Thursday, June 30, 2016
When Greg Burel tells people he's in charge of some secret government warehouses, he often gets asked if they're like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark of the Covenant gets packed away in a crate and hidden forever.
"Well, no, not really," says Burel, director of a program called the Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thousands of lives might someday depend on this stockpile, which holds all kinds of medical supplies that the officials would need in the wake of a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon.
The location of these warehouses is secret. How many there are is secret. (Although a former government official recently said at a public meeting that there are six.) And exactly what's in them is secret.
“Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away,” said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans. “There is a cloud over your free speech.”
Freedom of speech on the Internet, added Ajit Pai, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, “is increasingly under threat.”
Pai and Goodman cited political correctness campaigns by Democrats as a threat. Both also said their agencies are becoming politicized and the liberals are using their power to push regulations that impact business and conservative outlets and voices.
The unusual 25,000-strong botnet was apparently spotted by US security outfit Sucuri when it investigated an online assault against an ordinary jewelry store.
The shop's website was flooded offline after drowning in 35,000 junk HTTP requests per second. When Sucuri attempted to thwart the network tsunami, the botnet stepped up its output and dumped more than 50,000 HTTP requests per second on the store's website.
When the security biz dug into the source of the duff packets, it found they were all coming from internet-connected CCTV cameras – devices that had been remotely hijacked by miscreants to attack other systems.
The deadline a White House official gave him has come and gone. An official, who had been corresponding with Graham—whose name he did not disclose—is no longer returning his phone calls.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, he expressed his frustration at the White House reneging on a promised April 12 deadline, but said he was undeterred and was preparing a PR strategy just in case the pages were released.
For years, Graham has been pushing the administration to declassify 28 pages of a report he helped write when he co-chaired the congressional joint inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, and that he believes contains information the public has a right to know about foreign assistance, mainly from Saudi Arabia, to the hijackers.
The rest of the 832-page report was made public in December 2002, and for the last several years, Graham has doggedly pursued whatever avenues he could to force the release of the remaining 28 pages.
Asked if he is confident the pages will be released by September 11, the 15th anniversary of the attacks, he said, “No,“ citing the delay by the White House. “I’m not going to put my money on any date until it happens.”
Even so, he is working with 9/11 survivor Sharon Premoli to line up a public relations team to counter what he anticipates will be a well-funded campaign by the Saudi government to discredit the 28 pages when they become public.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
A Report of Investigation (ROI) filed by a case agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tracked the gun used in the Paris attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, “off book,” Judicial Watch’s law enforcement sources confirm. Federal agents tracing the firearm also found the Phoenix gun owner to be in possession of an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.
The investigative follow up of the Paris weapon consisted of tracking a paper trail using a 4473 form, which documents a gun’s ownership history by, among other things, using serial numbers. The Phoenix gun owner that the weapon was traced back to was found to have at least two federal firearms violations—for selling one weapon illegally and possessing an unregistered automatic—but no enforcement or prosecutorial action was taken against the individual. Instead, ATF leaders went out of their way to keep the information under the radar and ensure that the gun owner’s identity was “kept quiet,” according to law enforcement sources involved with the case. “Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.
It’s not clear if the agency, which is responsible for cracking down on the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, did this because the individual was involved in the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. An ATF spokesman, Corey Ray, at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters told Judicial Watch that “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. When asked about the ROI report linking the weapon used in Paris to Phoenix, Ray said “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing.” Judicial Watch also tried contacting the Phoenix ATF office, but multiple calls were not returned.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
This may qualify as one of the quietest triumphs for the U.S. government since 9/11: It has co-opted the skills and ideals of a group of outsiders whose anti-establishment tilt was expressed two decades ago by Matt Damon during a famous scene in Good Will Hunting. Damon, playing a math genius being recruited by the NSA, launches into a scathing riff about the agency serving the interests of government and corporate evil rather than ordinary people. Sure, he could break a code for the NSA and reveal the location of a rebel group in North Africa or the Middle East, but the result would be a U.S. bombing attack in which “1,500 people that I never met, never had a problem with, get killed.” He turns down the offer.
In recent years, two developments have helped make hacking for the government a lot more attractive than hacking for yourself. First, the Department of Justice has cracked down on freelance hacking, whether it be altruistic or malignant. If the DOJ doesn’t like the way you hack, you are going to jail. Meanwhile, hackers have been warmly invited to deploy their transgressive impulses in service to the homeland, because the NSA and other federal agencies have turned themselves into licensed hives of breaking into other people’s computers. For many, it’s a techno sandbox of irresistible delights, according to Gabriella Coleman, a professor at McGill University who studies hackers. “The NSA is a very exciting place for hackers because you have unlimited resources, you have some of the best talent in the world, whether it’s cryptographers or mathematicians or hackers,” she said. “It is just too intellectually exciting not to go there.”
The 800-page report, however, included some new details about the night of the attacks, and the context in which they occurred. And it delivered a broad rebuke of government agencies like the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department — and the officials who led them — for failing to grasp the acute security risks in Benghazi, and especially for maintaining outposts there that they could not protect.
The committee, led by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, also harshly criticized an internal State Department investigation that it said had allowed officials like Mrs. Clinton, then the secretary of state, to effectively choose who would investigate their actions. In addition, it reiterated Republicans’ complaints that the Obama administration had sought to thwart the investigation by withholding witnesses and evidence.
The report, which includes perhaps the most exhaustive chronology to date of the attacks on an Americacn diplomatic compound and their aftermath, did not dispute that United States military forces stationed in Europe could not have reached Benghazi in time to rescue the personnel who died — a central finding of previous inquiries.
Still, it issued stinging criticism of the overall delay in response and the lack of preparedness on the part of the government.
“The assets ultimately deployed by the Defense Department in response to the Benghazi attacks were not positioned to arrive before the final lethal attack,” the committee wrote. “The fact that this is true does not mitigate the question of why the world’s most powerful military was not positioned to respond.”
Monday, June 27, 2016
The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.
Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.
Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.
The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland - a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism - after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.
The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030.
The simulation, titled ‘Food Chain Reaction’, was a desktop gaming exercise involving the participation of 65 officials from the US, Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and key multilateral and intergovernmental institutions.
The scenario for the ‘Food Chain Reaction’ simulation was created by experts brought in from the State Department, the World Bank, and agribusiness giant Cargill, along with independent specialists. CNA Corp’s Institute for Public Research, which ran the simulation, primarily provides scientific research services for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Held from November 9-10 in 2015, the “game” attempted to simulate a plausible global food crisis triggered by “food price and supply swings amidst burgeoning population growth, rapid urbanization, severe weather events, and social unrest.”
Read the full story here: http://www.motherjones.com/prison
First they came for Assange... Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges, Margaret Kunstler, Carey Shenkman and Jeremy Scahill
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! hosted “First They Came For Assange…” at ThoughtWorks NYC on Wednesday. One of the many events around the globe signifying the 4 years Julian Assange has been in political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and the ongoing violations of his basic human rights. Speakers will include, Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist Chris Hedges; Julian Assange’s US defense lawyer Carey Shenkman; acclaimed civil rights attorney Margaret Ratner; founding editor of The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill; and live from London via videoconference, Julian Assange himself,
It was a Global event that included special productions in 8 European cities (Berlin, Brussels, Belgrade, Naples, Madrid, Paris + Milano Fashion Show / Vivienne Westwood / and Sarajevo / live-stream) as part of “Assange week” that also took place in New York, Quito (Ecuador), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montevideo (Uruguay).
The event also focused on the threats whistleblowers face around the world, and the significance of real investigative journalism and transparency in today’s world of mass surveillance, hidden agendas and covert wars. The ongoing struggle to protect journalists, whistleblowers and others, who courageously expose the truths essential to ensuring strong and durable democratic societies, has become a forefront of the international human rights movement and the global fight for peace and justice.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Some of the stolen weapons were used in a shooting in November that killed two Americans and three others at a police training facility in Amman, F.B.I. officials believe after months of investigating the attack, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The existence of the weapons theft, which ended only months ago after complaints by the American and Saudi governments, is being reported for the first time after a joint investigation by The New York Times and Al Jazeera. The theft, involving millions of dollars of weapons, highlights the messy, unplanned consequences of programs to arm and train rebels — the kind of program the C.I.A. and Pentagon have conducted for decades — even after the Obama administration had hoped to keep the training program in Jordan under tight control.
The Jordanian officers who were part of the scheme reaped a windfall from the weapons sales, using the money to buy expensive SUVs, iPhones and other luxury items, Jordanian officials said.
The theft and resale of the arms — including Kalashnikov assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades — have led to a flood of new weapons available on the black arms market. Investigators do not know what became of most of them, but a disparate collection of groups, including criminal networks and rural Jordanian tribes, use the arms bazaars to build their arsenals. Weapons smugglers also buy weapons in the arms bazaars to ship outside the country.
Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, included an amendment in the annual intelligence-spending bill passed late last month that calls for the Director of National Intelligence to submit an annual report to congressional oversight committees detailing how the CIA and 15 other intelligence agencies interact with the entertainment industry.
The measure, which defines the entertainment industry broadly, follows a series of reports published by VICE News over the past year detailing the agency's role in the production of 22 entertainment-related projects between 2006 and 2011. They included major motion pictures like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo; reality television series such as Top Chef; the cable drama series, Covert Affairs; and books including The Devil's Light by Richard North Patterson. In the case of Zero Dark Thirty, writer and producer Mark Boal and Katherine Bigelow gave CIA officers involved in the operation that resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden gifts including dinners, fake pearl earrings, a bottle of tequila, and tickets to a Prada fashion show. The filmmakers, in turn, got access.
In some instances CIA officials disclosed classified information to producers and writers. An investigation by the CIA's inspector general (IG) into the agency's dealings with Bigelow and Boal identified several potential criminal violations of federal law, such as the bribery of public officials and witnesses, by the filmmakers. (The Senate Intelligence Committee receives classified versions of the CIA's IG reports at the time they are finalized. It appears that the catalyst behind the amendment is news stories detailing the CIA's relationship with Hollywood.)
The form element will be optional, but of course, CBP screeners may subject travellers who decline to reveal their online names for additional scrutiny.
Visitors to the USA are already photographed, fingerprinted, and interviewed.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Since 2011, the bureau has quietly been using this system to compare new images, such as those taken from surveillance cameras, against a large set of photos to look for a match. That set of existing images is not limited to the FBI’s own database, which includes some 30 million photos. The bureau also has access to face recognition systems used by law enforcement agencies in 16 different states, and it can tap into databases from the Department of State and the Department of Defense. And it is in negotiations with 18 other states to be able to search their databases, too.
The size of the total pool of photos the bureau can access, which was not clear until the new report from the Government Accountability Office, is shocking even to those who have been paying close attention to the FBI’s growing use of biometric data, says Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And the degree to which the FBI has access to photos in state-owned face image databases, which contain mostly driver’s license images, has Lynch and other privacy advocates concerned.
“This outcome tonight dramatically changes the political landscape here in the north of Ireland and we will be intensifying our case for the calling of a border poll” on a united Ireland, Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney said in a statement.
“The British government as a direct result have forfeited any mandate to represent the interests of people here in the north of Ireland in circumstances where the north is dragged out of Europe as a result of a vote to leave,” he said.
After Britain’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, the British prime minister said he would leave his post by October.
With 309 of 382 of the country’s cities and towns reporting early on Friday, the Leave campaign held a 52 percent to 48 percent lead. The BBC called the race for the Leave campaign shortly before 4:45 a.m., with 13.1 million votes having been counted in favor of leaving and 12.2 million in favor of remaining.
The value of the British pound plummeted as financial markets absorbed the news.
Despite opinion polls ahead of the referendum on Thursday that showed either side in a position to win, the outcome nonetheless stunned much of Britain, Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance, highlighting the power of anti-elite, populist and nationalist sentiment at a time of economic and cultural dislocation.
“Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, one of the primary forces behind the push for a referendum on leaving the European Union, told cheering supporters just after 4 a.m.
Britain will become the first country to leave the 28-member bloc, which has been increasingly weighed down by its failures to deal fully with a succession of crises, from the financial collapse of 2008 to a resurgent Russia and the massive influx of migrants last year.
The result left Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the charge for Britain to remain a member of the European Union, badly weakened and at risk of losing his job. It was a remarkable victory for the country’s anti-European forces, which not long ago were considered to have little chance of prevailing.
Financial markets, which had been anticipating that Britain would vote to stay in, braced for a day of losses and possible turmoil. Economists had predicted that a vote to leave the bloc could do substantial damage to the British economy.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
The CIA said it would only torture detainees to psychologically break them, according to a previously-unreported passage from a 2007 Justice Department memo. It’s a claim that’s at odds with how congressional investigators say the agency really handled captives in the early days of the war on terror.
And it’s not the only eye-opening assertion found in newly declassified portions of Bush-era documents on the CIA’s use of torture. A second document says that the CIA believed itself to be legally barred from torturing others countries’ detainees—but not from using so-called enhanced interrogations on its own captives.
In a passage from a 2007 memo by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the CIA said it would only subject detainees to harsh techniques, such as waterboarding, in order to break a detainee down to the point where he would no longer withhold information. The interrogations weren’t designed to get answers to specific questions; in fact, the agency interrogator “generally does not ask questions... to which the CIA does not already know the answers,” the memo states.
But that claim is contradicted by the agency’s actual record, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the government to disclose the portions of the document.
The 4-4 tie, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.
When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in January, it seemed poised to issue a major ruling on presidential power. That did not materialize, but the court’s action, which established no precedent and included no reasoning, was nonetheless perhaps its most important statement this term.
The decision was just nine words long: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.”
The Virtual Vietnam Archive currently contains over 4 million pages of scanned materials.
Types of material include documents, photographs, slides, negatives, oral histories, artifacts, moving images, sound recordings, maps, and collection finding aids. All non-copyrighted and digitized materials are available for users to download.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Donovan and the CIA: A History Of The Establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency
Topics: CIA, OSS, Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Strategic Services, Wild Bill Donovan, William Donovan
The journalists identified in the memo as having been a part of Ray Cline’s network are:
Joseph C. Harsch (May 25, 1905 – June 3, 1998) – Christian Science Monitor, NBC
Walter Lippmann (September 23, 1889 – December 14, 1974) – Los Angeles Times
John Scott (March 26, 1912 – December 1, 1976) – TIME
Joseph Wright Alsop V (October 10, 1910 – August 28, 1989) – Various
Wallace Carroll (1906-2002) – New York Times
Stewart Johonnot Oliver Alsop (May 17, 1914 – May 26, 1974) – Saturday Evening Post
Wallace Carroll (died 2002) – New York Times
Max S. Johnson – U.S. News & World Report
Cyrus Leo Sulzberger II (October 27, 1912 – September 20, 1993) – Various
Tadeusz “Tad” Witold Szulc (July 25, 1926 – May 21, 2001) – New York Times
Henry Gemmill (died 1994) – Wall Street Journal
Chalmers M. Roberts (died 2005) – Washington Post
Murrey Marder (died 2013) – Washington Post
Charles J. V. Murphy (died 1987) – FORTUNE
James Russell Wiggins (December 4, 1903 – November 19, 2000) – Washington Post
Alfred Friendly (December 30, 1911 – November 7, 1983) – Washington Post
Philip L. Geyelin (died 2002) – Wall Street Journal
Louis Kraar (died 2006) – Wall Street Journal, Fortune and TIME
Charles Leffingwell Bartlett (born August 14, 1921)
Harry Schwartz (died 2004) – New York Times
William V. Shannon (died 1988) – New York Times
William S. White – United Features Syndicate
Jess Cook – Time Magazine
Katharine Meyer Graham (June 16, 1917 – July 17, 2001) – Washington Post and Newsweek
Our friends over at Government Attic obtained and posted audio of the NORAD/USNORTHCOM radio channels on that day. With their blessing, The Memory Hole 2 has posted these files to the Internet Archive, meaning that you can now stream them online, download them as a torrent, or download the individual files in MP3 or open Ogg Vorbis formats.
Internet Archive page containing all these audio files in various formats
A controversial amendment that would expand the FBI’s surveillance power was narrowly defeated in the Senate Wednesday.
The final tally was 58 to 38, two votes shy of the 60 needed for the amendment to move forward. The issue will likely surface again soon, however, as Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately filed for a motion to reconsider the amendment.
The amendment — lumped on last-minute to a criminal justice funding bill — would have expanded the scope of information the FBI can collect by sending technology and Internet companies what’s known as a national security letter—without getting any kind of court approval first.
The FBI would be able to access information about suspects’ online behavior including what websites someone visits and for how long, IP address, social media activity, email headers, and more.
In what can only be described as one of the most honest breakdowns of modern systems of control, legendary comedian George Carlin pulls no punches in this spot on monologue about America’s “real owners.”
Judicial Watch Releases State Department Inspector General Investigation Records Related to Hillary Clinton Emails
To understand the roots of the oppression, erosion of liberties, and invasion of privacy that has become the new norm for Americans, we must go back to the days following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush was promising Americans that he would exact revenge on those who dare attack the empire. Dubya’s program of “Shock and Awe” gave the American public an upfront look at what the U.S. military was prepared to do to the enemies of “freedom and democracy.” The bombing of Iraq was only the beginning of a larger conflict that the Bush Administration dubbed “The Global War on Terror.”
The War on Terror did not end in the physical battlefield, however. The U.S. government was determined to root out all possible terrorist activity and in the process roll back as many of America’s hard-earned liberties as possible. Only 45 days after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Congress passed the infamous USA PATRIOT Act, typically known as simply the Patriot Act. The full Orwellian title is the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.”
The Patriot Act dramatically expanded the U.S. government’s abilities to monitor emails and landline phone calls, as well as also allowed access to voicemail through a search warrant rather than through a title III wiretap order. There is also section 215 of the Patriot Act, which has been used to justify mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency.
The Patriot Act also vastly increased the use of National Security Letters, a tool used by the government to force telecommunications companies to give customer information without the use of a warrant from a judge. The NSLs are typically issued by the FBI to gather information from companies when related to national-security investigations. This information can include customer names, addresses, phone and Internet records, and banking and credit statements. The NSL also requires employees who have been questioned to be silenced via a gag order which prevents them from notifying anyone that the government is invading customers’ privacy.
Interestingly, many Americans are unaware that the Patriot Act was in fact written before the attacks of 9/11 (see this and this). Not only was the bill written and ready to be released at the right moment, at least one of the bills which spawned the Patriot Act was written by Vice President Joe Biden while he was still a senator in Delaware. In 2008 CNET reported:
The Center for National Security Studies said (Biden’s) bill would erode “constitutional and statutory due process protections” and would “authorize the Justice Department to pick and choose crimes to investigate and prosecute based on political beliefs and associations.”
Biden himself draws parallels between his 1995 bill and its 2001 cousin. “I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing. And the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill,” he said when the Patriot Act was being debated, according to the New Republic, which described him as “the Democratic Party’s de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism.”
Biden’s chronology is not accurate: the bombing took place in April 1995 and his bill had been introduced in February 1995. But it’s true that Biden’s proposal probably helped to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration’s Patriot Act.
The advancing tyranny that has resulted from the Patriot Act, and the bills which preceded it, has led to what we see in America in 2016. The bulk of American communications are now scanned, monitored, stored in a database, and analyzed for signs of terrorism. The NSA has even built a giant database in Utah to handle all of this data. Big Brother and Big sister are listening through an array of devices. Cell site simulators aka stingrays, Automatic License Plate Readers, Audio recording devices aka gunshot detectors, hidden cameras and microphones in public, thermal imaging planes and drones.
In a 30-page court filing posted Tuesday evening, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen responded to nearly 200 allegations and legal justifications put forth by the American Civil Liberties Union in a complaint filed in October. The psychologists broadly denied allegations that “they committed torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, non-consensual human experimentation and/or war crimes” — but admitted to a series of actions that can only be described as such.
“Defendants admit that over a period of time, they administered to [Abu] Zubaydah walling, facial and abdominal slaps, facial holds, sleep deprivation, and waterboarding, and placed Zubaydah in cramped confinement,” the filing says.
The American Psychological Association issued a lengthy report last year acknowledging members of the profession collaborated with the CIA and Pentagon on the torture program, and apologized. But until now, no psychologist has ever been called to account in court.
Some claim there must have been a "controlled detonation" at ground level for the Twin Towers to fall in on themselves as they did.
One key part of their argument is the collapse of a third smaller tower, called Building 7, at the World Trade Centre complex, several hours after the huge skyscrapers fell.
Until now, the theory has been just that and confined to the online forums of conspiracy theory websites.
But now, the University of Alaska is sponsoring a full investigation into claims that World Trade Center Building 7 was brought down by a controlled demolition during the 9/11 attacks.
The official version of events is that fire spread to Building 7, from the main towers, devastating the structure, and causing it also to fall in on itself.
Footage of the tower consumed by fire emerged in 2011, and it was thought the conspiracy may have been killed off.
But Dr J Leroy Husley, chair of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ (UAF) Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has partnered with architects and engineers linked to campaign group 9/11 Truth to evaluate the causes of its collapse.
A report on Activistpost.com said: "Although questions still remain about how the two planes that hit the Twin Towers could cause the total collapse of the high-rise buildings, many 9/11 researchers now focus on the mysterious collapse of Building 7.
"A number of 9/11 family members point to the collapse of WTC7 as a possible crack in the official story that could spark a new national conversation on the events of that day.
To which the U.S. intelligence community has essentially replied, “Oh, hell no.”
In a series of declarations filed late Friday with the U.S. Parole Commission, senior U.S. intelligence officials forcefully argued that Pollard still poses a risk to national security because if left unchecked, he could divulge U.S. secrets—and even old ones could do harm.
“Some of the sources and methods used to develop some of the intelligence exposed by Mr. Pollard not only remain classified but are still in use by the Intelligence Community today,” Jennifer L. Hudson, a senior official in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said in a written statement (PDF).
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
In the 1960s and the 1970s, the New York Police Department's Intelligence Division spied on - and infiltrated and disrupted - politically radical individuals and organizations, including the Nation of Islam, the Black Panthers, the Young Lords (Puerto Rican activists), gay-rights advocates, Lyndon LaRouche's groups, various Cubans, and the antiwar movement. It was the NYPD's version of the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO surveillance/harassment of political activists, which was happening at the same time.
While researching a book on the Young Lords, Baruch history professor Johanna Fernández was stonewalled in her quest for documents and was eventually told that all records of NYPD surveillance during that era had been lost. After the media reported this in June 2016, the city coincidentally "found" 500 boxes of records - an estimated 1.1 million pages of documents - during a routine inventory of a warehouse in Queens. This incredible archive will supposedly become available to the public, but the city refuses to say how or when.
It turns out that in 1989, those records - or at least a huge portion of them - were inventoried as part of a lawsuit (the Handschu case) against the NYPD for its surveillance activities. The Village Voice posted an inventory in its article about the so-called rediscovery of the archive .
But despite recognizing that drones “pose risks to individual privacy,” the FAA declined to issue any privacy regulations at all.
More than 180 groups raised privacy concerns through the agency’s public commenting process, but the FAA decided that its “long-standing mission … as a safety agency” does not include privacy, and that “it would be overreaching for the FAA to enact regulations concerning privacy rights.”
In a blog post Tuesday, Guccifer 2.0 described the haul as “a big folder of docs devoted to Hillary Clinton that I found on the DNC server.”
The files include a “HRC Defense Master Doc” outlining criticism and defense points on issues such as U.S. military intervention in Libya, the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack and the Clinton email server controversy.
“The DNC collected all info about the attacks on Hillary Clinton and prepared the ways of her defense, memos, etc., including the most sensitive issues like email hacks,” explained Guccifer 2.0.
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for a five-justice majority in Utah v. Strieff, concluded that a Utah police officer’s “errors in judgment hardly rise to a purposeful or flagrant violation of [Edward] Strieff’s Fourth Amendment rights.”
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But in a thundering dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was less forgiving. “The Court today holds that the discovery of a warrant for an unpaid parking ticket will forgive a police officer’s violation of your Fourth Amendment rights,” she wrote, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong.”
Later, writing only for herself, Sotomayor also added that the ruling “implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.”
“Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language: This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong,” Sotomayor wrote in the opening paragraph of her response to Utah v. Strieff, which the court decided in a 5-3 vote.
The case had asked the justices to decide whether evidence uncovered during an unlawful police stop could be used against the person in possession of it — a question that requires an interpretation of the Fourth Amendment‘s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The arrests were one of the most significant roundups of police supervisors in the recent history of the department — a deputy chief and a deputy inspector accused of accepting expensive gifts from two politically connected businessmen who prosecutors say were seeking illicit favors from the police.
In court papers unsealed on Monday, federal agents describe how the two men, who are at the center of one of the City Hall fund-raising inquiries, showered gifts on senior police officials: jewelry for the police inspector’s wife; a video game system for the chief’s children; tickets to Brooklyn Nets games; hotel rooms in Rome and Chicago; even a private-jet flight to Las Vegas, with a prostitute on board.
Monday, June 20, 2016
But it's the dissenting opinion in the case that has the Internet talking.
The Court voted 5-to-3 in Utah v. Strieff to reverse a decision of the Utah Supreme Court on an earlier case.
A scenario that could happen based on what already has.
If you don’t think the threat of hacking is real, take a look at these eight examples of real, terrifying hacks that have happened right under our noses.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Supporters held talks in European cities including Athens, Berlin, Brussels and Madrid, which Assange addressed through a live video stream from inside the embassy.
"I am normally very isolated here at the embassy," Assange said, noting it was strange to address so many people.
"It's quite incredible to see this extent of support."
The 44-year-old is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation in Sweden but has been inside Ecuador's UK mission for four full years in a bid to avoid extradition.
The anti-secrecy campaigner, who denies the allegation, walked into the embassy of his own free will on June 18, 2012, with Britain on the brink of sending him to Stockholm, and has not left since.
His lawyers say he is angry that Swedish prosecutors are still maintaining the European arrest warrant against him.
The Australian former computer hacker fears that from Sweden he could be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files, and could face a long prison sentence there.
The idea is controversial, to say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while it's not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among some of the military's uniformed leaders — even, they say, in exploring how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force.
This is a key piece of Carter’s “Force of the Future” personnel reform. Unveiled June 9, it aims to help the military bring in more top talent, especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space. Advocates say it will help the military fill important manpower shortfalls with highly skilled professionals and, more broadly, create greater “permeability” between the active-duty military and the civilian sector.
At the same time, it suggests eroding the military’s tradition of growing its own leaders and cultivating a force with a distinct culture and tight social fabric, which many believe to be the heart of military effectiveness. Critics worry it will create a new subcaste of military service members who are fundamentally disconnected from the traditional career force.
“They will enter a culture they don’t know, understand or potentially appreciate,” said Dakota Wood, a retired Marine officer and military expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The Marines around them will likely be challenged to appreciate them as they would a fellow Marine.”
If approved by Congress, the individual military services would be authorized — but not required — to expand lateral entry up to the rank of colonel, or in the case of the Navy a captain. It's part of a broader reform effort that may also include new rules for bringing enlisted troops in at the noncommissioned officer ranks, which does not require approval from Congress.
But how does it work? Have you ever thought about how that cat picture actually gets from a server in Oregon to your PC in London? We’re not simply talking about the wonders of TCP/IP or pervasive Wi-Fi hotspots, though those are vitally important as well. No, we’re talking about the big infrastructure: the huge submarine cables, the vast landing sites and data centres with their massively redundant power systems, and the elephantine, labyrinthine last-mile networks that actually hook billions of us to the Internet.
And perhaps even more importantly, as our reliance on omnipresent connectivity continues to blossom, our connected device numbers swell, and our thirst for bandwidth knows no bounds, how do we keep the Internet running? How do Verizon or Virgin reliably get 100 million bytes of data to your house every second, all day every day?
Well, we’re going to tell you over the next 7,000 words.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
We can only speculate that this was done to protect the Guccifer 2.0 DNC leak and the leak of Hillary’s emails that Julian Assange has been quoted saying will be “enough evidence to criminally indict her.”
Now, a significant portion of the missing files have been discovered during what the city said on Thursday was a routine inventory of a Queens warehouse, where archivists found 520 brown boxes of decades-old files, believed to be the largest trove of New York Police Department surveillance records from the era.
“It’s the whole mother lode,” said Gideon Oliver, a civil rights lawyer who two years ago filed a lawsuit on behalf of a historian seeking records about a group that was a target of surveillance.
The boxes, according to a written index, contain extensive files about the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam and the Young Lords, as well as public demonstrations and civil unrest. Files on individuals are also among the documents; at least 15 boxes primarily contain photographs, Mr. Oliver said.
The FBI is interested in determining – as part of some warped “pre-crime” program – who might become potential future terrorists.
The FBI warns in the report that that “anarchist extremists” are no different that ISIS terrorists.
They further caution teachers against young people who are poor, as well as immigrants and others who travel to “suspicious” countries. These, they explain, are teens who are more likely to commit terrorism.
Sarah Lazare, writing for AlterNet, notes that “based on the widely unpopular British ‘anti-terror’ mass surveillance program, the FBI’s ‘Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools’ guidelines, released in January, are almost certainly designed to single out and target Muslim-American communities.”
Lazare notes that the FBI cautions teachers to “avoid the appearance of discrimination,” in carrying out the order to spy on students and report them to the Bureau.
“The Missing 28 Pages Raises Directly the Issue of U.S. Government Complicity In the 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attacks”
“The man under questioning… Thumairy had been a Saudi Consular official based in Los Angeles and the imam of a mosque visited by two of the hijackers.”
Excuse me! What is a Saudi Consular official doing running a Mosque in the United States? This would have violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. It would have been grossly incompatible with his Consular Functions under that Convention. What was going on there? Why was the USG [U.S. government] permitting a Saudi Consular Official to run a Mosque in violation of this Vienna Convention? The USG must have known what was going on. And by running a Mosque the Saudis knew they were in violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. So what was going on here? So both Governments are in knowing violation of the Vienna Convention to permit a Saudi Consular Official to run a Mosque (not just attend a Mosque—I see no problem with that) and two of the alleged hijackers go there. All this is just a coincidence?
There is no way that Saudi Official could have run that Mosque unless the USG let him do so. And there is no way the Saudi Government would let their Consular Official run that Mosque in violation of the Vienna Convention unless they had permission to do so from the United States government. And it turns out that two of the alleged hijackers are going to that Mosque. Did the USG and the SAG set it up for that purpose?
However, this privacy dispute highlights a powerful and clandestine tool the authorities are employing across the country to snoop on the public—sometimes with warrants, sometimes without. Just last month, for example, this powerful surveillance measure—which sometimes allows the authorities to control the camera's focus point remotely—helped crack a sex trafficking ring in suburban Chicago.
Meanwhile, in stopping the release of the Seattle surveillance cam location information—in a public records act case request brought by activist Phil Mocek—US District Judge Richard Jones agreed (PDF) with the FBI's contention that releasing the data would harm national security.
"If the Protected Information is released, the United States will not be able to obtain its return; the confidentiality of the Protected Information will be destroyed, and the recipients will be free to publish it or post the sensitive information wherever they choose, including on the Internet, where it would harm important federal law enforcement operational interests as well as the personal privacy of innocent third parties," Jones ruled.
Friday, June 17, 2016
NYPD Surveillance Unveiled: City Claims to Lose Docs on 1960s Radicals, Then Finds 1 Million Records
There has been a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of political organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, the NYPD has come under fire for spying on Muslim communities and the Occupy Wall Street movement. But decades ago, the NYPD spied extensively on political organizations, including the Young Lords, a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. The Young Lords staged their first action in July 1969 in an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickups in East Harlem. They would go on to inspire activists around the country as they occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community projects. Among their leaders was Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. We speak with Baruch College professor Johanna Fernández, who has fought for a decade to obtain records related to the NYPD’s surveillance of the group. Last month, the city claimed it had lost the records. But this week its municipal archive said it had found more than 520 boxes, or about 1.1 million pages, apparently containing the complete remaining records. We’re also joined by Fernández’s attorney, Gideon Oliver.
Some of the information in the database originates with the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, also called TIDE. That list contains classified data collected by intelligence agencies and militaries worldwide, but anything passed on to the terrorist watch list is first scrubbed of classified info. In 2013, TIDE had 1.1 million names in it.
The State Department checks all visa applicants against the watch list. The TSA’s No-Fly list and Selectee List, which identifies people who warrant additional screening and scrutiny at airports and border crossings, are also derived from the watch list. But it is most often used by law enforcement agencies at all levels to check the identity of anyone arrested, detained for questioning, or stopped for a traffic violation. The FBI calls it “one of the most effective counterterrorism tools for the US government.”
Entries in the database are coded according to threat level to provide law enforcement with instructions on what to do when they encounter a suspected terrorist who is on the list. According to a 2005 inspector general report (.pdf), of some 110,000 records in the database that the IG reviewed, 75 percent of them were given handling code 4, considered the lowest level, and 22 percent were given handling code 3. Only 318 records had handling codes 1 or 2. A description of what each level means is redacted in the publicly released version of the document, but a note indicates that people are usually given code 4 when they are either just an associate of a suspected terrorist and therefore may not pose a threat or if there is too little information known about the individual to categorize them at a higher level.
Appearing in the database doesn’t mean you’ll be arrested, denied a visa, or barred from entering the country. But it does mean your whereabouts and any other information gleaned from, say, a traffic stop, will be added to the file and scrutinized by authorities.
A coalition of 13 assembly members introduced Assembly Bill 9235 (A9235) on Feb 4. The legislation would help block the use of cell site simulators, known as “stingrays.” These devices essentially spoof cell phone towers, tricking any device within range into connecting to the stingray instead of the tower, allowing law enforcement to sweep up communications content, as well as locate and track the person in possession of a specific phone or other electronic device.
The bill would require police to obtain a warrant before deploying a stingray device, unless they have the explicit permission of the owner or authorized possessor of the device.
Complete Contents of All 23 CDs
Twenty-one of the CDs are audio. The Memory Hole ripped the audio to MP3 files and posted them at the Internet Archive. Each one lasts 44 to 47 minutes.
Internet Archive page containing all these audio files in various formats
Disc 23 contains PDF files of 503 oral histories. The NYT has posted all of them here.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo are among the 158 banks, pension funds, and other firms listed in the “Hall of Shame” compiled by the Netherlands-based organization PAX, a member of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).
The report, titled Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: A Shared Responsibility (pdf), finds that the leading investors come from 14 countries including the U.S., the UK, and Canada. Of the top 10 overall investors, the U.S. is home to eight. Japan and China round out the last two.
Both the UK and Canada—along with France, Germany, and Switzerland, whose institutions are also named on the list—have signed the 2008 Oslo treaty known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the use of the indiscriminate bombs under international law.
The U.S., which hosts by far the most companies on the list with 74, is not a signatory.
Cluster bombs, which can be launched from the air or ground, operate by ejecting smaller sub-munitions or “bomblets” that can saturate an area of several football fields, according to CMC. They can remain volatile long after a conflict ends.
The FBI Says Its Homegrown Terrorist Stings Are Nothing More Than A Proactive Fight Against 'Going Dark'
The FBI, of course, maintains that these terrorists would have acted on their own without the agency's intercession -- even though it seems to be placing a rather heavy finger on the scale.
While F.B.I. officials say they are careful to avoid illegally entrapping suspects, their undercover operatives are far from bystanders. In recent investigations from Florida to California, agents have helped people suspected of being extremists acquire weapons, scope out bombing targets and find the best routes to Syria to join the Islamic State, records show.
According to the agency, this stuff that looks like entrapment is nothing more than expedience.
While the FBI maintains it's doing nothing wrong, former FBI agents and intelligence community members aren't so sure.
“They’re manufacturing terrorism cases,” said Michael German, a former undercover agent with the F.B.I. who researches national security law at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. In many of the recent prosecutions, he said, “these people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States.”
Karen J. Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University, said undercover operations had become the norm for the F.B.I. in the most recent Islamic State cases, with little debate or understanding of how the bureau actually conducts its investigations, especially its online stings.
“I think the F.B.I. is really going down the wrong path with a lot of these ISIS cases,” she said…
When pressed to defend aggressive sting operations, FBI officials fall back on one their favorite scapegoats: encryption.
“When the bad guys turn to encrypted areas, we’re dark, and the only way to gain a better understanding of what we’re up against may be through an undercover,” Mr. Steinbach said.
That possibility has alarmed advocates for disclosing the pages, since there was no clear-cut avenue for Congress to do so. They had always assumed that the White House would act once it had completed its declassification review, and they now fear that involving Congress again is a stalling attack.
Hoping to clarify the situation, sponsors of the initial legislation calling for the release of the 28 pages introduced a separate House resolution on Wednesday urging the House Intelligence Committee to declassify the pages and publish them in the Congressional Record. The resolution, introduced by Representative Walter B. Jones, Republican of North Carolina, and others, says that “justice and truth must prevail over the embarrassment or protection of enemies of the American people that aided, abetted or materially assisted the gruesome international terrorist murders of 9/11.”
The U.S. Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017 with provisions that will force women to sign up for potential military draft and continues the practice of indefinite detention.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved a $602 billion annual defense budget that President Obama has promised to veto because the bill does not allow for the closing of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senate Bill 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, passed with a vote of 85 Senators in favor and 13 against.
One issue the entire Congress seemed to agree on was voting against closing military bases around the world. While the Pentagon called for budget cuts stating that the military has more space than they need, Congress refused to go along with the cuts. “Besides, several lawmakers have argued that the Pentagon has cooked the books to justify its conclusions or at least didn’t do the math completely,” the Associated Press reports. The Senate also voted against an amendment to close the infamous military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Another contentious area of debate was the mandate to force women who turn 18 on or after Jan. 1, 2018 to register for Selective Service. Males are already required register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. The United States has maintained a volunteer military force since 1973, but through Selective Service the military could reinstate a draft and call upon registered males and females. Those who do not register could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, although the penalty has rarely been enforced.
The most horrendous part of the NDAA 2017 is that that the annual military budget continues to include a provision which allows for indefinite detention of American citizens without a right to trial. Many of you may remember that President Obama had no problem signing the NDAA 2012 in 2011, which legalized the indefinite detention of American citizens suspected of ties to terrorism. The indefinite detention provision is still contained in the NDAA, and has been approved by Congress and signed by President Obama every year since it first passed.
On Thursday June 9, Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Dianne Feinstein of California spoke on the floor of the Senate in support of an amendment bill which would have removed the indefinite detention clause from NDAA 2017 and offered protections to American citizens weary of a federal government with too much power. The “Due Process Guarantee Amendment to the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2017” would have clarified “that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.”
The heavily redacted trove of more than 50 documents was published in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the ACLU last year, which sought records referenced in the U.S. Senate’s damning report on the CIA’s program—commonly referred to as the torture report—released in December 2014.
“These newly declassified records add new detail to the public record of the CIA’s torture program and underscore the cruelty of the methods the agency used in its secret, overseas black sites,” Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director, said Tuesday. “It bears emphasis that these records document grave crimes for which no senior official has been held accountable.”
Worldwide known cyber security company CrowdStrike announced that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers had been hacked by “sophisticated” hacker groups.
I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.
Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers. But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.
Shame on CrowdStrike: Do you think I’ve been in the DNC’s networks for almost a year and saved only 2 documents? Do you really believe it?
Here are just a few docs from many thousands I extracted when hacking into DNC’s network.
They mentioned a leaked database on Donald Trump. Did they mean this one?
The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to Wikileaks. They will publish them soon.
I guess CrowdStrike customers should think twice about company’s competence.
Fuck the Illuminati and their conspiracies!!!!!!!!! Fuck CrowdStrike!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that at least two groups of Russian government intelligence agency hackers had spent a year stealing the DNC’s opposition research on Donald Trump, as well as the organization’s chats and emails.
The DNC said that no financial information or secret documents were stolen; on a specially created Wordpress site, Guccifer 2.0 disputed those claims and dumped documents that the hacker says proves the DNC was lying. The original Guccifer is a Romanian man who hacked high-profile US government accounts and claimed to have hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers,” Guccifer 2.0 wrote. “But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.”
According to the GAO Report, FBI’s Facial Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation (FACE) Services unit not only has access to FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) face recognition database of nearly 30 million civil and criminal mug shot photos, it also has access to the State Department’s Visa and Passport databases, the Defense Department’s biometric database, and the drivers license databases of at least 16 states. Totaling 411.9 million images, this is an unprecedented number of photographs, most of which are of Americans and foreigners who have committed no crimes.
The FBI has done little to make sure that its search results (which the Bureau calls “investigative leads”) do not include photos of innocent people, according to the report. The FBI has conducted only very limited testing to ensure the accuracy of NGI's face recognition capabilities. And it has not taken any steps to determine whether the face recognition systems of its external partners—states and other federal agencies—are sufficiently accurate to prevent innocent people from being identified as criminal suspects. As we know from previous research, face recognition is notoriously inaccurate across the board and may also misidentify African Americans and ethnic minorities, young people, and women at higher rates than whites, older people, and men, respectively.
The GAO is concerned about not only the privacy implications, but also the accuracy of the FBI’s facial recognition technology. The report found that the FBI has never tested the accuracy of searches that are asked to yield fewer than 50 photo matches.
Put more simply, if someone from the FBI has a photo of a suspect and runs it through facial recognition while requesting just 2 potential matches, they have no way of knowing if those matches are any more accurate than the next 48 in line. Put even more simply, a lot of innocent people could potentially be identified positively as suspects.
The FBI’s primary system is called the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System (NGI-IPS). The agency and its local partners can submit photos taken from practically anywhere (including surveillance cameras), and they will get back a list of potential matches from roughly 30 million photos. They can also submit to a program called FACE, where over 400 million additional photos reside. But there’s a concern that the system isn’t nearly as precise as it should be, even with millions of photos at its disposal.