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Vault 7 scandal

Can  Cozy Bear, Fancy Bear  be codewords for CIA false flag operation

News Big Uncle is Watching You Recommended Links DNC and Podesta emails leak and  subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections
False flag operations in cyberspace Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Nunes FISA Memo scandal Strzok-gate James "We are not weasels" Comey
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Introduction

One year ago, most people on either side of Atlantic had scant or no knowledge of the NSA and its activities. Edward Snowden’s revelations changed all that and rocked one of the pillars of transatlantic relations. Now the same process is repeated with CIA.

One of the biggest issues that WikiLeaks sought to bring to light in its release was that the CIA’s secret hacking division had produced malware and other means of hacking iPhones, Android phones, Samsung Smart TVs. some encrypted apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram were also targeted. At some point CIA lost control of their whole arsenal of highly advanced hacking tools and malware.  This is more than a gross incompetence. It shows clearly that CIA again is was totally out of control (and crossed the boundaries with NSA) for duration of Bush II and  two terms of Obama  administration. May be longer. And the fact that after Snowden scandal Obama tried to swipe the dirt under the carpet tell something: he was not in charge. There are several good YouTube presentation on the topic. Among them:

This first part in the series has 8,761 documents and files from a high-security network at Langley. WikiLeaks explained that it didn’t hack the CIA. Somehow, the CIA lost control of most of its hacking arsenal (malware, viruses, Trojans, etc.) — amounting to several hundred million lines of code — in an archive that was circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors. WikiLeaks was given “portions” of the archive.

Ability to assume a false identity, plant false "fingertips" and conduct false flag operation in central in Vault 7 scandal

As Binney and Shaefler mentioned in these interview on Fox (Vault 7 Former Intelligence Officials Binney Shaeffer On Surveillance Tactics Leaks  ) mentions that on operational level this is questionable, but form legal standpoint this is illegal.

Especially if false flag operation after DNC leak was mounted to blame Russians and get warrant to get wiretaps on Trump. This is like living in a police state. 

It could well be that disgruntled intelligence operative used tools of Russian origin or created with Russian "fingerprints" -- they specially put Russian fingerprints as a smokescreen to hack DNC and Podesta (in case of Podesta this probably not true -- the attack was so primitive that it is far below level of professionals to suppose that they were involved; he had fallen the victim of his own blunder). 

Here are direct quotes from WikiLeaks describing Vault 7 (Heavy.com)

By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5,000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware.

Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified. In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency.

The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the ‘smart’ phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”

WikiLeaks continued.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities.

The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

‘Year Zero’ documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.”

Other part of Vault 7 revelations

WikiLeaks redacted and anonimized some of the information before releasing it, including CIA targets throughout the U.S. and the world. Here are just some highlights about how the hacks worked, according to WikiLeaks:

Because the CIA kept the vulnerabilities hidden, even after they were exposed, WikiLeaks said this put the population at large at risk, including members of the U.S. government, Congress, top CEOs, and engineers. Without letting Apple and Google know about their vulnerabilities, the companies had no means to fix the hacks after they leaked.

According to WikiLeaks, an archive with the malware and other exploits was being circulated and some of it was given over to WikiLeaks by an unnamed source. But because the CIA didn’t tell the companies about its capabilities, they weren’t able to close the holes. According to WikiLeaks, the CIA even found ways to access phones that had used Presidential Twitter accounts and were looking into hacking into cars and trucks.

Using antivirus software for penetration into victim computer

Antivirus software has its own set of vulnerabilities and its role in typical Windows installatin is such that it is idel tool for installing spying softare and offloading infomation from the computer.  In case of McCafe, Symantec and other US companies CIA has  access to the source code which makes it easir to develop tools to expoint antivitus software a s Trojan Hourse for surveillance an exfiltration of data. 

Essentially you can simplify the task of penetration into windows computer to the task of compromising installed antivirus software. Which actually already has some surveillance  function built-in that can be exploited. For example most AV software perform periodic scans of the harddrives -- a very useful feature for CIA ;-)

As a precouseing  any possibilities of AV softare to install updats should beblokced and updates should be downloaded separaly and installed after local distribution. That might be not enough as you can easily CIA Trojans with updates. But  this is a good start.  The idea that each windows program can have thier own update channel was a huge security hole (designed by Microsoft or not0) into which elephant can work. All such "updaters" should be blocked for good.

According to WikiLeaks, “CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs. These are documented in AV defeats, Personal Security Products, Detecting and defeating PSPs and PSP/Debugger/RE Avoidance.”

And this is pretty natural development. Any person with IQ above 100 understand that AV program are ideal target for CIA and similar organizations. Some of the antivirus and security programs that already compromised included but not limited to (some files were redacted by WikiLeaks):

They even discussed how the NSA got some things wrong and how they could do it better.

Extension of the  same idea to online games

There are other aspects to Vault 7 that are still being deciphered. For example, some are concerned that the CIA was infiltrating online games, because of one page’s reference to League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.

Clinton’s Missing Emails or the FBI’s Vault on Clinton

Some believed this was about a seventh “vault” of FBI emails, since the FBI had released six sets of Clinton emails and information at the time that the tweets were published. But this was less than likely, since the FBI just released Part 7 of its Clinton vault here. Others believed that it was related to Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails. This theory gained new traction after a federal court hearing about Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s laptop emails, scheduled for Tuesday March 7, was postponed on March 6. However, it’s unclear at this time if the postponement happened before or after WikiLeak’s announcement. Read the press release from Judicial Watch, where they mention the hearing was postponed, here.

Obama Wiretapping

Because of President Donald Trump’s recent tweets claiming President Barack Obama “wiretapped” him, some believe that Vault 7 is about this and Trump is just not technically adept enough to distinguish betwenn wirepating and installation of spyware on computers and other devices.

and his "wiretapping suspicion" proved to be confirmed by subsequnt event, what Work If FBI "gang of three" was releved. There was investigation on members of Trump team that incvioled wiretapping and there was court orders allowing this activity

Also unmasking  campaign in thich Susan rile and Samantha Powel were engated in the last days of Obama administratin suggest frwzy to dog dirt on Trump sactioned probably by Oabam himself.

‘Pizzagate’

Others theorized this was somehow related to a longstanding conspiracy theory about “pizzagate,” which involves the idea that high-ranking politicians are involved in a pedophile ring. So far no conclusive evidence has been found to support this theory. It gained traction after WikiLeaks released John Podesta’s emails.

September 11

Still others believed that Vault 7 was related to September 11, 2001. In the third #Vault7 tweet, the engine was an F119 which is “911” backwards. The fifth tweet featured a photo of someone welding, which some believe is a reference to a conspiracy theory about an angled cut on a World Trade Center beam.

 

There is a huge fallout. For example this is a strict entitlement of Obama personally and his administration did lost moral high ground and looks more like an employee of a three letter agency rather then the president of the country.  Public is alarmed. As one commenter stated: "it's easy to poke fun at the Snowden affair from many angles, but I, for one, do not like the idea of any Agency anywhere, governmental or private, reading my e-mails and monitoring my calls. "

CIA surveillance and hacking tools not eroded transatlantic trust but also reveals internal political struggle within intelligence CIA, with some forces consider CIA too dangerous and out of control and ready to risk their life to cut CIA influence.  There is huge annalist with Snowden revelations -- this is another game changer:

When the Guardian started reporting on the largest disclosure of secret NSA files in the history of the agency in June, it was only a question of time before the information spill reached America's allies overseas. That's because the NSA's prime duty is to monitor and collect global signals intelligence. The agency is by law prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance on Americans except under special circumstances.

In the Guardian's first story on how the NSA was collecting the metadata of phone calls from Verizon, a major US carrier, it was clear that data of European citizens would be involved, since the NSA's secret court order included all calls made from and to the US.

But it was the second scoop on the NSA's PRISM program that really blew the story wide open. It revealed that the agency was siphoning off personal data like email, chats and photos from the world's biggest Internet companies including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo.

This also reveals the real danger of modern smartphones and PC.

There will be angry voices like they were in case of Snowden:

Peter Schaar, Germany's freedom of information commissioner, told Reuters he wanted "clarity" from the United States "regarding these monstrous allegations of total monitoring of various telecommunications and Internet services." Another German official has called for a boycott of the companies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is running for reelection, has said she will raise the issue with Obama this week either at Lough Erne or in Berlin.

"The most upset party in all of this, I think, is the Germans," said Michael J. Geary, an assistant professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and an expert on Europe. "The Germans were the most snooped-upon country, apparently, in March. In a country where memories of the former East German Stasi are still quite fresh, the response has been quite critical." Geary described Europeans as "peeved" and "quite annoyed" at the U.S. actions and said they have the potential to set back sensitive trade negotiations and do damage to transatlantic relations. "It's a major PR disaster for the administration," he said. "Now, they have really lost the moral high ground."

Total surveillance of phone is PC and the fact the vulnerabilities are literally planted into popular operating system and applications caused public outrage. It also might speed up t balkanization of Internet, started after Snowden revelations, as foreign countries now clearly want to control information flows that are going overseas.

How it affect US manufactures of hardware, espcially Pc and smartphone we can only guess.


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[Sep 03, 2018] The US Department of Homeland Security fabricated "intelligence reports" of Russian election hacking

Russiagate can be viewed as a pretty inventive way to justify their own existence for bloated Intelligence services: first CIA hacks something leaving traces of russians or Chinese; then the FBI, CIAand Department of Homeland security all enjoy additional money and people to counter the threat.
The scheme is almost untraceable
Sep 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , Sep 3, 2018 12:54:15 PM | link

The US Department of Homeland Security fabricated "intelligence reports" of Russian election hacking in order to try to get control of the election infrastructure (probebly so that they can hack it more easily to control the election results).

How the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites

[Jul 18, 2018] Crowdstrike brings up a couple of interesting questions.

Jul 18, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Reply


begob , July 16, 2018 at 9:16 am

The best evidence rule should result in the DNC server being made available for inspection by the accused at the discovery stage. Naw gaw hap'n?

Besides, the Crowdstrike copy will have to qualify for a hearsay exception, and trustworthiness comes into issue.

Peter VE , July 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm

I am willing to bet money that those servers. or more accurately, their hard drives, will be found to have become mysteriously corrupted and no longer readable. The scene from The Big Easy comes to mind, when a heavy magnet is "accidentally" set next to the incriminating videotape in the police evidence room. That, of course, assumes that they will ever be subpoenaed.
Crowdstrike brings up a couple of interesting questions.
1) Were they so bumbling that they would wait a full month after evidence of "hacking" turned up at the DNC to take action to protect the network? They worked for the DNC, so it's possible.
or
2) Did they use that month to ensure that the proper evidence pointing to the GRU could be found on the duplicate copies of the hard drives which they supplied to the FBI, and set up redirecting intermediary steps somewhere on 3rd country servers? In which case, were they actually working for the FSB, (since we know from our own experience that the worst enemy of any intelligence agency are the ones you compete with for funding)?

Peter VE , July 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

Based on the incredible sloppiness of their work for the DNC, one can only assume that Crowdstrike is actually a GRU operation ;-)

Newton Finn , July 16, 2018 at 9:55 am

Good context here for all things Russophobic:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/16/when-did-russia-become-an-adversary/

YY , July 16, 2018 at 10:10 am

Bit of a slog but relevant
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/07/muellers-latest-indictment-ignores-evidence-in-the-public-domain/

[Jul 17, 2018] IMHO believing in the Crowdstrike analysis is like believing in Santa Claus

Putin statement about $400 million 'donation' to Hillary Clinton by MI6-connected Bill Browder in his Helsinki presser is obviously of great interest. This has given some new insights into the DNC false flag operation dynamics.
Notable quotes:
"... The FBI would get info about these hackers through the CrowdStrike team's disk images, memory dumps, network logs and other reports. CrowdStrike's Robert Johnston also said he worked with FBI investigators during his work at the DNC so the FBI also got some of their info directly. ..."
"... IMHO believing in the Crowdstrike analysis is like believing in Santa Claus. They did propagate unsubstantiated "security porno" like a hack of Ukrainians for a while. After this incident, Dmitry Alperovich looks like a sleazy used car salesman, not like a real specialist and, in any case, his qualification is limited to the SMTP protocol. ..."
"... What if it was Crowdstrike which compiled and planted the malware using Vault 7 tools and then conducted full-scale false flag operation against Russians to deflect allegations that Bernie was thrown under the bus deliberately and unlawfully. They have motivation and means to do this. ..."
Jul 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Keith Harbaugh , a day ago

PT, regarding your questions: "How did the FBI obtain information about activity on the DNC and DCCC servers", "what is the source of the information?",
"how do they know what happened on specific dates as alleged in the complaint?", I believe the answers are implicit in the first part of this news article:

"The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S." By Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, New York Times , 2016-12-13.

It describes in considerable detail how, STARTING IN SEPTEMBER 2015, the FBI tried strenuously to alert the DNC to the fact that it was being hacked by Russia, but the DNC, remarkably, chose to ignore these warnings.

Here's how the article begins:

When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally [ sic! ], to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named "the Dukes," a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government's best-protected networks.

BTW, I sincerely thank TTG for providing this link in one of his previous comments.

TTG -> Keith Harbaugh , 8 hours ago
Keith et al,

The FBI warned the DNC of the Dukes (aka APT29, Cozy Bear) in September 2015. These are the hackers that the Dutch AIVD penetrated and warned the NSA in real time when they attacked Pentagon systems in 2015. Their goal seemed to be intelligence collection as one would expect as the Dutch said they are affiliated with the SVR.

The Fancy Bear hackers (aka APT28) are the ones referred to in the recent indictment of the GRU officers. They penetrated the DNC systems in April 2016 and weren't discovered until CrowdStrike identified them. They're the ones who took data and released it through DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks as part of a coordinated information operation (IO). I'm not at all surprised that the GRU would lead this IO as a military operation. The FBI would get info about these hackers through the CrowdStrike team's disk images, memory dumps, network logs and other reports. CrowdStrike's Robert Johnston also said he worked with FBI investigators during his work at the DNC so the FBI also got some of their info directly. There is absolutely no need to take physical possession of the servers.

The detail of some of the GRU officers' online activity indicates their computers were penetrated by US or allied IC/LEA much like the Dutch AIVD penetrated the FSB computers. This was probably a main source for much of the indictment's evidence. That the IC would release information about this penetration for this indictment is extraordinary. Normally this stuff never sees the light of day. It sets the precedent for the release of further such intelligence information in future indictments.

Likbez -> TTG
TTG,

IMHO believing in the Crowdstrike analysis is like believing in Santa Claus. They did propagate unsubstantiated "security porno" like a hack of Ukrainians for a while. After this incident, Dmitry Alperovich looks like a sleazy used car salesman, not like a real specialist and, in any case, his qualification is limited to the SMTP protocol.

What if it was Crowdstrike which compiled and planted the malware using Vault 7 tools and then conducted full-scale false flag operation against Russians to deflect allegations that Bernie was thrown under the bus deliberately and unlawfully. They have motivation and means to do this.

Now we also see a DNC motivation of keeping the content of affected servers from FBI eyes -- Browder money.

[Jun 28, 2018] Did Senator Warner and Comey 'Collude' on Russia-gate by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak, as Ray McGovern explains. ..."
"... Special to Consortium News ..."
"... The report does not say what led Comey to intervene to ruin the talks with Assange. But it came after Assange had offered to "provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases," Solomon quotes WikiLeaks' intermediary with the government as saying. It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks' source of the DNC emails. ..."
"... If that was the reason Comey and Warner ruined the talks, as is likely, it would reveal a cynical decision to put U.S. intelligence agents and highly sophisticated cybertools at risk, rather than allow Assange to at least attempt to prove that Russia was not behind the DNC leak. ..."
"... On March 31, 2017, though, WikiLeaks released the most damaging disclosure up to that point from what it called "Vault 7" -- a treasure trove of CIA cybertools leaked from CIA files. This disclosure featured the tool "Marble Framework," which enabled the CIA to hack into computers, disguise who hacked in, and falsely attribute the hack to someone else by leaving so-called tell-tale signs -- like Cyrillic, for example. The CIA documents also showed that the "Marble" tool had been employed in 2016. ..."
"... In fact, VIPS and independent forensic investigators, have performed what former FBI Director Comey -- at first inexplicably, now not so inexplicably -- failed to do when the so-called "Russian hack" of the DNC was first reported. In July 2017 VIPS published its key findings with supporting data. ..."
"... Why did then FBI Director Comey fail to insist on getting direct access to the DNC computers in order to follow best-practice forensics to discover who intruded into the DNC computers? (Recall, at the time Sen. John McCain and others were calling the "Russian hack" no less than an "act of war.") A 7th grader can now figure that out. ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Did Sen. Warner and Comey 'Collude' on Russia-gate? June 27, 2018 • 68 Comments

The U.S. was in talks for a deal with Julian Assange but then FBI Director James Comey ordered an end to negotiations after Assange offered to prove Russia was not involved in the DNC leak, as Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

An explosive report by investigative journalist John Solomon on the opinion page of Monday's edition of The Hill sheds a bright light on how Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and then-FBI Director James Comey collaborated to prevent WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from discussing "technical evidence ruling out certain parties [read Russia]" in the controversial leak of Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.

A deal that was being discussed last year between Assange and U.S. government officials would have given Assange "limited immunity" to allow him to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been exiled for six years. In exchange, Assange would agree to limit through redactions "some classified CIA information he might release in the future," according to Solomon, who cited "interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators." Solomon even provided a copy of the draft immunity deal with Assange.

But Comey's intervention to stop the negotiations with Assange ultimately ruined the deal, Solomon says, quoting "multiple sources." With the prospective agreement thrown into serious doubt, Assange "unleashed a series of leaks that U.S. officials say damaged their cyber warfare capabilities for a long time to come." These were the Vault 7 releases, which led then CIA Director Mike Pompeo to call WikiLeaks "a hostile intelligence service."

Solomon's report provides reasons why Official Washington has now put so much pressure on Ecuador to keep Assange incommunicado in its embassy in London.

Assange: Came close to a deal with the U.S. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

The report does not say what led Comey to intervene to ruin the talks with Assange. But it came after Assange had offered to "provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases," Solomon quotes WikiLeaks' intermediary with the government as saying. It would be a safe assumption that Assange was offering to prove that Russia was not WikiLeaks' source of the DNC emails.

If that was the reason Comey and Warner ruined the talks, as is likely, it would reveal a cynical decision to put U.S. intelligence agents and highly sophisticated cybertools at risk, rather than allow Assange to at least attempt to prove that Russia was not behind the DNC leak.

The greater risk to Warner and Comey apparently would have been if Assange provided evidence that Russia played no role in the 2016 leaks of DNC documents.

Missteps and Stand Down

In mid-February 2017, in a remarkable display of naiveté, Adam Waldman, Assange's pro bono attorney who acted as the intermediary in the talks, asked Warner if the Senate Intelligence Committee staff would like any contact with Assange to ask about Russia or other issues. Waldman was apparently oblivious to Sen. Warner's stoking of Russia-gate.

Warner contacted Comey and, invoking his name, instructed Waldman to "stand down and end the discussions with Assange," Waldman told Solomon. The "stand down" instruction "did happen," according to another of Solomon's sources with good access to Warner. However, Waldman's counterpart attorney David Laufman , an accomplished federal prosecutor picked by the Justice Departent to work the government side of the CIA-Assange fledgling deal, told Waldman, "That's B.S. You're not standing down, and neither am I."

But the damage had been done. When word of the original stand-down order reached WikiLeaks, trust evaporated, putting an end to two months of what Waldman called "constructive, principled discussions that included the Department of Justice."

The two sides had come within inches of sealing the deal. Writing to Laufman on March 28, 2017, Waldman gave him Assange's offer to discuss "risk mitigation approaches relating to CIA documents in WikiLeaks' possession or control, such as the redaction of Agency personnel in hostile jurisdictions," in return for "an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement."

On March 31, 2017, though, WikiLeaks released the most damaging disclosure up to that point from what it called "Vault 7" -- a treasure trove of CIA cybertools leaked from CIA files. This disclosure featured the tool "Marble Framework," which enabled the CIA to hack into computers, disguise who hacked in, and falsely attribute the hack to someone else by leaving so-called tell-tale signs -- like Cyrillic, for example. The CIA documents also showed that the "Marble" tool had been employed in 2016.

Misfeasance or Malfeasance

Comey: Ordered an end to talks with Assange.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes among our members two former Technical Directors of the National Security Agency, has repeatedly called attention to its conclusion that the DNC emails were leaked -- not "hacked" by Russia or anyone else (and, later, our suspicion that someone may have been playing Marbles, so to speak).

In fact, VIPS and independent forensic investigators, have performed what former FBI Director Comey -- at first inexplicably, now not so inexplicably -- failed to do when the so-called "Russian hack" of the DNC was first reported. In July 2017 VIPS published its key findings with supporting data.

Two month later , VIPS published the results of follow-up experiments conducted to test the conclusions reached in July.

Why did then FBI Director Comey fail to insist on getting direct access to the DNC computers in order to follow best-practice forensics to discover who intruded into the DNC computers? (Recall, at the time Sen. John McCain and others were calling the "Russian hack" no less than an "act of war.") A 7th grader can now figure that out.

Asked on January 10, 2017 by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr (R-NC) whether direct access to the servers and devices would have helped the FBI in their investigation, Comey replied : "Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that's involved, so it's the best evidence."

At that point, Burr and Warner let Comey down easy. Hence, it should come as no surprise that, according to one of John Solomon's sources, Sen. Warner (who is co-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee) kept Sen. Burr apprised of his intervention into the negotiation with Assange, leading to its collapse.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and prepared and briefed, one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief from 1981 to 1985.

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Jun 19, 2018] DOJ Indicts Vault 7 Leak Suspect; WikiLeaks Release Was Largest Breach In CIA History Zero Hedge

Jun 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A 29-year-old former CIA computer engineer, Joshua Adam Schulte, was indicted Monday by the Department of Justice on charges of masterminding the largest leak of classified information in the spy agency's history .

Schulte, who created malware for the U.S. Government to break into adversaries computers, has been sitting in jail since his August 24, 2017 arrest on unrelated charges of posessing and transporting child pornography - which was discovered in a search of his New York apartment after Schulte was named as the prime suspect in the cyber-breach one week after WikiLeaks published the "Vault 7" series of classified files. Schulte was arrested and jailed on the child porn charges while the DOJ ostensibly built their case leading to Monday's additional charges.

[I]nstead of charging Mr. Schulte in the breach, referred to as the Vault 7 leak, prosecutors charged him last August with possessing child pornography, saying agents had found 10,000 illicit images on a server he created as a business in 2009 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin.

Court papers quote messages from Mr. Schulte that suggest he was aware of the encrypted images of children being molested by adults on his computer, though he advised one user, "Just don't put anything too illegal on there." - New York Times

Monday's DOJ announcement adds new charges related to stealing classified national defense information from the Central Intelligence Agency in 2016 and transmitting it to WikiLeaks ("Organization-1").

The Vault 7 release - a series of 24 documents which began to publish on March 7, 2017 - reveal that the CIA had a wide variety of tools to use against adversaries, including the ability to "spoof" its malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign intelligence agency , as well as the ability to take control of Samsung Smart TV's and surveil a target using a "Fake Off" mode in which they appear to be powered down while eavesdropping.

The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity .

...

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from .

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques . - WikiLeaks

Schulte previously worked for the NSA before joining the CIA, then "left the intelligence community in 2016 and took a job in the private sector," according to a statement reviewed in May by The Washington Post .

Schulte also claimed that he reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to that agency's inspector general as well as a congressional oversight committee. That painted him as a disgruntled employee, he said, and when he left the CIA in 2016, suspicion fell upon him as "the only one to have recently departed [the CIA engineering group] on poor terms," Schulte wrote. - WaPo

Part of that investigation, reported WaPo, has been analyzing whether the Tor network - which allows internet users to hide their location (in theory) "was used in transmitting classified information."

In other hearings in Schulte's case, prosecutors have alleged that he used Tor at his New York apartment, but they have provided no evidence that he did so to disclose classified information. Schulte's attorneys have said that Tor is used for all kinds of communications and have maintained that he played no role in the Vault 7 leaks. - WaPo

Schulte says he's innocent: " Due to these unfortunate coincidences the FBI ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me," Schulte said. He launched Facebook and GoFundMe pages to raise money for his defense, which despite a $50 million goal, has yet to r eceive a single donation.

me name=

The Post noted in May, the Vault 7 release was one of the most significant leaks in the CIA's history , "exposing secret cyberweapons and spying techniques that might be used against the United States, according to current and former intelligence officials."

The CIA's toy chest includes:

"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."

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me title=

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"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( "Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the "smart" phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs. These are documented in AV defeats , Personal Security Products , Detecting and defeating PSPs and PSP/Debugger/RE Avoidance . For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window's "Recycle Bin" . While Comodo 6.x has a "Gaping Hole of DOOM" .

You can see the entire Vault7 release here .

A DOJ statement involving the Vault7 charges reads:

"Joshua Schulte, a former employee of the CIA, allegedly used his access at the agency to transmit classified material to an outside organization . During the course of this investigation, federal agents also discovered alleged child pornography in Schulte's New York City residence ," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

On March 7, 2017, Organization-1 released on the Internet classified national defense material belonging to the CIA (the "Classified Information"). In 2016, SCHULTE, who was then employed by the CIA, stole the Classified Information from a computer network at the CIA and later transmitted it to Organization-1. SCHULTE also intentionally caused damage without authorization to a CIA computer system by granting himself unauthorized access to the system, deleting records of his activities, and denying others access to the system . SCHULTE subsequently made material false statements to FBI agents concerning his conduct at the CIA.

Schulte faces 135 years in prison if convicted on all 13 charges:

  1. Illegal Gathering of National Defense Information, 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(b) and 2
  2. Illegal Transmission of Lawfully Possessed National Defense Information, 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(d) and 2
  3. Illegal Transmission of Unlawfully Possessed National Defense Information, 18 U.S.C. §§ 793(e) and 2
  4. Unauthorized Access to a Computer To Obtain Classified Information, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(1) and 2
  5. Theft of Government Property, 18 U.S.C. §§ 641 and 2
  6. Unauthorized Access of a Computer to Obtain Information from a Department or Agency of the United States, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(2) and 2
  7. Causing Transmission of a Harmful Computer Program, Information, Code, or Command, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(5) and 2
  8. Making False Statements, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 2
  9. Obstruction of Justice, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1503 and 2
  10. Receipt of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(2)(B), (b)(1), and 2
  11. Possession of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252A(a)(5)(B), (b)(2), and 2
  12. Transportation of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(1)
  13. Criminal Copyright Infringement, 17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(A) and 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1)

Billy the Poet -> Anarchyteez Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:50 Permalink

So Schulte was framed for kiddie porn because he released information about how the CIA can frame innocent people for computer crime.

A Sentinel -> Billy the Poet Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:59 Permalink

That seems very likely.

Seems like everyone has kiddy porn magically appear and get discovered after they piss off the deep state bastards.

And the best part is that it's probably just the deep state operatives' own private pedo collections that they use to frame anyone who they don't like.

A Sentinel -> CrabbyR Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:46 Permalink

I was thinking about the advancement of the technology necessary for that. They can do perfect fake stills already.

My thought is that you will soon need to film yourself 24/7 (with timestamps, shared with a blockchain-like verifiably) so that you can disprove fake video evidence by having a filmed alibi.

CrabbyR -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

good point but creepy to think it can get that bad

peopledontwanttruth -> Anarchyteez Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:50 Permalink

Funny how all these whistleblowers are being held for child pornography until trial.

But we have evidence of government officials and Hollyweird being involved in this perversion and they walk among us

secretargentman -> peopledontwanttruth Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:51 Permalink

Those kiddy porn charges are extremely suspect, IMO.

chunga -> secretargentman Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:12 Permalink

It's so utterly predictable.

The funny* thing is I believe gov, particularly upper levels, is chock full of pedophiles.

* It isn't funny, my contempt for the US gov grows practically by the hour.

A Sentinel -> chunga Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:42 Permalink

I said pretty much the same. I further speculated that it was their own porn that they use for framing operations.

SybilDefense -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:33 Permalink

Ironically, every single ex gov whistle blower (/pedophile) has the exact same kiddie porn data on their secret server (hidden in plane view at the apartment). Joe CIA probably has a zip drive preloaded with titled data sets like "Podesta's Greatest Hits", "Hillary's Honey bunnies" or "Willy go to the zoo". Like the mix tapes you used to make for a new gal you were trying to date. Depending upon the mood of the agent in charge, 10,000 images of Weiner's "Warm Pizza" playlist magically appear on the server in 3-2-1... Gotcha!

These false fingerprint tactics were all over the trump accusations which started the whole Russia Russia Russia ordeal. And the Russia ordeal was conceptualized in a paid report to Podesta by the Bensenson Group called the Salvage Program when it was appearant that Trump could possible win and the DNC needed ideas on how to throw the voters off at the polls. Russia is coming /Red dawn was #1 or #2 on the list of 7 recommended ploys. The final one was crazy.. If Trump appeared to win the election, imagery of Jesus and an Alien Invasion was to be projected into the skies to cause mass panic and create a demand for free zanex to be handed out to the panic stricken.

Don't forget Black Lives Matters. That was idea #4 of this Bensenson report, to create civil unrest and a race war. Notice how BLM and Antifa manically disappeared after Nov 4. All a ploy by the Dems & the deep state to remain in control of the countrys power.

Back to the topic at hand. Its a wonder he didn't get Seth Riched. Too many porn servers and we will begin to question the legitimacy. Oh wait...

You won't find any kiddie porn on Hillary's or DeNiros laptop. Oh its there. You just will never ever hear about it.

cankles' server -> holdbuysell Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:57 Permalink

The Vault 7 release - a series of 24 documents which began to publish on March 7, 2017 - reveal that the CIA had a wide variety of tools to use against adversaries, including the ability to "spoof" its malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign intelligence agency ....

It probably can spoof child porn as well.

Is he charged with copyright infringement for pirating child porn?

BGO Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:43 Permalink

The intel community sure has a knack for sussing out purveyors of child pornography. It's probably just a coincidence govt agencies and child pornography are inextricably linked.

Never One Roach -> BGO Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:44 Permalink

Sounds like he may be a friend of Uncle Joe Biden whom we know is "very, very friendly" with the children.

NotBuyingIt -> BGO Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:09 Permalink

It's very easy for a criminal spook to plant child porn on some poor slob's machine - especially when they want to keep him on the hook to sink his ass for something bigger in the future. Who knows... this guy may have done some shit but I'm willing to bet he was entirely targeted by these IC assholes. Facing 135 years in prison... yet that baggy ass cunt Hillary walks free...

DoctorFix -> BGO Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

Funny how they always seem to have a "sting" operation in progress when there's anyone the DC rats want to destroy but strangely, or not, silent as the grave when one of the special people are fingered.

MadHatt Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:43 Permalink

Transportation of Child Pornography, 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(1)

Uhh... what? He stole CIA child porn?

navy62802 -> MadHatt Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:30 Permalink

Nah ... that's the shit they planted on him for an excuse to make an arrest.

MadHatt -> navy62802 Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:29 Permalink

If he stole all their hacking apps, wouldn't that be enough to arrest him?

Never One Roach Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:44 Permalink

That list of federal crimes is almost as long as Comey's list of Hillary Clinton's federal crimes.

_triplesix_ Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

Of all these things the C_A can do, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that planting CP on a computer of someone you don't like would be a piece of cake, comparatively speaking.

_triplesix_ Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

Of all these things the C_A can do, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that planting CP on a computer of someone you don't like would be a piece of cake, comparatively speaking.

Giant Meteor -> _triplesix_ Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:51 Permalink

It probably comes standard now buried within systems, like a sleeper cell. Just waiting for the right infraction and trigger to be pulled ..

PigMan Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:50 Permalink

Did he also leak that the CIA's favorite tactic is to plant kiddie porn on their targets computer?

ConnectingTheDots Mon, 06/18/2018 - 22:56 Permalink

The alphabet agencies would never hack someone's computer.

The alphabet agencies would never spy on US citizens (at least not wittingly)

The alphabet agencies would never plant physical evidence.

The alphabet agencies would never lie under oath.

The alphabet agencies would never have an agenda.

The alphabet agencies would never provide the media with false information.

/s

Chupacabra-322 Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:14 Permalink

The "Spoofing" or Digital Finger Print & Parallel Construction tools that can be used against Governments, Individuals, enemies & adversaries are Chilling.

The CIA can not only hack into anything -- they can download any "evidence" they want onto your phone or computer. Child pornography, national secrets, you name it. Then they can blackmail you, threatening prosecution for whatever crap they have planted, then "found" on your computer. They can also "spoof" the source of such downloads -- for instance, if they want to "prove" that something on your computer (or Donald Trump's computer) came from a "Russian source" -- they can spoof the IP address of a Russian source.

The take-away: no digital evidence the CIA or NSA produces on any subject whatsoever can be trusted. No digital evidence should be acceptable in any case where the government has an interest, because they have the complete ability to fabricate and implant any evidence on any iphone or computer. And worse: they have intentionally created these digital vulnerabilities and pushed them onto the whole world via Microsoft and Google. Government has long been at war with liberty, claiming that we need to give up liberty to be secure. Now we learn that they have been deliberately sabotaging our security, in order to augment their own power. Time to shut down the CIA and all the other spy agencies. They're not keeping us free OR secure, and they're doing it deliberately. Their main function nowadays seems to be lying us into wars against countries that never attacked us, and had no plans to do so.

The Echelon Computer System Catch Everything

The Flagging goes to Notify the Appropriate Alphabet,,,...Key Words Phrases...Algorithms,...It all gets sucked up and chewed on and spat out to the surmised computed correct departments...That simple.

Effective immediately defund, Eliminate & Supeona it's Agents, Officials & Dept. Heads in regard to the Mass Surveillance, Global Espionage Spying network & monitoring of a President Elect by aforementioned Agencies & former President Obama, AG Lynch & DIA James Clapper, CIA John Breanan.

#SethRich

#Vault7

#UMBRAGE

ZIRPdiggler -> Chupacabra-322 Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:29 Permalink

Since 911, they've been "protecting" the shit out of us. "protecting" away every last fiber of liberty. Was watching some fact-based media about the CIA's failed plan to install Yeltsin's successor via a Wallstreet banking cartel bet (see, LTCM implosion). The ultimate objectives were to rape and loot post-Soviet Russian resources and enforce regime change. It's such a tired playbook at this point. Who DOESNT know about this sort of affront? Apparently even nobel prize economists cant prevent a nation from failing lol. The ultimate in vanity; our gubmint and its' shadow controllers.

moobra Mon, 06/18/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

This is because people who are smart enough to write walware for the CIA send messages in the clear about child porn and are too dumb to encrypt images with a key that would take the lifetime of the universe to break.

Next his mother will be found to have a tax problem and his brother's credit rating zeroed out.

Meanwhile Comey will be found to have been "careless".

ZIRPdiggler Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

Yeah I don't believe for a second that this guy had anything to do with child porn. Not like Obama and his hotdogs or Clintons at pedo island, or how bout uncle pervie podesta? go after them, goons and spooks. They (intelligence agencies) falsely accuse people of exactly what they are ass-deep in. loses credibility with me when the CIA clowns or NSA fuck ups accuse anyone of child porn; especially one of their former employees who is 'disgruntled'. LOL. another spook railroad job done on a whistleblower. fuck the CIA and all 17 alphabet agencies who spy on us 24/7. Just ask, if you want to snoop on me. I may even tell you what I'm up to because I have nothing that I would hide since, I don't give a shit about you or whether you approve of what I am doing.

AGuy -> ZIRPdiggler Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:36 Permalink

"Yeah I don't believe for a second that this guy had anything to do with child porn."

Speculation by my part: He was running a Tor server, and the porn originated from other Tor users. If that is the case ( it would be easy for law enforcement to just assume it was his) law enforcement enjoys a quick and easy case.

rgraf Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

They shouldn't be spying, and they shouldn't keep any secrets from the populace. If they weren't doing anything wrong, they have nothing to hide.

ZIRPdiggler -> rgraf Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:09 Permalink

It really doesn't matter if someone wants to hide. That is their right. Only Nazi's like our spy agencies would use the old Gestapo line, "If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about. Or better yet, you should let me turn your life upside down if you have nothing to hide. " Bullshit! It's none of their fucking business. How bout that? Spooks and secret clowns CAN and DO frame anybody for whatever or murder whomever they wish. So why WOULDNT people be afraid when government goons start sticking their big snouts into their lives??? They can ruin your life for the sake of convenience. Zee Furor is not pleased with your attitude, comrade.

Blue Steel 309 Tue, 06/19/2018 - 00:53 Permalink

Vault 7 proves that most digital evidence should be inadmissible in court, yet I don't see anyone publishing articles about this problem.

[Jun 02, 2018] Obama used NSA FBI to spy on Trump veteran CIA officer

Notable quotes:
"... Let me just say this: the President used the word "wiretapping" but I think it was very clear to us that have been in the intelligence business, that this was a synonym for "surveillance". ..."
"... When I was in senior position in CIA's counterterrorism center, I had a deputy who was an FBI officer. An office in FBI HQ down in Washington had an FBI lead with a CIA deputy. There's a lot more cooperation than one would think. There are individuals that do assignments in each other's organisations to help foster levels of cooperation. I had members of NSA in my staff when I was at CIA, members of diplomatic security, members of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and it was run like a task force, so, there's a lot more cooperation than the media presents, they always think that there are these huge major battles between the organisations and that's rarely true. ..."
"... John Brennan is acting more like a political operative than a former director of CIA. ..."
Mar 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com

The mighty CIA has fallen victim to a major breach, with WikiLeaks revealing the true scope of the Agency's ability for cyber-espionage. Its tools seem to be aimed at ordinary citizens – your phone, your car, your TV, even your fridge can become an instrument of surveillance in the hands of the CIA. How does the CIA use these tools, and why do they need them in the first place?

And as WikiLeaks promises even more revelations, how is all of this going to shape the already tense relationship between new president and the intelligence community?

A man who has spent over two decades in the CIA's clandestine service – Gary Berntsen is on SophieCo.

Follow @SophieCo_RT

FULL TRANSCRIPT: https://www.rt.com/shows/sophieco/381...

Sophie Shevardnadze: Gary Berntsen, former CIA official, welcome to the show, great to have you with us. Now, Vault 7, a major batch of CIA docs revealed by Wikileaks uncovers the agency's cyber tools. We're talking about world's most powerful intelligence agency - how exactly did the CIA lose control of its arsenal of hacking weapons?

Gary Berntsen: First off, I'd like to say that the world has changed a lot in the last several decades, and people are communicating in many different ways and intelligence services, whether they be American or Russian, are covering these communications and their coverage of those communications has evolved. Without commenting on the specific validity of those tools, it was clear that the CIA was surely using contractors to be involved in this process, not just staff officers, and that individuals decided that they had problems with U.S. policy, and have leaked these things to Wikileaks. This is a large problem, for the U.S. community, but just as the U.S. is having problems, the Russia face similar problems. Just this week you had multiple members of the FSB charged with hacking as well, and they have been charged by the U.S. government. So both services who are competitors, face challenges as we've entered a new era of mass communications.

SS: So like you're saying, the leaker or leakers of the CIA docs is presumably a CIA contractor - should the agency be spending more effort on vetting its own officers? Is the process rigorous enough?

GB: Clearly. Look There have been individuals since the dawn of history. Espionage is the second oldest occupation, have conducted spying and espionage operations, and there have been people who have turned against their own side and worked for competitors and worked for those opposing the country or the group that they're working with. It's been a problem from the beginning, and it continues to be a problem, and the U.S. clearly is going to have to do a much better job at vetting those individuals who are given security clearances, without a doubt.

SS: The CIA studied the flaws in the software of devices like iPhones, Androids, Smart TVs, apps like Whatsapp that left them exposed to hacking, but didn't care about patching those up - so, in essence the agency chose to leave Americans vulnerable to cyberattacks, rather than protect them?

GB: I think you have to understand, in this world that we're operating and the number one target of our intelligence community are terrorists. Since the attacks of 9\11, 16 years ago, the obsession of the American intelligence community is to identify those planning terrorist attacks, collecting information on them and being able to defeat them. These individuals are using all these means of communication. I have spoken with many security services around the world, since my retirement back in 2005-2006, a lot of them have had problems covering the communications of somebody's very devices and programs that you've talked about - whether they be narcotraffickers or salafist jihadists, they are all piggybacking off of commercial communications. Therefore the need for modern intelligence services to sort of provide coverage of all means of communications. And there's a price that you pay for that.

SS: One of the most disturbing parts of the leaks is the "Weeping Angel" program - CIA hacking into Samsung Smart TVs to record what's going on even when the TV appears to be turned off. Why are the CIA's tools designed to penetrate devices used by ordinary Western citizens at home?

GB: Look, I wouldn't say it has anything to do with Western homes, because the CIA doesn't do technical operations against American citizens - that's prohibited by the law. If the CIA does anything in the U.S., it does it side-by-side with the FBI, and it does it according to FISA - the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act laws. It's gotta go to the judge to do those things. Those tools are used primarily against the individuals and terrorists that are targeting the U.S. or other foreign entities that we see as a significant threat to the U.S. national security, which is the normal functioning of any intelligence service.

SS: Just like you say, the CIA insists it never uses its investigative tools on American citizens in the US, but, we're wondering, exactly how many terrorist camps in the Middle East have Samsung Smart TVs to watch their favorite shows on? Does it seem like the CIA lost its direction?

GB: Plenty of them.

SS: Plenty?...

GB: I've travelled in the Middle East, Samsungs are sold everywhere. Sophie, Samsung TVs are sold all over the world. I've spent a lot of time in the Middle East, I've seen them in Afghanistan, I've seen them everywhere. So, any kind of devices that you can imagine, people are using everywhere. We're in a global economy now.

SS: The CIA has tools to hack iPhones - but they make up only around 15 % of the world's smartphone market. IPhones are not popular among terrorists, but they are among business and political elites - so are they the real target here?

GB: No. The CIA in relative terms to the size of the world is a small organisation. It is an organisation that has roughly 20 or more thousand people - it's not that large in terms of covering a planet with 7 billion people. We have significant threats to the U.S. and to the Western world. We live in an age of super-terrorism, we live in an age when individuals, small groups of people, can leverage technology at a lethal effect. The greatest threats to this planet are not just nuclear, they are bio. The U.S. needs to have as many tools as possible to defend itself against these threats, as does Russia want to have similar types of tools to defend itself. You too, Russian people have suffered from a number of terrible terrorist acts.

SS: Wikileaks suggest the CIA copied the hacking habits of other nations to create a fake electronic trace - why would the CIA need that?

GB: The CIA, as any intelligence service, would look to conduct coverage in the most unobtrusive fashion as possible. It is going to do its operations so that they can collect and collect again and again against terrorist organisations, where and whenever it can, because sometimes threats are not just static, they are continuous.

SS: You know this better, so enlighten me: does the he CIA have the authorisation to create the surveillance tools it had in the first place? Who gives it such authorisation?

GB: The CIA was created in 1947 by the National Security Act of the U.S. and does two different things - it does FI (foreign intelligence) collection and it does CA - covert action. Its rules for collection of intelligence were enshrined in the law that created it, the CIA Act 110, in 1949, but the covert action part of this, where it does active measures, when it gets involved in things - all of those are covered by law. The Presidential finding had to be written, it had to be presented to the President. The President's signs off on those things. Those things are then briefed to members of Congress, or the House Permanent Subcommittee for Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence. We have a very rigorous process of review of the activities of our intelligence communities in the U.S.

SS: But you're talking about the activities in terms of operations. I'm just asking - does CIA need any authorisation or permission to create the tools it has in its arsenal? Or it can just go ahead

GB: Those tools and the creation of collection tools falls under the same laws that allowed the CIA to be established. And that was the 1949 Intelligence Act. And also, subsequently, the laws in 1975. Yes.

SS: So, the CIA programme names are quite colourful, sometimes wacky - "Weeping Angel", "Swamp Monkey", "Brutal Kangaroo" - is there a point to these, is there any logic, or are they completely random? I always wondered...

GB: There's absolutely no point to that, and it's random.

SS:Okay, so how do you come up with those names? Who like, one says: "Monkey" and another one says: "Kangaroo"?...

GB: I'm sure they are computer-generated.

SS: Trump accused Obama of wiretapping him during the campaign Could the CIA have actually spied on the president? It seems like the agency doesn't have the best relationship with Donald Trump - how far can they go?

GB: Let me just say this: the President used the word "wiretapping" but I think it was very clear to us that have been in the intelligence business, that this was a synonym for "surveillance". Because most people are on cellphones, people aren't using landlines anymore, so there's no "wiretapping", okay. These all fall under the Intelligence Surveillance Act, as I stated earlier, this thing existing in the U.S.. It was clear to President Trump and to those in his campaign, after they were elected, and they did a review back that the Obama Administration sought FISA authorisation to do surveillance of the Trump campaign in July and then in October. They were denied in July, they were given approval in October, and in October they did some types of surveillance of the Trump campaign. This is why the President, of course, tweeted, that he had been "wiretapped" - of course "wiretapping" being a synonym for the surveillance against his campaign, which was never heard of in the U.S. political history that I can remember, I can't recall any way of this being done. It's an outrage, and at the same time, Congressional hearings are going to be held and they are going to review all of these things, and they are going to find out exactly what happened and what was done. It's unclear right now, but all we do know - and it has been broken in the media that there were two efforts, and at the second one, the authorisation was given. That would never have been done by the CIA, because they don't do that sort of coverage in the U.S.. That would either be the FBI or the NSA, with legal authorities and those authorities the problem that the Trump administration had is they believed that the information from these things was distributed incorrectly. Any time an American - and this is according to the U.S. law - any time an American is on the wire in the U.S., their names got to be minimized from this and it clearly wasn't done and the Trump administration was put in a bad light because of this.

SS: If what you're saying is true, how does that fall under foreign intelligence? Is that more of the FBI-NSA expertise?

GB: It was FBI and NSA - it was clearly the FBI and the NSA that were involved, it would never have been the CIA doing that, they don't listen to telephones in the U.S., they read the product of other agencies that would provide those things, but clearly, there were individuals on those phone calls that they believed were foreign and were targeting those with potential communications with the Trump campaign. Let's be clear here - General Clapper, the DNI for President Obama, stated before he left office, that there was no, I repeat, no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This has been something that has been dragged out again, and again, and again, by the media. This is a continuing drumbeat of the mainstream, left-wing media of the U.S., to paint the President in the poorest light, to attempt to discredit Donald Trump.

SS: With the intelligence agencies bringing down Trump's advisors like Michael Flynn - and you said the people behind that were Obama's loyalists - can we talk about the intelligence agencies being too independent from the White House, playing their own politics?

GB: I think part of the problem that we've seen during the handover of power from President Obama to President Trump was that there was a number of holdovers that went from political appointee to career status that had been placed in the NatSec apparatus and certain parts of the intelligence organisations. It is clear that President Trump and his team are determined to remove those people to make sure that there's a continuity of purpose and people aren't leaking information that would put the Administration into a negative light. That's the goal of the administration, to conduct itself consistent with the goals of securing the country from terrorism and other potential threats - whether they be counter-narcotics, or intelligence agencies trying to breach our you know, the information that we hold secure.

SS: Here's a bit of conspiracy theories - could it be that the domestic surveillance agencies like the NSA or the FBI orchestrated the Vault 7 leaks - to damage CIA, stop it from infringing on their turf?

GB :I really don't think so and that is conspiracy thinking. You have to understand something, in the intelligence communities in the U.S., whether it be the CIA and FBI, we've done a lot of cross-fertilizations. When I was in senior position in CIA's counterterrorism center, I had a deputy who was an FBI officer. An office in FBI HQ down in Washington had an FBI lead with a CIA deputy. There's a lot more cooperation than one would think. There are individuals that do assignments in each other's organisations to help foster levels of cooperation. I had members of NSA in my staff when I was at CIA, members of diplomatic security, members of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and it was run like a task force, so, there's a lot more cooperation than the media presents, they always think that there are these huge major battles between the organisations and that's rarely true.

SS: Generally speaking - is there rivalry between American intel agencies at all? Competition for resources, maybe?

GB: I think, sometimes, between the Bureau and the CIA - the CIA is the dominant agency abroad, and the FBI is the dominant agency in the U.S. What they do abroad, they frequently have to get cleared by us, what we do domestically, we have to get cleared by them, and sometimes there's some friction, but usually, we're able to work this out. It makes for great news, the CIA fighting FBI, but the reality is that there's a lot more cooperation than confrontation. We are all in the business of trying to secure the American homeland and American interests globally.

SS: I'm still thinking a lot about the whole point of having this hacking arsenal for the CIA since you talk on their behalf - the possibility to hack phones, computers, TVs and cars - if the actual terrorist attacks on US soil, like San Bernardino, Orlando are still missed?

GB: Look. There are hundreds of individuals, if not thousands, planning efforts against the U.S. at any time. It can be many-many things. And the U.S. security services, there's the CIA, the FBI, NSA - block many-many of these things, but it is impossible to stop them all. Remember, this is an open society here, in America, with 320 million people, here. We try to foster open economic system, we allow more immigration to America than all countries in the world combined. This is a great political experiment here, but it's also very difficult to police. There are times that the U.S. security services are going to fail. It's inevitable. We just have to try the best we can, do the best job that we can, while protecting the values that attract so many people to the U.S.

SS:The former CIA director John Brennan is saying Trump's order to temporarily ban travel from some Muslim states is not going to help fight terrorism in 'any significant way'. And the countries where the terrorists have previously come from - like Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, it's true - aren't on the list. So does he maybe have a point?

GB: John Brennan is acting more like a political operative than a former director of CIA. The countries that Mr. Trump had banned initially, or at least had put a partial, sort of a delay - where states like Somalia, Libya, the Sudan, Iran - places where we couldn't trust local vetting. Remember something, when someone immigrates to the U.S., we have what's called an "immigration packet": they may have to get a chest X-ray to make sure they don't bring any diseases with them, they have to have background check on any place they've ever lived, and in most of these places there are no security forces to do background checks on people that came from Damascus, because parts of Damascus are totally destroyed - there's been warfare. It is actually a very reasonable thing for President Trump to ask for delay in these areas. Look, the Crown-Prince, the Deputy Crown-Prince of Saudi Arabia was just in the United States and met with Donald Trump, and he said he didn't believe it was a "ban on Muslims". This was not a "ban on Muslims", it was an effort to slow down and to create more opportunity to vet those individuals coming from states where there's a preponderance of terrorist organisations operating. A reasonable step by President Trump, something he promised during the campaign, something he's fulfilling. But again, I repeat - America allows more immigration into the U.S., than all countries combined. So, we really don't need to be lectured on who we let in and who we don't let in.

SS: But I still wonder if the Crown-Prince would've had the same comment had Saudi Arabia been on that ban list. Anyways, Michael Hayden, ex-CIA

GB: Wait a second, Sophie - the Saudis have a reasonable form to police their society, and they provide accurate police checks. If they didn't create accurate police checks, we would've given the delay to them as well.

SS: Ok, I got your point. Now, Michael Hayden, ex-CIA and NSA chief, pointed out that the US intelligence enlists agents in the Muslim world with the promise of eventual emigration to America - is Trump's travel ban order going to hurt American intelligence gathering efforts in the Middle East?

GB: No, the question here - there were individuals that worked as translators for us in Afghanistan and Iraq and serving in such roles as translators, they were promised the ability to immigrate to the United States. Unfortunately, some of them were blocked in the first ban that was put down, because individuals who wrote that, didn't consider that. That has been considered in the re-write, that the Trump administration had submitted, which is now being attacked by a judge in Hawaii, and so it was taken into consideration, but the objective here was to help those that helped U.S. forces on the ground, especially those who were translators, in ground combat operations, where they risked their lives alongside American soldiers.

SS: You worked in Afghanistan - you were close to capturing Bin Laden back in 2001 - what kind of spying tools are actually used on the ground by the CIA to catch terrorists?

GB: The CIA as does any intelligence service in the world, is a human business. It's a business where we work with local security forces to strengthen their police and intelligence forces, we attempt to leverage them, we have our own people on the ground that speak the language, we're trying to help build transportation there. There's no "secret sauce" here. There's no super-technology that changes the country's ability to conduct intelligence collections or operations. In Afghanistan the greatest thing that the U.S. has is broad support and assistance to Afghan men and women across the country. We liberated half of the population, and for women were providing education, and when the people see what we were doing: trying to build schools, providing USAID projects - all of these things - this makes the population willing to work with and support the United States. Frequently, members of the insurgence groups will see this and sometimes they do actually cross the lines and cooperate with us. So, it's a full range of American political power, whether it's hard or soft, that is the strength of the American intelligence services - because people in the world actually believe - and correctly so - that American more than generally a force of good in the world.

SS: Gary, thank you so much for this interesting interview and insight into the world of the CIA. We've been talking to Gary Berntsen, former top CIA officer, veteran of the agency, talking about the politics of American intelligence in the Trump era. That's it for this edition of SophieCo, I will see you next time.

GreenPizza:

Just thinking here in the light of how things are unfolding with the CIA I am wondering since Federal crimes are committed can the FBI investigate the CIA acting as America Federal Law Enforcement.

RedBlowDryer -> GreenPin

I think the US intelligent agencies are harming their country more than any enemy of the US.

CyanGrapes

There is a reason why JFK wanted to dismantle the CIA. This guy is lying.

PurpleWieghts

CIA needs hacking tools to make it look like it was carried out by another state simply for plausible deniability.

Carl Zaisser

a "force for good in the world"?...sounds like the American white hat-black hat myth...read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". This is a detailed litany of America's various kinds of interventions in multiple countries that cold hardly be described as "a force for good in the world"...a force for "America's values" (read with ironically), perhaps

Carl Zaisser

WHO is responsible for the outbreak of chaotic warfare in Libya and Syria?

Should we trust the Saudi vetting services...think of who the September 11 bombers were? Was there another reason they were not on Trump's banned countries list? Too big to mess with, i.e., oil and weapons sales?

GreenPin

Amazing how they justify their destructive behaviour in a way as they are serving America people and doing good around the wold. You can sugar count your crimes against humanity as much as you can, but the reality of today' human misery speaks for itself.

waterbearer

since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence

XXX

interesting, but begs the question "Can we really trust what this guy tells us?" If not, what parts can we trust, and what parts can't we?

XXX

You'd have to deconstruct his talking points and I don't know how that is done. Intelligence probably knows how to do that. I noticed he was becoming more zealous on hegemony and exceptionalism as the interview neared the end.

I agree. Bernsten is almost like-ably energetic, but he is, in the end, an uncompromising warrior of the empire.

XXX

if Trump is to be controlled--they gotta have some dirt--or threat against his family --it's how they operate---

XXX

Mr. Berntsen left out the very important NSC10/2 legislation, which gave the CIA free reign with deniability as the cover. This needs to be repealed. With this legislation, the CIA answers to no one, and goes around the world wrecking havoc with the governments and people where they like. We will never have peace until that legislation is repealed.

XXX

This is why interesting books to read about the history of the CIA.

XXX

I applaud former CIA and FBI Gary Bernstein for speaking out on the most powerful intelligence networks on the planet regarding their surveillance activities. Every nation needs intelligence to safeguard but if we go beyond the call of duty and get exposed .this leaves Pres Trump and his Adm with no option but to consider corrective measures with a visit to Langley etc.. Here again the failures of Liberalism are coming up in the wash for cleaning up.

XXX

Liberalism has not been running the country for the last 54 years. We have been under a coup government and just got used to it.

[May 15, 2018] Suspect Identified in C.I.A. Leak Was Charged, but Not for the Breach - The New York Times

May 15, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

[Vault 7] was the largest loss of classified documents in the agency's history and a huge embarrassment for C.I.A. officials.

Now, the prime suspect in the breach has been identified: a 29-year-old former C.I.A. software engineer who had designed malware used to break into the computers of terrorism suspects and other targets, The New York Times has learned.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the Manhattan apartment of the suspect, Joshua A. Schulte, one week after WikiLeaks released the first of the C.I.A. documents in March last year, and then stopped him from flying to Mexico on vacation, taking his passport, according to court records and relatives. The search warrant application said Mr. Schulte was suspected of "distribution of national defense information," and agents told the court they had retrieved "N.S.A. and C.I.A. paperwork" in addition to a computer, tablet, phone and other electronics.

But instead of charging Mr. Schulte in the breach, referred to as the Vault 7 leak, prosecutors charged him last August with possessing child pornography, saying agents had found 10,000 illicit images on a server he created as a business in 2009 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin.

Court papers quote messages from Mr. Schulte that suggest he was aware of the encrypted images of children being molested by adults on his computer, though he advised one user, "Just don't put anything too illegal on there."

In September, Mr. Schulte was released on the condition that he not leave New York City, where he lived with a cousin, and keep off computers. He was jailed in December after prosecutors found evidence that he had violated those rules, and he has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan since then. He has posted on Facebook under a pseudonym a series of essays critical of the criminal justice system.

It is unclear why, more than a year after he was arrested, he has not been charged or cleared in connection with Vault 7. Leak investigators have had access to electronic audit trails inside the C.I.A. that may indicate who accessed the files that were stolen, and they have had possession of Mr. Schulte's personal data for many months.

... ... ...

According to his family and his LinkedIn page , Mr. Schulte did an internship at the National Security Agency while working on a bachelor's degree in computer engineering. He worked in the C.I.A.'s Engineering Development Group, which designed the hacking tools used by its Center for Cyber Intelligence. He left the agency in November 2016 and moved to New York to work for Bloomberg L.P. as a software engineer.

Most of the government's cyberespionage is carried out by the N.S.A., but the C.I.A. also employs hackers. The leaked Vault 7 documents came from the agency's Engineering Development Group and included descriptions and instructions for the use of agency hacking tools, but only a small amount of the actual computer code for the tools.

.... ... ...

[Mar 15, 2018] Julian Assange The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

Notable quotes:
"... All this speech to stifle speech comes in reaction to the first publication in the start of WikiLeaks' "Vault 7" series. Vault 7 has begun publishing evidence of remarkable CIA incompetence and other shortcomings. This includes the agency's creation, at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars, of an entire arsenal of cyber viruses and hacking programs -- over which it promptly lost control and then tried to cover up the loss. These publications also revealed the CIA's efforts to infect the public's ubiquitous consumer products and automobiles with computer viruses. ..."
"... President Theodore Roosevelt understood the danger of giving in to those "foolish or traitorous persons who endeavor to make it a crime to tell the truth about the Administration when the Administration is guilty of incompetence or other shortcomings." Such "endeavor is itself a crime against the nation," Roosevelt wrote. President Trump and his officials should heed that advice ..."
Mar 15, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

Julian Assange is editor of WikiLeaks.

Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States' actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a "non-state hostile intelligence service." In Pompeo's worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime -- as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a "priority." News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

All this speech to stifle speech comes in reaction to the first publication in the start of WikiLeaks' "Vault 7" series. Vault 7 has begun publishing evidence of remarkable CIA incompetence and other shortcomings. This includes the agency's creation, at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars, of an entire arsenal of cyber viruses and hacking programs -- over which it promptly lost control and then tried to cover up the loss. These publications also revealed the CIA's efforts to infect the public's ubiquitous consumer products and automobiles with computer viruses.

When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a "fraud," "coward" and "enemy," it puts all journalists on notice, or should. Pompeo's next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a "non-state hostile intelligence service," is a dagger aimed at Americans' constitutional right to receive honest information about their government. This accusation mirrors attempts throughout history by bureaucrats seeking, and failing, to criminalize speech that reveals their own failings.

President Theodore Roosevelt understood the danger of giving in to those "foolish or traitorous persons who endeavor to make it a crime to tell the truth about the Administration when the Administration is guilty of incompetence or other shortcomings." Such "endeavor is itself a crime against the nation," Roosevelt wrote. President Trump and his officials should heed that advice .

[Mar 08, 2018] Given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC ..."
"... Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence. ..."
"... In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack , 07 March 2018 at 06:23 PM

Re this: " In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked."

To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC .

All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike's analysis.

Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence.

In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.

The "assessment" that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.

The same applies to any "estimate" that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin's comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump's personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton's "Hitler" comparison.

As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter's trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

[Mar 08, 2018] A key piece of evidence pointing to 'Guccifer 2.0' being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What has however become clear in recent days is that the 'Gerasimov Doctrine' was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the 'narrative' as possible. ..."
"... Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in 'Foreign Policy' entitled 'I'm Sorry for Creating the "Gerasimov Doctrine": I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.' ..."
"... The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term 'bad Straussianism.' ..."
"... What Strauss would have called the 'exoteric' meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western 'régime change' projects about which people like those who write for 'Lawfare' are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an 'esoteric' meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places. ..."
Mar 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 08 March 2018 at 10:28 AM

PT and all,

More material on the British end of the conspiracy.

Commenting on an earlier piece by PT, I suggested that a key piece of evidence pointing to 'Guccifer 2.0' being a fake personality created by the conspirators in their attempt to disguise the fact that the materials from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' were obtained by a leak rather than a hack had to do with the involvement of the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

(See http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html .)

To recapitulate: Back in June 2016, hard on the heels of the claim by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike' to have identified clinching evidence making the GRU prime suspects, Tait announced that, although initially unconvinced, he had found a 'smoking gun' in the 'metadata' of the documents released by 'Guccifer 2.0.'

A key part of this was the use by someone modifying a document of 'Felix Edmundovich' – the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky, the Lithuanian-Polish noble who created the Soviet secret police.

As I noted, Tait was generally identified as a former GCHQ employee who now ran a consultancy called 'Capital Alpha Security.' However, checking Companies House records revealed that he had filed 'dormant accounts' for the company. So it looks as though the company was simply a 'front', designed to fool 'useful idiots' into believing he was an objective analyst.

As I also noted in those comments, Tait writes the 'Lawfare' blog, one of whose founders, Benjamin Wittes, looks as though he may himself have been involved in the conspiracy up to the hilt. Furthermore, a secure income now appears to have been provided to replace that from the non-existent consultancy, in the shape of a position at the 'Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law', run by Robert Chesney, a co-founder with Wittes of 'Lawfare.'

A crucial part of the story, however, is that the notion of GRU responsibility for the supposed 'hacks' appears to be part of a wider 'narrative' about the supposed 'Gerasimov Doctrine.' From the 'View from Langley' provided to Bret Stephens by CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the 'Aspen Security Forum' last July:

'I hearken back to something called the Gerasimov doctrine from the early 70s, he's now the head of the – I'm a Cold War guy, forgive me if I mention Soviet Union. He's now the head of the Russian army and his idea was that you can win wars without firing a single shot or with firing very few shots in ways that are decidedly not militaristic, and that's what's happened. What changes is the costs; to effectuate change through cyber and through RT and Sputnik, their news outlets, and through other soft means; has just really been lowered, right. It used to be it was expensive to run an ad on a television station now you simply go online and propagate your message. And so they have they have found an effective tool, an easy way to go reach into our systems, and into our culture to achieve the outcomes they are looking for.'

(See https://aspensecurityforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-View-from-Langley.pdf .)

What has however become clear in recent days is that the 'Gerasimov Doctrine' was not invented by its supposed author, but by a British academic, Mark Galeotti, who has now confessed – although in a way clearly designed to maintain as much of the 'narrative' as possible.

Three days ago, an article by Galleoti appeared in 'Foreign Policy' entitled 'I'm Sorry for Creating the "Gerasimov Doctrine": I was the first to write about Russia's infamous high-tech military strategy. One small problem: it doesn't exist.'

(See http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/03/05/im-sorry-for-creating-the-gerasimov-doctrine/ .)

A key paragraph:

'Gerasimov was actually talking about how the Kremlin understands what happened in the "Arab Spring" uprisings, the "color revolutions" against pro-Moscow regimes in Russia's neighborhood, and in due course Ukraine's "Maidan" revolt. The Russians honestly – however wrongly – believe that these were not genuine protests against brutal and corrupt governments, but regime changes orchestrated in Washington, or rather, Langley. This wasn't a "doctrine" as the Russians understand it, for future adventures abroad: Gerasimov was trying to work out how to fight, not promote, such uprisings at home.'

The translation of the original article by Gerasimov with annotations by Galeotti which provoked the whole hysteria turns out to be a classic example of what I am inclined to term 'bad Straussianism.'

(See https://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com/2014/07/06/the-gerasimov-doctrine-and-russian-non-linear-war/ .)

What Strauss would have called the 'exoteric' meaning of the article quite clearly has to do with defensive strategies aimed at combatting the kind of Western 'régime change' projects about which people like those who write for 'Lawfare' are so enthusiastic. But Galeotti tells us that this is, at least partially, a cover for an 'esoteric' meaning, which has to do with offensive actions in Ukraine and similar places.

Having now read the text of the article, I can see a peculiar irony in it. In a section entitled 'You Can't Generate Ideas On Command', Gerasimov suggests that 'The state of Russian military science today cannot be compared with the flowering of military-theoretical thought in our country on the eve of World War II.'

According to the 'exoteric' meaning of the article, it is not possible to blame anyone in particular for this situation. But Gerasimov goes on on to remark that, while at the time of that flowering there were 'no people with higher degrees' or 'academic schools or departments', there were 'extraordinary personalities with brilliant ideas', who he terms 'fanatics in the best sense of the word.'

Again, Galeotti discounts the suggestion that nobody is to blame, assuming an 'esoteric meaning', and remarking: 'Ouch. Who is he slapping here?'

Actually, Gerasimov refers by name to two, utterly different figures, who certainly were 'extraordinarily personalities with brilliant ideas.'

If Pompeo had even the highly amateurish grasp of the history of debates among Soviet military theorists that I have managed to acquire he would be aware that one of the things which was actually happening in the 'Seventies was the rediscovery of the ideas of Alexander Svechin.

Confirming my sense that this has continued on, Gerasimov ends by using Svechin to point up an intractable problem: it can be extraordinarily difficult to anticipate the conditions of a war, and crucial not to impose a standardised template likely to be inappropriate, but one has to make some kinds of prediction in order to plan.

Immediately after the passage which Galeotti interprets as a dig at some colleague, Gerasimov elaborates his reference to 'extraordinary people with brilliant ideas' by referring to an anticipation of a future war, which proved prescient, from a very different figure to Svechin:

'People like, for instance, Georgy Isserson, who, despite the views he formed in the prewar years, published the book "New Forms Of Combat." In it, this Soviet military theoretician predicted: "War in general is not declared. It simply begins with already developed military forces. Mobilization and concentration is not part of the period after the onset of the state of war as was the case in 1914 but rather, unnoticed, proceeds long before that." The fate of this "prophet of the Fatherland" unfolded tragically. Our country paid in great quantities of blood for not listening to the conclusions of this professor of the General Staff Academy.'

Unlike Svechin, whom I have read, I was unfamiliar with Isserson. A quick Google search, however, unearthed a mass of material in American sources – including, by good fortune, an online text of a 2010 study by Dr Richard Harrison entitled 'Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G.S. Isserson', and a presentation summarising the volume.

Ironically, Svechin and Isserson were on opposite sides of fundamental divides. So the former, an ethnic Russian from Odessa, was one of the 'genstabisty', the former Tsarist General Staff officers who sided with the Bolsheviks and played a critical role in teaching the Red Army how to fight. Meanwhile Isserson was a very different product of the 'borderlands' – the son of a Jewish doctor, brought up in Kaunas, with a German Jewish mother from what was then Königsberg, giving him an easy facility with German-language sources.

The originator of the crucial concept of 'operational' art – the notion that in modern industrial war, the ability to handle a level intermediate between strategy and tactics was critical to success – was actually Svechin.

Developing the ambivalence of Clausewitz, however, he stressed that both the offensive and the defensive had their places, and that the key to success was to know which was appropriate when and also to be able rapidly to change from one to the other. His genuflections to Marxist-Leninist dogma, moreover, were not such as to take in any of Dzerzhinsky's people.

By contrast, Isserson was unambiguously committed to the offensive strand in the Clausewitzian tradition, and a Bolshevik 'true believer' (although he married the daughter of a dispossessed ethnically Russian merchant, who had their daughter baptised without his knowledge.)

As Harrison brings out, Isserson's working through of the problems of offensive 'operational art' would be critical to the eventual success of the Red Army against Hitler. However, the specific text to which he refers was, ironically, a warning of precisely one of the problems implicit in the single-minded reliance on the offensive: the possibility that one could be left with no good options confronting an antagonist similarly oriented – as turned out to be the case.

As Gerasimov intimates, while unlike Svechin, executed in 1938, Isserson survived the Stalin years, he was another of the victims of Dzerzhinsky's heirs. Arrested shortly before his warnings were vindicated by the German attack on 22 June 1941, he would spend the war in the Gulag and only return to normal life after Stalin's death.

So I think that the actual text of Gerasimov's article reinforces a point I have made previously. The 'evidence' identified by Tait is indeed a 'smoking gun.' But it emphatically does not point towards the GRU.

Meanwhile, another moral of the tale is that Americans really should stop being taken in by charlatan Brits like Galeotti, Tait, and Steele.

[Mar 08, 2018] Several respected journalists have cast serious doubt on CrowdStrike s report on the DNC servers

Looks like Brennan was the architect of DNS false flag operation: "Hersh also told Butowsky that the DNC made up the Russian hacking story as a disinformation campaign -- directly pointing a finger at former CIA director (and now MSNBC/NBC contributor ) John Brennan as the architect."
Now all this staff started to remind me 9/11 investigation. Also by Mueller.
Notable quotes:
"... Notably, Crowdstrike has been considered by many to be discredited over their revision and retraction of a report over Russian hacking of Ukrainian military equipment ..."
"... Also notable is that Crowdstrike founder and anti-Putin Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch sits on the Atlantic Council - which is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk. Who else is on the Atlantic Council? Evelyn Farkas - who slipped up during an MSNBC interview with Mika Brzezinski and disclosed that the Obama administration had been spying on the Trump campaign: ..."
"... Hersh also told Butowsky that the DNC made up the Russian hacking story as a disinformation campaign -- directly pointing a finger at former CIA director (and now MSNBC/NBC contributor ) John Brennan as the architect. ..."
"... I have a narrative of how that whole f*cking thing began. It's a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation , and the fu*kin' President, at one point, they even started telling the press -- they were backfeeding the Press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, fu*king c*cksucker Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. ..."
"... Listen to Seymour Hersh leaked audio: https://www.youtube.com/embed/giuZdBAXVh0 (full transcription here and extended audio of the Hersh conversation here ) ..."
"... As we mentioned last week, Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick. ..."
"... Last but not least, let's not forget that Julian Assange heavily implied Seth Rich was a source: ..."
"... Given that a) the Russian hacking narrative hinges on Crowdstrikes's questionable reporting , and b) a mountain of evidence pointing to Seth Rich as the source of the leaked emails - it stands to reason that Congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should at minimum explore these leads. ..."
"... As retired U.S. Navy admiral James A. Lyons, Jr. asks: why aren't they? ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

In addition to several odd facts surrounding Rich's still unsolved murder - which officials have deemed a "botched robbery," forensic technical evidence has emerged which contradicts the Crowdstrike report. The Irvine, CA company partially funded by Google , was the only entity allowed to analyze the DNC servers in relation to claims of election hacking:

Notably, Crowdstrike has been considered by many to be discredited over their revision and retraction of a report over Russian hacking of Ukrainian military equipment - a report which the government of Ukraine said was fake news.

In connection with the emergence in some media reports which stated that the alleged "80% howitzer D-30 Armed Forces of Ukraine removed through scrapping Russian Ukrainian hackers software gunners," Land Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs that the said information is incorrect .

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine asks journalists to publish only verified information received from the competent official sources. Spreading false information leads to increased social tension in society and undermines public confidence in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. -- mil.gov.ua (translated) (1.6.2017)

In fact, several respected journalists have cast serious doubt on CrowdStrike's report on the DNC servers:

Pay attention, because Mueller is likely to use the Crowdstrike report to support the rumored upcoming charges against Russian hackers.

Also notable is that Crowdstrike founder and anti-Putin Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch sits on the Atlantic Council - which is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk. Who else is on the Atlantic Council? Evelyn Farkas - who slipped up during an MSNBC interview with Mika Brzezinski and disclosed that the Obama administration had been spying on the Trump campaign:

The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods , meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence. - Evelyn Farkas

... ... ...

Brennan and Russian disinformation

Hersh also told Butowsky that the DNC made up the Russian hacking story as a disinformation campaign -- directly pointing a finger at former CIA director (and now MSNBC/NBC contributor ) John Brennan as the architect.

I have a narrative of how that whole f*cking thing began. It's a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation , and the fu*kin' President, at one point, they even started telling the press -- they were backfeeding the Press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, fu*king c*cksucker Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it.

Listen to Seymour Hersh leaked audio: https://www.youtube.com/embed/giuZdBAXVh0 (full transcription here and extended audio of the Hersh conversation here )

Hersh denied that he told Butowsky anything before the leaked audio emerged , telling NPR " I hear gossip [Butowsky] took two and two and made 45 out of it. "

Technical Evidence

As we mentioned last week, Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The big hint

Last but not least, let's not forget that Julian Assange heavily implied Seth Rich was a source:

Given that a) the Russian hacking narrative hinges on Crowdstrikes's questionable reporting , and b) a mountain of evidence pointing to Seth Rich as the source of the leaked emails - it stands to reason that Congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should at minimum explore these leads.

As retired U.S. Navy admiral James A. Lyons, Jr. asks: why aren't they?

Liberal -> Stan522 Fri, 03/02/2018 - 21:26 Permalink

Relax you conspiracy theory-loving extremists. Our 336 spy agencies are just busy trying to solve the Michael Hasting's murder first. But it's just really hard to find the culprits because they're all hiding in Siberia.

[Mar 03, 2018] Crowdstrike planted the malware on DNC systems, which they discovered later

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Also note: Crowdstrike planted the malware on DNC systems, which they "discovered" later - https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/12/fancy-frauds-bogus-bears-malware-m ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

mc888 Fri, 03/02/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

Thanks Tyler.

Also note: Crowdstrike planted the malware on DNC systems, which they "discovered" later - https://disobedientmedia.com/2017/12/fancy-frauds-bogus-bears-malware-m

(if that's too 'in the weeds' for you, ask your tech guys to read and verify)

And look who else sits on the Atlantic Council - http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/about/experts/list/irene-chalupa why it's the sister of Andrea Chalupa, unregistered foreign agent employed by the DNC as a "Consultant", whose entire family is tied to Ukraine Intelligence.

http://theantimedia.org/propornot-2017-biggest-fake-news-story/

Irena Chalupa is also the news anchor for Ukraine's propaganda channel Stopfake.org She is a Ukrainian Diaspora leader. The Chalupas are the first family of Ukrainian propaganda. She works with and for Ukrainian Intelligence through the Atlantic Council, Stopfake.org, and her sisters Andrea (EuromaidanPR) and Alexandra.

and lest we forget crazy eyes #1

http://theduran.com/adam-schiffs-collusion-with-oligarch-ukrainian-arms

[Feb 27, 2018] I still say Crowdstrike so called analysis is where the rubber really starts to hit the road with Wikileaks disclosure, saying it was the Russians

Feb 27, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Shell Shell, 2 days ago

So, the Democrats want to show that the FBI spying was due to Page and not the dossier because it came "first" so to speak?

This still doesn't excuse them using the dossier in FISA warrant without disclosing information about how it was obtained and it doesn't take away from the fact that he helped them nail Russians before.

How do they keep their reputation in tact by being "two faced", it appears to me to make their reputation worse so I really don't get the Democrats strategy on this, I suppose as it doesn't change what they have done.

I still say Crowdstrike so called "analysis" is where the rubber really starts to hit the road with Wikileaks disclosure, saying it was the "Russians".

[Feb 21, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 20, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

All fucking Kabuki. All of it.

The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.

Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning

----

pathetic.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."

They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.

This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.

Good on ya Kim.

His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.

They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.

Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.

verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.

I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink

MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.

Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.

Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.

The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.

Pessimism is its own reward.

[Feb 18, 2018] Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don't forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.

Notable quotes:
"... The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells' CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally "GALVANIZE" the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE," throughout the globe. ..."
"... The book by Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy" covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Lee Anderson , February 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Your link to the Giraldi piece is appreciated, however, Giraldi starts off on a false premise: He claims that people generally liked and trusted the FBI and CIA up until or shortly after 9/11. Not so! Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don't forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.

The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells' CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally "GALVANIZE" the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread "FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE," throughout the globe.

The political parties are theatre designed to fool the people into believing we are living in some sort of legitimate, representative system, when it's the same old plutocracy that manages to get elected because they've long figured out the art of polarizing people and capitalising on tribal alignments.

We should eliminate all government for a time so that people can begin to see that corporations really do and most always have run the country.

It's preposterous to think the stupid public is actually discussing saddling ourselves and future generations with gargantuan debt through a system designed and run by banksters!

it should be self evident a sovereign nation should maintain and forever hold the rights to develop a monetary/financial system that serves the needs of the people, not be indentured servants in a financial system that serves the insatiable greed of a handful of parasitic banksters and corporate tycoons!

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm

You are so right, in fact Robert Parry made quite a journalistic career out of exposing the CIA for such things as drug running. I gave up on that agency a longtime ago, after JFK was murdered, and I was only 13 then. Yeah maybe Phil discounts the time while he worked for the CIA, but the CIA has many, many rooms in which plots are hatched, so the valiant truth teller Giraldi maybe excused this one time for his lack of memory .I guess, right?

Good comment Lee. Joe

Annie , February 17, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Yes, but he's referring to the public's opinion of these agencies, and if they didn't continue to retain, even after 9/11, a significant popularity in the public's mind how would we have so many American's buying into Russia-gate? In my perception of things they only lost some ground after 9/11, but Americans notoriously have a short memory span.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

And films that are supposed to help Americans feel good about the aims and efficacy of the agencies like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo are in the popular imagination.

Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 7:19 pm

The book by Peter Dale Scott, "The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy" covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book.

[Feb 16, 2018] Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy Consortiumnews

Feb 16, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Russians Spooked by Nukes-Against-Cyber-Attack Policy February 16, 2018

New U.S. policy on nuclear retaliatory strikes for cyber-attacks is raising concerns, with Russia claiming that it's already been blamed for a false-flag cyber-attack – namely the election hacking allegations of 2016, explain Ray McGovern and William Binney.

By Ray McGovern and William Binney

Moscow is showing understandable concern over the lowering of the threshold for employing nuclear weapons to include retaliation for cyber-attacks, a change announced on Feb. 2 in the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Explaining the shift in U.S. doctrine on first-use, the NPR cites the efforts of potential adversaries "to design and use cyber weapons" and explains the change as a "hedge" against non-nuclear threats. In response, Russia described the move as an "attempt to shift onto others one's own responsibility" for the deteriorating security situation.

Moscow's concern goes beyond rhetoric. Cyber-attacks are notoriously difficult to trace to the actual perpetrator and can be pinned easily on others in what we call "false-flag" operations. These can be highly destabilizing – not only in the strategic context, but in the political arena as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has good reason to believe he has been the target of a false-flag attack of the political genre. We judged this to be the case a year and a half ago, and said so. Our judgment was fortified last summer – thanks to forensic evidence challenging accusations that the Russians hacked into the Democratic National Committee and provided emails to WikiLeaks. (Curiously, the FBI declined to do forensics, even though the "Russian hack" was being described as an "act of war.")

Our conclusions were based on work conducted over several months by highly experienced technical specialists, including another former NSA technical director (besides co-author Binney) and experts from outside the circle of intelligence analysts.

On August 9, 2017, investigative reporter Patrick Lawrence summed up our findings in The Nation. "They have all argued that the hack theory is wrong and that a locally executed leak is the far more likely explanation," he explained.

As we wrote in an open letter to Barack Obama dated January 17, three days before he left office, the NSA's programs are fully capable of capturing all electronic transfers of data. "We strongly suggest that you ask NSA for any evidence it may have indicating that the results of Russian hacking were given to WikiLeaks," our letter said. "If NSA cannot produce such evidence – and quickly – this would probably mean it does not have any."

A 'Dot' Pointing to a False Flag?

In his article, Lawrence included mention of one key, previously unknown "dot" revealed by WikiLeaks on March 31, 2017. When connected with other dots, it puts a huge dent in the dominant narrative about Russian hacking. Small wonder that the mainstream media immediately applied white-out to the offending dot.

Lawrence, however, let the dot out of the bag, so to speak: "The list of the CIA's cyber-tools WikiLeaks began to release in March and labeled Vault 7 includes one called Marble Framework that is capable of obfuscating the origin of documents in false-flag operations and leaving markings that point to whatever the CIA wants to point to."

If congressional oversight committees summon the courage to look into "Obfus-Gate" and Marble, they are likely to find this line of inquiry as lucrative as the Steele "dossier." In fact, they are likely to find the same dramatis personae playing leading roles in both productions.

Two Surprising Visits

Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it.

In retrospect, the Pompeo-Binney meeting appears to have been a shot across the bow of those cyber warriors in the CIA, FBI, and NSA with the means and incentive to adduce "just discovered" evidence of Russian hacking. That Pompeo could promptly invite Binney back to evaluate any such "evidence" would be seen as a strong deterrent to that kind of operation.

Pompeo's closeness to President Donald Trump is probably why the heads of Russia's three top intelligence agencies paid Pompeo an unprecedented visit in late January. We think it likely that the proximate cause was the strategic danger Moscow sees in the nuclear-hedge-against-cyber-attack provision of the Nuclear Posture Statement (a draft of which had been leaked a few weeks before).

If so, the discussion presumably focused on enhancing hot-line and other fail-safe arrangements to reduce the possibility of false-flag attacks in the strategic arena -- by anyone – given the extremely high stakes.

Putin may have told his intelligence chiefs to pick up on President Donald Trump's suggestion, after the two met last July, to establish a U.S.-Russian cyber security unit. That proposal was widely ridiculed at the time. It may make good sense now.

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years, was chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and briefed the President's Daily Brief one-on-one from 1981-1985. William Binney worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.


mike k , February 16, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Those Russians had a strange mission coming to CIA headquarters to try to negotiate with soulless mass murderers in the name of maintaining a precarious semblance of peace, knowing full well that these men's words and assurances were worth less than nothing. Ah well, I guess in a mad situation one is reduced to making desperate gestures, hoping against hope .

Mild-ly -Facetious , February 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm

F Y I :> Putin prefers Aramco to Trump's sword dance

Hardly 10 months after honoring the visiting US president, the Saudis are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the upcoming Aramco IPO

By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR
FEBRUARY 16, 2018

[extract]

In the slideshow that is Middle Eastern politics, the series of still images seldom add up to make an enduring narrative. And the probability is high that when an indelible image appears, it might go unnoticed – such as Russia and Saudi Arabia wrapping up huge energy deals on Wednesday underscoring a new narrative in regional and international security.

The ebb and flow of events in Syria – Turkey's campaign in Afrin and its threat to administer an "Ottoman slap" to the United States, and the shooting down of an Israeli F-16 jet – hogged the attention. But something of far greater importance was unfolding in Riyadh, as Saudi and Russian officials met to seal major deals marking a historic challenge to the US dominance in the Persian Gulf region.

The big news is the Russian offer to the Saudi authorities to invest directly in the upcoming Aramco initial public offering – and the Saudis acknowledging the offer. Even bigger news, surely, is that Moscow is putting together a Russian-Chinese consortium of joint investment funds plus several major Russian banks to be part of the Aramco IPO.

Chinese state oil companies were interested in becoming cornerstone investors in the IPO, but the participation of a Russia-China joint investment fund takes matters to an entirely different realm. Clearly, the Chinese side is willing to hand over tens of billions of dollars.

Yet the Aramco IPO was a prime motive for US President Donald Trump to choose Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip. The Saudi hosts extended the ultimate honor to Trump – a ceremonial sword dance outside the Murabba Palace in Riyadh. Hardly 10 months later, they are open to a Russian-Chinese consortium investing in the Aramco IPO.

Riyadh plans to sell 5% of Saudi Aramco in what is billed as the largest IPO in world history. In the Saudi estimation, Aramco is worth US$2 trillion; a 5% stake sale could fetch as much as $100 billion. The IPO is a crucial segment of Vision 2030, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's ambitious plan to diversify the kingdom's economy.

MORE : http://www.atimes.com/article/putin-prefers-aramco-trumps-sword-dance/

Anna , February 16, 2018 at 6:46 pm

"Last October CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited one of us (Binney) into his office to discuss Russian hacking. Binney told Pompeo his analysts had lied and that he could prove it."

That was about some Dm. Alperovitch for CrowdStrike fame, who had discovered the "hacking" in 10 sec. Guess Alperovitch, as an "expert" at the viciously Russophobic Atlantic Council (funded by the State Dept., NATO, and a set of unsavory characters like Ukrainian oligrach Pinchuk) decided to show his "understanding" of the task. The shy FBI did not even attempt to look at the Clinton's server because the bosses "knew better."

Alperovitch must be investigated for anti-American activities; the scoundrel has been sowing discord into the US society with his lies while endangering the US citizenry.

[Feb 16, 2018] Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Interfering In US Election

False flag or real ?
Is not "included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton . " (or vise versa) by posting on social media an example of free speech ?
But usage of fake identities clearly is not: "The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities."
The question is how those unquestionable very talented Russians managed to learn English language without living in the USA and operate such a sophisticated operation from oversees? English is a very difficult language for Russians to master and Russian immigrants who came to the USA being older then 16 and living in the USA for ten or twenty years typically still have horrible accent and bad or very bad grammar (tenses, "a" and "the" usage, you name it). Actually Russian woman are noticeably better then men in this area, especially if they are married to a US spouse. Ass to this dismal understanding of the USA politics including differences between Democratic and Republican parties (you probably need to live in the USA for ten years to start appreciate those differences ;-) . How they managed to learn local political culture to be effective? That's a strong argument in favor of false flag operation -- in case they have puppeteers from the USA everything is more or less rationally explainable.
Notable quotes:
"... It gets better: the defendants reportedly worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range of issues, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, and they amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. They set up and used servers inside the U.S. to mask the Russian origin of the accounts. ..."
"... The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said. ..."
"... The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities. ..."
"... Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton . ..."
"... Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016 ..."
"... Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. ..."
"... As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time . ..."
"... 13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success. ..."
"... Indict AIPAC. That is the real foreign interference in ALL US elections. Such hypocrisy. At the very least, make them register as a foreign operation! Information warfare using social media ? What, you mean like the Israeli students who are paid to shape public opinion thru social media? This is no secret and has been in the news. I fail to find the difference? Psychologists call this projection, that is where you accuse others of the crimes you commit . ..."
"... It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't. ..."
"... Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive. ..."
"... Fucking hilarious - Mueller has indicted an anti-Russian CIA operation that was run out of St. Petersburg. http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/ ..."
"... The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??" ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mueller charges "defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."

It gets better: the defendants reportedly worked day and night shifts to pump out messages, controlling pages targeting a range of issues, including immigration, Black Lives Matter, and they amassed hundreds of thousands of followers. They set up and used servers inside the U.S. to mask the Russian origin of the accounts.

Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump.

In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.

The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

The Russians "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system," according to the indictment in Washington.

The Russians also reportedly bought advertisements on U.S. social media, created numerous Twitter accounts designed to appear as if they were U.S. groups or people, according to the indictment. One fake account, @TEN_GOP account, attracted more than 100,000 online followers.

The Russians tracked the metrics of their effort in reports and budgeted for their efforts. Some, as described below, traveled to the U.S. to gather intelligence for the surreptitious campaign. They used stolen U.S. identities, including fake driver's licenses, and contacted news media outlets to promote their activities.

The full list of named defendants in addition to the Internet Research Agency, as well as Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, include:

Mueller's office said that none of the defendants was in custody.

So how is Trump involved? Well, he isn't, as it now seems that collusion narrative is dead, and instead Russian involvement was unilateral. Instead, according to the indictment, the Russian operations were unsolicited and pro bono, and included " supporting Trump... and disparaging Hillary Clinton,' staging political rallies, buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups. Oh, and communicating " with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities. "

Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton .

Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

Furthermore, the dastardly Russians created fake accounts to pretend they are Americans:

Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016

Mueller also alleges a combination of traditional and modern espionage...

Certain Defendants traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence to inform Defendants' operations. Defendants also procured and used computer infrastructure, based partly in the United States, to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement.

Mueller also charges that two of the defendants received US visas and from approximately June 4, 2014 through June 26, 2014, KRYLOVA and BOGACHEVA " traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence, After the trip, KRYLOVA and BURCHIK exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip."

* * *

The indictment points to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.


Joe Davola -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

Concord Catering - what, were they offering chicken wings and pigs ears at the polling places?

Never One Roach -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

So how often does Mueller hear those demon voices in his head?

Billy the Poet -> Never One Roach Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:05 Permalink

I wonder if any of these Russians were behind the anti-Trump rallies of November 2016? Thousands attended protest organized by Russians on Facebook.

Thousands of Americans attended a march last November organized by a Russian group that used social media to interfere in the 2016 election.

The demonstration in New York City, which took place a few days after the election, appears to be the largest and most successful known effort to date pulled off by Russian-linked groups intent on using social media platforms to influence American politics.

Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users.

As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time .

The BlackMattersUS-organized rally took advantage of outrage among groups on the left following President Trump's victory on Nov. 8 to galvanize support for its event. The group's protest was the fourth consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country.

"Join us in the streets! Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!" reads the Facebook event page for the rally. "Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land."

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-

Belrev -> Billy the Poet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:07 Permalink

13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success.

SamAdams -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

Indict AIPAC. That is the real foreign interference in ALL US elections. Such hypocrisy. At the very least, make them register as a foreign operation! Information warfare using social media ? What, you mean like the Israeli students who are paid to shape public opinion thru social media? This is no secret and has been in the news. I fail to find the difference? Psychologists call this projection, that is where you accuse others of the crimes you commit .

Belrev -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

That is a regime change in DC proposition.

IH8OBAMA -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:21 Permalink

If Mueller is going outside the Trump organization to indict Russians, when is he going to indict some equally criminal Democraps?

I also see that one of the 13 Russians was Valdimir. ( VLADIMIR VENKOV ) LOL

Shillinlikeavillan -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

Soooooooo...

They basically indicted the $100,000 facebook ad russian group... Bravo! Ur really on the path to impeaching trump now!
LULZ!

overbet -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:34 Permalink

Boy Hillary sure didnt get her money's worth. She shoulda hired these people.

Is it ok for MSM for to make all of their disparaging commentary, but not ok for people to do the same? Mueller mustve forgot about the craigslist ads hiring protesters to attack Trump rallies. What a fucking clown show.

I guess that's it Mueller gets his indictments to save face and Trump is pleased its over.

El Vaquero -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

This ties directly into the October 31, 2017 testimony from Facebook, Twitter and Google regarding Russian media presence on social media. Mueller is grasping here, and given that it talks about visas granted for short visits, I'm led to believe that most of these people are actually not on US soil to be arrested. This means political grandstanding via an indictment that is never going to see a courtroom where the evidence can be examined and witnesses can be cross examined. It looks like Mueller would have these people for identity theft if he had them in the US, which he probably doesn't.

I'm going to get called a Russian bot over this elsewhere. Well, maybe facetiously here. #WeAreAllRussianBotsNow

spanish inquisition -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Deep state pivot to keep the Russian hate alive.

FoggyWorld -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

And set us up for war.

Shemp 4 Victory -> FoggyWorld Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink

Fucking hilarious - Mueller has indicted an anti-Russian CIA operation that was run out of St. Petersburg. http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

pods -> Shemp 4 Victory Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

Wow, I am going to have to keep the radio off for a couple of days. They are going to be wall to wall on this. Maybe even bump the stories where fakely sympathetic reporter cunts (FSRC) ask mother's if they miss their dead kids.

This is a fucking clownshow anymore. Jesus, THIS is what the investigation brought home? Holy fuckshit, this is a joke. Some guy had 100k followers? Really? Like anyone GAF about that? We have AIPAC making candidates kneel before them and yet some guys on Tweeter fucked around. I think that is even bullshit. If Russians really did that, they wouldn't "work in shifts" they would program some fucking bots to do this.

I can just imagine the fake outrage that that worthless kike from NY Chuckie "don't get between me and a camera" Schumer has to say about this.

This is a Matrix alright, and a cheap ass one at that.

Mueller should be taken out and horsewhipped for bringing this shit home.

Hey Mueller, I read a comment on Yahoo news that was in broken English. Go get um!

pods

stizazz -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:30 Permalink

They HATE Russia because PUTIN OPENLY derided the American Empire.

BennyBoy -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:38 Permalink

The Russians duped me.

I was gonna vote for Hillary then I read tweets where she bullied the woman her husband raped to keep quiet. And how her foundation got hundreds of $millions from countries with business before her at the state dept. ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA mislead me.

BennyBoy -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

Its probably nothing....

CHINESE STATE-OWNED CHEMICAL FIRM JOINS DARK MONEY GROUP POURING CASH INTO U.S. ELECTIONS

Lee Fang February 15 2018, 10:10 a.m.

WANHUA CHEMICAL, A $10 billion chemical company controlled by the Chinese government, now has an avenue to influence American elections.

On Monday, Wanhua joined the American Chemistry Council, a lobby organization for chemical manufacturers that is unusually aggressive in intervening in U.S. politics.

The ACC is a prominent recipient of so-called dark money -- that is, unlimited amounts of cash from corporations or individuals the origins of which are only disclosed to the IRS, not the public. During the 2012 , 2014 , and 2016 election cycles, the ACC took this dark money and spent over $40 million of it on contributions to super PACs, lobbying, and direct expenditures. (Additional money flowed directly to candidates via the ACC's political action committee.).....

https://theintercept.com/2018/02/15/chinese-state-owned-chemical-firm-j

ThanksChump -> BennyBoy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Duped by facts and truth is no way to go through life, son.

JimmyJones -> ThanksChump Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:59 Permalink

Obama, "I can do more after I'm reelected" to Putin caught on a hot mic.

I always knew Hillary was as pure as the first winter's snow.

Theosebes Goodfellow -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

~" In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election. "~

Wait, does this mean that "disparaging Hillary" was just for the witless? I've been doing that for years, (without any Russian influence at all), and have found it to be rather witty virtually all the time.

Can we NOW get to the point where we appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary?

rwe2late -> Theosebes Goodfellow Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:09 Permalink

not yet ...

any of us who spread "fake news" are now "conspirators" who gave "support" to foreign agents with the goal of undermining the "democratic process" by denying Hillary the presidency.

tsk, tsk.

ignorance can be no excuse for such wanton lawlessness.

rwe2late -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:36 Permalink

oh, oh

I almost forgot. "conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord" obvious "proof" of "cooperating" with the Russians

Boxed Merlot -> rwe2late Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

..."conspirators" were blatantly "sowing discord"...

Yep, so on top of being "Deplorable", I'm also without wit.

His name was Seth.

Squid Viscous -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:57 Permalink

well said pods, i wish i could upvote you like, 13 times

Machbet -> pods Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:32 Permalink

Well said, my brother. "A fucking clownshow..." A clownshow run by juvenile, idiotic fallen angels.

sixsigma cygnu -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:01 Permalink

I'm just relieved they didn't get Boris. Not this time.

Telling people the truth makes one a very desirable target.

BigCumulusClouds -> sixsigma cygnu Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:06 Permalink

The bigger question is "when is Mueller going to be indicted for covering up the controlled demolition of the WTC buildings on nine eleven??"

eatthebanksters -> spanish inquisition Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:10 Permalink

So this is all they have?

Bubba Rum Das -> Citizen in 1984 Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:08 Permalink

Yes, Mueller is a clown show, but he came up w/ this crap in an attempt to divert media attention away from his & McCabes direct involvement in trying to cover up Uranium 1 for Hillary...The Truth!

Boxed Merlot -> eatthebanksters Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:48 Permalink

...all they have?...

Sure hope they weren't bettin' the farm.

jmo.

DosZap -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink

He has to INDICT someone,since he can't get Trump except on adultery.(the only thing NOT under his purview)

I see a distant MELANIA in his near future.

eclectic syncretist -> DosZap Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:43 Permalink

The FBI going DEEP (#sarc) into its playbook for this one.

Simultaneously distracting from their incompetencies with regards to domestic threats (school shooters/government collusion to subvert presidential election), and exonerating Hillary AGAIN.

"Using lies and deception to cover our lies and deceptions, so that we can enslave the populace to our will" (visualize Meuller/Comey/Strzok/Page/Ohr/Rosenstein/Obama/Rice/ with left hands on Satanic Bible and right arms extended giving oath in Temple of Mammon before upside down American flag).

ebear -> El Vaquero Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:17 Permalink

"#WeAreAllRussianBotsNow"

Ich bin ein Russe!

agNau -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:59 Permalink

Hillary hired the entire Russian government with the Uranium one deal.

BigCumulusClouds -> overbet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

Protestors?? HRC hired thugs who beat people up at Trump rallies. That's a felony. Some people got hurt real bad.

IH8OBAMA -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

I wonder if Mueller is going to indict Obama for interfering in the Israeli election?

giovanni_f -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

1. CNN can now say Russian interference is a "proven fact".

2. "13 individuals" and "3 companies" - this is a casus belli even for the most pacifist peaceniks on ZH

3. US can now continue to meddle in Russian elections as they did since 1919 pointing to the existential thread those 13 individuals posed.

rwe2late -> giovanni_f Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

worse than 3.meddling in Russian elections,

anyone who objects to US military and economic aggression,

will be further branded/dismissed (prosecuted?)

as a "proven dupe" of Russia/Putin.

caconhma -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:08 Permalink

The US Constitution. RIP

The DoJ and Miller activities are anti-American. What else is new in occupied America?

PS

Note Trump does nothing about this unprecedented assault on Freedom of Speech and Assembly in the USA. Therefore, Trump is a willing player in these criminal activities.

commiebastid -> IH8OBAMA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:21 Permalink

and Brexit and the French election and Venezuela election and The Ukraine; Libya; Palestinian Territories..... lmao

DownWithYogaPants -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

Ohhh fake social accounts.........the horror!

( If I had known they were the equivalent of Harry Potters magic wand I would have opened a few long ago! )

Seems like Mr Mueller is in face saving mode.

What is Rod Rosenstein doing still at the FBI. He should be in prison.

MEFOBILLS -> Shillinlikeavillan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

Mueller is going to go until he gets some meat. Maybe this lean and stringy meat is enough to satisfy. Of course, nobody will look at AIPAC and all of the foreign influence money funneling into senators coffers.

Endgame Napoleon -> carni Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

He said they stole identities, posting anti-Hillary remarks on Russian-controlled sites, using the stolen identities. They must do that through hacking, which is illegal.

They also organized rallies, he said. There were ads on job sites, advertising for paid [leftist] protestors, long before Trump emerged as a candidate. People posted them on American sites. Some attribute it to Soros. I am a little skeptical that Soros controls the world, anymore than Russians, but that is what people often believe, when it is leftist ads.

Advertisements are all over the Internet. Is that illegal? He called it fraud, referring to the misrepresentation of identity, I guess. They should not be manipulating unknowing people.

But, I wonder if he has the same vigilance when illegal aliens use fake SS cards to acquire jobs, while their girlfriends use real SS cards of US-born kids to get $450 on average in EBT food assistance, in addition to other welfare, making it easy for illegal aliens to undercut American citizens in jobs. Using a fake SS number -- i.e. posing as an American to get a job -- is fraud.

As long as the illegal aliens have sex after illegal border crossings, reproduce and say they misrepresent their identities for the good of their kids, this is legal and deserving of pay-per-birth welfare / child-tax-credit freebies and citizenship, whereas these Russians are committing fraud.

They should not be doing that in either case, but the double standard is interesting.

And if people cannot post freely on the internet without revealing their real names, a lot of internet activity (and a lot of related commerce) will cease. Many people post anonymously, often due to jobs or other factors that have nothing to do with elections.

In fact, FBI agents post under identities (personas) that are not their own. There are many articles, describing how police agencies use fake identities on the internet to track down criminals, including those who abuse children. They do the same thing to monitor terrorists; they use fake identities.

[Feb 16, 2018] Where are these indictments ? Obama, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and John McCain.

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Vote up! 2 Vote down! 0

Mike Masr Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:41 Permalink

Where are these indictments ? Obama, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt and John McCain.

The US has been meddling and interfering in other countries elections and internal affairs for decades. Not only does the US meddle and interfere in other countries elections it overthrows democratically elected governments it simply doesn't like, and then installs its own puppet leaders. Our deep-state MIC owned neocons casually refer to this as "regime change".

I can only imagine the hell that would break loose if Russia fomented, paid for, and assisted in a violent overthrow of the legitimately and democratically elected government in Mexico. Imagine Russian spymasters working from the Russian Embassy in Mexico City training radicals how to use social media to bring out angry people and foment violent pubic unrest. Then Russian Duma members in Mexico City handing out tacos, and tamales emboldening and urging these angry people to riot, and overthrow the government and toss the bums out. Then Putin's executive group hand picking all the new (anti-USA) drug cartel junta puppet leaders and an old senile Russian senator in Mexico City stating at a podium on RT, there are no drug cartels here, that's all propaganda!

On the other side of the world Obama's neocon warmongers spent billions doing exactly this. Instead of drug cartels it was Banderist Neo-Nazis. Obama and our neocons, including John McCain intentionally caused all of this fucking mess, civil war and horrific death in Ukraine on Russia's border and then placed the blame on Putin and Russia.

Thanks to John McCain and our evil fucking neocons - the regime change policy implemented by Obama, Clinton and Nuland's minions, like Geoffrey Pyatt, the Ukraine today is totally fucked. It is now a corrupt banana republic embroiled in a bloody civil war. For the US and NATO the golden prize of this violent undemocratic regime change was supposed to be the Crimea. This scheme did not play out as intended. No matter what sanctions the warmongering neocons place on Russia they will NEVER give back the Crimea!

Our neocon fuck heads spent billions of our hard earned taxpayer dollars to create pain, suffering, death and a civil war in Ukraine on the border with Russia.

This is a case of don't do what we do, only do what we tell you to do. It's perfectly okay when we meddle. We don't like it when we think it may have been done to us. It's hypocrisy and duplicity at its finest!

Tech Camp NGO - operating out of US Embassy in Kiev

(using social media to help bring out radicals-and cause civil war-pre Maidan 2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9hOl8TuBUM

Nuland talks about $5 billion spent on Ukraine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaR1_an9CnQ

Nuland plotting(on intercepted phone call) the new handpicked puppet leaders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o

US Support of Banderist Neo-Nazis in Ukraine 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-RyOaFwcEw

Lavrov reminds the UN a West-inspired coup d'état started Ukraine crisis, not Russia

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/404247-un-lavrov-ukraine-sanctions/

[Feb 16, 2018] What is the definition of a fake social media account ? What is the crime for operatine a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Genby Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

Mueller effectively called himself an idiot and degenerate.

13 people won against the whole apparatus of FBI (including Mueller). That makes FBI a herd of idiots and degenerates (including Mueller).

SirBarksAlot -> rgraf Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

What crime?

Impersonating an American?

Practicing freedom of speech?

Trying to influence an election?

I don't see any crimes.

Joiningupthedots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

When does Mueller get charged?

He is part of the fabric of the Clinton Gang along with Comey and others.

How many people have posted derogatory comments about Clinton on ZH alone.

This sounds like when they ludicrously charged and entire unit of the Chinese PLA.

FringeImaginigs Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

Agreed, it's against the law to steal identities and operate bank accounts and all that. But really, compared to the fraud committed by just one bank - Wells Fargo- this is smal small potatoes. And did I miss it or did the indictment not even mention the value of the ads bought on Facebook - $100,000. (nope, not missing any zeros). And it all started in 2014 while Donald was playing golf and sticking his dick in some whore. And a few ruskies got into the good ol USofA with false statements on their visas. While the courts fought Trump on the fact that immigration from a few countries need to be stopped because there was not way of checking data. I get it - somebody driving too fast gets a speeding ticket, and Muellers investigation gets to issue an indictment. I'm sure we all feel better now.

Lostinfortwalton Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

So, did Mueller address the crime committed by the then FBI head who refused to allow a FBI informant to address Congress on the Uranium One scam before it was authorized? Uh, that would be Mueller, his very self, so the answer is no.

soyungato Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:33 Permalink

Bob honey, the people are laughing.

But but but those Russians, they call me names.

Grandad Grumps Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:35 Permalink

What is the definition of a "fake social media account"? What is the crime for operatine a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Or is it that Mueller has NOTHING and is too big of a corrupt idiot to admit it.

Rick Cerone Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

Putin should define what a NGO is.

He should tell the world how the US uses NGO's to destabilize elections.

He wont do it because he's digging tunnels for the big day.

BigPunny Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

"In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election. "

No, not "in other words." That's not what he said at all. Idiot propagandist.

devnickle Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

And Hillary has done nothing criminal in the last 40 years. All of the evidence has been a fabrication. The Russians perfected time travel technology in the 70's, and have been conspiring against her and planting evidence since then.

What planet am I living on again? We have now stepped into the twilight zone. Facepalm.....

moneybots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:55 Permalink

"Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump."

The goal of the MSM was the opposite. To unfairly disparage Trump and assist the election of Hillary Clinton. So why no indictments of members of the American MSM?

Montana Cowboy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

What a bunch of horseshit. Mueller did nothing to locate just as much foreign or Russian support for Hillary. Grand Jury is just another one-sided court that passes judgment without any input from the other side. Now where have we seen that before? FISA.

What is wrong with anyone doing what they want to support a candidate? If that is somehow illegal interference, why is Soros running loose in the world?

I have a friend that was a US Federal Prosecutor. He once told me that the most un-American concepts that exist are grand juries and conspiracy laws. I'm sure he would have included FISA if it existed then.

dot_bust Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."

Criticizing Hillary Clinton constitutes election interference? This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Over half the United States said she was corrupt and morally bankrupt. Does that mean all those Americans interfered in the election?

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:04 Permalink

"Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

I thought this was our "shtick" for subverting and overthrowing government(s) since 194_?... Fast forward to 2012 and subverting sovereign foreign government(s) using other means then election(s) ( https://jasirx.wordpress.com/ )

Just ask this person ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o ) who handed out cookies before starting an "overthrow of a sovereign government" right before a Winter Olympics?... And while we're on the subject of subversion of sovereign Nation(s) "OCONUS" ask this fat shit how it's going in the Middle East with it's "partners" ( https://southfront.org/meeting-between-us-state-secretary-and-lebanese- ) Nor should we forget 22 within the Russian diplomatic community in the last 6 years "eliminated" for early retirement courtesy of the U.S. government...

And if all this is true why isn't Muelller indicting government officials within the FBI Department of immigration and Homeland Security that would allow "some defendants" to impersonate Americans after 9/11 and the security infrastructure we built around U.S. to prevent "future attacks" that were obviously (here illegally)???...

On second thought DON'T ANSWER THAT!!!

atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink

Our enemies are not overseas. They are right here at home.

Son of Captain Nemo -> atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

That did this ( http://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to their own to grab oil everyplace else they didn't control it!

Concertedmaniac Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

What a complete load of horseshit. Waste of time and money while the crimes of the clintons and collaborators remain unpunished, including Mueller himself.

wobblie Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

"Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump"

Only in the idiot world of Liberalism and Conservatism is this not a laughable statement.

Stupid fucks.

https://therulingclassobserver.com/

Obamaroid Ointment Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

13 Russian bots to get life sentences in Twitter jail? Is a prisoner exchange with Putin for American bots a possibility?

[Feb 16, 2018] 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.

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.
Notable quotes:
"... And the USA has indeed thoroughly developed means to falsely laying blame for cyber attacks it actually performs itself (next to it's proven credentials of falsely laying blame with chemical and terrorist attacks). ..."
"... And the USA has indeed thoroughly developed means to falsely laying blame for cyber attacks it actually performs itself (next to it's proven credentials of falsely laying blame with chemical and terrorist attacks). ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

xor | Feb 16, 2018 2:54:51 PM | 33

There indeed doesn't seem to be a motive to why the Russian authorities would launch a cyber attack that economically disrupts both itself, allies and other countries. Either the virus writers didn't care for a solution, hoped that a solution that never works might panic the victims even more so they make more cash transfers or enjoyed reaping money while seeing their victims suffer of something where there is no solution for. The last 2 reasons are short term because news that there is no solution for the ransomware will stop victims from making cash transfers. More convincing would be a cyber attack initiated by USA authorities that would hit already crumbling Ukraine businesses even further and create even more mistrust between Ukraine and Russia.

And the USA has indeed thoroughly developed means to falsely laying blame for cyber attacks it actually performs itself (next to it's proven credentials of falsely laying blame with chemical and terrorist attacks). On 31 March 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 White House has condemned the revelations made by Wikileaks, saying that those responsible for leaking classified information from the agency should be held accountable by the law.

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Marble' Source Code that CIA Used to Frame Russia and China

There indeed doesn't seem to be a motive to why the Russian authorities would launch a cyber attack that economically disrupts both itself, allies and other countries. Either the virus writers didn't care for a solution, hoped that a solution that never works might panic the victims even more so they make more cash transfers or enjoyed reaping money while seeing their victims suffer of something where there is no solution for. The last 2 reasons are short term because news that there is no solution for the ransomware will stop victims from making cash transfers. More convincing would be a cyber attack initiated by USA authorities that would hit already crumbling Ukraine businesses even further and create even more mistrust between Ukraine and Russia.

And the USA has indeed thoroughly developed means to falsely laying blame for cyber attacks it actually performs itself (next to it's proven credentials of falsely laying blame with chemical and terrorist attacks). On 31 March 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 White House has condemned the revelations made by Wikileaks, saying that those responsible for leaking classified information from the agency should be held accountable by the law.

WikiLeaks Reveals 'Marble' Source Code that CIA Used to Frame Russia and China div

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.

WikiLeaks: Marble Framework

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.

WikiLeaks: Marble Framework

When the White House (doesn't matter who's ostensibly in charge) claims leaker's like Julian Assange should be accountable by the law, it of course means the malleable arbitrary law which none of the serpents in the White House, Langley, ... are accountable to.

[Feb 12, 2018] Vault 8 and false-flag allegations: The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man

Informative YouTube video
Notable quotes:
"... In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products. ..."
"... The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.youtube.com

In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products.

Media reports suggest that NSA is in the middle of a big mole hunt. Equifax begins to tally up the costs of its breach.

The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States...

[Feb 12, 2018] A CIA Cyber False Flag by Federico Pieraccini.

Notable quotes:
"... Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post ..."
"... In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT ..."
"... Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. ..."
"... These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular. ..."
"... This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | wearechange.org

Article via Strategic-Culture

New revelations from Wikileaks' 'Vault 7' leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.

Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post . It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.

While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

Perhaps this is too generous a depiction of matters, given that the general public has yet to see any evidence of the hacking of the DNC servers. In addition to this, we know that the origin of Podesta's email revelations stem from the loss of a smartphone and the low data-security measures employed by the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT and other media (not directly linked to the Kremlin), finally enjoy a major presence in the mainstream media. The biggest problem for the Washington establishment lies in the revelation of news that is counterproductive to the interests of the deep state. RT, Sputnik, this site and many others have diligently covered and reported to the general public every development concerning the Podesta revelations or the hacking of the DNC.

Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. These revelations become particularly relevant when we consider the consequences of these actions. The main example can be seen in the hacking of the DNC. For now, what we know is that the hacking – if it ever occurred – is of Russian origin. This does not mean at all that the Kremlin directed it. It could actually be very much the opposite, its responsibility falling into the category of a cyber false-flag. One thing is for sure: all 16 US intelligence agencies are of the view that "the Russians did it". That said, the methods used to hack vulnerabilities cannot be revealed, so as to limit the spread of easily reusable exploits on systems, such as the one that hosted the DNC server. It is a great excuse for avoiding the revelation of any evidence at all.

So, with little information available, independent citizens are left with very little information on which to reliably form an opinion on what happened. There is no evidence, and no evidence will be provided to the media. For politicians and so-called mainstream journalists, this is an acceptable state of affairs. What we are left with instead is blind faith in the 16 spy agencies. The problem for them is that what WikiLeaks revealed with Vault 7 exposes a scenario that looks more likely than not: a cyber false-flag carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency using engineered malware and viruses made in Russia and hypothetically linking them back to hacking networks in Russia. In all likelihood, it looks like the Democrats' server was hacked by the CIA with the clear objective of leaving Russian fingerprints and obvious traces to be picked up by other US agencies.

In this way, it becomes easier to explain the unique views of all 16 spy agencies. Thus, it is far more likely that the CIA intentionally left fake Russian fingerprints all over the DNC server, thereby misleading other intelligence agencies in promoting the narrative that Russia hacked the DNC server. Of course the objective was to create a false narrative that could immediately be picked up by the media, creating even more hysteria surrounding any rapprochement with Russia.

Diversification of computer systems.

The revelations contained in the Wikileaks vault 7 ( less than 1 % of the total data in Wikileaks' possession has been released to date) have caused a stir, especially by exposing the astonishing complicity between hardware and software manufacturers, often intentionally creating backdoors in their products to allow access by the CIA and NSA. In today's digital environment, all essential services rely on computer technology and connectivity. These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9678427951402854?pubid=ld-4970-8393&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwearechange.org&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=550

The People's Republic has already started down this track, with the replacement of many network devices with local vendors like Huawei in order to avoid the type of interference revealed by Snowden. Russia has been doing the same in terms of software, even laying the groundwork to launch of its own operating system, abandoning American and European systems. In North Korea, this idea was already put into practice years ago and is an excellent tool for deterrence for external interference. In more than one computer security conference, US experts have praised the capabilities of the DPRK to isolate its Internet network from the rest of the world, allowing them to have strong safety mechanisms. Often, the only access route to the DPRK systems are through the People's Republic of China, not the easiest way for the CIA or NSA to infiltrate a protected computer network.

An important aspect of the world in which we live today involves information security, something all nations have to deal with. At the moment, we still live in a world in which the realization of the danger and effect of hacking attacks are not apparent to many. On the other hand, militarily speaking, the diversification and rationalization of critical equipment in terms of networks and operability (smartphones, laptops, etc) has already produced strong growth in non-American and European manufacturers, with the aim of making their systems more secure.

This strengthening of technology also produces deleterious consequences, such as the need for intelligence agencies to be able to prevent the spread of data encryption so as to always enjoy access to any desired information. The birth of the Tor protocol, the deployment of Bitcoin, and apps that are more and more encrypted (although the WikiLeaks documents have shown that the collection of information takes place on the device b efore the information is encrypted ) are all responses to an exponential increase in the invasion of privacy by federal or American government entities.

We live in a world that has an enormous dependence on the Internet and computer technology. The CIA over the years has focused on the ability to make sure vulnerable systems are exploited as well as seeking out major security flaws in consumer products without disclosing this to vendors, thereby taking advantage of these security gaps and leaving all consumers with a potential lack of security. Slowly, thanks to the work and courage of people like Snowden and Assange, the world is beginning to understand how important it is to keep personal data under control and prevent access to it by third parties, especially if they are state actors. In the case of national security, the issue is expanded exponentially by the need to protect key and vital infrastructure, considering how many critical services operate via the Internet and rely on computing devices.

The wars of the future will have a strong technological basis, and it is no coincidence that many armed forces, primarily the Russian and Chinese, have opted in recent years to training troops, and conducting operations, not completely relying on connectivity. No one can deny that in the event of a large-scale conflict, connectivity is far from guaranteed. One of the major goals of competing nations is to penetrate the military security systems of rival nations and be able to disarm the internal networks that operates major systems of defense and attack.

The Wikileaks revelations are yet another confirmation of how important it is to break the technological unipolar moment, if it may be dubbed this way, especially for nations targeted by the United States. Currently Washington dictates the technological capacities of the private and government sectors of Europe and America, steering their development, timing and methods to suit its own interests. It represents a clear disadvantage that the PRC and its allies will inevitably have to redress in the near future in order to achieve full security for its vital infrastructure.


This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini.

[Feb 08, 2018] CIA Dirty Cyber Tricks by Matthew Vadum

Notable quotes:
"... The Central Intelligence Agency now can mimic foreign intelligence agencies' hack attacks by leaving electronic "fingerprints" creating the false impression of a foreign intrusion into computer networks, according to claims accompanying a new WikiLeaks document dump. ..."
"... In other words, there may not be hard evidence that CIA operatives, say, used cyberspace to create a modern-day Reichstag fire to undermine the Trump administration, but it may be the case that the CIA has the technological capabilities to do such a thing, if it were so inclined. ..."
"... The Vault 7 collection is said to have come from a former U.S. government hacker or contractor associated with "an isolated, high-security network" within the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. The files made public don't include the actual cyber weapons themselves which WikiLeaks says it will not release for the time being. ..."
"... The idea behind Year Zero is that all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch. All history of a nation or people before Year Zero is deemed largely irrelevant, as it will ideally be purged and replaced from the ground up. In Cambodia, so-called New People -- teachers, artists, and intellectuals -- were especially singled out and executed during the purges accompanying Year Zero. ..."
"... According to WikiLeaks, "[t]he CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation." ..."
"... With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from. UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques. ..."
"... If this new information about "Umbrage" is accurate, this means that, as stated above, the CIA could hack people and institutions and then attribute the cyber-attacks to others in what amount to false-flag operations. For example, in order to create the impression that a foreign power favored one political candidate over another, the CIA or unseen rogue elements with access to "Umbrage," could have hacked into Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee and made it appear that the intrusion was carried out by former KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin's operatives. ..."
"... given what we've learned about the CIA's anti-Trump shenanigans in recent months, it seems unwise to reflexively rule out the possibility that that's how things could have gone down. Espionage, after all, is all about deception and covering tracks. Things aren't what they seem and the motives of those creating an illusion aren't easily discerned. ..."
"... On the other hand, combine "Umbrage" with the seemingly invincible false narrative that President Donald Trump is a tool of Russian interests, and plenty of Americans would be willing to believe Trump really does have substantial ties to the Kremlin, something that has not been proven. Even now there is still no publicly available evidence the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government last year. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified. All that exists is the alleged ..."
Mar 08, 2017 | www.frontpagemag.com

Troubling questions about "Umbrage" and potential false-flag attacks. 53

The Central Intelligence Agency now can mimic foreign intelligence agencies' hack attacks by leaving electronic "fingerprints" creating the false impression of a foreign intrusion into computer networks, according to claims accompanying a new WikiLeaks document dump.

In other words, there may not be hard evidence that CIA operatives, say, used cyberspace to create a modern-day Reichstag fire to undermine the Trump administration, but it may be the case that the CIA has the technological capabilities to do such a thing, if it were so inclined.

This assertion that the CIA can hack computer networks and leave behind convincing evidence that somebody else did it, comes with the release by WikiLeaks of a huge collection of documents – 8,761 items in all – collectively dubbed the "Vault 7" leaks that purport to describe espionage techniques used by the CIA. The Vault 7 collection is said to have come from a former U.S. government hacker or contractor associated with "an isolated, high-security network" within the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. The files made public don't include the actual cyber weapons themselves which WikiLeaks says it will not release for the time being.

This documentary agglomeration covers "the entire hacking capacity of the CIA," Julian Assange's WikiLeaks claimed in a press release, and it is only the first in a series of what he calls the "Year Zero" leaks.

The Year Zero label has a decidedly sinister quality to it and may offer clues into what WikiLeaks hopes to accomplish with these new leaks, apparently the most significant and damaging to the U.S. intelligence community since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden handed over thousands of classified U.S. documents to journalists in 2013.

Year Zero was used by the bloodthirsty Khmer Rouge when it seized power in Cambodia in 1975. The term is analogous to Year One of the French Revolutionary calendar, which implied a violent break with the old system and the merciless leveling of existing institutions.

As one online resource states:

The idea behind Year Zero is that all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch. All history of a nation or people before Year Zero is deemed largely irrelevant, as it will ideally be purged and replaced from the ground up. In Cambodia, so-called New People -- teachers, artists, and intellectuals -- were especially singled out and executed during the purges accompanying Year Zero.

According to WikiLeaks, "[t]he CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation."

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from. UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

If this new information about "Umbrage" is accurate, this means that, as stated above, the CIA could hack people and institutions and then attribute the cyber-attacks to others in what amount to false-flag operations. For example, in order to create the impression that a foreign power favored one political candidate over another, the CIA or unseen rogue elements with access to "Umbrage," could have hacked into Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee and made it appear that the intrusion was carried out by former KGB lieutenant colonel Vladimir Putin's operatives.

That Russians hacked Clinton and the DNC and gave Trump an unfair advantage in the election is precisely what Democrats allege. Is such a scenario in which U.S. operatives hack one political party to help another at least a little far-fetched?

You bet it is. But given what we've learned about the CIA's anti-Trump shenanigans in recent months, it seems unwise to reflexively rule out the possibility that that's how things could have gone down. Espionage, after all, is all about deception and covering tracks. Things aren't what they seem and the motives of those creating an illusion aren't easily discerned.

On the positive side, "Umbrage," if it is a real thing, is a powerful innovation in tradecraft and an indication that American cyberwarfare is soaring to dizzying new heights.

On the other hand, combine "Umbrage" with the seemingly invincible false narrative that President Donald Trump is a tool of Russian interests, and plenty of Americans would be willing to believe Trump really does have substantial ties to the Kremlin, something that has not been proven. Even now there is still no publicly available evidence the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government last year. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified. All that exists is the alleged say-so of faceless CIA spooks and people like former CIA employee and would-be presidential spoiler Evan McMullin whose motives are questionable.

It is hard to know what to believe.

And it opens the door to head-spinning possibilities and far-out theories.

As investigative journalist Jerome Corsi writes of Vault 7 and "Umbrage":

This revelation yields a "through the looking glass" possibility that the Obama administration obtained [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] permission to conduct electronic surveillance on Russians believed to be coordinating with the Trump campaign based on intelligence the CIA planted to deceive the NSA into thinking there was actual contact between Russian agents and the Trump campaign.

Possibly, what the CIA was monitoring was not actual contacts between Russian agents and the Trump campaign, but CIA-created counter-espionage designed to implicate Trump and provide the legal context for the [Department of Justice] to have enough "evidence" to obtain a FISA green-light.

This kind of double-level thinking is enough to give anyone a throbbing headache.

Vault 7 also includes eye-opening developments worthy of James Bond 007 and Q Branch.

According to WikiLeaks, the CIA recently "lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation." These cyber weapons can be used "against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, [including] Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones."

Something called "Weeping Angel" was created by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch to infest smart televisions.

"After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server."

Another technique allows the CIA "to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the 'smart' phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied."

"As of October 2014," WikiLeaks claims, "the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations."

Despite all this intrigue, it needs to be said that the CIA does some valuable work to advance U.S. interests in the world. It's a shame that it has come to be dominated by left-wingers over the years.

There is, though, a certain logic to the agency's slide to port. Not all self-styled do-gooders, after all, land jobs in the nonprofit sector. A leftist member of the intelligence community is fundamentally the same as a community organizer who is convinced he knows what is best for his fellow man.

And left-wingers in all occupations are willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their objectives.

In the summer 2001 issue of Social Policy magazine, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) founder Wade Rathke urged his comrades to get in on the ground floor of the cyber-warfare revolution:

Crazy, computer viruses are started by young kids around the world or hackers bored out of their skulls that live right down the street. As union organizers we are still doing 8 point difficulty dumpster dives for alpha lists of employees, when theoretically some good geeks could tap in, load up, and download the whole thing and throw it over our transom window. What a waste of talent when such a huge contribution could be made to the labor movement.

Maybe Rathke missed his calling.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, " Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers ."

[Feb 08, 2018] Was DNC hack a CIA Cyber False Flag

In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies. ..."
"... the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia. ..."
"... In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | wearechange.org

Article via Strategic-Culture

New revelations from Wikileaks' 'Vault 7' leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.

Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction.

Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post .

It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.

While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia.

In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

Perhaps this is too generous a depiction of matters, given that the general public has yet to see any evidence of the hacking of the DNC servers. In addition to this, we know that the origin of Podesta's email revelations stem from the loss of a smartphone and the low data-security measures employed by the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT and other media (not directly linked to the Kremlin), finally enjoy a major presence in the mainstream media.

The biggest problem for the Washington establishment lies in the revelation of news that is counterproductive to the interests of the deep state. RT, Sputnik, this site and many others have diligently covered and reported to the general public every development concerning the Podesta revelations or the hacking of the DNC.

[Feb 04, 2018] DNC collusion with Ukrainian IT "Security" company Crowdstrike tied to the Atlantic Council to push false narrative of DNC hack and malware to influence US election

Feb 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

mc888 -> nmewn Feb 3, 2018 12:00 PM Permalink

Sessions is not recused from a Ukraine investigation.

An investigation of the State Dept should bring the focus around to issues of substance.

- Obama repeal of Smith-Mundt to allow State Dept propaganda in the domestic US

- Obama coup of Ukraine

- Obama / McCain support of Nazis in Ukraine

- Adam Schiff relationship with Ukrainian arms dealer Igor Pasternak

- DNC collusion with Ukrainian IT "Security" company Crowdstrike tied to the Atlantic Council to push false narrative of DNC hack and malware to influence US election

- DNC consultant Andrea Chalupa, unregistered foreign agent whose entire family is tied to Ukrainian Intelligence

Further research revealed that Andrea Chalupa and her two siblings are actively involved with other sources of digital terrorism, disinformation and spamming, like TrolleyBust com, stopfake org, and informnapalm.

Ms. Chalupa kept cooperating with the Khodorovky owned magazine "The Interpreter."

Now, it's a part of RFE/RL run by the government funded Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) whose director, Dr. Leon Aron also a director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

http://thesaker.is/guess-whats-neither-meat-nor-fish-but-ms-chalupa-and

[Jan 22, 2018] Joe diGenova Brazen Plot to Frame Trump

Highly recommended!
Brilliant summary of the situation. You should listen this interview. False Russiagate was from the beginning a plot to derail and then depose Trump. They created false facts.
Brazen port to exonerate Hillary Clinton and then derail Trump
Notable quotes:
"... It is rare to see a man of integrity and a lawyer who speaks in plain English and speaks about facts and conclusions of law. The problem we face today is far too many lawyers with no integrity in positions of government that protect blatant criminals holding public office who are also lawyers. Lawyers always protect other lawyers, except this wonderful man! ..."
Jan 22, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Rick W , 1 day ago

It is rare to see a man of integrity and a lawyer who speaks in plain English and speaks about facts and conclusions of law. The problem we face today is far too many lawyers with no integrity in positions of government that protect blatant criminals holding public office who are also lawyers. Lawyers always protect other lawyers, except this wonderful man!

Charles H , 1 day ago

Breathtaking information. Thanks so much for airing.

Walter 1408 , 1 day ago

All those Clinton Foundation millions bought a lot of FBI agents. They need a major house cleaning.

Caleb Engineering, LLC , 1 day ago

The punishments should be harsh to deter future attempts to do the same to future presidents.

Patricia Herman , 1 day ago

Love Joe to bad he can't become the new AG and why isn't this interview on the news at least Fox, Hannity, Tucker, Laura. And we know CNN, MSNBC, and the rest are all in the bag for Obummer and Killary. 😎

Teddy Dunford , 1 day ago

Remember HRC said if he (( Trump )) wins we are all going to HANG and I hope this is one time the Satan worshiping witch told the truth .

The last iconoclast , 1 day ago

Three heroes will go down in history: Journalist Julian Asange Adm. Mike Rogers Rep. Devin Nunes

Elisabeth Vancamp , 1 day ago

I am speechless. Best cohesive explanation! Man reaps what he sows.

James Stamulis , 1 day ago

All because Trump is MAGA and that was not the cabals game plan.

eh10000 , 1 day ago

RELEASE THE MEMO

Peter Sprague , 1 day ago

NY Times Buzzfeed Washington Post CNN ABC CBS NBC are all complicit in perpetrating these lies Just watch Colbert Jimmy Farrel or Jimmy Kimmel These bad actors pretending to be entertainers need to hang

Wide Awake , 1 day ago

Never forget what Hilary said: If Trump wins, we'll all hang. And so they should.

Pat Defeo , 15 hours ago

Joe D should have been our AG he is tough and has the ability to explain WTH is going on in plain english

Robin Ricks , 1 day ago

Mueller carried the sample of Uranium to the Russians. Mueller was paid off, as was Comey. So glad President Trump can confiscate all their money. Now to catch Daddy Bush and Jr for having all those people in New York killed on 9/11! Go Trump!!

David Gray , 1 day ago

# Release The Memo.

FindLiberty , 1 day ago

OUTSTANDING RESCUE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC - (...proceed to lock 'em all up)

Thomas Rocco , 1 day ago

Fantastic interview. Saw it's entirety

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

treason

Samuel Anderson , 1 day ago

There needs to be an arrest of ALL the top MSM owners and chairpeople of all the affiliates including those who stand in front of the camera pushing false information. Their license needs to be rescinded and taken away. Bankrupt the news affiliates and sell off their assets.

Jerk Joker , 1 day ago

This is a truly excellent and clear explanation of how our government was corrupted by Team Hillary. I reckon she needs to pay the Ultimate price: a thorough investigation into her crimes: A fair trial... and maybe execution, followed by her being reviled down the centuries as one of the most evil women in History. Every little girl should be told: Do not be like this woman!

John Brooks , 1 day ago

A hell storm is coming !!! People need to be tried and possibly executed to send a massage that ALL these swamp creatures will understand.

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

you have a jezabel clinton the most dangerous couple ever ...what happened to JFK junior ?

Giant Sequoia , 1 day ago

Excellent, excellent, excellent report Bill!!!

Rachael SOJ , 1 day ago

Thank you, Mr. Still, for reporting on this, it was a very informative video!💛

james goodwin , 1 day ago

Thank god she didn't win

FilthyMcDumpin'Clips , 1 day ago

Bill, don't forget to mention that those same entities also include those working for CNN and MSNBC who were funded by Clinton donations to push the false media on the country. Can you say lawsuits?

DrewTronics , 1 day ago

Holy wow, thanks for posting Bill!

Noel B , 1 day ago (edited)

What about Clapper and Brennan they started this before they were replaced. They also are to blame.

Granville Higgins , 1 day ago

Trump let them dig their own graves.

Suzie Smith , 1 day ago

Amazing piece! Pulls so many things together! Thank you!

snowbunny20328 , 1 day ago

What a very important review of what this country has endured!!! Thank you Joe!

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

can someone wake sessions up?

James Pope , 1 day ago

This is the guy who should be the Director of tbe FBI, or AG

Susan Bennett , 1 day ago

Hillary will NEVER be exonerated, or ANY of those treasonous swamp rat sycophants!!!

JUNITO84 , 1 day ago

Thank you very much admiral Rodgers! the american people love you and appreciate you stress/gutsy actions to do the right thing 🙂

Tom Smith , 1 day ago

The last thing Seth Rich saw before he was murdered was an FBI special agents badge.

AVALON DEJAVU , 1 day ago

THANKS for explaining this so clearly!!! #LockThemUp No JUSTICE No PEACE!

ak6781fan , 1 day ago

Mr. Still you are very astute and observant. Your statement that this is the darkest hour for our great country since the Civil War is spot-on.

Rich P , 1 day ago

Do you have any doubt these people are capable of genociding all who disagree with there Marxist agenda?

[Jan 22, 2018] Joe diGenova Brazen Plot to Frame Trump

You should listen this interview. As one commenter said "Three heroes will go down in history: Journalist Julian Asange, Adm. Mike Rogers, Rep. Devin Nunes"
False Russiagate was from the beginning a plot to derail and then depose Trump. They created false facts.
Jan 22, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Rick W , 1 day ago

It is rare to see a man of integrity and a lawyer who speaks in plain English and speaks about facts and conclusions of law. The problem we face today is far too many lawyers with no integrity in positions of government that protect blatant criminals holding public office who are also lawyers. Lawyers always protect other lawyers, except this wonderful man!

Charles H , 1 day ago

Breathtaking information. Thanks so much for airing.

Walter 1408 , 1 day ago

All those Clinton Foundation millions bought a lot of FBI agents. They need a major house cleaning.

Caleb Engineering, LLC , 1 day ago

The punishments should be harsh to deter future attempts to do the same to future presidents.

Patricia Herman , 1 day ago

Love Joe to bad he can't become the new AG and why isn't this interview on the news at least Fox, Hannity, Tucker, Laura. And we know CNN, MSNBC, and the rest are all in the bag for Obummer and Killary. 😎

Teddy Dunford , 1 day ago

Remember HRC said if he (( Trump )) wins we are all going to HANG and I hope this is one time the Satan worshiping witch told the truth .

The last iconoclast , 1 day ago

Three heroes will go down in history: Journalist Julian Asange Adm. Mike Rogers Rep. Devin Nunes

Elisabeth Vancamp , 1 day ago

I am speechless. Best cohesive explanation! Man reaps what he sows.

James Stamulis , 1 day ago

All because Trump is MAGA and that was not the cabals game plan.

eh10000 , 1 day ago

RELEASE THE MEMO

Peter Sprague , 1 day ago

NY Times Buzzfeed Washington Post CNN ABC CBS NBC are all complicit in perpetrating these lies Just watch Colbert Jimmy Farrel or Jimmy Kimmel These bad actors pretending to be entertainers need to hang

Wide Awake , 1 day ago

Never forget what Hilary said: If Trump wins, we'll all hang. And so they should.

Pat Defeo , 15 hours ago

Joe D should have been our AG he is tough and has the ability to explain WTH is going on in plain english

Robin Ricks , 1 day ago

Mueller carried the sample of Uranium to the Russians. Mueller was paid off, as was Comey. So glad President Trump can confiscate all their money. Now to catch Daddy Bush and Jr for having all those people in New York killed on 9/11! Go Trump!!

David Gray , 1 day ago

# Release The Memo.

FindLiberty , 1 day ago

OUTSTANDING RESCUE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC - (...proceed to lock 'em all up)

Thomas Rocco , 1 day ago

Fantastic interview. Saw it's entirety

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

treason

Samuel Anderson , 1 day ago

There needs to be an arrest of ALL the top MSM owners and chairpeople of all the affiliates including those who stand in front of the camera pushing false information. Their license needs to be rescinded and taken away. Bankrupt the news affiliates and sell off their assets.

Jerk Joker , 1 day ago

This is a truly excellent and clear explanation of how our government was corrupted by Team Hillary. I reckon she needs to pay the Ultimate price: a thorough investigation into her crimes: A fair trial... and maybe execution, followed by her being reviled down the centuries as one of the most evil women in History. Every little girl should be told: Do not be like this woman!

John Brooks , 1 day ago

A hell storm is coming !!! People need to be tried and possibly executed to send a massage that ALL these swamp creatures will understand.

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

you have a jezabel clinton the most dangerous couple ever ...what happened to JFK junior ?

Giant Sequoia , 1 day ago

Excellent, excellent, excellent report Bill!!!

Rachael SOJ , 1 day ago

Thank you, Mr. Still, for reporting on this, it was a very informative video!💛

james goodwin , 1 day ago

Thank god she didn't win

FilthyMcDumpin'Clips , 1 day ago

Bill, don't forget to mention that those same entities also include those working for CNN and MSNBC who were funded by Clinton donations to push the false media on the country. Can you say lawsuits?

DrewTronics , 1 day ago

Holy wow, thanks for posting Bill!

Noel B , 1 day ago (edited)

What about Clapper and Brennan they started this before they were replaced. They also are to blame.

Granville Higgins , 1 day ago

Trump let them dig their own graves.

Suzie Smith , 1 day ago

Amazing piece! Pulls so many things together! Thank you!

snowbunny20328 , 1 day ago

What a very important review of what this country has endured!!! Thank you Joe!

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

can someone wake sessions up?

James Pope , 1 day ago

This is the guy who should be the Director of tbe FBI, or AG

Susan Bennett , 1 day ago

Hillary will NEVER be exonerated, or ANY of those treasonous swamp rat sycophants!!!

JUNITO84 , 1 day ago

Thank you very much admiral Rodgers! the american people love you and appreciate you stress/gutsy actions to do the right thing 🙂

Tom Smith , 1 day ago

The last thing Seth Rich saw before he was murdered was an FBI special agents badge.

AVALON DEJAVU , 1 day ago

THANKS for explaining this so clearly!!! #LockThemUp No JUSTICE No PEACE!

ak6781fan , 1 day ago

Mr. Still you are very astute and observant. Your statement that this is the darkest hour for our great country since the Civil War is spot-on.

Rich P , 1 day ago

Do you have any doubt these people are capable of genociding all who disagree with there Marxist agenda?

[Jan 14, 2018] Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart -- Say Hello to Fancy Bear

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine has been screaming for the US to start a war with Russia for the past 2 1/2 years. ..."
"... Is Ukrainian Intelligence trying to invent a reason for the US to take a hard-line stance against Russia? Are they using Crowdstrike to carry this out? ..."
"... Meet the real Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, part of the groups that are targeting Ukrainian positions for the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. These people were so tech savvy they didn't know the Ukrainian SBU (Ukrainian CIA/internal security) records every phone call and most internet use in Ukraine and Donbass. Donbass still uses Ukrainian phone and internet services. ..."
"... This is a civil war and people supporting either side are on both sides of the contact line. The SBU is awestruck because there are hundreds if not thousands of people helping to target the private volunteer armies supported by Ukrainian-Americans. ..."
"... If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection. These words mirror Dimitri Alperovitch's identification process in his interview with PBS Judy Woodruff. ..."
"... How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction. ..."
"... According to Esquire.com , Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work. ..."
"... Still, this is not enough to show a conflict of interest. Alperovitch's relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers do. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016. ..."
"... According to Robert Parry's article At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council. Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. ..."
"... The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was "Are you willing to go to war with Russia?" Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign. ..."
"... What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike's investigation. Trump's campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security? ..."
"... Alperovitch's relationship with Andrea Chalupa's efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with Euromaidanpress.com and Informnapalm.org which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers. ..."
"... When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch's twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million dollar company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually . There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine's Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government. ..."
"... Alperovitch and Fancy Bear tweet each other? ..."
"... This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister's following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch's story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch's victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention. ..."
"... Pravy Sektor Hackers and Crowdstrike? ..."
"... What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts. ..."
"... The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated. ..."
"... According to the Esquire interview "Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. "A lot of people who are born here don't appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they've never had it any other way," he told me. "I have." ..."
"... While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine's interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he's a patriot. He isn't serving US interests. He's definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | www.washingtonsblog.com

In the wake of the JAR-16-20296 dated December 29, 2016 about hacking and influencing the 2016 election, the need for real evidence is clear. The joint report adds nothing substantial to the October 7th report. It relies on proofs provided by the cyber security firm Crowdstrike that is clearly not on par with intelligence findings or evidence. At the top of the report is an "as is" statement showing this.

The difference between Dmitri Alperovitch's claims which are reflected in JAR-1620296 and this article is that enough evidence is provided to warrant an investigation of specific parties for the DNC hacks. The real story involves specific anti-American actors that need to be investigated for real crimes.

For instance, the malware used was an out-dated version just waiting to be found. The one other interesting point is that the Russian malware called Grizzly Steppe is from Ukraine . How did Crowdstrike miss this when it is their business to know?

Later in this article you'll meet and know a little more about the real "Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear." The bar for identification set by Crowdstrike has never been able to get beyond words like probably, maybe, could be, or should be, in their attribution.

The article is lengthy because the facts need to be in one place. The bar Dimitri Alperovitch set for identifying the hackers involved is that low. Other than asking America to trust them, how many solid facts has Alperovitch provided to back his claim of Russian involvement?

The December 29th JAR adds a flowchart that shows how a basic phishing hack is performed. It doesn't add anything significant beyond that. Noticeably, they use both their designation APT 28 and APT 29 as well as the Crowdstrike labels of Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear separately.

This is important because information from outside intelligence agencies has the value of rumor or unsubstantiated information at best according to policy. Usable intelligence needs to be free from partisan politics and verifiable. Intel agencies noted back in the early 90's that every private actor in the information game was radically political.

The Hill.com article about Russia hacking the electric grid is a perfect example of why this intelligence is political and not taken seriously. If any proof of Russian involvement existed, the US would be at war. Under current laws of war, there would be no difference between an attack on the power grid or a missile strike.

According to the Hill "Private security firms provided more detailed forensic analysis, which the FBI and DHS said Thursday correlated with the IC's findings.

"The Joint Analysis Report recognizes the excellent work undertaken by
security companies and private sector network owners and operators, and provides new indicators of compromise and malicious infrastructure
identified during the course of investigations and incident response," read a statement. The report identities two Russian intelligence groups already named by CrowdStrike and other private security firms."

In an interview with Washingtonsblog , William Binney, the creator of the NSA global surveillance system said "I expected to see the IP's or other signatures of APT's 28/29 [the entities which the U.S. claims hacked the Democratic emails] and where they were located and how/when the data got transferred to them from DNC/HRC [i.e. Hillary Rodham Clinton]/etc. They seem to have been following APT 28/29 since at least 2015, so, where are they?"

According to the latest Washington Post story, Crowdstrike's CEO tied a group his company dubbed "Fancy Bear" to targeting Ukrainian artillery positions in Debaltsevo as well as across the Ukrainian civil war front for the past 2 years.

Alperovitch states in many articles the Ukrainians were using an Android app to target the self-proclaimed Republics positions and that hacking this app was what gave targeting data to the armies in Donbass instead.

Alperovitch first gained notice when he was the VP in charge of threat research with McAfee. Asked to comment on Alperovitch's discovery of Russian hacks on Larry King, John McAfee had this to say. "Based on all of his experience, McAfee does not believe that Russians were behind the hacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), John Podesta's emails, and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. As he told RT, "if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."

How does Crowdstrike's story part with reality? First is the admission that it is probably, maybe, could be Russia hacking the DNC. " Intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to Wiki Leaks."

The public evidence never goes beyond the word possibility. While never going beyond that or using facts, Crowdstrike insists that it's Russia behind both Clinton's and the Ukrainian losses. NBC carried the story because one of the partners in Crowdstrike is also a consultant for NBC.

According to NBC the story reads like this." The company, Crowdstrike, was hired by the DNC to investigate the hack and issued a report publicly attributing it to Russian intelligence. One of Crowdstrike's senior executives is Shawn Henry, a former senior FBI official who consults for NBC News.

"But the Russians used the app to turn the tables on their foes, Crowdstrike says. Once a Ukrainian soldier downloaded it on his Android phone, the Russians were able to eavesdrop on his communications and determine his position through geo-location.

In June, Crowdstrike went public with its findings that two separate Russian intelligence agencies had hacked the DNC. One, which Crowdstrike and other researchers call Cozy Bear, is believed to be linked to Russia's CIA, known as the FSB. The other, known as Fancy Bear, is believed to be tied to the military intelligence agency, called the GRU."

The information is so certain the level of proof never rises above "believed to be." According to the December 12th Intercept article "Most importantly, the Post adds that "intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin 'directing' the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks."

Because Ukrainian soldiers are using a smartphone app they activate their geolocation to use it. Targeting is from location to location. The app would need the current user location to make it work.

In 2015 I wrote an article that showed many of the available open source tools that geolocate, and track people. They even show street view. This means that using simple means, someone with freeware or an online website, and not a military budget can look at what you are seeing at any given moment.

Where Crowdstrike fails is insisting people believe that the code they see is (a) an advanced way to geolocate and (b) it was how a state with large resources would do it. Would you leave a calling card where you would get caught and fined through sanctions or worse? If you use an anonymous online resource at least Crowdstrike won't believe you are Russian and possibly up to something.

" Using open source tools this has been going on for years in the private sector. For geolocation purposes, your smartphone is one of the greatest tools to use. Finding and following you has never been easier . Let's face it if you are going to stalk someone, "street view" on a map is the next best thing to being there. In the following video, the software hacks your modem. It's only one step from your phone or computer."

If you read that article and watch the video you'll see that using "geo-stalker" is a better choice if you are on a low budget or no budget. Should someone tell the Russians they overpaid?

According to Alperovitch, the smartphone app plotted targets in about 15 seconds . This means that there is only a small window to get information this way.

Using the open source tools I wrote about previously, you could track your targets all-day. In 2014, most Ukrainian forces were using social media regularly. It would be easy to maintain a map of their locations and track them individually.

From my research into those tools, someone using Python scripts would find it easy to take photos, listen to conversations, turn on GPS, or even turn the phone on when they chose to. Going a step further than Alperovitch, without the help of the Russian government, GRU, or FSB, anyone could take control of the drones Ukraine is fond of flying and land them. Or they could download the footage the drones are taking. It's copy and paste at that point. Would you bother the FSB, GRU, or Vladimir Putin with the details or just do it?

In the WaPo article Alperovitch states "The Fancy Bear crew evidently hacked the app, allowing the GRU to use the phone's GPS coordinates to track the Ukrainian troops' position.

In that way, the Russian military could then target the Ukrainian army with artillery and other weaponry. Ukrainian brigades operating in eastern Ukraine were on the front lines of the conflict with Russian-backed separatist forces during the early stages of the conflict in late 2014, CrowdStrike noted. By late 2014, Russian forces in the region numbered about 10,000. The Android app was useful in helping the Russian troops locate Ukrainian artillery positions."

In late 2014, I personally did the only invasive passport and weapons checks that I know of during the Ukrainian civil war. I spent days looking for the Russian army every major publication said were attacking Ukraine. The keyword Cyber Security industry leader Alperovitch used is "evidently." Crowdstrike noted that in late 2014, there were 10,000 Russian forces in the region.

When I did the passport and weapons check, it was under the condition there would be no telephone calls. We went where I wanted to go. We stopped when I said to stop. I checked the documents and the weapons with no obstacles. The weapons check was important because Ukraine was stating that Russia was giving Donbass modern weapons at the time. Each weapon is stamped with a manufacture date. The results are in the articles above.

The government in Kiev agreed with my findings throughout 2014 and 2015. There were and are no Russian troops fighting in Donbass regardless of what Mr. Alperovitch asserts. There are some Russian volunteers which I have covered in detail.

Based on my findings which the CIA would call hard evidence, almost all the fighters had Ukrainian passports. There are volunteers from other countries. In Debaltsevo today, I would question Alperovitch's assertion of Russian troops based on the fact the passports will be Ukrainian and reflect my earlier findings. There is no possibly, could be, might be, about it.

The SBU, Olexander Turchinov, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense all agree that Crowdstrike is dead wrong in this assessment . Although subtitles aren't on it, the former Commandant of Ukrainian Army Headquarters thanks God Russia never invaded or Ukraine would have been in deep trouble.

How could Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike be this wrong on easily checked detail and still get this much media attention? Could the investment made by Google and some very large players have anything to do with the media Crowdstrike is causing?

In an interview with PBS newshour on December 22nd 2016, Dmitri Alperovitch finally produced the hard evidence he has for Russian involvement clearly. To be fair, he did state it several times before. It just didn't resonate or the media and US intelligence agencies weren't listening.

According to Alperovitch, the CEO of a $150 million dollar cyber security company "And when you think about, well, who would be interested in targeting Ukraine artillerymen in eastern Ukraine who has interest in hacking the Democratic Party, Russia government comes to mind, but specifically, Russian military that would have operational over forces in the Ukraine and would target these artillerymen."

That statement is most of the proof of Russian involvement he has. That's it, that's all the CIA, FBI have to go on. It's why they can't certify the intelligence. It's why they can't get beyond the threshold of maybe.

Woodruff then asked two important questions. She asked if Crowdstrike was still working for the DNC. Alperovitch responded "We're protecting them going forward. The investigation is closed in terms of what happened there. But certainly, we've seen the campaigns, political organizations are continued to be targeted, and they continue to hire us and use our technology to protect themselves."

Based on the evidence he presented Woodruff, there is no need to investigate further? Obviously, there is no need, the money is rolling in.

Second and most important Judy Woodruff asked if there were any questions about conflicts of interest, how he would answer? This is where Dmitri Alperovitch's story starts to unwind.

His response was "Well, this report was not about the DNC. This report was about information we uncovered about what these Russian actors were doing in eastern Ukraine in terms of locating these artillery units of the Ukrainian army and then targeting them. So, what we just did is said that it looks exactly as the same to the evidence we've already uncovered from the DNC, linking the two together."

Why is this reasonable statement going to take his story off the rails? First, let's look at the facts surrounding his evidence and then look at the real conflicts of interest involved. While carefully evading the question, he neglects to state his conflicts of interest are worthy of a DOJ investigation. Can you mislead the federal government about national security issues and not get investigated yourself?

If Alperovitch's evidence is all there is, then the US government owes some large apologies to Russia.

After showing who is targeting Ukrainian artillerymen, we'll look at what might be a criminal conspiracy.

Crowdstrike CEO Dmitri Alperovitch story about Russian hacks that cost Hillary Clinton the election was broadsided by the SBU (Ukrainian Intelligence and Security) in Ukraine. If Dimitri Alperovitch is working for Ukrainian Intelligence and is providing intelligence to 17 US Intelligence Agencies is it a conflict of interest?

Ukraine has been screaming for the US to start a war with Russia for the past 2 1/2 years. Using facts accepted by leaders on both sides of the conflict, the main proof Crowdstrike shows for evidence doesn't just unravel, it falls apart. Is Ukrainian Intelligence trying to invent a reason for the US to take a hard-line stance against Russia? Are they using Crowdstrike to carry this out?

Real Fancy Bear?

Real Fancy Bear?

Meet the real Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, part of the groups that are targeting Ukrainian positions for the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. These people were so tech savvy they didn't know the Ukrainian SBU (Ukrainian CIA/internal security) records every phone call and most internet use in Ukraine and Donbass. Donbass still uses Ukrainian phone and internet services.

These are normal people fighting back against private volunteer armies that target their homes, schools, and hospitals. The private volunteer armies like Pravy Sektor, Donbas Battalion, Azov, and Aidar have been cited for atrocities like child rape, torture, murder, and kidnapping. That just gets the ball rolling. These are a large swath of the Ukrainian servicemen Crowdstrike hopes to protect.

This story which just aired on Ukrainian news channel TCN shows the SBU questioning and arresting some of what they call an army of people in the Ukrainian-controlled areas. This news video shows people in Toretsk that provided targeting information to Donbass and people probably caught up in the net accidentally.

This is a civil war and people supporting either side are on both sides of the contact line. The SBU is awestruck because there are hundreds if not thousands of people helping to target the private volunteer armies supported by Ukrainian-Americans.

The first person they show on the video is a woman named Olga Lubochka. On the video her voice is heard from a recorded call saying " In the field, on the left about 130 degrees. Aim and you'll get it." and then " Oh, you hit it so hard you leveled it to the ground.""Am I going to get a medal for this?"

Other people caught up in the raid claim and probably were only calling friends they know. It's common for people to call and tell their family about what is going on around them. This has been a staple in the war especially in outlying villages for people aligned with both sides of the conflict. A neighbor calls his friend and says "you won't believe what I just saw."

Another "fancy bear," Alexander Schevchenko was caught calling friends and telling them that armored personnel carriers had just driven by.

Anatoli Prima, father of a DNR(Donetsk People's Republic) soldier was asked to find out what unit was there and how many artillery pieces.

One woman providing information about fuel and incoming equipment has a husband fighting on the opposite side in Gorlovka. Gorlovka is a major city that's been under artillery attack since 2014. For the past 2 1/2 years, she has remained in their home in Toretsk. According to the video, he's vowed to take no prisoners when they rescue the area.

When asked why they hate Ukraine so much, one responded that they just wanted things to go back to what they were like before the coup in February 2014.

Another said they were born in the Soviet Union and didn't like what was going on in Kiev. At the heart of this statement is the anti- OUN, antinationalist sentiment that most people living in Ukraine feel. The OUNb Bandera killed millions of people in Ukraine, including starving 3 million Soviet soldiers to death. The new Ukraine was founded in 1991 by OUN nationalists outside the fledgling country.

Is giving misleading or false information to 17 US Intelligence Agencies a crime? If it's done by a cyber security industry leader like Crowdstrike should that be investigated? If unwinding the story from the "targeting of Ukrainian volunteers" side isn't enough, we should look at this from the American perspective. How did the Russia influencing the election and DNC hack story evolve? Who's involved? Does this pose conflicts of interest for Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? And let's face it, a hacking story isn't complete until real hackers with the skills, motivation, and reason are exposed.

In the last article exploring the DNC hacks the focus was on the Chalupas . The article focused on Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa. Their participation in the DNC hack story is what brought it to international attention in the first place.

According to journalist and DNC activist Andrea Chalupa on her Facebook page " After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. "That's when we knew it was the Russians," said a Democratic Party source who has been directly involved in the internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, "we told her to stop her research."" July 25, 2016

If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection. These words mirror Dimitri Alperovitch's identification process in his interview with PBS Judy Woodruff.

How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction.

According to Esquire.com , Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work.

Still, this is not enough to show a conflict of interest. Alperovitch's relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers do. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016.

In my previous article I showed in detail how the Chalupas fit into this. A brief bullet point review looks like this.

In January, 2014 when he showed up at the Maidan protests he was 17 years old. He became the foreign language media representative for Vitali Klitschko, Arseni Yatsenyuk, and Oleh Tyahnybok. All press enquiries went through Yurash. To meet Dimitri Yurash you had to go through Sviatoslav Yurash as a Macleans reporter found out.

At 18 years old, Sviatoslav Yurash became the spokesman for Ministry of Defense of Ukraine under Andrei Paruby. He was Dimitri Yarosh's spokesman and can be seen either behind Yarosh on videos at press conferences or speaking ahead of him to reporters. From January 2014 onward, to speak to Dimitri Yarosh, you set up an appointment with Yurash.

Andrea Chalupa has worked with Yurash's Euromaidan Press which is associated with Informnapalm.org and supplies the state level hackers for Ukraine.

According to Robert Parry's article At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council. Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.

The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was "Are you willing to go to war with Russia?" Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign.

What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike's investigation. Trump's campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security?

When you put someone that has so much to gain in charge of an investigation that could change an election, that is a conflict of interest. If the think tank is linked heavily to groups that want war with Russia like the Atlantic Council and the CEEC, it opens up criminal conspiracy.

If the person in charge of the investigation is a fellow at the think tank that wants a major conflict with Russia it is a definite conflict of interest. Both the Atlantic Council and clients stood to gain Cabinet and Policy positions based on how the result of his work affects the election. It clouds the results of the investigation. In Dmitri Alperovitch's case, he found the perpetrator before he was positive there was a crime.

Alperovitch's relationship with Andrea Chalupa's efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with Euromaidanpress.com and Informnapalm.org which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers.

When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch's twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million dollar company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually . There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine's Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government.

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear tweet each other?

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear tweet each other?

Crowdstrike is also following their hack of a Russian government official after the DNC hack. It closely resembles the same method used with the DNC because it was an email hack.

ff-twitter-com-2016-12-30-02-24-54

Crowdstrike's product line includes Falcon Host, Falcon Intelligence, Falcon Overwatch and Falcon DNS. Is it possible the hackers in Falcons Flame are another service Crowdstrike offers? Although this profile says Virginia, tweets are from the Sofia, Bulgaria time zone and he writes in Russian. Another curiosity considering the Fancy Bear source code is in Russian. This image shows Crowdstrike in their network.

Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network

Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network

In an interview with Euromaidanpress these hackers say they have no need for the CIA. They consider the CIA amateurish. They also say they are not part of the Ukrainian military Cyberalliance is a quasi-organization with the participation of several groups – RUH8, Trinity, Falcon Flames, Cyberhunta. There are structures affiliated to the hackers – the Myrotvorets site, Informnapalm analytical agency."

In the image it shows a network diagram of Crowdstrike following the Surkov leaks. The network communication goes through a secondary source. This is something you do when you don't want to be too obvious. Here is another example of that.

Ukrainian Intelligence and the real Fancy Bear?

Ukrainian Intelligence and the real Fancy Bear?

Although OSINT Academy sounds fairly innocuous, it's the official twitter account for Ukraine's Ministry of Information head Dimitri Zolotukin. It is also Ukrainian Intelligence. The Ministry of Information started the Peacekeeper or Myrotvorets website that geolocates journalists and other people for assassination. If you disagree with OUNb politics, you could be on the list.

Should someone tell Dimitri Alperovitch that Gerashchenko, who is now in charge of Peacekeeper recently threatened president-elect Donald Trump that he would put him on his "Peacemaker" site as a target? The same has been done with Silvio Berscaloni in the past.

Trying not to be obvious, the Head of Ukraine's Information Ministry (UA Intelligence) tweeted something interesting that ties Alperovitch and Crowdstrike to the Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and the Information Ministry even tighter.

Trying to keep it hush hush?

Trying to keep it hush hush?

This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister's following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch's story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch's victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention.

These same hackers are associated with Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa through the portals and organizations they work with through their OUNb. The hackers are funded and directed by or through the same OUNb channels that Alperovitch is working for and with to promote the story of Russian hacking.

Pravy Sektor Hackers and Crowdstrike?

Pravy Sektor Hackers and Crowdstrike?

When you look at the image for the hacking group in the euromaidanpress article, one of the hackers identifies themselves as one of Dimitri Yarosh's Pravy Sektor members by the Pravy Sektor sweatshirt they have on. Noted above, Pravy Sektor admitted to killing the people at the Maidan protest and sparked the coup.

Going further with the linked Euromaidanpress article the hackers say" Let's understand that Ukrainian hackers and Russian hackers once constituted a single very powerful group. Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA I don't know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don't think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics."

What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts.

The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated.

According to the Esquire interview "Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. "A lot of people who are born here don't appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they've never had it any other way," he told me. "I have."

While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine's interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he's a patriot. He isn't serving US interests. He's definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine.

The evidence presented deserves investigation because it looks like the case for conflict of interest is the least Dimitri Alperovitch should look forward to. If these hackers are the real Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, they really did make sharp movements in international politics.

By pawning it off on Russia, they made a worldwide embarrassment of an outgoing President of the United States and made the President Elect the suspect of rumor.

From the Observer.com , " Andrea Chalupa -- the sister of DNC research staffer Alexandra Chalupa -- claimed on social media, without any evidence, that despite Clinton conceding the election to Trump, the voting results need to be audited to because Clinton couldn't have lost -- it must have been Russia. Chalupa hysterically tweeted to every politician on Twitter to audit the vote because of Russia and claimed the TV show The Americans , about two KGB spies living in America, is real."

Quite possibly now the former UK Ambassador Craig Murry's admission of being the involved party to "leaks" should be looked at. " Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia . Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling."


[Jan 02, 2018] Crowdstrike is responsible for Guccifer 2.0, at the behest of Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... I think Jack Rabbit's question hits the money in that they KNOW what happened. My question is how come the Clintons would have so much clout to control the story away from their shenanigans? It must leak over into significant parts of the Democratic Party itself. PS I may be wrong on this--Crowdstrike is responsible for Guccifer 2.0, at the behest of Hillary. ..."
Jan 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sid2 , Jan 1, 2018 8:19:39 PM | 31

@25 I don't mean to argue but would wonder on your second note in the chain, blaming Comey. Clinton was done far far before anything Comey could do at the last minute. In the summer. By then the emails had been released (however that release occurred) to show how she had twisted Sanders away from the nomination and had questions re The Clinton Foundation.

I think Jack Rabbit's question hits the money in that they KNOW what happened. My question is how come the Clintons would have so much clout to control the story away from their shenanigans? It must leak over into significant parts of the Democratic Party itself. PS I may be wrong on this--Crowdstrike is responsible for Guccifer 2.0, at the behest of Hillary.

Sid2 , Jan 1, 2018 8:34:37 PM | 33
@31 supplementary on Crowdstrike activity (intelligence service hired by Hillary Clinton after the leaks/hacks became public):

http://theduran.com/how-crowdstrike-placed-malware-in-the-dnc-server/

[Dec 29, 2017] Russian Hacker "Guccifer 2.0 Was Actually A DNC Tech Guy! We've Got The Names And The Proof!

Dec 29, 2017 | 50shadesofpissedoff.com

The alleged Russian computer Hacker named Guccifer 2.0 whom the Democrat National Committee has publicly blamed for hacking its emails and giving them to WIkiLeaks before the Election in order for Russia to help Donald Trump, was really a fiction created by an Obama White House Staffer in order to prevent the exposure of why DNC Staffer Seth Rich was murdered and also try to pin the exposure of DNC emails on Russia and Trump.

Democrat operatives had pushed the fictional Guccifer 2.0 story as the supposed Russian hacker who broke into DNC servers and downloaded thousands of emails, then sent them to the Russians, who then sent them to Wikileaks so Hilary Clinton could be defeated.

Never mind that it has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the download speed was far too great to have been done by anyone but a DNC insider like Seth Rich. Because Internet speeds are not nearly sufficient to support download speed that the meta data, embedded in the emails, reported.

Never mind that the same meta data shows that the download came from the eastern time zone of the US, not Romania or Russia.

A five minute video (below) proves Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of someone using a version of Microsoft Word that was originally registered to a DNC / White House Staffer named Warren Flood.

Here are two screen shots from warren floods Facebook page. Notice that warren worked for "Obama for America," the DNC, and the White House . He lives in LaGrange, GA.

The video below does a great job explaining who is behind the original Trump opposition research leaked via WikiLeaks AND the later (same) document allegedly obtained by Guccifer 2.0 by "hacking."

EVIDENCE OF DNC/WHITE HOUSE STAFFER BEING "RUSSIAN HACKER GUCCIFER 2.0″

If you have ever accidentally tried to open a Microsoft Word document in a simple text editor like Notepad, you can see the meta data behind each word document, including WHO that copy of Word belongs to.

The video below explains who the author of the original opposition research document was and how we know:

. . . it also includes who the AUTHOR of the document of is. It gets that information from the name that was entered when you installed your copy of Microsoft Office. Inside the original trump opposition research, the document later released by WikiLeaks, the author of the document is listed as Lauren Dillon , DNC Research Director.

This is Lauren Dillion from the DNC:

The metadata in the WikiLeaks release of Trump Opposition research shows that it was created by Lauren Dillon, as show below:

_______________

HOWEVER, that same document later released by Guccifer 2.0 shows a CHANGE in who authored Document; this later copy showing the Author as Warren Flood . . . . who worked in the White House!

Thus, the entire claim by Guccifer 2.0 that he was a Russian Hacker who stole the DNC emails, was a deliberate deception attributable to a staffer in the Obama White House: Warren Flood.

Here's the kicker, the version of Trump's opposition research file that was originally released by WikiLeaks, and later released to the Main-Stream-Media (MSM), was never attributed to the DNC, it was attributed to the Russian Hacker "Guccifer 2.0 -- A man jailed in Romania for hacking.

THE DNC/WHITE HOUSE "FATAL MISTAKE"

It just wouldn't do, to have the head of research for the DNC be the Leaker to WikiLeaks or to have the later Guccifer 2.0 release to come from a White House staffer, it had to be attributable to someone connected to the Russians. The Romanian guy was the FALL GUY.

The one fatal mistake the DNC and the Obama White House made was that no one remembered about the Microsoft Word metadata which reveals the owner of that particular copy of the Word software. So, according to the evidence, Guccifer 2.0 was actually DNC/White House Staffer, Warren Flood.

Yes, you read that correctly: EVIDENCE. Not speculation, or rumor, or innuendo. Actual real life, hard copy EVIDENCE.

Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of the DNC/White House to cover-up who the real leaker was; and at the same time start the Russian Hacking rumors that persist today.

INTERESTINGLY, the Wikipedia entry for Guccifer 2.0, describes an interview he did with MotherBoard via an online chat. Guccifer 2.0 insisted he was Romanian but, when pressed to use the Romanian language in an interview with an Interview with Motherboard via an online chat, he used such clunky grammar and terminology that experts believe he was using an online translator.

Bottom line: The Obama White House invention of Guccifer 2.0, apparently through its Staffer Warren Flood, accomplished three things:

1) It covered DNC research director Lauren Dillon. Whatever sort of opposition research she authored was later claimed by Guccifer 2.0.
2) It covered for Seth Rich. This is the BIG ONE, because he was killed in an obvious assassination staged to look like street robbery -- the only problem is, the robbers didn't take anything. He still had all his cash and his Rolex watch when police arrived. And Guccifer 2.0 took also credit for the Podesta emails which were actually downloaded by Seth Rich and given to WikiLeaks.

AND;

3) It created the conduit to "Russian Intelligence" to fortify the claim that it was the Russians who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and therefore Trump "was in collusion with the Russians" to defeat Clinton.

The whole claim of "Russian Hacking" and "Trump colluding with Russians" has come unraveled because it was ALL a complete fraud.

What remains is how this fraud is STILL affecting our nation to this very day, and how the Congress of the United States, acting late last month upon this totally FALSE "Russian Hacking" claim, has now enacted further sanction upon Russia – sanctions that will very likely lead to war.

VIDEO EVIDENCE

Here is the video containing the EVIDENCE that the Wikileaks original Trump Opposition document was created by a user whose Microsoft Word software was registered to DNC Research Director Lauren Dillon, and the later exact same document, allegedly hacked by "GUccifer 2.0″ was done by DNC/White House Staffer William Flood

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] Th>ere is one thing that is certain according to McAffee (the McAffee) If it looked like it was the Russians, then I can guarantee it WASN'T the Russians.

Notable quotes:
"... It's very interesting. But there is one thing that is certain according to McAffee (the McAffee) "If it looked like it was the Russians, then I can guarantee it WASN'T the Russians." ..."
"... Good comment and reading the last line, it has just reminded me of 'Vault 7' and what Wiki Leaks had to say. ..."
"... Vault 7 CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.docx... https://www.scribd.com/docu... ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

André De Koning , December 28, 2017 3:59 AM

Getting closer all the time, but Mueller's job will continue till the mid-term elections just to see if they can get away with their scheming. The tale within a tale: FBI investigates and discovers they themselves are also part of this tale. The story will have a tail: will it be a tragic, Shakespearean end or repentance by Hillary and Mueller (Duh...).

Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 4:28 AM

I love the forensics of all this. It's what gets me riveted to my computer screen.

For anyone who likes the forensics of this whole DNC Hack fiasco, you need to read this: https://50shadesofpissedoff...

It's about the date / time stamps on the files, and the HACKER (Guciffer 2.0) was acutely an Obama aid called: WARREN FLOOD. Warren Flood pretended to hack the DNC and made himself out to be Russian with an alias of Guciffer 2.0. That was the smoke screen the Democrats put out on top of the Crowdstrike false evidence job. It's excellent reading.

AM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:53 AM

Thank you for the link and must admit it has made me laugh. A line I will use in the future. '50 Shades of Pissed Off' - no doubt I will use it as my Mantra for 2018.

André De Koning -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 5:08 AM

Yes, that Guccifer 2.0 stuff and the clear evidence that it was not a hack was published before but you are now updating us by identifying the guy who did it, which should also change the process. Thanks for that!

Update: Just see what Libby and Trauma2000 mean: yes, that makes sense!

Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:23 AM

In actual fact, it was Seth Ritch who 'leaked' the material (if you believe that Huma Abdeen was the original leaker and used Seth as a 'go between' then that is up to you). When the DNC found out Seth was the leaker, the murdered him and had to 'think up a story' hence Guccifer 2.0. There are several DNC employees involved but Warren Flood is the 'fall guy' along with a girl (her name is out there) whom had her name on the software licenses that were used to doctor the emails.

It's very interesting. But there is one thing that is certain according to McAffee (the McAffee) "If it looked like it was the Russians, then I can guarantee it WASN'T the Russians."

AM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:57 AM

Good comment and reading the last line, it has just reminded me of 'Vault 7' and what Wiki Leaks had to say.

Vault 7 CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.docx... https://www.scribd.com/docu...

Now why does CIA, Google, Crowd Strike, Clintons and Atlantic Council keep twerking around my grey cells?

André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:48 PM

For me it is because of the truth: there is not much point being on this or that "side", but when the truth is so twisted it becomes perversion and that should be uncovered.

libby -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM

Flood wasn't involved directly.

see http://g-2.space

Trauma2000 -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:24 AM

Correct. He was just a 'foot soldier.' But he still left his name all over everything as a fall guy. Someone else used his computer.

EDIT: Actually, someone at the DNC used his computer. They were on the eastern seaboard of the U.$. according to the time stamp on the documents.

libby -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 7:58 PM

Flood had already stopped working as Biden's IT director back in 2011, the only place he'd likely have had his name on a license under the company name GSA based on his work history - was there.

So, Guccifer 2.0's first docs were most likely constructed using a computer that had resided in the West Wing office on June 15, 2016 at the exact same time as Pyatt, Nuland and others (also connected to the Ukraine coup in 2014) were meeting there.

source: http://g-2.space
(the person behind it is the person who originally wrote this "Fancy Fraud, Bogus Bears..." article too)

RE: The Eastern timezone. - If referring to the NGP-VAN analysis, the timestamps themselves don't show timezones but the timezone can be evaluated due to how timestamps on files (that appear to be part of the same batch transfer on July 5, 2016) are displayed in the 7zip archive root versus those in various RAR files contained within (and the different methods of timestamp storage used by the different archive formats) and how this changes depending on what your computer's timezone is set to (the time changes in the 7zip but not in the RARs and the only timezone in which these have a close correlation is Eastern).

source: https://theforensicator.wor...

But I prefer your explanation as a TLDR version. :)

André De Koning -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:15 AM

Seth Rich was the one who leaked it and yes, makes sense to have distractions to cover up his murder.

AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 6:52 AM

There was an article, that I read, just before Christmas Day, that supports what you say. That Mueller has got to keep the narrative running, until they have sorted out the Mid-Term Elections, that the Dems believe will work to their advantage. Is it something to do with the Dems hoping to control Congress and managing to close any investigations that Trump is working on?

Gr8 White Caulk , December 28, 2017 8:34 AM

like Putin told Meghan Kelly, it could've been made to look like her 3 yr old daughter had hacked the dnc from her bedroom.

jmg , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM

More details. As mentioned before, it's technically verified as a whistleblower's leak, not a hack:

Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence - Consortium News
https://consortiumnews.com/...

A quick summary:

Ex-NSA official: Spies don't believe Russia collusion story - Fox News

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvA0HK_I-Hps&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

AM Hants -> jmg , December 28, 2017 7:34 PM

Surprised with Fox. Considering old Murdoch has a problem with Russia, no doubt owing to his interests in Genie Energy. However, not complaining, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and now the ex-NSA on Fox News. Nice.

André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:06 AM

This is just the beginning: just read New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One on Zerohedge.com

1. It will have huge consequences for all those who made shady deals with dictators and criminals (adding to the coffers of the Clinton Foundation etc.etc.). Perhaps this is what Trump was waiting for to start in the new year:his fireworks response to all the mud slung around?

2. Seth Rich and distraction by Guccifer 2.0: Trauma200 comments below is BIG and makes the connection to SETH RICH's murder, which also shows how Assange made it necessary for the complete the search and expose with evidence what was going on.

AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 7:31 PM

What I am curious about, is will he use it for that or will he go for any foreigner that Washington DC has a problem with. Such as anybody who is a friend of President Putin, just to cause problems, before the Russian Presidential Campaign.

Or am I being cynical. I seriously hope he uses it for the Russia Gate crowd and no doubt, he has good reason and he is not known to like being insulted, with no payback. However, I can also see him using it as another form of punishment on non-nationals.

André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:51 PM

He likes Putin but has to pretend for a while to be tough on him, so he'll probably limit it to the BS-ers (he is a maverick but does not like BS).

richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 4:48 PM

Nice analysis.

One additional point: Thomas Rid and most of the mainstream media keeps saying that German intelligence fingered Russia for the German Parliament attacks. While this is partly true, German intelligence in fact never said directly that APT 29 or "Fancy Bear" WAS DEFINITELY Russian state sponsored. They said they ASSUMED Russia was conducting hacks on Germany.

See here:

Digital Attack on German Parliament: Investigative Report on the Hack of the Left Party Infrastructure in Bundestag
https://netzpolitik.org/201...

Jeffrey Carr made this point early on in his Medium article:

Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train?
https://medium.com/@jeffrey...

Quote

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address  --  176.31.112[.]10  --  that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1:

The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri, a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Problem #2: The Command & Control server (176.31.112.10) was using an outdated version of OpenSSL vulnerable to Heartbleed attacks. Heartbleed allows attackers to exfiltrate data including private keys, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information.

The existence of a known security vulnerability that's trivial to exploit opens the door to the possibility that the systems in question were used by one rogue group, and then infiltrated by a second rogue group, making the attribution process even more complicated. At the very least, the C2 server should be considered a compromised indicator.

Problem #3: The BfV published a newsletter in January 2016 which assumes that the GRU and FSB are responsible because of technical indicators, not because of any classified finding; to wit: "Many of these attack campaigns have each other on technical similarities, such as malicious software families, and infrastructure  --  these are important indicators of the same authorship. It is assumed that both the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB and the military foreign intelligence service GRU run cyber operations."

Professor Rid's argument depended heavily on conveying hard attribution by the BfV even though the President of the BfV didn't disguise the fact that their attribution was based on an assumption and not hard evidence.

End Quote

André De Koning -> richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 9:57 PM

Very good analysis! Thanks.

AM Hants , December 28, 2017 6:48 AM

Thanks for the article and reminding us of Crowd Strike. Must admit, I read an interesting article, over on Oped News, by George Eliason, with regards Crowd Strike. Plus a few other reminders.

Does anybody remember the Awan Brothers from Pakistan and what they were arrested for, with regards the DNC and computers?

BREAKING : Democrat Awan Brothers (NOT RUSSIANS) Allegedly Hacked Congress... http://truthfeed.com/breaki...

Then you have Google and Soros and their links into Crowd Strike. Hasn't the CEO of Google just stepped down, the same day that Trump signed a Presidential Order, that might prove a problem for some, in the future?

QANON EXPOSES DEM CONSPIRACY TO FRAME TRUMP, CLAIMS GOOGLE'S SCHMIDT PLAYED PIVOTAL ROLE
QAnon also claims Debbie Wasserman Schultz contracted MS-13 gang to kill Seth Rich... https://www.infowars.com/qa...

DNC 'Russian Hacking' Conclusion Comes from Google-Linked Firm... http://www.breitbart.com/bi...

Remember, Crowd Strike, Dmitry Alperovic and his links back to The Atlantic Council? Then you have the Ukrainian Oligarch Pinchuk, who happily invested $25 million in the Clinton Foundation. Remember his Yalta Summits and the one back in September 2013? Now who attended and what were the various topics that they discussed?

Then you have Obama giving Crowd Strike a White House Commission for Cyber Security. Plus, the DNC refusing the FBI access to their servers, but, having no problem giving Crowd Strike full access. Now why was that? Funny how often Ukraine comes up, when looking into Clinton, Fusion, Crowdstrike, Old Ukrainian Malware and The Trump Dossier? Coincidence or what?

Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear... http://www.washingtonsblog....

Another good article by George Eliason.

A Tale of 2 Ukraines- Health Care in War-Torn Lugansk and Peaceful Kiev... https://www.opednews.com/ar...

André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:56 PM

In their attack (best defense motto) the real truth is slowly unfolding and yes, the Awan brothers etc. are all part of it.

I think they arrested one of those Awans (?) but we have not heard about them much lately.

The plot thickens and the time for the démasqué is here....

[Dec 18, 2017] Gaius Publius: Explosive WikiLeaks Release Exposes Massive, Aggressive CIA Cyber Spying, Hacking Capability

Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump is deep in the world of spooks now, the world of spies, agents and operatives. He and his inner circle have a nest of friends, but an even larger, more varied nest of enemies. As John Sevigny writes below, his enemies include not only the intel and counter-intel people, but also "Republican lawmakers, journalists, the Clintons, the Bush family, Barack Obama, the ACLU, every living Democrat and even Rand Paul." ..."
"... A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of 'Year Zero', the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said that 'Year Zero' revealed details of the CIA's "global covert hacking program," including "weaponized exploits" used against company products including " Apple's iPhone , Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs , which are turned into covert microphones." ..."
"... According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect "audio and message traffic before encryption is applied." ..."
"... "CIA turned every Microsoft Windows PC in the world into spyware. Can activate backdoors on demand, including via Windows update "[.] ..."
"... Do you still trust Windows Update? ..."
"... As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. ..."
"... "Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Hastings's crash looked consistent with a car cyber attack.'" Full and fascinating article here . ..."
"... Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive. ..."
"... Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force - its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities. ..."
"... By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware. Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified. ..."
"... I learned this when I was in my 20s. The Catholic Church was funding my early critique of American foreign aid as being imperialist. I asked whether they thought I should go into politics. They said, "No, you'd never make it". And I said, "Why?" and they said, "Well, nobody has a police record or any other dirt on you." I asked what they meant. They said, "Unless they have something over you to blackmail you with, you're not going to be able to get campaign funding. Because they believe that you might do something surprising," in other words, something they haven't asked you to do. So basically throughout politics, on both sides of the spectrum, voters have candidates who are funded by backers who have enough over them that they can always blackmail. ..."
"... The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies – and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening. ..."
"... 4th impressions – I went looking for the "juicy bits" of interest to me – SOHO routers, small routers – sadly its just a table documenting routers sold around the world, and whether these guys have put the firmware in their Stash Repository. Original firmware, not hacked one. But the repository isn't in the vault dump, AFAIK. ..."
"... The WikiLeaks docs show that CIA has developed means to use all personal digital device microphones and cameras even when they are "off," and to send all of your files and personal data to themselves, and to send your private messages to themselves before they are encrypted. They have installed these spyware in the released version of Windows 10, and can easily install them on all common systems and devices. ..."
"... So we have a zillion ways to spy and hack and deceive and assassinate, but no control. I think this is what the military refers to as "being overtaken by events." ..."
"... My godfather was in the CIA in the late sixties and early seventies, and he said that outside of the President's pet projects there was no way to sift through and bring important information to decision makers before it made the Washington Post (he is aware of the irony) and hit the President's breakfast table. ..."
"... To what extent do these hacks represent the CIA operating within the US? To what extent is that illegal? With the democrats worshipping the IC, will anyone in an official position dare to speak out? ..."
"... Schumer said that as he understands, intelligence officials are "very upset with how [Trump] has treated them and talked about them ..."
"... The CIA's internal security is crap, too. Really a lot of people should be fired over that, as well as over Snowden's release. We didn't hear of it happening in the NSA, though I'm not sure we would have. Given Gaius's description of Trump's situation, it seems unlikely it will happen this time, either. One of my hopes for a Trump administration, as long as we're stuck with it, was a thorough cleanout of the upper echelons in the IC. It's obviously long overdue, and Obama wasn't up to it. But I used the past tense because I don't think it's going to happen. Trump seems more interested in sucking up to them, presumably so they won't kill him or his family. That being one of their options. ..."
"... "The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability ." [My emphasis]. It seems to characterize an organization that operates outside of any control and oversight – and one that is intentionally structuring itself that way. That worries me. ..."
"... It's a dangerous world out there and only our brave IC can protect us from it. Come on. Stop blaming the victim and place the blame where it belongs–our IC and MIC. I say stop feeding the beast with your loyalty to a government that has ceased to be yours. ..."
"... "These CIA revelations in conjunction with those of the NSA paints a pretty dark future for privacy and freedom. Edward Snowden made us aware of the NSA's program XKEYSCORE and PRISM which are utilized to monitor and bulk collect information from virtually any electronic device on the planet and put it into a searchable database. Now Wikileaks has published what appears to be additional Big Brother techniques used by a competing agency. Say what you want about the method of discovery, but Pandora's box has been opened." ..."
Mar 09, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
March 9, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. The first release of the Wikileaks Vault 7 trove has curiously gone from being a MSM lead story yesterday to a handwave today. On the one hand, anyone who was half awake during the Edward Snowden revelations knows that the NSA is in full spectrum surveillance and data storage mode, and members of the Five Eyes back-scratch each other to evade pesky domestic curbs on snooping. So the idea that the CIA (and presumably the NSA) found a way to circumvent encryption tools on smartphones, or are trying to figure out how to control cars remotely, should hardly come as a surprise.

However, at a minimum, reminding the generally complacent public that they are being spied on any time they use the Web, and increasingly the times in between, makes the officialdom Not Happy.

And if this Wikileaks claim is even halfway true, its Vault 7 publication is a big deal:

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

This is an indictment of the model of having the intelligence services rely heavily on outside contractors. It is far more difficult to control information when you have multiple organizations involved. In addition, neolibearlism posits that workers are free agents who have no loyalties save to their own bottom lines (or for oddballs, their own sense of ethics). Let us not forget that Snowden planned his career job moves , which included a stint at NSA contractor Dell, before executing his information haul at a Booz Allen site that he had targeted.

Admittedly, there are no doubt many individuals who are very dedicated to the agencies for which they work and aspire to spend most it not all of their woking lives there. But I would assume that they are a minority.

The reason outsiders can attempt to pooh-pooh the Wikileaks release is that the organization redacted sensitive information like the names of targets and attack machines. The CIA staffers who have access to the full versions of these documents as well as other major components in the hacking toolkit will be the ones who can judge how large and serious the breach really is. 1 And their incentives are to minimize it no matter what.

By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

CIA org chart from the WikiLeaks cache (click to enlarge). "The organizational chart corresponds to the material published by WikiLeaks so far. Since the organizational structure of the CIA below the level of Directorates is not public, the placement of the EDG [Engineering Development Group]and its branches is reconstructed from information contained in the documents released so far. It is intended to be used as a rough outline of the internal organization; please be aware that the reconstructed org chart is incomplete and that internal reorganizations occur frequently."

* * *

"O brave new world, that has such people in it."

Bottom line first. As you read what's below, consider:

Now the story.

WikiLeaks just dropped a huge cache of documents (the first of several promised releases), leaked from a person or people associated with the CIA in one or more capacities (examples, employee, contractor), which shows an agency out-of-control in its spying and hacking overreach. Read through to the end. If you're like me, you'll be stunned, not just about what they can do, but that they would want to do it, in some cases in direct violation of President Obama's orders. This story is bigger than anything you can imagine.

Consider this piece just an introduction, to make sure the story stays on your radar as it unfolds - and to help you identify those media figures who will try to minimize or bury it. (Unless I missed it, on MSNBC last night, for example, the first mention of this story was not Chris Hayes, not Maddow, but the Lawrence O'Donnell show, and then only to support his guest's "Russia gave us Trump" narrative. If anything, this leak suggests a much muddier picture, which I'll explore in a later piece.)

So I'll start with just a taste, a few of its many revelations, to give you, without too much time spent, the scope of the problem. Then I'll add some longer bullet-point detail, to indicate just how much of American life this revelation touches.

While the cache of documents has been vetted and redacted , it hasn't been fully explored for implications. I'll follow this story as bits and piece are added from the crowd sourced research done on the cache of information. If you wish to play along at home, the WikiLeaks torrent file is here . The torrent's passphrase is here . WikiLeaks press release is here (also reproduced below). Their FAQ is here .

Note that this release covers the years 2013–2016. As WikiLeaks says in its FAQ, "The series is the largest intelligence publication in history."

Preface - Trump and Our "Brave New World"

But first, this preface, consisting of one idea only. Donald Trump is deep in the world of spooks now, the world of spies, agents and operatives. He and his inner circle have a nest of friends, but an even larger, more varied nest of enemies. As John Sevigny writes below, his enemies include not only the intel and counter-intel people, but also "Republican lawmakers, journalists, the Clintons, the Bush family, Barack Obama, the ACLU, every living Democrat and even Rand Paul." Plus Vladimir Putin, whose relationship with Trump is just "business," an alliance of convenience, if you will.

I have zero sympathy for Donald Trump. But his world is now our world, and with both of his feet firmly planted in spook world, ours are too. He's in it to his neck, in fact, and what happens in that world will affect every one of us. He's so impossibly erratic, so impossibly unfit for his office, that everyone on the list above wants to remove him. Many of them are allied, but if they are, it's also only for convenience.

How do spooks remove the inconvenient and unfit? I leave that to your imagination;they have their ways. Whatever method they choose, however, it must be one without fingerprints - or more accurately, without their fingerprints - on it.

Which suggests two more questions. One, who will help them do it, take him down? Clearly, anyone and everyone on the list. Second, how do you bring down the president, using extra-electoral, extra-constitutional means, without bringing down the Republic? I have no answer for that.

Here's a brief look at "spook world" (my phrase, not the author's) from " The Fox Hunt " by John Sevigny:

Several times in my life – as a journalist and rambling, independent photographer - I've ended up rubbing shoulders with spooks. Long before that was a racist term, it was a catch-all to describe intelligence community people, counter intel types, and everyone working for or against them. I don't have any special insight into the current situation with Donald Trump and his battle with the IC as the intelligence community calls itself, but I can offer a few first hand observations about the labyrinth of shadows, light, reflections, paranoia, perceptions and misperceptions through which he finds himself wandering, blindly. More baffling and scary is the thought he may have no idea his ankles are already bound together in a cluster of quadruple gordian knots, the likes of which very few people ever escape.

Criminal underworlds, of which the Trump administration is just one, are terrifying and confusing places. They become far more complicated once they've been penetrated by authorities and faux-authorities who often represent competing interests, but are nearly always in it for themselves.

One big complication - and I've written about this before - is that you never know who's working for whom . Another problem is that the hierarchy of handlers, informants, assets and sources is never defined. People who believe, for example, they are CIA assets are really just being used by people who are perhaps not in the CIA at all but depend on controlling the dupe in question. It is very simple - and I have seen this happen - for the subject of an international investigation to claim that he is part of that operation. [emphasis added]

Which leads Sevigny to this observation about Trump, which I partially quoted above: "Donald Trump may be crazy, stupid, evil or all three but he knows the knives are being sharpened and there are now too many blades for him to count. The intel people are against him, as are the counter intel people. His phone conversations were almost certainly recorded by one organization or another, legal or quasi legal. His enemies include Republican lawmakers, journalists, the Clintons, the Bush family, Barack Obama, the ACLU, every living Democrat and even Rand Paul. Putin is not on his side - that's a business matter and not an alliance."

Again, this is not to defend Trump, or even to generate sympathy for him - I personally have none. It's to characterize where he is, and we are, at in this pivotal moment. Pivotal not for what they're doing, the broad intelligence community. But pivotal for what we're finding out, the extent and blatancy of the violations.

All of this creates an incredibly complex story, with only a tenth or less being covered by anything like the mainstream press. For example, the Trump-Putin tale is much more likely to be part of a much broader "international mobster" story, whose participants include not only Trump and Putin, but Wall Street (think HSBC) and major international banks, sovereign wealth funds, major hedge funds, venture capital (vulture capital) firms, international drug and other trafficking cartels, corrupt dictators and presidents around the world and much of the highest reaches of the "Davos crowd."

Much of the highest reaches of the .01 percent, in other words, all served, supported and "curated" by the various, often competing elements of the first-world military and intelligence communities. What a stew of competing and aligned interests, of marriages and divorces of convenience, all for the common currencies of money and power, all of them dealing in death .

What this new WikiLeaks revelation shows us is what just one arm of that community, the CIA, has been up to. Again, the breadth of the spying and hacking capability is beyond imagination. This is where we've come to as a nation.

What the CIA Is Up To - A Brief Sample

Now about those CIA spooks and their surprising capabilities. A number of other outlets have written up the story, but this from Zero Hedge has managed to capture the essence as well as the breadth in not too many words (emphasis mine throughout):

WikiLeaks has published what it claims is the largest ever release of confidential documents on the CIA It includes more than 8,000 documents as part of 'Vault 7', a series of leaks on the agency, which have allegedly emerged from the CIA's Center For Cyber Intelligence in Langley , and which can be seen on the org chart below, which Wikileaks also released : [org chart reproduced above]

A total of 8,761 documents have been published as part of 'Year Zero', the first in a series of leaks the whistleblower organization has dubbed 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said that 'Year Zero' revealed details of the CIA's "global covert hacking program," including "weaponized exploits" used against company products including " Apple's iPhone , Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs , which are turned into covert microphones."

WikiLeaks tweeted the leak, which it claims came from a network inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.

Among the more notable disclosures which, if confirmed, " would rock the technology world ", the CIA had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect "audio and message traffic before encryption is applied."

With respect to hacked devices like you smart phone, smart TV and computer, consider the concept of putting these devices in "fake-off" mode:

Among the various techniques profiled by WikiLeaks is "Weeping Angel", developed by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs , transforming them into covert microphones. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode , so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As Kim Dotcom chimed in on Twitter, "CIA turns Smart TVs, iPhones, gaming consoles and many other consumer gadgets into open microphones" and added "CIA turned every Microsoft Windows PC in the world into spyware. Can activate backdoors on demand, including via Windows update "[.]

Do you still trust Windows Update?

About "Russia did it"

Adding to the "Russia did it" story, note this:

Another profound revelation is that the CIA can engage in "false flag" cyberattacks which portray Russia as the assailant . Discussing the CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group, Wikileaks' source notes that it "collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.["]

As Kim Dotcom summarizes this finding, " CIA uses techniques to make cyber attacks look like they originated from enemy state ."

This doesn't prove that Russia didn't do it ("it" meaning actually hacking the presidency for Trump, as opposed to providing much influence in that direction), but again, we're in spook world, with all the phrase implies. The CIA can clearly put anyone's fingerprints on any weapon they wish, and I can't imagine they're alone in that capability.

Hacking Presidential Devices?

If I were a president, I'd be concerned about this, from the WikiLeaks " Analysis " portion of the Press Release (emphasis added):

"Year Zero" documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration's commitments [that the intelligence community would reveal to device manufacturers whatever vulnerabilities it discovered]. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA's cyber arsenal are pervasive [across devices and device types] and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in "Year Zero" [that it] is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts . The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities ("zero days") possessed by the CIA[,] but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

Does or did the CIA do this (hack presidential devices), or is it just capable of it? The second paragraph implies the latter. That's a discussion for another day, but I can say now that both Lawrence Wilkerson, aide to Colin Powell and a non-partisan (though an admitted Republican) expert in these matters, and William Binney, one of the triumvirate of major pre-Snowden leakers, think emphatically yes. (See Wilkerson's comments here . See Binney's comments here .)

Whether or not you believe Wilkerson and Binney, do you doubt that if our intelligence people can do something, they would balk at the deed itself, in this world of "collect it all "? If nothing else, imagine the power this kind of bugging would confer on those who do it.

The Breadth of the CIA Cyber-Hacking Scheme

But there is so much more in this Wikileaks release than suggested by the brief summary above. Here's a bullet-point overview of what we've learned so far, again via Zero Hedge:

Key Highlights from the Vault 7 release so far:

Also this scary possibility:

Journalist Michael Hastings, who in 2010 destroyed the career of General Stanley McChrystal and was hated by the military for it, was killed in 2013 in an inexplicably out-of-control car. This isn't to suggest the CIA, specifically, caused his death. It's to ask that, if these capabilities existed in 2013, what would prevent their use by elements of the military, which is, after all a death-delivery organization?

And lest you consider this last speculation just crazy talk, Richard Clarke (that Richard Clarke ) agrees: "Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Hastings's crash looked consistent with a car cyber attack.'" Full and fascinating article here .

WiliLeaks Press Release

Here's what WikiLeaks itself says about this first document cache (again, emphasis mine):

Press Release

Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

The first full part of the series, "Year Zero", comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election .

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

"Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day" weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.

Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force - its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities.

By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware. Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.

In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public , including whether the CIA's hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.

Once a single cyber 'weapon' is 'loose' it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that "There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber 'weapons'. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such 'weapons', which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of "Year Zero" goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective."

Wikileaks has carefully reviewed the "Year Zero" disclosure and published substantive CIA documentation while avoiding the distribution of 'armed' cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such 'weapons' should analyzed, disarmed and published.

Wikileaks has also decided to redact and anonymise some identifying information in "Year Zero" for in depth analysis. These redactions include ten of thousands of CIA targets and attack machines throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. While we are aware of the imperfect results of any approach chosen, we remain committed to our publishing model and note that the quantity of published pages in "Vault 7" part one ("Year Zero") already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.

Be sure to click through for the Analysis, Examples and FAQ sections as well.

"O brave new world," someone once wrote . Indeed. Brave new world, that only the brave can live in.

____

1 Mind you, the leakers may have had a comprehensive enough view to be making an accurate call. But the real point is there are no actors who will be allowed to make an independent assessment.

34 0 42 1 0 This entry was posted in Banana republic , Guest Post , Legal , Politics , Surveillance state , Technology and innovation on March 9, 2017 by Yves Smith .
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Subscribe to Post Comments 64 comments Code Name D , March 9, 2017 at 2:38 am

That's all I needed.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself.

The material, which has been seen by the Guardian, is a series of reports on Trump's relationship with Moscow. They were drawn up by a former western counter-intelligence official, now working as a private consultant. BuzzFeed on Tuesday published the documents, which it said were "unverified and potentially unverifiable".

The Guardian has not been able to confirm the veracity of the documents' contents,

Emphases mine. I had been sitting on this link trying to make sense of this part. Clearly, the Trump Whitehouse has some major leaks, which the MSM is exploiting. But the start of this article suggests that para-intelligence (is that a word? Eh, it is now) was the source of the allegedly damaging info.

This is no longer about the deep-state, but a rouge state, possibly guns for higher, each having fealty to specific political interests. The CIA arsenal wasn't leaked. It was delivered.

salvo , March 9, 2017 at 3:13 am

hmm.. as far as I can see, noone seems to care here in Germany anymore about being spied on by our US friends, apart from a few alternative sources which are being accused of spreading fake news, of being anti-american, russian trolls, the matter is widely ignored

visitor , March 9, 2017 at 3:40 am

I have read a few articles about the Vault 7 leak that typically raise a few alarms I would like to comment on.

1) The fact that the

CIA had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services

does not mean that it has broken encryption, just that it has a way to install a program at a lower level, close to the operating system, that will read messages before they are encrypted and sent by the messaging app, or just after they have been decrypted by it.

As a side note: banks have now largely introduced two-factor authentication when accessing online services. One enters username (or account number) and password; the bank site returns a code; the user must then enter this code into a smartphone app or a tiny specialized device, which computes and returns a value out of it; the user enters this last value into the entry form as a throw-away additional password, and gains access to the bank website.

I have always refused to use such methods on a smartphone and insist on getting the specialized "single-use password computer", precisely because the smartphone platform can be subverted.

2) The fact that

"Weeping Angel", developed by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), [ ] infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones.

is possible largely because smart TVs are designed by their manufacturers to serve as spying devices. "Weeping Angel" is not some kind of virus that turns normal devices into zombies, but a tool to take control of existing zombie devices.

The fact that smart TVs from Vizio , Samsung or LG constitute an outrageous intrusion into the privacy of their owners has been a known topic for years already.

3) The

CIA [ ] also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks

is not a "scary possibility" either; various demonstrations of such feats on Tesla , Nissan , or Chrysler vehicles have been demonstrated in the past few years.

And the consequences have already been suggested (killing people by disabling their car controls on the highway for instance).

My take on this is that we should seriously look askance not just at the shenanigans of the CIA, but at the entire "innovative technology" that is imposed upon (computerized cars) or joyfully adopted by (smartphones) consumers. Of course, most NC readers are aware of the pitfalls already, but alas not the majority of the population.

4) Finally this:

He's so impossibly erratic, so impossibly unfit for his office,

Trump is arguably unfit for office, does not have a clue about many things (such as foreign relations), but by taxing him of being "erratic" Gaius Publius shows that he still does not "get" the Donald.

Trump has a completely different modus operandi than career politicians, formed by his experience as a real-estate mogul and media star. His world has been one where one makes outrageous offers to try anchoring the negotiation before reducing one's claims - even significantly, or abruptly exiting just before an agreement to strike a deal with another party that has been lured to concessions through negotiations with the first one. NC once included a video of Trump doing an interactive A/B testing of his slogans during a campaign meeting; while changing one's slogans on the spot might seem "erratic", it is actually a very systematic market probing technique.

So stop asserting that Trump is "unpredictable" or "irrational"; this is underestimating him (a dangerous fault), as he is very consistent, though in an uncommon fashion amongst political pundits.

Yves Smith Post author , March 9, 2017 at 5:53 am

While I agree that it's worth pointing out that the CIA has not broken any of the major encryption tools, even Snowden regards being able to circumvent them as worse, since people using encryption are presumably those who feel particularly at risk and will get a false sense of security and say things or keep data on their devices that they never never would if they thought they were insecure.

Re Gaius on Trump, I agree the lady doth protest too much. But I said repeatedly that Trump would not want to be President if he understood the job. It is not like being the CEO of a private company. Trump has vastly more control over his smaller terrain in his past life than he does as President.

And Trump is no longer campaigning. No more a/b testing.

The fact is that he still does not have effective control of the Executive branch. He has lots of open positions in the political appointee slots (largely due to not having even submitted candidates!) plus has rebellion in some organizations (like folks in the EPA storing data outside the agency to prevent its destruction).

You cannot pretend that Trump's former MO is working at all well for him. And he isn't showing an ability to adapt or learn (not surprising at his age). For instance, he should have figured out by now that DC is run by lawyers, yet his team has hardly any on it. This is continuing to be a source of major self inflicted wounds.

His erraticness may be keeping his opponents off base, but it is also keeping him from advancing any of his goals.

visitor , March 9, 2017 at 6:59 am

I believe we are in agreement.

Yes, not breaking encryption is devious, as it gives a false sense of security - this is precisely why I refuse to use those supposedly secure e-banking login apps on smartphones whose system software can be subverted, and prefer those non-connected, non-reprogrammable, special-purpose password generating devices.

As for Trump being incompetent for his job, and his skills in wheeling-dealing do not carrying over usefully to conducting high political offices, that much is clear. But he is not "erratic", rather he is out of place and out of his depth.

RBHoughton , March 9, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I am writing this in the shower with a paper bag over my head and my iPhone in the microwave.

I have for years had a password-protected document on computer with all my important numbers and passwords. I have today deleted that document and reverted to a paper record.

Ivy , March 9, 2017 at 10:09 am

Please tell readers more about the following for our benefit:

"single-use password computer"

visitor , March 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

That is an example of the sort of thing I am talking about.

PhilM , March 9, 2017 at 11:35 am

I think he means a machine dedicated to high-security operations like anything financial or bill-pay. Something that is not exposed to email or web-browsing operations that happen on a casual-use computer that can easily compromise. That's not a bad way to go; it's cheaper in terms of time than the labor-intensive approaches I use, but those are a hobby more than anything else. It depends on how much you have at stake if they get your bank account or brokerage service password.

I take a few basic security measures, which would not impress the IT crowd I hang out with elsewhere, but at least would not make me a laughingstock. I run Linux and use only open-source software; run ad-blockers and script blockers; confine risky operations, which means any non-corporate or non-mainstream website to a virtual machine that is reset after each use; use separate browsers with different cookie storage policies and different accounts for different purposes. I keep a well-maintained pfSense router with a proxy server and an intrusion detection system, allowing me to segregate my secure network, home servers, guest networks, audiovisual streaming and entertainment devices, and IoT devices each on their own VLANs with appropriate ACLs between them. No device on the more-secured network is allowed out to any port without permission, and similar rules are there for the IoT devices, and the VoIP tools.

The hardware to do all of that costs at least $700, but the real expense is in the time to learn the systems properly. Of course if you use Linux, you could save that on software in a year if you are too cheap to send a contribution to the developers.

It's not perfect, because I still have computers turned on :) , but I feel a bit safer this way.

That said, absolutely nothing that I have here would last 30 milliseconds against anything the "hats" could use, if they wanted in. It would be over before it began. If I had anything to hide, really, I would have something to fear; so guess I'm OK.

jrs , March 9, 2017 at 2:36 pm

open source software often has a lot of bugs to be exploioted. Wouldn't it be easier to just do banking in person?

visitor , March 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Banks discourage that by

a) charging extortionate fees for "in-person" operations at the counter;

b) closing subsidiaries, thus making it tedious and time-consuming to visit a branch to perform banking operations in person;

c) eliminating the possibility to perform some or even all usual operations in any other form than online (see the advent of "Internet only" banks).

In theoretical terms, all this is called "nudging".

cfraenkel , March 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm

They're key fobs handed to you by your IT dept. The code displayed changes every couple of minutes. The plus is there's nothing sent over the air. The minus is the fobs are subject to theft, and are only good for connecting to 'home'. And since they have a cost, and need to be physically handed to you, they're not good fit for most two factor login applications (ie logging into your bank account).

see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_SecurID

meme , March 9, 2017 at 3:53 am

I watched (fast forwarded through, really) Morning Joe yesterday to see what they would have to say about Wikileaks. The show mostly revolved around the health care bill and Trump's lying and tweeting about Obama wiretapping him. They gave Tim Kaine plenty of time to discuss his recent trip to London talking to "some of our allies there" saying that they are concerned that "all the intelligence agencies" say the Rooskies "cyber hacked" our election, and since it looks like we aren't doing anything when we are attacked, they KNOW we won't do anything when they are attacked. (more red baiting)

The only two mentions I saw was about Wikileaks were, first, a question asked of David Cohen, ex Deputy Director of the CIA, who refused to confirm the Wikileaks were authentic, saying whatever tools and techniques the CIA had were used against foreign persons overseas, so there is no reason to worry that your TV is looking at you. And second, Senator Tom Cotton, who didn't want to comment on the contents of Wikileaks, only saying that the CIA is a foreign intelligence service, collecting evidence on foreign targets to keep our country safe, and it does not do intelligence work domestically.

So that appears to be their story, the CIA doesn't spy on us, and they are sticking with it, probably hoping the whole Wikileaks thing just cycles out of the news.

Direction , March 9, 2017 at 4:23 am

Thanks for mentioning Hastings. His death has always been more than suspicious.

skippy , March 9, 2017 at 5:46 am

Elite risk management reduction tool goes walkabout inverting its potential ..

disheveled . love it when a plan comes together ..

james wordsworth , March 9, 2017 at 5:50 am

The unwillingness of the main stream media (so far) to really cover the Wikileaks reveal is perhaps the bigger story. This should be ongoing front page stuff .. but it is not.

As for using ZeroHedge as a source for anything, can we give that a rest. That site has become a cesspool of insanity. It used to have some good stuff. Now it is just unreadable. SAD

And yes I know the hypocrisy of slamming ZH and the MSM at the same time we live in interesting times.

Yves Smith Post author , March 9, 2017 at 7:52 am

Your remarks on ZH are an ad hominem attack and therefore a violation of site policies. The onus is on you to say what ZH got wrong and not engage in an ungrounded smear. The mainstream media often cites ZH.

NC more than just about any other finance site is loath to link to ZH precisely because it is off base or hyperventilating a not acceptably high percent of the time, and is generally wrong about the Fed (as in governance and how money works). We don't want to encourage readers to see it as reliable. However, it is good on trader gossip and mining Bloomberg data.

And I read through its summary of the Wikileaks material as used by Gaius and there was nothing wrong with it. It was careful about attributing certain claims to Wikileaks as opposed to depicting them as true.

3urypteris , March 9, 2017 at 12:14 pm

My rules for reading ZH:
1- Skip every article with no picture
2- Skip every article where the picture is a graph
3- Skip every article where the picture is of a single person's face
4- Skip every afticle where the picture is a cartoon
5- Skip every article about gold, BitCoin, or high-frequency trading
6- Skip all the "Guest Posts"
7- ALWAYS click through to the source
8- NEVER read the comments

It is in my opinion a very high noise-to-signal source, but there is some there there.

sunny129 , March 9, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Finding the TRUTH is NOT that easy.

Discerning a 'news from noise' is NEVER that easy b/c it is an art, developed by years of shifting through ever increasing 'DATA information' load. This again has to be filtered and tested against one's own 'critical' thinking or reasoning! You have to give ZH, deserved credit, when they are right!

There is no longer a Black or white there, even at ZH! But it is one of the few, willing to challenge the main stream narrative 'kool aid'

TheCatSaid , March 9, 2017 at 6:14 am

In addition to the "para-intelligence" community (hat tip Code named D) there are multiple enterprises with unique areas of expertise that interface closely with the CIA The long-exposed operations, which include entrapment and blackmailing of key actors to guarantee complicity, "loyalty" and/or sealed lips, infect businesses, NGOs, law enforcement agencies, judges, politicians, and other government agencies. Equal opportunity employment for those with strong stomachs and a weak moral compass.

Romancing The Loan , March 9, 2017 at 8:43 am

Yes I can't remember where I read it but it was a tale passed around supposedly by an FBI guy that had, along with his colleagues, the job of vetting candidates for political office. They'd do their background research and pass on either a thick or thin folder full of all the compromising dirt on each potential appointee. Over time he said he was perturbed to notice a persistent pattern where the thickest folders were always the ones who got in.

nobody , March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

Michael Hudson :

I learned this when I was in my 20s. The Catholic Church was funding my early critique of American foreign aid as being imperialist. I asked whether they thought I should go into politics. They said, "No, you'd never make it". And I said, "Why?" and they said, "Well, nobody has a police record or any other dirt on you." I asked what they meant. They said, "Unless they have something over you to blackmail you with, you're not going to be able to get campaign funding. Because they believe that you might do something surprising," in other words, something they haven't asked you to do. So basically throughout politics, on both sides of the spectrum, voters have candidates who are funded by backers who have enough over them that they can always blackmail.

craazyboy , March 9, 2017 at 8:20 am

I find the notion that my consumer electronics may be CIA microphones somewhat irritating, but my imagination quickly runs off to far worse scenarios. (although the popular phase, "You're tax dollars at work." keeps running thru my head like a earworm. And whenever I hear "conservatives" speak of their desire for "small government", usually when topics of health care, Medicare and social security come up, I can only manage a snort of incredulousness anymore)

One being malware penetrating our nuke power plants and shutting down the cooling system. Then the reactor slowly overheats over the next 3 days, goes critical, and blows the surrounding area to high heaven. We have plants all around the coast of the country and also around the Great Lakes Region – our largest fresh water store in a drought threatened future.

Then the same happening in our offensive nuke missile systems.

Some other inconvenient truths – the stuxnet virus has been redesigned. Kaspersky – premier anti malware software maker – had a variant on their corporate network for months before finally discovering it. What chance have we?

In China, hacking is becoming a consumer service industry. There are companies building high power data centers with a host of hacking tools. Anyone, including high school script kiddies, can rent time to use the sophisticated hacking tools, web search bots, and whatever, all hosted on powerful servers with high speed internet bandwidth.

Being a bit "spooked" by all this, I began to worry about my humble home computer and decided to research whatever products I could get to at least ward off annoying vandalism. Among other things, I did sign up for a VPN service. I'm looking at the control app for my VPN connection here and I see that with a simple checkbox mouse click I can make my IP address appear to be located in my choice of 40 some countries around the world. Romania is on the list!

flora , March 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

"my consumer electronics may be CIA microphones "

I haven't tested this, so can't confirm it works, but it sounds reasonable.
http://www.komando.com/tips/390304/secure-your-webcam-and-microphone-from-hackers

craazyboy , March 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Actually, I very much doubt that does work. The mic "pickup" would feed its analog output to a DAC (digital to analog converter) which would convert the signal to digital. This then goes to something similar to a virtual com port in the operating system. Here is where a malware program would pick it up and either create a audio file to be sent to an internet address, or stream it directly there.

The article is just plugging in a microphone at the output jack. The malware got the data long before it goes thru another DAC and analog amp to get to the speakers or output jack.

craazyboy , March 9, 2017 at 12:46 pm

s/b "plugging in a earbud at the output jack". They're confusing me too.

flora , March 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

ah. thanks for vetting.

Stephen Gardner , March 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

It's actually a input/output jack or, if you will, a mic/headphone jack.

Stephen Gardner , March 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

It depends on how it is hooked up internally. Old fashioned amateur radio headphones would disable the speakers when plugged in because the physical insertion of the plug pushed open the connection to the speakers. The jack that you plug the ear buds into might do the same, disconnecting the path between the built-in microphone and the ADC (actually it is an ADC not a DAC). The only way to know is to take it apart and see how it is connected.

Pat , March 9, 2017 at 8:27 am

The CIA is not allowed to operate in the US is also the panacea for the public. And some are buying it. Along with everyone knows they can do this is fueling the NOTHING to see here keep walking weak practically non existent coverage.

Eureka Springs , March 9, 2017 at 8:31 am

At what point do people quit negotiating in terrorism and errorism? For this is what the police, the very State itself has long been. Far beyond being illegitimate, illegal, immoral, this is a clear and ever present danger to not just it's own people, but the rule of law itself. Blanket statements like we all know this just makes the dangerously absurd normal I'll never understand that part of human nature. But hey, the TSA literally just keeps probing further each and every year. Bend over!

Trump may not be the one for the task but we the people desperately need people 'unfit', for it is the many fit who brought us to this point. His unfit nature is as refreshing on these matters in its chaotic honest disbelief as Snowden and Wiki revelations. Refreshing because it's all we've got. One doesn't have to like Trump to still see missed opportunity so many should be telling him he could be the greatest pres ever if (for two examples) he fought tirelessly for single payer and to bring down this police state rather than the EPA or public education.

This cannot stand on so many levels. Not only is the fourth amendment rendered utterly void, but even if it weren't it falls far short of the protections we deserve.

No enemy could possibly be as bad as who we are and what we allow/do among ourselves. If an election can be hacked (not saying it was by Russia).. as these and other files prove anything can and will be hacked then our system is to blame, not someone else.

What amazes me is that the spooks haven't manufactured proof needed to take Trump out of office Bonfire of The Vanities style. I'd like to think the people have moved beyond the point they would believe manufactured evidence but the Russia thing proves otherwise.

These people foment world war while probing our every move and we do nothing!

If we wait for someone fit nothing will ever change because we wait for the police/media/oligarch state to tell us who is fit.

Anon , March 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

being "unfit" does not automatically make someone a savior.

Stephen Gardner , March 9, 2017 at 3:05 pm

But being fit by the standards of our ruling class, the "real owners" as Carlin called them is, in my book, an automatic proof that they are up to no good. Trump is not my cup of tea as a president but no one we have had in a while wasn't clearly compromised by those who fund them. Did you ever wonder why we have never had a president or even a powerful member of congress that was not totally in the tank for that little country on the Eastern Mediterranean? Or the Gulf Monarchies? Do you think that is by accident? Do you think money isn't involved? Talk about hacked elections! We should be so lucky as to have ONLY Russians attempting to affect our elections. Money is what hacks US elections and never forget that. To me it is laughable to discuss hacking the elections without discussing the real way our "democracy" is subverted–money not document leaks or voting machine hacks. It's money.

Why isn't Saudi Arabia on Trump's list? Iran that has never been involved in a terrorist act on US soil is but not Saudi Arabia? How many 911 hijackers came from Iran? If anything saves Trump from destruction by the real owners of our democracy it is his devotion to the aforementioned countries.

Allegorio , March 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm

The point again is not to remove him from office but to control him. With Trump's past you better believe the surveillance state has more than enough to remove him from office. Notice the change in his rhetoric since inauguration? More and more he is towing the establishment Republican line. Of course this depends on whether you believe Trump is a break with the past or just the best liar out there. A very unpopular establishment would be clever in promoting their agent by pretending to be against him.

Anyone who still believes that the US is a democratic republic and not a mafia state needs to stick their heads deeper into the sands. When will the low information voters and police forces on whom a real revolution depends realize this is anyone's guess. The day is getting closer especially for the younger generation. The meme among the masses is that government has always been corrupt and that this is nothing new. I do believe the level of immorality among the credentialed classes is indeed very new and has become the new normal. Generations of every man for himself capitalist philosophy undermining any sense of morality or community has finally done its work.

HBE , March 9, 2017 at 8:47 am

Go take a jaunt over to huffpo, at the time of this post there was not a single mention of vault 7 on the front page. Just a long series of anti trump administration articles.

Glad to know for sure who the true warmongers were all along.

Arizona Slim , March 9, 2017 at 8:50 am

We need another Church Commission.

Eureka Springs , March 9, 2017 at 8:59 am

No.. The Church commission was a sweep it under the rug operation. It got us FISA courts. More carte blanche secrecy, not less. The commission nor the rest of the system didn't even hold violators of the time accountable.

We have files like Vault 7. Commissions rarely get in secret what we have right here before our eyes.

Arizona Slim , March 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Well, how about a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

Foppe , March 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Cute but the ANC lost the war by acceding to WTO entry (which "forbade" distributive politics, land/resource redistribution, nationalizations, etc.).

River , March 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

Need Langley surrounded and fired upon by tanks at this point.

Err on the side of caution.

DJG , March 9, 2017 at 12:49 pm

River: Interesting historic parallel? I believe that the Ottomans got rid of the Janissaries that way, after the Janissaries had become a state within a state, by using cannons on their HQ

From Wiki entry, Janissaries:

The corps was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826 in the Auspicious Incident in which 6,000 or more were executed.[8]

polecat , March 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm

"Nuke it from orbit it's the only way to be sure . "

knowbuddhau , March 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

Took less than a minute to download the 513.33MB file. The passphrase is what JFK said he'd like to do to CIA: SplinterItIntoAThousandPiecesAndScatterItIntoTheWinds.

"The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer." Henry Kissinger, 1975.

Stormcrow , March 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

Here is Raimondo's take:
Spygate
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/07/spygate-americas-political-police-vs-donald-j-trump/

The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies – and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening.

The irony is that the existence of this dangerous apparatus – which civil libertarians have warned could and probably would be used for political purposes – has been hailed by Trump and his team as a necessary and proper function of government. Indeed, Trump has called for the execution of the person who revealed the existence of this sinister engine of oppression – Edward Snowden. Absent Snowden's revelations, we would still be in the dark as to the existence and vast scope of the NSA's surveillance.

And now the monster Trump embraced in the name of "national security" has come back to bite him.

We hear all the time that what's needed is an open and impartial "investigation" of Trump's alleged "ties" to Russia. This is dangerous nonsense: does every wild-eyed accusation from embittered losers deserve a congressional committee armed with subpoena power bent on conducting an inquisition? Certainly not.

What must be investigated is the incubation of a clandestine political police force inside the national security apparatus, one that has been unleashed against Trump – and could be deployed against anyone.

This isn't about Donald Trump. It's about preserving what's left of our old republic.

Perhapps overstated but well worth pondering.

SplinterItIntoAThousandPiecesAndScatterItIntoTheWinds. , March 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

Yeah I downloaded it the day it came out and spent an hour or so looking at it last night. First impressions – "heyyy this is like a Hackers Guide – the sort I used in the 80s, or DerEngel's Cable Modem Hacking" of the 00s.

2nd impressions – wow it really gives foundational stuff – like "Enable Debug on PolarSSL".

3rd impressions – "I could spend hours going thru this happily ".

4th impressions – I went looking for the "juicy bits" of interest to me – SOHO routers, small routers – sadly its just a table documenting routers sold around the world, and whether these guys have put the firmware in their Stash Repository. Original firmware, not hacked one. But the repository isn't in the vault dump, AFAIK.

Its quite fascinating. But trying to find the "juicy stuff" is going to be tedious. One can spend hours and hours going thru it. To speed up going thru it, I'm going to need some tech sites to say "where to go".

flora , March 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

It seems clear that Wikileaks has not and will not release actual ongoing method "how-to" info or hacking scripts. They are releasing the "whats", not the tech level detailed "hows". This seems like a sane approach to releasing the data. The release appears to be for political discussion, not for spreading the hacking tools. So I wouldn't look for "juicy bits" about detailed methodology. Just my guess.

That said, love what you're doing digging into this stuff. I look forward to a more detailed report in future. Thanks.

Sam F , March 9, 2017 at 10:10 am

Yves, I think that you much underestimate the extremity of these exposed violations of the security of freedom of expression, and of the security of private records. The WikiLeaks docs show that CIA has developed means to use all personal digital device microphones and cameras even when they are "off," and to send all of your files and personal data to themselves, and to send your private messages to themselves before they are encrypted. They have installed these spyware in the released version of Windows 10, and can easily install them on all common systems and devices.

This goes far beyond the kind of snooping that required specialized devices installed near the target, which could be controlled by warrant process. There is no control over this extreme spying. It is totalitarianism now.

This is probably the most extreme violation of the rights of citizens by a government in all of history. It is far worse than the "turnkey tyranny" against which Snowden warned, on the interception of private messages. It is tyranny itself, the death of democracy.

Outis Philalithopoulos , March 9, 2017 at 10:58 am

Your first sentence is a bit difficult to understand. If you read Yves' remarks introducing the post, she says that the revelations are "a big deal" "if the Wikileaks claim is even halfway true," while coming down hard on the MSM and others for "pooh-pooh[ing]" the story. Did you want her to add more exclamation points?

susan the other , March 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

So we have a zillion ways to spy and hack and deceive and assassinate, but no control. I think this is what the military refers to as "being overtaken by events."

It's easy to gather information; not so easy to analyze it, and somehow impossible to act on it in good faith. With all this ability to know stuff and surveil people the big question is, Why does everything seem so beyond our ability to control it?

We should know well in advance that banks will fail catastrophically; that we will indeed have sea level rise; that resources will run out; that water will be undrinkable; that people will be impossible to manipulate when panic hits – but what do we do? We play dirty tricks, spy on each other like voyeurs, and ignore the inevitable. Like the Stasi, we clearly know what happened, what is happening and what is going to happen. But we have no control.

NotTimothyGeithner , March 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

My godfather was in the CIA in the late sixties and early seventies, and he said that outside of the President's pet projects there was no way to sift through and bring important information to decision makers before it made the Washington Post (he is aware of the irony) and hit the President's breakfast table.

Arizona Slim , March 9, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Do you mean to say that the CIA leaked like a sieve? That's my understanding of your post.

Old Jake , March 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm

AS, I would interpret it as saying that there was so much coming in it was like trying to classify snowflakes in a snowstorm. They could pick a few subject areas to look at closely but the rest just went into the files.

Leaking like a sieve is also likely, but perhaps not the main point.

Andrew , March 9, 2017 at 11:14 am

The archive appears to have been circulated among government hackers and contractors in a authorized manner

There, that looks the more likely framing considering CIA & DNI on behalf of the whole US IC seemingly fostered wide dissimilation of these tools, information. Demonstration of media control an added plus.

Cheers Yves

Stormcrow , March 9, 2017 at 11:20 am

The Empire Strikes Back

WikiLeaks Has Joined the Trump Administration
Max Boot
Foreign Policy magazine

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/08/wikileaks-has-joined-the-trump-administration/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New+Campaign&utm_term=%2AEditors+Picks

I guess we can only expect more of this.

Todd Pierce , on the other hand, nails it. (From his Facebook page.)
The East German Stasi could only dream of the sort of surveillance the NSA and CIA do now, with just as nefarious of purposes.

lyman alpha blob , March 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

Perhaps the scare quotes around "international mobster" aren't really necessary.

In all this talk about the various factions aligned with and against Trump, that's one I haven't heard brought up by anybody. With all the cement poured in Trump's name over the years, it would be naive to think his businesses had not brushed up against organized crime at some point. Question is, whose side are they on?

JTMcPhee , March 9, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Like all the other players, the "side" they are on is them-effing-selves. And isn't that the whole problem with our misbegotten species, writ large?

Then there's this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1Hzds9aGdA Maybe these people will be around and still eating after us urban insects and rodents are long gone? Or will our rulers decide no one should survive if they don't?

Skip Intro , March 9, 2017 at 12:55 pm

To what extent do these hacks represent the CIA operating within the US? To what extent is that illegal? With the democrats worshipping the IC, will anyone in an official position dare to speak out?

tegnost , March 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Well we know chuckie won't speak out..

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/312605-schumer-trump-being-really-dumb-by-going-after-intelligence-community

FTA "Schumer said that as he understands, intelligence officials are "very upset with how [Trump] has treated them and talked about them.""

Oregoncharles , March 9, 2017 at 2:17 pm

I've long thought that the reason Snowden was pursued so passionately was that he exposed the biggest, most embarrassing secret: that the National "Security" Agency's INTERNAL security was crap.

And here it is: "Wikileaks claims that the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal "

The CIA's internal security is crap, too. Really a lot of people should be fired over that, as well as over Snowden's release. We didn't hear of it happening in the NSA, though I'm not sure we would have. Given Gaius's description of Trump's situation, it seems unlikely it will happen this time, either. One of my hopes for a Trump administration, as long as we're stuck with it, was a thorough cleanout of the upper echelons in the IC. It's obviously long overdue, and Obama wasn't up to it. But I used the past tense because I don't think it's going to happen. Trump seems more interested in sucking up to them, presumably so they won't kill him or his family. That being one of their options.

Stephen Gardner , March 9, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Ah, that's the beauty of contracting it out. No one gets fired. Did anyone get fired because of Snowden? It was officially a contractor problem and since there are only a small number of contractors capable of doing the work, well you know. We can't get new ones.

tiebie66 , March 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

What I find by far the most distressing is this: "The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability ." [My emphasis]. It seems to characterize an organization that operates outside of any control and oversight – and one that is intentionally structuring itself that way. That worries me.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Republic is lost because we didn't stand guard for it. Blaming others don't cut it either – we let it happen. And like the Germans about the Nazi atrocities, we will say that we didn't know about it.

JTMcPhee , March 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Hey, I didn't let it happen. Stuff that spooks and sh!tes do behind the Lycra ™ curtain happens because it is, what is the big word again, "ineluctable." Is my neighbor to blame for having his house half eaten by both kinds of termites, where the construction is such that the infestation and damage are invisible until the vast damage is done?

Stephen Gardner , March 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

And just how were we supposed to stand guard against a secret and unaccountable organization that protected itself with a shield of lies? And every time some poor misfit complained about it they were told that they just didn't know the facts. If they only knew what our IC knows they would not complain.

It's a dangerous world out there and only our brave IC can protect us from it. Come on. Stop blaming the victim and place the blame where it belongs–our IC and MIC. I say stop feeding the beast with your loyalty to a government that has ceased to be yours.

Studiously avoid any military celebrations. Worship of the military is part of the problem. Remember, the people you thank for "their service" are as much victims as you are. Sadly they don't realize that their service is to a rotten empire that is not worthy of their sacrifice but every time we perform the obligatory ritual of thankfulness we participate in the lie that the service is to a democratic country instead of an undemocratic empire.

It's clearly a case of Wilfred Owen's classic "Dulce et Decorum Est". Read the poem, google it and read it. It is instructive: " you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori." Make no mistake. It is a lie and it can only be undone if we all cease to tell it.

nonsense factory , March 9, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Here's a pretty decent review of the various CIA programs revealed by Wikileaks:

http://www.libertyforjoe.com/2017/03/what-is-vault-7.html

"These CIA revelations in conjunction with those of the NSA paints a pretty dark future for privacy and freedom. Edward Snowden made us aware of the NSA's program XKEYSCORE and PRISM which are utilized to monitor and bulk collect information from virtually any electronic device on the planet and put it into a searchable database. Now Wikileaks has published what appears to be additional Big Brother techniques used by a competing agency. Say what you want about the method of discovery, but Pandora's box has been opened."

[Sep 17, 2017] The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
All signs of sophisticated false flag operation, which probably involved putting malware into DNC servers and then detecting and analyzing them
Notable quotes:
"... 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. ..."
"... The Smoking Gun ..."
"... I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. ..."
"... Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. ..."
"... Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source. ..."
"... Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/ ..."
"... I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents. ..."
"... It's unfortunate for the Rich family, but now that the connection is pretty much confirmed, they're going to have to allow the truth to come out ..."
"... Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an "expert" at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen - and the directorate of Atlantic Council - are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of "intellect"). ..."
"... Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money. ..."
"... One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet? ..."
"... Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post: ..."
"... His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on. ..."
"... The Seth Rich connection is pretty much a done deal, now that Sy Hersh has been caught on tape stating that he knows of an FBI report based on a forensic analysis of Rich's laptop that shows Rich was in direct contact with Wikileaks with an attempt to sell them DNC documents and that Wikileaks had access to Rich's DropBox account. Despite Hersh's subsequent denials - which everyone knows are his usual impatient deflections prior to putting out a sourced and organized article - it's pretty clear that Rich was at least one of the sources of the Wikileaks email dump and that there is zero connection to Russia. ..."
"... None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak. ..."
Sep 05, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC computers, downloaded emails and a passed the stolen missives to Julian Assange's crew at Wikileaks, a careful examination of the timeline of events from 2016 shows that this story is simply not plausible.

Let me take you through the known facts:

1. 29 April 2016 , when the DNC became aware its servers had been penetrated (https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f). Note. They apparently did not know who was doing it. 2, 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. 3. 25 May 2016. The messages published on Wikileaks from the DNC show that 26 May 2016 was the last date that emails were sent and received at the DNC. There are no emails in the public domain after that date. In other words, if the DNC emails were taken via a hacking operation, we can conclude from the fact that the last messages posted to Wikileaks show a date time group of 25 May 2016. Wikileaks has not reported nor posted any emails from the DNC after the 25th of May. I think it is reasonable to assume that was the day the dirty deed was done. 4. 12 June 2016, CrowdStrike purged the DNC server of all malware. Are you kidding me? 45 days after the DNC discovers that its serve has been penetrated the decision to purge the DNC server is finally made. What in the hell were they waiting for? But this also tells us that 18 days after the last email "taken" from the DNC, no additional emails were taken by this nasty malware. Here is what does not make sense to me. If the DNC emails were truly hacked and the malware was still in place on 11 June 2016 (it was not purged until the 12th) then why are there no emails from the DNC after 26 May 2016? an excellent analysis of Guccifer's role : Almost immediately after the one-two punch of the Washington Post article/CrowdStrike technical report went public, however, something totally unexpected happened -- someone came forward and took full responsibility for the DNC cyber attack. Moreover, this entity -- operating under the persona Guccifer 2.0 (ostensibly named after the original Guccifer , a Romanian hacker who stole the emails of a number of high-profile celebrities and who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison in May 2016) -- did something no state actor has ever done before, publishing documents stolen from the DNC server as proof of his claims.
Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.

With that simple email, sent to the on-line news magazine, The Smoking Gun , Guccifer 2.0 stole the limelight away from Alperovitch. Over the course of the next few days, through a series of emails, online posts and interviews , Guccifer 2.0 openly mocked CrowdStrike and its Russian attribution. Guccifer 2.0 released a number of documents, including a massive 200-plus-missive containing opposition research on Donald Trump.

Guccifer 2.0 also directly contradicted the efforts on the part of the DNC to minimize the extent of the hacking, releasing the very donor lists the DNC specifically stated had not been stolen. More chilling, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be in possession of "about 100 Gb of data" which had been passed on to the online publisher, Wikileaks, who "will publish them soon." 7. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016. I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source.

Fool , 05 September 2017 at 09:01 AM

Where was it reported that Rich was a Sanders supporter?
Publius Tacitus -> Fool... , 05 September 2017 at 09:15 AM
This is one of the reports, http://heavy.com/news/2016/08/seth-rich-julian-assange-source-wikileaks-wiki-dnc-emails-death-murder-reward-video-interview-hillary-clinton-shawn-lucas/.
Anna -> Publius Tacitus ... , 05 September 2017 at 10:56 AM
Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/
Stephanie -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 September 2017 at 12:12 PM
Seth Rich's family have pleaded, and continue to plead, that the conspiracy theorists leave the death of their son alone and have said that those who continue to flog this nonsense around the internet are only serving to increase their pain. I suggest respectfully that some here may wish to consider their feelings. (Also, this stuff is nuts, you know.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-seth-richs-parents-stop-politicizing-our-sons-murder/2017/05/23/164cf4dc-3fee-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html?utm_term=.b20208de48d3

"We also know that many people are angry at our government and want to see justice done in some way, somehow. We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare."

http://www.businessinsider.com/seth-rich-family-response-lawsuit-rod-wheeler-2017-8

"Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Fox News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June."

Richardstevenhack -> Stephanie... , 07 September 2017 at 07:43 PM
I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents.

It's unfortunate for the Rich family, but now that the connection is pretty much confirmed, they're going to have to allow the truth to come out.

Anna , 05 September 2017 at 09:20 AM
Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an "expert" at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen - and the directorate of Atlantic Council - are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of "intellect").

Here is an article by Alperovitch: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/russian-cyber-attacks-in-the-united-states-will-intensify

Take note how Alperovitch coded the names of the supposed hackers: "Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee's computer network and accessed opposition research on Donald Trump, according to the Atlantic Council's Dmitri Alperovitch.

Two Russian groups ! codenamed FancyBear and CozyBear ! have been identified as spearheading the DNC breach." Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money.

The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US.

LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM
PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully.

And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters.

But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system?

One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet?

But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski?

LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM
The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet.

Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet.

Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with it

Richardstevenhack , 05 September 2017 at 06:23 PM
Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post:

Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f

The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html

Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East."

Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/

His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on.

The Seth Rich connection is pretty much a done deal, now that Sy Hersh has been caught on tape stating that he knows of an FBI report based on a forensic analysis of Rich's laptop that shows Rich was in direct contact with Wikileaks with an attempt to sell them DNC documents and that Wikileaks had access to Rich's DropBox account. Despite Hersh's subsequent denials - which everyone knows are his usual impatient deflections prior to putting out a sourced and organized article - it's pretty clear that Rich was at least one of the sources of the Wikileaks email dump and that there is zero connection to Russia.

None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak.

And Russiagate depends primarily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory.

The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism.

[Mar 10, 2017] CIA Leak Shows Sliding Down the Slippery Slope Toward Totalitarianism, Where Private Lives Do Not Exist

Notable quotes:
"... The elephant in the room is not privacy problems. It is blackmail for various purposes. ..."
"... This makes he US Government totally dysfunctional. the spread of such spy technique has created chaos. Latest news is that Democrats paid some hackers for not revealing their server information. ..."
"... I don't think this can be stopped. But we need more open discussion about blackmailing and thus protection from such methods. An elected President or Official should not have their private life discussed by the Media. It should be banned ..."
"... And Clinton never feared anything, probably because the CIA was in her pocket and could get the goods on anybody even Loretta Lynch. ..."
Mar 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

That the CIA has reached into the lives of all Americans through its wholesale gathering of the nation's "haystack" of information has already been reported.

It is bad enough that the government spies on its own people. It is equally bad that the CIA, through its incompetence, has opened the cyberdoor to anyone with the technological skills and connections to spy on anyone else.

The constant erosion of privacy at the hands of the government and corporations has annihilated the concept of a "right to privacy," which is embedded in the rationale of the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

It is becoming increasingly clear that we are sliding down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism, where private lives do not exist.

We have entered a condition of constitutional crisis that requires a full-throated response from the American people.

Before you label Kucinich as being overly-dramatic, you may want to note that Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency's mass surveillance program for digital information, the 36-year NSA veteran widely who was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees – told Washington's Blog that America has already become a police state.

And Thomas Drake – one of the top NSA executives, and Senior Change Leader within the NSA – told us the same thing.

And Kirk Wiebe – a 32-year NSA veteran who received the Director CIA's Meritorious Unit Award and the NSA's Meritorious Civilian Service Award – agrees (tweet via Jesselyn Radack, attorney for many national security whistleblowers, herself a Department of Justice whistleblower):

It's not just NSA officials Two former U.S. Supreme Court Justices have warned that America is sliding into tyranny.

A former U.S. President , and many other high-level American officials agree.

BuckWild , Mar 9, 2017 9:01 PM

#1 problem all other unconstitutional problems stem from FRB

Wild E Coyote , Mar 9, 2017 8:58 PM

The elephant in the room is not privacy problems. It is blackmail for various purposes.

We have many indications that politicians, judges, officials and even other intel organizations are being blackmailed, and destroyed using lucid information from their private life.

This makes he US Government totally dysfunctional. the spread of such spy technique has created chaos. Latest news is that Democrats paid some hackers for not revealing their server information.

I don't think this can be stopped. But we need more open discussion about blackmailing and thus protection from such methods. An elected President or Official should not have their private life discussed by the Media. It should be banned.

GRDguy , Mar 9, 2017 8:56 PM

All we're really seeing is the wet dreams of banksters efforts of over 400+ years "to own the earth in fee-simple."

Our real problem is that their efforts makes them richer while making everyone else poorer.

The only way to stop the Money Kings is not to do business with them; an extremely difficult task.

Sometimes The Dragon Wins

JailBanksters , Mar 9, 2017 8:51 PM

The old adage about, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear ....

I don't think a lot of people realize the scope of this, because it's not about you.

If Trump was hacked, that information could be used against him, like blackmail in order to change his action or direction on certain things.

Clinton: You should be in Jail, they're GOOD People, so I won't be appointing a special prosecutor.

And Clinton never feared anything, probably because the CIA was in her pocket and could get the goods on anybody even Loretta Lynch.

That's what this is about. And that's why Trump can't win.

[Dec 22, 2013] Latest Snowden revelations spark anger at European commission by Nick Hopkins and Patrick Wintour

20 December 2013 | The Guardian

Officials say disclosures about targeting of Joaquín Almunia was 'not the type of behaviour that we expect from strategic partners'

The latest disclosures from the Snowden files provoked exasperation at the European commission, with officials saying they intended to press the British and American governments for answers about the targeting of one its most senior officials.

Reacting shortly after an EU summit had finished in Brussels, the commission said disclosures about the targeting of Joaquín Almunia, a vice-president with responsibility for competition policy, was "not the type of behaviour that we expect from strategic partners, let alone from our own member states".

A spokesman added: "This piece of news follows a series of other revelations which, as we clearly stated in the past, if proven true, are unacceptable and deserve our strongest condemnation."

In Britain, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the chair of the parliamentary committee that provides oversight of GCHQ, said he was "disturbed by these allegations." He added he could be "examining them in due course as part of the intelligence and security committee's wider investigation into the interception of communications."

A prominent German MP, Hans-Christian Ströbele, who met Edward Snowden in Moscow in October, told the Guardian it was becoming "increasingly clear that Britain has been more than the US' stooge in this surveillance scandal". He suggested the snooping by GCHQ on German government buildings and embassies was unacceptable.

"Great Britain is not just any country. It is a country that we are supposed to be in a union with. It's incredible for one member of the European Union to spy on another – it's like members of a family spying on each other. The German government will need to raise this with the British government directly and ask tough questions about the victims, and that is the right word, of this affair."

The Liberal Democrats have been inching towards calling for an independent commission to investigate the activities of Britain's spy agencies and the party president, Tim Farron, said that "spying on friendly governments like this is not only bad politics, it is bad foreign policy".

"These nations are our allies and we should work together on issues from terrorism to Iran and climate change," he said. "But we seem to be spying on them in conjunction with the NSA in what seems like an industrial basis."

In its strongest statement yet on the issue, Labour called for the ISC to be given beefed up powers, with Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, saying it was time for Britain to follow the lead of the US and start a more vigorous debate about surveillance.

"I think we should also consider whether the ISC should be empowered to subpoena and to compel witnesses to appear before them as is the case for the other parliament select committees," he said.

Nicolas Imboden, head of the Geneva-based Ideas Centre, said he believed his work in Africa had been the reason he was targeted. "It's about cotton," he told Der Spiegel. "That is clearly economic espionage and politically motivated." For the past 10 years his group has advised and represented African countries such as Chad, Mali and Benin in their fight against high cotton subsidies in western countries including the US. "This was clearly about them trying to gain advantages during WTO negotiations by illegal means," Imboden told Der Spiegel.

But the strongest condemnation came from one of the groups named in the documents, Médecins du Monde.

Leigh Daynes, UK executive director of the organisation said: "If substantiated, snooping on aid workers would be a shameful waste of taxpayers' money. Our doctors, nurses and midwives are not a threat to national security. We're an independent health charity with over 30 years' experience in delivering impartial care in some of the world's poorest and most dangerous places.

"Our medical professionals, many of whom are volunteers, risk their lives daily in countries like Mali and Somalia, and in and around Syria. There is absolutely no reason for our operations to be secretly monitored. We are also gravely concerned about any breach of doctor-patient confidentiality, which would be an egregious impingement on medical ethics."

Nick Pickles, Director of Big Brother Watch, said it appeared GCHQ has "become a law unto itself". Eric King, head of research at Privacy International, added: "The targeting of the international actors tasked with caring for the most vulnerable people, particularly children, is one of the most distressing revelations yet."

Downing Street has repeatedly refused to comment on the allegations in any detail saying it is not comment on security issues. The Israeli government said it would not comment on leaks.

[Dec 22, 2013] N.S.A. Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses By JAMES GLANZ and ANDREW W. LEHREN

December 20, 2013 | NYTimes.com
520 Comments

Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses.

While the names of some political and diplomatic leaders have previously emerged as targets, the newly disclosed intelligence documents provide a much fuller portrait of the spies' sweeping interests in more than 60 countries.

Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, working closely with the National Security Agency, monitored the communications of senior European Union officials, foreign leaders including African heads of state and sometimes their family members, directors of United Nations and other relief programs, and officials overseeing oil and finance ministries, according to the documents. In addition to Israel, some targets involved close allies like France and Germany, where tensions have already erupted over recent revelations about spying by the N.S.A.

Details of the surveillance are described in documents from the N.S.A. and Britain's eavesdropping agency, known as GCHQ, dating from 2008 to 2011. The target lists appear in a set of GCHQ reports that sometimes identify which agency requested the surveillance, but more often do not. The documents were leaked by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden and shared by The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel.

The reports are spare, technical bulletins produced as the spies, typically working out of British intelligence sites, systematically tapped one international communications link after another, focusing especially on satellite transmissions. The value of each link is gauged, in part, by the number of surveillance targets found to be using it for emails, text messages or phone calls. More than 1,000 targets, which also include people suspected of being terrorists or militants, are in the reports.

It is unclear what the eavesdroppers gleaned. The documents include a few fragmentary transcripts of conversations and messages, but otherwise contain only hints that further information was available elsewhere, possibly in a larger database.

Some condemned the surveillance on Friday as unjustified and improper. "This is not the type of behavior that we expect from strategic partners," Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, said on the latest revelations of American and British spying in Europe.

Some of the surveillance relates to issues that are being scrutinized by President Obama and a panel he appointed in Washington that on Wednesday recommended tighter limits on the N.S.A., particularly on spying of foreign leaders, especially allies.

The reports show that spies monitored the email traffic of several Israeli officials, including one target identified as "Israeli prime minister," followed by an email address. The prime minister at the time, in January 2009, was Ehud Olmert. The next month, spies intercepted the email traffic of the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, according to another report. Two Israeli embassies also appear on the target lists.

Mr. Olmert said in a telephone interview on Friday that the email address was used for correspondence with his office, which he said staff members often handled. He added that it was unlikely that any secrets could have been compromised.

"This was an unimpressive target," Mr. Olmert said. He noted, for example, that his most sensitive discussions with President George W. Bush took place in person. "I would be surprised if there was any attempt by American intelligence in Israel to listen to the prime minister's lines," he said.

Mr. Barak, who declined to comment, has said publicly that he used to take it for granted that he was under surveillance.

Despite the close ties between the United States and Israel, the record of mutual spying is long: Israeli spies, including Jonathan Jay Pollard, who was sentenced in 1987 to life in prison for passing intelligence information to Israel, have often operated in the United States, and the United States has often turned the abilities of the N.S.A. against Israel.

Mr. Olmert's office email was intercepted while he was dealing with fallout from Israel's military response to rocket attacks from Gaza, but also at a particularly tense time in relations with the United States. The two countries were simultaneously at odds on Israeli preparations to attack Iran's nuclear program and cooperating on a wave of cyberattacks on Iran's major nuclear enrichment facility.

A year before the interception of Mr. Olmert's office email, the documents listed another target, the Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an internationally recognized center for research in atomic and nuclear physics.

Also appearing on the surveillance lists is Joaquín Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, which, among other powers, has oversight of antitrust issues in Europe. The commission has broad authority over local and foreign companies, and it has punished a number of American companies, including Microsoft and Intel, with heavy fines for hampering fair competition. The reports say that spies intercepted Mr. Almunia's communications in 2008 and 2009.

[Dec 06, 2013] NSA spied on Italian leaders 'from US diplomatic missions in Rome, Milan'

RT News

Italian communications have been targeted through the US's Special Collection Service sites in Rome and Milan, according to Italy's l'Espresso. The same service allegedly tapped into German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

The new leak, revealed by Glenn Greenwald with l'Espresso, alleges that the National Security Agency subjected Italy's leadership to surveillance, although not specifying which people within the country's "leadership" were monitored, via US diplomatic missions in Rome and Milan. The spying went on from 1988 to at least 2010.

The NSA conducted snooping in Italy via its Special Collection Service, which came under scrutiny after the snooping scandal involving Chancellor Angela Merkel. The report on Friday reveals the service kept whole two sites running in Italy: one in Milan, the country's main economic hub, and one in Rome (staffed with agents). Of all European nations, only Italy and Germany had two SCS sites working simultaneously, according to the leak.

"The NSA partners with the CIA in the SCS construct in which NSA employees under diplomatic covert conduct SIGINT collection," reads the telling line in the newly published file. SIGNIT is the NSA's Signal Intelligence service, which intercepts communications between people.

SCS is one of the most sensitive units in US intelligence. It has teams working in US embassies around the world, including in Berlin, Athens, Mexico City, New Delhi and Kiev, according to a recent Cryptome leak. In NSA revelations on Germany it was alleged that the US embassy in Berlin provided its roof for the service's intercepting antennae.

According to the l'Espresso documents, the SCS "in 1988 had 88 sites, our peak." Despite the number of sites being reduced following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the official end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, by 2010 the SCS had up to 80 sites, two of which were the Rome and Milan sites in Italy. The document states that the SCS has always "opened or closed sites based on productivity."

The new report provided appears to directly contradict official statements which have been dismissive of earlier spying allegations. In November, Italian PM Enrico Letta stated that "we are not aware that the security of the Italian government and embassies has been compromised."

[Dec 06, 2013] More spy revelations could be on way

Herald Sun

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott could be constrained in responding to Indonesia over spying claims because of concerns there could be more damaging revelations still

Josh Frydenberg, parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said the Guardian newspaper had stated that just one per cent of the information from US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was in the public arena.

Similarly, the head of the United States National Security Agency, where Snowden worked, suggested as many as 200,000 files could have gone missing, he said.

"This could be a very slow burn. Today it could be Indonesia," Mr Frydenberg told the ABC's Q and A program.

"I would be astounded if, with only one per cent of that information out there, if there will not be more damaging revelations for Australia and its allies in due course. I don't know."

Mr Frydenberg said as Snowden was now in Russia, the intelligence files he took could now be in the possession of the Russians.

"This may be part of a bigger play out there," he said.

A week ago, the Guardian Australia and ABC reported that Australian intelligence had monitored the mobile phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and other leaders.

These revelations outraged Indonesia which suspended all co-operation with Australia in terms of strategic partnerships, including in combating people smuggling, intelligence gathering and anti-terrorism efforts and halted some joint defence activities.

Mr Frydenberg said it was a longstanding tradition of both sides of politics not to comment on on intelligence matters and Mr Abbott had adopted exactly the right approach in expressing regret but not an apology.

Former US assistant secretary of state Kurt Campbell said this was the very beginning of a whole string of revelations.

"So you just don't know what to expect so you have to be very careful how you handle this," he said.

NSA Surveillance's Cost-Benefit Ratio - FPIF by Moritz Laurer

November 18, 2013

Massive data collection by the NSA comes down much heavier on the cost side of the ledger than the benefit.

Senator Frank Church, spied on by the NSA

Polls show that a majority of Americans rhetorically oppose the extensive domestic surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). But the outrage is far less than one might expect, considering the agency's profound intrusion into people's private spheres.

One explanation for this might be that, in the age of Facebook and Google, people are simply used to the massive sharing of information as a condition for using social media services. The currency is information, not money-a price many citizens seem to be very willing to pay.

Many might also think that they are simply not affected by the extensive collection of data-and even if they are, it is unclear why they, innocent citizens with "nothing to hide," should be concerned. After all, the collection is done for the sake of security, a value many are willing to pay for with their privacy.

But the many recent revelations fueled by the documents provided by Edward Snowden have cast serious doubt on these arguments. Even for people who hold the very modern assumption that privacy is not a value in itself-as "old fashioned" people might argue-there are much broader consequences of the intrusion that must be considered.

Let's first look at the domestic problems of the massive data collection.

Even for ordinary Americans, assenting to this massive intrusion of privacy requires enormous trust in the government, which is not supported by historic experience with the NSA. As it increasingly becomes an independent actor, surveillance can become a purpose in and of itself, or even a political instrument.

Only 50 years ago, the NSA massively spied on protesters who organized against the Vietnam War. The NSA - yes, the very same institution we are discussing today - even spied on two sitting U.S. senators who criticized the war. You don't even have to agree with the anti-war movement of the 60s and 70s to be deeply appalled that the NSA previously spied on elected representatives of the American people.

"If there's a lesson to be learned from all this, when we are dealing with a non-transparent society such as the intelligence community that has a vast amount of power, then abuses can and usually do happen," writes Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian specializing in the NSA.

There is no guarantee your data can't be used against you in the future. And unlike paper documents back then that could be burned, the Internet hardly forgets.

This massive data collection also weakens the Fourth Estate and civil society, two key institutions in the separation of power in liberal democracies. It becomes harder for journalists to provide credible protection of sources when informants must always be afraid that each digital move is being monitored and even phone records could be seized, as has been the case for the Associated Press.

Civil society loses its ability to challenge the government when citizens no longer have untapped channels to speak truth to power as whistleblowers. Given what torments whistleblowers are now made to endure, will the next Daniel Ellsberg or Chelsea Manning lose the courage to speak up? By prosecuting an unprecedented number of whistleblowers, the Obama administration has sent a clear signal about what it is willing to do when someone reveals a secret connected to the massively collected data.

Moreover, besides these potential domestic threats, the costs of the NSA's "institutional obsession" with surveillance have today reached an international scale.

The documents released by Edward Snowden helped reveal that the U.S. was spying on 35 world leaders, as well as institutions like the UN, the EU, and millions of foreign citizens.

The cost in U.S. credibility and soft power must not be underestimated. Brazil's president canceled a recent meeting with the President Obama, and Germany and Brazil are pushing for a UN resolution, obviously addressed at the United States, to outlaw state intrusion on private communications.

If the U.S. ever had any credibility in criticizing other countries for violating privacy and misusing intelligence, it is now irreversibly gone. Several diplomatic initiatives, like the trade talks with the EU, could be hampered as fallout of the revelations.

For all these costs, how much security did the program actually bring to the American people? It is important to note that even the core argument of the NSA and the Obama Administration-security-is on shaky ground.

"We've heard over and over again the assertion that 54 terrorist plots were thwarted" by the two programs, said Sen. Patrick Leahy, who had the opportunity to read a classified list concerning the benefits of the NSA's surveillance. "That's plainly wrong, but we still get it in letters to members of Congress, we get it in statements. These weren't all plots and they weren't all thwarted. The American people are getting left with the inaccurate impression of the effectiveness of NSA programs."

It is the very narrow dominant security narrative since 9/11 that irrationally portrays external terroristic threats as the major danger for security and aggressive measures like extensive spying as solutions. This overlooks the fact that human security has many more facets like shelter, healthcare and a sustainable environment. The Institute for Policy Studies uses the term "just security" to draw attention to this.

In the political climate in the U.S., even the right to carry a weapon for self-defense-against one's fellow citizens as well as, its backers say, the government itself - is so sacrosanct that thousands of deaths are accepted for it each year. It seems absurd that the right to privacy enjoys so little priority.

So the massive collection of data weakens the media and civil society, concentrates the power of information in the hands of few, and creates a powerful secretive institution that damages America's standing on the diplomatic stage. In return the American people get some unverifiable claims about terrorist plots that may have been disrupted, and even that seems like a stretch.

Not convinced about the highly problematic nature of massive data collection and the NSA? We will see what revelations are yet to come.

Moritz Laurer is an intern at Foreign Policy in Focus.

[Nov 17, 2013] Mistaking Omniscience for Omnipotence - FPIF by Tom Engelhardt

Omniscience

Conceptually speaking, we've never seen anything like the National Security Agency's urge to surveil, eavesdrop on, spy on, monitor, record, and save every communication of any sort on the planet-to keep track of humanity, all of humanity, from its major leaders to obscure figures in the backlands of the planet. And the fact is that, within the scope of what might be technologically feasible in our era, they seem not to have missed an opportunity.

The NSA, we now know, is everywhere, gobbling up emails, phone calls, texts, tweets, Facebook posts, credit card sales, communications and transactions of every conceivable sort. The NSA and British intelligence are feeding off the fiber optic cables that carry Internet and phone activity. The agency stores records ("metadata") of every phone call made in the United States. In various ways, legal and otherwise, its operatives long ago slipped through the conveniently ajar backdoors of media giants like Yahoo, Verizon, and Google-and also in conjunction with British intelligence they have been secretly collecting "records" from the "clouds" or private networks of Yahoo and Google to the tune of 181 million communications in a single month, or more than two billion a year.

Meanwhile, their privately hired corporate hackers have systems that, among other things, can slip inside your computer to count and see every keystroke you make. Thanks to that mobile phone of yours (even when off), those same hackers can also locate you just about anywhere on the planet. And that's just to begin to summarize what we know of their still developing global surveillance state.

In other words, there's my email and your phone metadata, and his tweets and her texts, and the swept up records of billions of cell phone calls and other communications by French and Nigerians, Italians and Pakistanis, Germans and Yemenis, Egyptians and Spaniards (thank you, Spanish intelligence, for lending the NSA such a hand!), and don't forget the Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Burmese, among others (thank you, Australian intelligence, for lending the NSA such a hand!), and it would be a reasonable bet to include just about any other nationality you care to mention. Then there are the NSA listening posts at all those U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, and the reports on the way the NSA listened in on the U.N., bugged European Union offices "on both sides of the Atlantic," accessed computers inside the Indian embassy in Washington D.C. and that country's U.N. mission in New York, hacked into the computer network of and spied on Brazil's largest oil company, hacked into the Brazilian president's emails and the emails of two Mexican presidents, monitored the German Chancellor's mobile phone, not to speak of those of dozens, possibly hundreds, of other German leaders, monitored the phone calls of at least 35 global leaders, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and-if you're keeping score-that's just a partial list of what we've learned so far about the NSA's surveillance programs, knowing that, given the Snowden documents still to come, there has to be so much more.

When it comes to the "success" part of the NSA story, you could also play a little numbers game: the NSA has at least 35,000 employees, possibly as many as 55,000, and an almost $11 billion budget. With up to 70 percent of that budget possibly going to private contractors, we are undoubtedly talking about tens of thousands more "employees" indirectly on the agency's payroll. The Associated Press estimates that there are 500,000 employees of private contractors "who have access to the government's most sensitive secrets." In Bluffdale, Utah, the NSA is spending $2 billion to build what may be one of the largest data-storage facilities on the planet (with its own bizarre fireworks), capable of storing almost inconceivable yottabytes of information. And keep in mind that since 9/11, according to the New York Times, the agency has also built or expanded major data-storage facilities in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington State.

But success, too, can have its downside and there is a small catch when it comes to the NSA's global omniscience. For everything it can, at least theoretically, see, hear, and search, there's one obvious thing the agency's leaders and the rest of the intelligence community have proven remarkably un-omniscient about, one thing they clearly have been incapable of taking in-and that's the most essential aspect of the system they are building. Whatever they may have understood about the rest of us, they understood next to nothing about themselves or the real impact of what they were doing, which is why the revelations of Edward Snowden caught them so off-guard.

Along with the giant Internet corporations, they have been involved in a process aimed at taking away the very notion of a right to privacy in our world; yet they utterly failed to grasp the basic lesson they have taught the rest of us. If we live in an era of no privacy, there are no exemptions; if, that is, it's an age of no-privacy for us, then it's an age of no-privacy for them, too.

The word "conspiracy" is an interesting one in this context. It comes from the Latin conspirare for "breathe the same air." In order to do that, you need to be a small group in a small room. Make yourself the largest surveillance outfit on the planet, hire tens of thousands of private contractors-young computer geeks plunged into a situation that would have boggled the mind of George Orwell-and organize a system of storage and electronic retrieval that puts much at an insider's fingertips, and you've just kissed secrecy goodnight and put it to bed for the duration.

There was always going to be an Edward Snowden-or rather Edward Snowdens. And no matter what the NSA and the Obama administration do, no matter what they threaten, no matter how fiercely they attack whistleblowers, or who they put away for how long, there will be more. No matter the levels of classification and the desire to throw a penumbra of secrecy over government operations of all sorts, we will eventually know.

They have constructed a system potentially riddled with what, in the Cold War days, used to be called "moles." In this case, however, those "moles" won't be spying for a foreign power, but for us. There is no privacy left. That fact of life has been embedded, like so much institutional DNA, in the system they have so brilliantly constructed. They will see us, but in the end, we will see them, too.

Omnipotence

With our line-ups in place, let's turn to the obvious question: How's it going? How's the game of surveillance playing out at the global level? How has success in building such a system translated into policy and power? How useful has it been to have advance info on just what the U.N. general-secretary will have to say when he visits you at the White House? How helpful is it to store endless tweets, social networking interactions, and phone calls from Egypt when it comes to controlling or influencing actors there, whether the Muslim Brotherhood or the generals?

We know that 1,477 "items" from the NSA's PRISM program (which taps into the central servers of nine major American Internet companies) were cited in the president's Daily Briefing in 2012 alone. With all that help, with all that advanced notice, with all that insight into the workings of the world from but one of so many NSA programs, just how has Washington been getting along?

Though we have very little information about how intelligence insiders and top administration officials assess the effectiveness of the NSA's surveillance programs in maintaining American global power, there's really no need for such assessments. All you have to do is look at the world.

Long before Snowden walked off with those documents, it was clear that things weren't exactly going well. Some breakthroughs in surveillance techniques were, for instance, developed in America's war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. intelligence outfits and spies were clearly capable of locating and listening in on insurgencies in ways never before possible. And yet, we all know what happened in Iraq and is happening in Afghanistan. In both places, omniscience visibly didn't translate into success. And by the way, when the Arab Spring hit, how prepared was the Obama administration? Don't even bother to answer that one.

In fact, it's reasonable to assume that, while U.S. spymasters and operators were working at the technological frontiers of surveillance and cryptography, their model for success was distinctly antiquated. However unconsciously, they were still living with a World War II-style mindset. Back then, in an all-out military conflict between two sides, listening in on enemy communications had been at least one key to winning the war. Breaking the German Enigma codes meant knowing precisely where the enemy's U-boats were, just as breaking Japan's naval codes ensured victory in the Battle of Midway and elsewhere.

Unfortunately for the NSA and two administrations in Washington, our world isn't so clear-cut any more. Breaking the codes, whatever codes, isn't going to do the trick. You may be able to pick up every kind of communication in Pakistan or Egypt, but even if you could listen to or read them all (and the NSA doesn't have the linguists or the time to do so), instead of simply drowning in useless data, what good would it do you?

Given how Washington has fared since September 12, 2001, the answer would undoubtedly range from not much to none at all-and in the wake of Edward Snowden, it would have to be in the negative. Today, the NSA formula might go something like this: the more communications the agency intercepts, the more it stores, the more it officially knows, the more information it gives those it calls its "external customers" (the White House, the State Department, the CIA, and others), the less omnipotent and the more impotent Washington turns out to be.

In scorecard terms, once the Edward Snowden revelations began and the vast conspiracy to capture a world of communications was revealed, things only went from bad to worse. Here's just a partial list of some of the casualties from Washington's point of view:

And the list of post-Snowden fallout only seems to be growing. The NSA's vast global security state is now visibly an edifice of negative value, yet it remains so deeply embedded in the post-9/11 American national security state that seriously paring it back, no less dismantling it, is probably inconceivable. Of course, those running that state within a state claim success by focusing only on counterterrorism operations where, they swear, 54 potential terror attacks on or in the United States have been thwarted, thanks to NSA surveillance. Based on the relatively minimal information available to us, this looks like a major case of threat and credit inflation, if not pure balderdash. More important, it doesn't faintly cover the ambitions of a system that was meant to give Washington a jump on every foreign power, offer an economic edge in just about every situation, and enhance U.S. power globally.

A First-Place Line-Up and a Last-Place Finish

What's perhaps most striking about all this is the inability of the Obama administration and its intelligence bureaucrats to grasp the nature of what's happening to them. For that, they would need to skip those daily briefs from an intelligence community which, on the subject, seems blind, deaf, and dumb, and instead take a clear look at the world.

As a measuring stick for pure tone-deafness in Washington, consider that it took our secretary of state and so, implicitly, the president, five painful months to finally agree that the NSA had, in certain limited areas, "reached too far." And even now, in response to a global uproar and changing attitudes toward the U.S. across the planet, their response has been laughably modest. According to David Sanger of the New York Times, for instance, the administration believes that there is "no workable alternative to the bulk collection of huge quantities of 'metadata,' including records of all telephone calls made inside the United States."

On the bright side, however, maybe, just maybe, they can store it all for a mere three years, rather than the present five. And perhaps, just perhaps, they might consider giving up on listening in on some friendly world leaders, but only after a major rethink and reevaluation of the complete NSA surveillance system. And in Washington, this sort of response to the Snowden debacle is considered a "balanced" approach to security versus privacy.

In fact, in this country each post-9/11 disaster has led, in the end, to more and worse of the same. And that's likely to be the result here, too, given a national security universe in which everyone assumes the value of an increasingly para-militarized, bureaucratized, heavily funded creature we continue to call "intelligence," even though remarkably little of what would commonsensically be called intelligence is actually on view.

No one knows what a major state would be like if it radically cut back or even wiped out its intelligence services. No one knows what the planet's sole superpower would be like if it had only one or, for the sake of competition, two major intelligence outfits rather than 17 of them, or if those agencies essentially relied on open source material. In other words, no one knows what the U.S. would be like if its intelligence agents stopped trying to collect the planet's communications and mainly used their native intelligence to analyze the world. Based on the recent American record, however, it's hard to imagine we could be anything but better off. Unfortunately, we'll never find out.

In short, if the NSA's surveillance lineup was classic New York Yankees, their season is shaping up as a last-place finish.

Here, then, is the bottom line of the scorecard for twenty-first century Washington: omniscience, maybe; omnipotence, forget it; intelligence, not a bit of it; and no end in sight.

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture (now also in a Kindle edition), runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse,

[Nov 15, 2013] Spying on the president -- Obama, Merkel and the NSA

Oct 31, 2013 | Fox News
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Berlin in 2008, she could not have imagined that she was blessing the workplace for the largest and most effective gaggle of American spies anywhere outside of the U.S.

It seems straight out of a grade-B movie, but it has been happening for the past eleven years: The NSA has been using Merkel as an instrument to spy on the president of the United States.

We now know that the NSA has been listening to and recording Merkel's cellphone calls since 2002.

Angela Merkel was raised in East Germany, and she has a personal revulsion at the concept of omnipresent state surveillance.

In 2008, when the new embassy opened, the NSA began using more sophisticated techniques that included not only listening, but also following her.

Merkel uses her cellphone more frequently than her landline, and she uses it to communicate with her husband and family members, the leadership of her political party, and her colleagues and officials in the German government.

She also uses her cellphone to speak with foreign leaders, among whom have been President George W. Bush and President Obama.

Thus, the NSA -- which Bush and Obama have unlawfully and unconstitutionally authorized to obtain and retain digital copies of all telephone conversations, texts and emails of everyone in the U.S., as well as those of hundreds of millions of persons in Europe and Latin America -- has been listening to the telephone calls of both American presidents whenever they have spoken with the chancellor.

One could understand the NSA's propensity to listen to the conversations of those foreign leaders who wish us ill. And one would expect that it would do so. But the urge to listen to the leadership of our allies serves no discernible intelligence-gathering purpose.

Rather, it fuels distrust between our nations and in the case of Merkel exacerbates memories of the all-seeing and all-hearing Stasi, which was the East German version of the KGB that ruled that police state from the end of World War II until it collapsed in 1989.

Merkel was raised in East Germany, and she has a personal revulsion at the concept of omnipresent state surveillance.

Obama apparently has no such revulsion. One would think he's not happy that his own spies have been listening to him.

One would expect that he would have known of this.

Not from me, says Gen. Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, who disputed claims in the media that he told Obama of the NSA spying network in Germany last summer.

Either the president knew of this and has denied it, or he is invincibly ignorant of the forces he has unleashed on us and on himself.

When Susan Rice, Obama's national security advisor, was confronted with all of this by her German counterpart, she first told him the White House would deny it. Then she called him to say that the White House could not deny it, but the president would deny that he personally knew of it.

How did we get here? What are the consequences of a president spying on himself? What does this mean for the rest of us?

Neither Bush nor Obama has had a strong fidelity to the Constitution. They share the views of another odd couple of presidents from opposing political parties, Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, in that the Constitution is not the supreme law of the land as it proclaims to be, but rather a guideline that unleashes the president to do all that it does not expressly forbid him to do.

In the progressive era 100 years ago, that presidential attitude brought us the Federal Reserve, the federal income tax, Prohibition, World War I, prosecutions for speech critical of the government and the beginnings of official modern government racial segregation.

That same attitude in our era has brought us the Patriot Act, which allows federal agents to write their own search warrants, government borrowing that knows no end -- including the $2 trillion Bush borrowed for the war in Iraq, a country which is now less stable than before Bush invaded, and the $7 trillion Obama borrowed to redistribute -- and an NSA that monitors all Americans all the time. In the case of the NSA spying, this came about by the secret orders of Bush and Obama, animated by that perverse TR/Wilsonian view of the Constitution and not by a congressional vote after a great national debate.

Just as people change when they know they are being watched, the government changes when it knows no one can watch it.

Just as we can never be ourselves when we fear that we may need to justify our most intimate thoughts to an all-knowing government, so, too, the government knows that when we cannot see what it is doing, it can do whatever it wants. And it is in the nature of government to expand, not shrink. Thomas Jefferson correctly predicted that 175 years ago.

But spying on yourself is truly asinine and perhaps criminal. You see, the president can officially declassify any secrets he wants, but he cannot -- without official declassification -- simply reveal them to NSA agents.

One can only imagine what NSA agents learned from listening to Bush and Obama as they spoke to Merkel and 34 other friendly foreign leaders, as yet unidentified publicly.

Now we know how pervasive this NSA spying is: It not only reaches the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, the CIA, the local police and the cellphones and homes of all Americans; it reaches the Oval Office itself. Yet when the president denies that he knows of this, that denial leads to more questions.

The president claims he can start secret foreign wars using the CIA, secretly kill Americans using drones, and now secretly spy on anyone anywhere using the NSA.

Is the president an unwitting dupe to a secret rats' nest of uncontrolled government spies and killers?

Or is he a megalomaniacal, totalitarian secret micromanager who lies regularly, consistently and systematically about the role of government in our lives?

Which is worse? What do we do about it?

Andrew P. Napolitano joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in January 1998 and currently serves as the senior judicial analyst. He provides legal analysis on both FNC and Fox Business Network (FBN).

[Oct 28, 2013] Israel and the NSA Partners in Crime by Justin Raimondo -- by Justin Raimondo,

Antiwar.com

A four-page internal précis regarding a visit to Washington by two top French intelligence officials denies the NSA or any US intelligence agency was behind the May 2012 attempted break-in – which sought to implant a monitoring device inside the Elysee Palace's communications system – but instead fingers the Israelis, albeit indirectly:

The visit by Barnard Barbier, head of the DGSE's technical division, and Patrick Pailloux, a top official with France's National Information Systems Security, was intended to elicit an explanation for the break-in, which the French media blamed on the Americans. The NSA's inquiries to the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and other US allies all turned up negative. However, one such close ally wasn't asked.

As Glenn Greenwald and Jacques Follorou, citing the NSA document, put it in their Le Monde piece: the NSA "'intentionally did not ask either the Mossad or the ISNU (the technical administration of the Israeli services) whether they were involved' in this espionage operation against the head of the French government."

An interesting omission, to say the least, one justified by the author of the memo with some odd phraseology: "France is not an approved target for joint discussion by Israel and the United States." Meaning – exactly what? This is a job for Marcy Wheeler! But I'll hazard a guess: the US is well aware of Israeli spying on France and wants nothing to do with it, and/or the author of the memo is simply invoking some obscure protocol in order to justify going any farther.

In any case, the Israeli connection to the NSA's global spying network – including its all-pervasive surveillance inside the US – has been well-established by Greenwald's previous reporting on the subject: a September 11 article detailing how the NSA shares raw intercepts from its data-dragnet with Israeli intelligence, scooping up purloined emails and other data – in effect giving the Mossad a "back door" into a treasure trove of information on the private lives and activities of American citizens.

The Guardian published a five-page memorandum of understanding between Tel Aviv and Washington, provided to Greenwald by Snowden: rife with references to the legal and constitutional constraints "pertaining to the protection of US persons," it goes on to state forthrightly that the Israelis are permitted access to "raw Sigint" – unredacted and unreviewed transcripts, Internet metadata, and the content of emails and telephonic communications. While the Israelis supposedly solemnly swear to not "deliberately" target any American citizen, the agreement explicitly rules out a legal obligation on the part of the Israelis to follow the rules:

"This agreement is not intended to create any legally enforceable rights and shall not be construed to be either an international agreement or a legally binding instrument according to international law."

The Israelis are allowed to retain raw NSA data on American citizens for up to a year, as long as they inform the NSA, but when it comes to US government communications – those must be destroyed "upon recognition." This interdict presumably covers the internal communications of our law enforcement officers, but as both James Bamford and Fox News's Carl Cameron have reported, Israeli penetration of this vital sector is already an accomplished fact.

[Jul 04, 2013] EU To Vote On Suspension of Data Sharing With US

July 04, 2013 | Slashdot

timothy

New submitter badzilla writes with a story from ZDnet that says a vote is scheduled in the European Parliament for today, U.S. Independence Day, on "whether existing data sharing agreements between the two continents should be suspended, following allegations that U.S. intelligence spied on EU citizens." One interesting scenario outlined by the article is that it may disrupt air travel between the U.S. and EU: "In the resolution, submitted to the Parliament on Tuesday, more than two-dozen politicians from a range of political parties call the spying 'a serious violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,' and call on the suspension of the Passenger Name Records (PNR) system. Prior to leaving the airport, airlines must make passenger data available to the U.S. Names, dates of birth, addresses, credit or debit card details and seat numbers are among the data - though critics say the information has never helped catch a suspected criminal or terrorist before. Should the PNR system be suspended, it could result in the suspension of flights to the U.S. from European member states."

Chrisq

Let me get this right

The British GCHQ taps fibre connections, collects data on EU citizens and shares it with US intelligence services. In response the EU wants to stop sharing information on passenger records for people flying between the EU and the USA. .... Well I suppose its easier than suggesting that EU governments should not spy on its citizens.

xaxa

Re:Let me get this right

The British are not the EU, in fact they are viewed by most as an US shill inside the EU. In the area of surveillance they are ahead US by quite a bit.

We need another De Gaulle. He gave the finger to the US and to NATO in the sixties, and he absolutely didn't want the UK in the CEE (later to be known as the EU). We don't need Turkey nor Israel in the EU and we certainly don't need the 51st american state either (aka the UK).

Please don't make us (the UK) leave! The EU's the only thing with a chance of preventing further erosion of British citizens' working rights, civil liberties, environment, etc.

Unfortunately, many of the uninformed voters here want to leave :-(

ledow

Re:Let me get this right

Britain and the EU have an odd relationship unlike almost any other country in the EU.

Yes, technically, we are part of it. But we're exempt from other parts associated with it (we don't use the Euro, etc.). We pump more money in than some others and, as compensation, we're allowed to opt-out of certain things.

Also, if you ask people in Britain what it means to go to Europe, it doesn't include touring around Britain. Britain and the EU are - to the British - two separate entities. Even more confusing you have things like the EC and the continent of Europe and lots of other definitions over the years that we are sometimes in, sometimes out.

However, GCHQ has hit a LOT of flak for its actions. The question really is - if what the US does is illegal, and the EU is doing it back, why do we have a formal legal statement of something else entirely? Why bother? Why not just legalise what we do or not? But, ultimately, the attitude is - if we DO share things with you, why distrust us and find things out illegally for your self? And if you do that, why should we bother to trust you or give you anything anyway?

The GCHQ involvement is a side-issue, and you can guarantee that whatever sanctions the US has imposed on it, those on GCHQ will be worse.

But, politics what it is, I find it hard to believe that anything will happen, certainly anything that will affect air travel. More likely a few trade agreements will have more lenient terms than they would have otherwise and promises to clean up, and that'll be the end of it.

Though, I swore off going to the US many years ago after they basically took liberties with what rights they think they have (which include this EU passenger data crap). If I was forced to enter the US now, I'd do so for as short a time as possible and carry no electronic equipment whatsoever and encrypt all communications home. That's the only sensible business choice and has been for years, and it just happens to be the complete antithesis of the intention to collect that data in the first place.

gstoddart:
The British GCHQ taps fibre connections, collects data on EU citizens and shares it with US intelligence services. In response the EU wants to stop sharing information on passenger records for people flying between the EU and the USA

Well, it's right there in the article:

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the European Commission is examining if the U.K. broke EU law, which could lead to an infringement procedure against the British government. This could lead to financial sanctions imposed by the European Court of Justice.

That the UK did this is also something they're looking at.

Well I suppose its easier than suggesting that EU governments should not spy on its citizens.

That's exactly what they're suggesting.

There's also this:

I can not understand why a U.S. citizen has the right to redress in the EU, but an EU citizen does not have the right to redress in the U.S.

As usual, the US won't sign an agreement which says a US entity would have to face laws in other countries, but expect they will get access to those laws when convenient.

It's a one-sided arrangement that isn't working for anyone but the US, and I believe you're going to start seeing countries deciding they're not going to sign up for any more of those. I think people are getting fed up with having terms dictated to them, and aren't going to be willing to keep doing it.

eulernet

Side effects

There is an interesting side effect about this data problem: the cloud.

Currently, the biggest cloud providers are based in US. But due to the NSA disclosure, most companies cannot afford to give their data to outside countries, especially since it's now clear that NSA spied european companies economically.

So local cloud providers will quickly emerge, and this will directly impact Google and Amazon's services. US clouds cannot be trusted anymore.

wvmarle

Re: Side effects

Agreed, fully.

Recently I had the need of a virtual server - just to run my web site, host my documents, and various other tasks. So searching for this I specifically searched for local Hong Kong companies (which is where I live), to host such a server. And a short search later I found one that offers cloud servers, just what I needed.

A few months ago I was thinking about the same issue - and then I was considering Amazon. I am a customer of Amazon already, for their glacier cold storage service, where I keep back-ups (all encrypted before they leave my systems). They have a good reputation, and overall very good prices, however it being a US company made me not even consider them now.

And that's a direct result of Snowden's revelations.

TheP4st

Re:Side effects

US clouds cannot be trusted anymore.

They never could, only difference is that now it is confirmed and I can enjoy of saying "I told you so!". However, I would not trust any cloud service regardless of its country of origin with important data.

US-EU fallout Eavesdropping on the free trade - RT Op-Edge

In a big data world, we have our first global big data scandal. It seems the 'Basketballer-in-chief' who was a liberal dream in 2008, would make an Orwellian bureaucrat from 1984 blush with his ambitious spy programme.

Presented with the most unpalatable development in a generation, President Hollande of France has led vitriolic condemnation of the USA's addiction to espionage.

There are those who might argue that being a mono-superpower world, the American empire, at, or around, the height of its unchallenged superpower status, has a right to collate whatever data it can. This, after all was standard practice in the 19th century, why not scale the same thing for the digital era? Meanwhile, allies cry with the sort of anguish which demonstrates a real concern on their part. Mostly it is the concern that voters might oust, say, Mrs Merkel in her looming general election as all her claims of being a great US ally have proven as vapid as her supposed European crisis resolution skills.

Widespread spying is nothing new. It's just the scale of digital equipment in the age of big data that makes it appear so remarkable. Only a couple of decades ago, the British government, while negotiating with Ulster's terrorists to bring peace to the province, chided their Irish counterparts to improve security standards as their codes were so simple London found it easy to read sensitive Dublin government data..

[Jul 02, 2013] The Internet Defense League rallies to Restore the Fourth By Lauren Hockenson

Jul 02, 2013 | GigaOM

The Internet Defense League, a coalition of web companies against government control of the internet and its data that formed after the SOPA blackout in 2012, is also getting in on the action. Reddit released its own blog post announcing the rally and continues to hold conversations with organizers and participants at /r/restorethefourth. The league's other members, including Mozilla and WordPress, are also involved in the rally, which was recently endorsed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

[Jul 02, 2013] Why Prism's European Fallout Will Be Fragmented By David Meyer

June 10, 2013 | Businessweek

Posted on GigaOM

What should Europeans expect from the European Commission in response to the Prism scandal? Not a lot, unfortunately, because it's mostly a matter for individual countries.

When it emerged that the U.S. was spying on foreign users of Google (GOOG), Facebook (FB), and other services, the first reaction to come out of the commission was an unfortunately phrased placeholder that suggested the global surveillance scheme was "an internal U.S. matter." After a few hours of consideration, Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström put out something slightly weightier, expressing concern for "possible consequences on EU citizens' privacy" and explaining that the commission would "get in contact with our U.S. counterparts to seek more details on these issues."

Since then, EU sources have told me that the commission already knew about Prism before the current leaks and has raised it "systematically" when talking to U.S. authorities about EU-U.S. data protection agreements, particularly in the context of police and judicial cooperation. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding apparently spoke about the matter with U.S. Attorney General Holder Eric Holder at a meeting in Washington in April.

It is certainly the case that the EU has previously warned that

"any data-at-rest formerly processed 'on premise' within the EU, which becomes migrated into Clouds, becomes liable to mass-surveillance-for purposes of furthering the foreign affairs of the U.S. (as well as the expected purposes of terrorism, money-laundering etc.)."

It doesn't look, however, as if the Commission can or will issue any blanket direction on what should happen now or whether it is acceptable for EU member states to allow their citizens to be monitored under Prism, as appears to be the case in the U.K. That is because, under the legal principles governing the European Union, national security remains a matter for member states.

As the Commission said in a statement:

"Where the rights of an EU citizen in a Member State are concerned, it is for a national judge to determine whether the data can be lawfully transmitted in accordance with legal requirements (be they national, EU or international)."

Still, according to the Commission, Reding will raise the issue in ministerial talks with the U.S. on Friday (June 14) in Dublin. Reding views this debacle as a matter of data protection principles that need to be firmed up, as she said in this statement:

"This case shows that a clear legal framework for the protection of personal data is not a luxury or constraint but a fundamental right. This is the spirit of the EU's data protection reform. These proposals have been on the table for 18 months now. In contrast, when dealing with files [that] limit civil liberties online, the EU has a proven track record of acting fast: The Data Retention Directive was negotiated by Ministers in less than six months. It is time for the Council to prove it can act with the same speed and determination on a file [that] strengthens such rights."

It's not entirely clear from that statement whether stronger data protection rules can preclude the sort of monitoring of EU citizens that we're talking about here. With member states having the final say on national security, that may not be possible.

The path taken now by those member states will of course depend on their existing cooperation with the U.S. on Prism. This is only starting to come out, and of course it raises huge questions about governments using a U.S. scheme to accomplish what their own national laws might forbid them from doing.

Pravda-style NYT headline

Snowden Rumors Quashed, Bolivian's Plane Leaves Austria

By RICK GLADSTONE, WILLIAM NEUMAN and MELISSA EDDY 8:08 AM ET

After rumors that Edward J. Snowden was aboard, the Bolivian president's plane landed in Vienna and stayed there overnight before taking off Wednesday morning, an airport spokesman said.

[July 2, 2013] New Rumor of Snowden Flight Raises Tensions By RICK GLADSTONE and WILLIAM NEUMAN

July 2, 2013 | NYTimes.com
628 Comments

In as a seemingly offhand remark by the president of Bolivia, who suggested during a visit to Moscow that he might be happy to host Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive former security contractor who is desperate to find asylum. It escalated into a major diplomatic scramble in which the Bolivian president's plane was rerouted on Tuesday, apparently because of suspicions that Mr. Snowden was aboard.

Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, was attending an energy conference in Moscow when he was asked in an interview if he would consider giving asylum to Edward J. Snowden.

By day's end, outraged Bolivian officials, insisting that Mr. Snowden was not on the plane, were accusing France and Portugal of acting under American pressure to rescind permission for President Evo Morales's plane to traverse their airspace on the way back to Bolivia. Low on fuel, the plane's crew won permission to land in Vienna.

"They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane," the Bolivian foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, told reporters after the plane touched down in Vienna, where Mr. Morales was spending the night.

"We don't know who invented this big lie," the foreign minister said at a news conference in La Paz, Bolivia. "We want to express our displeasure because this has put the president's life at risk."

Rubén Saavedra, the defense minister, who was on the plane with Mr. Morales, accused the Obama administration of being behind the action by France and Portugal, calling it "an attitude of sabotage and a plot by the government of the United States."

There was no immediate response by officials in Paris, Lisbon or Washington.

"We were in flight; it was completely unexpected," Mr. Saavedra said on the Telesur cable network. "The president was very angry."

Speaking by phone with Telesur, Mr. Saavedra said that Mr. Snowden was not on the plane. Later, Reuters cited an unidentified Austrian Foreign Ministry official as saying the same thing.

Bolivian officials said they were working on a new flight plan to allow Mr. Morales to fly home. But in a possible sign of further suspicion about the passenger manifest, Mr. Saavedra said that Italy had also refused to give permission for the plane to fly over its airspace. Later he said that France and Portugal had reversed course and offered to allow the plane to fly through their airspace after all.

On Monday, Mr. Morales, who was attending an energy conference in Moscow, was asked in an interview on the Russia Today television network if he would consider giving asylum to Mr. Snowden, 30, who has been holed up at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for more than a week, his passport revoked by the United States.

"Yes, why not?" Mr. Morales responded. "Of course, Bolivia is ready to take in people who denounce - I don't know if this is espionage or monitoring. We are here."

He said, though, that Bolivia had not received a request from Mr. Snowden, despite news reports to the contrary.

It was already clear by then that the Moscow conference had been overshadowed by the drama of Mr. Snowden and his disclosures about American intelligence programs, which have deeply embarrassed the Obama administration.

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, who was also at the conference, had suggested he might offer Mr. Snowden asylum but did not plan to fly him to Venezuela.

But Mr. Morales's remarks appeared to open the door. At least that was the way they were interpreted.

The problems began even before Mr. Morales left Moscow, Mr. Choquehuanca said. On Monday, Portugal, without explanation, had withdrawn permission for Mr. Morales's plane to stop in Lisbon to refuel, the foreign minister said. That required Bolivian officials to get permission from Spain to refuel in the Canary Islands.

The next day, after taking off from Moscow, Mr. Morales's plane was just minutes from entering French airspace, according to Mr. Saavedra, when the French authorities informed the pilot that the plane could not fly over France.

There was also plenty of confusion in Moscow over how Mr. Snowden could possibly have left undetected on a government aircraft.

Government planes carrying foreign officials to diplomatic meetings in Moscow typically arrive and depart from Vnukovo Airport, which is also the main airfield used by the Russian government, rather than from Sheremetyevo, where Mr. Snowden arrived from Hong Kong on June 23 hours after American officials had sought his extradition there.

The speculation that Mr. Snowden would hitch a ride on a government jet was discounted by the fact that the plane would have to first make a quick flight from one Moscow airport to the other.

In an interview with the television station Russia Today, Mr. Maduro said he would consider any request by Mr. Snowden. Then, ending the interview with a dash of humor, he said, "It's time for me to go; Snowden is waiting for me."

Related

Jorg Schumacher, London

Irrespective of whether Mr Snowdon is a hero or villain, his actions have exposed to what extent US government agencies collect and analyse data, which those who produced them thought personal and private. We now know that they are not. To suggest we knew about this all along is confusing hypothesis with established knowledge, which Mr Snowdon seems to have provided.

The ongoing debate of what will happen to Mr Snowdon only seems to distract from the questions that should be posed.

First the ethical question, to what degree can the breach of trust by the US agencies towards individuals and foreign governments be justified in the light of national security?

Second the practical question. Given the national and international outrage about the agencies' activities and the associated degradation of US esteem, trust and influence, should we not question the competence of these agencies to enhance our national security.

They seem to enjoy spying for spying's sake and not consider the implications when found out?

BFNY, NY

For every article about Snowden, that's one less articlee about the spying programs. This dysfunctional congress will change nothing and the public continues to yawn. How far we've fallen since the post-Watergate era when people were shocked and politicians made responded with corrective action.

MJCalifornia

What is interesting to me as a foreigner is that everybody is down on america and its government on the NSA issue. Where have you been people: Where were you when it mattered?
1. The patriot act had widespread public support at the time. So do not say you did not see it coming. Blame yourselves, not the government or at least take part of the responsibility.
2. People stil believe we go to war to "save the people against oppression" and never not protest against going to war because "America is always right" attitude.

RLS

Jennifer wrote,

"[S]urveillance isn't about Big Brother, it's about trying to contain terrorism using an alternate way to war."

It's stunning that some people are willing to allow the government to violate their Fourth Amendment rights. If folks think that the electronic data collection of 300 million innocent people (and everyone abroad) is about finding "a terrorist," think again.

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake: Snowden Saw What I Saw: Surveillance Criminally Subverting the Constitution http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/12/snowden-surveillance...

"This executive fiat of 2001 violated not just the fourth amendment, but also Fisa rules at the time, which made it a felony – carrying a penalty of $10,000 and five years in prison for each and every instance. The supposed oversight, combined with enabling legislation – the Fisa court, the congressional committees – is all a KABUKI DANCE, predicated on the national security claim that we need to find a threat.

"The reality is, they just want it all, period.

"To an NSA with these unwarranted powers, we're all potentially guilty; we're all potential suspects until we prove otherwise. That is what happens when the government has all the data.

"The NSA is wiring the world; they want to own internet. I didn't want to be part of the dark blanket that covers the world, and Edward Snowden didn't either.

"What Edward Snowden has done is an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience."

CathySan Jose, Costa Rica

"Low on fuel" ? The Bolivian plane was denied airspace. Snowden must have incredible information for the US government to be this desperate!

jjames at replicountsPhiladelphia, PA

In the U.S. in 21st century so far, terrorists have killed fewer than 1% of the people killed in traffic accidents -- and this comparison includes all of the murders on September 11, 2001. We must protect ourselves, but not out of all proportion to the risk.

NSA spying and other security excesses are not harmless if you have nothing to hide. This level of spying and infrastructure can easily result in a tiny, secret, self-interested group controlling the real direction of this society, with no serious accountability.

In 'golden age' of surveillance, US has big edge

LONDON (AP) -- The saga of Edward Snowden and the NSA makes one thing clear: The United States' central role in developing the Internet and hosting its most powerful players has made it the global leader in the surveillance game.

Other countries, from dictatorships to democracies, are also avid snoopers, tapping into the high-capacity fiber optic cables to intercept Internet traffic, scooping their citizens' data off domestic servers, and even launching cyberattacks to win access to foreign networks.

But experts in the field say that Silicon Valley has made America a surveillance superpower, allowing its spies access to massive mountains of data being collected by the world's leading communications, social media, and online storage companies. That's on top of the United States' fiber optic infrastructure - responsible for just under a third of the world's international Internet capacity, according to telecom research firm TeleGeography - which allows it to act as a global postmaster, complete with the ability to peek at a big chunk of the world's messages in transit.

"The sheer power of the U.S. infrastructure is that quite often data would be routed though the U.S. even if it didn't make geographical sense," Joss Wright, a researcher with the Oxford Internet Institute, said in a telephone interview. "The current status quo is a huge benefit to the U.S."

The status quo is particularly favorable to America because online spying drills into people's private everyday lives in a way that other, more traditional forms of espionage can't match. So countries like Italy, where a culture of rampant wiretapping means that authorities regularly eavesdrop on private conversations, can't match the level of detail drawn from Internet searches or email traffic analysis.

"It's as bad as reading your diary," Wright said. Then he corrected himself: "It's FAR WORSE than reading your diary. Because you don't write everything in your diary."

Although the details of how the NSA's PRISM program draws its data from these firms remain shrouded in secrecy, documents leaked by spy agency systems analyst Edward Snowden to the Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers said its inside track with U.S. tech firms afforded "one of the most valuable, unique, and productive" avenues for intelligence-gathering. How much cooperation America's Internet giants are giving the government in this inside track relationship is a key unanswered question.

Whatever the case, the pool of information in American hands is vast. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's desktop computer operating systems, according to one industry estimate. Mountain View, California-based Google Inc. carries two-thirds of the world's online search traffic, analysts say. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc. has some 900 million users - a figure that accounts for a third of the world's estimated 2.7 billion Internet-goers.

The pool of information in American hands is vast. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's desktop computer operating systems, according to one industry estimate. Mountain View, California-based Google Inc. carries two-thirds of the world's online search traffic, analysts say. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook Inc. has some 900 million users - a figure that accounts for a third of the world's estimated 2.7 billion Internet-goers.

Electronic eavesdropping is, of course, far from an exclusively American pursuit. Many other nations pry further and with less oversight.

China and Russia have long hosted intrusive surveillance regimes. Russia's "SORM," the Russian-language acronym for System for Operational-Investigative Activities, allows government officials to directly access nearly every Internet service provider in the country. Initially set up to allow the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, unfettered access to Russia's Internet traffic, the scope of SORM has grown dramatically since Vladimir Putin took power in 2000 and now allows a wide range law enforcement agencies to monitor Russians' messages.

In China, surveillance is "pervasive, extensive, but perhaps not as high-tech" as in the United States, said Andrew Lih, a professor of journalism at American University in Washington. He said major Internet players such as microblogging service Sina, chat service QQ, or Chinese search giant Baidu were required to have staff - perhaps as many as several hundred people - specially tasked with carrying out the state's bidding, from surveillance to censorship.

What sets America apart is that it sits at the center of gravity for much of world's social media, communications, and online storage.

Americans' "position in the network, the range of services that they offer globally, the size of their infrastructure, and the amount of bandwidth means that the U.S. is in a very privileged position to surveil internationally," said Wright. "That's particularly true when you're talking about cloud services such as Gmail" - which had 425 million active users as of last year.

Many are trying to beat America's tech dominance by demanding that U.S. companies open local branches - something the Turkish government recently asked of San Francisco-based Twitter Inc., for example - or by banning them altogether. Santa Clara, California-based WhatsApp, for example, may soon be prohibited in Saudi Arabia.

Governments are also racing to capture traffic as it bounces back and forth from California, importing bulk surveillance devices, loosening spy laws, and installing centralized monitoring centers to offer officials a one-stop shop for intercepted data.

"Eventually, it won't just be Big Brother," said Richard J. Aldrich, the author of a book about Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency. "There will be hundreds of little brothers."

But the siblings have a lot of catching up to do if they want to match surveillance powers of the United States, and some have turned to cyberespionage to try to even the playing field. A high-profile attack on Gmail users in 2010, for example, was blamed on Chinese hackers, while suspicion for separate 2011 attack on various U.S. webmail services fell on Iran.

But even in the dark arts of cyberespionage, America seems to have mastered the field. Washington is blamed for launching the world's first infrastructure-wrecking super worm, dubbed Stuxnet, against Iran and for spreading a variety of malicious software programs across the Middle East. One U.S. general recently boasted of hacking his enemies in Afghanistan.

In his comments to the South China Morning Post, Snowden said Americans had broken into computer systems belonging to a prominent Chinese research university, a fiber optic cable company and Chinese telecoms providers.

"We hack everyone everywhere," Snowden said.

U.S. officials haven't exactly denied it.

"You're commuting to where the information is stored and extracting the information from the adversaries' network," ex-NSA chief Michael Hayden told Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this year. "We are the best at doing it. Period."

PRISM fallout European legislators furious about U.S. surveillance.

Politicians in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Romania are among those to have called for an investigation into PRISM at a European level. German privacy chief Peter Schaar has demanded that the U.S. government "provide clarity" regarding what he described as "monstrous allegations of total monitoring of various telecommunications and Internet services." And Schaar has been backed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who plans to raise the issue when she meets in Berlin with President Obama next week. Further afield, Canadian and Australian officials have also been voicing their concerns-with Ontario privacy chief Ann Cavoukian calling the disclosures about PRISM "breathtaking" and "staggering."

For decades, spy agencies have conducted surveillance of overseas communications as part of their intelligence-gathering mission. But as the U.N. special envoy on free speech noted in an unprecedented report published last week, new technologies have changed the game. Tools available to governments today enable a more ubiquitous form of surveillance than ever before-all happening under a veil of intense secrecy and beyond public oversight-and that is precisely the danger with PRISM. U.S. companies have been strong-armed into complying with U.S. espionage, undermining the civil liberties of everyone who uses these services. No longer is foreign surveillance targeted at specific channels of diplomatic communication or aimed at particular suspects-it is much broader than that, capable of sweeping up data on millions or even billions of citizens' communications. Edward Snowden, the NSA whistle-blower behind the disclosure of PRISM, has alleged that the agency "specifically targets the communications of everyone."

Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said Thursday that the intelligence community was "committed to respecting the civil liberties and privacy of all American citizens." But the U.S. government claims to endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which makes it clear that all citizens-not just American citizens-have a right not to be subjected to "arbitrary interference" with "privacy, family, home or correspondence." And that is exactly the problem with the NSA's PRISM: it puts the universal right to privacy through the shredder, and encourages other governments to do the same.

The Guardian

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama: 'It is the responsibility of the German government to see to it that the programmes of the NSA and GCHQ no longer process the data of German citizens.' Photograph: Breul-Bild/Juri Reetz/dpa/Corbis

"Germany's security is being defended in the Hindu Kush, too," said Peter Struck, who was Germany's defence minister at the time, in 2002. If that's true, then the government should also be expected to defend the security of its people at their own doorstep. Because the massive sniffing out and saving of data of all kinds – that of citizens and businesses, newspapers, political parties, government agencies – is in the end just that: a question of security. It is about the principles of the rule of law. And it is a matter of national security.

We live in changing times. At the beginning of last week, we thought after the announcement of the American Prism programme that President Barack Obama was the sole boss of the largest and most extensive control system in human history. That was an error.

Since Friday, we have known that the British intelligence agency GCHQ is "worse than the United States". Those are the words of Edward Snowden, the IT expert who uncovered the most serious surveillance scandal of all time. American and British intelligence agencies are monitoring all communication data. And what does our chancellor do? She says: "The internet is uncharted territory for us all."

That's not enough. In the coming weeks, the German government needs to show that it is bound to its citizens and not to an intelligence-industrial complex that abuses our entire lives as some kind of data mine. The justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, hit the right note when she said she was shocked by this "Hollywood-style nightmare".

We have Snowden to thank for this insight into the interaction of an uncanny club, the Alliance of Five Eyes. Since the second world war, the five Anglo-Saxon countries of Great Britain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have maintained close intelligence co-operation, which apparently has got completely out of control.

It may be up to the Americans and the British to decide how they handle questions of freedom and the protection of their citizens from government intrusion. But they have no right to subject the citizens of other countries to their control. The shoulder-shrugging explanation by Washington and London that they have operated within the law is absurd. They are not our laws. We didn't make them. We shouldn't be subject to them.

The totalitarianism of the security mindset protects itself with a sentence: if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But first, that contains a presumption: we have not asked the NSA and GCHQ to "protect" us. And second, the sentence is a stupid one: because we all have something to hide, whether it pertains to our private lives or to our business secrets.

Thus the data scandal doesn't pertain just to our legal principles, but to our security as well. We were lucky that Snowden, who revealed the spying to the entire world, is not a criminal, but an idealist. He wanted to warn the world, not blackmail it. But he could have used his information for criminal purposes, as well. His case proves that no agency in the world can guarantee the security of the data it collects – which is why no agency should collect data in such abundance in the first place.

That is the well-known paradox of totalitarian security policy. Our security is jeopardised by the very actions that are supposed to protect it.

So what should happen now? European institutions must take control of the data infrastructure and ensure its protection. The freedom of data traffic is just as important as the European freedom of exchange in goods, services and money. But above all, the practices of the Americans and British must come to an end. Immediately.

It is the responsibility of the German government to see to it that the programmes of the NSA and GCHQ no longer process the data of German citizens and companies without giving them the opportunity for legal defense. A government that cannot make that assurance is failing in one of its fundamental obligations: to protect its own citizens from the grasp of foreign powers.

Germans should closely observe how Angela Merkel now behaves. And if the opposition Social Democrats and Green party are still looking for a campaign issue, they need look no further.

• This article originally appeared on Spiegel International and is republished with permission

thereandaback

I think the standard state response is.

'Shut the F***! UP or we will black bag you and drag your arse off to Guantanamo'

Wrapped in a democratic wrapper. Report Share this comment on Twitter Share this comment on Facebook

ForTheEmpire

Good post except for the democratic bit.

I don't think anyone thinks that the USA is a democracy anymore.

It isn't one and it never has been as the constitution makes pretty clear.

Since 1941 the US has been more of an Empire and less of a Republic.

The Republic died sometime between the years 1962 and 1975.

Rapport

The US and Britain claim they have operated within the law. But they are not our laws and we shouldn't be subject to them This is a punishable transgression and attempt to corrupt the relationship between 'LORDS' and vassals!

richmanchester

I vaugely recall reading that in some EU negotiaion or other, in the 80's, Britain's casue was helped by having a suspiciously accurate insight into what the German position was.

bigcugglybear

F##k fibre interception. Time machines!

OrangeZonker

before Tempora there was Echelon

RueTheDay

I think that the majority of rational people in Western countries have rejected the Guardian/Greenwald base delusional perception that a majority of people will be offended by this relatively unobtrusive intelligence gathering which is so clearly designed to prevent terrorist atrocities.

Strange that The Guardian doesn't see that it is flogging a dead horse.

Strummered -> RueTheDay

I think you really must try harder. Look around you at the global response to these revelations, not least from national governments.

kagaka -> DavidC012
Its my technical understanding that snooping happened at data exchanges in the UK which are governed by EU law.

Fixed that for you.

Further references

* Data Retention Directive
* Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications
* Digital Agenda for Europe

Sylvain Pimpare

Same for us here in Canada but the Government is way to scared of the USA to do anything against USA laws. USA laws supercede any International Laws.

bonbonniera

Anything 'we' do is intelligence gathering and necessary for self-defence. Anything 'they' do is spying.

Absolutely simple.

StephenStafford

The Germans may be a little more sensitive to Governments compiling information on them as the Stasi would have embraced the internet and sought to monitor social networking sites.

However the problem is that the information is in free flow on the internet for anyone with access. PRISM is a little different and the EU will probably be looking at how EU citizens' data might be better protected if stored in the EU and not anywhere else and to which the USA et al couldn't have access.

No doubt China, Russia, etc will also be reviewing the state of play.

richmanchester

Can data be corralled that easily, or does it tend to slosh around the world willy nilly, flaunting itself for anyone who might want a peep?

GM Potts

Data flows like water on the internet, so as best to avoid obstacles. It's perfectly possible for Germany to keep internal German data within Germany, or for the rest of Europe to keep their internal data routed within Europe, away from the US and UK, in the same way a company can keep it's communications internal. However they'd also have to set up internal alternative services such as social media.

A better approach may be to teach encryption, computer security and privacy practices at school.

bujinin

To understand the full scope of this (it far exceeds "metadata") requires inclusion of the role of Britain's spy agency GCHQ

Essentially it is the greatest theft of property (communications are property) in human history.

"One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months.

GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.

This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa?CMP=twt_gu

CreatureAdam

His case proves that no agency in the world can guarantee the security of the data it collects – which is why no agency should collect data in such abundance in the first place. Well, quite.

What's more amazing is the fact that they are calling him a spy -- for revealing the fact that the NSA and GCHQ have been, for all intents and purposes, spying. It's rather sad that of all the people who had access to the stuff Snowdon had access to over the past decade, he's the only one to have blown the whistle. Didn't George Orwell say something along the lines that when you live in a time of universal deceit, even simple truth-telling becomes (or seems) an act of revolutionary insurgency? What a world we live in.

simbasdad

If we really are spying on the Germans, we should be able to construct a profitable manufacturing sector

TucholskyfuerArme -> simbasdad

Remember, the UK has a service based economy. So your 1% are selling it to the highest bidder and then evade any taxes on it....

GM Potts -> simbasdad

Given that Boeing had full access to Airbus communications then they must be really shit engineers to have built the Bad Dreamliner.

SantaMoniker

Is there no end to these articles that appeal to the hysteria and mob-think here?

In the USA the whole Snowden affair is largely being treated as a "where in the world is Waldo?" paper chase. Americans have discovered that there is indeed life after the NSA reads - or doesn't read - their e-mails, and the whole overwrought response is simply ludicrous.

All that remains to know now is whether (a) Snowden actually had access to information that could really result in significant risk to others (b) if so, will he reveal it in a final flame-out?

In the meantime, his reliance on beacons of transparency, fair play, internet access, and democracy such as China, Russia, Cuba (perhaps) and Ecuador (perhaps) has made him into a joke.

PeopleOverWallSt -> SantaMoniker

"This is old news and is not a threat - therefore Snowden should be prosecuted as a spy, because he revealed nothing that is important at all! "

SantaMoniker -> PeopleOverWallSt

No - he should be prosecuted for revealing state secrets after he took an oath not to do so, regardless of the degree to which his revelations are important.

So far, I have seen nothing that he has revealed that makes me feel less secure or that could have aided anyone interested in attacking America.

Only an idiot - and there seem to be many of them on these threads - would assume that the spy agency (or agencies) was (were) not spying.

Anyone able to mount a credible threat to the USA would certainly assume they are, and they could not care one way or another whether the program was called PRISM or anything else, or what the Fisa documents say or permit. It is so reminiscent of the Casablanca line - "I'm shocked - shocked" that it really quite funny.

The only question remaining is whether, in order to enhance his reputation as a danger to the US, he - or Greenwald - actually reveals names of operatives or other information that could seriously endanger someone or impede security activity.

In the meantime - the media will simply play "where in the World is Waldo Snowden?" since there really isn't much else going on except the slaughter in Syria and the riots in Brazil - the latter something I note that ex-pat Greenwald remains studiously indifferent to.

LakerFan

Germans should closely observe how Angela Merkel now behaves. And if the opposition Social Democrats and Green party are still looking for a campaign issue, they need look no further.

We read, here in America, that German luxury cars are given as gifts to especially pernicious spies.

Face it: all the governments of the world have declared war- against their own citizens.

Yosser

Well that may be so, LakerFan, and it's easy to poke fun at the Snowden affair from many angles, but I, for one, do not like the idea of any Agency anywhere, governmental or private, reading my e-mails and monitoring my calls. The mantra 'If something can be done it will be done' plus Moore's Law suggests to me that it may not be a bad idea to take President Obama up on his 'Welcome a debate' remark.

Paul_lgnotus

So the British Empire never died - it just went online. Hurrah for the five eyes on which the sun never sets....

CC0564 -> Paul_lgnotus

They stopped gold digging and started data mining.

And for fun they shoot at paper tigers. Or maybe that is the whole point of this new empire: create new enemies. It is a great money spinner.

Comrade2070

But they have no right to subject the citizens of other countries to their control.

The problem, though, is that this inference is actually an open question and has been since the Treaty of Westphalia ... especially with respect to spying

While one can argue that the "binding customary principles of territorial sovereign equality and nonintervention, by the comity of nations," as one Canadian court put it, prohibits the collection of intelligence by one nation-state against another without its consent ... there are few treaties on the books where states have explicitly abrogated their powers to collect foreign intelligence. More importantly, I'm not aware of any treaties that have established an enforcement mechanism to see to it that countries are punished when they spy against one another.

Indeed most treaties that recognize the broad principal that "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence." See Article 12, Declaration of Human Rights and Article 8 of the ECHR also recognize the broad principle that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." The tension between liberty and security that we see in domestic law is right there in international law. Yet, that tension has come about without the member states completely ceding their individual liberty to breach any of these rights that we see reflected in domestic law.

For example, the Rome Statute that established the ICC explicitly excludes delicts against privacy from its jurisdiction.

Which returns us to sovereignty--IT is the core problem here. In a system of international anarchy, governments are effectively at liberty to keep secrets from one another and they are at liberty to try to discover each others' secrets. Until they are willing to yield both liberties to a higher authority, your protestations against individual citizens getting caught up in the mix of international espionage will not be remedied ...

truthpleasestoplies -> Comrade2070

And we come back to Adolf Hitler:

Right, Law, Justice, agreements are for the weak. The powerful one does not need them as he and his power authorize themselves. (in the Nietzschean version of it adopted by Nazism)

But was then Nazism defeated only to occupy the ueberalles place it had outlined and the principles it had chosen? Was eventually Adolf Hitler right in the concept but wrong in the identity of the one country which would incarnate it? The power-and-no-rights followers and countries, though not me, are on his side and his heirs.

Is the truth even more simple and Nazism the real engine of the empires of 19th century which existed before and continued after Hitler?

[Jun 25, 2013] The Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald

Just when the Snowden spy saga needs comic relief to counter Washington's bad-tempered diplomacy, in walks Russian president Vladimir Putin with his own way of describing what might be in the whole deal for Moscow – "it's like shearing a pig – lots of screams, but little wool."

Clearly the Russian leader thought he could indulge in such colourful language because for the benefit of the international throngs following the story, he had just answered the 'where's Wally' question – indeed, Mr Snowden was still at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport; though in the transit area which, technically, meant he was not in the country.

... ... ...

There were signs that Washington is issuing chill pills to senior officials.

Couching his words in the terms in which indignant Chinese and Russian officials used to reject his hot-headed comments of Monday, a more measured US Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: "We're not looking for a confrontation. We're not ordering anybody. We are simply requesting under a very normal procedure for the transfer of somebody.

"I would simply appeal for calm and reasonableness at a moment when we don't need to raise the level of confrontation over something as frankly basic and normal as this."

With so many people in different time zones having their tuppence worth, it was though everyone was speaking at once. And in that context Kerry's Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, wasn't buying the new Mr Kerry tone.

"We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violations of US laws and even some sort of conspiracy which, on top of all that, are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable," Mr Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

"There are no legal grounds for such conduct [by] US officials."

Edward Snowden's biggest fear Losing access to his computer

The Globe and Mail

... ... ...

Despite the formal explanation, Hong Kong officials also indicated displeasure over Mr. Snowden's revelation that the semi-autonomous Chinese city had been a target of American hacking. The government noted that it asked the U.S. for more information on the issue, suggesting it played some role in the decision.

Some observers believe the move to allow Mr. Snowden to leave Hong Kong was orchestrated by China to avoid a prolonged diplomatic tussle with the U.S. over his extradition. Mr. Snowden also claimed that the U.S. accessed private text messages after hacking into mobile phone companies in China. The U.S. has long complained that it has been a victim of Chinese computer-based attacks.

Hong Kong lawmaker and lawyer Albert Ho, who had represented Mr. Snowden, said an intermediary who claimed to represent the government had relayed a message to Mr. Snowden saying he was free to leave and should do so.

"The entire decision was probably made in Beijing and Beijing decided to act on its best interests," he told reporters. "However, Beijing would not want to be seen on stage because it would affect Sino-U.S. relations. That's why China has somebody acting in the background."

What is Snowden's life like in hiding?

The cramped conditions of staying in the home of a local Hong Kong supporter didn't bother Mr. Snowden, his lawyer told The New York Times – so long as he had access to his computer.

In fact, Mr. Ho said, the one thing that scares him most about the idea of prison is of losing his computer. "If you were to deprive him of his computer, that would be totally intolerable," Mr. Ho said.

Was Snowden hiding in plain sight?

Though Mr. Snowden is going to great lengths to avoid detection (Mr. Ho told The New York Times, for example, that all visitors are asked to hide their cellphones in the refrigerator to prevent eavesdropping), at least a few journalists have had better luck.

Even while fleeing extradition, Mr. Snowden has granted interviews to The Guardian and The South China Morning Post newspapers – essentially hiding in plain sight of officials.

For The Guardian, he even agreed to be filmed on video and then last week participated in a live "Q&A" session with Guardian readers.

"I believe in freedom of expression," he told the Post. "I acted in good faith but it is only right that the public form its own opinion."

Journalists strike out on Aeroflot Flight 180

After word leaked that Mr. Snowden would fly from Moscow to Havana on Monday, journalists who had been searching for him at Sheremetyevo International Airport rushed to book seats on Aeroflot Flight 180. However, he was not on board.

To make matters worse, there are no alcohol sales aboard the nearly 12-hour flight and the reporters must spend three days in Cuba before they can leave because of the country's travel rules.

The WikiLeaks connection

The ongoing NSA drama has led to a strategic alliance between Mr. Snowden and the anti-secrecy activist group WikiLeaks. The arrangement has allowed WikiLeaks – whose founder Julian Assange has been in refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy for over a year – to share in Mr. Snowden's media spotlight, and also given Mr. Snowden access to the expertise and resources that the international organization has gained over the years.

Mr. Assange said that Mr. Snowden had approached the activist group over a week ago for its help, and they have since been providing legal and logistical support. On Sunday, Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca said the country had received an asylum application from Mr. Snowden.

... ... ...

Video AT&T Leaker Give Snowden Retroactive Immunity - The Globe and Mail

Jun 12, 2013

Before there was Edward Snowden, there was Mark Klein, a telecommunications technician who alleged that AT&T was allowing U.S. spies to siphon vast amounts of customer data without warrants

Comment of the week: on Prism's international reach

The Guardian
In a new series, Comment is free writers and editors want to highlight some of the best comments on the site. Each week, either an editor or the author of a recent piece will pick a comment that they think contributes to the debate. Hopefully, it will give staff and readers an opportunity to see how thought-provoking such contributions can be and allow great posts the chance to be seen by a wider audience.

In our fifth instalment, Antony Loewenstein, who recently wrote about the Prism surveillance scandal and the lack of outrage that followed in Australia, has picked a comment by rustyschwinnToo:

Where is the outrage over Prism in Australia? In the same place as Australian outrage over Echelon. Next to the US, Australia is probably the second most insular "western" democracy in the world. And even more ready to believe that it's all about foreigners, which doesn't include them but does include anybody slightly brown tinged or with a funny accent on the continent, than the Americans.

I was talking to a (typically) frighteningly casual racist Australian yesterday. And he was genuinely convinced that NSA would only be spying on "immigrant darkies" in Australia. He couldn't grasp the concept that TCP/IP and the ISO communications model don't have an ethnic identification layer. And the NSA don't (can't) racially profile meta data.

Antony explains why he picked this comment:

One of the constant refrains about the Snowden revelations, from supporters of unaccountable surveillance, is that the state and authorities would never peek into lives that have no connection to terrorism. Or that Washington has a watertight court oversight (Glenn Greenwald demolished that lie recently). The commenter understands that the post 9/11 world has seen development of a massive, privatised system of monitoring and gathering metadata on us all. Alas, I have to agree that insularity is an Australian speciality (not unique to us, alas). These Prism revelations should alarm politicians and media but far too many of them are sucking on the drip-feed of sanctioned US government and intelligence leaks and information to care. The online rage against the Obama administration recently shows that many in the public are demanding action.

Spatial

○ concerning the NSA revelations, media blackout has been very successful

only reporting on the US charging Snowden was allowed

you wouldn't be mistaken to assume that news outlets are run directly from NSA offices. technology is making this possibility a piece of cake ○

in this 'free country' one is only free to acquiesce unquestionably to the instructions coming from Washington

ChaseChubby -> Spatial

in this 'free country' one is only free to acquiesce unquestionably to the instructions coming from Washington

Indeed. Not like the socialist paradises of Venezuela and Cuba. There a person can say what he thinks without fear. Report Share this comment on Twitter Share this comment on Facebook

Spatial ChaseChubby

Not like the socialist paradises of Venezuela and Cuba. There a person can say what he thinks without fear

good on you! very 'rational' and adequate response. it doesn't stink of acquiescence at all.

discuz

Even accounting for the third party doctrine, how can FISA ordering call data on ALL US calls be squared with the Fourth Amendment, statutory protections, common law privileges and the rights of the third parties themselves?

AngloSkeptic AngloSkeptic

As with the City, so with GCHQ:

Britain's feeble public institutions combined with the global reach of ambitious British-based interests menace the entire world, not just the basic rights of the British population.

The poorly regulated activities of GCHQ appear to undermine the constitutional protections enjoyed by citizens in other sovereign states.

The sudden loss of 'plausible deniability' creates for governments around the world a legal obligation to act.

AngloSkeptic AngloSkeptic

Voting is of no avail if the population is uninformed or if the activity emanates from another, 'sovereign' jurisdiction.

As Mr Snowdon put it, it is a case of 'turn-key tyranny', but on a global scale.

Meanwhile, Britain, with its lax constitutional arrangement, serves as the Loophole of the world, through which other governments circumvent their constitutional protections.

MobiusLoop -> RueTheDay

I prefer to live in a safe society, free of criminals and terrorists. The trade off of allowing government snooping across the board, to keep me safe is acceptable to me.

The central assumption here is that governments and their agencies always act in a benign manner yet this very story, the Hillsborough, Lawrence and Tomlinson cases are all clear examples of areas where there is the danger of and actual misuse of power and where public scrutiny is therefore essential. Looking at the history of Northern Ireland, Bloody Sunday with subsequent cover up then internment can seen as examples of the misuse of powers that had the impact of taking a volatile situation and making it more dangerous. In this case a far greater level of safety was achieved through open dialogue and an acknowledgement of the underlying economic and political drivers.

For society to remain balanced and safe, there must be limits on power, scrutiny and accountability. Without checks there is a tendency to drift towards an ever more draconian and I would argue truly dangerous world.

Sentinel001 -> libertarianSW

Good comments, they ( gove, media etc ) are still portraying using Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OSX as viable business operating systems.

This is where they capture all of your data from; remember, they ( Microsoft and Apple) gave the NSA / GCHQ, Five-Eyes Nations, access to zero-day exploits and other Operating System errors to exploit for commercial gain before telling the public ( whole world who use those operating systems for their businesses ) about these exploits.

The whole business community around the world need to remove the back-door enabled operating systems from Microsoft and Apple; Windows and OSX, as this is the only way to guarantee their own data privacy locally.

Message needs to be spread

libertarianSW -> Sentinel001

Exactly, the US is facing a massive backslash, as you pointed, no body knows the extent and what else PRISM involved.

It's funny because the US was issuing security warnings about Chinese TELCO's and Chinese made equipment because of possible back-doors and illegal data collection ...now the US seems to follow a similar pattern.

AhBrightWings

I was talking to a (typically) frighteningly casual racist Australian yesterday. And he was genuinely convinced that NSA would only be spying on "immigrant darkies" in Australia.

This was a great post, and I particularly admire how the poster addressed head-on the most disturbing essence of this Orwellian dynamic. The sad truth is that the racism expressed in the quotation is the purest distillation of Martin Niemöller's axiom about who they come for first. Virtually everything that has unfolded in the post 9/11 world has been an invitation to pit "Us" against "Them." As long as it is happening to them, the vast majority has not cared how outrageous the transgressions are or how horrendous the suffering is. I am still struggling with my disappointment that it took having one's precious cellphone or Facebook page effected to wake up the slumbering masses to what is going on, but keep coming back to the thought that at least they are waking up.

Many people use the future tense when talking about what "can" or "might" go wrong if we don't put a stop to this. That view studiously ignores the thousands who have been tortured and imprisoned, without trial, and the hundreds of thousands killed in an illegal war.

We should be outraged, but the source of that rage should be fueled by our awareness that others are already suffering in our name. If we don't want them to come for us, we need to care passionately that they've already come for others.

mikedow

I'm always bemused when I see that NSA picture, with it's massive car park. A serious transportation breakdown would just about scuttle the place. They call that security.

goodkurtz

AhBrightWings:

Virtually everything that has unfolded in the post 9/11 world has been an invitation to pit "Us" against "Them."

By now my dear AhBrightWings you should not be hide bound by that paradigm. I lectured you enough at Salon to get smart about 9/11Truth. So by now you should have realized that 9/11 was so arranged by Them, that yahoo nation would be happy with Them pitting themselves against Us. And now what they were too stupid to see they were sowing - now must yahoo nation reap.

goodkurtz

Talk about yahoo, sure to appear:

RueTheDay

I prefer to live in a safe society, free of criminals and terrorists. The trade off of allowing government snooping across the board, to keep me safe is acceptable to me. I will vote for someone who has my physical security as a primary interest.

I didn't know whether to laugh, spit or cry with despair reading your garbage. The State doesn't give a flying fuck about your "physical security." They sent many into war to be killed or maimed on false pretenses didn't they? They put the frightners on you in order that you'll be happily stupid enough to keep up the protection payments.

There's one born every minute - but I really, really wish there wasn't.

Snowden leaks may embarrass Canberra

June 26, 2013

American intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden may expose top secret Australian intelligence gathering operations and embarrass Australia's relations with neighbouring Asian countries, Australian intelligence officials fear.

Former Labor Defence Minister John Faulkner has confirmed that the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australia's signals intelligence agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, David Irvine and Ian McKenzie, have briefed the federal parliament's intelligence committee on the US PRISM internet surveillance program.

The Australian government would not comment yesterday on whether Mr Snowden's exposés of top secret US and British intelligence and surveillance programs have been the subject of diplomatic exchanges between Canberra and Washington. Foreign Minister Bob Carr's office would not say whether he has had any exchanges with US Secretary of State John Kerry on the subject.

However Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's office has confirmed that a high level interagency taskforce is monitoring events and coordinating the government's response.

... ... ...

"Disclosure of highly sensitive collection operations and methodology will damage Australia's intelligence capabilities. It already has done so. But there's also risk of serious complications in our relations with our neighbours," one official said.

"The US may be able to brush aside some of the diplomatic fallout from the Snowden leak, but that may not be the case for Australia. China, Malaysia, other countries may respond to us in ways that they would not to Washington."

Nicho

Heh. The govt. was spying on their own people. Snowden's a traitor only if you regard your citizens as the enemy ..

Scooter

Nicho, the citizen is always the enemy of the State. The biggest weakness resides within. That is why a modern political State will move to control the means and methods of violence, to minimise that risk.

[Jun 17, 2013] How NSA Surveillance Jeopardizes Obama's G-8 Trip to Europe

NationalJournal.com

The president arrives in Northern Ireland early Monday morning to begin an intense three days of behind-the-scenes diplomacy and very-public speechmaking to culminate in what the White House hopes is a spectacular address at the eastern side of the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The crowd for that could top 200,000. But more important for Obama may be the smaller one-on-one sessions when he is expected to face tough questions about the surveillance disclosures and the evolving U.S. policy on Syria.

Those would come at Lough Erne Resort, a golf resort nestled between two lakes near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, site of this year's G-8 Summit. Obama is almost certain to hear complaints from several of the allied leaders upset at public disclosure that the FBI and National Security Agency collected data on private calls made by citizens, including those using major internet servers in Europe. Since the disclosure, the complaints have been loudest in Germany, France and Italy. But a nerve was struck across the continent, with Europe long more concerned about privacy than the United States and long annoyed that Europeans had to rely on Internet servers maintained by U.S. companies such as Google and Facebook.

Peter Schaar, Germany's freedom of information commissioner, told Reuters he wanted "clarity" from the United States "regarding these monstrous allegations of total monitoring of various telecommunications and Internet services." Another German official has called for a boycott of the companies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is running for reelection, has said she will raise the issue with Obama this week either at Lough Erne or in Berlin.

"The most upset party in all of this, I think, is the Germans," said Michael J. Geary, an assistant professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and an expert on Europe. "The Germans were the most snooped-upon country, apparently, in March. In a country where memories of the former East German Stasi are still quite fresh, the response has been quite critical." Geary described Europeans as "peeved" and "quite annoyed" at the U.S. actions and said they have the potential to set back sensitive trade negotiations and do damage to transatlantic relations. "It's a major PR disaster for the administration," he said. "Now, they have really lost the moral high ground."

Among the questions Obama will face, said Geary, is how much of this information was gathered "simply for security or is it being used for economic advantage in the United States?"

Heather Conley, director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said she expects the European leaders to be "extremely vocal about their concerns" privately. She said the disclosures could prove to be "a major stumbling block" for successful trade talks and revive European concerns about privacy. "Public opinion on this is actually quite strong in Europe," she said.

The White House anticipates the questions. "We certainly understand that, like the United States, countries in Europe have significant interests in privacy and civil liberties," said Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council.

"So we will want to hear their questions and have an exchange about these programs and other counterterrorism programs that we pursue in the United States and in partnership." But Rhodes stressed to reporters at the White House that the president will defend the program as "a tool that is essential to our shared security."

"He'll be able to discuss with the other leaders the importance of these programs in terms of our counterterrorism efforts in particular, the constraints and safeguards that we place on these programs so that they have oversight against potential abuses."

No meeting with another leader at the summit is more eagerly anticipated than Obama's session with Vladimir Putin, who is back as president of Russia and back at the G-8 summit for the first time since George W. Bush was the U.S. president. Putin and Obama have had a particularly rocky relationship, with Putin never missing a chance to tweak or embarrass Obama. And when they sit down Monday evening at Lough Erne, they will face a crowded agenda, including the surveillance program, Syria, Afghanistan, trade, human rights and arms control.

In his comments this week, Putin has offered a modest defense of the surveillance program, suggesting it is understandable if done legally. But he cast the Kremlin as more law-abiding and more sensitive to privacy concerns than his American counterparts. "Such methods are in demand," Putin told RT, Russia's English-language satellite news channel.

"But you can't just listen to the phone call in Russia; you need a special order from court. This is how it should be done in civilized society while tackling terrorism with the use of any technical means. If it is in the framework of the law, then it's OK. If not, it is unacceptable."

Prism, Privacy is So Yesterday

Today was released that the National Security Agency and the FBI have access to audio, video calls, pictures, e-mails, documents and connections. The information was revealed by The Washington Post, this is the first time that something of this scale has become public. The announcement came, unfortunately for the White House, the same day that [...]

June 6, 20131 Comment Read More

PRISM was Created to Obtain More Power Over the American People

There is outrage over an NSA program that records billions of phone calls by wireless phone users. Some of the anger is from Congressmen who approved the plan, but never believed it would be exposed. A far more invasive program, called PRISM, was created by George W. Bush to obtain more power over the American [...]

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