Friday, March 31, 2017
WikiLeaks published hundreds of more files from the Vault 7 series today which, it claims, show how CIA can mask its hacking attacks to make it look like it came from other countries, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.
Dubbed "Marble," the part 3 of CIA files contains 676 source code files of a secret anti-forensic Marble Framework, which is basically an obfuscator or a packer used to hide the true source of CIA malware.
The CIA's Marble Framework tool includes a variety of different algorithm with foreign language text intentionally inserted into the malware source code to fool security analysts and falsely attribute attacks to the wrong nation.
The leaked files indicate that the Marble's source code includes Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi languages, as well as English, which shows that the CIA has engaged in clever hacking games.
The FBI has released previously unseen images of the Pentagon in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
The batch of 27 archived images uploaded to the website, FBI Records: The Vault, show the scorched interior and exterior of the building and the gaping hole left in the side of the building by the plane.
WIKILEAKS RELEASE: CIA Vault 7 Part 3 "Marble" -- thousands of CIA viruses and hacking attacks could now be attributed
Today, March 31st 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Marble" -- 676 source code files for the CIA's secret anti-forensic Marble Framework. Marble is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA.
Marble does this by hiding ("obfuscating") text fragments used in CIA malware from visual inspection. This is the digital equivallent of a specalized CIA tool to place covers over the english language text on U.S. produced weapons systems before giving them to insurgents secretly backed by the CIA.
Marble forms part of the CIA's anti-forensics approach and the CIA's Core Library of malware code. It is "[D]esigned to allow for flexible and easy-to-use obfuscation" as "string obfuscation algorithms (especially those that are unique) are often used to link malware to a specific developer or development shop."
The Marble source code also includes a deobfuscator to reverse CIA text obfuscation. Combined with the revealed obfuscation techniques, a pattern or signature emerges which can assist forensic investigators attribute previous hacking attacks and viruses to the CIA. Marble was in use at the CIA during 2016. It reached 1.0 in 2015.
The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, --- but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages.
The Marble Framework is used for obfuscation only and does not contain any vulnerabilties or exploits by itself.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Connecticut lawmakers are considering whether the state should become the first in the country to allow police to use drones outfitted with deadly weapons, a proposal immediately met with concern by civil rights and liberties advocates.
The bill would ban the use of weaponized drones, but exempt police. Details on how law enforcement could use drones with weapons would be spelled out in new rules to be developed by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Officers also would have to receive training before being allowed to use drones with weapons.
A pair of White House officials helped provide Representative Devin Nunes of California, a Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed that President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
The revelation on Thursday that White House officials disclosed the reports, which Mr. Nunes then discussed with Mr. Trump, is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.
It is the latest twist of a bizarre Washington drama that began after dark on March 21, when Mr. Nunes got a call from a person he has described only as a source. The call came as he was riding across town in an Uber car, and he quickly diverted to the White House. The next day, Mr. Nunes gave a hastily arranged news conference before running off to brief Mr. Trump on what he had learned the night before from — as it turns out — White House officials.
The chain of events — and who helped provide the intelligence to Mr. Nunes — was detailed to The New York Times by four American officials.
Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.
As an adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, and later one of Mr. Trump’s top aides in the White House, Mr. Flynn was privy to some of the most sensitive foreign-policy deliberations of the new administration and was directly involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.
He has made the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees through his lawyer but has so far found no takers, the officials said.
Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay.
The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: they work for companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T.) Incidentally, these people and their companies routinely give lots of money to members of Congress.
So here is a list of the lawmakers who voted to betray you, and how much money they received from the telecom industry in their most recent election cycle.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
CLARIFYING EVENTS in politics are often healthy even when they produce awful outcomes. Such is the case with yesterday’s vote by House Republicans to free internet service providers (ISPs) – primarily AT&T, Comcast and Verizon – from the Obama-era FCC regulations barring them from storing and selling their users’ browsing histories without their consent. The vote followed an identical one last week in the Senate exclusively along party lines.
It’s hard to overstate what a blow to individual privacy this is. Unlike Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google – which can track and sell only those activities of yours which you engage in while using their specific service – ISPs can track everything you do online. “These companies carry all of your Internet traffic and can examine each packet in detail to build up a profile on you,” explained two experts from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Worse, it is not particularly difficult to avoid using specific services (such as Facebook) that are known to undermine privacy, but consumers often have very few choices for ISPs; it’s a virtual monopoly.
It’s hardly rare for the U.S. Congress to enact measures gutting online privacy: indeed, the last two decades have ushered in a legislative scheme that implements a virtually ubiquitous Surveillance State composed of both public intelligence and military agencies along with their private-sector “partners.” Members of Congress voting for these pro-surveillance measures invariably offer the pretext that they are acting for the benefit of American citizens – whose privacy they are gutting – by Keeping Them Safe™.
But what distinguishes this latest vote is that this pretext is unavailable. Nobody can claim with a straight face that allowing AT&T and Comcast to sell their users’ browser histories has any relationship to national security. Indeed, there’s no minimally persuasive rationale that can be concocted for this vote. It manifestly has only one purpose: maximizing the commercial interests of these telecom giants at the expense of ordinary citizens. It’s so blatant here that it cannot even be disguised.
New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal Additional Instances of Clinton Sending Classified Information through Unsecured Emails, Special Favors for Clinton Donors
Judicial Watch today released 1,184 pages of State Department records, including previously unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges, revealing additional instances of Abedin and Hillary Clinton sending classified information through unsecured email accounts and contributors being given special access to the former secretary of state.
The emails, were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a March 18 FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). The lawsuit seeks:
All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-“state.gov” email address.
The records contain 29 previously undisclosed Clinton emails – of a total of which is now at least 288 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. This further appears to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department. Two of these emails are now available on the State Department’s website.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews took to the streets of Jerusalem on Tuesday to protest against compulsory military service at a time of increased tensions between them and Israeli authorities.
The protesters dressed in the dark suits and hats typical of the ultra-Orthodox community held signs, including those saying "the state of Israel persecutes Jews".
Rabbis addressed the crowd, sometimes in Yiddish, while police deployed heavily in the area.
"It's better to be shot than to go in the army," said one of the protesters, Aaron Roth, 45 and with a long, dark beard.
The protest was organised by particularly hardline ultra-Orthodox who completely reject the Israeli state.
Military service, two years and eight months for men and two years for women, is compulsory for most Jewish Israelis.
Monday, March 27, 2017
Operation MKULTRA was an umbrella for a series of CIA experiments with drugs, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, electroshocks, and other forms of torture on uninformed Americans and Canadians in an effort to discover the ideal truth serum, manipulate memories, and modify behaviors.
Complete list of all 149 MKULTRA subprojects. Who, When, What, Where, Why, and How, and links to FOIA documents available for each subproject.
I’ve included the MORI ID to official documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. Readers are encouraged to verify given information for themselves.
MORI – Management of Officially Released Information is an electronic imaging system developed by the CIA.
Sean Stone sits down with 9/11 widow and JASTA activist Terry Strada to discuss the newest lawsuit born from that controversial Act and her desire to bring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to justice for their alleged support of the 9/11 hijackers.
Approximately half of adult Americans’ photographs are stored in facial recognition databases that can be accessed by the FBI, without their knowledge or consent, in the hunt for suspected criminals. About 80% of photos in the FBI’s network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from driver’s licenses and passports. The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are more likely to misidentify black people than white people.
These are just some of the damning facts presented at last week’s House oversight committee hearing, where politicians and privacy campaigners criticized the FBI and called for stricter regulation of facial recognition technology at a time when it is creeping into law enforcement and business.
The president's upcoming decision on thousands of still-secret JFK records will be revealing.
From the fever swamp of Alex Jones' InfoWars, Jerome Corsi reports that "JFK researchers" are saying President Donald Trump is at risk for assassination because of his differences with the Central Intelligence Agency.
I have been a JFK researcher for 35 years. Corsi has distorted what most of us think to serve a fear-mongering political agenda. "JFK researchers: Trump at risk for assassination" is a lousy piece of journalism, less a story than a conspiratorial meme. But it does reveal an important untold story about Trump and the CIA.
As Corsi reports, the president faces a big JFK decision later this year.
Origins of the Story
At a Sunshine Week conference on JFK assassination records, held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on March 16, attorney Larry Schnapf made a hard-to-refute point: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is still a crucial story in American political life.
The Invisible Government, a bestseller about the CIA written while JFK was still alive and published after his death, was an early statement of the "deep state" concept, now debated by pundits from Remnick to Greenwald to Gingrich. Trump used a bogus JFK theory to defeat rival Ted Cruz. We flock to movies about Jackie Kennedy and LBJ. And across the political spectrum, people worry about the unchecked secret powers of the CIA.
The contemporary relevance of the JFK story is unmistakable.
Hugo Turner joins Our Interesting Times for a discussion on his article "Ted Shackley: A Life in the CIA." https://www.sott.net/article/336447-Theodore-Shackley-A-Life-in-the-CIA
We talk about the career of CIA agent Theodore Shackley and how the biography of the infamous spymaster provides a window into the intrigues of the Deep State and the secret history of the American Empire.
A LAWSUIT FILED today by the Knight First Amendment Institute, a public interest legal organization based at Columbia University, seeks to shed light on invasive searches of laptops and cellphones by Customs and Border Protection officers at U.S. border crossings.
Documents filed in the case note that these searches have risen precipitously over the past two years, from a total of 5,000 searches in 2015 to 25,000 in 2016, and rising to 5,000 in the month of February 2017 alone. Among other questions, the lawsuit seeks to compel the federal government to provide more information about these searches, including how many of those searched have been U.S. citizens, the number of searches by port of entry, and the number of searches by the country of origin of the travelers.
Civil rights groups have long claimed that warrantless searches of cellphones and laptops by government agents constitute a serious invasion of privacy, due to the wealth of personal data often held on such devices. It is common for private conversations, photographs, and location information to be held on cellphones and laptops, making a search of these items significantly more intrusive than searching a simple piece of luggage.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
The man serving life in a federal penitentiary as the “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11 attacks wants to testify at the 9/11 trial and has written the military judge offering his services.
“I am willing to fully testify on the 9/11 case,” Zacarias Moussaoui wrote in broken English in January, “even if I was charge on the death penalty case as it incriminate me.” It is handwritten and signed “Slave of Allah.”
He also signs it “Enemy Combatant,” which he is not. Moussaoui, 48, is a convict serving life at the SuperMax prison in Florence, Colorado. He pleaded guilty in 2005 in a federal court in Virginia to six conspiracy charges related to the 9/11 attacks.
“My take is he would like to be in the spotlight and is bored in solitary,” former Moussaoui defense attorney Edward MacMahon said after reviewing a filing for the Miami Herald. “ ‘Slave of Allah’ is how he signs all of his filings.”
A review of filings on the Pentagon’s war-court website shows Moussaoui has at least three times written Army Col. James L. Pohl, the judge in the Sept. 11 mass-murder case with no trial date.
Friday, March 24, 2017
House Republican leaders, facing a revolt among conservatives and moderates in their ranks, pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act from consideration on the House floor Friday in a major defeat for President Trump on the first legislative showdown of his presidency.
“We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,” the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, conceded.
The failure of the Republicans’ three-month blitz to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement exposed deep divisions in the Republican Party that the election of a Republican president could not mask. It cast a long shadow over the ambitious agenda that Mr. Trump and Republican leaders had promised to enact once their party assumed power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Depicted by prosecutors as a bureaucrat whose inaction allowed "evil" to run wild on innocent children, the former president of Penn State University was convicted Friday of keeping a lid on the scandal surrounding notorious child-abusing coach Jerry Sandusky.
A jury in Harrisburg, Pa. found Graham Spanier guilty of one count of child endangerment due to his handling of a complaint against Sandusky, a once-popular assistant football coach whose career at Penn State spanned three decades. The jury found Spanier not guilty of conspiracy and a second child endangerment count.
Spanier showed no emotion after the verdict was read after 13 hours of deliberations. He is free on bail until sentencing later this year. According to ESPN, Spanier, a first-time offender, could face anywhere from probation to a maximum sentence of five years.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
He was “one of the most evil men to walk the earth”, wrote one pundit on Before Its News, before posting a video where he burned a cardboard box adorned with Rockefeller’s name. “David Rockefeller was a rat, bastard, globalist, world government, sonofabitch”, wrote one commentator on the website of a New York radio station; Rockefeller had “worked quietly behind the scenes, pulling the strings of politicians he ‘bought’ that have nearly wrecked the United States with a ‘free trade’ and globalism agenda.” Veteran conspiracy theorist Gary North damned Rockefeller as a “very nice evil man” who had “created the Trilateral Commission, which promotes globalism without meaningful national borders.” As a counterpoint to the mainstream media obituaries that whitewashed Rockefeller as merely a “philanthropist”, William F. Jasper, senior editor of the John Birch Society’s The New American magazine, offered a harsher appraisal:
David Rockefeller’s true legacy is one of aiding tyrants and tyranny, while simultaneously undermining Christian morality, our constitutional order of checks and balances, and our national sovereignty (The New American, Mar. 20, 2017).
Such charges are of course familiar to those steeped in the literature about the alleged “New World Order” conspiracy. The late Gary Allen, co-author of the million-selling anti-New World Order tract None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971), best articulated these theories in his latter volume, The Rockefeller File (1976). He noted that David and his brother Nelson were “as leaders of the Rockefeller Clan…the nation’s undisputed economic kings” (p.8) and that David had met with 27 heads of state, proving that few could “match Rockefeller’s influence with men at the top” (p.28). In addition:
The keystone of the entire Establishment arch is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The leadership of the CFR is the equivalent to the brain of the octopus. David Rockefeller is chairman of the board of the CFR (p.52).
Then there was the small matter of the newly formed Trilateral Commission:
The founding meeting was called by David Rockefeller, the number one man in the Council on Foreign Relations and Chairman of the Board of Chase Manhattan Bank. When David asks some 200 leading bankers, businessmen, politicians, and labor leaders throughout the world to join him in forming a multi-national planning commission, you can be certain that the invitation has all of the force of a royal command (p.85).
Allen also implicated David Rockefeller in providing aid, trade and the transfer of technology to the Communists, promoting unilateral disarmament, cosying up the Soviets and the Red Chinese, and of course supporting the cause of “world government.”
By Will Banyan...http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/2017/03/23/the-last-internationalist-101-years-of-david-rockefeller-1915-2017/#
23 March, 2017
Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.
Among others, these documents reveal the "Sonic Screwdriver" project which, as explained by the CIA, is a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting" allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.
"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.
Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStarke" are also included in this release. While the DerStarke1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0.
Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.
While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.
A 19-year-old Israeli Jewish man has been arrested in Israel on suspicion of making multiple bomb threats to Jewish organisations and an airline in the US and elsewhere.
The unnamed individual – who lives in Israel, reportedly in the southern city of Ashkelon, but has joint US-Israeli citizenship – was arrested at the request of the FBI, which has been examining a wave of threats against Jewish centres.
The arrest took place after a months-long undercover investigation by an Israeli police unit specialising in cybercrime.
Police seized a number of computers as well as other equipment during the arrest. Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, said the motives behind the threats were unclear.
Rosenfeld alleged the suspect was “the guy who was behind the JCC threats” – referring to Jewish community centres – and said advanced technologies had been used to mask the origin of calls and communications to synagogues, community buildings and public venues.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
New York City Police Department documents obtained by The Verge show that police camera teams were deployed to hundreds of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street protests from 2011–2013 and 2016. Originally acquired through a Freedom of Information Law request by New York attorney David Thompson of Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson, the records are job reports from the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) that document over 400 instances in which the unit’s video team attended, and sometimes filmed, demonstrations. More important than the records the NYPD turned over, however, are those that it claims it cannot find: namely, any documents demonstrating that legal reviews and authorizations of these surveillance operations took place.
While NYPD cameras have been regularly spotted at protests over the last six years, the frequency of their deployment and the departmental practices governing their use have remained unknown. Since mass protests broke out in New York City over the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner at the end of 2014, Black Lives Matter activists have pointed to the constant presence of cameras as one of the NYPD’s primary means of spying on the movement, in addition to the presence of undercover officers.
According to Interim Order 22, the NYPD’s guidelines for the filming of public activities, the department’s deputy commissioner of legal matters is supposed to review police requests for the filming of demonstrations, which include the operational objective of the recording, and forward approved requests to NYPD higher-ups. But in response to Thompson’s requests for these approved requests, the NYPD responded that no such records were located.
NYPD Turns Against the FBI: Seized Laptop Shows Hillary Clinton Covered Up Weiner’s Alleged Sex Crimes With 15 yr old During Election
That means, as NYPD sources highlight, the FBI knew Clinton did nothing to try and stop Weiner from repeatedly sexting a minor during the election. And the FBI likewise has apparently done nothing since the election to charge — or even question — Clinton for what appears to be intentionally endangering a minor entangled in a child pornography case. FBI Director James Comey said his agents combed Weiner’s laptop prior to the election and found no evidence indicating Hillary Clinton had engaged in any criminal conduct. Any. Somehow, Comey and his understudies were able to comb through over approximately 600,000 emails and files on the computer in a mere week. Yet found nothing linking Clinton to the Weiner child pornography case?
That information does not jibe with NYPD investigators. According to their intelligence, there was discussion of charging Clinton with New York statutes for not alerting law enforcement that a minor was being repeatedly exploited. But such talk was ultimately quashed by federal prosecutors who said this was now an FBI and Justice Department case and no charges like that would originate from New York or from local law enforcement where the girl lived.
“One bullshit road block after another,” a NYPD source said.
It was clear that Clinton was to get a free pass although NYPD said investigators held out some hope she would be charged after the election, especially when she lost. Now five months later, Clinton is talking about running for New York City mayor instead of defending herself against criminal charges.
“They (feds) sat on it,” The NYPD source said. “Fucking disgraceful.”
Some of the facts that Abedin, Clinton and the FBI apparently intentionally squelched include:
(3-22-17) Representative Devin Nunes Confirms Surveillance of Trump Transition Team House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) confirms that members of President Trump's transition team were under surveillance in November, December, and January. He says he believes the incidental surveillance was legally obtained and, from what he has seen so far, it uncovered nothing regarding communications with Russia.
Taser, which leads the market for body cameras, recently acquired two startups that will allow it to run video analytics on the footage the cameras collect, and Taser’s CEO has repeatedly emphasized the development of real-time applications, such as scanning videos for faces, objects, and suspicious activity. A spokesperson for NTechLab, which has pilot projects in 20 countries including the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, told The Intercept that its high-performing algorithm is already compatible with body cameras.
Police see the appeal. The captain of the Las Vegas Police Department told Bloomberg in July that he envisions his officers someday patrolling the Strip with “real-time analysis” on their body cameras and an earpiece to tell them, “‘Hey, that guy you just passed 20 feet ago has an outstanding warrant.’”
At least five U.S. police departments, including those in Los Angeles and New York, have already purchased or looked into purchasing real-time face recognition for their CCTV cameras, according to a study of face recognition technology published by Bedoya and other researchers at Georgetown. Bedoya emphasized that it’s only a matter of time until the nation’s body-worn cameras will be hooked up to real-time systems. With 6,000 of the country’s 18,000 police agencies estimated to be using body cameras, the pairing would translate into hundreds of thousands of new, mobile surveillance cameras.
The FBI took fire from privacy advocates and members of Congress Wednesday over how it characterizes its face recognition program, which has allowed agents to access and algorithmically match the photos of tens of millions of Americans — including innocent people who have never been charged with a crime.
At a hearing convened by the House of Representatives’ government oversight committee, experts and lawmakers pressed an FBI representative on the agency’s misrepresentation of the program’s scope, as well as its refusal to audit the accuracy of systems responsible for matching vast databases of photos with criminal suspects.
It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented. But as long as the public continues to ignore the influence of intelligence agencies in shaping or even fabricating news stories, the agency will continue to be able to set the policy that drives the American war machine at will.
Five people employed by members of the House of Representatives remain under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz employed at least one of those under investigation.
The criminal investigation into the five, which includes three brothers and a wife of one of the men, started late last year, as reported by Politico in February. The group is being investigated by US Capitol Police over allegations that they removed equipment from over 20 members’ offices, as well as having run a procurement scheme to buy equipment and then overcharge the House.
The brothers, Abid, Jamal and Imran Awan, worked as shared employees for various members of the House, covering committees relating to intelligence, terrorism and cybersecurity, which included the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Homeland Security and the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces of the Armed Services Committee.
Imran’s wife, Hina Alvi, and Rao Abbas, both of whom worked as House IT employees, are also under investigation.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
FOR ALMOST FOUR years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.
In lieu of evidence, the propagators of this accusation have relied upon the defining tactic of tawdry conspiracists everywhere: relentless repetition of rumor and innuendo based on alleged inconsistencies until it spreads far enough through the media ecosystem to take on the appearance of being credible. In this case, there was one particular fiction — about where Snowden spent his first 11 days after arriving in Hong Kong — which took on particular significance for this group.
They insist that Snowden, contrary to what he has always maintained, did not check into the Mira Hotel on May 21, 2013, the day after he arrived in Hong Kong. Instead, they assert, he checked-in only on June 1, which means Snowden has 11 “unaccounted-for” days from the time he arrived in Hong Kong until he met with journalists at the Mira in the beginning of June. They have repeatedly leveraged this Missing Eleven Days into the insinuation that Snowden used this time to work with his Russian and/or Chinese handlers in preparation for meeting the U.S. journalists in Hong Kong.
AMERICA’S WAR WITH Russia’s greatest cybercriminal began in the spring of 2009, when special agent James Craig, a rookie in the FBI’s Omaha, Nebraska, field office, began looking into a strange pair of electronic thefts. A square-jawed former marine, Craig had been an agent for just six months, but his superiors tapped him for the case anyway, because of his background: For years, he’d been an IT guy for the FBI. One of his nicknames in college was “the silent geek.”
The leading victim in the case was a subsidiary of the payments-processing giant First Data, which lost $450,000 that May. That was quickly followed by a $100,000 theft from a client of the First National Bank of Omaha. What was odd, Craig noticed, was that the thefts seemed to have been executed from the victims’ own IP addresses, using their own logins and passwords. Examining their computers, he saw that they were infected with the same malware: something called the Zeus Trojan horse.
In online security circles, Craig discovered, Zeus was notorious. Having first appeared in 2006, the malware had a reputation among both criminals and security experts as a masterpiece—smooth, effective, versatile. Its author was a phantom. He was only known online, where he went by the handle Slavik, or lucky12345, or a half-dozen other names.
Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army commander and Sinn Fein political leader who helped negotiate peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence, and became a senior official in its power-sharing government, died on Tuesday in Derry. He was 66.
Sinn Fein said Mr. McGuinness had died after a short illness. When he resigned from the Belfast government in January, The Irish Times reported that he had amyloidosis, a rare condition caused by the abnormal buildup of protein deposits in tissues and organs.
In bombings and killings that raged from the 1960s to the ’90s between Protestant and Roman Catholic forces — the Troubles that left 3,700 dead — Mr. McGuinness was widely believed to have joined, and later directed, terrorist activities. He denied the allegations. His only convictions, in the early ’70s, were for possessing explosives and ammunition and for belonging to the outlawed I.R.A.
But in his 40s he evolved into a peacemaker and politician. He was chief negotiator for Sinn Fein, the political arm of the I.R.A., in a complex Good Friday Agreement in 1998, in which Britain, Ireland and the political parties of Northern Ireland created a framework for power-sharing in Belfast and for eventual resolution of issues like sovereignty, civil rights, disarmament, justice and policing.
Police in a small suburban town of 50,000 people just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, have won a court order requiring Google to determine who has used its search engine to look up the name of a local financial fraud victim.
The court order demanding such a massive search is perhaps the most expansive one we've seen unconnected to the US national security apparatus and, if carried out, could set an Orwellian precedent in a bid by the Edina Police Department to solve a wire-fraud crime worth less than $30,000.
In a stunning lawsuit seeking to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for 9/11, the families of 800 victims have filed a lawsuit accusing the Saudis of complicity in the worst terror attacks on American soil.
The legal action, filed in federal court in Manhattan, details a scenario of involvement by Saudi officials who are said to have aided some of the hijackers before the attacks.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and three of them had previously worked for the kingdom.
The document details how officials from Saudi embassies supported hijackers Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar 18 months before 9/11.
The officials allegedly helped them find apartments, learn English and obtain credit cards and cash. The documents state that the officials helped them learn how to blend into the American landscape.
The suit also produces evidence that officials in the Saudi embassy in Germany supported lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. It claims that a Saudi official was in the same hotel in Virginia with several hijackers the night before the attacks.
As CIA Director, George Bush waffled on promise to not destroy records of Agency’s illegal activities
Declassified records recently unearthed in CREST show the CIA waffled on a promise to obey the law in destroying records of Agency’s illegal activities and wrongdoing
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, CUBA
The judge in the Sept. 11 war crimes case has agreed to hear testimony next week from forever prisoner Abu Zubaydah, the guinea pig in the CIA’s post- 9/11 interrogation program who has never been charged with a crime and never been allowed to speak in public.
At issue is a claim by accused 9/11 plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh that someone is intentionally disrupting his sleep at the clandestine Camp 7 prison. Bin al Shibh, 44, blames the CIA or troops doing its bidding for noises and vibrations that interfere with his ability to prepare for his death-penalty trial, which has no start date.
Defense lawyers say Zubaydah is being called as a trusted Camp 7 block leader to describe his interactions with and on behalf of bin al Shibh. Zubaydah, 46, whose real name is Zayn al Abideen al Hussein, was a prized early capture in the war on terror and was the first captive to be waterboarded, 83 times in a single month, among other experimental CIA “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article139657118.html
When WikiLeaks released more than 8,000 files about the CIA’s global hacking programs this month, it dropped a tantalizing clue: The leak came from private contractors. Federal investigators quickly confirmed this, calling contractors the likeliest sources. As a result of the breach, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said, the CIA had “lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal.”
Intelligence insiders were dismayed. Agencies “take a chance with contractors” because “they may not have the same loyalty” as officers employed by the government, former CIA director Leon Panetta lamented to NBC.
But this is a liability built into our system that intelligence officials have long known about and done nothing to correct. As I first reported in 2007, some 70 cents of every intelligence dollar is allocated to the private sector. And the relentless pace of mergers and acquisitions in the spies-for-hire business has left five corporations in control of about 80 percent of the 45,000 contractors employed in U.S. intelligence. The threat from unreliable employees in this multibillion-dollar industry is only getting worse.
* * * * * * *
The five market leaders are Booz Allen Hamilton, CSRA, SAIC, CACI International and Leidos. All of them are based in Virginia and are deeply involved in developing cyber and hacking tools. Other players in the cyber realm include Accenture, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. The CIA, which has historically hired retired agents for its clandestine contractor force, has increasingly turned to corporations for its hacking teams.
Monday, March 20, 2017
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Carnegie Mellon University researcher Dov Levin about his historical database that tracks U.S. involvement in meddling with foreign elections over the years.
Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.
Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.
The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.
Investigators examining the bot attacks are exploring whether the far-right news operations took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives. Their participation, however, wasn’t necessary for the bots to amplify their news through Twitter and Facebook.
David Rockefeller, the banker and philanthropist with the fabled family name who controlled Chase Manhattan bank for more than a decade and wielded vast influence around the world for even longer as he spread the gospel of American capitalism, died on Monday morning at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He was 101.
He was the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the tycoon who founded the Standard Oil Company in the 19th century and built a fortune that made him America’s first billionaire and his family one of the richest and most powerful in the nation’s history.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
The deceptive nature of the concept of a “deep state”; the state is knowable if enough time is spent studying it; 70 years of fake news; Central Intelligence operates illegally and unaccountably; how the CIA has corrupted the system; egregious crimes committed by Central Intelligence globally; did CIA initiate an intelligence coup against an elected president?; does the President of the United States run the CIA, or does the CIA run the President?; the Phoenix Program as a bureaucratic and structural model for Central Intelligence and Homeland Security; organizational similarities between the media and the CIA; what is the nature of the state?
Footage of hundreds of secret nuclear tests carried out during the Cold War has been declassified by the US government for the first time and placed on YouTube.
Between 1945 and 1962, the country carried out 210 nuclear tests in the Mojave desert in Nevada and on several isolated islands in the Pacific.
Concerns about nuclear fallout eventually forced them to carry out the tests either underground or high up in the atmosphere.
Jimmy Breslin, the New York City newspaper columnist and best-selling author who leveled the powerful and elevated the powerless for more than 50 years with brick-hard words and a jagged-glass wit, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 88, and until very recently, was still pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on Saturday. He was 90.
While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they did themselves. With songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.
“The counselor to the president,” Hannity said, winding up his introduction, “and, might I add, the first woman in American history to ever be a campaign manager of a winning campaign!” The crowd cheered, cutting him off, then broke into the sort of chant usually reserved for politicians, athletes, and musicians, not pollsters turned presidential advisers: “KEL-LEE-ANN! KEL-LEE-ANN! KEL-LEE-ANN!” Hannity took a seat across from her and joked, “What’s new? Anything happening lately?”
As The Intercept reported on March 2, Palantir is building a $41 million data platform called Investigative Case Management that allows ICE agents, including those in the agency’s primary deportation force, the Enforcement and Removal Office, to query information across several large government databases simultaneously. Documents newly obtained by The Intercept state that Palantir software also permits ICE agents to access information from the Central Intelligence Agency.
Investigative Case Management makes available to its users a separate ICE system, also built by Palantir, called FALCON. This system was created for ICE’s office of Homeland Security Investigations, which is generally tasked with pursuing serious cross-border crimes like drug trafficking, child pornography, and terrorism, but has also been behind some of the most controversial deportation actions under Trump and Obama.
HSI agents can use FALCON, a customized version of Palantir’s Gotham software, to pull data from offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and other sources that include information on foreign students, family relationships, employment information, immigration history, criminal records, and home and work addresses.
According to a set of FALCON funding documents from 2013 that were obtained by The Intercept, immigration officials can also use FALCON to access data held by agencies that possess highly classified intelligence, including the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Martin Ingram, co-author of "Stakeknife: Britain's secret agents in Ireland" and Kevin Fulton, author of "Unsung Hero" join Alex Jones to talk about British state involvement in IRA/loyalist atrocities for decades during the troubles.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Today the VA begins providing disability benefits to Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members affected by the contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC.
Disability Benefits For Veterans Who Were Stationed At Camp Lejeune
VA has established a rule stating that those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, all including satellite camps and housing areas.from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases can now receive disability benefits::
Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
No One Wants the Internet of Things …
… Except Big Brother
The government is already spying on us through spying on us through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our credit cards and smart meters (see this), television, doll, and in many other ways.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The 2014 Yahoo hack disclosed late last year that compromised over 500 million Yahoo user accounts was believed to be carried out by a state-sponsored hacking group.
Now, two Russian intelligence officers and two criminal hackers have been charged by the US government in connection with the 2014 Yahoo hack that compromised about 500 million Yahoo user accounts, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
According to the prosecutors, at least 30 million accounts were accessed as part of a spam campaign to access the email contents of thousands of people, including journalists, government officials, and technology company employees.
President Trump's revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by a federal judge in Hawaii just hours before it was set to take effect after hearing arguments that the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality.
Trump addressed the judge’s move during a rally in Nashville, Tennessee calling it “unprecedented judicial overreach” and vowed to fight.
"We're going to win. We're going to keep our citizens safe," Trump said. "The danger is clear. The law is clear. The need for my executive order is clear."
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson prevents the executive order from going into effect, at least for now. Hawaii had requested a temporary restraining order.
"Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court," Watson wrote in his ruling.
Based on laws that originated from the War on Drugs in the 1980s, police departments around the country are able to seize a person’s cash and property without charging them with a crime.
Civil forfeiture laws were created as a tool to cripple suspected criminals and drug rings, but police departments nationwide have been using this cash and property to fund their operations or even pay policemen directly.
The problem, is that in the vast majority of assets seizures, the individual is not charged with a crime. And once their cash and property are seized, getting it back is a prohibitively lengthy and expensive process.
Civil forfeiture laws were created as a tool to cripple suspected criminals and drug rings, but police departments nationwide have been using this cash and property to fund their operations or even pay policemen directly.
The problem, is that in the vast majority of assets seizures, the individual is not charged with a crime. And once their cash and property are seized, getting it back is a prohibitively lengthy and expensive process.
Bharara was nowhere to be found when it came to charging the top executives whose actions led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG, and who made all manner of misleading statements to cover up how sick their firms were. Goldman Sachs executives sold institutional investors a mortgage-backed security that sales staffers described as “one shitty deal.” Where was Bharara when it mattered most?
We don’t have to wonder for too long because the prosecutor explained his actions—or lack thereof—at a Crain’s forum three years ago. Bharara said at the time that he didn’t think he could win a case against Wall Street top dogs because they had hired advisers assuring them what they were doing was legal.
“What you do have to prove is criminal intent,” he said. “And it’s very difficult if a bank president has in his hands a letter or opinion from a law firm or accountant saying, ‘If you do X, Y and Z when you sell these mortgage-backed securities, you’re good.’
“Now it may make you angry,” he told the audience. “But if you have the opinion, it is a very difficult thing [for a prosecutor] when they say, ‘I asked my lawyers to do the best they could to tell me what I’m supposed to do.'”
Read those statements again. The leading white-collar prosecutor in the country said that advice from the right lawyer or accountant is tantamount to a get-out-of-jail-free card.
“ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE,” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said in an exclusive interview with Intercepted. “All governments break the law. And most frequently, this happens without us realizing it.” This week, Intercepted broadcasts from the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Snowden joined us via video feed from Moscow. He discusses Trump’s allegations that Barack Obama tapped Trump Tower and analyzes some of the CIA’s hacking capabilities. Snowden also offers his analysis of the “deep state” and blasts critics who accuse him of being a Russian agent.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command," Napolitano said. "He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn't use the FBI, and he didn't use the Department of Justice."
Instead, Napolitano said, Obama used GCHQ, a British intelligence and security organization that has 24-7 access to the NSA database.
"There's no American fingerprints on this," Napolitano said. "What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Donald Trump was inaugurated."
A federal judge is agreeing with the FBI's contention that publicly disclosing its methods on how it spies on journalists could hamper national security.
A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Freedom of the Press Foundation sought FBI procedures surrounding the agency's protocol when issuing National Security Letters (NSLs) against members of the media. Without a court warrant, an NSL allows the bureau to obtain "subscriber information and toll billing records information, or electronic communication transactional records" from third-party wire or electronic communication providers if such information is "relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
The items withheld from the organization, according to US District Judge Haywood Gilliam, included "instructions for managing and conducting cyber investigations," the "instructions for investigating and charging members of the news media," an NSL "PowerPoint training presentation," and other materials in draft form.
Judge Gilliam, in deciding Monday that the FBI does not have to disclose the information sought, ruled (PDF) that the FBI "described with particularity that the withheld documents all contained non-public information about the FBI's investigative techniques and procedures. These pages not only identified NSLs as an investigative technique but also described information such as the circumstances under which the techniques should be used, how to analyze the information gathered through these techniques, and the current focus of the FBI's investigations."
Last week, the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks made headlines once more for publishing a large cache of alleged secret files about the CIA's hacking operations. Those files apparently came from a little-known service for the US intelligence community known as Intellipedia.
Many probably still don't know of the "Wikipedia for spies," as Wired called it. And many probably don't know that there's also a Twitter for spies, called eChirp.
The service, which was originally pitched as a "microblogging application" that provides "a fast, informal messaging system to enhance and promote information sharing and collaboration," is widely used among American spies. In fact, thanks to data obtained by a Motherboard through a Freedom of Information Act request, we now know just how many people, and how many posts, there were on eChirp.
Facebook is cutting police departments off from a vast trove of data that has been increasingly used to monitor protesters and activists.
The move, which the social network announced Monday, comes in the wake of concerns over law enforcement’s tracking of protesters’ social media accounts in places such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. It also comes at a time when chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says he is expanding the company’s mission from merely “connecting the world” into friend networks to promoting safety and community.
Although the social network’s core business is advertising, Facebook, along with Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram, also provides developers access to users' public feeds. The developers use the data to monitor trends and public events. For example, advertisers have tracked how and which consumers are discussing their products, while the Red Cross has used social data to get real-time information during disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.
But the social networks have come under fire for working with third parties who market the data to law enforcement. Last year, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter cut off access to Geofeedia, a start-up that shared data with law enforcement, in response to an investigation by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU published documents that made references to tracking activists at protests in Baltimore in 2015 after the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, while in police custody and also to protests in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 after the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.
EXCLUSIVE: FBI’s Own Political Terror Plot; Deputy Director and FBI Brass Secretly Conspired to Wage Coup Against Flynn & Trump
Mere days before Gen. Michael Flynn was sacked as national security advisor, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe gathered more than a dozen of his top FBI disciples to plot how to ruin Flynn’s aspiring political career and manufacture evidence to derail President Donald Trump, according to FBI sources.
McCabe, the second highest ranking FBI official, emphatically declared at the invite-only gathering with raised voice: “Fuck Flynn and then we Fuck Trump,” according to direct sources. Many of his top lieutenants applauded and cheered such rhetoric. A scattered few did not.
This was one of several such meetings held in seclusion among key FBI leaders since Trump was elected president, FBI sources confirm. At the congregation where McCabe went off the political rails and vowed to destroy Flynn and Trump, there were as many as 16 top FBI officials, inside intelligence sources said. No lower-level agents or support personnel were present.
If you are among the millions of Americans who have pondered in recent months whether the Obama-era “Deep State” intelligence apparatus and FBI are working for or against Trump, this is the first definitive proof that the country’s once-premiere law enforcement agency has gone rogue.
The non-elected hierarchy that steer the FBI have declared war on President Trump and his White House inner circle. Make no mistake.
JOHN KIRIAKOU KNOWS a lot about leaking classified information. He went to prison for it.
A former CIA agent who said too much about the Bush-era torture program, he’s also the first CIA leaker to go to jail for his trouble. Kiriakou served just under two years in federal prison, though before the Department of Justice offered a plea deal, it seemed more likely he’d serve as many as 45.
History has frowned on the “enhanced interrogation techniques” Kiriakou helped expose, but he’s still a controversial guy. Leakers usually are. They operate in gray areas. Kiriakou isn’t a cheering squad for loose-lipped aides and intelligence agents everywhere, but does see whistleblowing as essential. He’s critical of the way the CIA (and the White House, and the Department of Justice) deal with leakers, but holds national security sacrosanct. He’s got beef with President Trump, and with former President Obama as well.
So how does the intelligence community’s current predicament—from the Vault 7 dump to WikiLeaks generally to their fraught relationship with President Trump—look to a guy like Kiriakou? Basically, a mess. One that could nudge the Trump administration’s “deep state” paranoias closer to reality.
Congressional IT staffers who are the subject of a criminal investigation into misusing their positions had full access to members’ “correspondence, emails, confidential files,” and there was almost no tracking of what they did, a former House technology worker said.
Imran Awan bullied central IT to bend the rules for him so there wouldn’t be a paper trail about the unusually high permissions he was requesting. And their actions were not logged, so members have no way of knowing what information they may have taken, the central IT employee said.
Awan ran technology for multiple House Democrats, and soon four of his relatives — including brothers Abid and Jamal — appeared on the payroll of dozens of other members, collecting $4 million in taxpayer funds since 2010.
U.S. Capitol Police named him and his relatives as subjects of a criminal probe on Feb. 2, and banned them from the complex’s computer networks. But members of Congress for whom they worked have downplayed their access or publicly ignored the issue.
Monday, March 13, 2017
The CIA has reportedly been given the power by President Trump to launch drone strikes against suspected terrorists.
The new authority is a change in drone policy from the Obama administration, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday citing U.S. officials.
Under the Obama administration, the CIA used drones to find suspected terrorists. But the military then launched the strikes.
That policy lent itself to more transparency, because the Pentagon is required to publicly report most airstrikes.
The CIA's new authority, which was reportedly provided by Trump shortly after his inauguration, was used in February in a strike against a senior al Qaeda leader in Syria, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.