him.”

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/06/17/hollywood-reporter-donald-trump-campaign-paid-actors-50-to-cheer-on-his-announcement/

How Jeffrey Sterling Took on the CIA — and Lost Everything

Sterling’s case has drawn attention primarily for two reasons: it was part of the Obama Administration’s controversial crackdown on leakers and whistleblowers, and prosecutors had tried to force the Times reporter, James Risen, to divulge the name of his source, whom the government believed was Sterling. The case, known as United States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, was treated mainly as a freedom-of-the-press issue, with Risen as the heroic centerpiece. Lost in the judicial briefs about the First Amendment was the black man in the middle.

This is Sterling’s story.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/18/jeffrey-sterling-took-on-the-cia-and-lost-everything/

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Afghanistan’s Kandahar Airfield an Alleged Heroin Hotbed

The accounts give a rare glimpse into how some NATO personnel and contractors seem to have gotten ensnared in Afghanistan’s multibillion-dollar narco economy, which supplies 90 percent of the world’s opium, the raw ingredient of heroin.

Canada and other NATO powers have long been accused of turning a blind eye to a 15-fold increase in Afghan opium production since 2001 (according to UN figures) and cozying up to Afghan warlords and officials reputed to be involved with drugs.

But these new accounts suggest NATO’s presence helps fuel the gigantic Afghan drug trade.

The accounts are reminiscent of the Vietnam War, when U.S. forces befriended opium-dealing warlords in Southeast Asia and many U.S. soldiers became addicted to heroin, with some smuggling it back home.

A Canadian military historian said the notion that NATO soldiers are buying heroin in Afghanistan and smuggling it out is “completely plausible”.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all. That’s the way things are there,” Sean Maloney, associate professor of history at the Royal Military College, said by phone from Kingston, Ontario.

“In an environment like that, anything is possible.”

http://leaksource.info/2015/06/17/afghanistans-kandahar-airfield-an-alleged-heroin-hotbed/

http://www.straight.com/news/afghanistans-kandahar-airfield-alleged-heroin-hotbed

Wal-Mart Has $76 Billion in Undisclosed Overseas Tax Havens

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. owns more than $76 billion of assets through a web of units in offshore tax havens around the world, though you wouldn’t know it from reading the giant retailer’s annual report.

A new study has found Wal-Mart has at least 78 offshore subsidiaries and branches, more than 30 created since 2009 and none mentioned in U.S. securities filings. Overseas operations have helped the company cut more than $3.5 billion off its income tax bills in the past six years, its annual reports show.

The study, researched by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union and published Wednesday in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness, found 90 percent of Wal-Mart’s overseas assets are owned by subsidiaries in Luxembourg and the Netherlands, two of the most popular corporate tax havens.

Units in Luxembourg -- where the company has no stores -- reported $1.3 billion in profits between 2010 and 2013 and paid tax at a rate of less than 1 percent, according to the report.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/wal-mart-has-76-billion-in-overseas-tax-havens-report-says

Secret Death Squads Backed by Thatcher Gov’t Killed Hundreds in Northern Ireland

Following the broadcast of an Irish documentary, a number of human rights groups are calling on London to take responsibility for its role in colluding with paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. These actions allegedly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Catholics, all to support the Crown.

In 1974, a coordinated attack was launched in the Irish cities of Dublin and Monaghan. On May 17, three car bombs were detonated during rush hour in the nation’s capital. Only 90 minutes later, a fourth explosion went off in Monaghan, just south of the border with Northern Ireland. Thirty-three people were killed. An estimated 300 were injured.

The loyalist paramilitary group Ulster Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for the attack, and in a recent Irish documentary, “Collusion,” a member of the group claims that the bombings were conducted under direction from the British Army. The goal: to implement a civil war.

http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150617/1023454191.html


Collusion: RTE documentary on British state death squads in N. Ireland
http://www.rte.ie/tv/programmes/collusion.html

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

London told it must face up to fact of collusion in Northern Ireland

The British government must face up to its responsibilities in the face of “overwhelming evidence of collusion”, a Northern Ireland victims’ group and a human rights organisation have said.

The Pat Finucane Centre and the Justice for the Forgotten group made the call following the broadcast last night of an RTÉ Prime Time programme featuring several instances of alleged collusion involving the British army, MI5 and the RUC.

The programme collated numerous cases where British state forces allegedly colluded with loyalist paramilitaries, going back to the 1970s and running right up to the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It covered cases such as the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, which claimed 34 lives, the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, the “Glennane Gang”, operating in Mid-Ulster during the 1970s, and the Mount Vernon UVF gang which was allegedly involved in numerous killings from the 1990s.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/london-told-it-must-face-up-to-fact-of-collusion-in-north-1.2250653

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/documentary-prompts-new-calls-for-independent-inquiry-into-dublin-and-monaghan-bombings-682179.html

Prisons Without Walls: We’re All Inmates in the American Police State

Metal detectors are now in virtually all government buildings. There are the TSA scanning devices and metal detectors we all have to go through in airports. Police road blocks and checkpoints are used to perform warrantless searches for contraband. Those searched at road blocks can be searched for contraband regardless of their objections—just like in prison. And there are federal road blocks on American roads in the southwestern United States. Many of them are permanent and located up to 100 miles from the border.

Stop and frisk searches are taking place daily across the country. Some of them even involve anal and/or vaginal searches. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has approved strip searches even if you are arrested for a misdemeanor—such as a traffic stop. Just like a prison inmate.

Prison officials open, search and read every piece of mail sent to inmates. This is true of those who reside outside prison walls, as well. In fact, “the United States Postal Service uses a ‘Mail Isolation Control and Tracking Program’ to create a permanent record of who is corresponding with each other via snail mail.” Believe it or not, each piece of physical mail received by the Postal Service is photographed and stored in a database. Approximately 160 billion pieces of mail sent out by average Americans are recorded each year and the police and other government agents have access to this information.

Prison officials also monitor outgoing phone calls made by inmates. This is similar to what the NSA, the telecommunication corporation, and various government agencies do continually to American citizens. The NSA also downloads our text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and so on while watching everything we do.

Then there are the crowd control tactics: helmets, face shields, batons, knee guards, tear gas, wedge formations, half steps, full steps, pinning tactics, armored vehicles, and assault weapons. Most of these phrases are associated with prison crowd control because they were perfected by prisons.

Finally, when a prison has its daily operations disturbed, often times it results in a lockdown. What we saw with the “free world” lockdowns following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the melees in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland, mirror a federal prison lockdown.

These are just some of the similarities between the worlds inhabited by locked-up inmates and those of us who roam about in the so-called “free world.”

Is there any real difference?

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/prisons_without_walls_were_all_inmates_in_the_american_police_state

Pope Francis warns of destruction of Earth's ecosystem in leaked encyclical

Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical. In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us”.

Francis also called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”. His appeal echoed that of his predecessor, pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical proposed a kind of super-UN to deal with the world’s economic problems and injustices.

According to the lengthy draft, which was obtained and published by L’Espresso magazine, the Argentinean pope will align himself with the environmental movement and its objectives. While accepting that there may be some natural causes of global warming, the pope will also state that climate change is mostly a man-made problem.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/15/pope-francis-destruction-ecosystem-leaked-encyclical

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nuclear weapons states upgrade warheads despite disarmament

Nuclear armed states continue to upgrade their stockpiles despite an international trend towards disarmament, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported Monday.

Between 2010 and 2015 the number of warheads fell from 22,600 to 15,850 according to the institute’s annual disarmament report which said the US and Russia represented the bulk of the reduction.

The institute also pointed to “extensive and expensive long-term modernization programmes” in the world’s two largest nuclear powers which account for 90 percent of the weapons.

“Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programmes under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing states suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future,” SIPRI researcher Shannon Kile said in a statement.


http://citizen.co.za/afp_feed_article/nuclear-weapons-states-upgrade-warheads-despite-disarmament/

Why Did Navy Staffers at the Pentagon Fail to Respond to the Attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11?

Navy personnel at the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001, including some key officials, appear to have acted with a surprising lack of urgency after they learned of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Even though the Navy--along with the rest of the United States military--was responsible for protecting America if it was under attack, its personnel at the Pentagon seem to have done nothing, or very little, to help defend the country after they learned of the plane crashes at the World Trade Center. Remarkably, many of them continued with their normal work duties as if nothing unusual had happened. Furthermore, the Navy's top officials appear to have issued no orders to their personnel, regarding what to do in response to the crashes.

The failure of Navy staffers at the Pentagon to promptly initiate a military response to the attacks is particularly significant because, among other things, the Navy had assets--including fighter jets--that could help defend the Northeast U.S. A quick response was critical so these assets could be deployed as soon as possible.

Navy personnel should also have responded immediately when they learned what had happened at the World Trade Center because their department would have been responsible for helping the rescue efforts in New York. The Navy was supposed to coordinate with the Army and the Air Force "on proposed action to support civilian authorities during emergencies involving mass casualties," according to the Department of Defense's book about the Pentagon attack.

http://911blogger.com/news/2015-06-14/why-did-navy-staffers-pentagon-fail-respond-attacks-world-trade-center-911

http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-did-navy-staffers-at-pentagon-fail.html

Exclusive: Inside Washington's Quest to Bring Down Edward Snowden

A bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers solicited details from Pentagon officials that they could use to "damage" former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's "credibility in the press and the court of public opinion."

That's according to declassified government documents obtained exclusively by VICE News in response to a long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. The lawmakers' requests for information were made in December 2013 and again in February 2014, following classified briefings top officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) held for oversight committees in the House and Senate about a DIA assessment of the alleged damage to national security caused by Snowden's leak of top-secret documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Barton Gellman, and Laura Poitras.

The documents, which originated in the DIA's Office of Corporate Communications, contain the most detailed information to date about the DIA's yearlong discussions with Congress about Snowden's leaks and the costs of the Pentagon's efforts to allay the damage. But the 35 pages of documents do not contain any concrete examples of damage to national security because DIA redacted those details.

https://news.vice.com/article/exclusive-inside-washingtons-quest-to-bring-down-edward-snowden

TPP: The Dirtiest Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”. The leeway provides the director, who has never in the agency’s history been a medical doctor, with significant influence over limitations the US government sets to preserve safe, humane and ethical procedures on people.

CIA director George Tenet approved abusive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, designed by CIA contractor psychologists. He further instructed the agency’s health personnel to oversee the brutal interrogations – the beginning of years of controversy, still ongoing, about US torture as a violation of medical ethics.

But the revelation of the guidelines has prompted critics of CIA torture to question how the agency could have ever implemented what it calls “enhanced interrogation techniques” – despite apparently having rules against “research on human subjects” without their informed consent.

Indeed, despite the lurid name, doctors, human-rights workers and intelligence experts consulted by the Guardian said the agency’s human-experimentation rules were consistent with responsible medical practices. The CIA, however, redacted one of the four subsections on human experimentation.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/15/cia-torture-human-experimentation-doctors

Writing's On The Wall: Texas Pulls $1 Billion In Gold From NY Fed, Makes It "Non-Confiscatable"

The lack of faith in central bank trustworthiness is spreading. First Germany, then Holland, and Austria, and now - as we noted was possible previously - Texas has enacted a Bill to repatriate $1 billion of gold from The NY Fed's vaults to a newly established state gold bullion depository..."People have this image of Texas as big and powerful … so for a lot of people, this is exactly where they would want to go with their gold," and the Bill includes a section to prevent forced seizure from the Federal Government.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-13/writings-wall-texas-pulls-1-billion-gold-ny-fed-makes-it-non-confiscatable

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Sunday Times’ Snowden Story is Journalism at its Worst — and Filled with Falsehoods

Last night, the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times published their lead front-page Sunday article, headlined “British Spies Betrayed to Russians and Chinese.” Just as the conventional media narrative was shifting to pro-Snowden sentiment in the wake of a key court ruling and a new surveillance law, the article (behind a paywall: full text here) claims in the first paragraph that these two adversaries “have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.” It continues:
Western intelligence agencies say they have been forced into the rescue operations after Moscow gained access to more than 1m classified files held by the former American security contractor, who fled to seek protection from Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, after mounting one of the largest leaks in US history.

Senior government sources confirmed that China had also cracked the encrypted documents, which contain details of secret intelligence techniques and information that could allow British and American spies to be identified.

One senior Home Office official accused Snowden of having “blood on his hands”, although Downing Street said there was “no evidence of anyone being harmed”.

Aside from the serious retraction-worthy fabrications on which this article depends – more on those in a minute – the entire report is a self-negating joke. It reads like a parody I might quickly whip up in order to illustrate the core sickness of western journalism.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/14/sunday-times-report-snowden-files-journalism-worst-also-filled-falsehoods/

Snowden files 'read by Russia and China': 5 questions for UK government

The Sunday Times produced what at first sight looked like a startling news story: Russia and China had gained access to the cache of top-secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Not only that, but as a result, Britain’s overseas intelligence agency, the Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, had been forced “to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries”.

These are serious allegations and, as such, the government has an obligation to respond openly.

The story is based on sources including “senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services”. The BBC said it had also also been briefed anonymously by a senior government official.

Anonymous sources are an unavoidable part of reporting, but neither Downing Street nor the Home Office should be allowed to hide behind anonymity in this case.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/14/snowden-files-read-by-russia-and-china-five-questions-for-uk-government

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Russians and Chinese Allegedly Access 1 Million Snowden Documents

The Sunday Times, 14 June 2015

British spies betrayed to Russians and Chinese

Tom Harper, Richard Kerbaj and Tim Shipman Published: 14 June 2015

RUSSIA and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.


http://cryptome.org/2015/06/ru-cn-snowden-1m-docs.htm

Hitler DID escape Germany in 1945: Staggering new claims point to huge Nazi cover-up

In allegations set to debunk one of the biggest slices of world history, Russia is also accused of hiding vital evidence proving the Fuhrer and his wife Eva Braun fled in disguise.

Two corpses found after the Second World War reported to be those of Hitler and Braun were in fact murdered body doubles.

The claims due to be aired in an explosive television expose tomorrow will blow wide open theories of what happened to the world’s most infamous mass murderers.

The programme claims Hitler did not die at the end of the war and threatens to expose the foundation of post-Second World War history as nothing more than a tissue of “lies”.

Official records hold the brutal dictator, shamed in defeat in April 1945, shot himself in the head in a bunker in Berlin while his wife took a lethal cyanide pill.

But their bodies were swiftly burned with reports confirming their deaths based on what is now claimed to be dubious eyewitness evidence.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/583845/Did-Hitler-ESCAPE-Germany-in-1945-Staggering-new-discovery-points-to-huge-Nazi-cover-up

‘Mature’ EMP Weapon Ready for War: “Render Enemy’s Electronics, Data Systems Useless”

While governments and the Pentagon are increasingly talking up the need to protect the sensitive power grid and brace for the impact of a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) incident, which could come naturally from a solar flare or via an attack by a foreign entity, the Air Force is ready to embrace EMP as the status quo of future warfare.

The Air Force Research Laboratory has been working with Boeing for several years on the perfection, miniaturization and deployment of its Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), which has already been in the arsenal, but which will become increasingly central to the armed forces.

The U.S. Air Force’s confirmation that they and Boeing are developing the Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP), an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) weapon, that essentially uses microwave energy to render useless all electronics in its “blast” area without causing structural damage, trended all over the Internet last month

“This technology marks a new era in modern-day warfare,” said Keith Coleman, Boeing Phantom Works’ CHAMP Program Manager in a Boeing video on the CHAMP test in 2012. “In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive.”

Here’s a video simulation of CHAMP in action, including proud statements from its creators on its powerful effect during tests to use directed energy to neutralize a modern urban environment:

CIA releases memo showing agency blamed Bill Clinton for bankrupting war on terror ahead of 9/11

The Clinton administration had bankrupted the intelligence community and refused to let the CIA prioritize anti-terrorism over other major priorities in the late 1990s, leaving the agency stretched too thin in the days ahead of the 2001 terrorist attacks, former Director George J. Tenet said in a 2005 document declassified Friday.

Mr. Tenet, who was head of the agency at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks and has taken severe criticism for not anticipating and heading them off, said in the document that he took the threat of Osama bin Laden very seriously, and put major effort into trying to penetrate al Qaeda, beginning as far back as 1998.

In one revelation, Mr. Tenet says those efforts averted off an earlier “major attack” planned by al Qaeda for some time in 1999 or 2000. The document gives no other details.

The document was a response to an inspector general’s draft report that had accused Mr. Tenet of failing to give al Qaeda enough attention in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks. But Mr. Tenet said he did take steps, amid all the other work CIA was also required to do.

“Your report does not adequately address the context of an intelligence community that had to respond to wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, the prospect of war between India and Pakistan, China’s military buildup and threat to Taiwan, the requirements of policy makers, particularly in Congress, to pursue narco-traffickers in Central and South America, and numerous other such requirements,” Mr. Tenet wrote. “Despite all of these stresses, despite the fact that we had effectively been in Chapter 11 as an intelligence community, we continued on a path to methodically increase both CIA and intelligence community resources and our personnel base devoted to terrorism.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/12/clinton-admin-bankrupted-cia-ahead-911-ex-director/

Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut

Key lawmakers have moved to slash funding of a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria, a move that U.S. officials said reflects rising skepticism of the effectiveness of the agency program and the Obama administration’s strategy in the Middle East.

The House Intelligence Committee recently voted unanimously to cut as much as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program that U.S. officials said has become one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmakers-move-to-curb-1-billion-cia-program-to-train-syrian-rebels/2015/06/12/b0f45a9e-1114-11e5-adec-e82f8395c032_story.html

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Mock America in 9/11 Trial

Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report. These delays highlight the absurdity of the case against these men and the contemptible abuse of justice that the military trial represents.

Apparently, it has been difficult for the Justice Department to explain why the FBI approached a member of defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s legal team to “create a relationship with him that he was forbidden from disclosing.” That explanation became more difficult when it was learned that another member of Bin al-Shibh’s defense team had been cooperating with the FBI since late 2013.

http://911blogger.com/news/2015-06-13/us-intelligence-agencies-mock-america-911-trial

http://digwithin.net/2015/06/13/911trial/

Russia and China 'broke into Snowden files to identify British and US spies'

Downing Street believes that Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies have used documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden to identify British and US secret agents, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

The newspaper says MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, has withdrawn agents from overseas operations because Russian security services had broken into encrypted files held by American computer analyst Snowden.

Snowden provided the Guardian with top secret documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which revealed that western intelligence agencies had been undertaking mass surveillance of phone and internet use.

He fled to Hong Kong, then to Moscow, and the Sunday Times claims that both Chinese and Russian security officials gained access to his files as a result.

The files held by Snowden were encrypted, but now British officials believe both countries have hacked into the files, according to the report.

The newspaper quotes a series of anonymous sources from Downing Street, the Home Office and British intelligence saying that the documents contained intelligence techniques and information that would enable foreign powers to identify British and American spies.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/14/russia-and-china-broke-into-snowden-files-to-identify-british-and-us-spies

Hunter S. Thompson Predicted Invasion Of Iraq And Early Death Of Bin Laden

On Thursday, August 29th 2002, famous journalist and writer Hunter S. Thompson did an interview with Mick O’Regan from Radio National’s Media Report, an Australian Radio show. In the interview, Thompson predicted the invasion of Iraq and discussed how Osama Bin Laden may have already been dead, suggesting the idea that Bin Laden was kept alive by the media to justify military action in the Middle East. He had actually made this point about Bin Laden the day after the 9/11 attacks.

http://theantimedia.org/hunter-s-thompson-predicts-invasion-iraq-early-death-bin-laden/

Friday, June 12, 2015

CIA releases secret report identifying errors before 9/11

After a decade of secrecy, the CIA on Friday released a nearly 500-page inspector general report outlining multiple “systemic problems” in the nation's spy agencies ahead of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Those failures helped contribute to the country’s blindness about the terror attacks, analysts claimed in the 2005 report, and impeded the government’s work to track down Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda leaders in the years before 9/11.

Senior officers told the CIA’s Officer of Inspector General that “no comprehensive strategic plan” was ever developed to thwart bin Laden “at any time” before 9/11, despite years of warning and commitments to respond to the threat of al Qaeda.
The CIA’s release of the report late on Friday afternoon comes years after the agency initially declassified part of the document, and was prompted by Freedom of Information Act requests for the full critique.

The spy agency watchdog specifically criticized George Tenet, the former head of the CIA who oversaw the agency for years before and after the 2001 attacks.

While Tenet “recognized the need for an integrated, interagency plan” to combat al Qaeda, he “bears ultimate responsibility for the fact that no such strategic plan was ever created, despite his specific direction that this should be done,” the report claimed.

The CIA said that it was releasing the document — along with two responses from Tenet and two additional views on the subject — “to further contribute to the public record on these events.”

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/244886-cia-releases-secret-doc-identifying-systemic-problems-pre-9-11

911

CIA Declassifies Report On 9/11, Blanks Out Saudi Section

A newly released report from the CIA blocked out all but a few sentences of the section related to investigating Saudi Arabia’s potential ties to the September 11 attacks.

Following the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004, the CIA charged its inspector general with producing its own report on the failures in the lead-up to the al-Qaeda attacks.

When the 435-page report — which was finished in 2005 — was dropped on Friday evening, the section titled “Issues Relating to Saudi Arabia” was mostly redacted.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/hayesbrown/cia-declassifies-911-inspector-general-report#.nczDzPbpo

Here's the CIA's Just-Released Top Secret File on Saudi Ties to 9/11


True to form, the CIA waited until 4:16 p.m. EDT this afternoon to release a trove of documents related to the September 11 attacks. Deep within one of those documents is a section on everything the agency learned after 9/11 about “Issues Relating to Saudi Arabia.” We can now share it here for the first time.

The Saudi Arabia findings comprise literally the final section, the last 30 pages, of the CIA’s massive, 495-page master report—completed in 2005 and never revealed before—on who was accountable for what intelligence failures in the September 11 attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. High-level Saudi involvement in the attacks has long been suggested by many parties in the know; several members of Congress and the 9/11 Commission have urged the release of a still-secret 28-page excerpt of the commission report, believed to detail connections between the House of Saud and the Al Qaeda hijackers. But the U.S.’s special security relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its reliance on foreign oil, give the federal government incentives to keep that knowledge under wraps.

http://gawker.com/heres-the-cias-just-released-top-secret-file-on-saudi-t-1710986289

Why The OPM Breach Is Such a Security and Privacy Debacle

It turns out the hackers, who are believed to be from China, also accessed so-called SF-86 forms, documents used for conducting background checks for worker security clearances. The forms can contain a wealth of sensitive data not only about workers seeking security clearance, but also about their friends, spouses and other family members. They can also include potentially sensitive information about the applicant’s interactions with foreign nationals—information that could be used against those nationals in their own country.

What’s more, in initial media stories about the breach, the Department of Homeland Security had touted the government’s EINSTEIN detection program, suggesting it was responsible for uncovering the hack. Nope, also wrong.

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/opm-breach-security-privacy-debacle/

Shaq: I'm Not Actually A 9/11 Truther

Shaquille O’Neal is disowning content posted on his personal blog and verified Facebook pages yesterday, claiming the company he contracted to pretend to be him online went rogue and that he is not and has never been a “9/11 truther.”

O’Neal’s marketing company—of which he is president, treasurer, and secretary—appears to have hired “social interaction monetization” firm Digital Mavericks to post on his behalf, only to find the company was a bit too maverick-y after the posts yesterday that urged readers to consider whether the 2001 terrorist attacks were an inside job.

http://deadspin.com/shaquille-oneal-is-a-9-11-truther-according-to-his-own-1710755321/1710925546#

The Bilderberg conference: world government or mythical secret clique?

Bilderberg attendees subject themselves to specific rules of participation. The most important one is known as the "Chatham House Rule" (in place since 1927, established at the time by the Royal Institute of International Affairs) and obliges every conference attendee to observe absolute confidentiality with respect to conversation content and speakers' statements. Unsurprisingly, this meeting point of the power wielders draws criticism year after year (the 2015 conference starts on Thursday, 11 June, and ends on Sunday, 14 June), due to its lack of transparency.

http://www.dw.de/the-bilderberg-conference-world-government-or-mythical-secret-clique/a-18512600

Bilderberg 2015 Video Playlist

Bilderberg 2015: where criminals mingle with ministers

by Charlie Skelton

I had three Austrian policemen in my hotel room last night. They stood there all grim faced with their fluorescent bibs, torches and sidearms. It was like the worst ever fancy dress party. I offered them a pilsner. They declined. They were too busy checking my ID that had been carefully checked 10 minutes prior at a police checkpoint. And carefully checked two minutes prior to that, at another police checkpoint.

A little while later, bored and a bit cold, I decided to point out to the officers that while they were treating a journalist like a criminal, there were actual criminals about to arrive at the hotel they were guarding. Convicted criminals. Such as disgraced former CIA boss, David Petraeus, who’s just been handed a $100,000 (£64,000) fine and two years’ probation for leaking classified information.

Petraeus now works for the vulturous private equity firm KKR, run by Henry Kravis, who does arguably Bilderberg’s best impression of Gordon Gecko out of Wall Street. Which he cleverly combines with a pretty good impression of an actual gecko.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/11/continual-police-checks-ruining-bilderberg-party

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bilderberg Created the 1973 Oil Crisis

Big Pharma Revealed As Puppetmaster Behind TPP Secrecy

It is no secret that US healthcare corporations have been among, if not the biggest beneficiaries of Obamacare: by "socializing" costs and spreading the reimbursement pool over the entire population in the form of a tax, pharmaceutical companies have been able to boost medical product and service costs to unprecedented levels with the help of complicit insurance companies who have subsequently passed through these costs to the consumer, in the process sending the price of biotech and pharma stocks to levels not seen since the dot com bubble.

But when it came to the highly confidential TPP, it was unclear just which corporations were dominant in pulling the strings.

Now thanks to more documents published by Wikileaks, and analyzed by the NYT, it appears that "big pharma" is once again pulling the strings, this time of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which if passed will "empower big pharmaceutical firms to command higher reimbursement rates in the United States and abroad, at the expense of consumers" according to "public health professionals, generic-drug makers and activists opposed to the trade deal."

In other words, just like the narrowly-passed Obamacare was a gift for big Pharma, so America's legal drug dealers are now trying to go for another price boosting catalyst, one which however will involve not just the US but some 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Worst of all, the negotiations for the next price increase is taking place in utmost secrecy where "American negotiators are still pressing participating governments to open the process that sets reimbursement rates for drugs and medical devices."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-10/profits-over-public-health-big-pharma-revealed-puppetmaster-behind-tpp-secrecy

NSA spying is going to cost the tech sector much more than we thought

NSA surveillance is going to cost the U.S. tech sector a lot more than originally thought.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a Washington, D.C. -based think tank that advocates for policies that nurture technology innovation, has released a new report in which it raises its previous estimate of how much surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community could cost U.S. tech companies.

In 2013, the non-partisan group estimated that the NSA-related revelations stemming from Edward Snowden’s 2013 leak would scare away foreign customers in the cloud computer sector to the tune of as much as $35 billion in business. The new report says that figure is too low, and that the economic reverberations will “likely far exceed” that initial $35 billion estimate, although the report wasn’t more specific on a final figure. “The reason we can’t cap it is because there’s no end in sight [to the losses],” Daniel Castro, a co-writer of the study, said in an interview with Fortune. Without action on the part of the U.S. government to limit the surveillance practices that concern foreign tech clients, Castro said foreign markets will continue to penalize U.S. companies.

http://fortune.com/2015/06/09/surveillance-tech-sector/

UNION: HACKERS HAVE PERSONNEL DATA ON EVERY FEDERAL EMPLOYEE

Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, saying that the cyber theft of U.S. employee information was more damaging than the Obama administration has acknowledged.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor that the December hack into Office of Personnel Management data was carried out by "the Chinese" without specifying whether he meant the Chinese government or individuals. Reid is one of eight lawmakers briefed on the most secret intelligence information. U.S. officials have declined to publicly blame China, which has denied involvement.

J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta that based on the incomplete information the union received from OPM, "We believe that the Central Personnel Data File was the targeted database, and that the hackers are now in possession of all personnel data for every federal employee, every federal retiree, and up to one million former federal employees."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOVERNMENT_HACKED?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-06-11-15-58-33

The TPP: What You're Not Being Told

The TPP, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is a trade deal that has been negotiated in secret for years now. The deal encompasses the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. A lot of people are going to be affected by this, but for some reason the public is not allowed to see what's in it. In fact many of the lawmakers which are about to vote on this deal haven't even read it themselves. Those who have, are forbidden to expose what it contains. If that strikes you as fishy, you're not alone.

http://stormcloudsgathering.com/the-tpp-what-youre-not-being-told

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: The Real Agenda

Fake Mobile Phone Towers Operating In The UK

Sky News has found evidence that rogue mobile phone towers, which can listen in on people's calls without their knowledge, are being operated in the UK.

IMSI catchers, also known as Stingrays, mimic mobile phone masts and trick phones into logging on.

The controversial surveillance technology is used by police agencies worldwide to target the communications of criminals.

However, Stingrays also collect the data of all other phones in the area, meaning innocent people's communications are spied on.

http://news.sky.com/story/1499258/fake-mobile-phone-towers-operating-in-the-uk

The Hidden Castro Assassination Plots

The Hidden Castro Plots: Not A Surprise, But Revealing

The most famous attempts to kill Castro in the early 1960s were the plots revealed by the Church Committee hearings of the 1970s. Exposed were a few of the schemes dreamed up by renowned CIA spymasters Bill Harvey, David Morales and other CIA officers. What was learned by the public was only the outer surface of a much bigger story.

The author has conducted new research on two other operations designed to kill Castro. Operation Patty and Operation Liborio were based in military intelligence and in specialized "nets" within Cuba. At least one of the officers running these other operations met up with David Morales in 1962, where they had an opportunity to "talk shop".

Operations Patty and Liborio, both staged during 1961, were not revealed during the "limited hangout" conducted by the Agency during the 1970s. After Cuban intelligence chief Fabian Escalante wrote about these programs, the author took a look at how much supporting documentation existed in US intelligence files. The result of that research is that Patty and Liborio are important windows into the history of US covert operations in Cuba and the milieu that conceived the JFK assassination.

The Cuban government holds additional information about these operations. As diplomatic relations normalize between our two countries, the Cubans should be encouraged to consider releasing documents that will shed further light about this troubled history.

How extensive were these operations? Statistics do exist. The Kennedy brothers conducted one hundred and sixty-three major covert operations in less than three years, with RFK as the unofficial chief of covert ops. By comparison, Eisenhower conducted one hundred and seventy major covert operations in eight years. [i]

The Kennedys denied any knowledge of any of the Castro plots, except to order them stopped when they got wind of them.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Hidden-Castro-Assassin-by-Bill-Simpich-Assassinate_Assassination_Assassination-Attempt_Castro-Fidel-150610-653.html